Pressed for time I decided to sample a previously read piece of non-fiction. I found myself re-reading Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends & Influence People. (I had previously had talked about how our current societal issues make it hard to be genuinely nice as Carnegie had previously prescribed). Today, like that other day, I found a tidbit of interesting information. This time I wanted to focus on Chapter 5: Let the Other Person Save Face.
On the surface, I generally don’t want to embarrass people. The vast majority of people, including ideological opposites, I want to give a benefit of a doubt to. I want them to keep their dignity. I generally think it is psychopathic to enjoy their embarrassment over simple but important things. (It was a step I took since I decided to clean my own house before I start griping about others).
When I actually see someone screw up at work, I wait for them to laugh first. If I see them with an uncomfortable look on their face or a grimace; I usually try to tell them “it happens”. (At worst I stay silent). If it is a small enough error; I wouldn’t bring it up to begin with but depending on the level of exposure, I wouldn’t want them to be embarrassed. (Politeness helps here). I laugh with you or I don’t laugh at you. I’m not in the rock throwing business unless there is a sincere purpose behind it. I let my enemies hang themselves. I don’t own a rope factory, they might.
I help folks out. I don’t have a large group of people I am close to. But I believe that it is a proper thing when I let folks save face. No matter how stupid I would benefit. I believe that we should always be open for new members of our tribe. We should be the representatives to our side and letting others save face is a decent start.