5 Crucial Social Skills Books Like How to Win Friends and Influence People

When I started freelancing, I knew I needed to convince and convert business owners into paying customers.

The problem? I hate networking and salesmanship. It felt disingenuous and spammy.

Before this, I hadn’t given much thought to the social mechanics of making friends and new connections.

That’s why I went in search of educational reading material and stumbled onto the bible that is How to Win Friends and Influence People, which was just the material I needed to improve my communication skills.

Fast forward and I now have more book recommendations for those wanting to improve their interactions in the social sphere. Enjoy!

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5 Books like How to Win Friends and Influence People

1. How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People by Les Giblin

Les Giblin’s book is a guide to help readers build their confidence and improve their interactions with others.

The book begins by exploring the importance of self-confidence and offers tangible ways to boost self-esteem.

One of the most important lessons is that confidence comes from within, and cannot be given by others.

The book then goes on to provide tips for interacting with others, such as active listening and showing genuine interest in what they have to say.

By following these guidelines, readers can develop stronger relationships both personally and professionally.

In addition, the book offers advice on how to handle difficult conversations and conflict resolution.

Ultimately, this text is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to build their confidence and improve their interpersonal skills.


  • A timeless classic that can help anyone become more confident and assertive in their interactions with others
  • The book covers a wide range of topics, including body language, verbal communication, and active listening. Giblin also offers advice on how to handle difficult conversations and manage conflict
  • One of the book’s key strengths is its practicality; Giblin provides readers with concrete tips and techniques that can be immediately applied to real-world situations
  • Additionally, the book is highly readable and accessible, making it an ideal choice for those who want to improve their interpersonal skills but don’t have a lot of time to devote to reading


  • Although the book contains valuable information, some of it may be dated
  • The book’s focus on self-confidence may also be off-putting for some readers, who may prefer a more balanced approach that includes both self-confidence and social skills

2. How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships by Leil Lowndes

In “How to Talk to Anyone,” Leil Lowndes provides 92 little tricks for big success in relationships.

The book is divided into four sections: (1) Conversation starters, (2) How to keep conversations rolling, (3) Stepping up your listening skills, and (4) Body language do’s and taboos.

In the first section, Lowndes gives tips on how to break the ice and start a conversation with anyone, anytime, anywhere.

The second section offers advice on how to keep a conversation going, including how to ask questions and avoid awkward silences.

The third section teaches readers how to be better listeners, while the fourth provides tips on using body language to create a favorable impression.

Throughout the book, Lowndes includes real-life examples and anecdotes to illustrate her points.

This book is an essential guide for anyone who wants to improve their communication skills.


  • Good structure of the material, which makes them easy to reference and apply to real-world situations.
  • The tips are also accompanied by real-life examples and anecdotes, which makes the book enjoyable to read.
  • Covers a plethora of topics to improve your communication


  • Some of the tips may be too simplistic or obvious for some readers
  • Some of the tips may be impractical or difficult to remember

3. It’s Not All About Me: The Top Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport with Anyone by Robin Dreeke

In this illuminating read, Robin Dreeke outlines ten key strategies for building rapport with others.

Dreeke, a former FBI agent, emphasizes the importance of active listening, showing genuine interest in others, and being open and honest in order to build trust.

He also stresses the need to be aware of body language and mirror the other person’s actions, as this can help create a feeling of connection.

Additionally, Dreeke advises against making assumptions or judging others too harshly, as this can quickly lead to tension and disagreement.

By following these simple tips, it is possible to build strong rapport with almost anyone.


  • Practical advice that can be applied to a variety of real-world situations
  • The book is well-written and easy to read
  • Draws on the author’s personal experience and expertise


  • Some of the tips may be difficult to implement in practice
  • Might not provide any new or innovative information for experienced communicators

4. The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane

Olivia Fox Cabane’s book explores the science behind charisma and how it can be applied in everyday life.

The book starts with a discussion of what charisma is and how it differs from other qualities like confidence and friendliness.

Cabane then delves into the history of charisma, tracing its roots back to Ancient Greece.

She describes how the concept of charisma has been understood and used by various cultures over the centuries.

Finally, Cabane offers practical advice on how to develop one’s own charisma.

She covers topics such as body language, verbal communication, and emotional intelligence.

With its mix of theoretical discussion and practical advice, ‘The Charisma Myth’ is an essential read for anyone interested in understanding and improving their personal magnetism.


  • Offers a mix of theoretical discussion and practical advice
  • Provides an in-depth look at the history and science of charisma
  • Draws on a variety of real-life examples to illustrate points


  • Some of the concepts may be difficult to understand
  • The book might be too comprehensive for some readers

5. Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling by Matthew Dicks

Storyworthy is a book about the power of storytelling, which is an essential part of social interaction, expanding your network and making new friends.

It is written by Matthew Dicks, who has been a professional storyteller for over 20 years.

In the book, Dicks explores the power of storytelling and its potential to change lives.

Dicks begins by discussing the importance of stories in our lives, both for entertainment and for educational purposes.

He then goes on to provide tips for crafting effective stories, including how to find the right topic, structure the story for maximum impact, and deliver it in a way that engages the audience.

Throughout the book, Dicks offers real-life examples of stories that have been used to achieve amazing results, whether it’s finding the love of your life or convincing someone to change their opinion on a controversial issue.

‘Storyworthy’ is an inspiring and practical guide that will help you harness the power of storytelling for personal development.


  • Covers a wide range of topics related to storytelling, including how to find and tell stories, how to use stories to engage and teach others, and how to persuasive storytelling can be.
  • Helps you to engage with your audience and connect with them on a deeper level.
  • It provides practical tools and tips for using storytelling in order to teach and persuade others.
  • The book is chock full of inspiring stories that will change the way you think about storytelling and its power to transform lives.


  • While the book contains a wealth of information on the subject, the book is aimed at a general audience and may not be suitable for those who are already familiar with the basics of storytelling.
  • Focuses primarily on personal stories and may not be relevant for those who are looking to use stories for other purposes, such as business or marketing.


Improving how you interact with others in social situations improves not only your professional life, but also your personal life.

Communicating clearly and building relationships is one of the foundations of being human, allowing us to strengthen our support network for when we really need it.

The books listed above are great starting points for this fundamental skill.