THE PRINCIPLES OF Dale Carnegie's book,
How to Win Friends and Influence People are
often thought of as superficial. To some degree, this is true
as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough. The truth is,
almost every relationship starts superficially. The relationship
between parents and their children is the one exception.
Relationships progress from superficial
acquaintances to deep friendships. If you want to form friendships,
you must start out at the surface level and this gives you a
place to start from which you can form a deeper friendship.
Recall how your previous good friendships
have started. They weren't profound at the beginning. They were
superficial. And you gradually got to know your friend better.
You shared more experiences. You found more common ground as
time went on. That's how it works. You can't skip the superficial
stage, so you might as well master this level.
Many of the friendships you formed in childhood
began before you even remember. But this is how they began. This
is how they all start: First you learn a person's name
and where she is from and what she does for a living. Then you
learn her interests. If you find common ground, the relationship
gradually moves from the superficial to the deeper and more lasting
kind of friendship.
So in your quest to form a lasting friendship,
an understanding of how to form superficial relationships is
essential. Learn the principles and apply them. Read the book.
Listen to the book on tape, and learn to get to know people superficially.
Form superficial bonds. If you find a person you want to go further
with if you want to form a more than superficial relationship,
you can begin to open up. Read
more about cultivating closeness here. But the principles
from Carnegie's book will apply even at the deepest levels. Whether
your friendship is superficial or profound, it is still important
to listen well, to express your interest in the other person,
to appreciate her, etc.
For some pursuits, there are no shortcuts,
and developing friendships is one of these. You cannot skip the
beginning part and jump straight to the deeper parts. Begin at
the beginning. Start with the superficial and move gradually
To form deep friendships,
first learn to form superficial friendships.
Read How to Win Friends and Influence People