"The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee." – John D. Rockefeller.
Rae Ann had ragged him for not regarding other people’s thoughts, but how could he have? His mind had always been full to overflowing with thoughts of himself. She meant other people’s feelings, he knew, and she was right on that count. He’d never cared much for people’s feelings, maybe because that was the least important thing about them. Politeness was overrated, when it involved holding people at arm’s length. With anyone whose friendship he’d ever valued he’d skipped the formalities, and, yes indeed, he had tried to imagine what such friends were thinking, but his speculation had always been self-referential and invariably ended in the surmise, actually the certainty, that they were thinking about themselves. -- Chapter 22, The Misforgotten