Chapter 9: Let Others Like You Immediately
Once, while waiting in line for certified mail at the post office, I noticed an employee behind the counter serving customers looking very depressed. I tried to think about his daily routines: weighing envelopes, stamping stamps, changing change and handing out receipts to customers. Things keep repeating monotonously year after year, how can he not get bored.
So I said to myself, “I’ll try to cheer this guy up.” To do that, I need to say something interesting, not about me, of course, but about him. I watched and an idea popped up. As he was weighing my envelope, I said, “I wish I had hair as beautiful as yours.”
He looked up, slightly surprised, his face suddenly widening with a wide smile and humbly replied: “Thank you, today my hair is not as beautiful as usual!”. I can assure you that his hair was beautiful, it gave him a special masculine look and he was very happy.
We continued our conversation, and he finally cheerfully revealed, “There are a lot of people complimenting my hair!”. I’m sure this young man went to lunch that day with his head held high and would probably tell his wife about it when he got home at dinner. Surely he will look in the mirror and proudly say to himself: “I have really good hair!”.
I told this story once in public, and then someone asked me, “What do you want from that person?”. What do I want from him by doing that? If we are so despicably selfish that we cannot share a little happiness and give a sincere compliment without seeking our own interests, if our souls are not greater than the purpose, self-interest, then we will surely fail and we deserve to fail.
Honestly, I also want to gain something from this. I want something priceless. And, I got it. It is a noble feeling that one has done something useful for others without needing to be reciprocated. When I give with all my heart, I feel like I have received more than that.
There is a very important rule in dealing with people. If we follow this rule, we will almost never have communication problems, will have countless friends and will always be happy. On the contrary, violating this rule, you will be in constant trouble. The rule is: “Always make others feel important”.
William James said, “The deepest principle of human nature is the craving for praise.” This is what makes humans different from other species and promotes the development of human civilization. Philosophers’ studies of the past decades have led to an important principle of conduct. Zoroaster taught this principle to his disciples in Iran twenty-five centuries ago.
About a century later, the same principle was preached by Lao Tzu and then Confucius in China. The Buddha preached that truth on the banks of the Ganges five hundred years BC. The Hindu scriptures mentioned this thought a thousand years earlier. And twenty centuries ago, in the hills of Israel, Jesus preached the same thing.
That perhaps most important principle of the world can be summed up as follows: “Treat others the way you would like to be treated.”
Everyone wants to be approved and acknowledged for their own worth. Everyone wants to feel important in this narrow world. Everyone wants to be “honestly and sincerely praised” by relatives, friends or partners, not to listen to flattery and lies. We all want that. So let’s follow the golden rule mentioned above, and give what we want to receive from others.
So where to do it? At what time? The answer is: Anywhere, anytime.
David G. Smith of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, talked in front of our class how he handled a delicate situation when he was asked to take charge of catering at a charity concert. “On the night of the concert, when I arrived, I saw two elderly ladies with very annoyed faces standing by the refreshment counter.
While I was thinking about what to do, someone from the funding team showed up, handed me a box of money and thanked me for taking on the assignment. She introduced me to Rose and Jane, the two scowling women I had seen – who would support me.
After saying that, she hurriedly walked away leaving the three people with a heavy silence. Knowing that keeping money was a form of power exercise, I handed the box to Rose and explained that I couldn’t keep the money right now, I thought it would be better if she kept it.
Then I suggested to Jane that she should teach the two girls who used to work at the beverage counter how to use the soda machine, and I asked her to be responsible for this part. That evening Rose enjoyed the bill, Jane proudly commanded the waitresses, and I enjoy the concert in peace.” You don’t have to wait until you’re a French ambassador or chairman of the board of directors to use this simple tactic. You can do extraordinary things every day with that philosophy.
If the waitress brings the fruit chili when you have ordered the ground chili, say, “I’m sorry to bother you, but I prefer the ground chili”. She’ll probably say, “It’s okay,” and happily change it for you because she feels respected. “I am afraid to disturb you.
Are you willing to help?”,
“Can you please?”,
“Do you mind if?”,
polite words will break the monotony of everyday life.
In addition, it is also an expression of polite and cultured people. Let’s take another illustration from the story of writer Hall Caine, author of novels such as The Christian, The Deemster, The Manxman, bestsellers of the first half of the 20th century.
Millions of people have read the novel and his theory. He was the son of a blacksmith, not even finishing the eighth grade, but until his death, he remained the richest of the contemporary writers. The story goes like this: Hall Caine liked sonnets and ballads so he devoured all of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s poetry .
He even wrote an ode to Rossetti and sent a copy to Rossetti himself. Rossetti was very appreciative and thought: “The guy who perceives his talent so delicately must be very smart.” So Rossetti invited the young man to London to be his secretary.
It was an important turning point in Hall Caine’s life. In his new position, he met many famous artists of that time. They guided and encouraged him to enter the literary path, bringing his name to the pinnacle of glory. Hall Caine’s Greeba Castle on the Isle of Man later became known as “Europe’s Mecca” attracting visitors from far and wide around the assets worth several million dollars.
Who knows he might have died quietly in poverty if not for expressing admiration for a famous person with that article. That’s what it’s like to be honest and genuine. Rossetti considers himself important, which is not surprising, since most people do.
Many people’s lives can be changed if someone made them feel important. Ronald J. Rowland, who was our supervisor while studying in California, is also a teacher of art and crafts. He told me about a student named Chris in his basic craft class: “Chris was a very shy, quiet, unconfident boy who belonged to the group of students who did not attract the attention of the standing teacher in class.
But I feel in him there is a fire burning. One day, Chris was engrossed in his work at his desk, and I approached him and asked him if he wanted to take an advanced class. I wanted to catch some sign on Chris’ face, I saw the fourteen-year-old boy trying to stop the tears.
“Who? Me? Me? Mr. Rowland? Can I do it?” “Chris, that’s right, I can do it!” At this point, I also had to stop because I was about to burst into tears.
When Chris walked out of class that day, he appeared to be an inch taller. He looked at me with sparkling eyes and said in a clear voice, “Thank you, Mr. Rowland.” Chris taught me a lesson that I will never forget. It is a deep desire to feel important. I put up a sign in front of the classroom that says “You Are Important” for everyone to see and to remind myself that every student I meet is equally important.
It is a clear fact that almost everyone you meet feels they are superior to you at some point. The sure way to win their hearts is to make them see, in a subtle way, that you honestly acknowledge their importance.
The philosopher Emerson once said, “Everybody I meet in my life is better than me at a certain point and I learned that from him.” But unfortunately, mediocre people are arrogant, smug and boastful, so they don’t want to learn anything from anyone.
As the great Shakespeare wrote: “O man, arrogant man, Possessing a little power, Hastily performed foolishness before the Creator, So that the angels shed tears.” Entrepreneurs in my classes have applied these principles and achieved very satisfactory results.
This is the case of a lawyer in Connecticut. Immediately after the course, Mr. R. and his wife went to Long Island to visit his wife’s relatives. When his wife left him alone with one of her aunts, he didn’t miss a good opportunity to practice his lesson in praise. So he looked around the house for something to compliment to show he cared.
He asked: Miss, this house was built around 1890, right? Yes, kid, that year. It makes me remember house where you were born. Beautiful, spacious and sturdy. People don’t build such houses anymore. “I think you’re right,” the aunt agreed.
Kids these days don’t want to know how beautiful it is! People need a nice room to sleep in, and they roam around in the car day and night. “It’s our family’s dream home,” she said, her voice dreamy as if she were returning to a gentle memory.
How many years aunt and uncle wished, calculated everything to be able to build it. You know, my aunt doesn’t have the money to hire an architect to design it herself! Then she showed Mr. R. every single thing in the house.
He sincerely expressed his admiration for the precious collection that she had collected during her travels abroad and cherished for the rest of her life. This is an antique English tea set, Wedgwood porcelain, there are French beds and chairs, Italian paintings and silk curtains from an old French castle. Then, she led Mr. R. to the garage.
There, a Packard car, still brand new, was placed neatly on the wooden blocks.- I bought this car for her not long before my uncle passed away. She said softly. Since my uncle passed away, I have not had the opportunity to use it anymore. I know how to appreciate beauty, she gave me that car. Oh no, ma’am! She surprised me so much. Of course I appreciate your heart, but I can’t accept it.
My car is new, She has many close relatives who would love to have this Packard. Are you familiar? “Yes, many of them just want you dead to take this car,” she exclaimed. How long before she let them. Then you can sell it. Sell? You think I can sell this car?
How could she bear to watch strangers drive the car her uncle had saved up to buy her in those anniversaries? She will never sell it. I want to give it to you because you are a person who appreciates memorabilia.
He doesn’t dare to refuse anymore for fear of hurting his aunt’s feelings. This woman lives alone and lonely in a big house with antiques, memorabilia reminiscent of a golden age, youthful, honorable and full of happiness. She longs to share her feelings, to be cared for and appreciated, to be reminded of her sweet memories and past, but for a long time, she has not had the warmth of that human love. Her grandson’s respect for her is like a cool stream flowing in the middle of a vast, arid desert.
Her gratitude was so strong that she decided to gift her niece-in-law with her beloved Packard, to commemorate her happy times. George Eastman, best known for his Kodak film production, was the inventor of plastic film for movies, created a fortune of billions of dollars and became one of the most famous businessmen in the world. For such an extraordinary achievement, he yearned for praise just as much as you and I.
When Eastman was building the Eastman School of Music, as well as the Kilbourn Theater in Rochester, James Adamson, then president of a luxury chair company in New York, wanted to win an order to supply seats for these two works. Adamson asked to see Eastman in Rochester.
Upon arrival, Adamson was told: “If you spend more than five minutes talking to George Eastman, you won’t stand a chance. He is a very disciplined and extremely busy man. Please present it quickly and then come out.” And Adamson was ready to present in just five minutes. When he was ushered into the office, he found Eastman crouched over a stack of papers at his desk.
Moments later, Eastman lifted his eyes, took off his glasses, and walked over to the architect and Adamson, saying, “Hi, how can I help you?” The architect introduced and then Adamson said: “Sir, in the meantime, I have a look at your office.
Didn’t expect to have an office like this. I am a professional furniture dealer but I have never seen such a beautiful office in my life.” George Eastman replied, “You remind me of something I almost forgot. It’s really beautiful, isn’t it? When it was new, I loved it. But now there’s so much work in my head that sometimes I’m not in the mood to look at it once a week.”
Adamson stepped forward and touched a board: “Is this English oak? It is slightly different from Italian oak.” ‘Yes,’ replied Eastman, ‘this oak is imported from England, hand-picked for me by a friend of the precious woods at the time’. Eastman then introduced the entire office, discussing the proportions, colors, carvings and other effects he used in the design and construction.
While chatting endlessly about the room, praising the pretty wooden furniture, they stopped by a window. In his usual humble, gentle manner, George Eastman introduces some of the works he has done to help the community: University of Rochester, General Hospital, Friendship House, Children’s Hospital. Adamson honestly expressed appreciation for Eastman’s use of his fortune to share suffering with those around him.
Then, George Eastman unlocked a glass case and took out the first camera he owned, an invention of an Englishman. Adamson asked him something about the difficulties in starting his career. Eastman moved emotionally about his poor childhood, about a widowed mother who had to cook for the motel while he worked as an employee in an insurance company. Poverty haunted him.
That motivated him to be determined to earn money to save his mother from having to work hard. Adamson also prompted Eastman to talk about his experience with film negatives. And Eastman recounts a time how he worked hard in a lab and sometimes stayed the night. He only took a few short naps while he waited for the chemicals to react with each other.
James Adamson had been foretold that he could not take Eastman’s possession for more than five minutes, but an hour, then two hours passed and the two remained absorbed in their conversation. Finally, George Eastman turned to Adamson: “Once when I went to Japan, I bought a few chairs to keep in the hallway of my house. But the sun had peeled the paint off, so the other day I went to buy some paint and repainted it myself.
Do you want to see? Come on, come to my house for lunch, I’ll show you.” After lunch, Eastman showed Adamson the chairs he had bought in Japan. They cost only a few dollars, but George Eastman, now a billionaire, is proud of them because he painted each chair himself.
After the meeting, Eastman placed Adamson on an order for $90,000. Who would have expected James Adamson to get this order. Eastman and James Adamson became close friends from the moment they first met until Eastman’s death.
Claude Marais, the owner of a hotel in the French city of Rouen, followed this principle and kept a key employee of his. The female employee has worked for him for five years, she is the bridge between Marais and all of his 21 employees.
One morning he was shocked to receive her resignation letter. He said: “I was surprised because I thought I was still attentive and understanding of her wishes. Perhaps because she is both a friend and an employee, I was too assured of her, even demanding more from her than other employees.
Of course I cannot accept this application without asking for an explanation. I made an appointment with her privately and said, “Paulette, you must understand that I cannot accept your resignation. She means a lot to me and to this hotel.” I repeated that in front of the entire staff and officially invited her to stay, and affirmed my confidence in her in the presence of my whole family.
Paulette withdrew her resignation, I trust her more than before. In addition, I often express my appreciation for her work and always affirm how important she is to me and to the hotel.”
Can this principle be used in the home? Dorothy Dix, a famous psychologist, said: “Until you learn the art of praise, you should not get married.” How long has it been since you forgot to compliment your good wife? How long has it been since you forgot to thank your devoted husband?
When was the last time you praised and acknowledged the efforts of your employees? If you say that your husband or wife has nothing to be commended for, then what was your reason for getting together in the past? If you tell your employees that they do a good job without praise, they will only do the right job.
Indeed, with sincere compliments and gratitude, it will cost you nothing to become a lovable person in your spouse’s eyes; similarly, is a superior who respects and cares for his employees.
“The most valuable person is the one who helps his fellow man the most. Making others feel important is one of the most useful ways to help them live and work better. The desire to be revealed. Being important is one of the most powerful impulses in human nature.” – John Dewey
Principle 9: Honestly let others see that they are important.
Let Others Like You Immediately
Part II Summary – 6 Ways to Create Sympathy
Principle 4: Sincerely care about others.
Principle 5: Smile!
Principle 6: Always remember that a person’s name is the sweetest, dearest and most important sound to them.
Principle 7: Listen and encourage others to talk about their problems.
Principle 8: Talk about what other people care about.
Principle 9: Honestly let others see that they matter.