Inspired by Dale Carnegie’s “How to win friends and influence people”

A new perspective on countenancing peoples’ apparent impulsive behaviour dawned on me when reading Dale Carnegie’s famous book “How To Win Friends And Influence People”. Not more than a few lines of the first chapter brought light to a novel perspective of life that I’m glad to share.

To be able to deal with people accurately with no remnants of damages left, I realized that one needs to develop, introduce or reintroduce three faculties in their daily engagements; intelligence, capacity and capability.

John D. Rockefeller in his heydays said, “The ability to deal with people is just as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee, and I will pay more for that ability than any other under the sun”. If Rockefeller’s quote is anything to go by then the art of dealing with people is an act of nobility and of commercial prominence.

In my analysis of the few lines I read, I employed an analogy to make me understand and make more practicable John Wanamaker’s quote that laid to bear the futility of criticism; “I learnt thirty years ago that it is foolish to scold”. Wanamaker’s quote is to elucidate the unraveled fact that criticism or scolding would only put the receiver in a defensive position. Not only would the person be defensive but grow indignant as well.

The Analogy

Criticism and how to deal with it is like; Abu when scurrying to acquire the last ticket on sale stepped on the foot of Alhassan who had already lost the chance to grab that same last ticket. If Alhassan should get repulsive to insult and tear his shirt and invite Abu to a brawl, should Abu respond in equal measure?

This is when to employ the three faculties; intelligence, capacity and capability. If I happen to be in Abu’s position, I would first rationalize the “why and how”. Why is Alhassan inviting Abu to a fist match in response to this rather common accident? Perhaps, Alhassan’s strata of intelligence couldn’t help him to appreciate the fact that in a public space, it is a mechanical occurrence for one’s foot to be stepped on.

Secondly, Alhassan could be having a considerably low capacity to accommodate and condone others’ “bullshit”. And lastly, the only thing he could be capable of is to turn every “bullshit event” into a boxing rehearsal.

Now in Abu’s application of the three faculties;
Firstly, it may be expedient on Abu’s part to analyze Alhassan’s intelligence by questioning the “why” of Alhassan’s actions. Secondly, it may not be far from the prior expediency to put on the capacity to accommodate and countenance Alhassan’s folly. Last but not least, it may be of equal prudence to have the capability to walk away from the unpleasant drench he was tempted to suffer.

In a nutshell, as a matter of intelligence, always ask the “why” of a person’s demeanor; in matters of capacity, always have the capacity to tolerate; and lastly where capability matters, always walk away with no fossils of damage left behind.



Kwabena Sarfo-Kantanka, Kobby is a great Psychologist with an in-depth knowledge about human nature.
He loves writing engaging articles on education, human nature and behaviour. He is committed to writing motivational articles.


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