Valuable lessons from How to Win Friends And Influence People

Valuable lessons from How to Win Friends And Influence People

"How to Win Friends and Influence People" is a best seller by Dale Carnegie published in 1936 A.D. (I was amazed the book was this old, well book never gets old!). It is a self-help book where author teaches various techniques with various real life encounters and how those techniques have been implemented by various known people in the past.

This blog is for all of you:

  1. Already read the book?

    Read on, and revise these very helpful and somewhat hard techniques (You know what I am talking about)

  2. Haven't read the book?

    Read on, I will let you in on all the secret techniques that author has provided in the book. This will act as a very quick summary for you until you can read it in full.

One last thing, don't forget to read "Father Forgets" below, it's an amazing and the only story from the book I have included here.

Below I list all the valuable lessons I learnt from Dale Carnegie in "How to Win Friends and Influence People".

You can't win an argument

  • There is only one way under heaven to get the best out of an argument - and that is to avoid it. Avoid it as you would avoid rattlesnakes and earthquakes.
  • When one yells, the other should listen - because when two people yell, there is no communication, just noise and bad vibrations
  • Don't raise your voice, improve your argument.
  • Rule 1: Avoid arguments

How to avoid making enemies

  • Rule 2: Never tell the other person, 'You're wrong.'

If you're wrong, admit it

  • Rule 3: If you are wrong, admit it.

A drop of honey

  • Rule 4: Begin in a friendly way.

Secret of Socrates

  • When you disagree, don't try to argue. Instead think how you can make the other party say "yes yes" first, this will lead to them having open attitude and acceptance. And at the end you can get them to agree with you "if you are right", else you should admit your mistake.
  • Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.
  • Rule 5: Get the other person to agree with you immediately.

The safety valve in handling complaints

  • Listen and don't interrupt while others are talking. Applies in business, interviews, etc. Let them do the talking.
  • "If you want enemies, excel your friends; but if you want friends, let you friends excel you." - La Rochefoucauld. Why is that true? Because when our friends excel us, they feel important; but when we excel them, they - or at least some of them - will feel inferior and envious.
  • Rule 6: Let the other person do more of the talking

How to get cooperation

  • Rule 7: Let the other person have ownership of the idea.

The magic formula

  • Remember that other people may be totally wrong. But they don't think so. Don't condemn them. Any fool can do that. Try to understand them. Only wise, tolerant, exceptional people even try to do that.
  • Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it... that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.
  • Rule 8: Try to see things from the other's point of view.

What everybody wants

  • Rule 9: Be sympathetic to the other person's ideas and desires.

An appeal that everybody likes

  • "Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots" - Frank A. Clark
  • Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view.
  • Rule 10: Appeal to the nobler motives.

The movies do it. Tv does it. Why don't you do it?

  • Rule 11: Dramatise your ideas.

When nothing else works, try this

  • The way to get things done is to stimulate competition. i do not mean in a sordid money-getting way, but in the desire to excel.
  • All men have fears, but the brave put down their fears and go forward, sometimes to death, but always to victory.
  • Fear doesn't exist anywhere except in the mind.
  • Rule 12: Challenges generate excitement

Do this and you'll be welcomed anywhere

  • You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in 2 years by trying to get other people interested in you.
  • If you want others to like you, if you want to develop real friendships, if you want to help others at the same time as you help yourself, keep this principle in mind: show a genuine interest in other people.
  • "All the effort in the world won't matter if you're not inspired." - Chuck Palahnuik
  • Rule 13: Show a genuine interest in other people.

Make a good first impression

  • It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy, or unhappy. It is what you think about it. For example, two people may be in the same place, doing the same thing; both may have about an equal amount of money and prestige - and yet one may be miserable and the other happy. Why? Because of a different mental attitude.
  • "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" - Shakespeare
  • "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." - Abe Lincoln
  • "A man without a smiling face must not open a shop" - Chinese Proverb
  • Your smile is a messenger of your goodwill. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it. Yo someone who has seen a dozen people frown, scowl or turn their faces away, your smile is like the sun breaking through the clouds. Especially when that someone is under pressure from his bosses, his customers, his teachers or parents or children, a smile can help him realise that all is not hopeless - that there is joy in the world.
  • Be sympathetic with the other person's ideas and desires.
  • Rule 14: A smile is the best ornament you can wear.

If you don't do this, you are headed for trouble

  • "A single day is enough to make us a little larger or, another time, a little smaller." - Paul Klee
  • Everybody in the world is seeking happiness - and there is one sure way to find it. That is by controlling your thoughts. Happiness doesn't depend on outward conditions. It depends on inward conditions.
  • Rule 15: A person's name is the sweetest and most important sound in any language to him or her.

Become a good conversationalist

  • If you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener.
  • Remember that the people you are talking to are hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in you and your problems. A person's toothache means more to that person than a famine in China which kills a million people. A boil on one's neck interests one more than 40 earthquakes in Africa. Think of that the next time you start a conversation.
  • Feeling sorry for yourself, and your present condition, is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have.
  • Rule 16: Be a good listener.

How to interest people

  • "When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed." - Maya Angelou
  • Rule 17: Talk in relation to the other person's interests.

How to make people like you instantly

  • Always make the other person feel important.
  • Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.
  • "In the end, those who demean others only disrespect themselves." - D.B. Harrop
  • First ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen? Then prepare to accept it. Then proceed to improve on the worst.
  • Rule 18: Make the other person feel important.

If you must find fault, this is the way to begin

  • If you want to find fault in someone, begin with praise and move on to what you have gotta say
  • Rule 19: Begin with praise.

How to criticise and not be hated for it

  • Many people begin their criticism with sincere praise followed by the word 'but' and ending with a critical statement.

    For example, in trying to change a child's careless attitude towards studies, we might say, 'We're really proud of you, Johnnie, for raising your grades this term. But if you had worked harder on your algebra, the results would have been better.'

    In this case, the person who is on the other end might feel encouraged until they hear the word 'but'. They might then question the sincerity of the original praise. To them, the praise seemed only to be a contrived lead-in to a critical inference of failure. Credibility would be strained, and we probably would not achieve our objectives of changing their attitude. This could be easily overcome by changing the word 'but' to 'and'. 'We're really proud of you, Johnnie, ror raising your grades this term, and by continuing the same conscientious efforts next term, your algebra grade can be up with all the others.'

    Now, they would accept the praise because there was no follow-up of an inference of failure. We have called their attention to the behavior we wished to change indirectly, and the chances are they will try to live up to our expectations.

  • "Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing." - Aristotle

  • Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.
  • Rule 20: Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly.

Talk about your own mistakes first

  • "If you have no critics you'll likely have no success." - Malcolm X
  • If only the people who worry about their liabilities would think about the riches they do possess, they would stop worrying.
  • Rule 21: Before criticising the other person, talk about your own mistakes.

No one likes to take orders

  • Asking questions not only makes an order more palatable; it often stimulates the creativity of the person whom you ask. People are more likely to accept an order of they have had a part in the decision that caused the order to be issued.
  • Rule 22: Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.

Let the other person save face

  • Even if we are right and the other person is definitely wrong, we only destroy ego by causing someone to lose face.
  • "I have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him, but what he thinks of himself. Hurting a man in his dignity is a crime." - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • A real leader will always let the other person save face.
  • If you believe in what you are doing, then let nothing hold you up in your work. Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities. The thing is to get the work done.
  • Rule 23: Let the other person save face.

How to encourage people

  • Let us praise even the slightest improvement. That inspires the other person to keep on improving.
  • When criticism is minimized and praise emphasized, the good things people do will be reinforced and the poorer things will atrophy for lack of attention.
  • Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement. To become a more effective leader of people, praise every improvement.
  • Rule 24: Praise every improvement

Give a dog a good name

  • "The average person can be led readily if you have his or her respect and if you show that you respect that person for some kind of ability." - Samuel Vauclain
  • If you want to excel in that difficult leadership role of changing the attitude or behavior of others, give the other person a good reputation to live up to.
  • If you can't sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It's the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.
  • Rule 25: Give the other person a good reputation to live up to.

Make the fault seem easy to correct

  • Praise for the things people do right instead of emphasizing on mistakes. Criticism discourages people whole people encourage them and get the best out of them.
  • If you want to help others to improve, use encouragement.
  • Act enthusiastic and you will be enthusiastic.
  • Rule 26: Use Encouragement

Making people glad to do what you want

  • Always make the other person happy about doing the things you suggest.
  • The effective leader should keep the following guidelines in mind when it is necessary to change attitudes on behavior:

    1. Be sincere. Do not promise anything that you cannot deliver. Forget about the benefits to yourself and concentrate on the benefits to the other person.
    2. Know exactly what it is you want the other person to do.
    3. Be empathetic. Ask yourself what it is the other person really wants.
    4. Consider the benefits that person will receive from doing what you suggest.
    5. Match those benefits to the other person's wants.
    6. When you make your request, put it in a form that will convey to the other person the idea that he personally will benefit.

      We could give a court order like this: 'John, we have customers coming in tomorrow and I need the stockroom cleaned out. So sweep it out, put the stock in neat piles on the shelves and polish the counter.' Or we could express the same idea by showing John the benefits he will get from doing the task: 'John, we have a job that should be completed right away. If it is done now, we won't be faced with it later. I am bringing some customers in tomorrow to show our facilities. I would like to show them the stockroom, but it is in poor shape. If you could sweep ot out, put the stock in neat piles on the shelves and polish the counter, it would make us look efficient and you will have done your part to provide a good company image.'

  • "Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." - Marcel Proust

  • Rule 27: Make the other person happy about doing whatever you suggest.

Think before you criticise

  • "I learned thirty years ago that it is foolish to scold. I have enough trouble overcoming my own limitations without fretting over the fact that God has not seen fit to distribute evenly the gift of intelligence." - John Wanamaker
  • 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.
  • "I will speak ill of no man and speak all the good I know of everybody." - Benjamin Franklin
  • "A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men." - Carlyle
  • Instead of condemning people, let's try to understand them. Let's try to figure out why they do what they do. That's a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticisms; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. "To know all is to forgive all".
  • Rule 28: Don't condemn, complain or criticise.


Listen Son, I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little hand crumpled under your cheek and blonde curls sticky over your wet forehead. I have broken into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guilty, I came to your bedside.

There are things which I am thinking, son; I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face a mere dab with the towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.

At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. As you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, "Goodbye, Daddy!" I frowned, and said in reply, "Hold your shoulders back!".

Then it began all over again late this afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your socks. I humiliated you before your friends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Socks were expensive, and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that son, from a father.

Do you remember later, when I was reading in the library, how you came timidly, with sort of a hurt look in your eyes? I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption; you hesitated at the door. "What is it that you want?" I snapped.

You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, your small arms tightened with affection that God had set blooming in your heart, which even neglect could not wither. Then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.

Well, Son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, or reprimanding; this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you: it was that I expected too much of you. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.

There is so much that was good, fine and true in your character. The little heart of yours was as big as the dawn itself over the hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else mattered tonight. Son, I have come to your beside in the darkness, I have knelt there, ashamed!

It is a feeble atonement; I know that you would not understand these things which I have told you in the waking hours. Tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, suffer when you suffer and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: "He is nothing but a boy--a little boy."

I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, Son, crumpled and weary in your bed. I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother's arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much!

Instead of condemning and criticizing others, perhaps we it would be better to try to understand them, to try to figure out why they do what they do. That's a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness, rather than contempt...!!!

The big secret of dealing with people

  • 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.
  • Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.
  • Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolised. - Albert Einstein
  • If you want to be enthusiastic, act enthusiastic.
  • Rule 29: Appreciation should be honest, not flattery.

Understand the other's point of view

  • "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 that person's angle as well as from your own." - Henry Ford
  • "What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." - Jane Goodall
  • If you want to conquer fear, don't sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
  • Rule 30: Arouse in the other person a desire for the object.

Read the Book !!!

There are many interesting stories in the book which I didn't go through because this book is full of such stories. You will find the book interesting if you found these lessons helpful.


To conclude, these techniques are really great, at least in the reading. Personally I have found it very hard to apply these techniques. But at the same time, how can you know if it possible or not until you try?

I am trying and applying some of these great techniques:

  • I always think twice before speaking anything (specially when messaging, hard in person though)
  • I have started being "Lavish in praises"
  • I try to not see mistakes in others and instead try to put myself in there shoes before making any decisions

Thank you for reading it this far. Or did you just scroll to the end? LOL. Stay awesome and healthy.

Image Credits: Cover Image by Felix Rostig from Unsplash