Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People Book Review


Dale Carnegie’s book was a gateway to several other books that had practical solutions to self-improvement in communications. I’m not fond of the narrative type to convey a lesson but it’s one of the best ways to demonstrate examples.

Dale Carnegie raises a good point about social communication being a life skill is undervalued in the educational system. He points out that we as humans, are social creatures yet exist in a society where we somehow fail to make use of our fullest potential in connecting with other people. While the book does make an interesting proposition from the title, the effects when done right can take over months to years to be noticeable.

Remember the way you communicate now is the product of years of communication habits in sync with your attitude towards people. When you wake up in the morning and start applying some of the lessons here, people around you may not readily going to see the difference. I'm sure each person has a mental image of how they view their significant others based on their communication style.

The book didn’t teach me how to be charismatic but I do appreciate it setting up the foundations to be one. I view charisma as a skill you have ingrained into the subconscious that your actions make people more receptive of you.

What the book taught me is making less unnecessary enemies (not kicking the bees nest) through what I originally thought were benign interactions, making me self-aware about different social situations, extending my patience in dealing with people, diffuse conflicts, and most of all, having some grit in dealing with passive-aggressive types.

The book tackles more on the principles and cites some specific examples that apply those principles. It really made a good point about how communication is being underrated and not emphasized with the current educational system. How can a life skill so crucial not have a subject dedicated to it when mastering it can change someone’s life?

The art of not making enemies is just as important as making friends. If you have 10 co-workers in a room, having 2/10 of those become your enemy is a long term pain even with 8/10 being your friends. Out of a hundred compliments you can receive, you know it only takes 1 rude remark from someone you dislike can potentially upset you if you're sensitive enough.

When it comes to arguments, pick your battles and try to not get too worked up about losing. Sometimes a short term victory over an argument isn't worth the long term grudge someone would be nursing against you in a workplace.

The approach to the book is taking one chapter a day and reflecting on it. It worked for me anyway. When I started going through the book by a binge read session, the lessons just came and went because there less mental time to focus on what was emphasized by the chapter.

Think of it as learning what a cell phone does in a quick rundown, you may be able to call, text, go online and use the apps within an hour without a problem. But then you discover some small life hacks to make each feature on the phone even better like organizing messages, blocking numbers, fine tuning the settings display and lots of other good stuff the device offers.

It’s a weird way to compare how I took the lessons from the book but it made sense for me. The lessons being told by the book are recounts of someone else. These are not your personal experiences. To make the lesson ingrained you have to ground it to how each applies to your life by using old memories, the present or the foreseeable future where you think you can apply them. And this is where it gets even tricky because this requires conscious habit to incorporate in your routine.

I think we can have a consensus of being taught to be nice to other people as common courtesy but you know that’s easier said than done. We weren’t trained to react to different situations where being nice isn’t suitable and we just have to learn it the hard way navigating through life.

While the book says how to influence people is part of the lessons being taught, what I got from reading are practical ways to diffuse tension from people who are in an irritable state with due empathy.

And being able to keep calm and approach people when they are not in their best has been a life changing skill I acquired. If you can convince them that you’re listening and are taking their side into account of your judgment, they will be more receptive even if your verdict doesn’t favor them. It doesn’t work all the time but it makes you less of a target in their eyes and makes them amenable for negotiations, this is influence at work.

I do recommend the book as a start if you want to improve your communication skills. It’s a book for beginners on the subject. I did find better books that tackle on the same subject but their approach may not be as entry level compared to how Dale explains it.

If you made it this far reading, thank you for your time.



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8 comments
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To be completely honest, I hated this book. It came across as overly slimy in the way it wants you to tackle social relationships. But if you've been able to improve because of it, more power to you

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Same TBH, it come across quite unnatural to me but as someone who doesn't know how to talk to people or socialize, it helped me a lot in the past. Overtime, I kinda get used to more talking, more socializing, and reading the room. I guess, partly thanks to that book.

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It did repel me initially given how some principles had to use a little bit of flattery to make it through the tough situations. That's exactly what I got during the first parts as a lesson which is way off from my blunt approach to communication. But seeing it actually works makes it more practical that's why I just claimed it's for beginners to for communication improvement. I needed to know why some people can be so good at connecting.

I have come to the conclusion that a lot of people are capable of handling the truth and it's a matter of how you deliver that makes them receptive. To the point that you can call them ugly and still give you a smile taking it as a innocent jest.

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I have an ebook of this but haven't got the time to read it. But seeing this review helps me digest the core component in communication and socializing different walks in life. I might start reading it now!

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1 chapter a day bruh. Binge reading it is easy but when you speed read the lesson, some wisdom just passes you by. If the book tells you to be patient, yadaydada you know objectively why, but speed reading it wouldnt let it stick to you long enough to make use of it practically. Set aside a time to reflect. If it doesn't make you friends, it will help you avoid making enemies which is equally better

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Gracias por tu punto de vista, tenia tiempo pensando en leer ese libro pero no me animaba, lo tendré en cuenta para este mes!

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Good luck your reading and hope it helps you as much as it did for me :)

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This is such a classic self-help book. Because it is so practical, it has survived the test of time.

It is certainly a gateway to other books with more modern takes on influence, but overall, this one packs a solid punch for value.

Great review! Best wishes with your future posts.

Cheers!

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