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Are You The Hammer Or The Nail ?

The first time I read this question, it was in a book called “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” It wasn’t until years later that I realized the answer to this question isn’t about how to win friends or influence people at all.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “a hammer looks for nails.” That’s what hammers do. They look for nails so they can pound them into submission with their own brute force.

But what about nails? What are they doing? Do they look for hammers? No! They just sit there by themselves, until a hammer comes along and starts pounding on them — at which point they become a victim of someone else’s aggression and manipulation.

The same thing happens in relationships: If you’re focused on being liked by everyone else, you’ll end up being manipulated by everyone instead of having any real power over your life or relationships.

So instead of focusing on being liked by everyone else (which means pleasing everyone), start focusing on being yourself and doing things that are true to your values and principles (instead of trying.

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Last modified: August 7, 2022

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