When I talk with people who have wrong views, I get arrogant quite quickly. And when they notice that, they accept what I say even less. Would it be better for me not to say anything at all?

Lama Ole’s answer:

At some point that simply stops. First try to understand that they are all buddhas and that it is actually fantastic that they can think at all and that you can share something with them. Then try to build things up from this level.

One should always try to focus on something beautiful about the other person. If his face is a bit strange, then perhaps his hands are nice, or his tie, or the car he drives, or his girlfriend—anything! Find something that interests you, and that sets him at ease as well, and make that the basis of the encounter. Then from this point of richness, you expand the connection more and more until you can really share something.

At the same time, one must also understand that the reason something disturbs us in others, making us arrogant and proud, is that we have a problem with these things ourselves. One must keep this in mind; it’s easy to forget. The world is just a mirror for ourselves. We only take issue with things on the outside if we still have a few thorny patches on the inside. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk with others until we are enlightened. We only learn by doing!

If you have a problem to clear up with someone, then you can start on a level where you see eye to eye. Then you can simply say, in a very matter-of-fact way, “Hey, yesterday I heard you say this and that. Did you really mean it that way? I think about it like this…” Start first from a level of surplus, and then it will go over well. When you really like people, they will accept anything from you! They’ll feel it.

You are a young bodhisattva, so it’s actually just a matter of time until the stiff style is gone and you can follow your heart completely. And you don’t lose wisdom in the process; you don’t get dull or unclear. You keep the clarity, and at the same time you are free to focus on what you want and to help beings in different ways.