When I was in school, I remember reading about Dale Carnegie’s book ‘How to make Friends & Influence People.’ Back then I was a weird kid; I still am weird guy. I could never fit in amongst people; I did not have any friends so naturally I wanted to read it.
When I eventually got my hands in the book, I read it slowly, methodically, trying to soak in everything in the book. I read the companion piece and I read the book again. Now, five years after reading the book, sometimes I glance through it. I try to remember the lessons and techniques the book taught me. I try to perceive solutions of perplexing issues or people I encounter. However, today I understood it does not talk about a certain kind of people: assholes
What Dale Carnegie and his ’How to win friends and influence people’ made me believe?
It made me believe that the world is full of people like me. People who are often misunderstood, they are grumpy and they are now laconic. I genuinely thought that the book made everything simpler. Like a proper recipe, the book opened a new doorway for me: socialism.
Simple: Just a bunch of techniques to follow.
In addition, ‘How to win friends and influence people’ author Dale Carnegie always said that to make the techniques work, you need to be interested in the other person. Feigning interest will not work. Even then, I was interested in finding out what is happening in the other person’s life.
I wanted to know the other person.
What the ‘How to win friends and influence people’ didn’t tell me
I don’t think Dale Carnegie deliberately forgot to talk about this. He must have never come across the same assholes I have so far encountered. Maybe if he did then the book would be aptly named ‘How to win friends and influence people while staying away from assholes.’ Regardless, the techniques are not a boon with such people. They were a curse because when I got to know such people, I hated them.
Its equivalent to finding out your best friend is a criminal.
Mostly, it is their thinking that makes me nauseous. I don’t want to know about the assholes’ ‘exploits’. Neither do I want to know how did you cheat your way through your life. It is unnerving to find out that the person who I think is a great friend actually has such low opinion of everything that I value.
Before I read ‘How to win friends and influence people’ I felt the hurt of loneliness. Now, I feel a longing for that loneliness that I tried to claw my way out of. The people I tried to befriend are now the people who I should never be near to.
Dale Carnegie forgot to talk about making the wrong friends. He forgot to tell me that not ever grumpy person is like me, lonely and awkward. He forgot to tell me that grumpy person is actually someone who I should avoid.
Concluding, I’m glad I read ‘How to win friends and influence people’
Dale Carnegie may have written a novel which is no longer applicable for the current generation. But he gave me a chance to change and finally get out of hole I dug for myself. I made more mistakes than wrong friends along the way. These mistakes hurt and haunt me, but the friends that remain make me forget about it.