Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Etiquette and Cultivating Popularly

As an Agony Aunt, Estelle Lawton Lindsey’s name is known by few. Dale Carnegie’s name, however, is recognized around the world. One of Carnegie’s core beliefs was that a person could change the behavior of others, by changing one’s behavior toward them. The author lecturer, and developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. Was himself born into poverty. He became a household name with the popular book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” in 1936. It’s remains a popular, bestseller today. His legacy lives on in the numerous “Dale Carnegie Training Courses” which have been held worldwide, since his death in 1955. -Photo source, Wikipedia 

Carnegie Book Gives Advice in Platitudes 

Lest you set down these few remarks as the products of envy, let me say right here that Dale Carnegie is a wise and provident member of the literary set, his satisfied smile announces the success of his “big idea” and his sales accent the willingness of Mr. and Mrs. Average American Citizen to accept all kinds of nostrums, like the “Ham and Eggs” initiative measure without testing the statements of the proponents. 

I’ve just been reading over his formula for the cultivation of popularity and as I read, I thought of the millions of women who are buying this season’s hats because they are popular, the hats I mean. Some of Dale’s rules are right. They have for years been accepted as part and parcel of the code practiced by the well bred. For example, “be depended upon to do what you say you will.” My generation knew it as “ladies and gentlemen keep their words.” 

“Keep clothing neat and tidy,” as commonplace in any decent circle, an accepted part of any business office code. Clean nails are more greatly to be desired than a knowledge of ancient history. “Do not reprimand people who displease you.” “Do not be bold or nervy.” “Do not lose your temper.” In short refrain from behaving as a bore. “Do not be lazy.” Did the gentleman ever meet lazy people who attracted people as honey attracts bees? If not, where did he make his observations? 

And this, oh my! “Smile pleasantly at all times.” That formula belongs in a book on etiquette for Cheshire cats. A smile ought to mean something but when the human face freezes into a meaningless grin there are people so constituted, that they take up their hats and flee. Are you one of them? – By Estelle Lawton Lindsey, 1936

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

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