Sometimes harsh words must be said in order to help someone, but generally when we speak harshly, it is because we are angry, and it does not help. It is difficult to speak harsh words with love and compassion. In these situations, we can take ourselves as an example. Putting ourselves in someone else’s place, we ask, “If someone said these words to me in that way, how would I feel?” When we truly think of others, we will find some part of them that resembles us, because every one of us experiences pleasure and pain. Before we act or speak, thinking of others as similar to us is quite useful.
from the book Traveling the Path of Compassion: A Commentary on The Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva