Human Nature Quotations


“Seek first to understand and then to be understood. Most people do not listen with the intent to understand: they listen with the intent to reply. They’re filtering everything through their own paradigms, reading their autobiography into other people’s lives.”

-Stephen R. Covey

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”

-Oscar Wilde

“When you’re dealing with a hundred [decisions] each morning you reach a point where you become distracted and less creative because you start to get impatient and irritable. You end up turning your back on opportunities simply because you’re overloaded and it’s too much to handle. And that bad feeling of ‘I just can’t take it anymore’ leads to diminished efficiency, less open-mindedness and flexibility, and less ability to use your uniquely human capacities to their best advantage.”

-Dr. Edward Hallowell, ADHD specialist and researcher

“Everyone complains of his lack of memory, but nobody of his want of judgment.”

-La Rochefoucauld

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

-Abraham Lincoln

“Perhaps I know best why it is man alone who laughs; he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter.”

-Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

“Many women who claim to care about ‘inequality’ are nonetheless champions when it comes to studiously ignoring the inequalities that favor themselves. What feminists refer to as the ‘backlash’ is not against women’s gaining equality. It is against the fact that a lot of women are getting to have their cake and eat it too: equality when it’s convenient, tradition when it’s convenient.”

-Linney Uston

“Those who make their dress a principal part of themselves, will, in general, become of no more value than their dress.”

-William Hazlitt

“Such seems to be the disposition of man, that whatever makes a distinction produces rivalry.”

-Dr. Samuel Johnson

“Praise is like sunlight to the human spirit: we cannot flower and grow without it.”

-Jess Lair

“Seven blunders of the world that lead to violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principle.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

“To endure oneself may be the hardest task in the universe. You cannot hire a wise man or any other intellect to solve it for you. There’s no writ of inquest or calling of witness to provide answers. No servant or disciple can dress the wound. You dress it yourself or continue bleeding for all to see.”

-Frank Herbert

“Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.”

-Mark Twain

“Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on ‘I am not too sure.'”

-H. L. Mencken

“Men use up their lives in heart-breaking political struggles, or get themselves killed in civil wars, or tortured in the secret prisons of the Gestapo, not in order to establish some central-heated, air-conditioned, strip-lighted Paradise, but because they want a world in which human beings love one another instead of swindling and murdering one another.”

-George Orwell

“Society is something in nature that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life, or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.”


“As I know more of mankind I expect less of them, and am ready now to call a man a good man upon easier terms than I was formerly.”

-Dr. Samuel Johnson

“Want evidence of how deeply we’ve allowed the media to define our beauty? Look in the mirror. How many of you honestly believe in your own essential beauty? Isn’t it wrong that we have let the bastards define human beauty for us, instead of encouraging us to look within each other for it?”

-Srini Kumar,

“A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world: everyone you meet is your mirror.”

-Ken Keyes Jr.

“Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking.”

-Henry Louis Mencken

“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.”

-Oscar Wilde

“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”

-Samuel Johnson

“Many are stubborn in persuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.”

-Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

“The great masses of the people… will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.”

-Adolph Hitler

“There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group – there is less competition.”

-Indira Ghandi

“Rare is the person who can weigh the faults of others without putting his thumb on the scales.”

-Byron J. Langenfeld

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

-Abraham Lincoln

“I see each person who comes into my life as an opportunity to learn something about human nature, and myself. Each person has a lesson to teach me. I try to learn.”

-Holly Archer

“We compound our suffering by victimizing each other.”

-Athol Fugard

“A lot of people want to change the world, but only a few people want to change themselves. When it comes to the issue of race in America, we have to do both.”

-Senator Bill Bradley

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”

-Victor Borge

“Many an opportunity is lost because a man is out looking for four-leaf clovers.”


“The proper office of a friend is to side with you when you are in the wrong; Nearly anybody will side with you when you are in the right.”

-Mark Twain

“The roots of friendship are tested with the strongest wind. Welcome the wind.”


“A friend is someone with whom you dare to be yourself.”

-Frank Crane

“Many are stubborn in persuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.”

-Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

“We seek our happiness outside ourselves, and in the opinion of men we know to be flatterers, insincere, unjust, full of envy, caprice and prejudice.”

-Jean de La Bruyere

“All men are tempted. There is no man that lives that can’t be broken down, provided it is the right temptation, put in the right spot.”

-Henry Ward Beecher

“We often make people pay dearly for what we think we give them.”

-Comtesse Diane

“There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we feel no one else has a right to blame us.”

-Oscar Wilde

“Opinion is ultimately determined by the feelings, and not by the intellect.”

-Herbert Spencer

“The closing years of life are like the end of a maquerade party, when the masks are dropped.”

-Arthur Schopenhauer

“Be a good animal, true to your animal instincts.”

-David Herbert Lawrence

“Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around: to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.”

-Adolf Hitler

“Not to expose your true feelings to an adult seems to be instinctive from the age of seven or eight onwards.”

-George Orwell

“What can you do against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy? ”

-George Orwell

“Most of my adult life I have not been listening fully. I only listened long enough to determine whether the speaker’s ideas matched my own. If they didn’t, I would stop listening, and my mind would race ahead to compose an argument against what I believed the speaker’s idea or position to be.”

-John Francis, environmental activist

“A feeble mind, conscious of its own feebleness, grows feeble under that very consciousness. As soon as the power of fear becomes known to it, there follows the fear of fear, and, on the first perturbation, reason abandons it.”

-Hector Berlioz

“The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior ‘righteous indignation’ — this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats.”

-Aldous Huxley

“It’s frightening that some people literally prefer ignorance because it’s comforting and easier to comprehend.”

-Paul LaClair

“Sometimes we put up walls, not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to knock them down.”


“Rare is the person who can weigh the faults of others without putting his thumb on the scales.”

-Byron J. Langenfeld

“We compound our suffering by victimizing each other.”

-Athol Fugard

“A lot of people want to change the world, but only a few people want to change themselves. When it comes to the issue of race in America, we have to do both.”

-Senator Bill Bradley

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.”

-Bertrand Russel

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.”

-Richard P. Feynman

“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the loss of sleep.”

-Dale Carnegie

“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.”

-Oscar Wilde

“Only the weak are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong.”

-Leo Buscaglia

“A friend should be one in whose understanding and virtue we can equally confide, and whose opinion we can value at once for its justness and its sincerity.”

-Robert Hall

“It is no tragedy to do ungrateful people favors, but it is unbearable to be indebted to a scoundrel.”

-Fracois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld

“Man is the cruelest animal.”


“For one cause will not do;

We must state many, one of which is true.”


“Many know how to please, but know not when they have ceased to give pleasure.”

-Sir Arthur Helps

“For many men that stumble at the threshold are well forewarned that danger lurks within.”

-William Shakespeare

“Do we not see all humans unaware

Of what they want, and always searching everywhere,
And changing place, as if to drop the load they bear?”


“How many people become abstract as a way of appearing profound!”

-Joseph Joubert

“A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights.”


“When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.”

-Eric Hoffer

“The injury we do and the one we suffer are not weighed in the same scale.”


“Conversation would be vastly improved by the constant use of four simple words: ‘I do not know’.”

-Andre Maurois

“We are inclined to believe those whom we do not know because they have never deceived us.”

-Dr. Samuel Johnson

“Man is unhappy because he is ignorant of nature.”

-Paul-Henri Holbach

“Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live.”

-Margaret Fuller

“Ambition can take you far, but who are you when you get there?”

-Garrison Keillor

“The observation of others is coloured by our inability to observe ourselves impartially. We can never be impartial about anything until we can be impartial about our own organism.”

-A. R. Orage

“If you make people think that they are thinking, they will love you; but if you really make them think, they will hate you.”


“He spurns the thing he sought, and seeks anew

What he just spurned; he seethes, his life’s askew.”


“We believe nothing so firmly as what we least know.”

-Michel de Montaigne

“Every man has his follies — and often they are the most interesting thing he had got.”

-Josh Billings

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping that it will eat him last.”

-Sir Winston Spencer Churchill

“There is nobody so irritating as somebody with less intelligence and more sense than we have.”

-Don Herold

“Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together.”

-Eugene Ionesco

“When people have no other tyrant, their own public opinion becomes one.”

-Edward Bulwer-Lytton

“Understanding human needs is half the job of meeting them.”

-Adlai Stevenson

“Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it. Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other, new insights begin.”

-Herman Hesse

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s