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Talking to Yourself About Other People

May 26, 2009 | by

Many of your thoughts are about other people: People you know well and people who are strangers to you, but affect your life in various ways. People you are related to and people you are friends with. People you find easy to deal with and people you find challenging. People you respect and like, and people you are upset with. People who are helpful to you and people you wish to help. People you interact with frequently, and people you meet just once.

The way you view people determines how you get along with them. The Torah (Vayikra 19:18) tells us: "Love other people as yourself." Also, the Sages teach us in Pirkei Avos (4:1): "Who is an honorable person? Someone who honors and respects others." When you love and respect someone, you think about him in positive ways. Your self-talk is about his good qualities. You think about what you can learn from him, and this is the definition of a wise person. As the Sages (Pirkei Avos 4:1) say, "Who is wise? Someone who learns from everyone."

When you associate people with their positive qualities and have positive thoughts and feelings about them, you speak to them more positively. You also act towards them with greater kindness and compassion.

Yes, we need to be aware of the totality of people in order protect ourselves and others. But our major focus should be on what is good and right and admirable about others.

Be strongly resolved to keep your mind focused on the virtues and positive qualities of other people. If your mind happens to think unnecessarily about what is wrong with other people, change your thoughts to what is good and right about them.

Your thoughts about another person create a powerful energy. One of my favorite verses is from Mishlei/Proverbs (27:19). "As in water, face to face, so, too, is the heart of one person to another." When you think positive thoughts about another person, that person will tend to feel positively about you also. The deeper and more profound your thoughts and feelings of unconditional love, the more likely it is that this person will reciprocate.

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