This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.
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What are some great How to Win Friends and Influence People quotes that will help you understand the material?
These How to Win Friends and Influence People quotes cover major concepts in the book and show how much value is placed on connection and engaging people based on their interests.
Keep reading for the best How to Win Friends and Influence People quotes.
How to Win Friends and Influence People Quotes
These How to Win Friends and Influence People quotes are from different parts of the book and talk about different elements of communication, including how to get people to like you and how to change someone’s mind.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Show a genuine interest in the other person.Who is universally loved as friendly and approachable? A dog. They’re always excited to see you and seem like you’re the most important thing in their world. This is one of How to Win Friends and Influence People quotes that explains how people respond when you show interest in them.
Showing interest in other people makes them feel important (principle 2). All of us like people who admire us. If we think highly of ourselves, then we appreciate people who have good taste and judgment. People aren’t interested in you or me. They’re interested in themselves, every day, for their entire life.t must be sincere.
“Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”
People don’t criticize themselves for anything, no matter how wrong they may be. Criticizing people nearly always puts them on the defensive. They dig in their heels, rationalizing their actions as just. Even Al Capone lamented that he was just helping others have a good time during Prohibition, and all he got was abuse.
Family members of criminals frequently go into denial, blaming the system instead of the person for the crimes. Criticism hurts a person’s pride and sense of importance.
It may feel good to tell someone off, but this is usually net negative in the long term. People continue to justify their actions and condemn you for the criticism. People can harbor resentments for insults that last a literal lifetime. Consider the information that you don’t have about the situation. Consider the most favorable scenario in which the supposedly poor performance was made, and whether you should think more kindly of the mistake. This is one of the most important quotes from How to Win Friends and Influence People.
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.”
All people think of themselves as fine and unselfish. They think of themselves as saviors, martyrs, missionaries. They are generally honest and want to honor their obligations. If they are not, they generally have a good reason for it. A person usually has two reasons for doing a thing: one that sounds good, and a real one. (from JP Morgan)
You do not need to articulate the real one. [You do not need to back someone into a corner and make them admit they are doing things for selfish reasons. Instead, emphasize the nobler motives. Let the person save face by acting for the better motive.
“You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it.”
What use is telling someone she’s wrong if she didn’t invite your opinion? Is that going to make her like you? Why not let her save face? [This is especially important for people like me who annoyingly want to make sure people “know the truth” and pride themselves on corrections.]
Telling someone that she’s wrong will make her feel inferior and hurt her pride. She will resent your triumph, no matter how factually correct you are. This is one of the quotes from How to Win Friends and Influence People to remember.
“Names are the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
This is one of the How to Win Friends and Influence People quotes that sticks with you. A name is a person’s identity. It makes her unique among all others. Remembering it and calling a person by it makes her feel important. Saying the name is a subtle and welcome compliment. Forgetting it or misspelling it is a crippling mistake that suggests you didn’t care enough to get it right.
A name is one of the most important words in a person’s entire vocabulary. A person’s name to her is far more important than all the other names in the rest of the world combined.
People pay loads of money to have their names remembered after they die (naming buildings, having park bench plaques dedicated to them).
“Winning friends begins with friendliness.”
This is one of the quotes from How to Win Friends and Influence People that’s about making friends. Say you like cheesecake. When you go fishing, you don’t string cheesecake at the end of your line. You attach what the fish wants, which is a worm.
Why do you treat people any differently? Of course you’re interested in what you want. But no one else is. Everyone else is just like you – we all want what we want.
The only way to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it. Every person in the world knows what they want, and cares about what they get. Approach them in this vector. The only way to get anyone to do anything is to make the other person want to do it. Appeal to their self-interest for doing anything.
Show other people relentlessly that you want to help them.
The world is full of people who are self-seeking. So the rare person who unselfishly serves others has an enormous advantage. Go out of your way to do things unrelated to your ask.
These How to Win Friends and Influence People quotes are from the bestselling book and can offer insight into the book’s principles.
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- The 6 ways to make people like you
- How you can give feedback to others and improve their behavior
- An essential checklist for handling arguments in a productive way