For the past three weeks I have been reading How to Make Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. At the end of every chapter Carnegie would give a ‘principle.’ In this essay I am going to talk about which principle is going to be the most difficult for me to use.
If I am being honest, most of the principles that I have read about are already things that I know and do. But there is one principle that I know will be the hardest for me to use. It is from Part Three, Chapter Three: “if you are wrong admit it quickly and emphatically.”
I do not know about others, but I find it quite hard to admit it when I am wrong (I will attribute this to my pride). Even when I am wrong, and I know it, I still have a hard time admitting that I was wrong. If I have to admit it willingly and emphatically, that may be a challenge. But if I suck up my pride and admit my mistakes it will help me in the future. The examples Carnegie gave in this chapter proves it.
In this first few pages Carnegie told us a story about him and his dog. He had a park that he liked to take his dog to, and one day a police officer came up to them and asked why the dog did not have a muzzle and a leash. Carnegie said that he had forgotten it at home. The policeman let him off, but warned Carnegie there would be consequences if he caught them again. Carnegie used the muzzle and leash a few times afterwards, but eventually stopped. One day, the same policeman caught them without a muzzle and a leash. Instead of letting him come over and reprimand him, Carnegie went up to him and started to apologize profusely. The policeman took pity on him and let Carnegie off, this time with no warning.
As you can see, when you start apologizing before the other person gets mad you may get them on your side and they will let you off the hook. Carnegie says that people like to feel important, if they feel they helped you and did a good thing, they will feel good about themselves and treat you less harshly.
Maybe I should start trying to use this principle on my Mom when I get in trouble.