My favorite quotation in the entirety of Larry Gonick’s magisterial Cartoon History of the Universe series is from the Caliph Muawiya.  Behold social intelligence:

I never apply the sword when the lash suffices, nor the lash when my tongue is enough.  If there is even one thread binding me to my fellow man, I do not let it break.  If he pulls, I loosen.  If he loosens, I pull.