Values are the things that you see as "good" and "desirable" in your life.
Something is a value if you think it is "good", "right" or correct, important, necessary or in some other way desirable for you or for others.
There are three basic kinds of values:
- IDEAS: beliefs, opinions, ways of seeing things (e.g., religious, political, moral, artistic).
- THINGS: material objects, people, places, possessions (e.g. money, friends, family, cars, clothes, etc.).
- EXPERIENCES: activities, events, actions, happenings (e.g., playing sports, listening to music, being with friends, seeing beautiful things).
Values are deeply held and an important part of your identity (e.g., "I am Catholic, musician, Puerto Rican, etc."). As a result, values are hard to change.
You have strong feelings about most of your values, especially when they are questions or "put down."
No two values are the same; there are a few "facts" in the values area.
Differences in values can affect your relationships with others, especially when the differences are great and you or the other person cannot accept the difference. This brings about a values collision--a clashing of ideas about what's "good for you."
These values collisions are normal and unavoidable; how they are solved is the important thing.*
*Excerpt from Dr. Thomas Gordon's Family Effectiveness Training (F.E.T.) Young Adult Resource book