Happiness is contagious. All people would rather find a friend than meet an enemy. Everybody is well disposed to some people, but not all are prepared to like everyone they meet, at least until they have evidence that their overtures will be accepted. To some extent a friendly disposition has the charming innocence of a young animal or a child: it is believed that there is no danger but much benefit from meeting and knowing everyone and everything. To retain this youthful faith in the universal goodness of the world may not be easy. The usual excuse of the misanthrope is that experience proves that rebuffs are more probable than reciprocal gestures. You may contribute to society without being a good mixer; you can be a ‘back-room boy’, providing the material for those who enjoy nothing better than meeting and talking to people. But if you intend to succeed socially, or in work entailing arguing, persuading, and inspiring other people you need to earn good marks in this check-up.
1. Recall the last conversation you had when a person mutually known but not present was discussed. Did you:
a. mention his admirable and likeable qualities?
b. suggest that he bad some bad points he’d be better without?
c. state that you preferred not to discuss people behind their backs?
2. Your idea of a social activity for next Saturday evening: would it be:
a. to go out to someone’s home and be entertained there?
b. to arrange a meal or an informal party in your own home for some guests?
c. to take it easy at home without any strangers interfering?
3. Can you give (without checking any list) the birthdays of:
a. only the members of your immediate family?
b. the family and at least three children of relatives or friends?
c. the family, at least three children, and four adults not related to you?
4. The fist time you fell in love, or thought you were in love, occurred:
a. before you were sixteen?
b. before you were twenty?
c. only once—with the person you married or are going to marry?
5. When you wake up from a night’s sleep are you usually lying:
a. with your arms above your head or over your face?
b. on your back with your arms outside the bed clothes?
c. on your side with knees well drawn up towards your stomach?
6. ‘Members of your nation are by heredity better than those of other nations’; ‘any man is mentally and physically superior to any woman’; ‘there will always be wars because man is a fighting animal’. Do you consider these statements reasonable:
a. in no instance?
b. in one or two?
c. in all three?
7. Given the choice of three books to read, which would you take first:
a. a biography of a notable person no longer living?
b. a love story?
c. an action-packed detective story?
8. Everyone has romantic ideas of the perfect living place. Is yours:
a. an unspoiled island in the South Seas?
b. a cottage in the midst of an English village?
c. a luxury house or flat in a fashionable part of a large town?
9. On a long train or aircraft journey is your usual practice:
a. to travel in silence among your fellow passengers?
b. to find it a nuisance avoiding getting into conversation with strangers?
c. to enjoy the way people get chatting though they’ll never meet again?
10. The main defect about your social self you’d like to correct is:
a. your inability to remember names and faces?
b. the way you never seem to dominate a group?
c. your lack of knowledge of the finer points of etiquette?
1. a. 10, b. 5, c. 0
2. a. 5, 10, c. 0
3. a. 0, b. 5, c. 10
4. a. 10, b. 5, c. 5
5. a. 5, b. 10, c. 0
6. a. 10, b. 5, c. 0
7. a. 10, b. 5, c. 0
8. a. 0, b. 10, c. 5
9. a. 0, b. 0, c. 10
10. a. 5, b. 10, c. 0
The ideal score is 70-85. This suggests that you are well disposed to others and generally liked by all classes and age groups.
90-100 is too good a score; you have either pretended that you are more gregarious than is actually the case pr you are prone to force your company and views on others without noticing that they do not regard you as such a delightful person as you intend them to think.
50-65 is a fairly typical score for very young adults and those well past middle age; the former are still finding their social feet, and the latter have grown cynical. They can improve their friendliness image by checking their prejudices on low score answers.
A score of 45 and below implies that you are either shy, insecure, or have a chip on your shoulder that needs to be thought out of existence.