Mr F (my 17-year old son and hero) is reading How To Win Friends and Influence People. That alone shows he’s a chip off the old block in that it’s totally uncool to read a self-help book written, what, 80 years ago? But he seems to be lapping it all up and good on him, there wouldn’t be a 17 year old boy alive who wouldn’t be improved by taking on some of Mr Carnegie’s maxims.
For instance, this one (as paraphrased by me):
“Nobody is interested in YOU. They’re interested in themselves. So to make people like you, YOU have to be interested in THEM.’
So that’s why I’m so popular (see I know these things instinctively). No really, that’s so true, and many an internet dater would do well to remember it (only, then you can get those awkward situations, you know “So what are YOU interested in?” , “Oh me! Let’s not talk about that, you tell me what YOU’RE interested in!”. Alright WTF let’s talk about me then.
UNTIL I get to the point where I don’t want the person to like me. Say, I don’t particularly like THEM, or, I get bored, or other things seem more important, like spending time with ME. The thing is,well-balanced people don’t always want to be popular, with everyone, all the time. Sometimes we’re happy to be unpopular.
Still…when you’re a nerdy teenager you generally DO want to be more popular and I just wish I’d read that book THEN, when I was nice.
The most important word in anyone’s life is THEIR NAME
Good point. I forget names. I forget faces. Last weekend I called Neighbour 1 (who I’ve known for 2 years) by Neighbour 2′s name. She was gracious about it (she pretended she didn’t hear). I also tried to remember my work colleagues’ names by giving them little adjectives ‘Nearly Pregnant Nina’, ‘Knitting Belinda’. Only problem – when Belinda (who inexplicably seemed to spend hours at work sitting in the tea room making blankets) put down her needles, I didn’t have a clue who she was. No no, you’re Knitting Belinda – go back and Knit!
The funny thing (well one of them) about DC’s seminal tome is that he keeps referring to people by name and location, as in ‘Mrs Elsie P. Higginbottom of Hicksville, Carolina, related the following story..’. Sweet! Hardly anyone wants to be named and shamed in a self-help book these days – obviously there are easier ways to get famous, like botoxing your eight year old.