In Part Three we have referred to the use of character analysis in persuasion. Without this knowledge, it is the most natural thing in the world for the man who seeks to persuade others to present to them the arguments and suggestions which would appeal to him. Long ago some wise man said: “If you would persuade another, put yourself in his place; look at the matter through his eyes.” ’Twas easier said than done. You cannot put yourself in another’s place or see things from his point of view unless you know him accurately, which is possible only through the science of character analysis. We have often found people who have lived together for a lifetime who neither knew nor understood each other.
Man’s fundamental needs are food, drink, clothing, shelter, work, companionship, and rest. If one of man’s fundamental needs is companionship, then he needs to know how to be successful socially. Most people deeply feel this need. One of the most frequent questions we are called upon to answer is: “How can I be a greater social success?” Social success depends upon personal attractiveness in the broadest sense of that term and upon a desire to make the most of that attractiveness. Many people have great social ambitions but, for some reason or other, are so unattractive that they are social failures. There are others who have pleasant personalities but who, because of other interests, neglect their social opportunities.
Personal attractiveness depends, first, upon the development of those elements which are pleasing to others, such as intelligence, judgment, reason, memory, sympathy, kindliness, courtesy, tactfulness, refinement, a sense of humor, decision, adaptability, self-confidence, proper personal pride, dignity, and perhaps others; second, upon a knowledge of each individual with whom one comes in contact, so that one knows best how to gain that person’s favorable attention, to arouse his interest, and to give him pleasure.
Many people are shy, diffident, self-conscious, and painfully embarassed in the presence of strangers. They feel these deficiencies keenly. They long, perhaps with an intensity which the naturally self-possessed person will never know, for that social ease which they so greatly admire. Their self-consciousness, diffidence and timidity in the presence of others is very largely the result, first, of a lack of knowledge of themselves and how to make the most of their own good qualities socially; second, of a lack of knowledge of other people. It is a human trait deeply ingrained and going back to the very beginning of life to be afraid of that which we do not understand. Courage, self-confidence, and self-possession always come with complete understanding. Therefore, these timid, bashful ones may find, and many of them have found, greater social ease through a knowledge of themselves and of others, gained through a study of character analysis.