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Summary Book

How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People is a self-help book written by Dale Carnegie, published in 1936. More than 15 million copies have been sold worldwide, making it one of the best-selling books of all. time. In 2011, it was number 19 on Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential books.

Carnegie had been taking business education courses in New York since 1912. In 1934, Leon Shimkin of the Simon & Schuster publishing firm took one of Carnegie’s 14-week courses on human relations and public speaking.

Later, Shimkin persuaded Carnegie to allow a stenographer to take notes from the course to review for publication. The first five thousand copies of the book sold exceptionally well, going through 17 editions in its first year alone.


Summary and Synopsis

This book surely has shaped behavioral psychology, bringing it to the way we know it today, as it reads as an instruction manual on how you can be loved by others, get favors done, and even change behavior. of people under your influence.

However, none of this is based on manipulation and deception. Dale Carnegie does it all based on the central idea that you can change other people’s behavior simply by changing yours.

Twelve things this book will do for you

This section was included in the original 1936 edition as a single-page list, which preceded the main content of the book, showing a potential reader what to expect from it. The 1981 edition omits points 6 to 8 and 11.

  1. Get out of a mental routine, give yourself new thoughts, new visions, new ambitions.
  2. It allows you to make friends quickly and easily.
  3. Increase your popularity.
  4. Help you win people to your way of thinking.
  5. Increase your influence, your prestige, your ability to do things.
  6. It allows you to gain new clients.
  7. Increase your earning power.
  8. Become a better seller, a better executive.
  9. Help you handle complaints, avoid arguments, keep your human contacts smooth and pleasant.
  10. Become a better speaker, a more entertaining conversationalist.
  11. It makes the principles of psychology easy to apply to your daily contacts.
  12. Help you arouse enthusiasm among your associates.

Here are 3 valuable lessons from How to Win Friends and Influence People

  1. To be able to make a good first impression just by smiling.
  2. To be interesting to others, he talks about his favorite subject: themselves.
  3. If you want to convince people, make them say yes a lot.

Lesson 1: A simple smile is all you need to make a great impression

There is that famous quote about how actions speak louder than words, because in the way we act we really show whether we follow through on our intentions, rather than simply expressing them.

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The easiest action you can take to make others instantly empathetic to you is to smile.

Just as we all rejoice when a baby laughs or smiles at us, or feels a rush of endorphins when we see a dog wag its tail in our presence, we can’t help but feel affection towards someone who smiles at us.

Now imagine that a smile is the first thing you see the first time you meet someone and shake hands, of course you are going to like it!

More than half of our communication is based on body language, so a smile in the face of a frown can make the difference between making a new friend or selling a car and striking out.

Also, smiling is not a one way path, it helps you directly too.

By smiling unconsciously you will generate positive feelings “by accident”, just as positive feelings can make you smile inadvertently.

So the next time you meet someone new, don’t have a frown on your forehead and smile while shaking hands!

Lesson 2: It can be interesting to others by having them talk about themselves

What is everyone’s favorite topic? The weather? No, themselves!

We all love people who listen to us for hours as we talk to them and tell about our own lives.

People always think it’s interesting, you have to share many fascinating stories and constantly talk about your achievements.

That could not be more wrong. You don’t even have to speak to be interesting.

Human beings are naturally self-centered, we are our greatest interest, and we get excited if we meet someone who shares that interest!

Give your full attention to other people, don’t interrupt them, be genuinely interested, ask follow-up questions, don’t complain about yourself, and most importantly listen.

You will be amazed at how many people will say things like this about you: “That guy named Nik was so cool to talk to, what an interesting person!”

If you want to go a step further, you can do what Teddy Roosevelt did, and even prepare before you meet someone researching it online and trying to pick 2-3 of your favorite subjects, which you can then tackle and get them to talk about.

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Lesson 3: To convince people, you must make them say yes a lot

Dale Carnegie has 3 steps to help you convince people, the premise of all of them is that they don’t know that you are trying to make them change their minds.

We hardly defend something as strongly as our own opinions, so the moment we try to make sure someone doesn’t beat us, it’s a desperate cause.

Unless you have already spilled milk, here are 3 steps to help you succeed in this battle:

  1. Be good. Do the above. Smile. Listens. Be courteous and patient, that is the basis of any successful persuasion and, for that matter, it must be the basis of any conversation.Make it clear that you have the same goals. Your conversation partner must believe that you share the same interests and vision, so emphasize that when talking about the interests you really share. They have to know that you really are on their side and that they want the best for them (which is true anyway).
  2. Ask them many small questions that they can answer with a resounding yes. Once you are sure that you are both on the same page, you can begin to make your case, but do so by asking questions that your partner can answer with yes as much as possible. Then when you reach your end point, you are more likely to get a yes too.
  3. The idea behind this approach, called the Socratic method, is that the probability of a final yes increases with each yes you get before. This is due to human consistency bias: we want to be consistent in our actions, so we are unlikely to break a long chain of claims.


The tips are incredibly simple, which is why they are so powerful. All of them can start to apply right now, as How to win friends and influence people carries a strong message of “be the change you want to see in the world”. This book uses less scientific language than Cialdini’s Influence, for example, makes it a light, but recommended read.

This book can be read from the 14-year-old girl who just got a school debate, and now she has to talk to a lot of people, to the 27-year-old girl who usually spends a lot of time talking about herself, and by anyone person who works in something that involves selling something.