How to Win Friends and Influence People?

Win Friends and Influence People

How to Win Friends and Influence People?

People, in general, don’t change. This is a timeless book that matters as long as you are dealing with people in your career. We don’t sell to companies, we sell to people. Channels and methods of communication are changing but the principals of “how to win friends and influence people” aren’t much different.

All of those are still applicable in principle. However, there may have to be adapted to changes in communication platforms and social etiquette. However, anyone with a little bit of commonsense should be able to do that themselves – rather than looking for an “upgraded” book along the same lines. Personally, haven’t come across any.

It can be… if the reader realize that Dale Carnegie wrote the book in a different era (1937) and a number of his suggestions have to be applied in a subtle manner to avoid being seen as the reader acting in an obsequious or servile manner.

The major flaw that I noticed (I read the book when I was trying to improve myself in my 20’s and found that my short lifespan likely precluded the task) is that it doesn’t seem to accept the fact that you may utilize all of its advice and still not become the person that you’d like to be.

A recent CBS Sunday Morning news program featured Dale Carnegie’s story and his famous novel. It seems that many people still utilize the book and also attend seminars It seems that Mr. Carnegie’s words still inspire people more than 70 years after they were first written.

Yes. It is among my most highly recommended books. The principles are as follows:

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1. Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
2. Give honest, sincere appreciation.
3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.
4. Become genuinely interested in other people.
5. Smile.
6. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the most important sound in any language.
7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
8. Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
9. Make the other person feel important – and do so sincerely.
10 The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.


11. Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
12. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
13. Begin in a friendly way.
14. Get the other person saying, “Yes, yes” immediately.
15. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
16. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
17. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
18. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
19. Appeal to the nobler motives.
20. Dramatize your ideas.


21. Throwdown a challenge.
22. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
23. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
24. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
25. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
26. Let the other person save face.
27. Praise the slightest and every improvement. Be “lavish in your praise.”
28. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
29. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
30. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

None of that is obsolete.

How to Win Friends and Influence People?

I think it is a timeless book and still very relevant. Like impressionist painters that had their style ripped off and hung up in bathrooms at crappy restaurants, cheezy self-help books have made Dale Carnegie’s book of social tips and tricks seem more schmaltzy than it really is.

Whereas self help books have steered towards the “believe it and you can achieve it” scene, HTWFAIP offers practical advice about social interaction.

My favorite tip,

The greatest sound in the English language is a person’s name.

I use this every day; I always use people’s names, at the dry cleaner, or Starbucks, or at an antique store where I’m trying to get a deal on something. People love to hear their name.

I had this exact discussion with a colleague a few years back (I’ll call him John). For this answer, it’s important to know that I had worked with John for several months and was well acquainted with him.

His argument was that the contents of the book were outdated and that if it did contain anything of value, any nuggets of wisdom would be such common sense that we wouldn’t need to buy an outdated book to find them.

After he said that, I reflected on one of my favorite lines from the book:

“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

I decided to put that to the test. I relayed that quote to my colleague and asked, “John, what’s my name?”

Embarrassed and caught completely off guard, he tried to muster up an answer before saying, “I hardly know anyone’s name around here.”

So yes, still absolutely relevant.

It has some valuable stuff in there, but some is off base.

For example, when he speaks to taking a keen interest in the interests of others, and the anecdote relays something like how one man wanted to make a good impression with another, who happened to be passionate about sailing.

These two meet, and the guy captivates the sailor by asking him several questions about sailing – showing an interest.

Afterwards, the sailor is thinking about how much he likes this fellow, and asks a colleague who knew him – about this man’s sailing interests.

This colleague then tells the sailor something along the lines of “oh no, he has no interest in sailing at all, he just knows that you like them, so took and interest.”

I didn’t like that. I would find it very insincere and probably embarrassing if I shared a deeply held interest with someone, who then acted as if they were a kindred spirit, only to find out it was a facade, merely to obtain something from me.

How to Win Friends and Influence People Review

This book is very outdated. Not only it is not applicable but also parts of the book are detrimental to social interactions. The book also suffers from contradictions. This book is a complete waste of time.

Let me explain how.

If you go by whatever Mr. Carnegie tells – then basically you are a very nice person. Someone who smiles, says good morning to colleagues and asks genuine questions, never criticizes, treats everyone like his own child, etc. etc. In short, you are a very nice guy and you are more invested in others than in yourself.

Being so nice means –

  1. Never criticizing someone even for their mistakes (I know about indirect criticism). This means being afraid to voice out your opinions. Top-notch leaders don’t do this. Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg are not afraid of the world, they are empathetic but they do criticize. Leaders of the world and the most influential people are strong men. The world needs leaders and men not sheep.
  2. Always showing more interest in people, making other people always feel great, calling by their name, replying to everyone’s text with a sweet yes or no, etc etc. There are two flaws to this approach:
    1. This is a very low-status behavior. You should always be more concerned about your goals than about people. The whole point of this book is about people – you should not care so much about people. It is contradictory – the way to influence people is to influence yourself and your surroundings first. Probably because people are stupid and they don’t deserve too much love and care. I have seen people getting influenced by success than any of the unnecessary trappings this book mentions.
    2. People freak out if you show excessive love and care. People are cool these days. Thankfully the world is good. It is okay to be what you are. Not calling a person by his name is okay, not replying to someone’s text is okay. Not making the other person feel important is okay – you should not make them feel bad- you should challenge them and make them grow. It is important to be genuine. But you cant be genuine and smiling at people/not criticize when you feel the opposite insider. If you do whatever Mr. Carnegie says people will think you are a timid needy freak who doesn’t have much going on in his life and have no goals and someone who is not genuine and afraid to share his true self. People hate such people.

This book is a complete no no especially when it comes to dating. Please don’t waste time on this book.


How to Win Friends and Influence People was written as an accompaniment to Dale Carnegie’s Public Speaking training programme. It was actually a distillation of decades of feedback from sessions he ran.

Part of the process of improving peoples’ public speaking skills was to send the participants away with a topic and then get them to deliver a talk to the group the following week, explaining what they had done differently and how it worked. The motivation for this was in part so that people wouldn’t come to the session with nothing to talk about.

Over the years, he collected the stories that had the biggest impact and also interviewed an armada of the most successful people of the day, as well as researching texts for similarly eminent people from history.

He admits in the first chapter that he didn’t invent the principles in the book, they are just a reflection of all of that research. That’s why they are just as valid as the day they were written.

It is entirely based on feedback from real people, about what ‘did’ work and not a single person’s opinion of what ‘should’ work or

About the Author

Dale Carnegie (1888-1955) described himself as a “simple country boy” from Missouri but was also a pioneer of the self-improvement genre. Since the 1936 publication of his first book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, he has touched millions of readers and his classic works continue to impact lives to this day.

worked for them personally. He also admitted that he wasn’t that great at keeping the principles – like most of us!

Warren Buffet says that the major reason for his success is down to having read How to Win Friends and Influence People.

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On May 7, 1931, the most sensational manhunt New York City had ever known had come to its climax. After weeks of search, “Two-Gun” Crowley — the killer, the gunman who didn’t smoke or drink — was at bay, trapped in his sweetheart’s apartment on West End Avenue.

One hundred and fifty policemen and detectives laid siege to his top-floor hideaway. They chopped holes in the roof; they tried to smoke out Crowley, the “cop killer,” with tear gas. Then they mounted their machine guns on surrounding buildings, and for more than an hour one of New York’s fine residential areas reverberated with the crack of pistol fire and the rat-tat-tat of machine guns. Crowley, crouching behind an overstuffed chair, fired incessantly at the police. Ten thousand excited people watched the battle. Nothing like it had ever been seen before on the sidewalks of New York.

When Crowley was captured, Police Commissioner E. P. Mulrooney declared that the two-gun desperado was one of the most dangerous criminals ever encountered in the history of New York. “He will kill,” said the Commissioner, “at the drop of a feather.”

But how did “Two Gun” Crowley regard himself? We know, because while the police were firing into his apartment, he wrote a letter addressed “To whom it may concern.” And, as he wrote, the blood flowing from his wounds left a crimson trail on the paper. In his letter Crowley said: “Under my coat is a weary heart, but a kind one — one that would do nobody any harm.”

A short time before this, Crowley had been having a necking party with his girl friend on a country road out on Long Island. Suddenly a policeman walked up to the car and said: “Let me see your license.”

Without saying a word, Crowley drew his gun and cut the policeman down with a shower of lead. As the dying officer fell, Crowley leaped out of the car, grabbed the officer’s revolver, and fired another bullet into the prostrate body. And that was the killer who said: “Under my coat is a weary heart, but a kind one — one that would do nobody any harm.”

Crowley was sentenced to the electric chair. When he arrived at the death house in Sing Sing, did he say, “This is what I get for killing people”? No, he said: “This is what I get for defending myself.”

The point of the story is this: “Two Gun” Crowley didn’t blame himself for anything.

Is that an unusual attitude among criminals? If you think so, listen to this:

“I have spent the best years of my life giving people the lighter pleasures, helping them have a good time, and all I get is abuse, the existence of a hunted man.”

That’s Al Capone speaking. Yes, America’s most notorious Public Enemy — the most sinister gang leader who ever shot up Chicago. Capone didn’t condemn himself. He actually regarded himself as a public benefactor — an unappreciated and misunderstood public benefactor.

And so did Dutch Schultz before he crumpled up under gangster bullets in Newark. Dutch Schultz, one of New York’s most notorious rats, said in a newspaper interview that he was a public benefactor. And he believed it.

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How to Win Friends and Influence People?

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