Over the years I’ve read the bookHow to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie several times.

It’s a legendary book and if your heart beats and you haven’t read the book you should.

Last night I was reading the book on my iPad and came across a passage that really struck me….so I highlighted it and sent myself an email reminder to share my thoughts on it @ KrisJones.com….

Here’s the passage:

“Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance and arouses resentment.” – Dale Carnegie

Carnegie goes on to say “By criticizing, we do not make lasting changes and often incur resentment…”

Later in the book Carnegie quotes Psychologist Hans Seyle as saying “The resentment that criticism engenders can demoralize employees, family members and friends, and still not correct the situation that has been condemned.”

I don’t know about you, but reading the above statements (literally) is a wake up call to me personally on at least two fronts.

First, I’m guilty of criticizing people from time to time (especially the people I care about and love the most) and from time to time is too often.

Second, the inverse of the above suggests the amazing power we have as individuals to provide our co-workers, friends, and loved ones with unconditional support and understanding.

I’m not talking about shallow compliments here.

I’m talking about working hard to genuinely understand that “criticism is futile” on the one hand and on the other hand working hard to take a sincere interest in others perspectives and supporting them unconditionally.

If we can do this consistently I bet it can change our life…and it will undoubtedly positively affect the life of the person you are supporting.

As yourself:

Am I critical?

Do I often criticize in an attempt to “prove” I’m right?

Is it possible that I can become more aware of my criticalness and replace it with support and understanding?

If your answers to any of the above questions is yes…..you are likely (like me) in a perfect position to take action to make your life better….and along the way win the love and influence of others.

Next time you are about to criticize your significant other, a friend, a co-worker, or anyone for that matter…..take a deep breath……step back for a moment….and approach the same situation with a desire to provide unconditional support and understanding.

I’ll make a deal with you to work hard to do the same thing.

Criticism is futile.

Let’s work together to win more friends and influence people in a more positive, meaningful way!