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Integrity & Judgment of Others

You aspire to live an integrous life.  You feel confident about a set of ethical standards to which you adhere.  At the same time, you notice yourself get angry and judgmental when others don't adhere to your standards.  It's confusing, because you don't want to judge others, yet there has to be some moral standard, doesn't there?!

From the framework of Compassionate Communication we can extract ourselves from the impossible job of deciding who has integrity and who doesn't.  Rather than defining integrity around your opinions about what is moral and ethical and what is not, you can check in with universal needs.

When you hear yourself judging another's integrity, you can ask yourself what universal needs are at stake for you in the situation and what universal needs/values the other is attempting to align with when they behave a certain way.

Defining integrity relative to universal needs/values rather than opinions about how things should be, makes space for grief rather than anger; for negotiation rather controlling; and for calling people in rather than excluding others.

This approach also allows you to ask others about their experience of needs met  rather than assuming you know or imagining that moral judgment will help.  Responsibility and accountability for behavior revolve around what needs are met and unmet and a negotiation to do it differently next time.


Take a moment now to reflect on a situation in which you are questioning another person's integrity.  In wondering about that person, what needs are you drawn to protect for yourself or others?

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