How to Overcome Worry and Be a Friendlier Person

My father recently sent me a xerox copy of life lessons from Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People and Stop Worrying, and Start Living.


The list contained so much yoda-like wisdom that I decided to type it up. Read on for 50 golden rules for overcoming worry, getting people onboard with your ideas, and becoming a great leader.

Become a Friendlier Person

1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

2. Give honest, sincere appreciation.

3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.

4. Become genuinely interested in other people.

5. Smile.

6. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

8. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.

9. Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely.

Win People to Your Way of Thinking

10. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

11. Show respect for the other person’s opinion. Never say, “you’re wrong.”

12. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

13. Begin in a friendly way.

14. Get the other person saying, “yes, yes” immediately.

15. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.

16. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.

17. Try honestly to see the other person’s point of view.

18. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.

19. Appeal to the nobler motives.

20. Dramatize your ideas.

21. Throw down a challenge.

Be a Leader

22. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.

23. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.

24. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.

25. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.

26. Let the other person save face.

27. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation, lavish in your praise.”

28. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.

29. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.

30. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

Fundamental Principles for Overcoming Worry

31. Live in “day-tight compartments.”

32. How to face trouble:

a. Ask yourself, “What is the worst that can possibly happen?”

b. Prepare to accept the worst.

c. Try to improve on the worst.

33. Remind yourself of the exorbitant price you can pay for worry in terms of your health.

Basic Techniques in Analyzing Worry

34. Get all the facts.

35. Weigh all the facts—then come to a decision.

36. Once a decision is reached, act!

37. Write out and answer the following questions:

a. What is the problem?

b. What are the causes of the problem?

c. What are the possible solutions?

d. What is the best possible solution?

Break the Worry Habit Before It Breaks You

38. Keep busy.

39. Don’t fuss about trifles.

40. Use the law of averages to outlaw your worries.

41. Cooperate with the inevitable.

42. Decide just how much anxiety a thing may be worth and refuse to give it more.

43. Don’t worry about the past.

Cultivate a Mental Attitude that Will Bring You Peace and Happiness

44. Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, health and hope.

45. Never try to get even with your enemies.

46. Expect ingratitude.

47. Count your blessings—not your troubles.

48. Do not imitate others.

49. Try to profit from your losses.

50. Create happiness for others.

Get more tips on how to activate your creativity and do the work that matters:

Hi, I'm Jocelyn. I help people find more creativity and meaning in their daily work.


I host the Hurry Slowly podcast — a new show about how you can be more productive, creative, and resilient by slowing down — write books that will help you reclaim your time, and give uncommonly useful talks.

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