Dealing with People: 3 Things to Remember


“In one respect man is the nearest thing to me, so far as I must do good to men and endure them. But so far as some men make themselves obstacles to my proper acts, man becomes to me one of the things which are indifferent, no less than the sun or wind or a wild beast.”  Marcus Aurelius

“I will respect the dignity of all, but measure the character of each.” –from My Creed

People can be difficult to deal with. Here are three facts of dealing with people:

Everyone Has a Different Belief Than You.

While many may be kind, helpful, courteous, and loving, they still will have different beliefs than you.  You may have a lot in common with someone, but eventually you will find something that you two will not agree upon.  You must decide which of these beliefs are unacceptable, and which you can accept.  For example, some people may believe that aborting a fetus is fine in the first trimester of a pregnancy, but not after.  You may disagree with this belief, and it may reveal something about the person’s character that you cannot tolerate, or you may disagree but think that this is a complex matter, or you may choose to convince the person that they may be in error in their belief.

Everyone Thinks a Little Differently Than You

From the day we are born, each of us has a developing brain.  When we learn something, connections are formed and memories are stored.  Here is the thing…each of us stores things differently.  For example, when you learned how to pronounce the letter “T” you stored it in a specific place in your brain, let’s call it neuron 4, located on the far left of your head.  Another person, who learned the same sound of the same letter “T” just like you did, stores it in neuron 84, located near the center of his head.  My point is that everyone literally thinks differently.  The pathways are unique in each and every one of us.  So, when you think that somebody thinks like they are from another planet, than that may be why.  They are recalling an idea, memory, or language differently than you.

It looks the same to the casual observer.

People Will Do Bad Things

All around you, every day there are people lying, cheating, and stealing.  You may have done one of these today.  Somewhere somebody is killing someone else.  Somewhere, right now, a salesman is outright lying about the value and quality of their product.   Somewhere, somebody is trying to steal your identity.  Some people dedicate their lives to doing bad things.  We would like to think that most people are doing what is right most of the time, but nearly everyone does something wrong at least some of the time.  The character of a person is the sum total of their actions, no?  The greater the ratio of bad actions to good actions, the less you would want to associate with such a person.  This ratio is never zero, but we all have to decide what ratio is intolerable.

These were handcrafted out of rare coconuts, really!