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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 24-Sep-17


Sunday 24-Sep-17

The power of the moral high ground

One of the easiest methods of justifying immoral actions is through claiming the moral high ground. Here's how it happens.

First, you wait until the other person does something that your can claim as being immoral or bad. For example they might forget to include you in some decision. It need only be a small thing or an understandable mistake, but you only need a crack into which a lever can be inserted, turning molehills into mountains.

Then you take umbrage at this, becoming upset and feeling insulted. This then allows you to blame the other for making you feel like this. Then you double down, intensifying anger and blame and winding yourself up.

Now you can conclude that the other person must be punished. Indeed, it is your duty to see that they pay for their terrible failures. So now you can scrap agreements, be unkind or otherwise act in ways that cause them distress or lets you act entirely selfishly.

It seems a sad thing to do, but many of us do this, in some way and surprisingly often. Indeed, it can become a habit, giving us an easy way to avoid responsibility and act selfishly. We all seek to justify what we do, even if we secretly know it is wrong. And blaming others is a simple way to do this.

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