Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Okay, so I have a new toy and I'm a bit enthusiastic about posting in it. If I'm going too fast, tell me to slow down. I'll be going into a lot more detail later on looking at various techniques/exercises you can use that will develop skills to overcome SA. For now, I've got some more fundamentals for you. This is nothing to do with anxiety of any form but a very useful and simple concept in making friends.

In 1936, Dale Carnegie wrote his international best seller How to Win Friends and Influence People. It still circulates today (I have a copy sitting in front of me) and is a highly regarded piece of work amongst those go-getting business suit types. Personally, I don't feel it's a perfect composition and probably slightly dated in this modern age, but you simply can't deny the significance of the fundamental points brought to light in this book. Here's an extract:

'Why read this book to find out how to win friends? Why not study the technique of the greatest winner of friends the world has ever known? Who is he? You may meet him tomorrow coming down the street. When you get within ten feet of him he will begin to wag his tail. If you stop and pat him he will almost jump out of his skin to show you how much he likes you. And you know that behind this show of affection on his part, there are no ulterior motives: he doesn't want to sell you any real estate, and he doesn't want to marry you.'

'Did you ever stop to think that a dog is the only animal that doesn't have to work for a living? A hen has to lay eggs, a cow has to give milk, a canary has to sing. But a dog makes his living by giving you nothing but love.'
- Dale Carnegie

Here's some more:

'You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you'
- Dale Carnegie

Let's be honest, most people don't give a shit about what you get up to at work or how much you paid for your coffee. They care about what they get up to at work and how much they paid for their coffee. Now and again you do meet people who appear to show a genuine interest in your life. Take a look at them. They are the people who have more friends than they know what to do with. All anyone wants is to feel loved, just as you do.

I remember my first day at college. Most of you will have been in a similar situation where you're thrown into a class full of people you have never met before in your life. It's not the ideal place for the typical SAer. After my solo lunch break in the car I made my way back to the class. I must've been early because there was no one else there, apart from one other guy. Regardless of my usual 'don't come near me!' body language he immediately struck up a conversation about the seemingly perilis and friendless situation we were in. The first thing that befuddled me was that this really confident guy showed clear signs of fear when presented with the idea of making friends, but that's another story. The second thing that left me perplexed was the fact that he seemed genuinely interested in my situation as well as his. For the few years I would periodically bump into him after that he always asked me how I was doing and always showed an interest in not only me, but every other person he encountered. Did he make friends that week? He made more friends than would last him a lifetime. I've always held a lot of appreciation for him myself, simply because he showed an interest in me, even when I gave him very little in return his enthusiasm never faded.

If you can become genuinely interested in other people, and show it, you will never have a shortage of friends.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow great idea. Keep'em coming

6:18 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm starting my new college on my own tomorrow this has helped put me in a much better mind set. thanks.

8:49 pm  
Blogger Dan said...

Good advice! I have pretty bad social anxiety and I'm excited to roll through some of your methods of conquering it.

10:07 am  

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