How to Win Friends & Influence People

3 Dec

It doesn't look as good when you're alone

I found a book lying around my house a couple of years ago & decided to have a go at it (read it, not have a bar brawl with it). My brother made fun of me saying that I’ve finally realized I have no friends. That book was none other than Dale Carnegie‘s How to Win Friends & Influence People, rewritten by Leon Shimkin.

Maybe my brother was right but whatever the case, you can never complain about having too many friends (No, not talking about fake facebook friends).

But why are friends important? What are friends anyway?

‘Friends’ are important because without ‘Friends’, we wouldn’t have known Jennifer Aniston. Friends is a television show that was aired from 1994 to 2004, won numerous awards & was nominated for 63 Primetime Emmy Awards. Probably the best & most repeated sitcom in the world.

Regardless the magnitude of the problem, a cry for help signals someone can’t handle it alone. Help can come in the form of guidance, advice or a physical helping hand. Most importantly, help only comes from those who regard you as significant enough to be cared for. Those who do so, are your true friends.

So the fact of the matter is, you’ll only know who your true friends are during your times in need.

Everyone Is a Friend Until They Prove Otherwise

But why why why? Why should you sit down & wonder, doubt or suspect who your true friends are? How about being the true friend first. Help others in their times of need, if they don’t return the favour, just swallow the nut & move on. If they do, it’s a bonus!

Ask Not What Your Friends Can Do For You But What You Can Do For Them

First of all, you need to know how NOT to treat your friends. Find out by reading my first post. Here’s a few of my tips on how to win friends & influence people, some of which I’ve learnt from the book.


Encouragement means putting someone in a place or condition of courage.

Courage Is Not the Absence of Fear, But the Presence of It Yet the Will To Go On

I’ll not go into all that intrinsic motivation or positive reinforcement yabba jabba. Reality is, nobody wants to feel like crap. Not on a bright sunny day or dark rainy day & definitely not when he or she just made a big blunder & is probably already beating themselves inside.

Before deciding what to say to a friend, colleague or family about an error they’ve made, ask yourself what you want & do not want to hear.

Here’s what you don’t want to hear:

“I can’t believe you’ve made such a simple mistake”

This implies that you’re so unbelievably incompetent that you might’ve come from Planet Stupid.

Here’s what you might want to hear:

“Don’t worry these things happen”

This implies that making mistakes is part & parcel of everyday life so not to worry, you’re still human.

Here’s an encouraging line:

“I know you can do better than this. I’ve seen it before”

This is giving you a reputation to live up to. Yes, you may have made a mistake but I am telling you that you’re capable of doing better, that there’s room for improvement.

Encouragement makes fault seem easy to correct. Help your friends by making them believe it is & showing them that beating themselves up won’t help them one bit.

Be a Listener

Be a genuine listener. Listening illustrates your interests in knowing more about someone. You learn more through listening than talking. The truth is people are a thousand times more interested in themselves than they are in you. Make them feel important, let them do the talking.

Respect Other’s Opinion

Respect their opinion. Your immediate response should never be “I disagree”, “You’re wrong”, a condescending “Nooo” or “NO!” or “Not true”. Nobody likes their bubble to burst right above their heads. Even if you disagree, suggest instead of reject. For example:
“I know where you are coming from, but how about..”
Respond with phrases which includes “how about”, “why not”, “what if”
These suggest that there’s room for discussion & their opinions are not met with a door slammed in their face. Noticed that all these are questions? Questions make things seem less commanding, which brings us to the next point.

Ask Questions Instead of Giving Orders

Nobody likes to be bossed around. Even if you are a boss doesn’t mean you should order people around. You get better quality work done when someone wants to do what you want them to do. Make them feel that the idea belongs to them & they will want to do it on their own accord & with pride.

Instead of saying “Get that done”, “Go sort it out”, “Bring this over there”. Suggest why it needs to be done or why it should be done this way. Help them understand the reason & cause for action. Because they thought of it, they feel credited & will do it with pride. Since the idea belongs to them, they won’t feel like they are being told what to do.

It’s all about making them feel important. It’s all about them & less about you. Create positive vibes by encouraging, listening, respecting, less ordering & appreciating by saying a little “Thank You”.

Keep track of how well you are making your friends feel important by keeping track of the number of times you say “I” & “You”. If you are saying “I” more often than “You”, means you are not focusing on them.

When people feel good around you, they will want to be around you more & your words & actions will influence them. Remember, influence not manipulate & your initiative might spur them to create positive vibes as well.

Read the book to find out more about how to win friends & influence people. It’s still in stores the last time I checked. Till my next post, Thank you for reading & see ya!



4 Responses to “How to Win Friends & Influence People”

  1. GDG December 3, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    Tough love man… Pretty good piece! Keep it up! 🙂

  2. GDG December 3, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    remind me again… Why am I your friend?

    • Baldwin Ng December 3, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

      Because you were there during my times in need.Like when I badly needed Vitasoy


  1. Mind Boggling Blogging « New guy on the blog - December 13, 2010

    […] post, ‘How to insult someone‘ and not a single mock up.   My second post, ‘How to win friends & influence people‘ popped up a day later, followed by ‘Kids Nowadays‘. A week into blogging and […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: