Book review: How to Win Friends and Influence People

Just recently I had the opportunity to finish Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Like many other people, there’s a fat chance that you’ve heard about this book at least once. Previously I tried to borrow this one from KAIST’s library, but because it was on loan at the time I decided to just buy one instead. Which turns out to be the right decision. Reading this book will involve a lot of scribbling on the pages, contemplating about its practical applications, and you will probably re-read it again later.

What it is –  this book stands on one simple idea: that your success depends heavily upon your relationship with other individuals. So it is only natural that you want to improve how you handle your interaction with other people. As the title suggests, this book offers tips on how to become friends with other people and try to influence them to get what you want.

Why it is good – When I picked up this book, I was actually prepared for some silly so-called magical foolproof tricks that Indonesian self-help books offer. Turns out that this is not the case. What this book offers is a very practical way of approaching and appealing to other individual. Most of the methods outlined in this book base themselves on attempting to understand human psychology and to sympathize as much as possible with the other person’s point of view. Oh and this book also underline the importance of sincerity in order to have meaningful human interactions, instead of just throwing random empty compliments. Chalk up another score for this book.

This book is composed of smaller chapters, each giving one main point on how to succesfully interact with other individuals. But if I have to summarize the most important lesson from this book, then it is that 1) humans are creature controlled not by logic but by pride and vanity, and 2) you should plan each interaction trying to understand what is it that the other party wants, and how you can align it with your need.

Overall, a must read.

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