Summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People

summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People summary

Today’s article is a summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People, a revolutionary book by Dale Carnegie. How to Win Friends and Influence People is considered the ultimate self-help book, With over 15 million copies already sold. From renowned investor Warren Buffett to Lee Iacocca, many celebrities point to its techniques or principles as one of the secrets to their success.

Moreover, its examples and anecdotes make Carnegie’s advice so specific that you can easily apply it in your own life. Completely transform how you interact with people – and the outcome of those interactions – with these hugely influential techniques.

About The Author

Dale Carnegie (1888-1955) was an American speaker and communication and motivation consultant. He taught public speaking classes in New York City until he realized that his students really needed advice on interacting with others. When he realized that no such book had been written, he wrote one for his lessons. The rest is history.

Who Should Read How to Win Friends and Influence People?

  • Salespeople, managers, parents, teachers – anyone who interacts with people
  • Those who always want to make an excellent first impression
  • Anyone who worries about not being likeable enough

What’s In It For Me, And Why Is It Important?

How to Win Friends and Influence People will teach you countless principles to become a likeable person, shape your relationships well, win others, and help them change their behavior without being intrusive.

And above all: become a master at handling other people.


Do you sometimes have a hard time making friends? Or do you argue with others and can’t win them the way you think? Think that your relationships with others, colleagues, and clients can be improved.

Well, look no further – the definitive guide to overcoming these distresses is here!

These book chapters contain some of the key practices featured in Dale Carnegie’s classic self-help book, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

These basic, hands-on methods will make you a more likable, persuasive, influential person, professional, and leader. So, what are you waiting for? Read on to discover the secrets that have helped millions of people worldwide.

Let’s dive in! 


Don’t Criticize People When You Want Others To Like You.

Famous airplane test pilot Bob Hoover was returning to San Diego for an air show when both engines suddenly failed. With an extraordinary flight, he was able to land the plane safely and save the people on board. But unfortunately, the aircraft was severely damaged.

The cause of the disturbing engine failure was that the WWII propeller plane was inadvertently refueled with kerosene.

There at the airport, Hoover encountered the mechanic who had accidentally done this. The young man cried and understood how angry Hoover must be at the loss of his expensive plane and the danger to the three people on board.

So, did Hoover yelled at him? Punish him? criticize it?

He did not. By the way, to show his confidence in the mechanic who had learned his lesson, Hoover said he wanted the exact mechanic to service his plane the next day.

Perhaps the reason for Hoover’s kindness was that he understood something psychologist BF Skinner found long ago that animals who are rewarded for good deeds learn much better than those who are punished for bad actions.

The same goes for humans: criticizing them will not change their actions because they are not primarily guided by reason but by emotions. Therefore, the person you criticize will not really care what you say. Instead, they will only feel like attacking them, and their natural response will be to dig in and defend themselves.

While criticism can let you blow off steam, it will only make other people like you less in the long run.

A lot of successful people have made it a routine never to criticize others in public. Benjamin Franklin, for example, asserted that the key to his success was “to speak ill of no one.”

Abraham Lincoln taught that too. He publicly criticized his rivals until one day, his criticism really offended someone for being challenged to a saber duel! The game was only abandoned at the last minute, and then he stopped criticizing others publicly. During the Civil War, he is known to say to those who spoke horribly about the South: “Don’t criticize them; they are exactly what we would be in exactly the same situations.

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It’s easy to criticize someone; However, it takes character to understand and forgive others for their mistakes and failures.

So, if you want others to like you, think about why they did what they did, accept their mistakes, and never criticise them in public.


If You Want Favors From Others, Regularly Show Your Appreciation And Make Them Feel Important.

One of the powerful drivers of human action is the desire to be valued by others; we all like to be appreciated and tell each other that we are doing a good job.

Few even claim that all of the civilization ultimately depends on the human desire to be important. Yet, our desire for recognition and compliments enables us to reach the highest mountains, write novels, and start multi-million-dollar businesses.

No one is immune to this need for significance and appreciation. Imagine that even George Washington had a fondness for the title “His Mightiness, President of the United States”.

But you don’t have to give someone a fancy title to show your appreciation. Instead, you can use simple words like “thank you” and “I’m sorry” while praising sincerity and honesty.

Do not give people pretentious praise because they might sense it is fake. Better to take a break for a while and focus on the good things about the person in front of you.

Make the other person feel significant. To get the right frame of mind, try to think like Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said that everyone he meets is somehow superior to him; So, there was usually something to learn from others and enjoy. Or think about the golden rule: treat people the way you want them to treat you.

So, the next time you meet an exhausted, bored, and underrated service person somewhere, try to make their day enjoyable with a bit of appreciation. The example, the author, was once trying to cheer up a bored mailman, so he said, “I wish I had your hair.”

The postman’s face immediately lit up at this unexpected compliment, and they had a pleasant conversation.

Leave little or light sparks of appreciation like this in your way, and you’ll be shocked at how positively people behave when their desire for recognition is satisfied. You will instantly become someone people love to work with. Most importantly, you will have a positive impact on the lives of the people around you.


Smile When You Want To Make A Good First Impression.

William B. Steinhardt, a New York stockbroker, once decided to try something new on the author’s advice. Steinhardt was a notoriously creepy person who barely smiled, either privately or professionally. So, Steinhardt dedicated to just smiling more by having a pep talk with himself in the mirror the morning his experiment started.

He started the day by greeting his wife with a smile, smiling at the doorman at his house, the cashier at the metro station, the traders on the trading floor, and his co-workers.

The result?

People started to smile too.  Steinhardt declared that there had been more happiness at home during the first two months than in the previous year. He also found that complaints and grievances in his workplace were very easy to deal with, which earned him a higher salary than before. In short, he was a richer and happier man.

As this example shows, a smile can go a long way.

When someone we just met smiles at us, we tend to like them immediately. A child’s smile, for example, makes us instantly warm and cosy as we watch a dog happily wag its tail to see us.

So, if you want to be nice to someone immediately, show them you’re happy to see them by smiling at them. Then, when they find out that you are so glad to meet them, they can’t help but be happy.

And as if that wasn’t really a big plus, psychologists have also discovered a positive side effect of smiling: it seems that the connection between positive emotions and smiling is not one-sided; Smiling intentionally can evoke positive emotions, just as positive emotions can make you smile.

This means that while a smile doesn’t cost a thing, you can lift your spirits and lift the spirits of others. What a bargain!

But if you want to smile more but don’t feel like it, try forcing yourself: to whistle, sing or hum a song! Behave as if you are cheerful already, and you will immediately see how you become happier.


A Person’s Name Is The Sweetest Sound They Know.

Jim Farley lost his father at the age of ten. As the oldest of the family, he worked in a brickyard to pay the bills. Although he never received much education, he was a 46-year-old postmaster and chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

So, what was the secret to his success?

Farley understood early on that people care more about their own name than any other name in the combined world. Remembering and calling someone’s name was a subtle but great way to win them over, and Farley was seriously adept at it. For example, when asked by the author if it was true that he remembered the first names of 10,000 people, Jim Farley corrected him by saying that he could call 50,000 people by their first names!

Likewise, Theodore Roosevelt was popular with all of his collaborators because he used to greet them all by name. He also consciously took the time to listen to them, trying to remember what had been said so that he could get back to it. In doing so, he showed his appreciation to others and received much more in return.

So, to take advantage of a person, you need to memorize their name and use it often in conversations.


Napoleon III, Emperor of France, was proud that the following method allowed him to remember the names of everyone he met:

Make sure to catch the name the first time it appears in a conversation and request that it be repeated or even spelled out if necessary. Then repeat it a few times to associate it with the person you are talking to. Finally, when you are alone, write it down to help strengthen your memory.

And you don’t have to stop memorizing the other person’s name. The author has acquired the habit of knowing the birthdays of the people he has met so that he could just send them a letter or a telegram. You can imagine how appreciated the recipient must have felt, especially when the author was often the only one to remember!


If You Want To Be Interesting Yourself, Listen Carefully And Be Interested In Others.

The author once attended a dinner in New York where he met a botanist. The author, who had never met him before, listened to him for hours, fascinated by the descriptions of exotic plants and the experiments. The botanist later remarked to the host what an “interesting conversationalist” the author was.

But the point is that the author hardly said anything. He was just a good, interested listener.

So, it turns out that the secret to being interesting in yourself is just to be interested in others.

We all love good listeners, especially when they encourage us to talk about ourselves.

But why is it like this?

The New York Telephone Company researched the most commonly used words in telephone conversations. Can you guess which word was at the top of the list?


People are always interested in talking about themselves, so we’re always happy to meet someone who shares that interest.

So, if you want to be likable and more interesting, stop talking and just listen. Ask people about themselves and encourage them to talk at length.

Most people are so concerned with what they want to say that they barely listen to the other person during a conversation.

Listening honestly means making a conscious effort to give the other person your full attention. And the benefits of this approach are considerable.

Sigmund Freud, for example, was known for his listening skills. He excelled at showing others how interesting everything they said was; in return, they were comfortable sharing even their most personal feelings and experiences with him.

On the contrary, if you talk about yourself a lot, don’t listen to others, and keep interrupting them, you will instantly become obnoxious, as these traits suggest that you are self-centred.

So, try to listen. Ask questions concerning the other person’s accomplishments and themselves so they can talk about something they love, and you’ll be surprised how deeply you can make contact. 


Think About What Others Want And Talk About What Is Important To Them.

Do you like strawberries? Probably.

But if you were fishing, would it be used to bait your hook?

Of course not, because when it comes to fishing, it doesn’t matter what you want. This is what the fish want.

If you desire someone to do something, it is also best to think about it from their perspective – how can you get them to want to do it?

For example, the author had already booked a hotel ballroom to give a series of 20 lectures when they suddenly told him that the hall price would triple.

Knowing he had to figure out what hotel management wanted, he wrote a letter outlining the pros and cons of a price increase. For example, he claimed that by increasing the price, they would free up the ballroom for other events because the author could not pay the rent, but on the other hand, they would lose the free publicity that they would have won thanks to the author’s lectures.

As a result, the hotel reconsidered the price and only increased the price by 50 per cent.

Another important tip for getting the most out of someone is to educate yourself and talk about important things.

In this story, a man named Edward L. Chalif needed a favor. A big boy scout jamboree was arriving in Europe, and he wanted the president of one of America’s biggest companies to pay the cost of a participant.

Prior to the meeting, Chalif had heard that the company’s CEO had a framed check for $1 million and was very proud of it. Girded with this knowledge, he met the man, but instead of starting the request, Chalif asked about the check: was it true? Would he be able to see it? He would like to let the boys scouts know that he saw an actual check for a million dollars!

The board chairman was happy to obey and tell the story of the check.

When Chalif explained the point of the meeting, the man immediately agreed to pay not one but five scouts and come to Paris himself to show the group in person.

As you can see, people like people who talk about things that interest them, like their job, their hobbies, or millions of checks.

As another example, consider Theodore Roosevelt. Whenever he met a new person, he prepared thoroughly by reading all about the other’s interests. He understood that the way to someone’s grace is to talk about the things they cherish the most.

And if you are unsure of the other person’s interests, remember that there is one topic that everyone is interested in: themselves. As Benjamin Disraeli said, “Tell people about themselves, and they will listen to you for hours.”


Avoid All Arguments – They Cannot Be Won.

A man named Patrick J O’Haire has previously attended the author’s course. He was a salesperson at White Motor Trucks and was very argumentative. However, he enjoyed a good fight. When a customer said something offensive about his trucks, O’Haire quickly engaged in an aggressive battle, which he usually won to his satisfaction. But the problem was, despite these “victories,” customers weren’t actually buying his trucks.

You see, arguing with another person doesn’t really make sense. If you lose, you lose the argument. If you win, the other person will be ashamed that you hurt their pride and you haven’t really won them over.

And in nine out of ten events, the argument will only anchor the other more firmly than before in their point of view.

Hence, the only solution is to avoid such disputes from the start.

So, the next time you encounter resistance to your ideas, don’t start arguing to support your point; but instead, try to accept the disagreement as something positive that opens up a new perspective for you. Because if two people always agree on everything, one is superfluous.

Also, make sure you don’t trust the first reaction you think of, as this is usually a knee-jerk defence reaction. And whatever you do, control your mood!

Listen to what your opponent has to say without resistance or protest and promise to examine their thoughts carefully. Then, try to find points that you agree on and reflect on those points while openly acknowledging that you have made mistakes. This will help reduce your opponent’s defence.

Then thank your opponent. After all, you might as well see them as a friend who is passionate about the subject and wants to help you come to the right conclusion.

Finally, offer to meet again later so that both parties can think about it in the meantime. Through this break, ask yourself if your opponent is right and if your reaction is really producing the desired results.

If you keep these valuable points in mind, you can avoid unnecessary arguments.

Even Patrick J O’Haire learned to avoid arguments, and the next time a customer told him he preferred a different make of truck, O’Haire simply agreed. Unsurprisingly, this made it difficult for the customer to argue, so the conversation was redirected to the right thing about white trucks. As a result, O’Haire became the featured salesperson for The White Truck Company.


Never Tell Others That They Are Wrong; They Will Only Blame You.

When Benjamin Franklin was at a young age, he was known to be opinionated and prone to attacking those who disagreed with him. One day an old friend of his took him aside to tell him why his friends had left him.

Despite his recklessness at that age, Franklin was wise enough to listen and made a habit of never opposing others. He even decided to altogether remove certain words like “certainly” and “undoubtedly” from his array of vocabulary because he felt they were so rigid and reflected an authoritarian state of mind. Instead, he used phrases such as “I conceive” or “I imagine.”

See, when you tell someone they’re wrong, you’re actually saying, “I’m smarter than you.

It’s a direct attack on their self-esteem, and they’ll want revenge for clearly respecting their opinions.

So, if you want to express your opposition to someone’s opinion, take a page from Ben Franklin’s book and avoid absolute terms like “It’s clear that…” or “Obviously, the case is….” These telegraph the message “I’m smarter than you,” and even if you think you are smarter, never show this openly.

If you want the other person to reconsider their opinion, being humble and open is much more effective. For example, you could say, “I thought differently, but maybe I’m wrong. I’ve been wrong several times, so let’s look at the facts together. ”

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When you phrase your objection this way, the other person is much less likely to resist or tease you before you give yourself a chance to speak your mind. Hopefully, careful handling of opponents will quickly turn into allies, allowing you to change their minds.

Think about the story of how the author hired an interior designer to design curtains for his house. After that, he was shocked at the bill, and when he mentioned the price to a friend, she exclaimed that he was clearly overcharged. Offended, the author defended his approach and said the high price was an indicator of quality.

But when another friend stepped forward and praised the same curtains, the author was able to admit that he actually felt like he overpaid and regretted the purchase.

This positive approach disarmed him so that he could freely admit his mistake.


Anytime You’re Wrong, Admit It Right Away.

The author once took his dog, Rex, for a walk in a nearby forest. Rex liked to roam freely and therefore did not have a muzzle or leash. Unfortunately, they ran into a policeman who strictly explained to the author that it was illegal, but he let them go with a warning this time.

The author obeyed, but Rex didn’t like the muzzle, so they soon reverted to their old ways. But unfortunately, at that time, the same officer arrested them again.

This time, before the officer opened his mouth, the author himself expressed how very, very sorry he was and how unacceptable his wrongdoing was.

Usually, the police would have been furious and fined him. Still, thanks to this blunt admission of guilt, he did the opposite: the police started to pretend the dog hadn’t really hurt anyone, agreed to Carnegie’s apologies, and happily let them continue on their merry way.

The truth is, we all make mistakes. And if you do and someone wants to scold you for it, there’s an easy way to steal their thunder: admit your mistake.

It helps because the other person no doubt intended to increase their self-esteem by blaming you for your mistake, but the moment you admit your guilt, the situation changes completely. In order for them to feel important, they can no longer attack you, but they must be generous in forgiving you. This is exactly what the police made so nimble using the example of Rex in the forest.

So, the next time you you’re wrong, be sure to admit it enthusiastically. This will produce better results, and you will find it’s actually a lot more fun than having to defend yourself when the other person points out your mistake.


To Persuade, Start In A Friendly Manner And Get Others To Say “Yes” As Often As Possible.

In 1915, John D. Rockefeller Jr. became one of Colorado’s most hated men. Miners at the (CF&I) Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, controlled by Rockefeller, have been on strike for more than two years for higher wages. The consequences were tragic: troops were deployed, and strikers were shot.

So when Rockefeller had to address the striking representatives, he must not have known how to win over the people who wanted to see him hanged days earlier.

He chose a simple technique: friendliness – his speech shone. He stressed how proud and happy he was to meet them and that it was an important moment in his life. He said of them as dear friends with whom he shared many interests.

The result?

The miners returned to work without saying a word about the wage increases for which they had fought so fiercely.

This example shows that friendliness can change minds more effectively than yelling and anger. So, no matter what you are trying to accomplish, make sure you start off nice.

Another important persuasion strategy is getting people to say “yes” early on.

Start by marking the points on which you agree with the other person and ask questions that will often lead them to say “yes.” Think of it like speeding up a billiard ball – it will be hard for you to change course after all that “yeses.”

On the contrary, you have to prevent the other person from saying “no” because they will be very reluctant to ignore this statement once it arrives.

And for those who sell, more “yeses” can lead to more sales.

Take a look at the story of Eddie Snow, who sponsored some of the author’s classes. Mr. Snow wanted to rent a bow from a hunting shop, but the clerk told him that was impossible. But then the clerk started getting a little ‘yeses.’

Clerk: “Have you ever rented a bow?”

Mr Snow: “Yes.”

Clerk: “You probably paid around $25-30?”

Mr Snow: “Yes.”

Clerk: We have the sets of bows for $34.95, so you can buy a set for only $4.95 more than a single rental, which is why we no longer rent it. Is it reasonable”

Mr Snow: “Yes.”

Mr Snow purchased the bow and became a regular customer of the company in question.

So, the next time you want to tell someone they’re wrong, start nicely and ask a friendly question that will make them say “yes.”


To Change Others, Start With Praise And Keep Giving Them More.

When William McKinley contested for president in 1896, a speechwriter was preparing a campaign speech for him that McKinley knew would attract much criticism. The problem was, the writer clearly thought the speech was fantastic.

So, McKinley wanted it to be rewritten, but he didn’t want to hurt the man’s feelings or enthusiasm.

Rather than start with a rejection, McKinley began with praise, stating that the speech was magnificent and perfect for many occasions. But this very occasion called for a different kind of speech.

The speechwriter’s enthusiasm was not diminished by this soft start, but he nevertheless returned home and rewrote the speech based on McKinley’s suggestion.

This story teaches an important lesson: just like a barber soaps a man’s face before shaving to make the procedure more comfortable, it is easier for us to hear nasty things after receiving praise. Keep this in mind if you want someone to change something.

We must not stop at the first praise either. Instead, encourage and praise the other for every slight improvement they make. It motivates them and allows them to make the change you want quickly.

Think of the story of Keith Roper, who ran a printing house. One day he saw a material of exceptional quality made by a new employee. But, unfortunately, the new employee in question seemed to have had a bad attitude so far, and Roper had even considered terminating his employment.

But now Roper could speak honestly to the employee. He not only said the job was ‘good,’ but he explained why he was superior and what that meant for the company. These types of details make praise feel more sincere.

The result?

The young man’s attitude has completely changed into that of a dedicated and trustworthy worker.

As you can see, people’s skills fade under criticism but thrive under encouragement. So the next time you want to change someone’s behavior, be generous with your compliments.


When Drawing Attention To Mistakes, Do So Indirectly By First Talking About Your Own Mistakes.

One fateful morning, Charles Schwab was walking through one of his steelworks when he saw a group of workers smoking under a “No smoking” sign.

Instead of directly confronting the men with this crime, he gave everyone a cigar and said he would appreciate it if they could smoke them outside. Because he so tactfully pointed out their mistakes instead of criticizing them, the men probably had a great degree of admiration and affection for Schwab.

Schwab knew that paying attention to mistakes indirectly increases the likelihood of people changing their behavior.

Even subtle changes in what you say can be enough to do this. So, the next time you plan to start with praise, then say “… but …” and move on to criticism, think about how you can soften the criticism with an “and.”

Instead of telling your child, “Your grades look good, but your algebra is still lagging,” say, “Your grades look good, and if you keep working on your algebra, it will catch up quickly! ”

In addition to this indirect approach, you will find that people are more receptive when you start talking about your own mistakes.

For example, when Clarence Zerhusen found out his 15-year-old son David was smoking, he didn’t ask the boy to stop. Instead, Zerhusen recounted how he started smoking early and became so addicted to nicotine that it was nearly impossible to quit despite his annoying and persistent cough. The result of the first description of his own mistake was that David changed his mind and never started smoking.

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The main message of this book is:

To make yourself likeable, smile, listen and remember the names of others. People crave appreciation, so shower them with it and talk about what is important to them. Avoid arguments and never criticize others as this will not help you get your will. If you want someone to change, be extravagant and generous with your compliments, and encourage them every step of the way. Openly admit your own mistakes and pay attention to the mistakes of others only indirectly.

We’re just scratching the surface here. If you don’t already have the original book, “How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie,” order it here now on Amazon to learn the juicy details.

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