People like to see themselves in a positive light. No one likes to believe there is something bad at work inside of them. Al Capone, arguably the most infamous gangster in U.S. history, was quoted as saying, I have spent the best years of my life giving people the lighter pleasures, helping them have a good time, and all I get is abuse, the existence of a hunted man.
Mr. Dale Carnegie, in his book How To Win Friends & Influence People, wrote, The fact is that all people you meet have a high regard for themselves and like to be fine and unselfish in their own estimation.
He gives J. Pierpont Morgan, an famous American financier and banker, credit for saying …a person usually has two reasons for doing a thing: one that sounds good and a real one. He goes on to say, The person himself will think of a real reason. You don’t need to emphasize that. But all of us, being idealists at heart, like to think of motives that sound good. So, in order to change people, appeal to the nobler motives.
I’ve always said that we as a people like to judge others by their actions all the while we like to be judged by our intentions. Basically what I’m saying is that we should give the person the benefit of the doubt in times of disagreement. Don’t treat the person as being selfish and only looking out for their own benefit. This will stop all connection in its tracks. Try to connect with their ideal motive and see where it leads you. You never know, it may help them to see themselves as they really are.
How have you connected with someone by looking at their intentions?