Whether it be a coworker at work, a classmate in school, or just someone you bump into regularly, we all have people we struggle dealing with every day. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get them to like you? How much easier would life be if they started acting the way you wanted them to?
Dale Carnegie’s best-selling book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, takes a deep-dive into these topics and explains exactly how to come out on top of every social interaction. The book offers countless stories, explanations, and tidbits of advice, but I’ll condense down what I believe are three of the most valuable lessons in the book.
1. Learn to Handle Others
You first have to figure out how to deal with the people you interact with. Before anything else, work on making your attitude a positive one by not criticizing people or complaining to people. Once you’ve built this positive persona, start opening up by showing sincere appreciation for those around you. People like to feel wanted or valued, so give them that feeling. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to make people want to be around you. Now that they see you as positive and feel liked/ valued, it’s very simple to make them start liking/valuing you in return.
2. Make People Like You
So how do we get people to like being around us? The first step seems simple, but it’s incredibly powerful: use their name. A person’s own name is perhaps their favorite sound or word, so use that to your advantage and use it often (but don’t overdo it in a creepy way). Next, start to show genuine interest in their lives and actions. Ask questions that allow them to talk at length, remember what they say and bring it up casually later on, tell them about things that reminded you of them. Once they know that you’re interested in them, it’s very easy for them to begin to like you.
3. Win Them Over
Now that people like you and want to be around you, the next step is natural: win them over to your way of thinking. The best ways to do this is to avoid arguing, avoid telling people they’re “wrong,” let people do the majority of the talking, and guide them into thinking that your idea is actually theirs. It seems complicated, but it’s easier the more you practice it – so give it a shot!
There’s no questioning why Carnegie’s book is a best-seller – it’s full of sage advice for any entrepreneur, students, employee, or anyone else for that matter. If you have the time, you should definitely consider giving it a read – you won’t regret it.