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Re: Core values

Postby Kimera1 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:44 pm

I definitely didn't find it easy to answer these, but here's my attempt.

Kimera1 wrote:1. Are values something that you spend any measurable amount of time considering? Either in yourself or in others?

More now since NPD awareness and trying to sort myself out. Reflecting back on pre-awareness, the most thought I gave to my values was the belief that I somehow had them more right than other people, despite an utter lack of evidence.

Kimera1 wrote:2. Do you find it relatively easy to pin down your own core values, or is it more like nailing Jello to the wall? If the latter, is it a problem?

It’s a bit of a problem. Given my issues, I have to pressure test my thinking because I’m prone to falling for my own act. Is it really a core value or is it how I want others to perceive me? Do my choices and behavior support it?

Kimera1 wrote:3. Are there one or two values that you place great importance on when sizing up others? You can define “others” (friend, spouse/partner, mentor, etc). Any that you particularly admire in others?

Integrity and ambition spring to mind. With regards to ambition, it’s more about the forward momentum than the final outcome. Also greatly admire willingness to be vulnerable and graciousness when I see it in others.

Kimera1 wrote:4. Are there one or two values that you place great importance on for yourself and your approach to life? How strongly do you believe they define you?

I’m working through this, but two things come to mind that I can confidently say are now, and have always been, part of who I am and how I operate. One is goal-orientation – I’m always working something and usually several things at a time. The other is independent, critical thinking. Ever since I can remember I’ve been mostly oblivious to authority and rules – not to be rebellious (although that’s what it was labeled), but because authority and rules needed to make sense for me to submit to them. Today the one type of person that is most likely to cause a full-on Kimera eruption is the one who says, “But we’ve always done it that way” or “that’s the protocol around here” when the protocol is quite obviously useless.

Kimera1 wrote:5. If people who knew you were to describe you, would they consistently name the characteristics you most value in yourself?

I think so.

Kimera1 wrote:6. Have your values been relatively stable over time or do they ebb and flow with the tides?

The two I highlighted have been stable over time. There are others, I’m sure. Need to think about it more.

Kimera1 wrote:7. Do you find that you generally behave in a way that’s consistent with your core values? If not, do the moments of inconsistency cause you to feel conflicted at any level?

In general, yes.

Kimera1 wrote:8. Have you found yourself in a situation that made you question your core values? How did it go?

Yes, a few times. More recently I was in a relationship that I probably shouldn’t have been in. The part that causes me to question my values is how much it didn’t bother me. My moral compass glitches from time to time, and that’s probably true of a lot of people. But I imagine other people experience some modicum of internal conflict, whereas I experience none. I don’t really understand that aspect of myself.
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Re: Core values

Postby Greebo » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:31 am

Kimera1 wrote:
Greebo wrote:
Kimera1 wrote:2.Do you find it relatively easy to pin down your own core values, or is it more like nailing Jello to the wall? If the latter, is it a problem?


Pin down in what sense? Can I reel them off as a comprehensive codified list like the Ten Commandments? Probably not.

It’s more like a common law system, ingrained principles/concepts adapted and refined by experience and consideration. Trying to compress down the entirety of my thought on every matter to explain it all simply and comprehensively to someone else would be unrealistic.

On the other hand if you mean do I know what I believe and can I list a couple off the top of my head with a high degree of confidence? Then yes.

I meant more the latter. Do you feel like sharing what tops the list?
I don’t know about the top of the list. I can do some fragments of the whole.

Those who are able have a duty to those who are not, to utilise their abilities as best they can. Likewise that those who are able have a duty to defend and limit the suffering of the vulnerable who can’t defend themselves. That the good or bad we do is directly related to the change we affect for the benefit or harm of other living things (directly or indirectly). That value is primarily derived from service. That a person’s achievement is determined not by the destination reached but the distance traveled. That authority imposes accountability. That we are accountable for the choices we make and that the choice not to act is in itself a choice. Etc etc

Those probably aren’t particularly accurately worded but you get the idea.

Greebo wrote:
Kimera1 wrote:3. Are there one or two values that you place great importance on when sizing up others? You can define “others” (friend, spouse/partner, mentor, etc). Any that you particularly admire in others?


I’m not entirely certain what you mean by ‘values’ in this context.

I’m probably more likely to value skills or attributes I admire but do not possess more highly than those that I do. Beyond that it’s very context dependent.

Would you be willing to share an example?
I admire the continual optimism and faith in human nature some of my colleagues maintain in spite of being constantly exposed to its sh*tter aspects, while I end up defending myself with a constant stream of black humour and sardonicism.
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Re: Core values

Postby Kimera1 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:07 pm

Greebo wrote:Those who are able have a duty to those who are not, to utilise their abilities as best they can. Likewise that those who are able have a duty to defend and limit the suffering of the vulnerable who can’t defend themselves. That the good or bad we do is directly related to the change we affect for the benefit or harm of other living things (directly or indirectly). That value is primarily derived from service. That a person’s achievement is determined not by the destination reached but the distance traveled. That authority imposes accountability. That we are accountable for the choices we make and that the choice not to act is in itself a choice. Etc etc

How did your upbringing contribute to the shaping of your values? Were you inspired by adults in your life, shaped by your own personal experiences, combination of multiple factors?

That question is open to anyone, btw.
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Re: Core values

Postby Greebo » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:51 am

Kimera1 wrote:How did your upbringing contribute to the shaping of your values? Were you inspired by adults in your life, shaped by your own personal experiences, combination of multiple factors?
I don’t know that it did really. My values don’t mimic those of any family members or authority figures in my youth as far as I know. I know my parents tend to find me difficult to understand partly because of them and both find my particularly cold blooded and utilitarian method of problem solving upsetting (for lack of a better word). Teachers and similar in my pre-teen years thought me ‘surly’ and uncooperative.

Much as I appreciate it must sound like a bullsh*t answer, for my perspective my ethical system is pretty much the product of cognition and to a lesser degree personal experience.

It should also be noted, re-reading it that snippet I used as an example does make me sound ‘nicer’ than I am in practice. I don’t believe in intrinsic values and fail to incorporate sanctity or the other self-evident ‘truths’ that others seem to. The consequence of which is that concepts like ‘the greater good’ can be unpleasant in my hands.
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Re: Core values

Postby Kimera1 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:31 am

Greebo wrote:I don’t know that it did really. My values don’t mimic those of any family members or authority figures in my youth as far as I know.

Do you recall if your parents made any overt attempts to instill their values in you growing up? What do they value?

This thread got me thinking about my parents values, something I really haven't considered before. I do think my father made an effort to instill his values in me, although I didn't see him very often. He set a high bar for achievement and status, and while I'm the only one of his children to come close to measuring up, I still fall short. I'm hard pressed to sort out my mother's values based on her behavior when I was growing up. Honestly I think she valued the life she believed she was meant to have rather than the one she was living. Both of my parents are pathologically self-absorbed and neither engages in volunteering, charity work, or community service.

Greebo wrote:It should also be noted, re-reading it that snippet I used as an example does make me sound ‘nicer’ than I am in practice.

Well, in all fairness, niceness wasn't one of the items of your list of values. Your list struck me as more dutiful than kind, but there is an inherent kindness to serving those in greater need than yourself.

On the other hand, I tend to place significantly more weight on what people do as opposed to what they believe. I think that we are all walking bundles of inconsistencies and though we claim to, we don't really understand ourselves all that well.
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Re: Core values

Postby Bellicose » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:48 pm

1. Are values something that you spend any measurable amount of time considering? Either in yourself or in others?

Recently its become a thing of mine. People of a higher standard usually have their own values on how to run their lives. I find it interesting to assess what people choose as important and unimportant. I think that says quite a bit about them as a person.

2. Do you find it relatively easy to pin down your own core values, or is it more like nailing Jello to the wall? If the latter, is it a problem?

Hmmmmmmm...

While using, I was a piece of $#%^ with no values except those that provided instant gratification. I've changed quite a bit in a short space of time since being clean. It's relatively easy to pin down how I like to behave and want to be seen as and what I place as paramount in my life.

3. Are there one or two values that you place great importance on when sizing up others? You can define “others” (friend, spouse/partner, mentor, etc). Any that you particularly admire in others?

Life goals, priorities and organisation. I admire those who have managed to sort out their lives in the early twenties. I don't think I could have done that (and I needed to experience what I went through) but its fascinating none the less. Generally I like people who like to work on improving themselves.

4. Are there one or two values that you place great importance on for yourself and your approach to life? How strongly do you believe they define you?

Life is a game and you are either going to participate in it or you aren't. Complaining about things is not going to get you anywhere. You want to live in a better community, try and make the community better. You want to have a luxurious life, you need to make sure you have a way of earning that (if you don't have some sort of trust fund or whatever). You want to be loved, you have to learn to love. You want to live in a comfortable house, you have to make it neat, clean and comfortable. You need to put in the effort. Nobody is going to coddle you forever. Tough $#%^. If your life is a mess, most of the time you are responsible for it.

5. If people who knew you were to describe you, would they consistently name the characteristics you most value in yourself?

I have no idea anymore. I am getting "organised" and "direct" thrown at me recently.

6. Have your values been relatively stable over time or do they ebb and flow with the tides?

Most of my life my values have been instant gratification based. It has only changed recently.

7. Do you find that you generally behave in a way that’s consistent with your core values? If not, do the moments of inconsistency cause you to feel conflicted at any level?

As above, recently changed. Never been like this before so I will have to wait for some time to see if any patterns emerge. Its different this time though.

8. Have you found yourself in a situation that made you question your core values? How did it go?

^^
:)
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Re: Core value

Postby Greebo » Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:33 am

Kimera1 wrote:Do you recall if your parents made any overt attempts to instill their values in you growing up?
What do they value?

I don’t know that they were particularly overt. As a family we’ve all always talked about and debated things, it’s practically the family hobby. We’ll debate anything’s from politics to the dog’s bowel movements pretty much anywhere, and while it’s often impassioned I’ve never known it be acrimonious, rather a means by which to hammer out ones own opinion. We’re all like that from my grand parents down.

My recollections are a bit piecemeal but this is what I can remember:

The value of the sciences and in particular math was played up a great deal, though given that nearly all of my family have made a career out of the sciences, math or engineering, that’s hardly surprising. The value of the natural world and ecology was also given considerable import.

My mother was determined that her culture and heritage would not be subsumed my father’s which I remember them arguing about when i was little

She took me to several churchs (or similar) when I was little because she wanted me to be exposed to all the options and also because she felt that her worldview would be too bleak for a child.

I was labelled as a ‘gifted child’ when I was little and my parents used to tell me that a less intelligent person who uses their intellect is worth far more than a highly intelligent person who doesn’t use it. They also went out of their way to treat me ‘normally’ and not view me with ‘rose tinted spectacles’, however in reality this often meant that I felt like I was playing against a stacked deck.

Their favourite truism was to tell me that the world is full of goats and sheep, and that as the child of two goats I was never going to be a sheep.

My dad, who’d been a middle distance runner when he was young, pushed sport (provided it wasn’t soccer) and athletic focus gently but firmly.

I was never allowed to trick or treat because my parents thought it was ‘begging with menaces’. Nor was I allowed toy guns or action man.

Outside of academia my parents generally supported me in whatever I wanted to do without too much guidance, though my mother became more protective after I was sick. There was also generally a need to prove ones interest was serious in order to receive support.

In all things achievement based there was always an emphasis on continual self improvement. A ‘you did well this time but next time I think you can do x,y and z better’ approach.

My parents were pretty liberal. I read a lot as kid and was generally allowed access to whatever I wanted. For example, my copies of mein kampf, 120 days, politics of ecstasy etc were all bought for me by my parents. They used to say that reading itself was the important thing.

I was allowed girlfriends to come and sleep with me at home from the time I was 15/16 provided I had been dating them for a month, on the grounds that better we do it here than somewhere else. The 1 month rule got ignored from the get go, and my father used to tease me that I was turning the 3rd floor (usually my domain) into a ‘Turkish brothel’. To be honest I think I could have got away with bringing boys or older men home, had it tickled my fancy, without comment or intervention.

Writing all this it occurs to me that most of their methods were biased around responsibility, self reliance and consideration. Generally I was allowed to do what I liked provided I didn’t impinge on anyone else. For example, after demonstrating I was capable of driving sensibly, via a lack of incidents with my own car and completing some advanced driving courses, I was allowed to drive my father’s cars. However they had to be returned pristine, complete with fuel or all hell would have broken loose. I can actually remember my father bitching that one of them smelt faintly of perfume after I’d given a friend an impromptu lift home.

It was much the same when I was a lot younger. If I had friends over I was expected to make/buy any drinks/snacks that would be wanted and clear up after them if they made a mess. In practice either my parents or someone else gave me a hand, but the emphasis was on being responsible for my own guests.

Both my parents are judgemental of themselves, each other and other people. They’re both quite intolerant of their own failings. They’re very results based and tend to treat people in accordance with the way they behave. They’re tough although not unkind; if you had what they considered to be ‘real problems’ they’d go out of their way to help you, on the other hand if you just needed to ‘pull your socks up’ and get your act together, you (or I) would probably get told as much. Unless of course you have four paws and a waggy tail at which point they become a pair of bleeding hearts. The more extended family as a whole tends to hold itself to a higher standard and usually has few qualms about persecuting one of its own should they go beyond the pale.

The difficulty in my experience is that my parents don’t tend to forget about things long past, so errors of judgement and failures to be responsible tend to have far reaching implications. Generally it was necessary to do something else to demonstrate and redeem my reputation in whatever regard.

There weren’t many clashes over ethical issues when I was young mostly because I was never really a problem in that regard. Though I imagine cruelty to animals or vulnerable people would have been a hanging offence. There were a few weird incidents when my mother got a bee in her bonnet, for example she got it into her head that pornography promoted an attraction to underage girls due to the lack of pubic hair. :roll:

The major flashpoint between us has always been about my handling of money. My mother, who does the accounts, likes to know where every penny goes and my father is thrifty even for a Scot. They view me as frivolous with money and most of their attempts to get me to be patient and save up for something I wanted as a child, met with failure. Now as then, If I don’t have enough money I’d actively go and make some more and/or try to find a way to obtain what I want more cheaply. I’m also much less conservative when it comes to taking risks to make more money and more prepared to discard an idea or venture if it proves to be unproductive. They view failure as catastrophic while I tend to look at it as a learning process. In practise my ways have always proved to be more effective and fun than theirs which only seems to increase their irritation.

This thread got me thinking about my parents values, something I really haven't considered before. I do think my father made an effort to instill his values in me, although I didn't see him very often. He set a high bar for achievement and status, and while I'm the only one of his children to come close to measuring up, I still fall short. I'm hard pressed to sort out my mother's values based on her behavior when I was growing up. Honestly I think she valued the life she believed she was meant to have rather than the one she was living. Both of my parents are pathologically self-absorbed and neither engages in volunteering, charity work, or community service.
Can you expand on “she valued the life she believed she was meant to have rather than the one she was living“? I’m having some difficulty imagining how that works in practice and the kind of effect it would have on a child.

Greebo wrote:On the other hand, I tend to place significantly more weight on what people do as opposed to what they believe. I think that we are all walking bundles of inconsistencies and though we claim to, we don't really understand ourselves all that well.
I’m inclined to agree.
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Re: Core values

Postby Kimera1 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:42 am

Your family sounds kind of awesome, Quoth. :)

Greebo wrote:Their favourite truism was to tell me that the world is full of goats and sheep, and that as the child of two goats I was never going to be a sheep.

As stated, this leaves a lot open to interpretation. Did they elaborate or did you fill in the blanks yourself?

Greebo wrote:I was labelled as a ‘gifted child’ when I was little and my parents used to tell me that a less intelligent person who uses their intellect is worth far more than a highly intelligent person who doesn’t use it. They also went out of their way to treat me ‘normally’ and not view me with ‘rose tinted spectacles’, however in reality this often meant that I felt like I was playing against a stacked deck.

Why playing against a stacked deck?

Greebo wrote:I was never allowed to trick or treat because my parents thought it was ‘begging with menaces’. Nor was I allowed toy guns or action man.

I didn't know you did that on your side of the pond! Not allowing your child to trick or treat would be akin to abuse here, I think.

Greebo wrote:Writing all this it occurs to me that most of their methods were biased around responsibility, self reliance and consideration. Generally I was allowed to do what I liked provided I didn’t impinge on anyone else. For example, after demonstrating I was capable of driving sensibly, via a lack of incidents with my own car and completing some advanced driving courses, I was allowed to drive my father’s cars. However they had to be returned pristine, complete with fuel or all hell would have broken loose. I can actually remember my father bitching that one of them smelt faintly of perfume after I’d given a friend an impromptu lift home.

What were the repercussions if you failed to deliver as expected?

Greebo wrote:Can you expand on “she valued the life she believed she was meant to have rather than the one she was living“? I’m having some difficulty imagining how that works in practice and the kind of effect it would have on a child.

She was a young (30s) divorced mother with two children under the age of 5. My dad remarried almost immediately as he'd been having an affair, and so moved on. She lamented that this was not supposed to have been her life; she was too young and pretty to be stuck in this situation. There was an element of her blaming us as well for how things turned out and a lifetime's worth of her telling us how much she sacrificed. She's never been able to comprehend how she contributed to her own lot in life or take accountability for it.
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Re: Core values

Postby Greebo » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:48 am

Kimera1 wrote:Your family sounds kind of awesome, Quoth. :)
They’re alright, they have their downsides like most people.

Greebo wrote:Their favourite truism was to tell me that the world is full of goats and sheep, and that as the child of two goats I was never going to be a sheep.

As stated, this leaves a lot open to interpretation. Did they elaborate or did you fill in the blanks yourself?
Sorry, I should have explained but I’ve heard that one enough that I forget others wouldn’t know what it means. It’s about fitting in, goats are about being wilful, individualistic and idiosyncratic whilst sheep are about conformity, belonging and togetherness. It was something I struggled with as a kid.

Greebo wrote:I was labelled as a ‘gifted child’ when I was little and my parents used to tell me that a less intelligent person who uses their intellect is worth far more than a highly intelligent person who doesn’t use it. They also went out of their way to treat me ‘normally’ and not view me with ‘rose tinted spectacles’, however in reality this often meant that I felt like I was playing against a stacked deck.

Why playing against a stacked deck?
Well from my perspective compared to my friends and schoolmates I was having to deliver extraordinary work to receive ordinary praise. Also the better I did the more was expected of me the next time which felt a bit like the goal posts were being constantly moved.

I didn't know you did that on your side of the pond! Not allowing your child to trick or treat would be akin to abuse here, I think.
I was told that tick or treat was relatively new here when I was young. My parents are generally hostile to American culture (though not to American people) and I suspect the fact that this was an American import played a part in its banning. They used to tolerate people coming to our house until one of them badly frightened one of the dogs, after that my father stuck a sign on the gate telling them to bugger off.

What were the repercussions if you failed to deliver as expected?
Depends on the severity, anything from a grumble to loss of privileges. Tbh the real X factor was my mother’s reaction which was not always easy to predict.

She was a young (30s) divorced mother with two children under the age of 5. My dad remarried almost immediately as he'd been having an affair, and so moved on. She lamented that this was not supposed to have been her life; she was too young and pretty to be stuck in this situation. There was an element of her blaming us as well for how things turned out and a lifetime's worth of her telling us how much she sacrificed. She's never been able to comprehend how she contributed to her own lot in life or take accountability for it.
So something of a martyr complex. The position of saying ‘look at everything I’ve done for you’ whilst treating your kids poorly seems a bit obviously dichotomous to me. From an outside perspective one of the things I find a bit unusual is how people here often seem to identify hard with one parent and sort of reject the other. Is there no part of your mother and her values you identify with yourself?
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Re: Core values

Postby Kimera1 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:42 pm

Greebo wrote: Sorry, I should have explained but I’ve heard that one enough that I forget others wouldn’t know what it means. It’s about fitting in, goats are about being wilful, individualistic and idiosyncratic whilst sheep are about conformity, belonging and togetherness. It was something I struggled with as a kid.

Ah, thanks. Makes sense.

Greebo wrote: Well from my perspective compared to my friends and schoolmates I was having to deliver extraordinary work to receive ordinary praise. Also the better I did the more was expected of me the next time which felt a bit like the goal posts were being constantly moved

In my humble (?) opinion, that is how it should work when you have a gifted child. If you had one yourself, would you do it differently?

It does beg the question, though…how did you get from caring about praise as a child to where you are with praise now? I’m not sure the right word to use to capture it. Wary? Dismissive?

Also this may be a case of “the grass is always greener…” but I wish I had parents who were involved enough in my life as a child to make goal posts for me and then constantly move them. I was also labelled “gifted” and put into the gifted programs, but there was no adult in my life who gave a rat’s ass.

Greebo wrote: So something of a martyr complex. The position of saying ‘look at everything I’ve done for you’ whilst treating your kids poorly seems a bit obviously dichotomous to me.

I’ve thought about this often over the years. I believe she had children because it seemed like a fun idea to ‘play house’, and a way to generate attention and praise. Once Dad left her, there was nothing appealing about having kids – just a burden. So I should be grateful that she allowed herself to be burdened so.

Greebo wrote:From an outside perspective one of the things I find a bit unusual is how people here often seem to identify hard with one parent and sort of reject the other. Is there no part of your mother and her values you identify with yourself?

This is really an interesting question and I gave it a lot of consideration. I tried to step back and assess this more objectively – but it’s just not possible for me to do it.

For people who’ve grown up in relatively normal households, the notion that a mother might not love and/or care for her own child is probably difficult to comprehend. Further, the idea that a mother might act in ways that undermine her child’s ability to succeed in life is probably unthinkable.

I wish I could find something to admire or respect in her. Perhaps one day I will. But for now the only way I identify with her values is by categorically rejecting them.
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