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Journal of No. 118

January 4th, 2013

How to Win Friends & Influence People, by Dale Carnegie @ 02:53 pm


Yes, the hoary classic of self-help books from 1936. Grandpa gave me the book a few years ago, and I finally got around to it. Grandpa inscribed mine, "Fifty four years ago I took the Dale Carnegie Course in San Diego Cal. This book was and still is a part of that course. I have read it many times and have always found it to be a valuable tool for solving daily problems and dealing with people." This, alas(?), is the revised 1981 edition, which eliminates the section of Seven Rules For Making Your Home Life Happier. It also includes some other quotes and examples from the late 1970s that, strangely enough, make the book sound more dated than the examples from the 19th century.
On the whole, it's chock full of good plain common sense of how to deal with people in business settings. I'm not sure that *doing* these things up to 11 will improve your lot in life, but if you happen to be doing the opposite of them, I'm not surprised you're in need of some self-help. One drawback is that many of the illustrations just seem far too good to be true, and they also have the sound of those stories from chain letters...
Mr. E.M. Nesbitt of Poughkeepsie, NY, a general manager for a thriving aluminum bolt concern, found that his secretary's blowjobs had fallen off in quality. After yelling at her for some time, the blowjobs worsened. However, after taking my course, he took the time to compliment her on her hair-ribbon, and the fellatio almost immediately changed from perfunctory to mind-blowing.

Now my example is unfair, but only in being crude. One of the actual examples is something like, "Bob never landed that big account, until that time he went to the client's office and, instead of harping on his product, complimented the wood-panelling. The client agreed, and noted that he sometimes forgot how great his office was, but then waxed rhapsodic about it, pointing out his favorite details for an hour (in something that was only supposed to be a five minute meeting) and at the end, he indicated he would place a gigantic order with Bob." I mean, even supposing the story is true, it at least requires a sign that says "your results may vary". But like I say, there is plenty of good advice in here, and if you're a blundering, unsubtle, jerk with no concept that other people have mental states, you could really learn a lot from it. If you're polishing off those rough edges, working toward some subtlety in interpersonal communication, there are still some good pointers here and there.
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From:Donovan K. Loucks
Date:January 4th, 2013 11:42 pm (UTC)
"If you're a blundering, unsubtle, jerk with no concept that other people have mental states..." This describes 99% of humanity.
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Date:January 4th, 2013 11:59 pm (UTC)
That's why the book is a best-seller.
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Date:January 5th, 2013 12:20 am (UTC)
This book helped me when I was younger. Most importantly, it taught me the "don't correct people when they say something wrong" part.

Y'see, when you correct someone when they say something WRONG JUST FACTUALLY INCORRECT WIKIPEDIA IT YOU ARROGANT WRONG WRONG WRONG they don't suddenly change course and agree with you. They don't thank you and correct themselves. They don't say, "Oh, my bad, I'll check online tonight to see if you're right." They get unhappy. They get resentful. They feel embarrassed. They are resistant. They don't like you more. They feel like you just shamed them. They view you as an underminer.

What this book does is encourage you instead to let it go. Catalogue in your head that they are WRONG WRONG SO WRONG FACTUALLY UNTRUE WRONG, say nothing, and allow this person to show off how intelligent they are to others even if they are wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong just because they are wrong does not mean I should correct them in front of their hot new girlfriend or doting bro friends just because they are WRONG.

You will be less likely to get on someone's bad side that way.

(My application of this wisdom is sporadic at best.)

Edited at 2013-01-05 12:21 am (UTC)
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Date:January 5th, 2013 03:52 am (UTC)
Wow, you got farther than I did. My mom gave this to me as a Xmas present, I think, sometime in my teens. I realized immediately I was not constitutionally able to use any of this advice and discarded it pretty soon after. AND YOU CAN SEE THE RESULTS TODAY.

Journal of No. 118