How to Win Friends and Influence People (★★★★☆)

How to Win Friends

Dale Carnegie   *   Gallery Books   *   October 1, 1936   *   276 Pages

Find this book on Goodreads | Amazon | BN

This is one of those classics that everyone’s read—or at least should have read. I’ve been through it a few times now, and I get a little something new from it every time. I’m finally writing a review now mostly so I can remember Carnegie’s main points and review them later on.

First off, let’s just acknowledge that Carnegie is long-winded AF. He’s definitely got a “let’s get in a van and drive” vibe going on. I end up skimming through a lot of content just because, once I understand his point, I want to move on already.

Still, he does have useful things to say. Here are the main points I like most:

  • Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
  • Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  • Be genuinely interested in other people. Do things for them—things that require time, energy, unselfishness, and thoughtfulness.
  • Smile more. You have to have a good time meeting people if you expect them to have a good time meeting you. Also, sometimes a smile makes another person feel hopeful about life, like they aren’t alone or that the world isn’t a totally unfriendly place.
  • Remember a person’s name.
  • Be a good listener, and be generous with your approval and praise. Talk about the other person’s interests (and they will think you are the most amazing listener in the world…).
  • And this last one is key for me, mostly because I feel it (want it?) so deeply. Make the other person feel important. And do it sincerely. We all want the approval of others. We want to feel recognized.

There’s a huge second section about winning people over to your side in an argument, but meh. I’ve been married to a lawyer for twelve years. I don’t need any more of that…


14 thoughts

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. He definitely has a long-winded way of explaining things. I did stick through with it the first time I read the book but am relying on my Kindle highlights or reviews like yours to keep the points fresh! I also keep a running list of self development type books I enjoyed on my site: . Would love your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I guess it says something that we keep going back to our notes to remember his points. At least he has something useful to say, even if it could use some editing… 😅I’ll definitely check our your reviews, too. Thanks for reading! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for this review. I have heard of this book but I am yet to read it. It does sound like an important read though and I like the tips that you shared from it. I especially like the one on being interested in other people since I unfortunately struggle with that. I will definitely get a copy of this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It still sometimes surprises me how far “being interested” goes with other people. If you ask questions and remember details, it really does make the other person feel important. Then again, I don’t know why that should surprise me, since I like when people do the same for me… But this really is a helpful book! I hope you get a chance to read it. 🙂


  3. I need to get this for my roommate. She wants to be friends with me, but has never taken a genuine interest in me. And then she wonders why I don’t want to be friends with her. (I eventually had to gently explain to her that talking about yourself for a half an hour without allowing the other person a word is not a good way to build relationships).

    I also have tried to refrain from discussing my roommate situation on the internet…because the internet very public and all…but this book review got the best of me.

    I’ve heard about this book, of course. I think I first read about it when I read “Quiet” by Susan Cain. I should read it sometime. I think even the very best social butterflies could benefit from a little Socializing 101 from time to time…and I am by no means the best social butterfly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh, I feel your pain. I’ve definitely been around a lot of people like that in my life. Connecting on a real level becomes basically impossible. And it’s especially hard when the other person is oblivious to it…

      Introverts may be, well, introverted, but one thing we usually know how to do well is listen. I feel like an uber-bubbly personality can only take you so far, you know? At some point you’re going to need substance to get the most out of your conversations and relationships. But some people have to learn that the hard way, unfortunately. 😒


      1. Lorilin…my roommate is also an introvert! That’s actually part of the problem. One of the reasons I was attracted to this space is because she identified as an introvert in the Craigslist posting I read last year. She’s one of the least bubbly people ever….she just has so much pent up anxiety that she doesn’t know how to act like herself.

        I’d rather live with a naturally bubbly person than an unnaturally anxiety-induced talkative person.

        It’s a situation where I sometimes wish I wasn’t so intuitive. Some days, I get so frustrated, that I focus more on her negative attributes than doing anything productive to further my life. One of my friends recently pointed out to my intuition was feeding my frustration, and she’s absolutely right.

        It’s been tough, but I try to remain positive. This has been a good learning experience, after all. And my lease ends at the end of the April…so there’s a light at the end of tunnel.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh no! That’s so tough. Yeah, that awkwardness is going to be difficult to deal with…

          And I completely understand what you’re saying about your intuition making things more frustrating for you in the situation. Sometimes I wish that I didn’t automatically notice EVERYthing. It makes it harder to go with the flow because it’s like I can see exactly what the other person is feeling right when they’re feeling it. Sometimes you want a little emotional buffer between you and the other person—but you can’t help it if you’re intuitive.

          Thank goodness your lease is almost up. What a relief it will be when you don’t have to deal with that stress everyday, yikes.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yup, and I can tell when she’s upset that I don’t want to be her friend, and then I feel terrible in the moment, even though I know I’m doing the right thing for me by not forging that relationship. My emotions are so unstable and all over the place as a result, so it will be SO nice to be out of here.

            I also think I’ll appreciate a healthy, positive environment even more once I’m out of here, because I’ve been here, and I know what it’s like to be uncomfortable at home.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I feel like it took me a long time to be able to trust my feelings about relationships—to trust that if something doesn’t feel right, I shouldn’t force it, even if another person wants it to work. If you don’t click with your roommate, you don’t click! And that should be okay.

              Personally, I’ve always gotten along better with my roommates when we weren’t very close. It ends up being too much pressure otherwise! My ideal roommate is friendly, respectful, clean, but not too needy or emotional. When you get home, all you really want to do is relax ad chill. You don’t want to feel like you have to manage someone else’s feelings. That’s exhausting.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I would actually rather have a roommate than live alone. I’m a pretty social introvert, just super selectively social. Being selectively social kind of sucks sometimes, though, because it means it’s way harder to find people to be social with.

                I was open to getting to know my current roommate, but when she became too leechy, I quickly figured out she wasn’t someone I was interested in developing a relationship with. Granted, I am very okay with dropping people without a whole lot of remorse if it doesn’t feel right, and I forget that other people can be confused by that.

                Though, in my defense, we had no relationship to go off of to begin with. I didn’t owe anything to her and didn’t have a reponsibility to look out for her feelings (though it took a lot of time for me to fully realize and appreciate what that meant). It wasn’t a good fit over all, and I think that’s the best that can be said about it.


                1. I get that, it makes sense. And at the end of the day, either you click with someone or you don’t. You kind of hope for the best…and then make the best with whatever you get. Hopefully you’ll have better luck the next time around. Thank goodness for short leases. 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

Let's talk about it! Leave a comment below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s