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Don't criticize, condemn, or complain

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In [@carnegie2010How to win friends & influence people], Dale Carnegie argues that most people don't criticize themselves. He quotes some examples such as Al Capone claiming he did good for the world. I thought about Pablo Escobar, for example. In their own heads these people make an image of themselves that can be very different from the image others have. Therefore, the author asks himself why, if characters such as those don't criticize themselves we should.

Criticism is futile, because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person's precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.

The first point the book makes is that we should start by understanding the other. What drove them to do what they did. The chapter cites many examples (too american and too early XX century to be broadly understood), on how resentment can carry a long way (up to the point of dragging Lincoln to a pistol duel). The idea that the same person is to himself different than what they are for others made me think about Uno, nessuno e centomila - Luigi Priandello.

Instead of criticizing someone actions, we can start by putting ourselves on their shoes. An example would be with that of a little kid. Sure, they will do silly things that could be condemned if done by an adult. However, if we put ourselves on their perspective, we can actually appreciate the things they do.

With people is the same. We should start by not criticizing, condemning, nor complaining. If we do, the other person can hold a grudge for very long. If we have to work with, or see that other person every day, then the consequences can be dire.

Note on The Leader in You - Dale Carnegie

Tags: #literature-note, #2021, #books


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