How to Win Friends and Influence People Kindle Edition
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I couldn't find the copy that my dad gave me so I ordered a new one and chapter 1 alone is changing the way I look at EVERYTHING. I've been plagued with mild depression/anxiety for 20 years and I'm realizing that I've developed some unhealthy defense mechanisms to cope with these issues. I never turned to drugs or alcohol, but the fortress-like walls I've constructed to deal with criticism (real or perceived) aren't much better for me. I've re-read and taken notes on the first section of the book several times now and my wife is noticing and she seems quite relieved, i had no idea I could impact another persons life so strongly.
Like I said, I am only getting started with the book and it has already helped me enough to warrant a 5-star rating. This book has stood the test of time for a reason and I can see why now. The strategies are applicable to and helpful in all aspects of my life so far, from my marriage to my job, and even to the way I interact with clerks in gas stations. I've read numerous self help books in the past, seen a therapist for 3 years, been through the gauntlet of antidepressants, etc, and until now I thought I was wasting my time. I've been learning things all along, but I never learned how to actually apply the things I had learned until now. This book speaks my language and if your background sounds even remotely similar I have a feeling that you'll agree.
This book is divided into four parts. The first half of the book discusses techniques in handling people and how to have people like you. The final half of the book gives instructions about how to win people to our own thinking and how to be a leader by changing people without offending them or causing resentment.
In the first part of the book, it is divided into three principles. The first principle emphasizes the importance of avoiding criticism and he describes working with people as: working with people of logic. He further describes complaining and criticizing as a foolish task to do and how it takes a person of character to understand, forgive, and have self-control. Principle # 2 describes the importance of honest and sincere appreciation. Within this principle he describes the importance of ending our own thinking of accomplishments and desires. Instead, we must put our focus on the other person's good qualities. If being sincere, this will cause people to cherish them in their minds, even years later. The third principle involves influencing the other person to want, but not in a way that is manipulative. With this principle, he describes the importance of self-expression and connects it to the importance of thinking in terms of the other person, so that they come up with your ideas on their own, which they will like more.
Within the second part of the book, it teaches six principles. The first describes how critical it is to become interested in other people because you will make more friends compared to having others interested in you. When he moves onto the second principle, he explains the importance to smile in a heartwarming way because it will brighten the lives of those who see it. Dale then describes the importance to recall a person's name in the third principle. He gives tips on how to remember and then explains how people enjoy the sound of their own name. The fourth principle is about being a good listener and encouraging those to talk about themselves. He then goes onto to explain again that people are more interested in talking about themselves instead of others. He further explains this point in principle five: Talk in terms of the other person's interests. The final step is to sincerely make the other person feel important because this is the "deepest urge in human nature."
Dale describes in the third part of the book the steps to have a person think in terms of your own thoughts. He then explains that it is better to avoid arguments and to show respect for other people's opinions and never tell them they are wrong. because it will further push them away. If there is fault in your own behavior, Dale explains to immediately admit you're wrong without any doubts. If you are upset, he explains to sit down and counsel together, and if there are differences, understand it. Even in some differences, there will be points of agreement. He then explains the importance of agreement and having the person say "yes," at least twice. You doing this by looking into the other person's viewpoint and asking questions that cause them to agree. It is essential to have friends do the talking and have them excel us, instead of excelling them. When this occurs, they will feel important. To further the notion of feeling important, it is important to have the individual create their own ideas. He deepens this idea by asking questions such as, "Why should he or she want to do it?" and then being sympathetic towards their ideas. In order to catch a person's attention, you must dramatise the ideas you have. If all else fails, he explains the importance of competition and how it drives people to feel important and empowered to work efficiently and effectively.
In the final part of the book, Dale again discusses the importance of beginning with praise and honest appreciation. When someone makes a mistake, call to their mistakes indirectly. This can be done my making their mistakes your own and explaining the importance of fixing it and why it gave you a disadvantage. He then explains the importance of asking questions that direct the person you’re speaking to, to obtain your idea on their own. He emphasizes the importance of having the person be saved from embarrassment, and then explains the importance of praise again, even if it is small. Dale then gives examples of giving a person a reputation that makes them better, in order to have the person be motivated to improve. After giving someone a reputation to live up to, encourage the person to correct their faults and make them happy to do the actions you suggest.