All of us like to think of ourselves as: being a person of our word, respectful, honest, generous, having honor, having love for motherhood, being unselfish, desiring to refrain from harming children, being right, infallible, and being an authority on subjects involving our life. Even the most notorious criminals, like Jesse James, Dutch Schultz, and Al Capone, counted themselves as idealists at heart. The fact is that all people you meet have a high regard for themselves and like to be fine and unselfish in their own estimation. So, in order to change people, appeal to the nobler motives.
When John D. Rockefeller, Jr., wished to stop newspaper photographers from snapping pictures of his children, he too appealed to the nobler motives. He didn’t, say: “I don’t want their pictures published.” No, he appealed to the desire, deep in all of us, to refrain from harming children. He said: “You know how it is, boys. You’ve got children yourselves, some of you. And you know it’s not good for youngsters to get too much publicity.”
Right here the skeptic may say: “Oh, that stuff is all right for Rockefeller or a sentimental novelist. But, I’d like to see you make it work with the tough babies I have to collect bills from!”
You may be right. Nothing will work in all cases – and nothing will work with all people. If you are satisfied with the results you are now getting, why change? But if you are not satisfied, why not experiment?
*Compilation taken from “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie