“You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people that you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Human Relations Principle #4: Become genuinely interested in other people.
(“Do this and you’ll be welcome anywhere.”)
(This is the fourth in a series of articles where I will encapsulate each of Dale Carnegie’s timeless, life-changing principles for dealing with people. (Adapted from How to Win Friends and Influence People.))*
One can win the attention, time and cooperation of even the most sought-after people by becoming genuinely interested in them.
It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men 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.
The greatest winner of friends in the world
We can learn a lot from the greatest winner of friends the world has ever known. Hint: When you get within ten feet of her, she practically jumps out of her skin to greet you with no expectation of anything in return. Who is she? A dog. A dog’s soul purpose in life is to give you nothing but love, joy and comfort with no expectation of anything in return (okay maybe a bit of food and a belly rub).
If we want to make friends, let’s greet people with the same animation and enthusiasm as a puppy.
The key is to be genuine and sincere
To be genuinely interested in other people is the most important quality for any person to possess. If we merely try to impress people and get people interested in us, we will never have many true, sincere friends. Friends, real friends, are not made that way.
A show of interest, as with every other principle of human relations, must be sincere. It must pay off not only for the person showing the interest, but for the person receiving the attention. It is a two-way street—both parties benefit. We are interested in others when they are interested in us. Others are interested in us when we show interest in them.
If we want to make friends, let’s put ourselves out to do things for other people—things that require time, energy, unselfishness and thoughtfulness. It will send a message that you care.
Let’s show genuine interest in others and win a new friend today.
Much success and fulfillment with mastering human relations,
* The best guide on effective human relations that I have ever encountered is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, published in 1936. Prior to writing the book, Carnegie spent 20 years researching the habits of successful people. The book has sold over 30 million copies and is still listed on Amazon’s top 100 best selling books.
Other articles within this series you may enjoy: