|Print List Price:||$10.95|
Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price set by seller.
How To Win Friends and Influence People Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
|Length: 285 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible book with Whispersync for Voice. Add the Audible book for a reduced price of $12.99 when you buy the Kindle book.
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I've been giving a lot of thought as to why this book didn't work for me, and I think I've figured it out.
There is an old saying -- walk softly, but carry a big stick. I've heard it said often, but was never really clear on what it meant. I have it now. The thing is, your niceness is only valuable if there's a threat you might cut it off at any moment. The "big stick" is there to say 'I'm inoffensive now, but I might attack if needed.' Carnegie does not teach that -- he tells you to be nice, and be nice, and keep being nice, and somehow everyone will reciprocate. But this does not really happen, at least in anything but the most superficial relationships. You know how they say "chicks don't like nice guys?" It's that phenomenon at work.
If you read the book, you'll notice that most of his example success stories are about people who are already in authority trying to get better behavior out of underlings -- like the construction manager whose workers wouldn't wear their hardhats, or the story of Charles Schwab fixing his employees who ignored the No Smoking sign at work. Of course it makes them happy and agreeable if THE BOSS is being nice to them! But if you're just a nobody who hasn't any power over their lives, who cares? They've got more important things than to go out of their way for you in turn. You can give give give, but if they don't perceive your kindness as valuable, it doesn't matter.
I also highly recommend the review at http://www.amazon.com/review/R1DZ5UBO2SG8LB/ as this person had a very similar experience to mine as far as the kind of "friends" you win by trying this.
When I first got this book, about 10 years ago, I was extremely impressed with it and most pleased with my discovery. I learned a lot about how people think and how we can unintentionally hurt people, how kindness can be more influential than criticism, etc. My copy of this book is all dog-eared and full of underlined passages. I've read it multiple times.
But I can say after 10 years of putting it to practice, that for me, this book really seems to have utterly failed in the promise of its title.
I have a suspicion some of this failure is ultimately a failure caused by the book's past success -- that is, the book became so influential, especially amongst business people, that the public has grown accustomed to these tactics. They've become immune. The recommended actions consequently don't have power anymore. Example: the book talks about the value of greeting people with a smile. But now, everyone expects to be greeted with a smile during business exchanges, and knows subconsciously it's an effort to manipulate them. They don't return the smile or become better humored; instead they seem to perceive your staged(?) grin as evidence that you're not a "real" person who is to be treated respectfully, but a flunky who is just trying to kiss up to them.
I also had a problem, personally, as a female with this book's recommended behaviors. I have discovered, time and again, that following the advice about being nice and pleasant seems to just make men think I'm trying to have sex with them, leading to many unpleasant situations, both in business and daily life. I'll bet Carnegie didn't worry that women come off as flirty and submissive when following his advice, because in the 30s women didn't usually need to conduct business with men. Which brings me to my next point --
I notice most of the reviews that complain about the book being dated are referencing the writing style or the anecdotes. Actually, I think the book is dated because it was born out of a totally different culture. A lot of stuff has changed since 1937. A lot of behavior that nowadays is acceptable would have been considered shocking or very low-class when this thing was written, and so this book was not written to anticipate.
All in all, I just find no one cooperates with the recommended behaviors, even when you literally do them by the book. I'll try to overlook people's flaws and mistakes as advised -- and the people seem to just take advantage of it to do worse quality work or be more rudely behaved. I'll try to make the other person feel important and take interest in them -- and wind up getting molested for my trouble because they think it's an act of sexual interest. I'll suggest instead of instructing -- and find my idea beaten down all the worse because it sounds "unsure." I'll try to be friendly -- and get walked all over.
After analyzing the issues, I'm convinced the book ought not be called How to Win Friends and Influence People. A more apt title would be How to Be Friendly and Avoid Conflict. Those are the valuable lessons of the work. The rest -- it's stuff that applies to old men making business relationships, not real friendships, nor typical social interaction for joy's own sake, nor trying to get superiors to heed your views.
In the end, I think I might actually be worse off for having read this book and trained myself to its techniques. I've been brought much harm and little good from it.
The book says to see things from other people's point of view, and to find out more about them. I tried this, and I did feel closer to people who talked to me about their personal history, but then logically this must go both ways. If you have said nothing about your own interests to the other person, then how can they feel also close to you? If you have said nothing about yourself then, then you are still just a stranger to them.
IT PORTRAYS AN IDEAL WORLD:
In real life, I have never met one person who displays all the characteristics mentioned in the book. In the real world, nobody is capable of dealing with humans perfectly all the time.
The world is full of brash, assertive people who state their opinions, who do not try to be everybody's friend and do not always sugar-coat the truth. (Hint, they're probably your managers ;-) ). Contrary to what this book says, such people usually have plenty of friends and are very influential and respected.
The truth about life, is that you can't avoid unintentionally offending people, as people are affected by so many different things. Some people will never like you, no matter how hard you try. If you doubt this, try sucking up to everyone you meet for the next week, and watch what happens.
LYING TO OTHERS:
There's a bit in the book about a conversation at a party where a quotation from a book was questioned on its authenticity. Rather than simply tell the truth and actually let the facts be known, it is stated that it is better to keep quiet (passive lying) so as not to let the other person be seen to be wrong!! But what will happen when the other person finds out that they were wrong, and that you had the knowledge to give them the correct answer?
Not speaking up about what you know to be the truth is abhorrent, especially on critically important matters. If it offends the other person then that's just the way it has to be. Imagine a doctor not telling a patient he has cancer, because the patient might not like it. Look at what happened with Enron, only when the truth was told were matters finally bought to justice. Hiding other people's critical mistakes is not good, or clever in the long run.
ADVOCATES BEING A DOORMAT:
Carnegie says, be nice to everyone. In reality there are many times when you need to stand up for your rights because being nice will not solve all matters. For example, if you are being bullied at school or at the workplace you have to assert your rights in every way you can. There are many recent cases of people winning compensation for suffering acts of discrimination at the workplace. These are people who went against Carnegies advice, who would not accept abusive treatment, and stood up for themselves, to a positive result.
Many people will blatantly abuse niceness. The truth is, that in the real world of today, too much kindness is taken as a sign of weakness and those who try to win friends and influence people in the way Carnegie recommends, all too often end up used and abused.
Carnegies advice has the potential to turn people into passive "doormats" who think everyone else is always right, and that they themselves are always wrong. The reality is, that to be effective in human interactions, people need to give their own opinions, and state their own truth, even if it offends others. Effective communicators accept that they will never be friends with everyone. People who behave assertively, who speak up for what they believe in, and do not quietly sit back and let other people walk all over them, blatantly rise to the top in most social situations and ironically have many friends and influence many people. Doormats are notoriously ineffective in winning friends and influencing people.
A valuable social skill is asserting yourself. People want to know what you think. They don't want their own words regurgitated and spat back at them by a shallow, sycophantic liar.
Think of all the people you know who are assertive and who speak up for their beliefs and their rights. Such people usually have more than enough friends. Ironically, it is the nice person who wants to be everyone's friend, who never seems to have many. The truth is, that people will not automatically hate you just because you state your own opinions, or because you say something contrary to what they are saying.
There are good things about the book, specifically that people like it when others take time to listen and respect their opinions, but this obviously has to work both ways. This book was probably more useful in the good old days, when it was first published.
If you spend your whole life being nice to people and suppressing your own opinions, even when you know full well at times, that it is unjustified, you will regret it. Life does not work that way. There are many, many circumstances in dealing with people, where niceness is not an option. Speak up for yourself and for what you believe in, even if it has the potential to offend others. Abraham Lincoln did, Martin Luther King did, Jesus Christ did, Michael Moore did, etc. I've personally decided that I'm going to live my life by saying what I believe in, and be myself, and take whatever comes to me. Everyone won't like me, but everyone won't hate me either. The real way to win friends and influence people is to respect others where possible, but more importantly to stand up for what you believe is right, and speak up for it.