Following on from last week I want to explore the question raised by one of my readers about whether a value can be negative.
If a value is important to you it is important. Someone else might view it negatively however if you feel and/or think it is important then for you it is. For this reason I would not label a value “negative”. I’d be interested to know what you think.
Let’s take an example, suppose someone had a value that it was important to be famous. We see this one a lot with reality TV. It is possible that this value is really about feeling significant in the world and tied to self-esteem. It might even be that the “value” of being famous is in an attempt to feel worthy and of value as a human being. It could be argued that there are healthier ways of achieving that goal.
Someone else might have a value about having fun and might pursue the same pathway as the person mentioned above. In other words doing the same thing but for a different reason.
This happens also where someone values money. Often the pursuit of and valuing of money is about seeking security. Paradoxically the amount of money needed to consistently feel secure is often still out of reach even for those who appear “successful”.
Other people value security and seek it in other ways.
We may also feel anger if we feel one of our values is being trampled on. For example if someone values good manners and someone “breaks a rule” we may become angry.
Where it gets fun is the way we might share a value with someone else and express it in a different way. Our “rules” may vary even though we appear to share a value.
There can come a time in life where we start to question our values particularly if we do not feel happy in our lives. Sometimes we realise we have been holding a value that in some way has been causing us to experience a lot of unhappiness. We might then choose to label our own value as “negative”. This will be the point where change is desired.
However it is a little more complicated because we can also have a conflict of values, two things that are both important to us but in some way contradict each other. Next week I will define this phenomena.