If somebody wants to work on their middos, where would you tell them to start?

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    There are so many areas in Yiddish keit on where and how to improve oneself.

    Shmiras Haloshen, mussar sefarim, such as orchos tzadikim, chavos levavos, or tehillim or doing hisbodidus? What should be the focus on how to have better middos and sensitivity towards others and on being a mentch?


    I think a good focus to have that may help improving one’s middos and sensitivity is realizing and internalizing that G-d does an infinite amount of kindness to us, every single day. He is always looking out for us, and always does what is best for us. And we are here in this world to try to emulate G-d, so we should also try to give to others, be aware of others’ needs, and have a greater sensitivity to other people. That is emulating G-d’s ways.


    yes i was just reading that rabbi avigdor miller was saying the best “teshuva ” is while eating watermelon.


    I don’t know what kind of an answer you’re expecting since nobody here knows you or has experience as a mashpia/mashgiach.

    Anyone who is working on their middos will just tell you what to do what they started with because “hey, why not? It worked for me.”

    Anyone who isn’t has nothing useful to add but will probably open their mouths anyway.

    Abba bar Aristotle

    Chazal tell us that “Derech Eretz kadma l’Torah. Therefore, if a person wants to begin to work on Middos, he/she must first begin to work on Derech Eretz


    Always, in order to work on oneself, one has to take a good hard look at themselves and see what needs improvement. Don’t try and make too many changes too soon, or try to do too much too soon that will only be a recipe for failure. Think of something you would like to work on and then make an effort to do better in that area. When you feel better about that, it will help you to feel better about yourself in general and allow you to move up to another area.

    So if for instance you want to make improvements in the area of loshon horah, concentrate on that for a while until you really have a handle on that before you choose to tackle another area. Make sure you feel good about your accomplishment and you are confident that you reached your goal, then you can happily move on to another.


    I agree with ItcheSrulik. Ask someone who knows you.


    Here’s a good place to start. Everyone get a good work-over (at least tryouts) on their middos over here!

    Before I came here to the CR I was, well, never mind.


    I agree with ItcheSrulik, too. You’ll have to work on whatever it your current, workable challenge.

    If you are completely raw, that you don’t have a single good Midda and no bad one sticks out, then work on Anava.


    Abba bar, Middos are Derech Eretz. What are you suggesting, to work on openning the door for someone before learning not to lose your temper?


    You know, the mussar sefarim and the popular literature on the subject usually instruct the reader to concetrate on those middos in which he (or she) is the weakest. Personally I think the approach should be that one should invest their efforts in their best characteristics to improve what they are best at and to avoid those situations where their weaknesses would be manifest. Just sayin’…


    Use some imagery. Bring to mind your concept of a kulo machmadim, and pretend u are that person, After twenty years of effort, you will be that kulo machmadim.


    what is a kulo machmadim?


    start with a sefer like Mesillas Yesharim adn work on each perek. After you finish you will have a better picture of what areas you found most challenging and then learn/work on them. Hatzlacha… a person IS his midos.


    Always: From Shir Hashirim, a perfected individual, in literal meaning, he is all pleasantries.


    in my opinion the best place is to start with kavod -kibud av v’aim,kavod habrios, kavod atzmee,kavod ochel (not being baal tashchis) this is what we started with when starting to learn and work on our middos in seminary and i see a MAJOR difference in girls with how they act i believe that having kavod is the base of middos


    Can I post a little annoyance (rant here). ? I agree with you ayshoshee, and I have a hard time watching people in grocery stores “tossing and throwing” their food items carelessly into their cart.

    Like its a cool thing or something. But then I see even the goy at the cash is doing it now also, throwing heavy articles on soft ones just like the customers, then the order gets crushed. Who wants squashed tomatoes? But thats not the point, the point is the bread is feeding us, and we need to have respect. Kavod ochel.


    twisted I agree with you but sometimes I DONT FEEL PLEASAnt! Like when I am arguing with my spouse! I feel angry. HOW Can a person always show pleasantry?

    chulent dude

    the ramban in igeres haramban gives a bunch of eitzos, but one of them is talk calmly to every person and not raise your voice to anybody…that’s with regard to being pleasant, but honestly if u wanna no wat to work on then you should speak to your rebbe who prob knows best


    whoa do I ever have my work cut out for me now!

    I usually use a loud voice, and whatever…ok thanks



    I don’t think we “respect” the bread because “it” is feeding us. I think we respect food because that is the conduit through with which HaShem bestows on us His great kindness. Something akin to holding dear a souvenir, gift from a king. I think I once heard/saw this reason.


    yes yes zeeskite, thats it. Thats what I mean. But you have to respect it. Its a gift. like money. would you just throw pennies into the sewer? Its an averia.


    I think humility is the number one middah we should work on, and just about every good trait stems from it. And the opposite is also true: Haughtiness leads to just about every bad trait.

    Bar Shattya

    I would tell them to start by appreciating that middos is not something to just want or not want its more like the purpose of life


    the way you all describe it it sounds like you are all shtieging every day.

    Bar Shattya

    at least every day. probably the other days too.



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