I believe it’s important for people to understand what their values are before they enter into a relationship. If a person understands what they value, when they meet some one, they will not only see the person physically they will see that person through their “value lens”. As they do, they will see whether they line up with their ideals. This is what I call “value attraction”.
Value attraction is simply knowing what you believe as an individual, what you value, and as you look at the world around you will be attracted to people with similar values.
This would save people a lot of grief when dating or trying to find a life partner by simply knowing what they believe in. When you know what you value, or believe in, you won’t be easily convinced to get into something that isn’t the right thing for you. In marriages or long-term relationships couples who share similar values would have more in common, clearer direction and less conflict because their focus is similar.
First of all, we need to understand what value means.
According to Webster’s Dictionary value means- how strongly something is desired for its physical or moral beauty, usefulness, rarity etc. A high or low value is placed on things according to one’s belief.
Some synonyms are – appreciate, esteem, hold dear, treasure, of importance, significance, usefulness, virtue, worth or worthiness.
Some antonyms are – abandon, despise, ignore, neglect, overlook, reject, uselessness, and worthlessness.
When we look at a value, we have to decide whether it’s of worth to us or not. We have to decide if it’s something we would stand for or stand against. Whether we’re going to appreciate it or dislike it.
Some values could be: Integrity, appreciation ,courtesy, dedication, effort ,gratitude ,honesty, hope, commitment, hard work, confidence, perseverance, logic, consistency, conviction, discretion, accomplishment, humor, acceptance, accountability, honesty, freedom, reputation, determination, enthusiasm, simplicity, generosity, power, mastery, dreaming, happiness aggressiveness, calm, playful, adventure, approachability, wealth, originality, patience, obedience, silence, organization, self-awareness, professionalism, wisdom, sincerity, punctuality, justice, rest, conservation, unity, dependability, creativity, frankness, consideration, community, optimism, modesty, action.
This is a list of some things that may be valuable to some and not to others. When we enter into a relationship with someone these values become very important because they define who we are, and the other persons values define who they are. For example, if somebody really placed a strong value on punctuality and they entered into a relationship with someone who didn’t value punctuality there would be tension. Because one values something that the other doesn’t. In this case, there is always going to be a struggle with the value of being on time.
Start your own list here of things you value. It can be from the list above or feel free to add your own. Remember they should be things that you value personally.
If you’re doing this as a couple start writing out things you value together. What’s important to your relationship and to your future.
The idea behind value attraction is to know exactly who you are as a person. Know the things that are very important to you, things that you will not compromise. And also, know the things that maybe aren’t as important that you can be flexible with.
Your values speak of who you are. When things get tough or when there’s tension or pressure, your true values come to the surface. For example, if the value of courtesy is low on your list, and say you get into a heated situation where you’re trying to express your point of view, you may overstep and hurt somebody whose value of courtesy is high. If respecting other people’s opinion is low on your value list then you may offend people that value respecting other’s opinions if you don’t choose your words wisely.
Your values act as your set of rules or guidelines. They are your moral compass. Without values we have no sense of boundaries. And as the old expression goes – if you don’t stand for one thing, you’ll fall for anything.
You could be friends with someone and not really know their value level on something. They may challenge you to do something you aren’t comfortable doing, and now you’re confronted with how much you value that thing.
One example, is my son had a close friend growing up and they took my canoe and went to a park, not too far from my house, and put the canoe in the creek and started down stream. Seems innocent enough right? The problem was, there’s a large portion of that creek that runs under the city streets and comes out through a large culvert that enters into a river at the other end. The only light that comes inside the sections is the light that comes through the manhole covers. My son’s friend told us the story, long after it happened of course, and was laughing hysterically. Turns out my son was at the back of the canoe trying to steer it and his friend at the front kept looking back over his shoulder and all he saw was the look of horror on my son’s face as they went blindly down this creek underneath the city.
Clearly, my son’s friend had a higher value of adventure that my son did. At that point my son was valuing safety as a higher priority than his friend. Fortunately for them the culvert was open at the other end and they were able to get out of the underground tunnel. Quite often the culvert is shut. Primarily to keep people from entering the culvert and getting hurt, not thinking anyone would be needing to get out. Needless to say, my wife and I were quite happy to hear that their adventure was successful.
Your values act as your set of rules and guidelines. Without them you will do just about anything. Which is precisely why so many get in trouble. Without clear values people will often follow anyone with values; even if they aren’t of purest intent.
Values can be passed down through family and our culture. Much of what we learnand much of what we value is passed down through our culture, our families and society. Unfortunately, many values are taught and passed down from friends and people that we associate with also. This can be good or bad, and can get us into, or keep us out of trouble, depending on what they are.
From generation to generation values get challenged. What was of high value a few generations ago isn’t as valuable today. Values such as virtue, modesty and honor, don’t have the same level of importance in today’s society.
This makes it all the more challenging to find people that share the same value you do. Making it all the more difficult to find a person to share your life with. That’s why I believe that understanding who you are as an individual will begin to attract the same kind of person into your life. Without a strong sense of values, it’s easy for an individual to be persuaded to take on other values that they may not want. Without a strong sense of values, it’s easy to be persuaded by other people to follow their sense of values.
Examining your values is something you need to spend time doing. Look at your own attitude and your own approach to things and decide what your values really are. There may be things you thought you valued but maybe you don’t. There could be things you adopted growing up or from school etc. It may be things others do and you follow without thinking. Maybe you really haven’t thought about them before.
What are the high value things in your life that if forced to compromise in a relationship it would be a deal-breaker?
What are the low value things in your life? The things that you can take or leave. That wouldn’t be a deal breaker ina relationship.
The purpose of this is to get you thinking of your values and how they affect relationships. Whether it’s in personal, romantic or business relationships, they are all affected by what you believe is important or unimportant.
Take time and consider the things that are important to you. If you want help building a value statement or would benefit by having someone walk alongside you in this process, reach out to me and my team.We’d be more than happy to set up a complimentary session to talk and show you how we can help.