HOW TO UN­DER­STAND PEO­PLE AND BE POP­U­LAR

Fo­cus­ing on the pos­i­tive as­pects on a per­son is a sure way to gen­er­ate af­fec­tion and hence friend­ship.

Woman's Era - - Short Story - By T. Ra­jagopalan

Sud­hir found life ex­tremely dif­fi­cult for the pri­mary rea­son that he could not pull on with peo­ple well. He was most of the time at log­ger­heads with his wife and at dag­gers drawn with her brother who lived nearby and paid vis­its to the cou­ple with empty hands but con­sumed the dishes his sis­ter pre­pared for him, with great rel­ish and lu­aded her culi­nary skills.

Out­side home in his of­fice and so­cial cir­cles also, he was un­easy and un­happy in the com­pany of oth­ers be­cause he suf­fered acutely from feel­ings of self-con­scious­ness.

“You may be a suc­cess­ful stu­dent of nov­els but you are cer­tainly no stu­dent of hu­man na­ture,” Sud­hir’s wife Sudha said to him in cut­ting tones one day af­ter he ex­pressed his aver­sion for her sib­lings com­ing with empty hands and eat­ing hun­grily the tif­fin pre­pared by her. He at once left the place and cog­i­tated at his own dis­play of dis­like for his brother-in­law.

Af­ter all, when he was quite pros­per­ous he used to bring even dry fruits to their house. But now, as he passed through a bad patch in his busi­ness he came swing­ing his hands. When his wife re­minded him of the days he lav­ished them with gifts dur­ing his pros­per­ous days, Sud­hir re­alised his bet­ter half was quite right.

He at­tained ex­per­tise in writ­ing ar­ti­cles for his favourite Tamil mag­a­zines but he had never en­deav­oured to un­der­stand other peo­ple. Af­ter re­al­is­ing the truth of what his wife told him, he de­cided that he would make a study of hu­man na­ture and would see if what had pre­vi­ously ap­peared in­su­per­a­ble ob­sta­cles could not be over­come. The more he pon­dered on the idea, the more worth­while it seemed to him.

When Sud­hir was brows­ing through Dr Beran Wolfe’s book How to be Happy though Hu­man, his at­ten­tion was ar­rested by these words:

“You as an in­di­vid­ual cit­i­zen of this world can­not be happy if you do not know why your neigh­bour is neu­rotic; why the oil mer­chant’s daugh­ter pil­fers trin­kets from de­part­men­tal stores; why your niece has tem­per tantrums… Not to an­swer these queries is to re­strict your men­tal hori­zons to an arc so nar­row as to be in­con­sis­tent with hu­man hap­pi­ness.”

Deeply im­pressed by this pas­sage, Sud­hir set out earnestly to

dis­cover why each of the per­sons with whom he came in close con­tact be­haved as he or she did.

“Why is my wife so dom­i­nat­ing? Why is my sub­or­di­nate at the of­fice so im­per­ti­nent? Why is my boss so in­de­ci­sive? Why does Ja­yaram brag so much about his profli­gacy with the money he spends?” These were ques­tions he started to ask him­self.

RE­AL­IS­ING FOLLY

The re­mark­able thing was as Sud­hir per­sisted in ques­tion­ing him­self in this man­ner and perservered in find­ing suit­able an­swers, he grad­u­ally be­came a happy man, nay a man at peace with him­self.

His re­sent­ment to­wards his wife seemed to dis­solve into noth­ing­ness, and in­stead of de­spis­ing her for be­ing so dom­i­neer­ing, he be­gan to sym­pa­thise with her and to want to help her. This was be­cause he dis­cov­ered that the cause of her over­bear­ing and over­crit­i­cal ways lay not in her feel­ings of su­periror­ity as he had al­ways imag­ined but an in­fe­ri­or­ity com­plex.

Although there was no ap­par­ent rea­son for his wife’s feel­ing in­fe­rior, Sud­hir’s study of psy­chol­ogy led him to be­lieve that this com­plex had prob­a­bly arisen through some un­for­tu­nate ex­pe­ri­ence in her child­hood, per­haps through er­ro­neous han­dling on the part of her par­ents or a teacher. Re­al­is­ing that none of it was any fault of her own, Sud­hir be­came con­sid­er­ably kin­der and more pa­tient to­wards his wife.

As he fur­ther pur­sued his study of peope, Sud­hir also found that his re­la­tion­ships with his col­leagues in of­fice and friends be­came much hap­pier be­cause his feel­ings of self­con­scious­ness dwin­dled away. De­vot­ing his at­ten­tion to the study of those around him, he be­came en­grossed in what he thought of them in­stead of wor­ry­ing about what they thought of him.

As did Sud­hir you can also act; can also prop­erly un­der­stand peo­ple. We are all aware that of­ten those who ap­pear so charm­ing are ac­tu­ally not charm­ing, as oth­ers whose ca­sual man­ner leads us to be­lieve that they are in­dif­fer­ent. Some who seem hard-hearted are ac­tu­ally more af­fec­tion­ate than those who are full of en­dear­ing traits.

If you were to meet Geeta, for in­stance, you would prob­a­bly judge her to be the most gen­er­ous in­di­vid­ual. She would wear fairly ex­pen­sive clothes when she met you and she would tell you about the high price she paid for them.

She would prob­a­bly ex­tend in­vi­ta­tion to you to join her over de­li­cious and lav­ish lunch in a classy restau­rant, but she would also make a point of telling you how much money she had spent re­cently on lunches in the city and on the­atre tick­ets for her and friends.

While all this con­scious ef­fort might well suc­ceed in con­vinc­ing you that she was a gen­er­ous per­son, if you were to go away with her on a hol­i­day for a week or two, you would no­tice that her ac­tions when she was off her guard told a dif­fer­ent tale. You would find that in her tips to the ho­tel wait­ers and rail­way porters she would be mean rather gen­er­ous.

It is such ap­pa­rantly in­signif­i­cant oc­ca­sions, when Geeta has act spon­ta­neously and with­out pre­con­ceived con­scious ef­fort that brings her true char­ac­ter to light. How­ever much she would lead you be­lieve by her con­ver­sa­tion and her con­scious ac­tions that she was a

AS YOU STUDY THE PEO­PLE YOU MEET IN YOUR DAILY LIFE, YOU WILL FIND THAT MOST OF THEM ARE STILL PUR­SU­ING A GOAL DE­VEL­OPED IN CHILD­HOOD. IT IS IM­POR­TANT TO TRY TO DIS­CERN AN­OTHER’S GOAL BE­CAUSE THIS WILL GIVE YOU A GOOD CLUE AS TO HIS FEEL­INGS AND THE NEED FOR EN­COUR­AGE­MENT AND RE­AS­SUR­ANCES.

gen­er­ous per­son, there would be no deny­ing from her un­con­scious acts that this was not re­ally one of her char­ac­ter traits.

BA­SIC EMO­TIONS

There are seven ba­sic emo­tions which are com­mon to all of us. These are fear, dis­gust, won­der, anger, sub­jec­tion, ela­tion and af­fec­tion.

If you study the dif­fer­ent ways these emo­tions are aroused in your life and the ef­fects which they ex­ert on you, this will give you a good idea of how other peo­ple’s emo­tions are stim­u­lated and how these feel­ings in­flu­ence their be­hav­iour.

The most im­por­tant emo­tion from the point of view of get­ting along with peo­ple is the emo­tion of af­fec­tion. Radha is one who, more of­ten than any­thing else, has aroused my feel­ings of af­fec­tion. This is be­cause she takes such a sin­cere in­ter­est in me, and not only helps to meet my ob­vi­ous needs but she also takes con­sid­er­able trou­ble to un­der­stand my deeper needs and help sat­isfy them.

Then again, she shows the con­fi­dence she places in me and the gen­uine com­pli­ments she pays me that she has a high opin­ion of me. What is more, she leaves no doubt in my mind that she val­ues my com­pan­ion­ship.

If I de­cline her in­vi­ta­tion to have lunch with her and her spouse, even po­litely, she per­sists in invit­ing me un­til she wins my ac­cep­tance and con­vinces me that I am re­ally wanted.

By analysing the ways in which Radha had stirred my emo­tion of af­fec­tion I have seen how to win warm and ten­der feel­ings from oth­ers. In a sim­i­lar way you can dis­cover why you feel more af­fec­tion­ate to one per­son than to an­other, and so you can gain un­der­stan­ing of how to arouse the emo­tion of af­fec­tion in oth­ers.

Any one who knows Prameela would not find it dif­fi­cult to see that her goal lies in win­ning a high po­si­tion in the busi­ness world. In fact, most of her friends think it ex­tremely odd that she should choose this as her ca­reer in­stead of ac­cept­ing one of the very good of­fers of mar­riage she has had.

But it is her sense of in­ad­e­quacy con­cern­ing her sex and age which had caused Prameela to seek com­pen­sa­tion in work­ing on a par with busi­ness­men hold­ing high im­por­tant po­si­tions. Brought up in child­hood among boys Prameela felt in­fe­rior about her sex at an early age. As a small girl, she en­deav­oured her best to com­pen­sate by com­pet­ing with boys’ games in­stead of play­ing the more gen­tle games of girls.

EM­PA­THETIC VIEW

Although her child­hood goals had been mod­i­fied in adult life slighly she still comes from the same roots and com­pen­sates for the same feel­ing of in­fe­ri­or­ity.

As you study the peo­ple you meet in your daily life, you will find that most of them are still pur­su­ing a goal de­vel­oped in child­hood. It is im­por­tant to try to dis­cern an­other’s goal be­cause this will give you a good clue as to his feel­ings and the need for en­cour­age­ment and re­as­sur­ances.

Not only this, it will also en­able you to demon­strate most in­ter­est in those parts of his life that are re­lated to his goal. There is no surer way of tuning in to an­other’s per­son­al­ity and win­ning his friend­ship and con­fi­dence than by pay­ing him the kind of com­pli­ments he needs the most.

A rusty nail placed near a faith­ful com­pass, will sway it from the truth, and wreck the ar­gosy. IF YOU STUDY THE DIF­FER­ENT WAYS THESE EMO­TIONS ARE AROUSED IN YOUR LIFE AND THE EF­FECTS WHICH THEY EX­ERT ON YOU, THIS WILL GIVE YOU A GOOD IDEA OF HOW OTHER PEO­PLE’S EMO­TIONS ARE STIM­U­LATED AND HOW THESE FEEL­INGS IN­FLU­ENCE THEIR BE­HAV­IOUR.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.