Winning Friends & Influencing People the 21st-Century Way


Dale Carnegie’s classic how-to book still makes a lot of sense: even in the 21st century, it’s human nature to want (and need) friends.

In a recent FastCompany article, Stephanie Vozza points to a Harvard University study that indicates making friends is important for good health: “A lack of strong relationships increases your risk of premature death from all causes by 50%.”

But finding new friends can be tricky.

Of course, we live in a digital world, and if making online friends is your goal, it’s a cinch. Mind you, some of those new digital friends may turn out to be bots or algorithms, but they can give the impression of friendship.

It’s different with real people. And if you want to know who would make a good friend and who would not, there’s lots of advice available. Notes Jon Levy in Speed, a pop-up blog from New York Magazine, “Don’t invest too much time engaging with the wrong people. When approaching someone, begin with a litmus test.” For example, “If you wave at someone from across the room and they wave back, they’re friendly, you can approach.”

Levy also says we are more likely to connect with someone with whom we have something in common. Just find out what, and connect.

Vozza, too, has suggestions for making new friends, including not waiting for others to make the first move, and following up on their overtures.

It seems the basic tenets of Dale Carnegie’s system still work. You can make real friends. Even in 2017.