People

“You must avoid the common mistake of making judgments based on your initial impressions of people.  Such impressions can sometimes tell you something, but more often they are misleading.  There are several reasons for this.  In our initial encounter you tend to be nervous, less open, and more inward.  You are not really paying attention.  Furthermore, people have trained themselves to appear a certain way; they have a persona they use in public that acts like a second skin to protect them.  Unless you are incredibly perceptive, you will tend to mistake the mask for the reality.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“People will say all kinds of things about their motives and intentions; they are used to dressing things up with words.  Their actions, however, say much more about their character, about what is going on underneath the surface.  If they present a harmless front but have acted aggressively on several occasions, give the knowledge of that aggression much greater weight than the surface they present.  In a similar vein, you should take special note of how people respond to stressful situations—often the mask they wear in public falls off in the heat of the moment.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“You must allow everyone the right to exist in accordance with the character he has, whatever it turns out to be: and all you should strive to do is to make use of this character in such a way as its kind of nature permits, rather than to hope for any alteration in it, or to condemn it offhand for what it is.  This is the true sense of the maxim—Live and let live… To become indignant at [people’s] conduct is as foolish as to be angry with a stone because it rolls into your path.  And with many people the wisest thing you can do, is to resolve to make use of those whom you cannot alter.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, via Mastery

“Simply having a phone on the table or within reach keeps the conversations shallow.  None of this would be a big deal if mobile and app-based conversation were complementing rather than replacing face-to-face conversation, but that’s not the case.  In fact, so many people are turning to digital to have potentially messy and emotional conversations in a less messy and emotional way.  It may bring more calm to a relationship, sure, but it also strips the vulnerability and revelation that come from looking someone in the eye, seeing how your words land, seeing how their body responds, hearing the catch in their breath, understanding what is truly going on between you in a way no emoji chain or composed text could ever express.  That emotional, messy, hard, exhilarating, don’t-know-what’s-coming-next space is where the moments that make life most worth living lie.  Kill the space, kill the moment.  Hello, tidy matrix and numbed-out life.” ~ Jonathan Fields, How To Live A Good Life

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