I finally read “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

Dale Carnegie’s, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” was published 86 years ago, but somehow is still relevant today.

It’s been a best seller for decades. The New York Times first reviewed “How to Win Friends and Influence People” in 1937, and it boasts a 4.5/5 stars on amazon – with 74,000 ratings.

I listened to the audio book, and the way it was narrated reminded me of the old 1950s or 60s voiceovers. While some of the information is outdated, I did pick up a few good tips.

“Gentleness and friendliness are always stronger than fury and force.”

This is one of my favorites. This quote reminds of one similar “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” Meaning – being polite and respectful will serve you better than being rude and negative.

“If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically”

This easy tip can go a long way. It earns you respect and promotes you as a team player. No one like a know-it-all and it’s difficult to admit you’ve made a mistake. By do so, you’ve allowed yourself to be vulnerable and others will know they can trust you.

“Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.”

I would change this to “Talk about your own mistakes before discussing solutions.” Criticizing someone is not a good way to win friends and influence others. Instead, offer friendly feedback in a conversational way. Work with the other person to brainstorm ideas of how to avoid future blunders. We’re all human, and humans make mistakes.


“One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.”

~Dale Carnegie

The quote above isn’t from the book, but a quote from Dale himself. With the rise of social, this resonates even more today than years ago. Most of the time, humans share only their (perceived) positive experiences and successes. They want people to believe they are successful and happy. This Inc.com article shares how the disillusion and envy behind these posts can be harmful.

My two boys are grown now, but in their younger years I would tell them, “Don’t worry about what others are doing, or what they have. You worry about what YOU are doing. The only person you can control is you.” I still need that pep talk every now and then.

The only person you are competing with is yourself. No one is on the same path as you. No one shares the same skills, ability and experiences with you, so why should you compare yourself to others?

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