When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.
Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.
I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. “To know all is to forgive all.”
You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
“If there is any one secret of success,” said Henry Ford, “it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”
The difference between appreciation and flattery? That is simple. One is sincere and the other insincere. One comes from the heart out; the other from the teeth out. One is unselfish; the other selfish. One is universally admired; the other universally condemned.
So the only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.
Little phrases such as “I’m sorry to trouble you,” “Would you be so kind as to ———?” “Won’t you please?” “Would you mind?” “Thank you”—little courtesies like these oil the cogs of the monotonous grind of everyday life—and, incidentally, they are the hallmark of good breeding.
If some people are so hungry for a feeling of importance that they actually go insane to get it, imagine what miracle you and I can achieve by giving people honest appreciation this side of insanity.
Sigmund Freud said that everything you and I do springs from two motives: the sex urge and the desire to be great.
Buddha said: “Hatred is never ended by hatred but by love,” and a misunderstanding is never ended by an argument but by tact, diplomacy, conciliation and a sympathetic desire to see the other person’s viewpoint.
“There is nothing either good or bad,” said Shakespeare, “but thinking makes it so.”
“A great man shows his greatness,” said Carlyle, “by the way he treats little men.”
If you tell me how you get your feeling of importance, I’ll tell you what you are. That determines your character. That is the most significant thing about you.
There is only one way under high heaven to get anybody to do anything. Did you ever stop to think of that? Yes, just one way. And that is by making the other person want to do it.
“We are interested in others when they are interested in us.”
No one likes to feel that he or she is being sold something or told to do a thing. We much prefer to feel that we are buying of our own accord or acting on our own ideas. We like to be consulted about our wishes, our wants, our thoughts.
If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve a victory sometimes; but it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponent’s good will.
Always make the other person feel important.