Was he trying to convince or persuade people? Did he go towards them or did he let them come to spread the Dhamma? How did he react when he was not understood or listened?
I have noticed that I often tend to get carried away in debates where I try to convince my interlocutor of the truth of Buddhism and I get angry when he doesn't listen to me or disagree with me and then I blame myself for having debated in the first place. Then I often find myself with the feeling that I should have kept quiet, and I remember this quote:
He detested objective truths, the burden of argument, sustained reasoning. He disliked demonstrating, he wanted to convince no one. Others are a dialectician’s invention.
- Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born
Should we keep quiet in a "save yourself before saving others" logic?