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Importance of Being a Woman

Importance of Being a Woman

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Importance of Being a Woman

Hello there, my name is Zena Gevisser, and I want to show you how you can overcome shyness, add to your popularity, and not only make friends, but keep them. My particular method for achieving success in all these three things is to give practical illustrations and circumstances. As you stand in front of your mirror satisfied that your choice of dress is flattering that your makeup is been applied to enhance your natural loveliness that your hair is well styled and you have even remembered to switch on a glow inside yourself that completes a picture of beauty and happiness do not make the error of believing that you are equipped to be the bell of the function. The most important thing to remember to take with you when you leave your mirror is your attitude. As you take that last look at your reflection did you perhaps think to yourself, “I hope everyone likes me tonight.” Well my friend if this is the thought utmost in your mind you are going to fail. For the secret of popularity lies in your saying to yourself, “Where ever I’m going what ever I’m doing, I am going to like who ever I meet.” Popular people are interesting people. You have to train yourself to be interested in other people. And if you walk out of your house saying, “I hope everyone is going to like me.” You are turning your thoughts inward, you are only concerned with yourself. But on the other hand if you say, “who ever I meet I am going to like.” or words to that effect, you are immediately force yourself to be interested in other people. And as long as you remain interested in someone else so long will so long will you be popular with them. If you can make everyone you come in contact with feel bigger more important happier, if you can make their lives feel fuller and more worth while, they will always want you around.

To those handicapped by shyness did you know that shyness was selfishness? I’ll bet that remarks given you something to think about. Use your imagination for a moment and see yourself standing alone on an empty railway stations you wish there was somewhere else you could sit down, you wonder if your slip is showing, or whether you are wearing the right hat for the occasion. Or if your stockings are ________. Here is a strong case of self-consciousness and shyness. Suddenly while you are standing in the station, two trains enter at high speed, both coming at opposite directions but both on the same track. Crash! As they collide. The screams of the engine and trapped passengers is in your ears. Tell me, do you walk out of the station. Of course you don’t you rush into the debris and drag the injured out and bathe their wounds and help soothe the shocked and notice please that you are not one bit worried about if your slip is showing or if you are wearing the right hat for the occasion. And yet it is the same you the same station the same clothes. What then is the difference? The difference is, that when you stood alone before the accident you were thinking, “me, me, me, me, me” but after the crash you turned your thoughts to other people and in doing so completely forgot to be shy. Think of the story, turn it over in your mind for in it lies the secret of overcoming this great handicap. Turn your mind to others and awaken yourself. This is the road to success and many friendship.

How do you make friends, and more important keep them? First of all ask yourself, “what do I want in a friend?” someone who can listen to my triumphs and my troubles? Someone who shares interests similar to my own. These are the two of the usual requirements of a friend. You must make up your mind that if you want friends you must be the sort of person that you would like to have for a friend. Do you know the importance of a smile? How many times have you heard someone say, “So and So never greeted me today.” When ever I hear anyone say this, I am always inclined to ask them, “Tell me have you smiled today? Did you smile at those people that didn’t great you? Then why should they bother to smile at you?”

One finds it very difficult to entertain everyone we meet. And certainly there can be times when we have too many acquaintances. But there can never be a time when any of us can say, “We have too many friends.” A friend of course cannot automatically be called a friend at first sight. They have to go through what I call the apprenticeship of acquaintanceship. So the lesson that I want you to practice from today is this, where ever you go when ever you catch someone’s eye, I want you to smile. Because every time you smile at someone, you may be making a friend. I always remember this story told to me by one of my pupils who was very interested in archeology. Now this is a subject that does not interest many people, particularly women. And when she lived in Blumfintin (spelling?) she mixed with many people who were interested in this fascinating subject. When she moved to a smaller country village with her husband she couldn’t find anyone who was at all interested in archeology. Although she participated in the village life she was very miserable because this important part of her was lying dormant because she had no one to discuss the subject with. One day she was walking through the village when she saw a lady she had seen two or three times before on the opposite side of the road. And my pupil being lonely thought, “I’ll just cross over and introduce myself.” And so she made as if to cross over the road. The other lady turned towards her, but my pupil suddenly lost heart, and turned around and walked back across the road. Two years went by and many of her friends had discovered her intense interest in archeology and they had arranged a party in order to introduce her to somebody else interested in the subject. Suddenly my pupil found herself face to face with the very lady she had half crossed the road to meet. So you see she had lost two years of companionship with someone who had a common interest with someone who had a common interest simply because she hadn’t the strength, the courage if you can call it that, to go through with that initial introduction. From now on where ever you go you will be the first to smile, the first to speak. You are going to be interested in everyone you meet. Without becoming too personal you are going to try to get to know as much as you can about everyone you meet.

I would like to tell you another story about a very shy timid soul, who when you ask her to a party crawls into the smallest corner and would starve to death sooner than going to go to the buffet table and get herself a bite of food. Now this same young lady is a well known South African journalist. And should you have asked her to come along to the same function and report on the people that were present, I can assure you she would be in every corner of the room and no matter how insignificant or inconspicuous anyone tried to make themselves she would seek them out. This is a strange but true story if this young lady could only get together with herself she would be the perfect friend, the perfect guest but unfortunately she can’t. But interesting myself in her particular case gave me an idea which I now pass on to you. The next time you are invited to a party and you find yourself wishing you had stayed at home, find yourself wishing someone would talk to you, or wondering why on earth did you agree to come along in the first place. I want you to imagine that you are a reporter and that you have to report back to me about every single person at the party; what they were wearing, what they do for a living, how they came to be at the party. And if you find that is too much of a strain as an imaginary request then make it a true to life report and send it on to me here in Durban.

Keeping friends is not always as easy as making friends because without taking it to the extreme of familiarity breading contempt we do have the tendency to become lax towards the people that we know very well; for example our family. We are very strange people, we are prepared to put on our best clothes our best manners for complete strangers, strangers that don’t care for us in the slightest or only in a superficial way and yet towards those people who would literally cut off their right arms for us who really love us, these are the people that on the whole we make very little effort to please.

I read a pathetic yet true little rhyme the other day that asked why we send beautiful flowers and beautiful cards to people’s funerals because after all they are dead. Why don’t we say those beautiful words and send those beautiful flowers to those that we love whilst they are alive? This too is something you must think about particularly to those people you are living with, to those people you are working with. As you put on your makeup and your clothes, I want you to put on your good manners, the little “please and thank yous” a little card or telephone call to thank your hostess for the dinner the other evening. A prompt reply whether it is a yes or no to any invitation. And remember most of all that a friend is someone who is there when you need them and that knows how to make herself inconspicuous when she is not needed. Be interested in your friend but do not pry and be too personal in your relationship for everyone has secrets that they do not want to divulge to anyone. Too many people abuse friendship by overstepping that mark of familiarity. A special tip, please do not give advice unless you are asked. And always remember that when ever a friend asks for your advice after she has taken an action she is really only wanting your approval. No one likes to be criticized and we especially like our friends to approve of us and everything we do. So one last word on the subject of keeping friends; if you want to keep, try not to be over critical, let them know that what ever they do, you will always stand by them and try to approve.

Now what kind of a guest are you? There are those that believe that the world owes them a living and there are those who adopt the attitude, “well I’ll come along to your party, you just bring on the dancing girls and entertain me.” This of course is all wrong. If someone has invited you to be there guest they have the obligation to provide other interesting guest, food, and accommodation. You and your turn as a guest must provide something too; you mustn’t merely go along. You must be worthy to be invited to someone’s function; if you can sing, sing, if you can dance, dance, if you can only make conversation that at least talk. Keep on your feet, offer food around, even if you don’t know anyone in the room, including the hostess. If you see someone who hasn’t a drink go and ask them if they would like a drink change the gramophone records, make yourself known to the hostess, and ask what you can do to help. If the art of making conversation worries you, I would like to explain how I liken the art of making conversation to a game of tennis. You will need a friend to help you; the one and only thing to remember is you cannot finish your side of the conversation unless you finish by asking a question. And I liken this to tennis because as the ball goes backwards and forwards and if the ball isn’t returned the game finishes, so conversation must go backwards and forwards otherwise it terminates. For example, “A” says, “Have you read any good books lately?” “B” replies, “No”. This of course is a very bad example because “B” failed to ask a question before answering his side of the conversation and therefore the conversation came to an end. It should have gone as follows; “A” asks “B”, “Have you read any good books lately?” “B”, “No I have very little time for reading, but I am very interested in collecting stamps. Have you ever taken up stamp collecting?” then go on something like the following; “A”, “I’m afraid I know nothing about stamp collecting, tell me; what do you find so fascinating about it?”

It is essential that you read the newspapers and keep yourself up-to-date with what is going on in all parts of the world as well as locally, but you must remember one important thing, no matter to whom you are going to speak, whether he be a scientist, President, or dustman, the one topic of conversation that will make him interested in you is for you to discuss him; ask about his work, why he likes what he does, how he came to do it. Has he any other ambitions. Compliment who ever you are speaking to on their voice, hands, clothes. Look for their good points and do not hesitate to talk about them. Your face is the mirror of your soul. Have pleasant thoughts about others, use your tact and digression about what you say; thoughts have wings and any unpleasant thoughts on your part can have an unhappy way of being felt by others. Good thoughts penetrate too. Don’t be too critical of others failings; remember you have some too. Pay an honest compliment, be sincere in all you say and do for this is the importance of being a woman.

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