How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie teaches you how to turn around your relationship and improve how you deal with all of the people in your life, and thus make your life more rewarding.
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How to Win Friends and Influence People Summary (24 Lessons)
1. Never criticize anyone
Criticism isn’t worth doing. Why?
This is because humans are creatures of emotion.
We don’t always apply logic.
Most of the decisions we make in our everyday lives are guided entirely by our emotions, prejudices, pride, and vanity.
How does this make criticism futile?
When you criticize a person it hurts their Ego which they cherish so much that they might go insane, and instead of realizing their weak points, they get into defensive-mode.
As a result, things only get worse.
You might be wondering: “If criticism is that bad then why do people criticize?“
People criticize often because it’s easy.
Humans have the propensity to blame and complain to others for their circumstances.
Rather than condemning people, try to understand them.
Understanding their motives and behavior is a thousand times better than criticizing them.
2. Learn the art of dealing with people
As human beings, some of the things people desire are:
- Feeling of Importance and many more…
Almost all the desires of the people are satisfied but the feeling of significance is rarely gratified.
What you have to do is to appreciate them for every good thing they have or do and never take them for granted.
Caution: There is a thin line between flattery and appreciation you must never cross.
3. Develop a desire in others
If you are trying to make somebody do something, then don’t just go and request them.
Because if you do that, chances are, they won’t do it.
Just ask a failed salesman: Why did he fail?
That was because he was trying to sell something, the customer didn’t want.
Whenever we do anything, deep inside us, is a desire which guides us.
Put yourself in their place for a moment, and think about what do they desire?
If you wish to make somebody do something then develop in them a desire to do that thing.
Talk in terms of what other person wants, and you’ll never fail at this subtle art of persuasion.
4. Become deeply interested in others
If you want to make friends, put yourself out to do things for other people.
Do the things that require an investment of time, energy, unselfishness, and thoughtfulness.
Become genuinely interested in others if you want to build long-lasting relationships.
5. You can make someone’s day with an authentic smile
Happiness is one of the most pursued things by humans.
But what do we see most of the time, when we look around — sadness, destruction, poverty, selfishness, etc.
When you smile you become the source of hope.
You begin radiating happiness.
You move people’s spirits high.
Does this mean you can use your smile to your advantage?
Of course not, people are smart enough to differentiate a genuine smile from an artificial one.
The smile Carnegie talks about here is the genuine one.
But the sad reality is you won’t always feel like smiling, here are two things you can do to overcome this:
- Force yourself to smile. Try humming a tune or two. When you force yourself to smile and act like it, it causes a psychological effect and you start feeling happy.
- Realize that happiness is an option we all have. Happiness isn’t the goal you should set. It’s a state of mind. Realizing this fact alone helps you take control of your thoughts and you stop depending on outer circumstances to become happy.
Always give a real and heartwarming smile.
6. People will only remember you if you remember them
Start remembering people’s names.
People are so attached to their names that they want them to exist for eternity.
That is the reason why so many libraries and museums exist to hold the collection of memories of the people who lived before us.
Many people don’t take the time and effort necessary to properly remember the names.
They often make excuses like they have a weak memory and instead of putting in the effort they call people by their nicknames.
Here are a few tips on how you can become better at remembering people’s names:
- Try to repeat a person’s name a few times in your mind and speak it.
- If the name is hard to pronounce then try spelling it.
- Stop using nicknames. Call people by their real names.
7. It’s easy to become a good conversationalist
One easy way to improve your conversation skills is to become a great listener.
When you start showing a deep interest in the others, you become more interesting because it’s rare to find people who listen to other’s pain points and provide solutions to it.
8. You have the magical power to make people like you instantly
Humans crave recognition and acknowledgment from their friends and family members so much so that they begin to feel superior to all.
And when you fulfill this desire of theirs you hold a special place inside their minds.
Ultimately, they start liking you.
9. It’s impossible to win an argument
It is pointless to prove to a man that he is wrong.
If you do so you’ll end up hurting his pride and he’ll become more convinced that he is right.
The longer you argue with a person, the more stubborn he gets.
Here are a few suggestions on how you can prevent an argument:
- Embrace the possibility of disagreement.
- Listen first
- Control your temper.
- Look for areas of improvement.
- Be empathetic.
- Be honest.
- Look out for any misunderstanding and clear it.
- Study your opponents carefully then evaluate their points rationally and empathetically.
10. Avoid doing this in a conversation
What’s the worst thing you can do in a conversation?
All you have to do is tell the other people that they are wrong.
When you do this you directly put a question mark on their judgment, knowledge, beliefs, and intelligence.
Consequently, you make them enemies.
There is no way in heaven that the person you just made feel inferior would become your friend.
Nobody would want that.
People have rigid beliefs and that is the main reason they don’t change their minds so easily.
You can’t always avoid enemies in real life but if you’re going to prove anything, don’t let the other person know it.
Do it subtly.
Tell them that you may be incorrect sometimes.
This teeny-tiny trick works like magic during an argument.
If you’re wrong, admit it quickly (which is also the next point).
11. Apologize quickly if it’s your fault
If you’re wrong and you know it that the other person would learn it sooner or later then admit it quickly with enthusiasm.
Doing this you can even get surprising results.
12. Be friendly in your approach
Unless you are gentle or sincere in your approach to win a man to your thinking, it would be extremely difficult, even with all the logic, to win people to your way of thinking.
This is because people have rigid minds that are hard to change.
Always begin in a friendly manner like a drop of honey and slowly win the other person to your cause.
13. How to get the approval of a person?
When conversing with someone, get him to answer in affirmation frequently.
How does this help?
When you get the other person to answer in affirmation, he subconsciously gathers himself into the condition of acceptance, and the chances of his approval become high.
As a result, you can easily get him to say yes to your cause.
Do not start by talking about the stuff you vary on.
Always emphasize on the things on which you both agree and keep on doing this.
14. Selling is an art
We always keep ramming our opinions down the throat of others.
Is this the right approach?
As human beings, we enjoy the freedom of expression and when we feel that somebody is trying to sell us something, it immediately turns us off.
Instead of squeezing your idea into someone’s head, make him feel that he chose that idea out of his own free will.
15. Master the art of changing perspective
The other person you’re having a conversation with might be wrong.
But instead of condemning him, you should try to understand his views.
It’s easy to say but when it comes to real life, it’s equally hard to implement.
The idea here is to cooperate with the other person and come to a common ground or reach a conclusion where both can agree.
16. Listen to the pain points
Everyone you would ever meet will be desperate for empathy.
Everybody wants someone to listen to their pain points.
And when you do that you influence them more.
17. Make your ideas more vivid
All the movies, TV-commercials, newspapers, etc dramatize their ideas to sell their products or ideas to the customers.
The idea is if you want to grab the attention of your target customer and generate sales, then you’ve to make the idea more vivid, fascinating and clear.
18. Competition brings out the genius in others
When nothing else works in your pursuit of winning people to your way of thinking: throw down a challenge.
Everybody has an inherent desire to prove their self-worth, to excel and to win.
When you throw down a challenge or a competition, you appeal to their spirits.
19. Begin with praise when you find fault in others
Don’t fool yourself by thinking that you’ll be able to change them if you tell them their faults.
Always start by praising them honestly.
Tell them what they are doing right.
When you do this they become more open to you and become ready to accept their faults.
20. You can criticize – and still not be hated for it
It won’t be wrong to say that criticism is an art.
There is a way to criticize a person subtly.
Don’t become someone’s harsh critique because if you do so they’ll hate you.
Furthermore, don’t hide your faults behind the faults of others.
First, talk about the mistake you made.
This shows the others that you aren’t giving a biased opinion.
Then make other people realize their mistakes.
21. Stop ordering people, ask questions instead
We don’t like other people bossing us around.
Indeed, we want to feel like we are the in-charge of our lives.
When you order people to do stuff that isn’t related to them in any way, they feel that they are compromising their freedom and their precious time.
But when you ask them questions, they feel a sense of freedom.
And if they answer your questions in affirmation, it is more likely that they’ll do what you want them to do.
Point out their mistakes in a subtle and indirect manner.
22. Help others progress towards success
Praise other people when they make even slightest improvement.
When you encourage others on any little growth they make, they feel that they are contributing to a greater good.
This way, you earn their respect.
And when the other person develops respect for you, it gets easier for you to lead them.
23. Help others overcome their obstacles
Encourage people and make them see how easy it is for them to correct their faults.
Make them believe that their faults aren’t a big deal and make them realize how easy it’s to overcome such obstacles.
Why? Because human beings naturally avoid doing hard stuff.
If they feel that their faults are so big that it would take an eternity to correct them — they won’t act.
24. Make the other person glad about doing stuff you suggest
Let me explain this point with an example:
Let’s say your friend wants to buy a mobile but he is confused as the same mobile is available at different online stores and that too at various prices.
Now, suppose you suggest your friend an idea to compare the prices of the products online.
Your friend practices your advice, and eventually, he finds the best offer out there and saves himself a considerable amount of money.
As you made him glad he is more likely to do things that you would suggest the next time.
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This is one of the books I would recommend to the people who want to improve their relationships.
But here is the thing:
The tips provided in this book won’t work every time.
Life is dynamic.
Therefore, to master the relationships, you must master the art of communication.
I too, sometimes, find it difficult to apply all these tips in real life.
Patience is the key here.
You’ll need to read this book multiple times to master every technique given in this book.
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