“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people to be interested in you.”
Dale Carnegie wrote that in Part Two, Chapter 1 of How to Win Friends and Influence People in 1936.
In a shorter version, he included “genuinely” as a KEYWORD, so it read “Become genuinely interested in other people.”
No fakes allowed. We eventually see right through them. Hopefully, before they do us any harm.
I’m reminded of a person I met who seemed very friendly and interested in what was best for me. Then when I turned down the opportunity to purchase a product from this person, all communications abruptly ended. Fakery will be outed eventually. Thankfully it was before I introduced this person to my friends.
Of course, I don’t have a problem with selling to me if I want to buy. But if I don’t and that is going to end the relationship, well, better sooner than later. It’s not all about sales and soliciting donations.
Carnegie uses a dog as an example of a being with no ulterior motive that just wants to give love.
I’m sure that you, like me, appreciate people like that.
A little self-revelation here…
Many of us discover what we are really like once we leave home at about eighteen and our routine changes.
Maybe to the detriment of my college studies, I discovered that I was in fact genuinely interested in other people and that I would much rather be sitting in the Campus Corner grill talking with people from around the country than studying! Eventually, I learned to balance that interest with my need to be alone and get some work done!
Today I satisfy that interest in others by hosting an interview-style podcast.
Please avoid being a person who only wants to expand your vCard file. We do have work to do too!
Here is a troubling thought that maybe speaks to some of the horrendous acts of violence and neglect that are too often in the news:
“It is the individual who is not interested in his fellowman who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.”
Dale Carnegie wrote that in 1936. And we see the truth and result of that too often as tragic breaking news.
Please join me in the mission of being genuinely interested in other people, and in encouraging that in our children. The world will be a better place for it.