After receiving a ton of flak in the comments from the last article I wrote titled “Three Books Worth More than Your College Education,” it was suggested that I write a follow up article. While the last piece definitely rattled some people’s cages, others wanted me to back up the bold statement by providing evidence of how I used the books to specifically help me. In short, the question was asked, “How exactly did those three books help you personally?”
Each of the three books I recommended have brought tremendous action and value to me personally; so I feel it is necessary to break each book down into separate article responses. The rest of this article is not a humble-brag; it is just part of my back story that you need to know to fully understand the impact that “How To Win Friends and Influence People” has had on my life.
My entire life I have been very quiet, shy, and not what you would call a social butterfly, yet at age 25 I won $500,000 on a Reality TV show based on social dynamics and relationships. I was able to win the show not because I was stronger than any of the other competitors, but because I understood socially what needed to be done to win. The Reality TV show was about building relationships and getting people to genuinely like you enough to reward you for eliminating them from the game. These are two things that never came easy to me in my life until I read “How To Win Friends and Influence People.”
When I recommended this book in the last article I wrote, one of the readers commented that he found this book to be “creepy” and for “manipulators.” Sure, that is one way to look at the book, but another way to look at it is to that it can teach you how to create good favor and positive feelings toward you. Some people are naturally interesting and likable, but what most people do not realize is that you can actually learn how to become more interesting and likable. If you are not born with that natural ability, it can be learned, and improved upon.
This brings up the automatic question of, “Well shouldn’t people like me for who I am?”
Yes of course, but “How To Win Friends and Influence People” really gets down to the point of HOW you can truly make others feel good about THEMSELVES; which then in turn makes you seem more interesting and likable.
While the principles in this book seem to be “obvious” and “simple,” the majority of people in everyday life act in direct opposition of what this book teaches. One thing specifically taught in this book is to let someone in a conversation talk about themselves, and encourage them to do by asking them questions of genuine interest.
Simple concept, but the MAJORITY of people do not do this in everyday life. Think about the people you truly like to be around. Why do you like to be around them? Probably because they show an interest in you.
On the flip side, how many people do you know or run into on a daily basis that you don’t like spending time around? Probably because they don’t ask questions about your life, or are self centered. I’m willing to bet this number is much higher than people who show an interest in you.
The ability to gain good favor, make people feel good about themselves, and seem interesting are extremely valuable, not only when trying to win $500,000 on a Reality TV show, but it can be the difference maker for success in your life. This is why “How To Win Friends And Influence People” is just as valuable as your college education.