If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you’ll remember in January I created a 2016 reading challenge with categories of books to read – one per month, with a second book of your choosing. I just finished reading my book for the category, “A book that will teach you something.” The thing is, I have no idea why I chose this particular book. The title you ask? How to Talk to Anyone – 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships.
I mean seriously, why would I buy a book on how to talk to people? I don’t exactly struggle in this area – at all. In fact, one might say I have a tendency to be too chatty. I must have been having a REALLY insecure day when I chose this title.
Think of this book as the modern day version of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People (which I haven’t actually read.) I’m sure both How to Win Friends and Influence People and How to Talk to Anyone would be super beneficial for many people and I can’t say all “92 little tricks” in this book weren’t useful. How to smile properly, however, seemed a little bit of a stretch. But, maybe that’s just me. The author, Leil Lowdnes, suggests a “slow smile” meaning, wait a few seconds before you smile and then allow it to encompass your whole face. Really? That’s important? To clarify, she talks a lot about interacting with the big wigs in the business world. Granted my “big wig” conversations are few and far between but somehow I’ve managed to get through them gracefully in spite of my overzealous, “too quick” smile.
I’m not saying this book was a total waste of time. Leil did have some interesting ideas that most anyone could benefit from.
For instance, you know how there are times when you really don’t want to give the “full story” about a personal matter to a person who seems insistent on getting it? Leil suggests, “whenever someone persists in questioning you on an unwelcome subject simply repeat your original response, in the exact same tone of voice.” Eventually, they’ll give up and move onto something else.
Another interesting idea shared in the book is this: One weekend a month step out of your comfort zone and explore things that wouldn’t normally interest you. For instance, if you normally spend the weekend hiking, change it up and maybe play tennis, or go to a symphony. This will, according to the author, make you a more interesting person to talk to. I can see where that would be true and to be honest, it even sounds kind of fun. Maybe next weekend I’ll try sky diving – or not.
I guess it goes to show every book can teach you something even it if isn’t the most reasonable choice. My theory is if you learn just one thing in a book it isn’t a waste of time or money.