Let us, for the moment, look at good human relationships strictly from the selfish viewpoint.
Let us ignore completely what it means to the other fellow; how deeply satisfying it is to him; how it feeds many of his deepest internal needs and hungers, such as those for the warmth of friendliness, the re-assurance of recognition, the feeling of importance that comes from being needed, respected and admired.
Let us forget entirely for the moment the great benefits that flow to him, and think only of the personal gain to us of treating the other fellow like a fellow human being. In other words, let us think only of what we get out of it; of what is in it for us.
To begin with, we know that our chances for success in a job, in the leadership of people, in social life, and in the home are to all intents and purposes negligible if we have not learned the art of being friendly, considerate, and understanding in our relationship with people.
Positively stated, this means that success in the major areas of our lives is largely the pay-off to us of our good human relationships. It is money in our pockets, promotion both financial and technical on the job, and happiness in our social and home life.
We know, too, that it is only through our relationships that we can obtain the satisfactions of the deeper internal needs and hungers of our own egos, such as the need for recognition, security, and for being needed and wanted.
But fellow human beings give to us only what we give to them. Normal people pay-off in kind. It is inevitable that they do so. It is an automatic response dictated by nature. Feed their internal hungers and sooner or later they will feed ours. Starve their hungers and that is what they will do to us. But it is through our relationships with people that we feed or starve them as persons, and ourselves in turn. Thus another pay-off to us of good human relationship is that it draws to us the satisfactions we need to be mentally healthy and emotionally sound and harmonious.
Looking at good human relationship from the view-point of personal advantage, it is apparent that it is not a fringe ornament. It is a necessity of life for us. Not only is it the predominant factor in our domestic, social and vocational success and happiness, it is the indispensable one in the unfoldment of our human personality. Without it the food needed for mental and emotional wholeness would not be given to us.
An investment of self in good human relations pays huge dividends to the self.