SIX WAYS TO MAKE PEOPLE LIKE YOU
1. To Be Welcome Anywhere: Become Genuinely Interested in Other People
Every puppy knows that you can make more devoted, lifelong friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get them interested in you.
The most frequently used word in conversations is “I.” When people view a group photograph, they usually look at their own image first. If we only try to impress people to become interested in us, we will never have many true, sincere friends because real friends are not made that way.
Alfred Adler, the famous Viennese psychologist, wrote in his book What Life Should Mean to 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.”
The editor of a leading magazine told a short-story writing class at New York University that he could tell whether an author liked people after reading only a few paragraphs. He taught, “If the author doesn’t like people, people won’t like his or her stories.” He added, “You have to be interested in people if you want to be a successful writer of stories.” If this is true of the written word, it applies all the more to face-to-face communications.
If you want to make friends, do things that require time, energy, unselfishness, and thoughtfulness for other people. The Duke of Windsor, when he was the Prince of Wales, was scheduled to tour South America. He spent months studying Spanish so he could speak publicly in their native language, and the people of South America loved him for it.
Greet people with animation and enthusiasm in person and on the telephone. A famous old Roman poet Publilius Syrus said, “We are interested in others when they are interested in us.” Dale Carnegie emphasized: “If you want others to like you, if you want to develop real friendships, if you want to help others at the same time as you help yourself, keep this principle in mind: Become genuinely interested in other people.”
2. A Simple Way to Make a Good First Impression: Smile
A smile says, “I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you.” We can’t help being pleased whenever we see a dog so glad to see us that it almost jumps out of its skin. A baby’s smile has the same effect. You must have a good time meeting people if you expect them to have a good time meeting you.
The American writer Elbert Hubbard wrote: “Whenever you go out-of-doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp. Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and, then, without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal. Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do. And, then, as the days go gliding away, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are required for the fulfillment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the element it needs. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual. … Thought is supreme. Preserve a right mental attitude—the attitude of courage, frankness, and good cheer. To think rightly is to create. All things come through desire and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on which our hearts are fixed. Carry your chin in and the crown of your head high.”
An ancient Chinese proverb: “A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.”
3. You Are Headed for Trouble If You Don’t Remember: A Person’s Name, to that Person, Is the Sweetest and Most Important Sound in Any Language
People love their own names. So, naturally, they love it when you use them, especially their first names.
Andrew Carnegie was called the Steel King even though he personally knew little about the manufacturing of steel. He had hundreds of people working for him who knew more about steel than he did. But he was masterful at handling people. By age 10, he discovered how much people loved their own names and began using this fact to win their cooperation. When he was a boy in Scotland, he had a pregnant rabbit who gave him a whole nest of baby rabbits, but he had nothing to feed them. So he thought of a plan to obtain the cooperation of the boys and girls in his neighborhood to feed all his rabbits. He told them that if they would go out and pull enough clover and dandelions to feed the rabbits, he would name the bunnies after them. The plan worked like magic; and, Carnegie never forgot it. Years later, he made millions using the same psychology in his business deals. When he negotiated with tough opponents, sometimes his offer to name new buildings or companies after them sealed the deal.
Dale Carnegie wrote: “We should be aware of the magic contained in a name and realize that this single item is wholly and completely owned by the person with whom we are dealing and nobody else. The name sets the individual apart; it makes him or her unique among all others. The information we are imparting or the request we are making takes on a special importance when we approach the situation with the name of the individual. From the waitress to the senior executive, the name works magic as we deal with others.”
4. An Easy Way to Become a Good Conversationalist: Be a Good Listener; Encourage Others to Talk about Themselves
If you want to be a good conversationalist become a good listener. Listen intently to others with genuine interest and encourage them to continue speaking about themselves. This type of listening is one of the highest compliments we can pay any person. Jack Woodford wrote in Strangers in Love, “Few human beings are proof against the implied flattery of rapt attention.”
The same is true in business. Former Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot said, “There is no mystery about successful business intercourse. … Exclusive attention to the person who is speaking to you is very important. Nothing else is so flattering as that.”
So, the next time you are conversing with people, remember that they are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their own interests than in you and your interests.
5. How to Interest People: Talk in Terms of the Other Person’s Interest
President Theodore Roosevelt was famous for knowing exactly what to say to his guests at the White House. How did he do it? He simply stayed up late the night before studying the favorite interests of his expected guests. Roosevelt knew, as all great leaders do, that the way to win people over is to show interest in the things they treasure most.
Edward Chalif, a Boy Scout troop leader, wanted to send one of his boys to an upcoming Boy Scout Jamboree in Europe. His idea was to ask the president of one of the biggest corporations in America to sponsor the boy’s trip. Just before he went to see the man, he learned that he had written a check for $1 million, then, after it was cashed, cancelled, and returned to him, he had it framed. So, the first thing Chalif did when he entered that man’s office was to express his amazement at anyone having written a $1 million check and ask to see it. He told him he had never heard of a $1 million check and wanted to tell his boys that he had actually seen it. The man behind the desk was happy to show it to him. Chalif admired it and asked how the check came to be written.
After a while, the president of the corporation said, “Oh, by the way, what was it that you wanted to see me about?” So, Chalif told him. To his shock, the president not only agreed to send the one boy to the Boy Scout Jamboree in Europe, but also four more boys and Chalif for a total of 7 weeks, plus a $1,000 letter of credit, letters of introduction to the branch presidents there to be of service to them, and he personally met the whole group in Paris to show them around town! Even afterwards, he gave jobs to some of the boys whose parents were in need, and he remained active in that Boy Scouts troop. Chalif believed none of it would have happened if he had not taken the time to learn what interested the man and warmed him up with it first.
Here is another example. Henry Duvernoy, of Duvernoy and Sons, a wholesale baking company, had been trying to sell bread to a New York hotel for four years. He paid a visit to the hotel manager every week. He went to the same social mixers he did. He even took rooms at the hotel and lived there for a time to try to get the hotel’s business. But, none of this worked. He finally decided to try something different: Find out what excites the man and approach the problem from that angle.
Duvernoy learned that the manager was the president of the group of hotel executives called Hotel Greeters of America and president of the International Greeters. Wherever these conventions were held, the manager was there. So, when Duvernoy saw him the next day, he began to talk about the Greeters. The difference in the manager’s reaction to him compared to the last time was like night and day. He talked excitedly about the Greeters for half an hour. Obviously, the group was his passion. He convinced Duvernoy to join the Greeters on the spot.
Duvernoy never uttered a word about bread during that meeting. A few days later, a hotel employee called him to bring some samples and prices. The employee said, “I don’t know what you did to the old boy, but he sure is sold on you!”
6. How to Make People Instantly Like You: Make the Other Person Feel Important, and Do It Sincerely
Once, Dale Carnegie was waiting in line at the post office to send a letter via special delivery. He noticed the mail clerk at the window seemed bored. So, Carnegie decided to try to brighten his day a bit. He knew he should say something nice, not about himself, but about the clerk. So, he asked himself what he admired most about this clerk. He studied the clerk from afar, and found what it was: his hair! The clerk had an enviably handsome head of hair.
When it was Carnegie’s turn at the window, and the clerk was weighing his envelope, he took the opportunity to say, “I certainly wish I had your head of hair.” He looked up, surprised and all smiles. He said modestly, “Well, it isn’t as good as it used to be.” Carnegie reassured him that, even so, it was still magnificent. The clerk was very happy. They had a pleasant little conversation; and, when it was time for him to leave, the last thing the clerk said to him was, “Many people have admired my hair.”
Carnegie told this story to an audience once and ended it by saying he believed that clerk must have felt good all day thinking about his handsome head of hair. Then, someone in the audience asked, “What did you want to get out of him?” Carnegie was stunned at the presumption that we only give even the tiniest bit of honest appreciation if we want something out of it. Then, he reflected on it and answered that he had wanted something from that clerk—something priceless—and, he got it: The wonderful feeling of doing something nice for someone just because he wanted to and for no other reason.
This whole book is about one rule that everyone should follow all the time. If you do, you will always have friends and be happy. If you don’t, you will always have trouble. Carnegie wrote: “The law is this: Always make the other person feel important. … Philosophers have been speculating on the rules of human relationships for thousands of years, and out of all that speculation, there have evolved only one important precept. It is not new. It is as old as history. Zoroaster taught it to his followers in Persia twenty-five hundred years ago. Confucius preached it in China twenty-four centuries ago. Lao-Tse, the founder of Taoism, taught it to his disciples in the Valley of the Han. Buddha preached it on the banks of the Holy Ganges five hundred years before Christ. The sacred books of Hinduism taught it a thousand years before that. Jesus taught it among the stony hills of Judea nineteen centuries ago. Jesus summed it up in one thought—probably the most important rule in the world: ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.’”
Even the most famous, wealthiest, and busiest people crave little recognitions. George Eastman, of Eastman-Kodak, famous inventor, businessman, and self-made millionaire was nevertheless human. Though he had a fortune of over $100 million, he could be influenced by simple honest appreciation. For example, when he needed $90,000 worth of theater chairs for two massive construction projects, the Eastman School of Music and Kilbourn Hall in Rochester, he awarded the contract to Superior Seating Company of New York because of its then president James Adamson’s few unexpected words.
Adamson had made an appointment to see Eastman through the architect on these projects. When Adamson arrived for his appointment, the architect met him and advised him that if he wanted to get the contract he had better not take more than five minutes of Eastman’s time because he’s very busy, a strict disciplinarian, and will not tolerate it. And, that’s exactly what Adamson planned to do.
When they were entered Eastman’s private office, they waited a bit longer while Eastman bent over a pile of papers at his desk. Then, Eastman looked up, took off his glasses, and walked toward the men. He said, “Good morning, gentleman. What can I do for you?”
The architect introduced Adamson to Eastman, at which point, Adamson said, “While we’ve been waiting for you, Mr. Eastman, I’ve been admiring your office. I wouldn’t mind working in a room like this myself. I’m in the interior wood-working business, and I never saw a more beautiful office in all my life.”
Eastman said, “You remind me of something I had almost forgotten. It is beautiful, isn’t it? I enjoyed it a great deal when it was first built. But, I come down here now with a lot of other things on my mind and, sometimes, don’t even notice the room for weeks.”
Adamson walked to a panel and touched it with his hand. “This is English oak, isn’t it? A little different texture from Italian oak.”
“Yes,” Eastman said. “Imported English oak. It was selected for me by a friend who specializes in fine wood.” Then, he showed Adamson around the room, showing him the details in colors, hand carvings, etc., he had helped design.
While they were going around the room like this, the men came to a window and paused for a moment. Eastman pointed out to some of the buildings he had donated to society: the University of Rochester; the General Hospital; the Homeopathic Hospital; the Friendly Home; and the Children’s Hospital. Adamson congratulated him for using his wealth to help lessen human suffering. Soon, Eastman unlocked a glass case and pulled out the first camera he ever owned. It was an invention he bought from an Englishman.
Adamson questioned him about how he struggled to get started in business, while Eastman spoke emotionally about his poverty-stricken childhood while his widowed mother had to work hard. The fear of poverty haunted him day and night; and, he promised himself he would make enough money so his mother would never have to work again. Adamson listened carefully to everything he said, asking thoughtful questions now and again which drew out more and more from Eastman.
Adamson had entered Eastman’s office intending to stay no more than five minutes. Two hours later, Eastman said to Adamson, “The last time I was in Japan, I bought some chairs, brought them home, and put them in my sun porch. But, the sun peeled the paint. So, I went downtown, bought some paint, and painted the chairs myself. Would you like to see what sort of a job I can do painting chairs? All right. Come up to my home; and, have lunch with me; and, I’ll show you.”
Adamson did go to Eastman’s house that day for lunch. After lunch, Eastman showed Adamson the chairs he had brought from Japan. They were worth only a few dollars, but Eastman was proud of them because he had painted them himself. Adamson not only got the contract for the theater chairs, he remained lifelong friends with Eastman.
“Talk to people about themselves,” said England’s famous Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. “Talk to people about themselves, and they will listen for hours.”
RECAP OF SIX WAYS TO MAKE PEOPLE LIKE YOU
1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
3. Remember that a person’s name, to that person, is the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
6. Make the other person feel important, and do it sincerely.