How to kill friends and calibrate people

Feb 08, 2021

[This article was translated by Google]

Table of Contents


Just to clarify, this title is due to the jokes I kept making with my friends not to say “How to make friends and influence people”. It took me a while to read this book, because I lost my reading habit and was stuck in other things, but it was a very calm and smooth read. There are many cases that Dale Carnegie (author) cites as an example for each lesson, so in the end it gets kind of boring and too specific. Let’s say that he was able to absorb the book very well until he reached part 4, when it started to get repetitive and very specific.

It’s a good book for anyone. It shows how you can improve your life, using simple socializing attitudes that no one thinks about, and it’s a little weird too, so while simple, it’s not easy.

I wanted to summarize here the main points of the book, I do not intend to exemplify or extend myself.

The best way to convince a person is to give them what they want. It is necessary to awaken a burning desire.

About that, he says that whenever you need something with someone, you need to give her what she wants first. You need to show, in a negotiation, what she will gain from it, awaken her willingness to say yes, even before proposing something. How to do this? Show her the benefits before starting the negotiation part.

The best skill is understanding

He cites several famous people who adhered to social customs and had successful examples. Among them, Abraham Lincoln, and his precept of “Do not judge if you do not want to be judged.”. After some experience, Lincoln understood that you shouldn’t criticize people, because you would be just like them under the same circumstances. I don’t know when exactly I realized this. That you can’t just blame someone for doing something and try to show that person why they do shit. It took me a while to realize that each experience in a person’s life is a determining factor in their personality and attitudes. This means that social situations are vastly more complex and that repairs in a degenerate society are even more difficult. It is much easier a society with little bad attitudes over the years than a society with few good attitudes… Stopping the trip a bit, the lesson of this part is “Don’t criticize, don’t condemn, don’t complain.”

The feeling that drives people to action is the desire to be important.

This was something I had never noticed. The most satisfying feeling for people is the feeling of importance. For people who know what FOMO is, it will be easy to understand. Dale explains that the main motivating factor for people is when they realize they matter. In plainer words, when they receive attention.

Think of the royalty we see in movies, the superhero villains and kids. Why would a king insist on reverence / etiquette behaviors when he is the most powerful being in that place? Why do people adopt pets that have no use, other than needing care, affection and protection? Have you ever noticed what a child does when he wants attention (or a teenager)? Simply because these people like to feel important to someone, to something.

“If some people need the feeling of importance so much that they go crazy for it, imagine the good we can do for them by giving them honest acknowledgment”

“Nothing is more effective in annihilating people’s ambitions than criticism from their superiors”

To use this to our advantage, Dale recommends that we give sincere and honest praise. Along with the ability to understand, giving a sincere compliment, showing respect, showing curiosity, are all factors that will benefit you in society.

“Action and feeling go together” – so there is nothing wrong with forcing attitudes

I felt this very strongly in me, as I’m a guy who doesn’t really like “unnatural” things. Turns out, I believed that by forcing things, be it a relationship, an attitude, some fight, I don’t know, things only get worse (I was, I don’t know, about 14 years old? I couldn’t formulate things right). And so, until recently I believed that the mere fact of you starting to do something that wasn’t the result of a series of occasions in your life was forced. Yes, it may sound a bit retarded, but in the end, Dale explains that the action goes hand in hand with the feeling.

It means that you will not cause changes in your attitudes overnight. People usually tend to notice other people’s manners and say “Oh, so-and-so is like that, cycrano is like that”. These personalities, most of them are natural, right? They’re from people who’ve always been like that, right? So probably, but that doesn’t mean you can’t decide what your personality is. If you force yourself, little by little, with small acts (which, of course, will be boring at first), you can change your personality from time to time too. I believed this was wrong, it was forcing a personality. But damn, if that’s the case, fuck it, because if my natural self is unbearable, I’ll be like this forever. So no, you can be the nice guy, the bad boy guy, the cute girl, the tantrum girl, the respectful guy, whatever, you can be whatever “type” you want. But your habits don’t change on their own, you have to force it on yourself, until it becomes natural. Yeah, it’s a bit of a breeze.

“Good manners are made up of small sacrifices”

People’s names are important

This I had never noticed either. But after I noticed, I realized that people in the media / marketing always use this feature. Use people’s names. Dale says that people consider their name to be the most pleasant and most important sound. And thinking about it, I get a little happy when I hear someone calling me, either by “Freitas” in my work, or “Passoca” with my friends (few people call me Rafael).

After reading this I tried to apply it, then I realized that I always said good morning to people, but never mentioned their name. Then, when I left the gym training, I asked the name of the lady at the reception (Hail, Daisy) and she started smiling right away. Since then, I always say good morning, Daisy. I did the same thing at work and it is much friendlier, the environment.

In the book he quotes a guy who got to memorize about 10 thousand names, and to memorize he always repeated the person’s name (when he knew) about 10 times and tried to assimilate the name to the face and objects that reminded him of the person. A certain Jim Farley, a friend of Roosevelt’s. Ford Director.

Talk about topics that interest others (get to know them first)

This isn’t very practical in everyday situations, but if you have a chance to get to know people before you have a first contact with them, look for topics that interest them. You can do this in several ways, but nowadays the main one is the internet, or rather, Instagram.

Hate never ends with more hate, only with more love

Buddha phrase. Carnegie uses this to show that the best way to win an argument is not to argue. If you need something from someone, convince that person without needing an argument, without going on the attack. As I see it, there are two types of arguments. One is when both people want to argue, know how to do it, and are looking for the same thing: to get the best possible conclusion. The other is everyday situations where people disagree and want to do what they want, regardless of whether it’s the best option or not. In this second situation, I believe Dale is right and you shouldn’t choose to argue. It is better to listen to the person, understand their point and help them than to remain dissatisfied with the situation and argue for nothing.

If you’re wrong, admit it.

Well, the best example I can give about this is in lolzinho. Yes, I play lol, you can judge. And whenever I play with my friends, and I get insulted, I try to defend myself and explain that it couldn’t be any other way. They’re not okay with cursing me, of course, but I’m not okay with not admitting my mistakes either. Dale says, “It’s better to get criticism from yourself than from other people.”

This also happens a lot in discussions with my friends. But I’ve gotten used to saying “Hm, really” and “I’m talking shit now”. I realized that after a certain point in the discussion, you get to where you’ve never been before but you still disagree, so you try to argue without having thought beforehand.

Get People to Say Yes (Socratic Method)

Here he mentions a Socratic method that has been proven by you, you know, science guys, which boils down to looking for “sims” in conversation. This is because a “no” is a psychological barrier (according to Professor Overstreet in Influencing Human Behavior). And the “yes” provokes the opposite of that. It’s a bit logical, I think it works, but it’s already a more difficult level to enjoy.

Let the person feel like it’s their idea, for cooperation

You must have been pissed off or felt wronged when someone does the same thing as you and gets more attention, right? Or when someone practically steals an idea from you and has more merit. So, the tip he leaves is for you to support these people, not reject them. Because these people practically put you on a pedestal of trust.

Empathy, trying to put yourself in someone else’s shoes

From that, it’s simple, understanding how the person feels is essential to knowing how to deal with it. Putting yourself in her shoes will help you, most of the time, to know what not to do and how to make her better.

Appeal to noble motives

So, in this part he says that when you need to show someone that something is wrong and the like, the best way is to make the person realize it for himself, and make him avoid doing it because he knows it’s wrong. Summing up? Almost a “beneficial” emotional blackmail.

Launch a challenge, competitiveness

Remember that people like to be important? so when they do something “impressive”, they feel important. And what’s more impressive than proving yourself better, isn’t it? Dale says if you want someone to do something, try to challenge them in some way. In the book, he cites examples of bosses who put employees in competition with each other to increase the company’s overall performance. When someone wants to impress, she does her best, so teasing is a good choice.

Point out people’s mistake indirectly. Use “and” instead of “but”

Here Dale refers to the fact that the more you point out the person’s mistake, the harder it will be to relate to them. He shows that it’s better to show what she does right, and that she could do better, instead of “you do x, but you don’t do y” use “you do x very well, and if you did y it would be wonderful, don’t you think? ”.

Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing

He also shows that it makes a difference when those who criticize first show humility. “It’s less difficult to listen to a list of your mistakes when the person who criticizes starts, with humility, admitting that he too is far from perfect.”

Ask questions instead of direct orders

Nobody likes to be ordered around, right? When necessary, instead of using the imperative, question and try to get the person to arrive in order on their own. “Don’t you think this way is better? Have you ever thought about it? What if we did that instead? But what about that?”. Try to make the person “obey” you without realizing it.

Preserve the dignity of the other, have respect, avoid embarrassment

Never, ever seek to humiliate people to teach them something. For me, this doesn’t even make much sense, since I see humiliation as something that comes from the victim, and not from the aggressor itself. But going back to the book, it is extremely important to preserve people’s dignity. This also goes back to one of the first lessons of the book, which is recognition, understanding. Be respectful, don’t put yourself above people (as much as you may be) and understand that you also make mistakes, unforeseen things happen and so on.

Show recognition and provide the success of the other

Another lesson in recognition, where the feeling of importance makes a difference. Dale says, “Praise every progress, even the smallest one. Be warm in showing recognition and lavish in praise.” The other person’s success is your success. There is no doubt that by participating in someone’s success, you will be of high value to that person and that makes you a better leader.

Make the mistake look easy

Finally, Dale recommends that we simplify the problem when dealing with people. The simpler the problem seems, the smaller it is, and the easier it is to fix. This reminds me of something about philosophy I learned in school, I think some method of epistemology in which you divide a problem into several and solve one at a time. Something complicated, most of the time, is a bunch of simple things.

A programmer friend of mine even said that when you have a logical problem in your application, one of the best ways to find the solution is to try to explain the problem to a duck. That way, you need to simplify the defect as much as possible and, as you recap it bit by bit, your brain will analyze it better and come up with an answer.

Woof, I think that was it.

I spent what, like 3 days writing? I hadn’t written in a while, I really needed to go back. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the last lessons are practically derived from the first ones. If you’re going to follow the book, a tip, it’s easier to apply things with people less close to you. It’s very difficult to be different with the people you already talk to every day, so it’s easier to change little by little. Anyway, it’s a good read, I’ll send it to my mom. Thanks for reading this far :)

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