At their core the 7 Deadly Habits are built on the foundation of judging others. Think about it.

The 7 Deadly Habits are –

1. Criticizing
2. Blaming
3. Complaining
4. Nagging
5. Threatening
6. Punishing
7. Rewarding to manipulate

Each of these habits involves the spirit of judgment. Criticizing, blaming, complaining, and nagging serve as tools for one person to apply behavioral pressure on a family member or colleague. Threatening and punishing take the spirit of judgment to a more intense level. And even rewarding to manipulate, which feels better than punishment, is still a form of manipulation.

This year's American Idol judges - Harry Connick, Jr., Jennifer Lopez, and Keith Urban.

This year’s American Idol judges – Harry Connick, Jr., Jennifer Lopez, and Keith Urban.

We marinate in a judging society, with TV shows like American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, The Bachelor, America’s Next Top Model, The Voice, and Top Chef thriving and calling for our attention. Immersed in a society of judgment it shouldn’t be a surprise that we view others, even our family and friends, in this same way. And in this same way we begin to develop a little “Simon Cowell” in our brains, an overconfident, opinionated, supposedly “all knowing” presence that knows what’s best.

The choice theory axiom that Glasser put at the top of the list is –

The only person you can control is yourself.

This axiom, or principle as I would call it, really does speak to this issue. It’s not about judging and controlling others. It’s about knowing and directing ourselves. When we honor this axiom we become happier and our relationships become stronger and more intimate.

School Application

I think it can be said that –

Without intervention students will judge others.

Schools can make a significant positive social impact by minimizing, or even eliminating, activities that rely on students being ranked and compared to one another. Resist the temptation to turn activities into contests in which students are pitted against each other. We don’t need to determine the “best” essay or who is the “best” speller. Instead, our goal should be to design activities in which all of the students are drawn to participate in and engaged in the learning.

Even our recess games and rainy day indoor games can contribute to this spirit of inclusion. For instance, consider the following version of musical chairs.

In the normal version of musical chairs there are always fewer chairs than participants and the goal is to be quicker, stronger, and more aggressive than your playmates and get one of those remaining chairs. There is often a sneaky piano player or musical device to add to the drama, but the basic premise is you better get one of those chairs, even at the expense of someone else who has the same goal. The result is that very quickly most of the players are standing against the wall watching while the few remaining players push, pull, tackle, and attack their way to victory.


In a cooperative version of musical chairs you still have the sneaky music (ya gotta have the music) and you still remove chairs as the game goes along. The difference is that you don’t remove players. This means that as the game goes on you have the same number of players having to sit, stand, and be suspended from fewer and fewer chairs. It gets pretty hilarious when 10 players have to somehow get situated on two chairs.

The message we send to children in the normal version is that in life there will always be fewer prizes than participants and that you better be quicker and more aggressive in getting your needs met, even if it keeps someone else from meeting theirs.

In the cooperative version children are introduced to the idea that we are in this thing called life together, and that if we hold on to one another and help each other we can all make it. There may be fewer chairs in life, but that doesn’t mean we can’t share what’s left.


The Glasser biography can be had through the following link –

The Glasser Book Store

Zeig, Tucker & Thiesen Publishing