If you want to understand how to win friends and influence people, you need to understand life. In life:
1) Everyone acts in own self interest at all times, despite what they may say
2) Everyone’s self interest to feel pleasure at all times and avoid pain at all times
3) Everyone wants to feel the highest pleasure, or loving bliss at all times
4) Everyone wants to avoid pain at all times
And life is painful. As the Buddha says, existence is suffering. Enlightenment is the ultimate pleasure, or permanent bliss, what the Hindu non-dualists call Sat-Chit-Ananda or bliss-consciousness-awareness. In devotional religions the ultimate pleasure is heaven or communion with God. The permanent removal of pain in exchange for a permanent state of bliss.
If everyone could take a pill giving you ecstatic bliss 24/7, every person on the planet would take this pill. Crime, pain, suffering, hurting others, would be a thing of the past in an instant. People would be walking down the streets hugging each other in ecstacy. There would be no need for money or private property because everyone would be more than happy to share whatever they had.
Unfortunately we don’t have that pill, we have the world we have.
A world where most people don’t understand themselves or other people.
To understand yourself and to understand others, recognize that everything you do is to either feel pleasure or avoid pain. The majority of your day is spent sleeping, working, grooming and eating – all actions that, if you didn’t do would cause you to suffer.
The rest of your day is spent relaxing, or reading, or having sex, or joking with your friends, or seeing your loved ones because they make you feel happy.
Everyone in the world including you acts in their own self interest at all times, and your self interest, and the interest of the 6 billion people on this planet is to feel as much pleasure as possible and to avoid as much pain as possible.
And I’m not talking about Randian “rational self interest”, which assumes a choice, im saying you and everyone chases pleasure and avoids pain at all times, and you don’t have a choice, it’s in your biology. Every cell in your body is designed to survive and replicate, and you’re rewarded with pleasure for all the actions you do that contribute to this purpose.
Now, you might be thinking, what about all the people who deliberately cause themselves pain. The problem isn’t that they don’t want to be happy, it’s that their wants aren’t aligned with their happiness. The heroin junkie on the streets lives in hell, he doesn’t see any hope of consistent happiness in his future. So he chases that one thing that can give him pleasure, the heroin, despite the fact that it put him on the streets and is keeping him there.
Despite the fact that heroin ruined his life. Despite the fact he doesn’t get the same pleasure out of it he used to. His pain is so great, and his future is so bleak, that he’ll chase that small high he gets from the drug until it kills him.
The same logic applies to the person who has aligned their wants with their happiness. The happy, well adjusted person with loving relationships, who does rewarding work and who helps others. Even though this person spends their whole life helping others, they are just as selfish as the heroin addict.
The only difference is that they have the insight and the discipline to align their wants with their happiness. The only difference between the heroin addict and the happy person is that the happy person is a better player in the game of life. Because the purpose of the game of life is living in the best state available at all times.
Even when you do things for others its because their happiness makes YOU happy, and their sadness makes YOU unhappy so YOU want to remove their pain. Every single person, the good and the bad, acts in their own interest at all times, no exceptions.
So here’s what we know…
Everyone acts in their own interest at all times. And everyone wants to feel good at all times. So the logical conclusion is, if you want to win friends and influence people you add value and make them feel good – simple.
By adding value and making people feel good, you get friends and get people to do what you want, and you in turn serve your own interests and feel good. You create a positive feedback loop and a better reality for yourself and the people around you.
So why do people not do this:
- Lack of awareness: They’re either don’t have the self awareness, social awareness or a combination of both. Something many autistic people struggle with. That lack of awareness comes from lack of focus. Lack of focus comes from not having social skills, or winning friends or influencing people as a priority.
- Aggression: Some guys think outright dominance of social situations is the best move. And it is effective at influencing people if you’re a big, intimidating guy or if you have position. Tend to be argumentative. But it’s not a great way to win friends, especially long term ones. And the ones you do have will resent you and quietly enjoy your failures. Aggression might give you some short term victories, but is counterproductive in the long run. Some of the worst offenders are “recovering” beta males. As oppposed to a big, naturally dominant guy, the recovering beta males aggression comes off as uncalibrated and awkward.
- Neediness: These are guys who want, want, want. All they can see is what they want and don’t hesitate to ask for it consistently. They’re value leeches and instead of influencing people they repel people.
- Lack Of Interest: These guys are aware of how social interactions work. They just don’t care enough to put in much effort. They won’t lose friends or repel people, but they also won’t gain friends and influence.
Doing any of the above on a consistent basis is destroying your social and business prospects. Especially with high value people. Not only that, but it’s just low consciousness living. Why not choose to be happy and charming instead?
And don’t make the mistake of thinking being friendly and charming is “beta”. The most “alpha” guys I know are also the most charming guys you’ll meet, and are able to make you feel like a million bucks at the drop of a hat.
Like the old saying goes, you catch more flies with honey. And like your mom used to tell you, if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all. Unless someone is f*cking with you, then you drop the hammer on their head, but at that point you recognize that influence and winning friends is not happening at that point.
Other than times where your boundaries aren’t being respected, charm and seduction are your most powerful ways to get what you want. If you don’t believe me, try earning a living in sales, where the wrong word to a client will cost you that client. And cost you your target for that month. Which costs you your quarter, your bonus and your job – this sh*t is not a joke.
And not just in sales, but in your social and dating life, all communication is selling. If you want to win friends and influence people, you need to put the work in and there is no better book than Dale Carnegie’s 1937 classic: How To Win Friends And Influence People.
Check out my full video and audio review below, as well as the video/audio notes outlining the key bullet point takeaways from the book.
How To Win Friends And Influence People
Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
- Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
- Give honest and sincere appreciation.
- Arouse in the other person an eager want.
Six Ways to Make People Like You
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
- The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
- Show respect for the other person’s opinions.
- If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
- Begin in a friendly way.
- Start with questions to which the other person will answer yes (yes ladder).
- Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
- Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers.
- Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
- Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
- Appeal to the nobler motives (without selling bullsh*t dreams)
- Dramatize your ideas.
- Throw down a challenge.
Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment
- Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
- Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
- Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
- Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
- Let the other person save face.
- Praise every improvement.
- Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
- Use encouragement.
- Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest.