Analects 5:16

Confucius said

Yen P’ing Chung was good at interpersonal relations. No matter how long the acquaintance, there would be respectfulness.

Yen P’ing knew well how to maintain friendly intercourse. The acquaintance might be long, but he showed the [same] respect [as at first]. L

He knew how to observe the true relations in friend­ship. However long-standing his acquaintance with a man might be, he always maintained throughout the same invariable careful respect. K

Yen P’ing was versed in friendship. Familiarity bred courtesy. H


The chun tzu is and does what is becoming of a chun tzu during interpersonal interaction, watches the manner in which he maintains his interaction with others, properly adapts to them, and avoids contemptuous familiarity with them.

He can know others yet respect them, and love of others yet acknowledge their non jen.

Increased familiarity between people usually lessens mutual respectfulness, consideration, and care.

Insincere public shows of interpersonal respect are far more common than genuine respectfulness.

The best gauge of a person’s genuine respectfulness is how he is in private and familiar settings with others—settings where his conduct is based more on his sincere voluntary choice than on public restraint.