Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so.
– Lord Chesterfield
This is another quote from the Dale Carnegie’s all-time classic book on human relationships – How to Win Friends & Influence People. In chapter 2, Dale Carnegie explains the sure way to avoid making enemies. When you tell people that they are wrong, it will make them want to strike back because you have struck a direct blow at their intelligence, judgement, pride, and self-respect. It will not alter their opinions; it will not change their minds. Dale Carnegie summarizes it in this quote here by saying that you don’t have to tell people that you are smarter than them, you can achieve a lot more if you do it subtly, adroitly without them knowing that you are questioning their opinions.
The way to do, is to begin by saying:
“well, now, look. I thought otherwise, but I may be wrong. I frequently am. And if I am wrong, I want to be put it right. Let’s examine the facts”
If you begin by saying like this, then it won’t arouse opposition and listener won’t be thinking of battling against you. It is a more subtle way of conveying your thoughts to someone if you think you disagree their opinions, beliefs, and thoughts.
Do you already follow this rule? What phrases do you use? Let us know in the comments below.