How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie

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Wouldn't you like to have a magic phrase that would stop arguments, eliminate ill
feeling, create good will, and make the other person listen attentively?
Yes? All right. Here it is: "I don’t blame you one iota for feeling as you do. If I were you
I would undoubtedly feel just as you do.”
An answer like that will soften the most cantankerous old cuss alive. And you can say
that and be 100 percent sincere, because if you were the other person you, of course,
would feel just as he does. Take Al Capone, for example. Suppose you had inherited
the same body and temperament and mind that Al Capone had. Suppose you had had
his environment and experiences. You would then be precisely what he was - and
where he was. For it is those things - and only those things - that made him what he
was. The only reason, for example, that you are not a rattlesnake is that your mother
and father weren’t rattlesnakes.
You deserve very little credit for being what you are - and remember, the people who
come to you irritated, bigoted, unreasoning, deserve very little discredit for being what
they are. Feel sorry for the poor devils. Pity them. Sympathize with them. Say to
yourself: “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”
Three-fourths of the people you will ever meet are hungering and thirsting for
sympathy. Give it to them, and they will love you.
I once gave a broadcast about the author of Little Women, Louisa May Alcott. Naturally,
I knew she had lived and written her immortal books in Concord, Massachusetts. But,
without thinking what I was saying, I spoke of visiting her old home in Concord. New
Hampshire. If I had said New Hampshire only once, it might have been forgiven. But,
alas and alack! I said it twice, I was deluged with letters and telegrams, stinging
messages that swirled around my defenseless head like a swarm of hornets. Many were