How To Win Friends And Influence People

by Dale Carnegie

Troy Shu
Troy Shu
Updated at: February 23, 2024
 6 min read
How To Win Friends And Influence People
How To Win Friends And Influence People

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What are the big ideas?

  1. People hardly ever criticize themselves; it's better to try to understand others than to criticize them.
  2. Being kind and showing you care about others' feelings helps make better relationships.
  3. To get along well with others, try to see things how they see them, not just your way.
  4. When you disagree with someone, listen more, stay calm, and find things you agree on.
  5. Good leaders talk nicely, admit when they're wrong, and focus on what everyone agrees on.


The Impact of Criticism and the Power of Understanding Others

  • Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, people don’t criticize themselves for anything, no matter how wrong it may be.
  • Criticism is futile because it puts us on the defensive and usually makes us strive to justify ourselves. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds our pride, hurts our sense of importance, and arouses resentment.
  • Don’t criticize others; they are just what we would be under similar circumstances.
  • “Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your own doorstep is unclean.”—Confucius
  • Rather than condemn others, try to understand them. Try to figure out why they do what they do.

Fostering Positive Interactions and Relationships

  • We’re not logical; we’re emotional, motivated by pride and vanity.
  • “I will speak ill of no man and speak all the good I know of everybody.”—Benjamin Franklin
  • “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people. The greatest asset I possess and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.”—Charles Schwab
  • Before trying to persuade someone to do something, ask yourself, “How can I make this person want to do it?”

Achieving Success Through Empathy and Understanding

  • “If there is any one secret of success it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”—Henry Ford
  • “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
  • “It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.”
  • Encourage others to talk about themselves.

Strategies for Resolving Disagreements and Conflicts

  • “If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve a victory sometimes; but it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponent’s good will.”
  • How to keep a disagreement from becoming an argument: Welcome the disagreement, Distrust your first instinctive impression, Control your temper, Listen first, Look for areas of agreement, Be honest, Promise to think over your opponents’ ideas and study them carefully, Thank your opponents sincerely for their interest, Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem.
  • “There’s magic, positive magic, in such phrases as: ‘I may be wrong. I frequently am. Let’s examine the facts.’”

Principles of Effective Leadership and Influence

  • “Don’t argue with your customer or your spouse or your adversary. Don’t tell them they are wrong. Don’t get them stirred up. Use a little diplomacy.”
  • When you’re right, try to win people gently and tactfully to your way of thinking. When you’re wrong, admit your mistakes quickly and with enthusiasm.
  • “In talking with people, don’t begin by discussing the things on which you differ. Begin by emphasizing—and keep on emphasizing—the things on which you agree.”
  • “If, as a result of reading this book, you get only one thing—an increased tendency to think always in terms of the other person’s point of view, and see things from that person’s angle as well as your own—if you get only that one thing from this book, it may easily prove to be one of the stepping—stones of your career.”

Part 1: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

  1. Principle 1: Don’t criticize, condemn or complain
  2. Principle 2: Give honest and sincere appreciation
  3. Principle 3: Arouse in the other person an eager want

Part 2: Six Ways to Make People Like You

  1. Principle 1: Become genuinely interested in other people
  2. Principle 2: Smile
  3. Principle 3: Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language
  4. Principle 4: Be a good listener
  5. Principle 5: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
  6. Principle 6: Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely

Part 3: How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

  1. Principle 1: The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it
  2. Principle 2: Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
  3. Principle 3: If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically
  4. Principle 4: Begin in a friendly way
  5. Principle 5: Get the other person saying, “yes, yes” immediately
  6. Principle 6: Let the other person do a great deal of the talking
  7. Principle 7: Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers
  8. Principle 8: Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view
  9. Principle 9: Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires
  10. Principle 10: Appeal to the nobler motives
  11. Principle 11: Dramatize your ideas
  12. Principle 12: Throw down a challenge

Part 4: Be a Leader—How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Rousing Resentment

  1. Principle 1: Begin with praise and honest appreciation
  2. Principle 2: Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly
  3. Principle 3: Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person
  4. Principle 4: Ask questions instead of giving direct orders
  5. Principle 5: Let the other person save face
  6. Principle 6: Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
  7. Principle 7: Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to
  8. Principle 8: Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct
  9. Principle 9: Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest


  1. How often do you find yourself criticizing others, and could understanding their perspective change your view?
  2. When you face criticism, how do you typically respond, and what could be a healthier way to handle it?
  3. Can you recall a situation where you criticized someone without fully understanding their circumstances?
  4. How can showing appreciation and encouragement impact your relationships at work or home?
  5. What steps can you take to see things from another person's point of view, especially in disagreements?
  6. How do you approach conflicts, and could listening more and arguing less improve the outcomes?
  7. In your leadership or influence roles, how often do you admit your mistakes, and how does this affect those around you?
  8. Think of a recent disagreement: could it have been handled better by focusing on common goals rather than differences?

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