How to Woo Friends and Influence People

IMG_0209How to Woo Friends and Influence People (note the play on words here so I don’t get sued for copyright infringement!)

How to Win Friends and Influence People is probably the best-selling self-help book ever written. It was certainly the first! Penned by Dale Carnegie and first published in 1936, it sold more than15 million copies world-wide. How to Win Friends and Influence People is a true work of genius.

Dale Carnegies original idea has been reproduced, modified, developed and even copied by subsequent authors since, most recently and successfully by Paul McKenna, a man without an original idea in his head but with a knack for making money on the back of other people’s work. All of the below was incorporated into NLP (Neuro-Linguistic-Programming) or Neuro-Linguistic-Poppycock as I choose to call it. Anyway, I’m now going to do a McKenna and reduce all this work to its bare bones.

The main thing is to learn how to think like a psychopath, finessing people and being aware of their all too human weaknesses. If you can remember these 10 simple rules, you won’t go far wrong.

Rule 1. When a group of people share laughter, each member of the group will make eye contact with the person they feel closest to. Spotting relationships between members of a group is just a matter of simple observation. Psychopaths are able to pick up on this behaviour very quickly. It’s the golden key to working out where the connections lie between individuals, and it also works the other way around. After an inappropriate comment by a member of a group, it is a simple matter of observation to see how the hierarchy works in that group.

Be aware of who you are making eye contact with and who is making eye contact with you. Watch their body language and unconscious signals – you don’t need to be a psychologist to understand the hidden signals in the same way that you don’t need a degree in psychology to recognise when some one is flirting with you or when you are in a threatening situation. So watch out for these subtle signals.

Rule 2. When someone does you a favour, it actually makes them like you more – they unconsciously justify why they are doing it. Unconsciously, they expect that sometime in the future, they can get a favour from you in return.

Rule 3. Silence elicits answers… so, when you ask someone a question and there’s a pregnant pause, don’t try to jump back in and move the conversation forward – leave the ball in their court. I do this a lot in therapy sessions because the job of the therapist is not to suggest or even talk – the job of the therapist is to listen. But nature abhors a vacuum! Always try to let the other person do the talking.

In the main, people like talking, and find it easy to talk about themselves, so listen! And like the true psychopath, don’t be afraid to at least appear to be interested in them as a person, even if they’re boring the pants off you. God gave us two ears and only one mouth so maybe He intended us to listen twice as much as we talk… Anyway, they’ll like you all the more for it.

Rule 4. Displaying open hands or open palms conveys trust, making people more likely to agree with what you’re saying. They’re also more likely to find you friendly and likeable. Pointing, on the other hand (pardon the pun) is generally seen as aggressive and rude. There’s a very good cultural and historical reason why we display open hands. Believe it or not, it’s to show the other person that we’re not carrying a weapon!

Rule 5. Nodding your head during a conversation makes the other person more likely to agree with what you’re saying, even if you are the one saying it. Nodding your head when you speak is an effective way of bringing the other person round to your way of thinking. By doing this (be careful to be subtle!) you are conveying the idea that what you’re saying is not only true, but also desirable and others will be more inclined to agree with your point of view.

Rule 6. If you have to tell a lie, add the odd embarrassing self-effacing detail to make it more believable. Psychopaths do this all the time. What’s more, they get away with it, especially if it’s accompanied by a smile. The more detail you add, the more the story takes shape in their imagination, and imagery is a brilliantly clever way of getting others to accept and believe your story. We are bordering here on the use of Metaphor – something that NLP enthusiasts love!

Rule 7. People’s gaze reveals their interest. If the person you’re talking to isn’t looking at you you can assume that they’re not interested in what you’re saying. So move the conversation on, or move on to someone else.

Rule 8. When you meet someone new, whatever else happens, take the trouble to remember their name!!! Better still, try to work their name into the conversation – just a couple of times, no more, otherwise your efforts will come across as false, so try to do it naturally. This takes a certain amount of self-discipline, but it’s worth the effort in the end.

Rule 9. Showing interest in other people’s pet projects or even showing interest in their pathetic projects will make them like you. Again, the golden rule here is to listen and pretend to be interested in their boring shit.

Rule 10. Maintain eye contact for at least half the conversation! If you do it all the time, you’ll come across as aggressive and creepy. On the other hand, if you only maintain eye contact for less than half the conversation, you’ll come across as disinterested. Maintaining eye contact for roughly 60% of a conversation makes you seem interested, friendly, even trustworthy – even though you’re not.

So there you have it in a nutshell, and for free too! What a bargain! The very best of luck with it.

Copyright Andrew Newton 2015. All rights reserved.