Winning Friends & Influencing People: Ways to Make People Like You

How to Win Friends & Influence People includes, in its intro, the following list of things that the book’s instruction will do for the reader:

   * Get you out of a mental rut, giving you new thoughts, visions, & ambitions

   * Enable you to make friends quickly & easily

   * Increase your popularity

   * Help you to win people to your way of thinking

   * Increase your influence, prestige, & ability to get things done

   * Enable you to win new clients & customers

   * Increase your earning power

   * Make you a better salesman & executive

   * Help you to handle complaints, avoid arguments, and keep human contact smooth & pleasant

   * Make you a better speaker & a more entertaining conversationalist

   * Make the principles of psychology easy for you to apply in your daily contacts

   * Help you to arouse enthusiasm among your associates

I’m not so much interested in the business angle myself, simply because I am at an age where my professional life is what it is and after nearly three decades in the workforce I am comfortable with how I handle myself & interact with others on the job. However, the potential benefits of learning Carnegie’s principles can easily be applied to personal relationships and general human interaction. If you haven’t checked out Fundamental Techniques in Handling People please do so at your leisure, but for now we move on to the next section.


First & foremost we must “become genuinely interested in others”. People are generally interested in themselves morning, noon, & night, but to be genuinely interested in other people is a most important quality. Once again we can look to the animal kingdom for guidance. A dog is the only animal that doesn’t need to work for a living. Hens must lay eggs, cows have to give milk, & birds have to sing. Dogs make their living by giving nothing but love. For us humans, we can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than we could in two years by trying to get others interested in us. If we merely try to impress people and get them interested in us we will never have many true friends. People who are not interested in their fellow human beings have tremendous difficulties in life and oftentimes fail. All of us like people who admire us. We are interested in others when they are interested in us.


Secondly, though it seems like simplistic advice, “smile”. William Shakespeare wrote “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. An ancient Chinese proverb warned “a man without a smiling face must not open a shop”. Greet people with animation & enthusiasm. Force yourself to smile. Act as if you are happy and that tends to make you happy. Actions & feelings go together. Actions speak louder than words, and smiling is an action. By regulating the action we can regulate the feeling. The path to cheerfulness is to sit up cheerfully and to act & speak as if cheerfulness was already present. The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes they wear. People who smile tend to manage, teach, & sell more effectively, and they also raise happier children. There is far more information in a smile than a frown. Encouragement is much more effective than punishment. Conversely, an insincere grin doesn’t fool anybody and others resent it. The effect of a smile is powerful even when it is unseen. Your smile comes thru your voice. I used to be a supervisor at a telemarketing firm and I can confirm that this idea is absolutely true. People rarely succeed at anything unless they have fun doing it. You must have a good time meeting people if you expect them to have a good time meeting you. Everyone is seeking happiness. The one surefire way to find it is by controlling thoughts. Happiness doesn’t depend on outward conditions, it depends on inner conditions. It isn’t what you have, who you are, where you are, or what you are doing that determines happiness or unhappiness…it is what you think about. Abraham Lincoln said that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”. Thought is supreme. Preserve a good mental attitude of courage, honesty, & good cheer. To think rightly is to create. A smile is a message of good will that costs nothing but creates much. It enriches those who receive it without impoverishing those that give it. It happens in a flash but the memory of it may last forever. It creates happiness in a home, fosters good will in business, and is a witness of friendship. It provides rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, and sunshine to the sad. It cannot be bought, borrowed, or stolen because it isn’t any good to anybody until it is given away.


Next, we learn the importance of knowing & using a person’s name. “A person’s name is the sweetest and most important sound to that person”. People are so proud of their name that they strive to perpetuate it at any cost, so remembering & honoring the names of friends & associates is one of the most obvious & important ways of gaining goodwill.  The average person is more interested in their own name than in all other names on earth combined. Remembering & using names is a way of paying a subtle yet effective compliment. When I graduated from high school I had the person calling names simply say “Sam Mano”, while nearly everyone else had their full name announced. My father had given me the middle name Anthony (and of course the legal first name Samuel), meaning that my initials spell Sam, something that I’ve always considered a rather ingenious idea from dear old Dad. After the commencement ceremony my parents asked me why my full name hadn’t been used and I immediately realized my mistake. I’ve regretted it for nearly three decades. If you forget or misspell a name you have placed yourself at a significant disadvantage. Emerson stated that “good manners are made up of petty sacrifices. Many people don’t remember names because they don’t take the time & energy to concentrate so as to fix names indelibly in their mind. They are too busy and make excuses for not remembering names. Politicians know that “to recall a voter’s name is statesmanship, to forget it is oblivion”. Be aware of the magic contained in a name and understand that it is wholly & completely owned by that one individual. Their name sets that person apart and makes them unique.


We then learn that it is vital to “be a good listener & encourage others to talk about themselves”. An interesting conversationalist hardly says anything at all…they listen intently. Good listeners are preferred over good talkers. Unfortunately the ability to listen is a rare trait. Listening is one of the highest compliments we can pay anyone because nothing is more satisfying than having the exclusive attention of the person to whom you are speaking. To be interesting be interested. People are much more interested in themselves & their wants than they are the problems of others. If you want people to shun, despise, & laugh at you behind your back then don’t listen, talk incessantly about yourself, & constantly interrupt others. A person who does that is intoxicated with their own ego and drunk with self-importance. Listening is not mere silence, but a form of activity. Hear with your eyes as well as your ears. Listen with your mind and attentively consider what the other person is saying. Even the most strident critic will usually soften & be subdued in the presence of a patient, sympathetic listener. Many fail to make a favorable impression because they don’t listen attentively…they are too concerned with what they are going to say next. People don’t always want advice…sometimes they just want a friendly & sympathetic person to listen. People who talk only of themselves think only of themselves. They are hopelessly uneducated no matter what kind of degree they might hold.


We must “talk in terms of the other person’s interests”. Make yourself agreeable. The royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things they treasure most. Talking in terms of the other person’s interests pays off for both parties. Both lives are enriched by the interaction.


And finally, learn to “sincerely make the other person feel important “. The lives of many could be changed if only someone would make them feel important. There is one all important law of human conduct: always make others feel important. Almost all the people we meet feel superior in some way, and it is important to let them know that we sincerely recognize their importance. Remember The Golden Rule: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. If we obey that law we will almost never get into trouble, and the observance will bring with it countless friends & constant happiness. Frequently those who have the least justification for a sense of achievement boost their own ego with a nauseating show of conceit. If we’re so selfish that we can’t radiate a bit of happiness and show a little honest appreciation without wanting something in return we are doomed to justified failure. To do something for someone without them being able to do anything in return provides a feeling that lives on long after the act. Courtesy oils the gears of the monotonous grind of everyday life and is the hallmark of good breeding.

Winning Friends & Influencing People: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

I mentioned in the introduction that How to Win Friends and Influence People is broken down into four sections. One of the things that I have always tried to consider since the inception of The Manofesto is readability. Very few people have the time or patience these days to read a 5000 word blog post no matter how insightful or fascinating it may be. I realize that I can be somewhat verbose on occasion, which goes directly against Shakespeare’s instruction that “brevity is the soul of wit”, so, atleast for this occasion, I am making an effort to break things down into more manageable pieces.


Carnegie first advises “don’t criticize, condemn, or complain”. Criticism & rebuke invariably fails. Criticism is futile because it puts others on the defensive, forces them to justify themselves, & wounds their pride. It hurts their sense of importance, kills ambition, & causes resentment. 99% of the time people won’t criticize themselves no matter how wrong they are. An analogy to pets that all of us can understand: animals rewarded for good behavior learn much quicker and retain more information than those punished for bad behavior. Human beings are hungry for approval but dread condemnation. We blame everybody but ourselves…it’s human nature. We are not creatures of logic…we are creatures of emotion with prejudices that are motivated by pride & vanity. Any fool can criticize…and most fools do. Conversely, it takes character & self-control to understand & forgive. Instead of condemnation we should try understanding, which leads to sympathy, tolerance, kindness, & forgiveness. Be anxious to praise but loathe to find fault.


The next technique we learn is to “give honest and sincere appreciation”. We all want approval, recognition, & a feeling of importance. We crave the stupendous power of sincere appreciation. Ralph Waldo Emerson stated that “every man is my superior in some way…in that I learn of him”. Emerson understood that human beings want the same basic things: health & preservation of life, food, sleep, money (and the things money can buy), the afterlife, sexual gratification, the well-being of our children, & a feeling of importance. The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be great or important, but it is the most difficult need to satisfy. Anyone who fulfills that need for another will hold that person in the palm of their hand. Everything humans do is primarily motivated by two things: sex & the desire to be great. The desire for a feeling of importance distinguishes mankind from animals. How a person gets their feeling of importance defines who they are and determines their character. People can actually go insane seeking to find, in their insanity, the feeling of importance that has been denied to them in reality. Considering that, imagine what you can achieve by giving sane people honest appreciation. Everybody likes compliments. Everybody wants to be appreciated. Studies show that the main reason spouses stray and/or leave is a lack of appreciation. Appreciation is “legal tender that all souls enjoy”. Never underestimate the power of appreciation, confidence, & consideration. We crave it almost as much as we do food. People will do better work & put forth more effort under a spirit of approval than they ever will under a spirit of criticism. The only way to really get anybody to do anything is to make them want to do it. Kind words remain fond memories for years. Conversely, shallow flattery usually fails, doing more harm than good in the long run. Flattery is telling a person precisely what they think of themselves. It comes from the teeth and is cheap, insincere, & selfish, while sincere appreciation comes from the heart & is universally admired. Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you…be afraid of friends who flatter you. We spend 95% of our time thinking about ourselves. If we stop thinking about ourselves & focus on the good points of others we won’t need to resort to flattery…we can show them genuine appreciation, one of the most neglected virtues of our daily existence.


And finally, Carnegies advises to “arouse an eager want”, opining that it is necessary to bait the hook to suit the fish. Henry Ford said that “the ability to see other peoples’ point of view as well as one’s own is the key to success”. We are all eternally interested in what we want, so the best way to influence people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it. Every act we have done since the day we were born has been performed because we wanted something. Self-expression is the dominant necessity of human nature. Action springs from fundamental desire. Even many of the most educated people go thru life without ever discovering how their own mind functions. One who can arouse in others an eager want has the whole world with them, while those who cannot walk a lonely road. The world is full of self-seekers. Therefore, an individual who unselfishly tries to serve others is rare and has an enormous advantage over the self-seeker. We are interested in solving our own problems, and if a person can show us how they can help us do that we’ll be buying without them needing to sell us anything. People who can put themselves in the place of others and understand the workings of their minds won’t ever need to worry about their future.


Stay tuned for the next installment…coming soon.



Winning Friends & Influencing People: An Introduction

I first read Dale Carnegie’s Winning Friends & Influencing People three decades ago as a young teenager. I was a nerdy kid with odd tastes in reading material, and the idea of making friends & being influential seemed pretty cool. I can’t honestly say that I have utilized Mr. Carnegie’s concepts in the ensuing years, atleast not intentionally. However, I would like to think that I learned a bit thru osmosis and have been using these techniques on some subconscious level. I recently decided, for no apparent reason, to re-read the book, and since I now have this forum to share my thoughts with the masses I am passing on the ideas within on to The Manoverse. You’re welcome.


In case you are curious…no, Dale Carnegie is not related to Andrew Carnegie (for whom Carnegie Hall in NY City & Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh is named). As a matter of fact, Dale Carnagey changed the spelling of his surname to capitalize on the prominence of the highly esteemed steel tycoon & philanthropist. Dale C. was a salesman of modest means who eventually began teaching courses in public speaking. He wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People in 1936, and eighty+ years later people are still reading it. Over 30 million copies have been sold, and it is universally regarded as one of the most influential books ever written. Dale Carnegie almost single-handedly created the self-help genre of books, which, depending on one’s perspective, is either a great thing or a sign that the end is near. I tend not to get too caught up in those kinds of books, but an occasional gem pops up, and this is definitely one of the best.


I suppose some might consider the ideas espoused by Carnegie a bit manipulative. However, he makes it very clear…more than once…that anyone who uses the skills he teaches must do so genuinely. Trickery & deceit may work temporarily, but at the end of the day such duplicity is better left to fictional villains on TV & in movies. Keep it real…if there is one major philosophy to take away from the book that might be at the top of the list. Of course there are moments (far too frequently for some of us) when what we are really thinking & feeling and what we’d like to actually say or do would certainly not accomplish the stated goals in the book’s title. It is precisely those situations in which the things taught by Carnegie come in handy. His ideas need to become more of a perpetual attitude & approach to social interaction, not a fraudulent hoax to get what we want. I have found it much easier in my life to be authentic & honest rather than keep track of a trail of lies that tend to multiply exponentially, and being a decent, kind, cooperative person is better for your health & well-being. Other people actually liking you is really just a nice bonus.


How to Win Friends & Influence People is broken down into four sections: fundamental techniques in handling people, ways to make people like you, winning people to your way of thinking, & changing people without giving offense or arousing resentment. In the interest of reading comprehension, good eye health, & old-fashioned reader satisfaction I think it is best to separate my contribution here into those four parts, and so I shall. Stay tuned.

Invisible Tattoo

Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings. It takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility. – William Wordsworth


I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever been a poetry kind of guy. Like anything else I consume…food, books, entertainment…I go thru various moods, bouncing from one thing to another as fancy strikes, but there are certain constants to which I always return, and poetry has never been one of those things for me. Having said that, I do occasionally dabble, atleast as a reader. And now I may be inspired to actually write poetry thanks to my friend Jennifer.



My college years remain, in my heart & soul, the best years of my life, and though I haven’t seen most of them in a couple of decades social media has allowed me to remain “friends” with many of those that were a part of my circle back then. One such person is Jennifer Saunders, who recently published a book of poetry called Invisible Tattoo. I am fortunate enough to have a job that requires my presence but little else, meaning that I spend my time there reading books & watching television. So on a quiet Friday night I decided to splurge on the $3 download and check out Jennifer’s book.



Aristotle called poetry “something more philosophical and of graver import than history”, while Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Sandburg defined it as “the synthesis of hyacinths & biscuits”. I think poetry means something different to everyone, and Invisible Tattoo is an intensely personal look into the author’s life & psyche. Knowing a bit about her journey made reading the book a little more…accessible…to me, but really many of the things she writes about are universal ideas to which everyone can relate. She explains the title of the book as alluding to “the impressions that experiences created on the inside”, which makes such beautiful sense. A cynic might more ominously describe the marks that life leaves us with as scars, but Jennifer isn’t misanthropic like that, which is part of her charm.



The poems that I connected with the most in the book are a set of about eight allusions to life in general. Butterfly uses one of nature’s loveliest creatures as an allegory for the ups & downs of life. The book’s titular poem talks about feeling stuck and, as I mentioned (because, in contrast to the author, I am a little nihilistic) the scars of life. By Myself speaks of the melancholy need for peace amidst chaos. The austerely titled Life is about confusion and dreams vs. reality. Mistake alludes to the bad decisions that reside in us all. Old vs. New compares the evolution of a small town to the transitions that we all go through. Syncopation of Life is an observation about busyness, the hustle & bustle of daily living. And finally, What Was Once Before Is Not Anymore is about change, the yin & yang of life.



A couple of poems are about growth. Caught talks about growing older, while Identity Lost uses the symbolism of a little girl’s love for ballet to talk about growing up, facing reality, and the idea that dreams may fade away but they rarely die.



Romance is in the air with Dark Horse, which speaks about meeting up with a lover, and Hide & Seek, centering on a dreamy kiss in a dark tunnel.



How Do I Know God Is Real? answers its own question and makes total sense.



Lucille, a dream about reuniting with a dead loved one at a church revival, and My Nana, in which the author remembers her late grandmother, are delicately lovely insights into the soul of a person whose family is a huge & important part of her.



Ray Bradbury would be proud of a set of poems that recognize the majesty of nature & space. Magic focuses on the awe inspiring moon, while Moon Walk speaks of its comforting peace. Midnight Storm sees a warm summer day turn into a dark, powerful, & beautiful tempest. Night gently expresses the feeling of drifting off to sleep on a quiet summer night. Spring is aptly titled and an appropriately charming depiction. Summer Blessing is about a pleasant summer day in the backyard. Sunrise is another self-explanatory & fittingly titled slice of life, while Sunset Over the Ohio River is a little more specific and elicited warm memories for me.



New Day compares people to books, and as a bibliophile who, as my friend The Owl says, “lives in a library”, I really enjoyed the comparison. The Book fits into the same category, as does the simply titled Words.



Soul Landscape contrasts darkness & light, while Self-Consumed speaks about selfishness and the need for companionship.



There are many other poems in Invisible Tattoo…these are just the ones that happen to resonate with me. I would encourage anyone looking for a quick, enjoyable read to hop on Amazon and either order a hard copy or download it onto your e-reading device. I hope Jennifer continues to write, whether that means more poetry or any other direction in which she is led to go.


A Few Book Recommendations for Baseball Fans

Sometimes I surprise myself by the predilections that I develop seemingly out of the mist. I have always fancied myself somewhat of a renaissance man who is interested in a wide range of subjects, which I generally consider a positive though I have noticed over the years that truly successful people seem to have tunnel vision and a laser focus on their vocation of choice. At any rate, this “variety is the spice of life” attitude spreads to the bookshelves in The Bachelor Palace as well, where one can find biographies of Founding Fathers alongside the Harry Potter series, books about agricultural science & history on the same shelf as Hemingway, and Shakespeare sharing space with The Hunger Games.


bballAt any rate I have…somewhat to my bewilderment…amassed quite a collection of baseball biographies. This is surprising to me because my feelings about baseball have been tepid at best for quite awhile, although as simple as it sounds and as trivial as it may seem to some I think the success thus far of the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates has me on the verge of falling in deep like with our national pastime once again. However, I also think it wise to look a bit deeper because you see my bookshelves are not filled with recent biographies about contemporary players like Derek Jeter, Mike Piazza, John Smoltz, or RA Dickey. Cheating scandals & rampant drug use still cause me to be a bit jaded about the modern game of baseball. Instead what you’ll find lining the walls of The Bachelor Palace are tomes about hallowed names of yesteryear…Ruth, Aaron, Mays, Mantle, Maris, Musial.

If I could hope in the ol’ DeLorean and go back in time I think one of the places I might like to visit would be the world of baseball during its golden age. I’d like to catch some games at places like Ebbets Field or The Polo Grounds, see teams like The Gashouse Gang & The Whiz Kids, and watch Hall of Famers like Dizzy Dean, Pie Traynor, & Pee Wee Reese. Why?? That’s an excellent question that I may address more in depth at some other time. For now it will suffice to say that our collective bromance with this bygone era and the quintessential American game that helped define it seems eternal and that’s okay with me.

Which is all a longwinded precursor to me endorsing three excellent baseball biographies that I have read in years past and that are likely to be enjoyed by any baseball fan. There will be sequels on this particular topic, but I think it best to just whet your appetite right now with a few recommendations:


Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero

Unfortunately one of the most beloved Pittsburgh Pirates of all time died in a tragic plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 when I was just 2 months old. However, growing up as a Pirates fan and living just a couple of hours from Pittsburgh means that I have heard a lot about Roberto Clemente my entire life. The Pirates organization has done an excellent job of keeping his memory alive over the past 40 years and recognizing what a truly special talent he was. However, one need not be a Pirates fan to enjoy this first-rate biography about Clemente written by David rcMaraniss, whose biography about Green Bay Packers football coach Vince Lombardi called When Pride Still Mattered is still one of the best books of any genre I have ever read. That combined with my admiration for what I’d always heard about Clemente were what prompted me to purchase this book about 5 years ago. This is a well written & engrossing story that is reverent & respectful yet honest about its subject. Clemente was somewhat neurotic & sensitive and felt the weight of being a black latino superstar. He was often treated shabbily by the press but could give as good as he got. In other words Clemente was a flawed human being just like the rest of us. That being said, his nobility & kindness shines through as well. And the author doesn’t shortchange the baseball aspect of things. I sometimes feel as though Roberto Clemente is overlooked in discussions about the greats of the game, with only long time Pirates fans willing to reserve for him his proper place among the baseball immortals. The fact is that not only should Clemente rank right up there with the best that ever played game, but he could have been even better if not for various physical ailments that plagued him throughout life. This is a book that should be read not only by anyone who calls themselves a Pittsburgh Pirates fan, but also by everyone who loves the game of baseball.


Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig

When I was in college I had the opportunity to take a class about sports movies. Yes that really is a thing…and it was gehrigawesome. We watched Knute Rocke: All American (with future President Ronald Reagan as The Gipper), The Natural, and Rocky…among others. But I think my favorite may have been Pride of the Yankees starring Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig. Most people know two things about Gehrig. They know that he was baseball’s “Iron Man”, having played in 2130 consecutive games between 1925 & 1939 (a record that stood for 56 years until Cal Ripken Jr. broke it in 1995), and they know that he died at age 37 from the debilitating muscle disease that now bears his name. But there is so much more to Gehrig and this book tells the story well. Many who have seen Pride of the Yankees may attribute the perception we have of Gehrig as a soft spoken, humble, down-to-earth guy to Gary Cooper’s wide-eyed, aw shucks, boy-next-door portrayal, but what the reader of Luckiest Man begins to understand is that Cooper’s portrayal was an extremely accurate representation of who Gehrig truly was. That’s not to say that Gehrig was perfect. He was a timid momma’s boy that didn’t mesh all that well with outgoing & gregarious teammate Babe Ruth and was caught in the middle of a lifelong tug-of-war between his mother and his wife that many more…forceful…men might have put the kibosh on pretty quick. But hey…we all have our issues, right?? The best endorsement I can give this book is that I am a lifelong hater of everything NY Yankees and because of the movie and this book I actually respect Lou Gehrig. You will too.


Joe DiMaggio : The Hero’s Life

dimaggio08_1_41Another Yankee?? Hmmm…maybe it’s just the modern day Yankees that I hate. If I had been around 60 years ago I might actually be a Yankee fan. Anyway, I remember when this biography came out about 13 years ago it was pretty controversial. Joltin’ Joe had always been a national treasure…a hero to Italian Americans, the apple of every girl’s eye, and the envy of every red-blooded male because of his graceful athletic skill and later his marriage to goddess Marilyn Monroe. Even in retirement he became the folksy pitchman for Mr. Coffee in the 1970’s & 80’s. But author Richard Ben Cramer lays waste to the DiMaggio mythos and exposes our hero as being yet another very flawed individual (I’m sensing a theme). The DiMaggio we read about here is an often petty, usually vain, sometimes bitter, frequently materialistic, largely unhappy man with an overinflated ego and a suspicious nature that had a negative impact on most of his personal relationships. The Hero’s Life is a stark reminder that just because someone can run fast, hit hard, or handle a ball with deft skill doesn’t mean they are a nice person. I suppose with guys like Barry Bonds, Lance Armstrong, Kobe Bryant, & Alex Rodriguez around we are all well aware of that fact, but it is interesting to realize that such phonies have been around for many many decades and fascinating to compare & contrast how joe-dimaggiotechnology doesn’t allow such individuals to hide their hypocrisy too well these days, whereas in DiMaggio’s time he & a complicit media were quite successful in creating a graceful, classy, refined image. Some may think Cramer’s book to be harsh or even malicious, but I generally found it to be insightful & fair. It is most definitely a page turner and a must read for every baseball fan.