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5 Proven Ways to Lose Friends and Alienate People

In 1936, Dale Carnegie wrote and published his best-selling book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. It’s sold over 15 million copies.

Carnegie provided some sage advice on what to do to gain influence and credibility, and this post is sort-of a spin-off on his theme, except I’m going to tell you what you should not do.

Don't be him

See, it seems to me that all too often people ruin relationships and wind up being depressed and alone, not because of what they should have been doing, but because of what they were doing.

Becoming a well-respected and appreciated person is just as much about eliminating bonehead behaviors as it is about developing admirable ones. If you want to lose friends and alienate people, be sure to do the following 5 things.

1. Be absurdly arrogant.

Think of yourself as the best, the brightest, and the prettiest. You can do no wrong, and in fact, you should be quick to brag about everything you’ve done well.

Constantly derive superiority from all of the stories of your successes, and don’t forget to ramble on about them for hours to anyone who wants to listen. Your shit doesn’t stink. You don’t put your pants on one leg at a time. You are perfect, so act like it, and never admit that you’re in the wrong.

2. Epitomize unreliability.

You told someone you’d be somewhere? Ah, forget it. Be sure to always be late, and never follow through on promises you make. When someone is really depending on you, let their needs slip your mind.

3. Cling mercilessly.

One of your friends is going to a party, a restaurant, or to the movies with some friends? You’ll come! Don’t bother asking if it’s okay. Just go ahead and invite yourself. No one will ever mind.

4. Complain constantly.

Frequently brainstorm new areas of your life that are in some way insufficient, and talk about how much they suck. Prattle on and on to your friends, family, and hell, even random strangers.

Everyone loves hearing about other people’s problems. And, you deserve to vent. No one else has any problems, and if they do, surely they aren’t as pressing or as stressful as your problems. So bitch a little more.

5. Disrespect others’ property.

At a friend’s house? Throw in a frozen pizza without asking, or take the Cadillac out for a joy ride. “Borrow” your sister’s CD collection and forget to return it. Track mud onto your boyfriend’s carpet.

Other people’s things are not nearly as valuable as your things. Plus, you’re entitled to do whatever you want with whomever’s stuff you want, whenever you want, right? Right. Be a complete leech.

I hope I’ve made my point…

For those of you who were unable to translate my sarcasm, this is basically what I just told you. To win friends and influence people, you should:

1. Be humble.
2. Be reliable.
3. Be independent.
4. Be positive and don’t complain.
5. Be respectful.

And voila! Doing those 5 things will take you a long ways towards being someone people actually trust and admire. Best of luck. Buh-bye.

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About Gregory Arnold Gregory is a writer, difference maker, and personal growth enthusiast. He believes that by improving ourselves, we find true happiness and improve the world in the process.


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