“How to win friends”: notes from Dale Carnegie’s book.
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“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie is a masterpiece that explores the dynamics of human relationships with a wisdom that resonates deeply, despite the seemingly superficial title. This book presents itself as a practical guide to improving social skills, but at a deeper level, it embodies principles of truth and sincerity that are essential for building authentic relationships. Its lessons are particularly relevant when we consider the importance of love and respect for others, as taught in the Abrahamic Religions. These spiritual traditions place fundamental emphasis on loving and respecting others, avoiding lies, and promoting truth, values that Carnegie reflects in his techniques for interacting with others in a genuine and respectful manner.


### Preface
“If after reading this book you do not feel more empowered to face life’s situations, then I will consider this book a total failure as far as you are concerned. Because, as Herbert Spencer said, ‘the ultimate purpose of education is not knowledge but action.'”

### Page 33
“The whole city burst into laughter. But the offended person, sensitive and proud as he was, boiled with indignation. He found out who had written the letter, mounted his horse, set off in search of Lincoln, reached him, and challenged him to a duel. Lincoln did not want to accept the challenge. He was against dueling but could not refuse to defend his honor. He had the choice of weapons. Since he had very long arms, he chose the cavalry saber and took fencing lessons from a West Point officer. On the appointed day, he and Shields met on a beach by the Mississippi, ready for a duel to the death. But at the last minute, the seconds prevented the fight.
This episode, which was the least edifying of Lincoln’s life, taught him an unforgettable lesson in the art of dealing with people. From then on, he never wrote another letter of criticism, nor did he try to ridicule anyone. Not only that, but he learned the futility of complaining about others’ actions.”

### Page 39
“Instead of condemning people’s actions, try to understand them. Try to imagine why people do what they do. It is much more useful and interesting than criticizing, not to mention that it generates sympathy, tolerance, and kindness. ‘He who knows all, forgives all.’
As Dr. John says: ‘God Himself, sir, does not judge any man before the end of his days.’
Why should we be more hasty?”

### Page 43
“There is only one way to get someone to do what we want: to make the other person want what we want. It is the only system.”

### Page 44
“Among the things people want most, we remember: health, food, sleep, money, life, sexual gratification, the happiness of their children, feeling important. Almost all of these things are fairly easy to obtain except one. As desired as food or sleep, it is difficult to obtain: the desire to be important.”

### Page 49
“Nothing depresses a person more than the criticism of a superior. I never criticize anyone. I encourage employees and am as inclined to praise as I am reluctant to find faults.”

### Page 54
“If the secret were to flatter people, it would be too easy and anyone would become a social expert. When we are not dealing with some specific problem, we usually spend ninety-five percent of our time thinking about ourselves. If we manage to stop thinking about ourselves long enough to focus on others’ qualities, we will not need flattery or lies.”

### Page 55
“Try to show some gratitude, spark some sympathy in your daily life; you will be amazed at how many sparks of friendship will light up around you.”

### Page 98
“When you leave the house, lift your chin, raise your head, breathe deeply, drink in the sunlight. Greet friends with a smile and put your soul into every handshake. Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies. Make clear in your mind what you want to do and then go straight to the goal without hesitation. Think of the beautiful and positive things you want to do, and the opportunity to fulfill your dreams will present itself without you even realizing it. Like a coral animal absorbs vital elements from a passing tide. Imagine in your mind the honest, loyal, noble person you want to be and try to resemble them as much as possible… Thought is the strongest. Maintain a correct mental attitude, geared toward courage, frankness, and kindness of spirit. Thinking the right way is already doing. Everything comes from desire, and sincere prayers are never in vain. Let’s calmly pursue our goals. Lift your chin, raise your head. Men are gods in chrysalis.”

### Page 100
“It costs nothing but gives a lot.
It enriches those who receive it without impoverishing those who offer it. It lasts a second but its memory is eternal.
No one is so rich as to do without it and no one so poor as not to feel richer for receiving it. It brings happiness to the home, goodwill at work, and is the symbol of friendship.
It is a rest for the weary, a light of hope for the discouraged, a ray of sunshine for the sad, the best natural remedy for all woes.
It cannot be bought, borrowed, or stolen because it is not a tangible thing.
If in the last moments of the frantic Christmas shopping rush our clerks are too tired to offer you a smile, would you be so kind as to bring one out yourself?
Because no one needs a smile more than those who have none left to give!”

### Page 103
“Sometimes it’s hard to remember a name, especially if it’s difficult to pronounce. Instead of learning to pronounce it, many bypass the obstacle by calling the unfortunate person by an easier nickname. Sid Levy went to see a client whose name was Nicodemus Papadoulos. People simply called him ‘Nick.’ Levy said, ‘I made an effort to say his name and repeat it to myself several times before meeting him. When I greeted him with his full name, “Good evening Mr. Nicodemus Papadoulos,” he was very moved. So much that he stood there silently for a while. Then he exclaimed with tears in his eyes, “Mr. Levy, in the last fifteen years I have been in this country, no one has ever made the slightest effort to call me by my full name.'”

### Page 107
“I had brought with me a mechanic who was introduced to Roosevelt upon our arrival. He never spoke to the president and Roosevelt heard his name only once. He was a shy guy and always kept to himself. But before we left, the president sought out the mechanic, shook his hand, called him by name, and thanked him for coming to Washington, and there was absolutely nothing artificial about these thanks. He meant exactly what he said. You could tell from his voice.”

### Page 119
“People who talk only about themselves think only of themselves. ‘And people who think only of themselves,’ as Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, longtime president of Columbia University, says, ‘remain hopelessly ignorant.’ ‘There is no way to remove them from their stupidity,’ Butler continues, ‘there is no way to educate them.'”

### Pages 129-130
“There is a very important law that governs our relationships with our fellow human beings. If we obey this law, we will never have problems. It will bring us abundant friends and lasting happiness. But every time we do not observe it, we will have troubles. The law says: always make others feel important.
John Dewey, as we have already said, noted that the desire to feel important is a primary need of human nature. And William James said: ‘The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.’
As I have said, it is this need that differentiates us from animals. It is this need that is responsible for civilization itself. Philosophers have meditated for thousands of years on the rules of human relations. The result of all this thinking is this fundamental precept, which is not new at all; indeed, it can be said to be as old as history. Zoroaster taught it in Persia twenty-five centuries ago. Confucius in China twenty-four centuries ago. Lao-Tse, founder of Taoism, preached it to his disciples in the Han Valley. Buddha preached it on the banks of the sacred Ganges five centuries before Christ. The sacred books of Hinduism taught it thousands of years before. And Jesus Christ taught it among the rocky hills of Judea.”

### Page 131
“The lives of many men could change if only someone made them feel important. Ronald J. Rowland, one of our course professors in California, is also a teacher of art and craftsmanship. He wrote about a student, Chris, who attended the preparatory classes of his craft course: Chris was a quiet and shy boy who lacked self-confidence. The kind of student who often goes unnoticed. I was also a teacher in a more advanced course, which had become a sort of status symbol: the student who was admitted considered himself privileged.”

### Page 142
“Since then, I have witnessed thousands of discussions, both as a spectator and as a participant, and I have seen their effects. I have come to the conclusion that there is only one way to come out victorious: avoid them. Avoid them as if they were rattlesnakes.
Nine times out of ten, at the end of a controversy, the opponents find themselves exactly of the same opinion, more convinced than ever that they are right. It is impossible to win.”

### Page 144
“I have wasted years arguing and debating. Now I keep my mouth shut. It pays off.”
As the old Benjamin Franklin said:
“By arguing, contradicting, and opposing, one may sometimes win; but it is a Pyrrhic victory, for one never gains the goodwill of the opponent.
What is preferable: a hollow, academic victory or someone’s goodwill? It is rare to achieve both. The ‘Boston Transcript’ once published this far from stupid rhyme:
Here lies the body of William Jay, who never changed his mind nor voice. He was right, it’s true, but he died just like one who is always wrong.
In the course of an argument, one may be right, dead right; but if you want to change someone’s mind, it does no good, it’s like being on the wrong side.”

### Page 146
“The natural first reaction to an unpleasant situation is to become defensive. Caution. Stay calm and keep the instinctive reaction under control. Big mistakes can be made.
Control yourself. What angers a person gives the measure of

their value.
Listen first. Always give the opponent the opportunity to speak. Do not oppose resistance, defenses, or arguments: it only creates barriers. Build bridges of understanding, not walls of misunderstanding.
Seek points of agreement. After letting the opponent speak, consider the points of agreement.”

### Page 147
“Frankness. Look for your possible mistakes and admit them. Apologize when you’re wrong. It will disarm the opponent and lower their guard.”

### Page 149
“And if you tell someone they are wrong, do you bring them to your side? Never! Because you have dealt a blow to their intelligence, their way of judging, their pride, and their self-respect. You make them want to retaliate, not change their opinion. Even if you throw the logic of a Plato or a Kant in their face, they will not budge an inch.
Never start with: ‘I’ll prove you wrong.’ It’s not good. It’s like saying: ‘I’m smarter than you. I’ll tell you a few things that will change your mind.’ It’s a challenge that creates opposition and makes people want to fight before you’ve even opened your mouth.”

### Page 181
“Get your interlocutor to say ‘yes’ from the beginning.”

### Page 185
“When we want to get others to share our ideas, we have the bad habit of talking too much. Let others do the talking. Obviously, they know more about their affairs and their problems than we can ever know. So we ask them questions. Let them talk.
If we do not agree with them, we will be tempted to interrupt them. This is something not to do. It is dangerous. If they still have a lot to say, they won’t even listen to us. It is better to listen patiently with a very open attitude. We must be sincere and encourage the interlocutor to express their ideas openly.”

### Page 189
“Why is this true? Because when our friends surpass us, they feel a sense of importance; but when we surpass them, they – or at least most of them – feel inferior and envious.
Some time ago, the most sought-after career counselor at the Midtown Personnel Agency in New York was Henrietta G. But things had not always been that way. During her first months at the agency, Henrietta did not have a single friend among her colleagues. Why? Because every day she enthusiastically recounted the people she had placed, the new clients she had made, all her personal successes, in short.”

### Page 202
“If when you finish reading this book you have acquired the habit of always thinking from your interlocutor’s point of view, of seeing things from their angle as well as your own, you will have laid a fundamental stone in the staircase of your career.”

### Page 204
“Wouldn’t it be nice to know a magic formula that has the power to end any argument, create mutual understanding, and get others to listen to us attentively?
Yes? Well. Then start by saying: ‘I don’t blame you at all for thinking that way. In fact, if I were in your shoes, I think I would do the same.’ Faced with a response like this, even the fiercest bear in the world will become a lamb.
And remember, this is not a lie; in fact, if you were in the other’s place, you would behave like them. If you had the body, character, and mind of Al Capone, if you had lived in the same environment, you would probably have been exactly what he was where he was. These are the things that made him what he was. The only reason you are not rattlesnakes is that your mother and father were not rattlesnakes. It is not your merit that you are what you are. And remember that the people who come to you irritated and furious have little control over being what they are. Try to understand them: three-quarters of the people you regularly meet are hungry and thirsty for your understanding.”

### Page 209
“Dr. Arthur I. Gates said in his splendid book Educational Psychology: ‘All of humanity longs to be understood, comprehended. The child, when he gets hurt, shows the bruises and little wounds to elicit sympathy from adults; in the same way, adults willingly talk about their problems, illnesses, accidents, and surgeries. Everyone likes to be sympathized with for misfortunes, real or imaginary.'”

### Page 222
“Without a challenge, Theodore Roosevelt would never have become President of the USA. Returning from Cuba, he was chosen as governor of New York State. The opposition discovered that he was no longer a resident of the state and Roosevelt, frightened, thought of withdrawing. Then Thomas Collier Platt, senator for New York State, threw down the gauntlet. Addressing Roosevelt brusquely, he shouted: ‘Is the hero of San Juan Hill a coward?’ Roosevelt accepted the challenge and the rest is history.
‘All men are afraid, but the valiant disregard their fear and go forward, sometimes to death, but always to victory,’ this was the motto of the king’s guards in ancient Greece.
What greater challenge is offered to us than the opportunity to overcome these fears?”

### Page 225
The best way to win an argument is to avoid it.
Show respect for others’ opinions. Never say, ‘You’re wrong!’
If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
Begin in a friendly way.
Get the other person to say ‘yes’ immediately.
Let the other person do most of the talking.
Let the other person feel that the idea is theirs.”

### Page 239
“A few years ago, my niece Josephine came to New York to work as my secretary. She was nineteen, had just graduated, and her work experience was almost zero. Then she became one of the best secretaries west of the Suez Canal, but the beginning was… quite difficult. One day I was about to scold her when I said to myself: ‘Wait a moment, Dale; you are twice Josephine’s age. You have ten times her work experience. How can you expect her to have your way of seeing things, your judgment, and your experience, as mediocre as they may be? And what were you doing at nineteen? Do you remember or not the mistakes and messes you made? Do you remember that time when… and that other time when…’
And thinking back honestly and impartially to the past, I had to admit that the mistakes Josephine made were nothing compared to mine; and bear in mind that, unfortunately, this was not at all a compliment to Josephine.
From then on, whenever I wanted to draw my niece’s attention to some mess she had made, I always started with: ‘You made a mistake, Josephine, but heaven knows it is not at all worse than the messes I made many times in the same circumstances.'”

### Page 253
“Nobody likes to be given orders. Once, I had the pleasure of dining with Ida Tarbell, the dean of American biographers. When I told her I was writing this book, we started a discussion on the important topic of having relationships with other people, and she told me that while writing the biography of Owen D. Young, she had interviewed a man who had stayed in the same office as Young for three years. This guy told her that in all that time, he had never heard Young give a direct order to anyone.
He always gave suggestions, not orders. He never said ‘do this,’ ‘do that,’ or ‘don’t do this,’ ‘don’t do that’; instead, he said: ‘You might consider doing this,’ or ‘Don’t you think it would be better to do that?’ Often, after dictating a letter, he would say: ‘What do you think of this draft?’ When reviewing assistants’ letters, he would observe: ‘Maybe if we rewrite the sentence this way, it would be better.’ He always gave others the opportunity to do things on their own, to act according to what they thought.”

### Page 256
“Why not apply the same common sense when trying to change people? Why not use the carrot instead of the stick? Why not use praise instead of criticism? Praise even the slightest improvement. This makes the other person want to improve even more.
‘It costs nothing but gives a lot. It enriches those who receive it without impoverishing those who offer it. It lasts a second but its memory is eternal. No one is so rich as to do without it and no one so poor as not to feel richer for receiving it. It brings happiness to the home, goodwill at work, and is the symbol of friendship. It is a rest for the weary, a light of hope for the discouraged, a ray of sunshine for the sad, the best natural remedy for all woes. It cannot be bought, borrowed, or stolen because it is not a tangible thing. If in the last moments of the frantic Christmas shopping rush our clerks are too tired to offer you a smile, would you be so kind as to bring one out yourself? Because no one needs a smile more than those who have none left to give!'”

### Page 257
“Am I exaggerating? Then let’s listen to the wise words of William James, one of the greatest psychologists and philosophers America has ever had:
Compared to what we could be, we are only half. We use only a small part of our physical and mental resources. To put it even more clearly, the individual lives far from their limits. They possess various powers that they normally do not use.
Yes, you who are reading these lines possess various talents that you normally do not use; and one of

these untapped treasures is the extraordinary ability to praise people and inspire the desire to realize their hidden potential.
Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement.”

### Page 276
Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing others.
Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
Let the other person save face.
Praise every improvement, no matter how small. Be ‘hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.’
Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest.”

### Page 281
“In high school and university, they had read mountains of books and convinced themselves that professional skills and cultural preparation were the only key to success.
A few years of work were enough to disillusion them completely. They had helplessly witnessed the rise of people who, in addition to possessing work skills, had that extra something, the ability to deal with others, to convince them to change their minds, the ability to sell themselves wonderfully well.
And they soon discovered at their own expense that if one wants to advance in their career, personal ability to talk and be liked is much more important than the knowledge of Latin verbs or graduating from Harvard.”


In our now increasingly confused and chaotic world, Dale Carnegie succeeds in providing us with a key to awareness and in a sense compassion toward our fellow man. He reminds us that at the heart of all interaction is the simple yet profound need for connection, understanding and mutual respect. By embracing Carnegie’s principles, we can foster relationships built on sincerity and kindness, echoing the timeless teachings of the Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam above all. Let us walk this path with a conscious intention, cultivating a world in which truth, empathy and respect prevail in every interaction.

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