Source: The Daily Bell
Turns out, actually being a genuinely good person is the easiest way to have influence over others, and get them to like you–weird, I know.
In 1936 Dale Carnegie wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People after intense study of effective leadership, the psychology behind why people like each other, and how to approach tough situations without giving offense.
Far from being sneaky ways to get what you want, or sleazy selling tactics, the ways Carnegie describes how to properly interact with others would make the world a better place if universally adopted. You could recognize one of these tactics being used on you, and still feel no ill will towards the person employing it.
This is an overview of the key takeaways from How to Win Friends and Influence People. Read the whole book to get the most benefit from Carnegie’s lessons, and bookmark this page for a quick reference.
Think of How to Win Friends and Influence People, as oil for the gears of society.
1. “Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.”
It just makes people defensive and breeds resentment. Criticizing and condemning makes it harder for someone to admit they are wrong because they feel the desire to justify their actions or thoughts. Even if they change their mind, it will not be a lasting change.
2. “Give honest and sincere appreciation.”
Everyone wants to feel needed and important. Those who fulfill this craving for others will be held in high esteem. But it is easy to tell shallow flattery from actual recognition of good qualities and hard work. Look for qualities worthy of commendation.
3. “Arouse in the other person an eager want.”
Dale Carnegie didn’t like to eat worms, but strangely enough, he fished with worms and did pretty well. How well would he have done if he fished with what he loved: strawberries and cream? Talk about the other person’s desires, and show them how to get there.
4. “Become genuinely interested in other people.”
You don’t need to be nearly as interesting as you need to be interested. People can tell if you are faking it, so you really need to find pleasure in learning about others. Make it a sort of game to dig deep enough to find something exotic about even the banalest acquaintances.
You have control over your thoughts, so choose to be happy. Being positive goes a long way and is infectious. Having an authentic smile on your face is an easy way to increase the chances that someone is going to like you.
6. “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
Remember names! And say their name often. It shows others they are important enough to you to be remembered. Better yet, name something after them! Maybe not your dog…
7. “Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.”
It is easy to think we need to say the right things to get someone to like us, but it is more about allowing them to have their say. We all have interests that we are passionate about and want to talk about. When we find a sincerely interested audience, it makes us feel appreciated and important.
8. “Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.”
If you are interested in others, they will be interested in you. Just find something about a person that you know interests them, and set out to learn about it. Ask them to explain the interest, and they will enjoy your company while telling you.
9. “Make the other person feel important–and do it sincerely.”
Everybody wants to be appreciated. Don’t you remember countless times when you achieved something or put a lot of energy into a project only to be met with silence? It’s like no one even noticed! Dinner was great, the yard looks nice, great job on that assignment! If there is something important to someone, recognize their work and it will make them feel important.
10. “The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.”
Even when you “win” an argument, the other person generally reverts back to their old opinion as soon as you part ways. From the get-go, an argument actually makes us dig in because we feel like we have something on the line and can’t admit we were wrong. When you disagree with someone, take the opportunity to sincerely reflect on why, and welcome hearing about the new perspective. You never know, maybe cats are better than dogs after all.