While you’ll never be able to trade in your basic character for a new model, scientists are predicting the perfecting of pharmaceuticals by the year 1992 which could not only change your personality but maintain it at any desired level as well. This is extremely interesting to speculate about, but in the meantime you will have to be content with the personality which nature gave you. Of course, if you are a girl who is never asked out or a boy who has trouble getting a date, there are small personality adjustments you can make in order to become more attractive to others.
There may be many little reasons why people may or may not like you. Perhaps these questions might help you to “see yourself as others see you.”
Answer “Yes” or “No.
1. Are you popular with yourself—do you like what you are?
2. Are you careful not to carry grudges?
3. Do you take the initiative in thinking up unusual parties?
4. Are you interested in a wide variety of things rather than just books? or sports? or cars? or girls? or clothes?
5. Do you stay true to your ideals regardless of group pressure?
6. If you are in the wrong, do you admit your mistake and apologize?
7. Have you thought up a catchy nickname for yourself which you enjoy?
8. Can you keep your emotions under control?
9. Are you always supplied with pencils, carfare, or loose-leaf papers so that you’re not considered a borrowing pest?
10. Do you stay home when you have a sniffly cold?
11. Do you always resist the impulse to point out to someone that he made a social error?
12. Are you careful not to impose your opinions on others while expecting everyone to think exactly as you do?
13. Are you willing to give longhair concerts and art exhibits a try?
14. Do you support the team even if it is losing?
15. Are you careful not to pry into other people’s affairs by asking personal questions?
16. Do you cultivate hobbies?
17. Can you resist snubbing someone who has an inferior social position or someone who has offended you?
18. Do you make sure that you never brag about where you live or what your father does for a living?
19. Can you make yourself smile when you feel like crying?
20. Are you honest in taking examinations?
21. Are you well-groomed?
22. Can you take advice and constructive criticism without getting your “feathers ruffled”?
23. Can you accept others’ successes and never be green-eyed about someone else’s popularity?
24. Are you careful not to do anything which would annoy others such as crack your knuckles, whistle or hum constantly, snuff, blow bubble gum, or use one finger nail to clean your others?
25. Are you careful about bodily cleanliness?
26. Are you genuinely interested in others?
27. Do you have a pleasant, happy disposition?
28. Do you excel at something?
29. Do you have a sense of humor?
30. Can you be pleasant to someone you dislike?
31. Are you a good sport when you get teased?
32. If you arrive at a party and find you are over-dressed, can you relax and have a good time rather than feel that people are singling you out to look at and perhaps secretly laugh at?
33. Are you careful not to boast of personal possessions or achievements?
34. Can you be trusted to keep a secret?
35. Do you let people finish what they are saying rather than break into the middle of their sentences?
36. Are you content with the praise that comes your way naturally rather than feel you must always “fish” for compliments?
37. Are you willing to stand up for a friend when slighting remarks are being made about him?
38. Do you always show appreciation for things done for you?
39. Can you face difficult situations instead of running away from them?
40. Do you have good manners?
If you have forty “yes” answers, you are too good to be true; if you have thirty-five affirmative answers, you are above normal; if you have but thirty “yesses,” you need to do a bit of checking up on yourself; whereas if you have twenty-five or less affirmative answers, you’d better inaugurate a “get tough with me” campaign.
—from What Do I Do Now?: A Book for Teens with Questions, by Barbara T. Jacobs and Dorothy M. Bowen (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1963)
(MARGINALIA: Found dedication, endpaper. “Merry Christmas 1964 to Bonnie and JoAnne from Steve and Bette. Dear Bonnie and JoAnne, We are giving you this gift with the intent that you read it and enjoy it. You are young ladies now, and not children anymore. And as your sister and brother-in-law we want you both to know how proud of you we are. We hope this precious book will become one of your dearest treasures. We love you, Steve and Bette.”)