Moralistic Judgements

January 10, 2009

The greatest deception men suffer is
from their own opinions.
— Leonardo da Vinci

Moralistic judgments imply that other people are wrong or bad because they don’t act in ways that are in harmony with our values. If you see someone driving faster than you think is safe, you might say that they are a maniac driver. If someone talks slower than is fun for you, you might say that they are boring. You may also do this to yourself when you think that you’re fat because you don’t weigh what you’d like to, or that you’re a bully if you regret something you just said.
Anytime you judge someone else or yourself as bad or wrong, you are expressing a moralistic judgment. Another way of looking at things that allows you to evaluate your circumstances without judgment is to express how something affects you.

For instance, when I see someone driving faster than I think is safe, I may say or think, “When I see that person driving that fast I feel scared and I’d really like the road to be safe.” Or, if I’m discouraged with my weight, I could say or think,“Ugh. I am so frustrated with my weight. Losing 20 pounds would really give me hope that this can shift.”

Judging the situation only creates distance and additional hurt feelings. Acknowledging our feelings and connecting those feelings to our unmet needs (safety and hope) can help us to connect with ourselves and others, and to heal.

Notice how often you make moralistic judgments of
other people and how you feel when you do this.
This reflection is an excerpt from  Peaceful Living: Daily Meditations for Living with Love, Healing, and Compassion by Mary Mackenzie, published by PuddleDancer Press, and is offered courtesy of NVC Academy and Mary Mackenzie.

We invite you to share this reflection with your friends and family if you imagine they might enjoy it.  They may also receive their own weekly reflection by email by signing up at the following Stay In Touch page.

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