how to win friends and influence people pdf

How to Win Friends and Influence People BOOK SUMMARY

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How to Win Friends and Influence People

Publication: 1936 by Simon and Schuster

Non-fiction | Self-help

Table Of Contents
  1. Synopsis
  2. Resonating Quotes
  3. Part One: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
  4. Part Two: Six Ways to Make People Like You
  5. Part Three: How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
  6. Part Four: Be A Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment
  7. My Actionable Steps After Reading
  8. About Dale Carnegie


How to Win Friends & Influence People is a timeless classic that teaches people profound and actionable advice for anyone who desires better friendships and relationships.

Resonating Quotes

  • The way to develop the best in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.
  • The only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want.
  • You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in you.
  • Happiness doesn’t depend on outer conditions, happiness depends on inner conditions.
  • The truth is, almost all the people you meet feel superior to you in some way.

Part One: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

Chapter 1: If You Want to Gather Honey, Don’t Kick Over the Beehive

Criticism if futile. It puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself.

Criticism is dangerous, it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.


According to psychologist B.F. Skinner, an animal will learn rapidly if rewarded for good behavior rather than punished for bad behavior.

When dealing with people, remember that you’re not dealing with creature of logic but creature of emotion.

Fools criticize, condemn and complain. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.

Instead of condemning people, try to understand them. Try to figure out why they do what they do.

“God himself, sir, does not propose to judge man until the end of his day.” Why should you and I?

Principle one: Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

Chapter 2: The Big Secret of Dealing with People

The only way to get anybody to do anything is by making them want to do it. The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be significant.

Some of the things most people want include:

  • Health and preservation of life
  • Food
  • Sleep
  • Money
  • Life in the hereafter
  • Sexual gratification
  • The well-being of our children
  • A feeling of importance
  • The desire to be great

Everybody likes a compliement. Everybody desires to be great and important.

The desire to be important and appreciated is the desire that drives people to drive the latest cars, talk about your brilliant children, etc.

If you tell me how you get your feeling of importance, I will tell you what you are. That determines your character. This is the most significant thing about you.

People will become ill or insane on purpose to attain a feeling of importance.

Charles Schwab was paid a million dollars a year because of his ability to deal with people. He said, “the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.

“I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.”

Charles Schwab

Lack of appreciation is one of the main reasons a spouse leaves.
Show appreciation, not flattery.
Flattery is selfish, insincere, and cheap praise. It is telling another person exactly what they think about themselves.

Appreciation is sincere and comes from the heart out.
We think about ourselves 95% of the time. Stop to think about the other person.

Principle two: Give honest sincere appreciation.

thank you doctors notes on a window
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Chapter 3: He who can do this has the whole world with him; he who cannot walk a lonely way.

All of us are interested in what we want so the only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.
Arouse in the other person an eager want.
When persuading someone, before you speak, pause and ask yourself: “How can I make this person want to do it?”

“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

Think always in terms of other people’s point of view, and see things from their angle.

“Each party should gain. Not self-seeking”

Principle three: Arouse in the other person an eager want.

Part Two: Six Ways to Make People Like You

Chapter 1: Do this and you will be welcome anywhere

Most animals have to work for a living.  A hen lays eggs, cows have to give milk, a canary has to sing. But a dog makes his living by giving you nothing but love.

You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in you.

Become interested in other people. People are interested in themselves—morning, noon & after dinner.

A show of interest must be sincere. It’s a win-win to both parties: the person showing interest and the person receiving attention.

Principle one: Become genuinely interested in other people.

Chapter 2: A simple way to make a good first impression

The expression one wears on ones face is far more important than the clothes one wears on ones back.

A smile says I like you, you make me happy, I am glad to see you.

That’s why dogs and babies make such a hit.

Your smile comes through in your voice. Encouragement is much more effective teaching than punishment.

Find happiness by controlling your thoughts.
Happiness doesn’t depend on outer conditions, happiness depends on inner conditions.

it isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.

Happiness is a mental attitude.

  1. Force yourself to smile.
  2. Act as if you’re already happy.

Principle two: Smile.

Chapter 3: If you don’t do this you are headed for trouble.

Using a person’s name.

Name makes someone unique among all others. It will make magic as we deal with others.

Principle three: Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

Chapter 4: An easy way to become a good conversationalist.

Be a good listener and encourage them to talk.

To be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.

Many people fail to make a favorable impression because they don’t listen attentively.

People who talk only of themselves think only of themselves. They are hopelessly uneducated.

Principle four: Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

Chapter 5: How to Interest People

Theodore Roosevelt knew that the royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most. Whenever he expected a visitor, he stayed up until the night before, reading up on the subject his guest was particularly interested in.

Principle five: Talk in terms of other people’s interests.

Chapter 6: How to make people like you instantly.

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.

“Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn from him.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Obey the golden rule everywhere. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

You want:

  • The approval of those with whom you come in contact.
  • Recognition of your true worth.
  • Feeling of importance.
  • Don’t want to listen to cheap, insincere flattery.
  • Sincere appreciation.

Almost everyone considers themselves important.

A sure way to their hearts is to let them realize, in some subtle way, that you recognize their importance and recognize it sincerely.

Principle six: Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.

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

Chapter 1: You Can’t Win an Argument

You can’t win an argument because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it.

In an article in Bits and Pieces, some suggestions are made on how to keep a disagreement from becoming an argument.

  • Welcome the disagreement.
  • Distract your first instinctive impression.
  • Listen first.
  • Look for areas of agreement.
  • Be honest and admit error.
  • Promise to think over your opponent’s ideas and study them carefully.
  • Thank your opponents sincerely for their interest.
  • Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem.
  • You may turn your opponents into friends.

Ask yourself: “Could my opponents be right or partly right?”

Principle one: The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

Chapter 2: A sure way of making enemies and how to avoid it.

Be wiser than other people if you can, but do not tell them so.”

Lord Chesterfield

Quit telling people they are wrong even if you know they are wrong., it is a personal attack. It will make the person never want to agree with you.

There’s magic in statements such as “I think differently but I may be wrong, let’s examine the facts.”

You will never get into trouble by admitting that you may be wrong. That will stop the argument and inspire your opponent to be just as fair and open and broad-minded as you are. It will make him want to admit that he, too, may be wrong.

“Agree with thine adversary quickly. Be diplomatic. It will help you gain your point.”


Principle two: Show respect for the other person’s opinion, never say “you’re wrong.”

Chapter 3: If you’re wrong, admit it.

There is a certain degree of satisfaction in having the courage to admit one’s errors.

When we are right, let’s try to win people gently and tactfully to our way of thinking, and when we are wrong, admit our mistakes quickly and with enthusiasm.

Principle three: If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

two white message balloons
Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on

Chapter 4: A Drop of Honey

A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.

Abraham Lincoln

Find common interests.
If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his dear friend. Be gentle and friendly, this will make people agree with you.
Friendliness begets friendliness.

Principle four: Begin in a friendly way.

Chapter 5: The Secret of Socrates

In talking with people, begin by emphasizing the things on which you agree.
Keep emphasizing that you are both striving for the same end and your only difference is one of method and not of purpose.
Keep your oponent, if possible, from saying no. Keep him saying yes.

The skillful speaker will get a number of “yes” responses. This sets the psychological process of the listeners moving in the affirmative direction.

Socratic method: Asking a series of questions to his opponent until he had an armful of yeses.

Principle five: Get the other person saying yes, yes immediately.

Chapter 6: The Safety Valve in Handling Complaints

Even our friends would much rather talk about their achievements than listen to us boast about ours.

Let the other people talk themselves out. Ask questions. Let them tell you a few things.
If you disagree, don’t interrupt, it is dangerous. They won’t pay attention to you while they still have a lot of ideas of their own crying for expression.

Listen patiently and with an open mind. Be sincere about it.

If you want enemies, excel your friends; but if you want friends, let your friends excel you.

La Rochefoucauld

When our friends excel us, they feel important; but when we excel them, they will feel inferior or envious.

Only mention your achievements when they ask.

Principle six: Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.

Chapter 7: How to Get Cooperation

In every work of genius, we recognize our own rejected thoughts.

Ralph Waldo Emerson.

You have more faith in ideas you discover yourself than ideas handed to you on a silver platter.
It is wiser to make suggestions and let the other person think about the conclusion.

No one likes to feel that he or she is being sold something or told to do a thing.

Consult people about their wishes and desires.

When selling, let the other person share his ideas. This will make them feel that they’re creating. You don’t have to sell, they will buy it.

Principle seven: Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.

Chapter 8: A Formula That Will Work Wonders for You

“Stop a minute to contrast your keen interest in your own affairs with your mild concern about anything else. Realize that everyone else in the world feels exactly the same way.”

Kenneth Goode

Other people may be totally wrong but they don’t think so. Wise people don’t condemn them, they try to understand them.

Try honestly to put yourself in the other person’s place. “How would I feel?
How would I react if I were in his shoes?” You will save time and irritation.

Success in dealing with people depends upon a sympathetic grasp of the other persons viewpoint.

Principle eight: Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.

Chapter 9: What Everybody Wants

A magic phrase that would stop arguments, eliminate ill feelings, create goodwill, and make the other person listen: “I don’t blame you one iota for feeling as you do, if I were you I would undoubtedly feel just as you do.”

Say to yourself: “there, but for the grace of God, go I”

3/4 of the people you meet are hungering and thirsting for sympathy. Give it to them and they will love you.

Principle nine: Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.

Chapter 10: An Appeal that Everybody Likes

All people you meet have a high regard for themselves and like to be fine and unselfish in their own estimation.

A person will usually have two reasons for doing a thing: one that sounds good, and a real one.

Principle ten: Appeal to the nobler motives.

Chapter 11: The Movies Do It, TV Does It, Why Don’t You Do It?

Dramatization. Merely stating a truth isn’t enough. You have to make it interesting, vivid, dramatic. You have to use showmanship. The movies do it. Television does it. And if you want attention, you’ll also do it.

Principle eleven: Dramatize your ideas.

Chapter 12: When Nothing Else Works; Try This

Stimulate competition to overcome your fears.

“The game” – this is what a successful person loves. That chance for self-expression. The chance to prove his worth, to excel, to win.

Principle twelve: Throw down a challenge.

Part Four: Be A Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

Chapter 1: If you must find fault, this is the way to begin.

Principle one: Begin with praise and honest appreciation.

Chapter 2: How to criticize and not be hated for it.

When criticizing, simply change the word “but” to “and”.

For example, in trying to change a child’s behavior toward studies some might say “I’m really proud of you, Johnny, for raising your grades this term. But if you had worked harder, the results would have been better.”

changing the word “but” to “and”, “I’m really proud of you, Johnny, for raising your grades this term. and by continuing the same efforts, your grades can be up with all the others” See the difference?

Principle two: Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.

Chapter 3: Talk about your own mistakes first.

Principle three: Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.

Chapter 4: No one likes to take orders.

Asking questions makes an order more palatable. Instead of saying “do this or do that” or “don’t do this or don’t do that”, say “you might consider this,: or “do you think that would work?”

This technique makes it easy for a person to correct errors and saves his pride.

Cooperation instead or rebellion.

Principle four: Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.

Chapter 5: Let the other person save face.

Even if we are right and the other person is wrong, we only destroy ego by causing someone to lose face.

Principle five: Let the other person save face.

Chapter 6: How to spur people on to success.

Use praise even the slightest improvement instead of condemnation.

According to BF Skinner, when criticism is minimized and praise emphasized, the good things people do will be reinforced and the poor things will atrophy for lack of attention.

Remember, we all crave appreciation and recognition and will do almost anything to get it. We all want sincerity, not flattery.

Abilities whither under criticism, they blossom under encouragement.

Principle six: Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.

Chapter 7: Give a dog a good name.

If you want to improve a person in some area, act as though that particular trait were already one of their outstanding characteristics.

Give compliments about the good work the other person have done.
Assume a virtue if you have it not.

Principle seven: Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.

Chapter 8: Make the fault seem easy to correct.

Tell the other person that he or she is stupid pr dumb, has no gift for it, and is doing it all wrong, and you have destroyed almost every incentive to try ti improve.

Use the opposite technique—be liberal with your encouragement, make the thing easy to do, and let the other person know you have faith in his ability.

Principle eight: Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.

Chapter 9: Making people glad to do what you want.

Keep the following guidelines in mind when it is necessary to change attitudes or behavior:

  1. Be sincere. Do not promise anything you cannot deliver. Forget about the benefits to yourself and concentrate on the benefits to the other person.
  2. Know exactly what it is you want the other person to do.
  3. Be empathetic. Ask yourself what it is the other person really wants.
  4. Consider the benefits that person will receive from doing what you suggest.
  5. Match those benefits to the other person’s wants.
  6. When you make your request, put it in a form that will convey to the other person the idea that he personally will benefit.

If you increase your successes by 10% you become a 10% better leader.

Principle nine: Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

My Actionable Steps After Reading

  • Appreciate, don’t condemn.
  • Be genuinely interested in other people.
  • Listen attentively.
  • Learn how to use the Socratic Method. I encountered that concept in this book
  • Start asking more questions instead of giving direct orders.
  • Praise employees more often for every slight improvement.

About Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie (1888-1955) described himself as a “simple country boy” from Missouri but was also a pioneer of the self-improvement genre. Since the 1936 publication of his first book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, he has touched millions of readers and his classic works continue to impact lives to this day.

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