The Platinum Rule: Better Than the Golden Rule

by | Feb 20, 2020


The Golden Rule says “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Basically, treat others as you yourself would like to be treated. Seems like a good plan, right?

Yes. But maybe there is a better perspective.

A potentially better rule is the “Platinum Rule” which states “Do unto others as they would want to be done to them.” This rule was developed by author Dave Kerpen.

The great thing about the Platinum Rule is that it recognizes that everyone is different. You should think about how the other person wants to be treated, taking into account their personal perspective. In many cases, how another person wants to be treated is different from how you want to be treated. Dave Kerpen provides the following example from Dale Carnegie which is instructive:

Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn’t bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or grasshopper in front of the fish and said: “Wouldn’t you like to have that?”

Other Examples: Imagine you are going to have a few other couples over for dinner. If you love steak and red wine you may think you are really treating your guests well with a choice cut of steak and an amazing pinot noir. But what about guests that don’t like steak or red wine? Obviously, thinking about the guests who prefer fish or are vegetarian and might prefer white wine is a higher level of care.

Similarly, buying one of your favorite fiction books for a friend who only reads non-fiction isn’t a good gift. Telling a spouse how much you love them all the time when they prefer acts of service isn’t really what they want (this is part of the “five love languages” concept).

According to therapist Marie Hartwell-Walker, a common issue with couples is where one thinks: “She (or he) shouldn’t feel the way they do because in a similar instance I wouldn’t feel that way. That’s Golden Rule talk. Often one feels unseen or devalued because the other took it for granted that they knew what would be appreciated instead of asking. Mature love is characterized by a mutual application of the Platinum Rule.”


  1. Do to others what you want them to do to you, is also seeing and doing whats good to that person because that also what you want others to do to you, so its still the same and part of it. What is not good is that you dont always see whats good for them you only see what you know what is good in your own aquired wisdom and this is generally the fastest, most genuine, honest and no complications out of our own good heart and intentions also its whats on the Bible so its the best and nothing beats that.

  2. Interesting. I had once read that although most of us heard of the Golden Rule as originating with Jesus, it has been around a lot longer than 2,000 years. A quick Google confirms that Confucious, among others, recorded a variation on it: “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” Perhaps many ideas that old are a bit simplistic by modern standards.

    • Never constitutes an inaction or some sort of refraining behavior. Do is an action word as is love. Big difference my friend

  3. My understanding of the Golden Rule is to act from another’s perspective, which would require the possibly impossible ability to perceive through that person’s unique set of tools and experiences while discarding my own prejudices and assumptions (many of which I assume are undetectable). The idea of “as you would have them do to you” can be taken just that way if there’s an unspoken part that directs us to make a compassionate effort.

    This is a good post for further thought.

  4. Great IFOD! A good reminder for all of us. I have certainly learned about this practically from you, John Jennings! And as a sidebar, I will never serve you a steak dinner!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Subscribe To The IFOD

Get the Interesting Fact of the Day delivered twice a week. Plus, sign up today and get Chapter 2 of John's book The Uncertainty Solution to not only Think Better, but Live Better. Don't miss a single post!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This
%d bloggers like this: