When you think about the most iconic self-help books, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People often surges to the top of mind. The delightful read is packed with entertaining stories from successful politicians, businesspeople, and students who excelled at communicating.
How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the best-selling books of all-time as it has sold over 15 million copies internationally. Despite being released in October of 1936, many of the concepts taught in the book continue to be applicable today.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People Book Review and Summary
- Part One: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
- Part Two: Six Ways to Make People Like You
- Part Three: Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
- 1. You Can’t Win an Argument
- 2. A Sure Way of Making Enemies – And How to Avoid It
- 3. If You’re Wrong, Admit It
- 4. The High Road To A Man’s Reason
- 5. The Secret of Socrates
- 6. The Safety Valve In Handling Complaints
- 7. How to Get Cooperation
- 8. A Formula That Will Work Wonders For You
- 9. What Everybody Wants
- 10. An Appeal That Everybody Likes
- 11. The Movies Do It. Radio Does It. Why Don’t You Do It?
- 12. When Nothing Else Works, Try This
- Part 4: Nine Ways to Change People Without Giving Offence or Arousing Resentment
- 1. If You Must Find Fault, This Is The Way To Begin
- 2. How to Criticize– And Not Be Hated For It
- 3. Talk About Your Own Mistakes First
- 4. No One Likes To Take Orders
- 5. Let The Other Man Save His Face
- 6. How to Spur Men On To Success
- 7. Give The Dog A Good Name
- 8. Make the Fault Seem Easy to Correct
- 9. Making People Glad To Do What You Want
- Part 5: Letters That Produced Miraculous Results
- Part 6: Seven Rules for Making Your Home Life Happier
How to Win Friends and Influence People Book Review and Summary
Part One: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
1. “If You Want to Gather Honey, Don’t Kick Over the Beehive”
In this section of How to Win Friends and Influence People, stories are told of some of the most notorious criminals. From Al Capone to “Two Gun Crowley,” readers learn that “the desperate men behind prison walls, don’t blame themselves for anything – what about the people with whom you and I come in contact?” The essence of this chapter revolves around how people will never criticize themselves for their wrongdoings as they’ll always justify their actions. People who make the wrong choices will often blame everybody except themselves.
Of criticism, Dale Carnegie writes, “Criticism is futile because it puts a man on the defensive, and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous because it wounds a man’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses his resentment.” This one section on criticism ends up nicely tying in several chapters and recurring themes in the book centering around how people strive to feel important and appreciated.
A great Dale Carnegie quote in this chapter that best sums up how to deal with people is, “When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.” Whether you’re a hardened criminal or just your average joe, you’ll likely put yourself up on a pedestal. Instead, you must recognize how people view themselves and avoid criticizing them. Aim to put yourself in the other person’s shoes before placing judgement.
2. “The Big Secret of Dealing With People”
Dale Carnegie gets right to the point in the opening paragraph of this chapter by saying “There is only one way under high Heaven to get anybody to do anything… And that is by making the other person want to do it.” Ultimately, you’ll have to give someone what they want in order to win friends and influence people.
In this chapter, we learn from a Professor John Dewey who shares that “the deepest urge in human nature is ‘the desire to be important.’” The recurring theme of people wanting to feel important continues to emerge in How to Win Friends and Influence People. It’s even listed in Dale Carnegie’s top eight list of normal adult wants, which includes:
- “Health and the preservation of life
- Money and the things money will buy
- Life in the hereafter
- Sexual gratification
- The well-being of our children
- A feeling of importance.”
This chapter also dives into the importance of praise. Charles Schwab was paid $1 million a year by Andrew Carnegie for his ability to deal with people. When asked what Schwab did differently, he emphasized a focus on appreciation and encouragement. He said, “…I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.” Carnegie followed Schwab’s example and would often praise his employees as well in both public and private events.
Dale Carnegie believed that appreciation and praise were so important that people often craved it as much as food but would sometimes go years without ever having their needs met.
However, the important thing to remember is that appreciation and flattery are simply not the same thing. Appreciation is sincere while flattery insincere. “One comes from the heart out; the other from the teeth out. One is unselfish; the other selfish. One is universally admired; the other is universally condemned.” A Mexican general named Obregon was even quoted as saying “Don’t be afraid of the enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you.”
The big lesson in this chapter of How to Win Friends and Influence People is that by giving honest and sincere praise, people will hold onto your words for a lifetime. And that’s the best kind of impact to have in a relationship you’ve built.
3. “He Who Can Do This Has the Whole World With Him–He Who Cannot Walks A Lonely Way”
This chapter starts off with a fishing story. Dale Carnegie recounts, “I go fishing up in Maine every summer. Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream; but I find for some strange reason fish prefer worms. So when I go fishing, I don’t think about what I want. I think about what they want.” This quite simply sums up that you need to give people what they want instead of talking about what you want. Because, ultimately, the only person who cares what you want is… you. No one else.
Instead of asking someone or preaching to someone about what you don’t want them to do, such as smoking cigarettes, you need to show them how doing that is not in the best interest of him or her. You might show that it prevents him from his own wants and needs.
Dale Carnegie writes, “Every act you ever performed since the day you were born is because you wanted something.” So, even if someone asks you to do something, if you weren’t interested in doing it, you wouldn’t have done it.
Understanding people’s wants can help you negotiate better as well. For example, if someone increased the price of rent, you can create a list of advantages and disadvantages for them to help them see both sides of the situation for them. Then, they might be persuaded to lower the rent for you. However, the problem that people run into is that they often start the conversation by arguing which causes resistance from the other party. If you tell someone they’re wrong, they’re pride will be hurt and they won’t back down.
Henry Ford was quoted in How to Win Friends and Influence People by saying, “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from his angle as well as from your own.”
The chapter concludes with “First arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.”
Nine Suggestions On How to Get The Most Out Of This Book
- You must have “a deep, driving desire to learn, a vigorous determination to increase your ability to deal with people.”
- Read each chapter quickly, in order, once. Then, re-read it a second time more thoroughly.
- “Stop frequently in your reading to think over what you are reading.”
- Highlight or underscore sections you want to remember.
- Spend a few hours each month re-reading this book so that it always stays top of mind.
- “Learning is an active process. We learn by doing… Only knowledge that is used sticks in your mind.” Take the time to use the knowledge from this book to form new habits that stick. Be persistent in using this knowledge in your everyday life.
- Offer a partner, family member, or coworker a dollar every time they find you breaking a principle in the book. Turn it into a game.
- Use a weekly system of self analysis by asking yourself questions the following questions:
- “What mistakes did I make that time?”
- “What did I do that was right– and in what way could I have improved my performance?”
- “What lessons can I learn from that experience?”
- Keep notes about your wins from this book giving specific reference to “names, dates, results.”
Part Two: Six Ways to Make People Like You
1. Do This And You’ll Be Welcome Anywhere
In this section of How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie shares, “one can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than one can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” He goes on to state that people aren’t interested in anything but themselves. Their whole world is viewed from that lens. There was even a study conducted by the New York Telephone Company and the most frequently used word was the personal pronoun “I.”
The people who struggle with relationships the most are those who don’t show interest in other people. Even authors who showcase that they don’t like people will find that people don’t like his or her stories.
Simple things like remembering people’s names and birthdays can do wonders when it comes to forming friendships.
Rule 1: Become genuinely interested in other people
2. A Simple Way to Make a Good First Impression
In this chapter of How to Win Friends and Influence People, readers learn that smiling can have such a huge impact in our relationships with others. It shows people that we like them. Dale Carnegie uses the example of a dog proving that their excitement upon seeing a person makes us feel happy to see them too.
Dale Carnegie asked his students to smile at one person every hour. The students who did this soon found that everybody smiled back at them. In addition, to smiling some students took it a step further by giving appreciation and praise instead of criticism and condemnation.
William James shares, “Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.” So, when you feel upbeat and smile, whistle, or hum your favorite tune, and you’ll find that you start attracting a more positive outcome. The reality is that happiness comes from within instead of outside.
Controlling your thoughts can ultimately make you feel happier. As the wise Shakespeare once said, “Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
Men in insurance found that if they thought about things they were thankful for before a meeting with a client, they would smile. And bring that positive energy into a meeting. Thus, leading to “extraordinary success in selling insurance.”
Rule 2: Smile.
3. If You Don’t Do This, You Are Headed For Trouble
Some notable figures such as politicians have highlighted their ability to remember people’s names. Jim Farley, an Irish politician, said, “I can call fifty thousand people by their first names.”
Some take it up a notch by learning everything they can about a person they first meet. They’ll learn his or her full name, family size, type of business they own, political opinions, and more to have a complete understanding of who this person is. That way, when they cross paths again, they can ask specific questions about how certain family members are doing and so forth.
Not only should you know the person’s name but you should also find out how to spell it correctly.
Andrew Carnegie, a notable businessman, would always honor the names of his friends and business associates. In one scenario, he suggested a merger with another company. But when it came time to name the business, he named it after the owner of the business he merged with. Carnegie found that honoring the people he worked with was one of his best kept secrets.
According to How to Win Friends and Influence People, there was even a time in history when the wealthy would pay authors to dedicate books to them. Others like P.T. Barnum love their name so much that they’re willing to pay people to carry on their name in their legacy. Since P.T. Barnum didn’t have any sons, he offered to pay his grandson $25,000 to call himself “Barnum” Seeley.
Most people tend to forget names because they fail to concentrate and repeat names as they’re being told.
A simple technique to remember names is to ask someone to repeat it. If you still can’t figure out what their name is, you should then ask them to spell it out.
Rule 3: Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in the English language.
4. An Easy Way to Become A Good Conversationalist
In chapter four of How to Win Friends and Influence People, we discover that the best conversationalists don’t converse at all. Instead, they’re merely good listeners.
A scholar named Charles W. Eliot, shared that the most important aspect of a successful business intercourse is to pay “…exclusive attention to the person who is speaking to you.”
The people who fail are those who don’t listen attentively.
Don’t give people advice. Instead, simply offer others a friendly ear by being a “sympathetic listener.”
Charles Northam Lee shares, “To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions the other man will enjoy answering. Encourage him to talk about himself and his accomplishments.”
Rule 4: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
5. How to Interest People
In this section of How to Win Friends and Influence People, Carnegie writes, “Whenever Roosevelt expected a visitor, he sat up late the night before reading up on the subject in which he knew his guest was particularly interested.”
By paying special attention to the other person’s interests and taking it up as your own to converse with them, you can strengthen your relationship with others.
Rule 5: Talk in terms of the other man’s interests.
6. How to Make People Like You Instantly
To make someone like you instantly, find something you admire about them. When you discover what that is, you tell them directly. You’ll often find their face will beam with a smile.
An important law gets mentioned in chapter six of How to Win Friends and Influence People. The law states, “Always make the other person feel important.” What people crave more than anything is a sense of being appreciated not insincere flattery. Charles Schwab recommends that people “be hearty in their approbation and lavish in their praise.”
When you have to give negative feedback to someone, there are key phrases you can use that’ll soften the blow such as:
- “I’m sorry to trouble you…”
- “Would you be so kind as to–”
- “Won’t you please…”
- “Would you mind…”
- “Thank you”
The important thing to remember is that every person you interact with will feel superior to you in one way or another. However, Emerson gave an interesting perspective when he said, “Every man I meet is in some way my superior; and in that I can learn of him.”
Rule 6: Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
Part Three: Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
1. You Can’t Win an Argument
In How to Win Friends and Influence People, an important lesson pops up in chapter one: “Always avoid the acute angle.” The story that leads to this conclusion is about a man who argues with a Shakespearean expert that a certain quote is from the Bible and not a Shakespeare play. But instead of arguing with someone who’s wrong, he simply let the person save face by agreeing that the quote was from the Bible. However, when asked if he knew the other person was in fact wrong, he was able to give the exact act and scene that the quote was from in Hamlet. He didn’t see the point in upsetting an evening dinner over an argument so he just let the person stick to their point of view. Ultimately, if someone is set in their ways, nothing you do or say will change their mind up so it’s best to let it go.
Dale Carnegie shares a few words of wisdom when he says, “…there is only one way under high heaven to get the best of an argument– and that is to avoid it.” The biggest problem with arguments is that a conclusion is never reached. Instead, both parties end up believing their point of view even more firmly. “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
Even Ben Franklin weighs in by sharing, “If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve a victory sometimes; but it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponent’s good will.”
Hatred needs to be fought with love instead of more hatred. So when it comes to arguments it’s best to resolve them with tact, sympathy, and a willingness to truly understand the other person’s perspective.
Rule 1: The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
2. A Sure Way of Making Enemies – And How to Avoid It
If people were able to be right 55% of the time, then they could invest money on Wall Street and become millionaires. But it’s actually not that simple. And if we can’t guarantee that we’re right with that level of accuracy then how could we ever tell someone they’re wrong. You’ll never change someone’s mind.
Lord Chesterfield told his son, “Be wiser than other people, if you can; but do not tell them so.”
The secret to telling someone they’re wrong is by saying, “I may be wrong. I frequently am. Let’s examine the facts.” You should approach disagreements like a scientist looking for facts.
Avoid using words that describe fixed opinions such as certainly or undoubtedly. Instead, use words like:
- I conceive
- I apprehend
- It so appears to me at present
- I imagine
Rule 2: Show respect for the other man’s opinions. Never tell a man he is wrong.
3. If You’re Wrong, Admit It
To win friends and influence people, remember that people want to feel important, so nourish people’s self esteem.
When we are certain that we are right, it’s essential to ease people into our point of view gently. But it’s important to remember that we will be wrong most of the time.
Admit to mistakes quickly and with enthusiasm. An old proverb in this section of How to Win Friends and Influence People states, “By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected.”
Rule 3: If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
4. The High Road To A Man’s Reason
A story is told in this chapter of a planned luncheon. Typically, Emil the maître d’hôtel handled the events perfectly. But on one occasion, the event didn’t go as planned. He was unavailable throughout the night. The waiter serving the table didn’t offer first-class service.The guest of honor was consistently served last instead of first. The quality of food was sub-par. Dale Carnegie was so upset that he was ready to give Emil a piece of his mind. But ultimately, he knew that would cause resentment.
Instead, Carnegie said, “See here, Emil, I want you to know that it means a great deal to me to have you at my back when I entertain. You are the best maître d’hôtel in New York. Of course, I fully appreciate that you don’t buy the food and cook it. You couldn’t help what happened on Wednesday… I have planned other parties, Emil, and I need your advice. Do you think we had better give the kitchen another chance?” As a result, the following event included two dozen roses, the food was excellent, and they were showered with more attention by having four servers instead of one.
A notable quote from Lincoln concludes the chapter. “A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.”
Rule 4: Begin in a Friendly Way
5. The Secret of Socrates
Get someone to say ‘yes, yes’ at the start of a conversation and he’ll be happy to do anything you ask of him. This is the Socratic method.
“He who treads softly goes far.” – Chinese proverb
Rule 5: Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
6. The Safety Valve In Handling Complaints
In chapter six of How to Win Friends and Influence People, a story is told of an electricity salesman trying to sell electricity to a farmer. Several people had tried to sell this farmer but had failed to do so. Instead, Joseph S. Webb, a salesman, went to the farm and simply asked to buy a dozen eggs. He complimented her by saying, “I’ll bet you make more money from your hens than your husband makes with his dairy.” This set her off on an opportunity to tell her story in elaborate detail. This allowed Mr. Webb the opportunity to better understand their farm. She concluded by saying that a few of her neighbours had started using electricity and she was considering doing the same. So instead of Mr. Webb selling to the farmer, the farmer made the decision on her own and decided to buy it. The lesson here is that “Such people can’t be sold. You have to let them buy.”
People would rather boast about their own achievements rather than hearing someone else’s. French philosopher, La Rochefoucauld, said, “If you want enemies, excel your friends but if you want friends, let your friends excel you.” Letting your friends excel you gives them a feeling of being important but they become inferior when you excel them.
Rule 6: Let the other man do a great deal of the talking.
7. How to Get Cooperation
In chapter seven of How to Win Friends and Influence People, Adolph Seltz held a sales meeting for his car salesmen to inject more enthusiasm into the team. He asked the men to list the traits and qualities that they expected from him. He said, “I’ll give you all these qualities you expect from me. Now I want you to tell me what I have a right to expect from you.” The men in the room said, “…loyalty, honesty, initiative, optimism, team work, eight hours a day of enthusiastic work.” Someone went as far to volunteer 14 hours a day of commitment. Everyone left the meeting feeling more inspired than ever. Since Mr. Seltz lived up to his commitment, others felt motivated to live up to theirs.
Rule 7: Let the other fellow feel that the idea is his.
8. A Formula That Will Work Wonders For You
Putting an emphasis on trying to understand another person’s perspective can do wonders. “If you say to yourself ‘How would I feel, how would I react if I were in his shoes?’ you will save a lot of time and irritation, for ‘by becoming interested in the cause, we are less likely to dislike the effect.’ And, in addition, you will sharply increase your skill in human relationships.”
Understanding another person’s point of view is one of the most important lessons you could learn in How to Win Friends and Influence People. “I should rather walk the sidewalk in front of a man’s office for two hours before an interview, than step into his office without a perfectly clear idea of what i am going to say and what he–from my knowledge of his interests and motives–is likely to answer.”
Rule 8: Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
9. What Everybody Wants
This magic phrase can stop an argument and create good will while making another person listen to you. “I don’t blame you one iota for feeling as you do. If I were you, I should undoubtedly feel just as you do.”
About 75% of people are desperate for sympathy. “Give it to them, and they will love you.”
According to Dr. Arthur I. Gates, in his book Educational Psychology, he says, “Sympathy, the human species universally craves. The child eagerly displays his injury; or even inflicts a cut or a bruise in order to reap abundant sympathy. For the same purpose adults… show their bruises, relate their accidents, illnesses, especially details of surgical operations. ‘Self-pity’ for misfortunes real or imaginary is, in some measure, practically a universal practice.”
Rule 9: Be sympathetic to the other person’s ideas and desires.
10. An Appeal That Everybody Likes
Everyone you meet will have a high regard for himself. They see themselves as unselfish people.
When Cyrus H. K. Curtis, a poor boy from Maine, started his successful magazine he couldn’t afford to pay first-class authors. Instead, he asked Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, who was at the height of her career to write for him. However, instead of paying Ms. Alcott $100, he would donate it to her favorite charity. This helped Mr. Curtis attract the best authors but on a tight budget for his new business.
If you consider someone honest and fair, they will be more likely to work with you when a conflict arises.
Rule 10: Appeal to the nobler motives.
11. The Movies Do It. Radio Does It. Why Don’t You Do It?
Dramatization is a great persuader. In How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie shares an example of a rat poison window display. To persuade people to buy rat poison, they included two live rats in the display. Sales shot up five times higher.
Rule 11: Dramatize Your Ideas.
12. When Nothing Else Works, Try This
“‘The way to get things done,’ says Schwab, “is to stimulate competition.”
Appeal to people’s spirit by pushing for people’s desire to excel by adding a challenge.
People love the game. It gives them an opportunity to prove their worth, to grow, and to win. Thus, making them feel more important.
Rule 12: Throw down a challenge.
Part 4: Nine Ways to Change People Without Giving Offence or Arousing Resentment
1. If You Must Find Fault, This Is The Way To Begin
It’s easier to listen to unpleasant feedback after hearing praise of our strengths.
In How to Win Friends and Influence people, Dale Carnegie shares a story about Mr. Gaw, an ordinary citizen working at the Wark Company. The company was hired to build and complete a large office building by a specific date. However, one of the subcontractors was unable to make their specific deadline. That’s when Mr. Gaw went to pay him a visit.
Mr. Gaw told him that he had an unusual name as he was able to easily find his address in the telephone book because he was the only one with his name. Thus, making him feel special to have a unique name and starting the conversation on a positive note. Mr. Gaw ended up being taken on a tour of the plant. He complimented the owner on such a clean and neat bronze factory. He also praised the machinery. The owner shared that he had in fact invented the machinery himself. The owner decided to take Mr. Gaw to lunch. But through this entire conversation he not once discussed why he was actually there visiting. After lunch was over, the business owner promised they would meet their deadline by delaying other orders instead.
Rule 1: Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
2. How to Criticize– And Not Be Hated For It
When Henry Ward Beecher died, Lyman Abbott was invited to speak in the pulpit. He wrote and rewrote his speech. After some time he decided to read it to his wife. His wife thought the speech was poor. However, instead of criticizing him she mentioned that it would make an excellent article for the North American review. While she praised it, she made it clear that it wouldn’t be the ideal speech for this situation.
Rule 2: Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
3. Talk About Your Own Mistakes First
Before you call out someone else’s mistakes remember that you may be older, more experienced, or more skilled at the subject than the other person. By remembering this, you’ll be more patient. Try to think back to when you were in the person’s situation.
When calling out someone else’s mistake, Dale Carnegie said, “You have made a mistake, Josephine, but the Lord knows, it’s no worse than many I have made. You were not born with judgment. That only comes with experience; and you are better than I was at your age. I have been guilty of so many stupid, silly things myself. I have very little inclination to criticize you or anyone. But don’t you think it would have been wiser if you had done so and so?”
If you catch yourself criticizing someone, the next best thing you could do immediately after is praise them.
You must always talk about your own shortcomings and someone else’s superiority instead of intimidating the other person.
Rule 3: Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
4. No One Likes To Take Orders
Instead of giving direct orders, give suggestions instead.
- “You might consider this…”
- “Do you think that this would work?”
- “What do you think of this?”
Rule 4: Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
5. Let The Other Man Save His Face
When General Electric Company had to remove Charles Steinmetz from the head of his department, they knew they had to do it with tact. Steinmetz was a sensitive genius. They wanted to keep him in the company but they felt he was in the wrong role. They gave him the title of Consulting Engineer of the General Electric Company. It was the work he was already doing. He was happy with the change. They let him save face.
Rule 5: Let the other man save his face.
6. How to Spur Men On To Success
A warden in the Sing Sing prison shared, “I have found that the voicing of proper appreciation for the efforts of the inmates secures greater results in obtaining their co-operation and furthering their ultimate rehabilitation than harsh criticism and condemnation for their delinquencies.”
Even just a little bit of praise and encouragement can have a positive life-changing impact on someone. It can prevent someone from giving up.
William James was quoted saying, “Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake. We are making use of only a small part of our physical and mental resources. Stating the thing broadly, the human individual thus lives far within his limits. He possesses power of various sorts which he habitually fails to use.” When you praise people you inspire them to reach their fullest potential.
Rule 6: Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
7. Give The Dog A Good Name
Mrs. Ernest Gent, a friend of Dale Carnegie, shared a story of how she hired a servant girl. However, when contacting her former employer, Mrs. Gent discovered that the servant girl was sloppy. So when she spoke with her she told the servant girl, “She said you were honest and reliable, a good cook and good at caring for the children. But she also said you were sloppy and never kept a house clean. Now I think she was lying. You dress neatly. Anybody can see that. And I’ll bet you keep the house just as neat and clean as your person. You and I are going to get along fine.” As a result, the servant girl always kept the house shining and neat. Why? Well, she had a reputation to live up to.
The warden of Sing Sing that we learned about in the previous chapter said, “If you must deal with a crook, there is only one possible way of getting the better of him– treat him as if he were an honourable gentleman.”
Rule 7: Give a man a fine reputation to live up to.
8. Make the Fault Seem Easy to Correct
If someone emphasizes your mistakes, they’ll discourage you. If someone praises the things you do right and minimizes your errors, they’ll encourage you. Hearing encouragement makes you want to improve.
“Tell a child, husband, or an employee that he is stupid or dumb at a certain thing, that he has no gift for it, and that he is doing it all wrong and you have destroyed almost every incentive to try to improve.”
Rule 8: Use encouragement. Make the fault you want to correct seem easy to correct; make the thing you want the other person to do seem easy to do.
9. Making People Glad To Do What You Want
“Always make the other man happy about doing the thing you suggest.”
J.A. Want, Head of J.A. Want Organization, wanted to improve the morale of an employee who constantly complained of long hours and a need for an assistant. Instead of changing his hours or hiring him an assistant, he gave his employee a private office with a new title on the door – “Manager of the Service Department.” It made him feel recognized and important.
Mrs. Gent, who was mentioned in a previous chapter in How to Win Friends and Influence People, wanted to stop boys from running through her lawn. Criticism didn’t help. So she went to the boy who ran on her lawn the most and gave him a new title “Detective.” His job was to keep all trespassers off her lawn. “Her ‘detective’ built a bonfire in the backyard, heated an iron red hot, and threatened to burn any boy who stepped on the lawn.”
Rule 9: Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.
Part 5: Letters That Produced Miraculous Results
When asking a favor, ask in a way that makes him or her feel important.
- “I wonder if you would mind helping me out of a little difficulty?”
- “If you’ll do this, I’ll surely appreciate it and thank you for your kindness in giving me this information.”
Benjamin Franklin used this technique to turn an enemy into a friend. He knew that doing a favor for him would arouse suspicion in the other person so instead he asked for a favor. He knew the other person had a special library with a very rare book. So he asked to borrow it for a few days. A week later he returned the book with a kind note to show appreciation for the favor. The next time the pair met at The White House, they interacted with civility.
When asking for a favor, don’t boost the man’s ego with flattery, instead offer “…genuine, real appreciation.”
Part 6: Seven Rules for Making Your Home Life Happier
1. How to Dig Your Marital Grave In The Quickest Possible Way
Napoleon III fell in love with and married the most beautiful woman in the world Marie Eugenie Ignace Augustine de Montijo. The couple had it all – “health, wealth, power, fame, beauty, love, adoration.” But this soon flickered out due to her nagging. When he was having important meetings, she would interrupt him and failed to leave him alone. She was consumed with jealousy and always worried he’d be consorting with another woman. Nagging can never keep love alive. It’s one of the deadliest ways to destroy love.
Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina, wanted a simple life. “His wife loved luxury, but he despised it.” He refused to sell his books for a profit. His wife would nag and scold him because she wanted the money from the books. This went on until he reached the age of 82 when he finally had enough. He fled home one snowy, October night with no plan as to where he’d go. “Eleven days later, he died of pneumonia in a railway station. And his dying request was that she should not be permitted to come into his presence.”
Rule 1: Don’t, don’t nag!!!
2. Love and Let Live
Disraeli once said “I may commit many follies in life, but I never intend to marry for love.” And he didn’t. Instead, he proposed to a rich widow who was fifteen years his senior who knew he wanted to marry her for her money. Her only request? That she spent a year determining his character first. The rich widow was neither young, nor beautiful, nor brilliant. She had a peculiar sense of fashion. However, she was brilliant at handling men. When he came home from work, she allowed him to relax. The time he spent at home with his wife were some of his happiest hours. For thirty years, she praised and admired him. And he always defended her when she said something erroneous. And he made sure she knew she was the most important thing in his life. Even though his wife wasn’t perfect, Disraeli allowed her to be herself. And as a result, he fell in love.
Rule 2: Don’t try to make a partner over.
3. Do This And You’ll Be Looking Up The Time-Tables To Reno
William Gladstone publicly criticized Disraeli in public. But in his private life, he never dared to criticize his own family. One morning, he went down to breakfast only to discover his entire family were still in bed. He filled the house with a mysterious chant to let everyone know he was down at breakfast alone.
Rule 3: Don’t criticize.
4. A Quick Way to Make Everybody Happy
A farm woman laid down a bit of hay down for supper before a group of men. They all asked if she had gone crazy. She replied, “Why, how did I know you’d notice? I’ve been cooking for you men for the last twenty years, and in all that time I ain’t heard no word to let me know you wasn’t just eating hay!”
American comedian Eddie Cantor shared to a magazine, “I owe more to my wife than to anyone else in the world. She was my best pal as a boy; she helped me to go straight. And after we married she saved every dollar, and invested it, and reinvested it. She built up a fortune for me. We have five lovely children. And she’s made a wonderful home for me always. If I’ve gotten anywhere, give her the credit.”
Rule 4: Give honest appreciation.
5. They Mean So Much To A Woman
Flowers are considered a language of love. Instead of waiting until someone is sick at the hospital, you should pick them up and surprise someone you love with flowers today.
“Women attach a lot of importance to birthdays and anniversaries– just why, will forever remain one of those feminine mysteries. The average man can blunder through life without memorizing many dates, but there are a few which are indispensable 1492, 1776, the date of his wife’s birthday, and the year and date of his own marriage. If need be, he can even get along without the first two– but not the last!”
A judge who analyzed 40,000 marital disputes and reconciled 2,000 couples shared, “Trivialities are the bottom of most marital unhappiness. Such a simple thing as a wife’s waving goodbye to her husband when he goes to work in the morning would avert a good many divorces.”
In a mirror, place this quote: “I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
Rule 5: Pay little attentions.
6. If You Want To Be Happy Don’t Neglect This One
In this chapter of How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie shares, “Rudeness is the cancer that devours love. Everyone knows this, yet it’s notorious that we are more polite to strangers than we are to our own relatives.” No one would tell a stranger to stop repeating the same old stories or open their private mail.
Dorothy Dix, an American journalist, once said, “It is an amazing but true thing that practically the only people who would ever say mean, insulting, wounding things to us are those of our own households.”
In Holland, people leave their shoes on their doorstep. Similarly, you should leave our workday problems outside the door of your home too.
“The average man who is happily married is happier by far than the genius who lives in solitude.”
Rule 6: Be courteous.
7. Don’t Be A “Marriage Illiterate”
The four causes of divorce are:
- Sexual maladjustment
- Difference of opinion as to the way of spending leisure time
- Financial difficulties
- Mental, physical, or emotional abnormalities
A few books you can check out:
- Sex Outline For Young People by Helena Wright (Benn)
- The Book of Love by Dr. David Delvin
- The Joy of Sex by Dr. Alex Comfort
Rule 7: Read a good book on the sexual side of marriage.
You can buy How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie on Amazon.