Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, people don’t criticize themselves for anything, no matter how wrong it may be.
Criticism is futile because it puts us on the defensive and usually makes us strive to justify ourselves. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds our pride, hurts our sense of importance, and arouses resentment.
Don’t criticize others; they are just what we would be under similar circumstances.
“Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your own doorstep is unclean.”—Confucius
Rather than condemn others, try to understand them. Try to figure out why they do what they do.
“If there is any one secret of success 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.”—Henry Ford
“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.”
“It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.”
“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.”
How to keep a disagreement from becoming an argument: Welcome the disagreement, Distrust your first instinctive impression, Control your temper, Listen first, Look for areas of agreement, Be honest, Promise to think over your opponents’ ideas and study them carefully, Thank your opponents sincerely for their interest, Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem.
“There’s magic, positive magic, in such phrases as: ‘I may be wrong. I frequently am. Let’s examine the facts.’”
“Don’t argue with your customer or your spouse or your adversary. Don’t tell them they are wrong. Don’t get them stirred up. Use a little diplomacy.”
When you’re right, try to win people gently and tactfully to your way of thinking. When you’re wrong, admit your mistakes quickly and with enthusiasm.
“In talking with people, don’t begin by discussing the things on which you differ. Begin by emphasizing—and keep on emphasizing—the things on which you agree.”
“If, as a result of reading this book, you get only one thing—an increased tendency to think always in terms of the other person’s point of view, and see things from that person’s angle as well as your own—if you get only that one thing from this book, it may easily prove to be one of the stepping—stones of your career.”