My Book review: How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie

A lot of you have either heard or read Dale Carnegie’s book about “How to Win Friends and Influence People” written in 1936. Some of you will think that this book is outdated or too old, but the fact is that this book has been circulating since 1936 and has over 30 million copies sold worldwide or globally. This makes as one of the all-time international bestsellers. Even Dale Carnegie himself didn’t expect that this book will go that far.

Dale Carnegie used to say “that it was easier to make a million dollars than to put a phrase into the English language”. How to win friends and influence people become such phrase. The book is a self-help or self-development book that contains many principles, stories from successful business people, politicians and students as well. Although some of the examples used in the book are too old, but, the concept and the ideas still remains applicable to today’s modern world. Each generation has discovered it as new and has found it more relevant.

Initially, Dale Carnegie began his career as a teacher where he used to teach courses about public speaking. He also used to teach night classes in New York as his courses become popular and widely interested by many people. He then decided to host workshops on his own at hotels in many cities like London, Paris, New York and so many other places around the world.

Personally, the reason why I am so compelled about this book is that I recently had a discussion or an argument with a great friend of mine on issues regarding human nature and dealing with people. As our discussion gets intense, he asked me if I read Dale Carnegie’s book. And I said “no”. Then he gave me the book, so I can read.

Furthermore, I was so passionate about self-development books, more specifically those concerned with human relationships and how to deal with other people. We all know that people are different and everyone has his or her own unique way of behaving. However, dealing with people is always the biggest problem that you will face, but reading this book, you will develop principles or great ideas that can potentially help you.

Some interesting points from the book

In a short summary, the book has four sections and a total of 30 principles under each section. I cannot capture all the principles here, but I will share the most interesting points from the book.

Don’t Criticize.

Sometimes we find it easier to criticize others by doing mistakes, but the consequences are always not good, sometimes consistently criticizing our colleagues and friends can lead someone to a hatred position. In this section of How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie shares that “Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Sometimes it dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurt his sense of importance and arouse resentment”.

If you’re Wrong, Admit it

We all know that it’s not an easy task, to easily admit our mistakes. We rather seek ways we can defend or escape from our mistakes. In this principle, Dale Carnegie mention his book, “when we are right, let’s try to win people gently and tactfully to our way of thinking, and when we are wrong — and that will be surprisingly often, if we are honest with ourselves — let’s admit our mistakes quickly and with enthusiasm”.

A Simple way to make a Good First Impression

Smiling all the time to everyone has really a deep meaning and a huge effect as well. Try this and you will surprisingly found a positive response. I know it’s hard to maintain smiling all day, because some people will think it’s fake. But one smile can captivate the feeling of another person. In this section, Dale Carnegie uses an example where he told his students to smile at one person every hour. The students who did this found out everyone smiled back at them. So smiling has a profound effect on our relationship with others.

How to make people like you instantly

We all want to be instantly liked by others, but making someone to instantly like you is not that easy. But, according to “How to win friends and influence people”, the author emphasizes that there is one all-important law of human conduct. If we obey that law, we shall almost never get into trouble. It will also bring us, countless friends. But the very instant we break the law, we shall get into endless trouble. The law is, “Always make the other person feel important”.

Say a person’s name

In this section, the author discusses a very important principle especially when we are dealing with other people. It’s all about saying a person’s name. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember names, particularly if it’s hard to pronounce. We often prefer to memorize the nicknames of others so we can easily remember them. Personally, I recently noticed in myself, that I am not good at remembering names. For example, when I meet or get introduced to someone else, so he or she tells me their names, after a while when we meet again, I found myself that I couldn’t easily recall it back. Reading this book reminds you of how crucial it’s to say a person’s name.

Many people ignore it or call the person with an easy nickname. But remembering that person’s name is the to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

In conclusion, if you are an introverted person, that is someone who is quiet, shy and always had difficulty communicating with the external world, I would totally recommend you to read it. Spend some quality time with the book, absorb the principles deeply and try to practice every single tips that you think will be helpful.

Mohamed is a junior Medical Doctor, blogger, storyteller and he’s so much passionate about volunteering, writing and reading books.