The genial William Lyon Phelps, essayist and professor of literature at Yale learned this lesson early in his life.He says:
"When I was eight years old and was spending a weekend visiting my aunt Libby Linsley at her home in Stratford, a middle aged man called one evening and after a polite skirmish with my aunt, he devoted his attention to me. At that time, I happened to be excited about boats and the visitor discussed the subject in a way that seemed particularly interesting. After he left, I spoke of him with enthusiasm. What a man! My aunt informed me that he was a New York lawyer and that he cared nothing about boats, that he took not the slightest interest in the subject. I wondered why did he talk to me about boats so much?
"Because he is a gentleman", said my aunt. "He saw that you were interested in boats and he talked about the things he knew would interest you and please you. He made himself agreeable"
And William Lyon added: "I never forgot my aunt's remark"