The title is no mistake. How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the first bestselling self-help books ever published. It was first written by Dale Carnegie and published in 1937. The concept was a good one. The thought was that the only way to influence the other person is to talk about what he wants and show him how to get it. Really? All people of the United States deserve a just and fair opportunity to attain the American Dream. Our nationalized identity is deep-rooted in the principle that all people – regardless of race, class, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, heritage or ability – should have the opportunity to reach their potential.
Just how do we get to be One Nation Working Together? We cannot even be civil and polite on blogs long enough to read opposing thoughts and ideas. Many of us have been bullied, attempts made to humiliated, and finally name-calling. Know what’s funny is we don’t even know these people we abuse in writing. Never met and would not recognize them on the street. They could be the doctor, nurse, store clerk, restaurant owner, taxi driver, law enforcement, etc you get the point. The people you abuse on the way up may be the same ones on whom you have to depend on way down.
When dealing with people, let us keep in mind we are not dealing with logical people. We are dealing with individuals of emotion, people bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity. Case in point: There was concern from the Republicans about the death panels. Jack Casell, M.D., a registered Republican posted a sign on his office door that said: “If you voted for Obama … seek urologic care elsewhere. In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, the “doctor” stated, “I’m not turning anybody away … but if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it.” I don’t know, isn’t that cohesions? And The Hippocratic Oath, did he forget to take it?
Control your temper. Remember, you can measure the size of a person by what makes him/ her angry. This is most times easier said than done. At best all that was accomplished was to polarized people more, just like the country. There are optimistic individuals who believe we can come together and chart a gallant, realistic path toward a more united, sustainable, thriving future by building support for these core principles and policy ideals.
The unembellished truth is that almost all the people you meet feel themselves superior to you in some way, and a sure way to influencing them is to let them realize in some subtle way that you recognize their importance, and recognize it sincerely. There is one powerful law of human behavior. If we comply with that law, we will almost never get into trouble – almost. In truth, that law, if observed, will bring us countless friends and constant happiness. However the very minute the law is broken, we shall get into infinite trouble. The law is this: Always make the other person feel important.
Other ways to win enemies and influence friends include:
- Ask questions instead of giving commands.
- Identify your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
- Be open-minded – listen or read patiently
- Is there a magic phrase that would end arguments, abolish bad feelings, create good will, and make the other person listen attentively? Can’t we all just get along?
- According to How to Win Friends and Influence People you will probably avoid problems stating that you may be wrong. This is supposed to stop all arguments and motivate your enemy to be just as just, open and tolerant as you are. The person is then supposed to admit they too could be wrong.
- Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.
- Criticism is pointless because it puts a person on the defensive and frequently makes him struggle to validate one’s self. Criticism is treacherous, because it injuries a person’s valued pride, damages his sense of significance, and stirs up resentment.
- If we simply endeavor to amaze people and get them interested in us, we will never have many true, sincere friends. Real friends are not acquired that way. Even our friends prefer to talk to us about their achievements instead of listening to us boast.
- Just stating a truth isn’t enough. The truth has to be made vibrant, motivating, and spectacular. You have to use showmanship.
- Whenever you go out-of-doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp. Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and then, without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal. Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding away, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are required for the fulfillment of your desire. Elbert Hubbard