Chapter 18: What Everyone Wants
Want a spell that can end arguments, eliminate aversion, create goodwill, and make your audience listen attentively? Surely it is the saying: “I totally understand how you feel. If I was in that situation, I would definitely do the same.”
This statement will make even the rudest person soften his voice. You will find that 100% of the meaning and effectiveness of that mantra is true. Assuming you inherit the same shape, temperament and mind as the crime boss Al Capone, you also have the same environment and life experience as him.
At that time, you will become the same person as him, will also fall into the same situation as him. Because it is such things, and only such things, that make him such a man. The only reason you’re not a different person is because your parents weren’t their parents and you didn’t grow up in the environment in which they were raised.
Judging from this perspective, the most irritable, blind, and irrational people have nothing to hate. You should have pity and sympathy for those poor people. Three quarters of the people you meet in life yearn to love and be loved. If you also want to be loved, please give your love to everyone.
I once spoke on the radio about Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women. Of course, I know she lived and wrote her immortal works in Concord, Massachusetts, but sometimes when my words hurt the flesh, I say I visit her old home in Concord, New Hampshire.
If I had only mentioned New Hampshire once, people might have forgiven me. But alas, I say it twice. And so came a flood of letters and telegrams, harsh messages attacking me like a swarm of bumblebees. A certain woman who lived in Concord, Massachusetts, poured her anger into a letter to me as if I had denounced the writer Alcott as a cannibal.
Reading her letter, I couldn’t help thinking to myself: “God, I’m lucky I didn’t marry this person!”. I’d love to write a reply, saying I made a mistake in geography but she made a much bigger mistake of common courtesy and I’ll tell her I really am. What are you thinking about her? But after thinking, I didn’t. Because I know every hotheaded idiot can do that, and I don’t want to be one.
Furthermore, I thought to myself, “If I were her, I’d probably react the same way.” So, I decided to try to neutralize this grudge. Then, when I got to Philadelphia, I called her on the phone. The exchange story goes like this:
Me: – Ma’am, you wrote me a letter a few weeks ago and I want to thank you for that.
She: – Sorry. I don’t know who I am having the pleasure of talking to? (Voice is clearly cultured and well educated)
Me: – I am a stranger to you. My name is Dale Carnegie. She heard me talk about Louisa May Alcott on the radio a few weeks ago, and I made the unforgivable mistake of saying that Concord is in New Hampshire. It was a stupid mistake and I want to apologize for that. It was really kind of you to take the trouble to write to me.
She: – Oh! I’m so sorry, Mr. Carnegie, I’m sorry I wrote that. I lost my temper then. I apologize to you.
I’m not! No! She is not the one to apologize. It is I who is at fault. Every kid going to school should know that and yet I was wrong. I apologized on Sunday radio later, but I want to apologize to you privately today.
She: – I was born in Concord, Massachusetts. My family is famous in Massachusetts for two centuries now, I am very proud of my hometown. I was very upset when he said that the writer Alcott lived in Concord, New Hampshire, but I was really embarrassed about that letter.
Me: – To be honest with you, I’m ten times more miserable than you. My mistake didn’t hurt Massachusetts, but it did hurt me. I really appreciate her because few people of her status and culture take the time to write for radio speakers. I really hope that if she finds any mistakes in my talks, she will write me more letters of advice.
She: – You know, I really like the way you accept my criticism. He must have been a very interesting man. I would love to get to know him.
Because I apologized and sympathized with her point of view, she also began to apologize and sympathize with my point of view. I am pleased that I have mastered my attitude and also pleased that I have politely responded to a rudeness. It’s much more interesting to make her like me than about telling her to die to be free from debt!
In his book Ethics in Service, President Taft gives a rather interesting illustration of how he neutralized the anger of an ambitious mother. He wrote:
“A woman in Washington, whose husband also has some political influence, enlisted me for six weeks to get her son appointed to a government position. This position requires a great deal of expertise, and at the suggestion of the White House Chief of Staff, I have appointed someone else.
Then she wrote me a letter criticizing me for being a bad person, because I had dismissed her happiness, which she thought I could do with a wave of my hand. She told me how hard she worked with her state delegation to get all the votes for my last campaign, and now I’m paying her back.
When receiving such a letter, the first thing people usually do is to think about how severely to deal with the person who has shown such insolence, dared to offend him. Then write a reply. If you were a calm person, you would probably put the letter in a drawer and lock it. About two days later, when you’ve calmed down enough, you take it out and see that you’re lucky you didn’t send it.
I thought so and sat down to write her a very gentle letter, saying that I understand the frustration of a mother in such a situation, but the appointment is not on my own. it depends on the job. I hope that her son will soon fulfill her wish by securing a more promising position. This letter soothed her and she wrote me a letter expressing her regret for the previous letter.
However, this appointment was not immediately confirmed, so after a short time I received a letter in her husband’s name, although the handwriting was still the same as the previous letters, informing me that it was due to a nervous breakdown. Exhausted from despair, she fell ill and her stomach ache became severe. Was it my responsibility to restore her health by withdrawing the name of the appointed person and replacing it with the name of her son?
So I wrote another letter to my husband saying that I hope the diagnosis is incorrect, I sympathize with his sadness about his wife’s serious illness but I cannot withdraw it. the name of the person appointed. Then the appointment was confirmed two days later, we held a musical at the White House. And, to greet me were her and her husband, even though she was recently “in critical condition”.
Jay Mangum is a representative of an elevator installation company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This company has a contract to maintain elevators at one of the top hotels in Tulsa. Maintenance takes at least eight hours and requires a particularly skilled mechanic to complete on time.
But the hotel manager does not want to lock the elevator for more than two hours for fear that it will cause difficulties for guests. Instead of arguing, Mangum went to find the best mechanic and told the hotel manager the following:
“Dear Mr. Rick! I know that your hotel is extremely popular, you really want to reduce the minimum time to lock the elevator to create maximum convenience for customers. I completely understand your concern. Of course we also want to serve the hotel to the best of our ability. However, surveying the situation shows that if we don’t finish the job now, your elevator will be more severely damaged.
That will result in the elevator having to be out of service for a longer time to carry out repairs. I know you don’t want to trouble your guests for such a long time. This is also something we absolutely do not want.” The manager was forced to agree to lock the elevator for eight hours rather than lock it for many days.
Joyce Norris, a piano teacher in St. Louis, Missouri, recounts how she dealt with a problem that pianists often encounter with girls under the age of twenty. The story is that she had a student named Babette who had very long fingernails. It is a major obstacle for anyone who wants to develop their piano skills. Ms. Norris said:
“When she started learning to play, I never mentioned her fingernails. I don’t want her to be disappointed in her studies and I also know she doesn’t want to cut her “pride”. After the first lesson, feeling it was time, I said, “Babette, your hands are very beautiful, and you are very smart and quick.
If you want to play the piano really well, you will surely do it so easily and quickly that you will surprise yourself. This process could be even faster if she was willing to sacrifice some of the beauty of her nails by trimming them a little shorter. Because a simple thing is that long nails will make it difficult to play the piano well, my dear!”.
The girl showed an annoyed expression. I also told her mother about this and reminded her how lovely her nails are. Another disgruntled response. Obviously pretty nails daughter’s well-kept beauty is also important to a mother.
The following week, Babette returned for the second lesson. I was surprised to see that her nails were neatly trimmed. I commend you for accepting such a great sacrifice. I also thank my mother for helping to encourage Babette to cut her nails. She replied, “I have nothing to do with it. Babette decided on her own. This is the first time he cut his nails for a stranger.”
Mrs. Norris finally got her student’s consent without threats, reproaches or lengthy moral explanations. She only affirms her great sacrifice for a good long-term purpose.
The sympathy and agreement of others with their own wishes is what people most desire. Many children like to show off their wounds or even injure themselves to get attention and love from adults. Adults often talk about their accidents and illnesses, especially the details of surgeries, sometimes adding extras, in order to get attention, sympathy, or even other people’s attention.
“Don’t let someone get nothing after leaving you even though you know you’ll probably never see them again. Sometimes just a sympathetic look towards someone else is a great gift in life. ” – French proverb.
“Just a tight hug, a sympathetic silence, a friendly touch, a listening ear, you can share with everyone.
“The most precious thing in every person’s life is the good deed to others – the small, nameless gestures that the person himself has forgotten.”
“Kindness, shared care, empathy is a special language that anyone can feel.”
“Three-quarters of the people we meet tomorrow are hungry for empathy and sharing. Give it to them and they’ll love you.” – Dale Carnegie
Principle 18: Empathize with the wishes of others