Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"How to Win Friends and Influence People"

I read Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People when I was a teenager. Apparently it didn't make much of an impression on me at the time, because I remember nothing about it. But then, I was about 16.

Recently I read cause to read it again, and it a made a whole of sense. No wonder it was a best-seller.

Amazing what Carnegie, who was from a small farming town in northeast Missouri, figured out. On one thing, he realized that the first defense of people is to blame their problems on other people. To scapegoat them, although he never uses the term.

When a person does that, they can never take the other person's side of the story (the Manosphere, in its complete delusions, refers to these narcissists as "Dark Triad psychopaths" and "alphas." In reality they're buffoons who only get things right by accident).

When you stop blaming all of your problems on other people, the you can treat the person with respect, consideration (which is to understand their side of the story) and appreciation (he even uses William James's observation that to be appreciated is the greatest desire of people).

That, in a nutshell, is what he recommends. Strangely I had figured these things out myself, so it's too bad Carnegie didn't make more of an impression on me when I was a teenager.

I've had some terrible bosses in my life, and almost all of them got fired. They never saw it coming, of course. They thought they were going a great job, and of course it was someone else's fault they got in trouble. And the ones who didn't get fired were protected by their bosses - who were incompetent themselves (first-raters hire first-raters; second-raters hire third-raters, and those third-raters hire fourth -raters).

I've seen the same thing when it comes to teachers. I've known some terrible ones, who were protected by their bosses, and who had no idea of how to treat the kids.

I've mentioned before I was raised in a criminal town and know a lot of people who've been in prison. Very few of them were truly bad guys, just impulsive and not that bright. I've always treated them with respect and consideration and have never had a problem with any of them.

None of these things were taught to me in school, by my parents, in church, or at work. If I had been aware enough, I could have learned it from a man who went to a nowhere teacher's college in northwestern Missouri. - and ended up being world-famous and wealthy because he had figured out something no one else had, even though it was staring them in the face.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The problem with Dale Carnegie's book is that it operates on the assumption that the majority of people you encounter in life are inherently good and that corruption is a rare occurrence in society. Maybe his line of thinking worked in a time when communities were racially homogenous, but not now. What self respecting white man wants to go make friends with non whites who will most assuredly stab him in the back the first chance they get?

Anonymous said...

Totally and completely spot on, Anon. Very much my experience in tech.

Bob Wallace said...

I've worked with many black people and it works on them, too. Especially them, since they are ultimately insecure no matter what kind of bluster they project.

Everyone wants respect and appreciation.

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Shaun F said...

For generally honest people Mr. Carnegie's practices should come fairly easily.

However, I will note that fake people that apply these principles to move forward their own agenda can lead to a lot of problems as they're just using behavior to manipulate people. Mind you, to honest people, this is inevitably revealed over time and their incompetence becomes evident.