The Hypocrisy of Preaching Non Judgment

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to tell someone not to be critical or judgmental without being, well, critical and judgmental?

There’s a quote by Wayne Dyer that says, “When you judge another, you do not define them. You define yourself.”

There’s a couple of ways that you can interpret that quote.

One way is that it’s a negative projection of one’s shadow onto another. The fact that you are judging the other person means that you are judgmental and that’s bad, and the thing you are judging them for has to do with your own insecurities or the identification of some kind of personal flaw being mirrored back to you. You know, like how your aunt Darlene talks big shit about your cousin Bobby but everything she talks shit about is stuff she does herself? This judgement is coming from ego’s need to be “better” than someone else and as such, you are only defining yourself in the eyes of those who you are observing your judgment.

The other way to interpret it is that through your judgement, you are making a statement of your own moral values. Who am I in relation to this? In that sense, it is defining yourself, as in “This is who I am, this is what I believe,” and it’s a natural result of our purpose here in creating and determining who we are in each moment.

So that begs the question: by judging someone else for being judgmental, aren’t we in turn being judgmental?

Both are true statements. It just depends on the motivation and intention behind the judgment.

Moral Judgment vs. Personal Judgment

There’s moral judgement–”I disagree with this person’s actions”–which comes from that whole defining who you are thing. You are judging their actions as out of alignment with what you define as the greater good.

And then there’s personal judgement: “He’s an asshole, she’s a bitch.”

Personal judgement stems from the projection of internal insecurities of the one making the judgement. You are judging their character based on their actions, or rather your perception of their actions, or sometimes for no reason other than the fact that they don’t agree with you or look like you or talk like you. 

Personal judgment results from internalized insecurities about the self and is the ego’s attempt to compensate for those insecurities by asserting dominance over another person.

Moral judgements can come from positive beliefs about the self. “This is what I believe a good person would do in this situation for the greater good, and I do not agree with this person’s actions.” The process of moral judgement really is just a statement of one’s own moral values.

Both moral and personal judgements can also be rooted in preconditioned beliefs such as religious or cultural morality and many times people use those preconditioned beliefs as an ego booster, of sorts, to associate themselves with the moral high ground.

So if we truly want to be non judgmental, we can’t tell someone else that they shouldn’t be judgmental, because in the process of doing so, we are in effect being judgmental.

I suppose the answer, then, is to simply accept everyone for who they are, judgmental asshole or not! If we want to continue striving to be non judgmental, that is.

But perfection is quite a difficult thing to obtain. We may be setting ourselves up for failure. Perhaps it’s easier to also accept the fact that as long as we’re human, we will also be judgmental. It’s a natural part of comparing ourselves to others and determining who we are. Maybe instead of attempting to project those judgements out onto others and tell them what they should or shouldn’t be/do, we should just reaffirm to ourselves what our own moral values are. 

Thanks for being here,



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