Communication that blocks compassion:
I use the term "life-alienating communication" to refer to these forms of communication.
Moralistic judgments imply wrongness or badness on the part of people who don't act in harmony with our values.
Blame, insults, put downs, labels, criticism, comparisons, and diagnoses are all forms of judgment.
When we speak this language, we judge others and their behavior while preoccupying ourselves with who is good, bad, normal, abnormal, responsible, irresponsible, smart, ignorant, etc.
Our attention is focused on classifying, analyzing, and determining levels of wrongness rather than on what we and others need and are not getting.
If my partner wants more affection than I am giving, that person is "needy" and "dependent."
If I want more affection than they are giving me, then that person is "aloof and insensitive."
All such analysis of other human beings are tragic expressions of our own values and needs. They are tragic because when we express our values and needs in this form, we increase defensiveness and resistance.
We all pay dearly when people respond to our values and needs not out of a desire to give from the heart, but out of fear, guilt, or shame. Each time others associate us in their minds with any of those feelings, the likelihood of their responding compassionately to our needs and values in the future decreases.
It is important here not to confuse the words "value judgments" with the words "moralistic judgments."
All of us make value judgments as to the qualities we value in life; for example, we might value honesty, freedom, or peace. Value judgments reflect our belief of how life can best be served. We make moralistic judgments of people and behaviors that fail to support our value judgments; for example violence is bad. People who kill others are evil.
Instead of saying that violence is bad we might say instead, "I am fearful of the use of violence to resolve conflict; I value the resolution of human conflict through other means."
OJ Harvey at the University of Colorado has studied the frequency of words that classify and judge people. History shows a high correlation between frequent use of words to classify and judge people and frequency of violent incidents (“It does not surprise me to hear that there is considerably less violence in cultures where people think in terms of human need than in cultures where people label one another as good or bad and believe the bad ones deserve to be punished.” Marshall Rosenberg)
Viewers of TV who have been taught that bad guys deserve to be punished, take pleasure in watching this television violence. At the root of much, if not all, violence whether verbal , psychological or physical whether among family members , tribes or nations is a kind of thinking that attributes the cause of conflict to the wrongdoing in one's adversaries and the corresponding inability to think of oneself or other in terms of vulnerability that is what one might be feeling fear, yearning for , missing
-we saw this dangerous thinking during the Cold War.