11 Actions That Help You Connect With More People

Lessons from Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends & Influence People”

Source: Unsplash

1.) Become genuinely interested in others. The average person thinks this: “If I want to win people over, I must show them how great I am and reveal all my wonderful qualities / achievements!” Wrong. People primarily care about themselves, what they know, and what they like first.

2.) Boast good energy. A positive attitude coupled with a hint of enthusiasm can massively change the way people perceive you. I know, the “authentic” you is selfish, tired, and boring — people are used to this behavior. Go against the grain; become eager, curious, and excited.

3.) Names are powerful. Are you bad at remembering names? That’s code for “I’m lazy, uninterested, and not your friend.” Names are deeply connected to our sense of individuality. When you call someone by their name, they feel familiar, unique, and respected — you should do everything in your power to remember and use names often.

4.) Encourage others to talk about themselves and listen.

(See #1)

5.) Avoid arguments. Arguments do nothing but damage relationships. If you “win” an argument (you plead the best case for why you’re right and they’re wrong), you only succeed at making the other person dislike and resent you. We aren’t fond of those we argue with. Period.

Source: Unsplash

6.) Never say “you are wrong.” You should always give some validity to other people’s ideas and ways of thinking; they’ve lived experiences and lessons vastly different from yours. Instead, help them understand your perspective, while still giving credit to theirs.

7.) If you are wrong, admit it. Own up to your actions, even if they’re pathetic, harmful, or unproductive. People appreciate honesty and accountability over excuses. The cost of someone discovering your shortcoming otherwise greatly outweighs the benefits of concealing it.

8.) Show others you know how they feel. When you put yourself in another person’s shoes, you have an opportunity to see how they think and feel — this gives you the chance to be sympathetic and relatable.

9.) Smile and make eye-contact. A smile is the universal sign of happiness; every nation, color, and creed understands one when they see one. Eye-contact creates a connection hard to put into words.

10.) Before criticizing, talk about your own mistakes. There is a time and place for criticism. Highlighting your own mishaps beforehand can lessen the severity of your critique and demonstrate integrity and humbleness.

11.) Initiate a challenge. Friendly competition is one of the quickest ways to get to know someone. Willingness to play is an obvious sign of comradery and friendship.

- AZ

Bored, uneducated, homeless — em dashes are my specialty. I write what I see, think, and feel. That’s it.

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