“How to Win Friends and Influence People,” written by Dale Carnegie in 1936 became one of the first best-selling self help books ever written. The most amazing part about this book is that it remains extremely relevant today despite being written over 70 years ago!
I bet not a lot of books can say that. However one issue I have is I’m not super fond of the title…it’s a little misleading. It sounds like a book that teaches you how to trick people into doing what you want (which now that I write that sounds kind of useful), but it is not at all like that.
Mr. Carnegie’s book is broken into about 28 chapters, each one focusing on an important social skill. I took notes on the book because I’ve realized lately that I’ll read an entire book then have trouble remembering what it was about 1 month later.The following are my favorite bits from the book, but I still urge you to pick up the book (it’s a library staple) and read through. It’s essentially the how-to book on simply being a good person.
1. DON’T CRITICIZE, CONDEMN OR COMPLAIN
- Improving yourself is a much more worthwhile pursuit that trying to improve others.
- Ben Franklin – “I will not speak ill of any man, only good”
2. GIVE HONEST AND SINCERE APPRECIATION
- The deepest urge for human nature: the desire to be important, the craving to be appreciated.
- Next time you enjoy a meal, let the chef know, or salesperson who was helpful.
3. BECOME GENUINELY INTERESTED IN OTHER PEOPLE
- The most common word in phone conversations is “I.”
- Who’s face do you look for first in a group photo? Your own!
- If we wanna make friends let’s push ourselves to do things for others that require our time, energy, unselfishness and thoughtfulness.
- Think about dogs who are genuinely excited to see anyone regardless of who they are.
- It isn’t what you are or what you have or who you are or what you do that makes you happy, its what you think about it.
5. REMEMBER THAT A PERSON’S NAME IS THE SWEETEST AND MOST IMPORTANT WORD IN ANY LANGUAGE
- The average person is more interested in his/her own name than all other names on earth combined.
- We should be aware of the magic associated with a person’s name.
6. TRY HONESTLY TO SEE THINGS FROM THE OTHER PERSON’S POINT OF VIEW
- Put yourself in other people’s shoes, don’t condemn them, try to understand them.
- How would I feel, how would I react in his/her shoes.
7. PRAISE EVEN THE SLIGHTEST IMPROVEMENT AND ANY IMPROVEMENT: “BE LAVISH IN PRAISE AND HEARTY IN COMMENDATION”
- We give dogs treats when a dog is improving or being good, but we don’t apply this simple gesture with people.