Today I would like us to see together one of the elements that blocks communication between people. These are moral judgments , which are those that we issue when people do not act according to our values. Blaming, labeling, comparing, or criticizing another person are ways of making moralistic judgments.
What happens to you when someone uses this type of language? I suppose you do not want to approach, collaborate or sympathize with that person, do you? When we do this, it is very difficult for the natural tendency to appear to the compassion and collaboration that mankind has. That’s why I told you that this type of language blocks communication between people.
I do not know what happens to us, but the most usual (not the most natural) is that when someone does something that bothers me I choose this kind of language. For example, someone overtakes me in an inappropriate way and I say that he is an idiot. If my daughter does not thank me for a gift, I say she is ungrateful. If my partner does not greet me, I say he’s an unfriendly …
When I do this, I see it from the perspective that there is something that fails in others and therefore needs to be corrected and / or punished. This type of language can also apply to myself when I think there is something wrong or inappropriate when something does not come out as I expected.
Now, if I get others to act like I want out of shame, fear of punishment or because they feel guilty, the price I pay is very high. Sooner or later the desire to contribute to my well-being of goodwill will no longer exist. Likewise, the people I submit in this way will generate resentment toward me as their self-esteem is damaged. In this way relationships with people are seriously affected.
After all this, you may be saying that indeed, this may not be the best way to relate to people or yourself, but is there any alternative ? Should we avoid making judgments about others when they do something that bothers me? Let me explain my proposal.
Moral Judgments vs. Value Judgments
Moralistic judgments based on labels, critiques and evaluations of others are nothing more than a tragic expression of our own values ??and needs. On the other hand, value judgments are the expression of what is valuable to us. They reflect our beliefs about how life can be more valuable and rich.
As I said before, when I am in the paradigm of moral judgments, I think there are people who act well and people who act badly. The wrong behavior must be repressed and punished and I am the one who determines that criterion. Notice that my focus is on others and implies that others should change their attitude.
However, the value judgment starts from the following question: what universal values ??and needs do I care about and are lacking right now, do I feel uncomfortable? As you can see the focus is on oneself and not on others. There is no universal law out there that governs right and wrong. It’s just me, a vulnerable human being who has universal needs and values ??that wants to be taken into account, just like any other human being.
From this paradigm , there is no place of supremacy that confers being right. It is a place where the needs of everyone count and deserve to be held in the same way. There are no demands, only requests. In this place people can be seen in all their humanity.
Let me explain with examples how I can explain the same fact from these two perspectives. From the perspective of moralistic judgment I think that a person is unfriendly and inconsiderate if he does not greet me (and obviously should not be). From the point of view of value judgment, I feel restless because it is very important for me to respect and consider others and I do not see it when I do not say hello. You see the difference? More examples
I can go from “your problem is that you are a selfish” to saying “I feel restless because for me it is very important generosity and now I am missing”. From “you’re a lazy” to saying “You look very tired and I would love to lend you a hand with this task”. From “you are a burden” to “now I am needing lightness and tranquility”.
Which of these two paradigms make it easy for you to connect with the other person? From what paradigm is it more likely that the other person will access what you want from your sincere or voluntary desire to contribute to your well-being?