How to Win Friends & Influence People (special anniversary ed.), by Dale Carnegie

My Copy: 9780671027032

Of all the books I have, this is one of the handful that if someone asked to borrow it, I’d fork it over even without a guarantee of return. It’s THAT necessary and THAT good a book–too good to hoard like gold, even if that’s what it is to a clueless introvert like me.

How to Win Friends and Influence People is just that at it’s core: a good resource about interpersonal communication that’s worth keeping. I swear I’d heard of this book in passing, but never picked it up until a couple of years ago. I’ve read it twice now, and I bet I will at least 20 more.

Keep in mind, this book isn’t referring so much to winning friends as in besties, as in let’s hang out at each other’s houses for the rest of our lives or whatever (though there were lifelong friendships created thanks to these tips). Much of the book refers to being friendly and making friends instead of enemies, whether in business, schooling, family, etc. There’s a lot of wisdom in these pages to transform what were (or could be) negative relationships and moments into positive ones.

Some of this book might seem repetitive, but it’s for a very good reason (and let’s face it, many tips and scenarios do kinda work together). The chapters and parts discuss simple ideas in improving positive relationships, such as first impressions, accepting and doling out criticism, conversation, interest in others, sympathy and listening to others…and much, much more.

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Yes, there are ways around this type of thing, and both parties are okay.

This book made me think a lot about what I’ve been missing. The first time I read it, I only gave it a 3 of 5 because I guess I wasn’t in the right place to receive the wisdom. Well, I took my time to really think over (and re-read it) and felt I was getting the gist of it at last. I think the more you read it, the better it gets, and the more aware you are of what you need to do.

I liked the organization of it, the use of older wisdom in the pages and quotes, and real life stories…it all adds up to give you a healthy dose of real-world practical use. I listened to what the pages were telling me about communicating with other human beings…and am determined to do better and REALLY pay attention to what others are saying. It’s a hard habit to break (being scared and reactive rather than proactive and slowing down), but it will be worth it.

Even with our increased tech usage and ever-varying methods of communication, I think this book is more necessary than ever, even for a text written in the 1930s.

That said, there’s a version for “the digital age” out there. I think the original pretty well covers things…but it couldn’t hurt to look if you’re curious.

For those wanting to understand and get along with others, and generate positive relationships, How to Win Friends and Influence People is definitely worth a read, re-read, and a keeping (and passing along). Hugs and happy happy joy joy to all.

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