10 Quotes that Will Change the Way You See and Treat People Today

By Marc Chernoff

  1. Everybody you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something.  Know this.  You never know what someone has been through, or what they’re going through today.  Don’t be lazy and make empty judgments about them.  Be kind.  Ask about their stories.  Listen.  Be humble.  Be teachable.  Be a good neighbor.
  2. Some people build lots of walls in their lives and not enough bridges.  Don’t be one of them.  Open yourself up.  Take small chances on people.  Let them shift your perspective.  We all take different roads seeking fulfillment, joy, and peace.  Just because someone is traveling a different road, doesn’t mean they’re lost or going the wrong way.
  3. No one has ever made themselves strong by showing how small someone else is.  Remember this, and communicate accordingly.
  4. The single greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.  Too often we don’t listen to understand—we listen to reply.  Bring awareness to this.  And listen for what’s truly behind the words.
  5. Be present.  Be thoughtful.  Compliment people.  Magnify their strengths, not their weaknesses.  This is how to make a real and lasting difference in your relationships, new and old.
  6. Set an example.  Treat everyone with respect, even those who are rude to you—not because they are nice, but because YOU are.  And do your best to be thankful for the rude and difficult people too; they serve as great reminders of how not to be.
  7. People will rarely think and act exactly the way you want them to.  Hope for the best, but expect less.  Agree to disagree when necessary.  And be careful not to dehumanize those you disagree with.  In our self-righteousness, we can easily become the very things we dislike in others.
  8. People are much nicer when they’re happier, which says a lot about those who aren’t very nice to us.  Sad, but true.  The way we treat people we disagree with is a report card on what we’ve learned about love, compassion and kindness.  Let’s just wish them well, and be on our way.
  9. You can’t control how people receive your energy.  And you can’t take things too personally, even if it seems personal.  Rarely do people do things because of you.  They do things because of them.  There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to when you detach from other people’s behaviors.  The way they treat you is their issue, how you respond is yours.  (We discuss this in more detail in the “Relationships” chapter of our book.)
  10. The wisest, most loving, and well-rounded people you have ever met are likely those who have been shattered by some kind of heartbreak.  Yes, life often creates the best humans by breaking them first.  Their destruction into pieces allows them to be fine-tuned and reconstructed into a masterpiece.  Let this continue to remind you to be way kinder than necessary, every step of the way.

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