How I used Dale Carnegie’s principles on a first date

Breadcrumbs and Doggie Bags Section

When I got up this morning I made it my goal to make the best of dinner.  If I didn’t like him or he didn’t like me—or both—I would do everything I could to still have a pleasant dinner.  After all, he was kind enough to ask me out and take me to an expensive restaurant.  I will use my Dale Carnegie principles no matter what.

Within the first 10 minutes of sitting with him at dinner I drew my conclusions.

If this dinner had happened before I had taken the Dale Carnegie course—when I was Smiling Daffodil version 1.0—I would have shut down immediately.  My mannerisms, my words, everything about me would be subtly screaming exactly what was on my mind.

Fortunately for him and me—I have taken the Dale Carnegie course.  I’m Smiling Daffodil version 2.0.

Within the first 10 minutes he said some things that I couldn’t relate to with the same enthusiasm or remotely agree with.  The details don’t really matter. The point is—we aren’t compatible at all.  Typically I would have withdrawn from the conversation.  I would have escaped to my own thoughts like—why am I here?  How long is this dinner going to last?  What was I thinking agreeing to this dinner?

Instead, I listened.  I asked questions related to what interested him.  This process had two outcomes.  I could learn more about him and give him a chance to change my perspective.  And most people like to have a captivated audience to talk to—I was his audience.

The dinner continued with conversation.

As we left the restaurant he suggested I introduce him to my favorite drink which I had mentioned during dinner.  So we went to Starbucks and had Java Chip Frappuccinos.

We chatted some more while enjoying my favorite drink.

The evening wrapped up, we thanked each other for a nice evening and parted ways.

The Dale Carnegie principles used in this scenario are from How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 7.  Be a good listener.  Encourage others to talk about themselves.
Principle 11.  Show respect for the other person’s opinion.  Never say, “you’re wrong.”

365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles By The Smiling Daffodil

From How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Try to profit from your losses. 

The lesson in this story—you don’t have to like the person, agree with the person, relate to the person, etc to be able to have a conversation with him or her.  Let common courtesy govern your actions.  In our case, both of us listened to each other’s likes and interests—even if neither of us could entirely relate.  The outcome—a pleasant enough dinner.

Another point worth mentioning—when you are disappointed with an event like a dinner in my example— it’s best to focus on the positive moments rather than the negative.  Can I come up with a laundry list of what went wrong with that dinner?  Of course I can, in an instant and with gusto.  But this does not do me any good.  Instead I am focusing on the positive:  I used my Dale Carnegie principles.  I had an opportunity to grow.





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