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Unformatted text preview: nd indeed every portrayer of life. What men
demand of each other is sincerity, and even where the insincerity is merely a habitual pose it arouses hostile
feeling which expresses itself all the way from criticism to the overt act.
Since to feel superior is so highly prized in social relationships of all kinds, part of the technique of those
seeking some advantage or other--economic, social, personal--from those who must be influenced is to give
them the feeling of superiority. Flattery, cajolement, humble supplication and the finer maneuvers of tact, all CHAPTER XI. 98 have this in mind. These however are palatable to the intelligent only when felt to be sincere and when
emanating from some one more or less esteemed, though there are plenty who "fall" for the grossest flattery
from almost any one, whose ego feeling is easily inflated with a corresponding shrinking in judgment and
common sense. In the relations of men and women, flattery in one shape or another plays an enormous role
--from the effect on women of the statement or implication in a subtle or gross way that they are charming,
and the effect on men of acknowledged superiority in strength courage or intelligence. Of course, in both
cases the effect is partly in the physical attractiveness of the flatterer and tends to become ridiculous when he
or she is without charm. The simpering language that is irresistible when uttered by a starry-eyed maid of
eighteen loses somewhat in beauty and effect when emanating from the lips of bespectacled forty. The power
to use and the power to resist flattery in any of its forms have played almost as great a role in the history of the
race as strength, beauty or intelligence.
It would be futile to elaborate in detail the various ways of seeking superiority or resisting inferiority. Two
directions of this impulse need some attention, as they lead to personality traits of great importance. "Having
one's way" becomes a dominant desire with many people, and much of the clashing that occurs in families,
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11