What would be the most difficult technique in this book (How to Win Friends and Influence People) so far for you to learn how to do well? Why?
The single most difficult life skill offered in this book for me to master would be the art of avoiding argument. Carnegie puts great stress on the importance of discussing rather than arguing; this is something I have knowingly struggled with my entire life.
My argumentative nature is not due to being easily offended, because quite honestly, I’m not. It is however more likely than not, due to my automatic defensive system. My childhood was traumatizing to say the least. My teenage years were abnormal, distressing, and to be honest, just messed up in every imaginable way. My life, while much better now (by my own, and my husband-to-be’s doing), is still much more complicated than that of any other 17 year old I have ever known or heard of. I got used to being kicked while I was down, and as I got older I learned to kick back.
The downside to picking up verbal and physical self defense was not always knowing the appropriate time to use it. Someone who is used to being attacked tends to anticipate one at all times. It is hard to admit, but even when someone has the best of intentions, I can easily become a guard dog to my own emotions. This is an issue I have corrected time and time again, and I certainly am getting better, however we all have our moments. With everything I have been through, it is hard not to lunge when people make assumptions about me.
Besides avoiding arguments, I must also listen to Carnegie pertaining to his statement “if you’re wrong, admit it”. This is something that most people have a hard time with, and so I have decided to take a step towards correcting it right here in this essay:
I am more argumentative than I would like to be, I do get defensive, and I do get pushy at times. I am not always going to be right, because I am only a human. I make mistakes and that is okay, but the only way that I can learn from them is by accepting, acknowledging and correcting them. I am willing to do what it takes to reduce the amount of fighting in my life, especially if that means admitting when I am wrong.