How To Win Friends And Influence People


There was an age where we could naively make friends in school and college. Gradually as we matured into adults, we found it difficult to fit into other’s perspective and share an equation. When we deal with people, we also deal with their underlying emotions, prejudices and hard-core beliefs that have evolved depending on their cultural upbringing and experiences. Every individual perceives the world from his or her lens. Hence, it is not uncommon to get embroiled into conflicting views that affect relationship dynamics.

It is a human tendency to crave appreciation and importance. Smiling, calling people by their name, wishing them on their birthday, offering compliments, probing their interests and goals, are few ways to make people feel important.

With techniques outlined in the book, completely alter the way you deal with people and get them inclined towards you. Here are the 10 time-tested advice to follow from Dale Carnegie’s Bestseller — How To Win Friends And Influence People:

1. Do not criticize, condemn or complain

Criticism is futile because it puts one on the defensive mode of justifications. Criticism wounds a person’s pride, hurts one’s self-esteem, and arouses bitterness. Refrain from passing remarks that demean and make people feel small.

You can call attention to people’s wrongdoings indirectly and this approach works wonders with sensitive people who may resent direct criticism. A little bit of patience and restraint will pay major dividends in a relationship in the long run.

2. Be generous with praise

Be stingy in criticizing and lavish in your praise. Look out for the positive aspects in a person and let them know what you truly appreciate in them. There is a hairline difference between appreciation and flattery. Appreciation is sincere while flattery is excessive insincere praise to further one’s own interest. By offering honest praise you make an impact and people will hold onto your words for a lifetime.

3. Remember names

A name is a person’s identity, unique to him or her, and the sweetest sound one hears. Calling people by their name makes them feel special and important. Though it is difficult to remember names when you casually meet people, the practice of frequently using the name in the conversation can certainly help you recall names better.

4. Be genuinely interested in other people

To be interesting, be interested. Encourage others to talk about themselves and inquire about their accomplishments, interests and passions. When people get a feel that you are genuinely interested in them, they develop an affinity and respond with enthusiasm.

A person feels comfortable when he is being listened to and understood. The best way to understand is to listen attentively. Listening is also an act of caring. In short, you should listen 80% and speak 20% of the time.

5. Respect others’ opinions

Show respect to others’ opinion, even if they are contradictory to your own. Never bluntly say ‘You are wrong’. Employ a little diplomacy when you present your opinion and leave the ball in their court to consider or deny. In gist, you don’t have to agree with everyone, but you should learn to respect their right to have a difference of opinion. Agree to disagree gracefully and move forward in the conversation.

6. Acknowledge your own mistakes

Be humble enough to admit your mistakes. Take responsibility for your actions, when you have done something wrong. A swift acknowledgment and a sincere apology on your part will end the tension in a relationship and increase the trust factor.

7. Don’t try to win an argument

The problem with arguments is that a conclusion is never reached. To get the best of an argument, is to avoid it. Eventually if someone is rigid in their thinking, no amount of war of words will change their mind. An adage holds good “Convince a man against his will, he’s of the same opinion still.”

8. Begin on common ground

When you disagree with someone, begin the conversation on a common ground (where both sides agree). Use that focus as the foundation to shrewdly discuss difficult points. Avoid polarizing at extreme ends and try to bring people subtly to your viewpoint in a spontaneous dialogue.

9. Have others believe your conclusion is their own

You cannot force another to truly believe something. That’s why the most persuasive people know the power of suggestions over demands. Plant a seed (an idea) and let it blossom in course of time, to stir their thinking. Avoid the urge to take credit for it.

10. Remain friendly even when the other person is angry

It’s human nature to give tit for tat. But it’s a tactic to stay calm and friendly even when the other person is enraged. You will be surprised by what you can accomplish when you maintain your composure in a conversation. You can always politely beg to differ in a friendly tone.
With these useful tips, you can uplift your interactions with people and walk through the world with a meaningful experience.

The book is a magical guide to help you understand people’s behaviors and strike a chord in a conversation. Get hold of it for a thought-provoking read to help you get along with others, packed with stories of people from all walks of life.