Oct 29, 2009

What is the Difference? A Values Difference vs. Values Collision

What is a "value"?

Many countries and organizations have constitutions. These constitutions are made of ideals, and beliefs which spell out how that country or organization is to function.

Values are the ideals and beliefs which make up our own personal "constitution" and determine how we behave and interact with others.

A behavior is not a value.

Ask yourself this question, "Does the attitude or belief of the other person have a direct and tangible effect on me?"

If the answer is no, it may indicate a values conflict.

VALUE: a belief or ideal which shapes behavior

We feel very strongly about some of our values and less strongly about others and this can determine whether or not we have a Difference of Values or a Collision of Values with our child or other person.

Values Differences

We may not like something our child or another person says, believes or does, but our feeling is; "I can 'live with it'."

Factors that can influence this are:
  • my relationship with the other person; i.e. my child or a casual acquaintance
  • The situation: i.e. young child living at home or 24-year old son/daughter living on his/her own
Values Collisions

In other situations the value involved may be one about which you feel very strongly and it is a fundamental part of your "Personal Constitution".

Additionally, the other person is your own child, partner or very close friend or colleague and your life or work together is directly affected by your conflicting values.

In these situations you want to influence your child/other because you don't feel you can "live with it". You feel the child/other has a problem and that his/her ideal, belief and accompanying behaviors will have a negative impact on his/her life.

Here's an example:

A pre-teen wanting to wear very short skirts and skimpy, provocative tops.

What do you think this is? A Values Difference or a Values Collision?

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