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How to Win Friends and Influence People (A.K.A. Best Practices for being a Decent Human Being)
You may recognize the title of this article. It is that of a book written by the late Dale Carnegie. Basically, How to Win Friends and Influence People spells out some common sense techniques on being a better salesperson and being a better you. If you haven’t read the book (and you should), Carnegie describes techniques that make people want to be with you. This book was originally published in 1936.
1936, people! That was like…forever ago.
Though innovative thought-provoking in its early days, I can’t help looking on some of these directives with a “well, DUH!” mentality when I apply his principles to everyday life.
For example, Carnegie recommends, to build trust and influence people, you use somebody ’s name.
OK…I get this… but isn’t that a no-brainer? Of course, you’d use their name and I truly don’t recommend ever using “bro” or “homey” instead of the given name.
Another technique that Carnegie describes is to pay attention to other peoples’ likes and wants.
So basically, if you are meeting with someone and you know they are madly in love with elephants…you should talk about elephants. The lesson is to take a genuine interest in others and you will find them drawing towards you more and more.
The downside to this theory is that our modern society has produced some pretty “out there” hobbies and habits. I am honestly not sure if I want to know about body jewelry, Fortnite, or a fascination with CosPlay. I love to learn about people, but oversharing is running wild these days.
The techniques described in the book really are common sense, but they work. It should be noted that Carnegie wrote the book to help people sell better. But just as many are common sense tactics on how to be a decent and kind human being. If we need books to tell us these things, this world is in even bigger trouble than we thought.
But it made me think.
Think about what I believe makes all better peoples.
Here’s my long list on how we can all strive to be more decent human beings:
63 Best Practices for being a Decent Human Being
- Just be nice.
- Be decent.
- Be grateful.
- Be kind. Kindness is cool.
- Treat humans with respect.
- Treat animals with respect.
- Treat Mother Earth with respect.
- Leave any place you visit better than when you arrived.
- Pay attention. Listen.
- Practice self-care and set healthy boundaries.
- Acknowledge that it’s OK, to not be OK.
- Have good friends who have your back. And return the favor.
- Help others because it’s the right thing to do.
- Believe in a Higher Power.
- Live below your means.
- Stuff is just stuff. Experiences are priceless.
- Don’t focus on making millions. Focus on making memories
- Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, be “all in”at that moment.
- When it comes to kids, allow lots of time, have lots of patience and give lots of love.
- Never stop learning.
- Laugh a lot.
- Wear comfy clothes.
- Set goals or intentions. Then follow through.
- Get comfortable with being by yourself. Solitude doesn’t always equal loneliness.
- Ditch hate. It only weighs you down.
- Believe in miracles.
- Forgive others. Forgive yourself.
- Get outside. Nature heals.
- It’s OK to fail.
- Stay away from toxic people if you are in danger of becoming one too.
- Work hard. Be honest. Have integrity.
- Volunteer your time, talents and treasure often.
- Don’t settle.
- Love yourself madly.
- Don’t be judgey.
- Treasure your grandparents before they leave this earth.
- Wisdom is sexy. Be wise.
- Don’t gossip. It has no purpose.
- Speak up for others who can’t speak up for themselves.
- Speak up for yourself.
- Never allow anyone to minimize you. Don’t minimize others.
- Call your mom every week.
- Call your dad every week.
- Remember you are never too old to start over.
- Don’t skimp on sleep.
- Have at least one pet. ( I have eight 🙂
- Spend less time watching TV and more time reading.
- Fuel your body with healthy stuff.
- Be light. Light always wins over darkness.
- Don’t take everything so seriously.
- Live every day like it’s your last.
- Be knowledgeable about your own finances.
- Choose joy.
- Own your shit. And apologize if you need to.
- Be humble, but not timid.
- Practice empathy.
- Go on a pilgrimage. Wander. Travel.
- Give compliments freely. They don’t hurt or cost money.