The content of Leil Lowndes’s How to Talk to Anyone is much better described by its subtitle: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships. Some of the book is about talking to people, but quite a bit is about other aspects of relationships. I read this just after reading How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less by Nicholas Boothman. Both books are on similar topics, but written by very different authors. While Boothman’s book is short and less thorough than I would have liked, I really enjoyed his personality. He seems like someone who genuinely likes meeting people, someone who finds joy in everyday life. His friendliness and enthusiasm were contagious.
And then there’s Leil Lowndes. She seems like a shallow, petty, artificial person (which I assume is not true, but it’s the image I’m left with having read her book). A number of her “Little Tricks for Big Success” seem to me phony. Rather than cultivating a “bag of tricks” to make people around feel better about themselves and me, why not cultivate an attitude of genuine interest and care for others around me? As Boothman repeats throughout his book, it is only out of a genuine attitude that people will feel loved and appreciated. I agree with this, and I think I would feel slightly used to be treated with some of Lowndes’s techniques for getting ahead. The end result of this self-improvement ought to be that I am a better person, regardless of whether I am (to use Lowndes’s terminology) a “Big Cat” or “Little Cat.” I should be giving my best to everyone, not just successful people who can give me something that benefits me.
But overall, great book, and as I mentioned earlier, I did leave with some good tips to put into practice, so that’s a bonus.