Use this technique and people will start listening to you|Story no. 33/101

The little boy had the unholy habit of wetting his bed. He slept with his grandmother. In the morning, his grandmother would wake up and feel the sheet and say: “Look, Johnny, what you did again last night.” He would say: “No, I didn’t do it. You did it.”

Scolding, spanking, shaming him – none of these things kept the bed dry. So the parents asked: “How can we make this boy want to stop wetting his bed?” What were his wants? First, he wanted to wear pajamas like Daddy instead of wearing a nightgown like Grandmother. Second, he wanted a bed of his own.

His mother took him to a department store, winked at the salesgirl, and said: “Here is a little gentleman who would like to do some shopping.” The salesgirl made him feel important by saying: “Young man, what can I show you?” He stood a couple of inches taller and said: “I want to buy a bed for myself.” When he was shown the one his mother wanted him to buy, she winked at the salesgirl and the boy was persuaded to buy it.

The bed was delivered the next day; and that night, when Father came home, the little boy ran to the door shouting: “Daddy! Daddy! Come upstairs and see my bed that I bought!” The father, looking at the bed, obeyed Charles Schwab’s injunction: he was “hearty in his approbation and lavish in his praise. You are not going to wet this bed, are you?” the father said. “Oh, no, no! I am not going to wet this bed.”

The boy kept his promise, for his pride was involved. That was his bed. He and he alone had bought it. And he was wearing pajamas now like a little man. He wanted to act like a man. And he did.


De-briefing of this Story

Before you want something from another person – make sure to fulfil his/her wants. When his/her wants gets fulfilled, person will happily comply with your demands. It is not just applicable to kids but also to adults.


This story can be used to share the importance of

1- People skills

2- Parenting

3- Influencing others


Story source

From the book “How to win friends and Influence people” by Dale Carnegie

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