How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie

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I was waiting in line to register a letter in the post office at Thirty-third Street and
Eighth Avenue in New York. I noticed that the clerk appeared to be bored with the job
-weighing envelopes, handing out stamps, making change, issuing receipts - the same
monotonous grind year after year. So I said to myself: "I am going to try to make that
clerk like me. Obviously, to make him like me, I must say something nice, not about
myself, but about him. So I asked myself, ‘What is there about him that I can honestly
admire?’ " That is sometimes a hard question to answer, especially with strangers; but,
in this case, it happened to be easy. I instantly saw something I admired no end.
So while he was weighing my envelope, I remarked with enthusiasm: "I certainly wish I
had your head of hair.”
He looked up, half-startled, his face beaming with smiles. "Well, it isn’t as good as it
used to be,” he said modestly. I assured him that although it might have lost some of its
pristine glory, nevertheless it was still magnificent. He was immensely pleased. We
carried on a pleasant little conversation and the last thing he said to me was: “Many
people have admired my hair.”
I’ll bet that person went out to lunch that day walking on air. I’ll bet he went home that
night and told his wife about it. I’ll bet he looked in the mirror and said: “It is a
beautiful head of hair.”
I told this story once in public and a man asked me afterwards: “What did you want to
get out of him?”
What was I trying to get out of him!!! What was I trying to get out of him!!!
If we are so contemptibly selfish that we can’t radiate a little happiness and pass on a
bit of honest appreciation without trying to get something out of the other person in
return - if our souls are no bigger than sour crab apples, we shall meet with the failure