If you haven't read "7 Habits" yet, it MAY NOT be time to read it now.
This is considered a modern self-help classic.
There are concepts in this book that are so potent, that even just scanning them (without consciously putting them into action) altered how I live.
For instance, I endlessly found myself likening what was occurring in my life to what I had just read. If someone said an scornful thing to me, my initial tone would be wrath, but on the heels of that idea would come something I'd read in 7 Habits. I'd be thinking, "Hey! That reminds me of when Covey wrote about ___________." And by the time that thought was gone, so was the damaging situation.
Thinking turned a whole lot of play!
Even the first 3 Habits were decent to get me unbelievably excited about interaction with other people. You could live 1000 years and not get up with these concepts on your own.
The 4th habit was my favored. It's called "Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood". I wish I did this more...now that I'm married! But back then, this assisted me to become a very good "talker". I could talk to people and assist them not "drown for psychological air" around me. People prefer to be understood. If you argue your point all the time, no one feels understood and ideas are harder to be put into action. ANY IDIOT CAN debate! The whole world appears to place a vast importance on argumentation...and being able to destroy other people's viewpoints with your logic and humor.
But that's not strength. Like I said: any moron can debate. Not 1 in 1000 people can actually regard another person's opinion as being the correct one. Even fewer can really stop and say to themselves: "I'm positive that I'm 110% right and that other person is incorrect, but who knows? Maybe I am incorrect. Let me regard their point and listen to what they need to convey."
Now that is genuine strength.
I once shared this concept with an opinionated person. They began hollering at me and alleging I was incorrect and that if you know you're correct, you need to stand up for yourself and prove the other individual is wrong. With a smile on my face, I answered, "Maybe you're correct". LOL! They didn't even pick up on the fact I had just done to them what I was recommending.
It's amazing what occurs to people when you state back to them what you think is the point they're attempting to make. You'll end up beginning a lot of your sentences with: "...so, what you're supposing is....". Once you begin to show the person you're not there to debate, their backs fall; the urging in their voice dips; they settle down; and then they listen to your point without brawling.
As Covey explains, the best means to influence other people is...to be INFLUENCED.
It's such a good book and it's occupied with principles that will help you in all your dealings, but I find you have to be in a position in your life to put it into action. It will work great if you'll be able to practice it daily in a setting as:
-a family member contending with hard situations
...or anyone who needs to deal with people every day. If you feel a strong need to know how to deal with other people more effectively, maybe you're ready for this book now.