Reader Sammy Rashidchi commented on a previous post about wanting recommendations for more reading about social interaction. Frequent readers know that this area is of extreme interest to me and I’ve done a lot of reading about the topic. So here’s a list of books I recommend if you want to learn more about how people interact with one another. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start:

  • Get Anyone To Do Anything (Lieberman) – The name of the book sounds a little creepy and mind control-ish, but really it’s a fairly tame look at what influences people in certain situations. You really can’t get anyone to do anything, but you can manipulate situations so that the outcome is a desirable one. The book is filled with interesting anecdotes from studies about human behavior and social interaction to back up the suggestions. Well worth the read.
  • The Art of Seduction (Greene) – Another one that sounds much more devious than it actually is. The purpose of this book is to explore seductive character traits, understanding how famous seducers throughout history were able to use their charm to get their way. We’re not just talking about romantic seduction, but also political and business seduction. The book explains the different seduction techniques as well as their downfalls. Seduction is not about capturing someone’s heart, it’s about capturing someone’s mind and imagination.
  • How To Talk To Anyone (Lowndes) – This book is mistitled because it’s about much more than just talking to people, it’s about interacting with them in general. The focus of the book is how to be in control of each situation and, more importantly, how to show others respect make them want to interact with you more. I consider this book “light” reading because it flows from one situation to the next and gives an almost checklist-like description of what to do (and what to avoid).

That’s just a taste of the books that are good starting points for better understanding human interaction. There’s so many more books on my reading list that I haven’t yet gotten to but look promising, as well.  I’ll be sure to post reviews of them as I finish.

Disclaimer: Any viewpoints and opinions expressed in this article are those of Nicholas C. Zakas and do not, in any way, reflect those of my employer, my colleagues, Wrox Publishing, O'Reilly Publishing, or anyone else. I speak only for myself, not for them.

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