The First Four Minutes
When do people decide whether or not they want to become friends? During their first four minutes together, according to a book by Dr. Leonard Zunin. In his book, “Contact: The First Four minutes’’, he offers this advice to anyone interested in starting new friendships: “____(1)____ A lot of people’s whole lives would change if they did just that.”
You may have noticed that the average person does not give his undivided attention to someone he has just met. ____(2)____ If anyone has ever done this to you, you probably did not like him very much.
When we are introduced to new people, the author suggests, we should try to appear friendly and self-confident. In general, he says, “People like people who like themselves1.”
On the other hand, we should not make the other person think we are too sure of ourselves. It is important to appear interested and sympathetic, realizing that the other person has his own needs, fears, and hopes.
Hearing such advice, one might say, “But I’m not a friendly, sell-confident person. That’s not my nature. It would be dishonest for me to act that way. ”
____(3)____ We can become accustomed to any changes we choose to make in our personality. “It is like getting used to a new car. It may be unfamiliar at first, but it goes much better than the old one.”
But isn’t it dishonest to give the appearance of friendly self-confidence when we don't actually feel that way? Perhaps, but according to Dr. Zunin, “total honesty”is not always good for social relationships2, especially during the first few minutes of contact. There is a lime for everything, and a certain amount of play-acting may be best for the first few minutes of contact with a stranger3. That is not the time to complain about one's health or to mention faults one finds in other people. It is not the time to tell the whole truth about one's opinions and impressions.
____(4)____ For a husband and wife or a parent and child, problems often arise during their first four minutes together after they have been apart. Dr. Zunin suggests that these first few minutes together be treated with care. If there are unpleasant matters to be discussed, they should be dealt with later.
The author says that interpersonal relations should be taught as a required course1 in every school, along with reading, writing, and mathematics. ____(5)____ That is at least as important as how much we know.
undivided / ˌʌndɪˈvaɪdɪd / adj.不分散的，专一的
personality / ˌpə:səˈnæliti /n.个性，人格
accustomed / əˈkʌstəmd / adj.惯常的
1.People like people who like themselves.:人们喜欢那些有自信心的人。这里的who like themselves不作“喜欢自己”解，根据上下文，可以解释为“有自信的人”。
2.“total honesty”is not always good for social relationships:在社会关系上“绝对的诚实”并非总是好的。
3.... a certain amount of play-acting may be best for the first few minutes of contact with a stranger.：……在和陌生人接触的头几分钟，适当演一点儿戏是最合适不过的了。
5.required course ：必修课
A.In reply, Dr. Zunin would claim that a little practice can help us feel comfortable about changing our social habits.
B.Much of what has been said about strangers also applies to4 relationships with family members and friends.
C.In his opinion, success in life depends mainly on how we get along with other people.
D.Every time you meet someone in a social situation, give him your undivided attention for four minutes.
E.He keeps looking over the other person’s shoulder, as if hoping to find someone more interesting in another part of the room.
F.He is eager to make friends with everyone.