32 Wonderful Arbinger Institute Quotes

The Arbinger Institute focuses on the training, consulting, and coaching of individuals to teams towards changing the mindset of individuals. Here is a look at some of the best Arbinger Institute quotes to remember.

“A solution to the inner war solves the outer war as well.”

“Always remember that it is progress, not perfection, you should be looking for.”

“Appreciate the time and effort you have devoted to this. You have been pondering your lives in bold ways. I hope you will be both troubled and inspired as a result: troubled because you know that the box is always just a choice away but hopeful for the very same reason because freedom from the box is also just a choice away—a choice that is available to us in every moment.”

“As painful as it is to receive contempt from another, it is more debilitating by far to be filled with contempt for another.”

“As usual, there aren’t enough last minutes.”

“Because if you are the mess, you can clean it. Improvement doesn’t depend on others.”


“Bruises heal more quickly than emotional scars do.”

“But like many who are lonely, I was more preoccupied with others than were those who lived to socialize…Everyone I hated was always with me, even when I was alone. They had to be, for I had to remember what and why I hated in order to remind myself to stay away from them.”

“Have you ever been in a conflict with someone who thought he was wrong. If you are not wrong, then you will be willing to consider how you might be mistaken.”

“I saw in myself a leader who was so sure of the brilliance of his own ideas that he couldn’t allow brilliance in anyone else’s; a leader who felt he was so ‘enlightened’ that he needed to see workers negatively in order to prove his enlightenment; a leader so driven to be the best that he made sure no one else could be as good as he was.”

“If we are poor learners, our teaching will be ineffective.”

“If we have deep problems, it’s because we are failing at the deepest part of the solution. And when we fail at this deepest level, we invite our own failure.”

“If you see people of a particular race or culture as objects, your view of them is racist, whatever your color or lack of color or you power or lack of power.”

“In every moment…we choose to see others either as people like ourselves or as objects. They either count like we do or they don’t.”

“Most problems in life are not solved merely by correction.”

“Most wars between individuals are of the ‘cold’ rather than the ‘hot’ variety—lingering resentment, for example, grudges long held, resources clutched rather than shared, help not offered. These are the acts of war that most threaten our homes and workplaces.”

“My disability was my justification! It was my excuse for failing to engage with the world.”

“No conflict can be solved so long as all parties are convinced they are right. Solution is possible only when at least one party begins to consider how he might be wrong.”

“Now that probably didn’t happen right off the bat.”

“People whose hearts are at war toward others can’t consider others’ objections and challenges enough to be able to find a way through them.”

“Seeing an equal person as an inferior object is an act of violence.”

“Self-deception actually determines one’s experience in every aspect of life. The extent to which it does that—and in particular the extent to which it determines the nature of one’s influence on, and experience of, others—is the subject of this book.”

“Self-deception is like this. It blinds us to the true causes of problems, and once we’re blind, all the “solutions” we can think of will actually make matters worse. Whether at work or at home, self-deception obscures the truth about ourselves, corrupts our view of others and our circumstances, and inhibits our ability to make wise and helpful decisions.”

“So if we are going to find lasting solutions to difficult conflicts or external wars we find ourselves in, we first need to find our way out of the internal wars that are poisoning our thoughts, feelings, and attitudes toward others. If we can’t put an end to the violence within us, there is no hope for putting an end to the violence without.”

“That’s right. The truth is, her faults seemed relevant to whether I should help her only after I failed to help her. I focused on and inflated her faults when I needed to feel justified for mine. After I betrayed myself, the truth was just the opposite of what I thought it was.”

“The lady who offered us her seat, on the other hand, saw others and the situation clearly, without bias. She saw others as they were, as people like herself, with similar needs and desires. She saw straightforwardly. She was out of the box.”

“The more sure I am that I’m right, the more likely I will actually be mistaken. My need to be right makes it more likely that I will be wrong! Likewise, the more sure I am that I am mistreated, the more likely I am to miss ways that I am mistreating others myself. My need for justification obscures the truth.”

“The way we can know if we’ve betrayed ourselves is by whether we are still desiring to be helpful.”

“There is a question I have learned to ask myself when I am feeling bothered about others: am I holding myself to the same standard I am demanding of them?”

“They’re all examples of self-betrayal — times when I had a sense of something I should do for others but didn’t do it.”

“When I betray myself, others’ faults become immediately inflated in my heart and mind. I begin to ‘horribilize’ others. That is, I begin to make them out to be worse than they really are. And I do this because the worse they are, the more justified I feel.”

“Whenever I dehumanize another, I necessarily dehumanize all that is human—including myself.”

Here is an Arbinger Institute webinar about declaring a truce in the midst of a conflict. Inspired by the story of the Christmas Truce in 1914, enemy soldiers along the Western Front took initiative to lay down their weapons and face one another as individuals.

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