Dale Carnegie: The Human Whisperer


Dale Carnegie (1888 - 1955)
Dale Carnegie (1888 – 1955)

When Warren Buffet (the world’s richest investor), lauds over a book as fervently as Buffet has about Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends And Influence People, how can you not be interested in reading it? Many successful people, aside from Buffet, have praised its lessons as a road map on their way to success in terms of how they have dealt with people.

HTWF&IP is one of the most popular and best selling books of all time.  After having read it, I feel the title is a bit of a disservice to the book. Considering it was first published in 1936 and has continued to sell and remain relevant is a testament to the value of the life lessons inside the book.

I suspect a lot of people have the same line of thinking I once had about the book. When I heard “How to win friends.” in the title, I thought.. “I’m not a loser! I have friends, and don’t have a hard time making friends, so why do I need to read a book about “winning” friends!” I do believe people are interested in learning how to influence other people. That’s just simple self-interest rearing its head; people will always look for ways to get an advantage over others. It’s the “Win friends” bit that is likely a road block to people picking up this book.  I’m writing this right now to tell you, if you haven’t read it, and this is your reasoning; get over it, get it and read it!

What this book is is a road map to dealing with people. Particularly dealing with people and their ego. If I could choose a title for this book, I might have called it… Human Nature 101: A Guide To Dealing With People and Their Ego. Avoiding dealing with people, in whatever endeavor you choose to pursue, is almost impossible.  And this is your ‘why’. While reading HTWF&IP I kept a book mark with a quote from the book as a reminder as to why I need to read this book.

“My popularity, my happiness and sense of worth depend to no small extent upon my skill in dealing with people.”

Dealing with people and their egos is difficult all on it’s own. A huge part of the problem is that we are also dealing with our own egos as well. That is the key to this book! That is the hard lesson that must be learned in order to truly get the most out of this book. While dealing with people you must get a firm grip on your own ego; reign it in, don’t give in to its urges.  The urge to criticize others. The urge to want to be right. The urge to care only about what you want.  We are all guilty of these urges. These are human urges. The advantage you gain from reading this book is a fundamental understanding of human ego, when you understand others, you understand yourself.


Dale Carnegie Quote

Dale Carnegie Quote

Dale Carnegie Quote


(BTW, it took me a couple of attempts at reading this book before I really understood and appreciated the lessons inside, if it’s not helpful to you, maybe give it a rest and try reading again in the future!)

How To Win Friends and Influence People cover
Originally published: Simon & Schuster (October 1936)