The Ten Commandments of How To Get Along With People

I spent some time cleaning my desk the other day.


I have a lot of my great-grandmother’s photos. And some papers. I discovered one paper in particular and stuck it at my desk; but over time it became hidden by other things.

As life and the hustle does… it can tend to bury.

I don’t think it was coincidence I stumbled on this particular paper on the particular day I did. The only other day that would have been better would have perhaps have been the day after the election last year.


I have never wanted to abandon the internet more than I do these days. No wonder we are so depressed and in such despair. The way people see fit to treat each other *shakes cane in air*.

People type and type and type as if there is no heart that receives the words on the other side.

And you know what? I am guilty of it. I get fed-up and lose my ability to have empathy for the person on the other end of my typed expression of opinion and perceived self-rightness. I don’t go “balls to the wall” but time after time I have failed to temper my phrasing as my *brilliant* composition moves along a faceless screen.

I also hold the opinion that in general, a post on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram is about as effective as… well, a vote. I believe the most effective and meaningful impact on our co-humans happens on the daily and on a face-to-face level. 

The use of social media gives us a false sense of impact, just as it gives us a false sense of relationship.

I’m not saying the use of social media doesn’t have an impact. But the way I see individuals elevate A POST or A SHARE… it’s just… I just.

Enter my grandma’s typewritten paper.

I can’t find the original source of this particular set of commandments. I have no idea how old this is, but I know it’s been around.

And I found it in my great-grandmother’s Bible:

1. Keep skid chains on your tongue; always say less than you think. Cultivate a low, persuasive voice. How you say it often counts more than what you say.

2. Make promises sparingly and keep them faithfully, no matter what it costs.

3. Never let an opportunity pass to say a kind and encouraging word to or about somebody. Praise good work, regardless who did it. Criticize helpfully, never spitefully.

4. Be interested in others; their pursuits, their work, their homes and families. Make merry with those who rejoice; with those who weep, mourn. Let everyone you meet feel that you regard him as a person of importance.

5. Be cheerful. Don’t burden or depress those around you by dwelling on your minor aches and pains and small disappointments. Remember, everyone is carrying some kind of load.

6. Keep an open mind. Discuss but don’t argue. It is a mark of a superior mind to be able to disagree without being disagreeable.

7. Let your virtues, if you have any, speak for themselves. Refuse to talk of another’s vices. Discourage gossip. It’s a waste of time and can be destructive.

8. Be careful of another’s feelings. Wit and humor at another’s expense is not worth it and can hurt.

9. Pay no attention to ill-natured remarks about you. Simply live so that nobody will believe them. Disordered nerves and bad digestion are a common cause of back-biting.

10. Don’t be too anxious about the credit due to you. Do your best and be patient. Forget about yourself and let others “remember”. Success is much sweeter that way.

This set of ten commandments – It’s not so much about getting along with people. It’s about showing regard. It’s not about compromising one’s morals or convictions. It’s about respect, and letting go of one’s inner-toddler fighting to get what you want… when you want it. It’s not about NOT standing up for what you believe in, but rather about how to go about it.

Yes? No? 

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2 Responses to “The Ten Commandments of How To Get Along With People”

  1. Emily G. says:

    Yes!! A million times yes!!

  2. Lisa says:

    Came back to re-read because this is so relevant for me today. Not because it is a particularly tough day.. but because though days seem to have lined up since last year. Thank you for the reminder and the guidance before I speak and how I listen. <3

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