The Science (& Very Fragile Art) of Friendship

I roll my eyes trying to shape this blog post. With the virtual reality of Facebook and the superficialities of social media, there are modes of friendship and then there is the art of friendship. I don’t speak to this subject as an expert, for there is so much I personally lack in the area of friends.

Here is the bottom line: to create and nurture friendships, start with these basics from relationship and leadership guru Dale Carnegie. Dale Carnegie is most noted for his book How To Win Friends And Influence People. Here are just a sampling of the 30+ Golden Principles he prescribes to his readers. The subtexts are my take on each principle.

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

    Simple and yet so powerful. You know how much respect you get when you don’t do that stuff?

  2. Give honest, sincere appreciation.

    Appreciate others. Want to endear your acquaintances and step into friendship. Give it up for their qualities of x, y, z. Who are they and what do you love about them? Express it and mean it when you do. (But don’t flatter!)

  3. Become genuinely interested in other people.

    I just want to give that one a big fat “DUH”. But how often do you actually care about others? That’s an art right there. And it’s not about what can they do for me, it’s about what the heck can I give them? Attention? Care? Interest?

  4. Smile.

    To smile with a genuine effort is to capture a moment of infinite happy possibilities.

  5. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

    Don’t you like to be called by your name when people talk to you? Do it to them. Honestly, I wish I did this more with others. While we’re on that point, repeating their name back to them when you first meet is a great way to help you remember their name. (And saying it aloud at least seven times to yourself will too)

  6. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

    We all know the expression “to have friends you have to be a friend.” So listen to the other person!

Stay brave!

-Katie

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