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  • Writer's pictureEva

Review: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Well, maybe I'm not the best person to review this. I have never been one for a 'how to' book, and this book certainly isn't going to convince me to start picking them up. I have read this so now you don't have to. I have highlighted all the tips and tricks to make people like you and manipulate them, so here we go:

How to handle people: 1. Don't criticise, condemn or complain. Try to understand people

2. Give honest and sincere appreciation of others, not flattery (as people see through this)

3. Arouse in others an eager want. Find out what they want, and adhere to it

How to make people like you:

1. Become genuinely interested in other people

2. Smile - this is the best way to make a good first impression

3. Always remember names

4. Be a good listener and encourage them to talk about themselves by asking questions

5. Talk in terms of other's interests, not your own

6. Sincerely make others feel important

How to win people to your way of thinking:

1. Avoid an argument

2. Show respect for other's opinions. Never say, 'you're wrong'

3. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and empathetically

4. If you have a point to put across, begin in a friendly way

5. Get the other person saying 'yes' immediately by saying something that they cannot possibly disagree with

6. Let the other person do most of the talking

7. Let the other person feel that your idea is his or hers

How to be a leader:

1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation

2. Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly

3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticising someone else's

4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders so others can come up with solutions themselves

5. Let the other person save face

6. Praise all improvements, however small

7. Give others a fine reputation to live up to

8. Make every fault seem easy to fix

9. Make others happy to do something you have asked of them

Are you bored yet? Me too. I have to say, I did not gel with this book. Not only did I not find it remotely engaging (perhaps because I don't have a huge desire to win friends and influence people) but mainly this book lacks any compassion. It doesn't take into account that humans are emotional. Sometimes we want to talk about ourselves, and for the sake of mental health, we NEED to. It doesn't address that arguments that arise can be emotional and not well contained. It doesn't ever mention the maintenance of friendships which seems far more important, and the principles it suggests seem much more relevant to winning someone over at a dinner party. There is no room for you to be confident and proud of your own accomplishments, merely downplay them and praise others. I am all here for giving others praise and credit where it's due - but sometimes I like talking about my own, and my friends (I hope) like hearing about it! There isn't much room for speaking your mind or relating to other people, and a lot of the desired results of following these rules are to submit to other's opinions. If they can express theirs, why can't I express mine? In a healthy non-confrontational way of course... Ultimately, this book made me cringe a bit. All of the anecdotes to back up the laid out principles came across as classist. Of course a factory worker felt very noticed when the President remembered his name! Obviously! You want tips on how to be a hit at a dinner party (but likely not enjoy yourself because you have to pretend to be completely fascinated when you're discussing botany all evening), read it. You want tips on how to manipulate others in an argument (when ultimately we are all emotional creatures and it's most probable we think we are right, and they are wrong), read it. Maybe I am too self-absorbed, but I like to ask questions, hear the answer, and then relate it to myself. This sparks off a conversation and doesn't make conversing with people so one dimensional. It allows you to find something in common, and for them to learn about you as well as for you to learn about them. Am I crazy?

Initial Prediction: 3 stars

Final Rating: 1.5 stars

Publication Date: October 1936 (my edition: 6 April 2006)

Publisher: Simon & Schuster (my edition: Vermilion)

Genres: Non-fiction, Self Help, Business

# of Pages: 268

Links: Goodreads, Amazon


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