This is not a complete review, as I've only read up the first two sections of the book. Heck it ain't a review actually, just thoughts and opinions on the ideas and themes Dale Carnegie pushes from the first half.
I think the interesting things are actually flowing in with the third and fourth sections - being the material that interests me more - convincing and influencing people. And that may give me more insights and alter my perspective further. Anyway, back to my original point. If there is a singular message that I gather from the first half:
People are ultra egoistic and wanna feel big and proud about themselves.
and to keep them happy and make them like you, you basically feed their ego. Of course, the late Dale Carnegie stresses importantly.... no, cruicially, that you really have to show interest, concern, attention, praise with utmost sincerity - a genuine heart - scheming pretentious acts are easily torn down and recognised.
That is downright agreeable; if you're not honest with your words you won't go far. So what's being said/written with numerous examples of the lives of real people in history certainly demonstrates an unshifting theme in human psychology. And so as long as you recognise and respect that, and play (sincerely again) according to it, it will make sense that you have few enemies.
Now here's a problem for me: these very "tactics" cannot be applied to me. I am not a normal person, certainly not with that very type of mentioned ego that yearns to say, "look at me! adore me! praise me!". I don't handle praise well - i simply disregard and discard praises passed to me, like a firewall. "Ok" or "thanks" is perhaps the best I manage, else i don't bother with something that doesn't really make me better.
I value a harsh negative criticism that teaches me something new or better so much more than a word of gratitude/praise that does nothing to improve my stride.
Not saying that I advocate rude ingratitude, of course one should offer thanks without hesistation. So again, those won't work on me. I'd rather people do something about themselves and improve - that's the great form of gratitude for me.
And that brings me to a bigger problem. The book, so far, doesn't mention the "other population" of people who don't really have big egos and pride, who are quite satisfied and laidback with their low skillset/knowledge and continually without shame leech off the time, energy, money, effort of others. So how exactly do you deal with such group of people?