Worth/Value

When you move from childhood to adulthood is an important time in finding that but if that process is interrupted by trauma then the person may have problems developing that sense.
<chuckling> Still no childhood trauma, here. 😎

Which means I would posit it’s far less about age, than trauma, itself.


And when does a sense of worthiness turn into a sense of entitlement? An overstated sense of worthiness.

Entitled to basic human rights.
Entitled to equal treatment under the law (housing, education, employment, property, etc.)
Entitled to… ?

I think we can, most of us, agree on 2 things about entitlement

1. It’s an ideal, that is hardly a given. An important ideal, but still something that falls far short of what many people can expect. Either due to individual disagreement (people who refuse to rent to, sell to, hire, teach, etc. anyone who is _________); or whole nations disagreeing with what outside parties agree upon. (Like nations for whom what are views as human rights violations outside of that county are codified into into their law.)

2. It means that these are rights which are conferred by OTHERS. A group of people get together and decide on the rules that everyone else plays by. Whether that’s title transfer amongst the nobility; or if 2 lesbians are not allowed to buy a condo whilst 2 sisters are, or if no woman is allowed to own property, or if any widow may do whatever the f*ck she wants with her property with whomever; or if there is freedom of or from religion (America v France), or, or, or, or.

So I would argue that at NO point does self worth, excessive or lacking, confer entitlement.

Instead, it’s the opposite, a devaluing of others that we read as “I am MORE entitled than you.”

Which may seem like semantics? But I think it’s a key distinction that there is a HUGE different between how much one values themselves, and how much they value/devalue others.

The most inspirational/exciting people I’be ever known? Do NOT operate on the whole “in order for me to win, you must lose” paradigm, but instead? Have tremendous self-worth, that they automatically confer equally to others. A rising tide lifts ALL boats, rather than the petty tyrant who only feels good about themselves by devaluing others.

So the goal would NOT be to limit your own self worth, to avoid becoming a nasty piece of work… but the more you’re able to increase your self worth? The more value you can confer onto others, as well.
 
I would posit it’s far less about age, than trauma, itself.
I heard somewhere that in grief it is a perfectly normal to blame oneself. This thread is not about the connection between grief and trauma, but it does seem that the symptoms of PTSD persist when grief is “stuck”. Perhaps part of that stickiness is the body-mind lingering in the headspace of blaming oneself. I heard that recovery is “the business of grieving.” I wonder how much the ability to hold self-worth is related to allowing parts to grieve 🤔
The most inspirational/exciting people I’be ever known? Do NOT operate on the whole “in order for me to win, you must lose” paradigm
I thought you were going to say do not operate in the whole, “I am sacrificing myself so that you may enjoy yourself.” I imagine such people are, for you, not inspirational/exciting either.
 
I thought you were going to say do not operate in the whole, “I am sacrificing myself so that you may enjoy yourself.” I imagine such people are, for you, not inspirational/exciting either.
No. They’re either?

Literally
- Incredibly sad. And still breaks my heart to this day. Even though they were already dying, when they sacrificed themselves for us? (Except for once, but I’m not touching that one, right now.) 10,000 woulda/ coulda/ shoulda/ might be/ may haves? War with respect, gratis, relief, grief, guilt. I feel echoes of that as I come across the death notices of others who died so some may live. Firefighters/Police/EMS, good samaritans, journalists, parents, kids, countless examples, of people all over the world who take the bullet for someone else. Their loss? Is a loss to the world. We are poorer for their absence. And that makes me incredibly sad.

Figuratively
- Equal parts confusing/insulting. With an infuriated cherry on top if it’s something that I don’t become aware of, right quick. Insulting, that they think so little of me that they would rather sacrifice themselves than put our minds together to come up with a solution, or even be honest. Confusing, that they would voluntarily spend time with someone they think so little of. Like, seriously, how much of a f*cked up worthless POS do they have to view ME to choose me to indulge their martyrdom? Because their choice to sacrifice for MY happiness? Is entirely in their own head. Not something I need, or want, or would choose if I had any day in the matter. Infuriating, because my own judgment is so off, if I’ve wasted my time & energy, heart & mind, on someone who views me so poorly.

>>> There’s a SLIGHT addendum on this? Because it’s happened a few times where it’s a lessons-learned-in-trauma-thing. But as I take equal offense to being treated as an abuser? It’s really only that it removes the confusion as to WHY they’d spend time with someone they so clearly think so badly of. I have very little patience for being seen/treated as a rapist, child abuser, and countless other things that are not WHO I am. I have enough of my own faults, thankyouverymuch! Just because I can understand WHY someone would look at me, and see someone else? Treat me like someone else? Doesn’t mean I have much tolerance for it. Some, but not a lot.

<<< Conversely? I have almost infinite patience for jumpy people (and horses), bruised looking, who flinch and pull back and mistrust and act impulsively. Equal amounts of patience for some kinds of anger & lashing out, whilst zip zero nada zilch for other kinds of anger. Which I bring up, just because my zero-tolerance to infinite-patience? Is just me. My own personality getting on well with some things, and not at all with others. Stick a different person typing this, and the reverse may well be true. IE I’m not trying to say how I feel about XYZ is the right/best anything. It’s just me. And how I feel about it.

I heard somewhere that in grief it is a perfectly normal to blame oneself. This thread is not about the connection between grief and trauma, but it does seem that the symptoms of PTSD persist when grief is “stuck”. Perhaps part of that stickiness is the body-mind lingering in the headspace of blaming oneself. I heard that recovery is “the business of grieving.” I wonder how much the ability to hold self-worth is related to allowing parts to grieve 🤔
It makes sense.

It also makes sense that a lot (not all, by any means, but a lot) of the classic acting out, that people with trauma so often lean into… whether it’s years worth of trauma, or a rape at 35… is attempting to find/regain their sense of self. To FIND the edges of a thing? I’ve only -personally- ever acquired by pushing past them. Ah. There. That’s where my line is. About a mile back thattaway. >.<
 
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Which may seem like semantics? But I think it’s a key distinction that there is a HUGE different between how much one values themselves, and how much they value/devalue others.
👍 👍 👍 👍
Because those who devalue others are likely to see people as things to use, not equals.

Which means I would posit it’s far less about age, than trauma, itself.
Age is a huge factor. As a matter of fact there is a sweet spot if you will for "healing" moderate trauma during puberty where cortisol stress response is lower after puberty than "normal" (non trauma) or higher trauma levels.

It's also a time when family support is very important in modifying stress response after maturing.

There's a lot of information but I havent found a source that pulls it all together to paint a complete picture.
 
I kind of feel like an idiot as I am not sure I'm following (in the sense of understanding) the meat and bones of all this (who the heck would call you those things @Friday ??? 😟👿 ), but I agree to the extent I do believe I understand what @Friday might mean .I think there is a far window between believing in one's heart they have worth, and feeling entitled as in someone-should-do--or-give-me-what-I-want-because-I-want-it expectation, as that seems more ego (and unreality) than a sense of self worth, +/or simply an unrealistic expectation that others will meet all of a person's needs or that a person can't have everything, or that others should provide what they have to work or sacrifice for. Entitlement versus I have worth and so do you and am not thinking in terms of self only ( the adage, 'You mean there are other people?'), or at another's expense, whether from disregard or a sense of superiority. Also good boundaries. Holding sacred what belongs to another and not presuming it belongs to me, whether that be objects, opportunities, or thoughts/ beliefs/choices .

Very much agree with seeing others as equals, but funny I don't predicate their worth on mine and have no inclination to martyrdom for the sake of it. But I do struggle (sometimes) with others respecting my boundaries. Probably a lack of assertiveness and low self worth. And I hate to say caring but I have a defect where it bothers me to hurt others feelings sometimes even though they've hurt mine. But based more on a bigger picture and not assuming their actions are just malicious.

I've had a lot of grief since an early age but I wouldn't equate all grief to trauma. I would say there's been grief without trauma, but that all traumas included losses +/or grief. That is, just for me personally, I don't think all will/ can be reconciled in this lifetime. Or by it's nature can't. Only to be integrated. Writing this I actually think grief has been what made me value other's worth more important to me- grief and gratitude. I guess I find it easier to be aware of other's dignity than having a sense of my own. Which I suppose is an acknowledgment of their worth and value. Which is almost the only reason I do the job I do tbh.

I have never thought a lot about these things. I think a concept of self-worth and value is related to how much dignity, care and acknowledgment of an importance of one's existence as a person is received. I guess I mean too to me self-worth and value versus entitlement are different animals. And the state of a person's inner critic. Perhaps not a lack of self identity but rather a poor self-identity, which may or may not include guilt. I think a sense of value or self worth doesn't mean one will have an expectation of being viewed or treated a certain way, but that there is increased hope or expectation of the possibility one might be (a more positive expectation) and if not it doesn't feel like confirmation they do not have worth. I feel if there is a feeling or belief of one's lack of worth actions or words of the opposite feels foreign, or even uncomfortable even if they are appreciated. It takes longer to believe in support than abuse, IMHO. The abuse is accepted, whereas the opposite can be viewed with suspicion. Idk, I suppose people need to be genuine. Things can appear superficially the same and yet come from very different places in the heart.

Hope that makes sense. I can't seem to express it very well. Maybe I'll feel differently after ☕☕☕☕lol.
 
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Lots to work with there @Tinyflame! I’ll be curious if you come back to exploring this after coffee!

This popped out to me
I think a sense of value or self worth doesn't mean one will have an expectation of being viewed or treated a certain way
because I think a sense of worth/value *does* affect one’s expectation of being treated a certain way.

When I had no self, and therefore nothing to value, I “felt” free. Because I didn’t care how my loved ones treated me, I saw them as humans and expected that some of their behaviors toward me would be negative. I was deeply enmeshed in the enabling role with adults and children (my family) who were verbally abusing me. Having no self-worth, I prided myself that *nothing* that anyone said or did to me would affect me. I thought I was like Jesus, in a way, that I could always turn the other cheek, and for me that meant, providing my body-mind as a dumping ground for their anger and I would turn that anger into self-despising. I attempted to craft my body-mind to constantly surf the emotions of my loved ones and help them experience the most pleasure possible. My pleasure was only through their pleasure. I had no sense of self, no sense of humor, no sense of desire. And I thought I was enlightened and free. I had no expectations of how anyone would treat me and my mantra was “living in the moment.”

I was a walking target for manipulation, resentment, abuse, and so on, by, as @Freddyt said, “those who see people as things to use, not equals.” I didn’t see myself as a person with value and neither did they.

I also had no tact, I was arrogant about my perspective, and I was trapped in the relationships with my husband and parents who I lived with and constantly tended to. And who, no surprise, also generally had little to no self-worth, which is confusing when dealing with people who have symptoms of NPD because they come across as so grandiose, but I digress.

The first word I learned when building and defining myself? Was “no.” That was my first tool fir establishing a self and for building self-worth.

In musing about this I’m trying to imagine someone with a very strong sense of self but no self-worth. I’m wondering how such a person would come across? I think it would be a challenging interaction. Trying to think of a fictional character like that—will ponder.
 
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when you know what it isn't - whats left is what it is...
Made me smile! I once heard a theory that the first word ever uttered by humans was a woman saying no to her man! I picked up on that because it mirrored my own self development.

Am now thinking about the concept of self as related to language development. And consciousness. Help, I’m floating away in theorizing! 🎈
 
because I think a sense of worth/value *does* affect one’s expectation of being treated a certain way.

When I had no self, and therefore nothing to value, I “felt” free. Because I didn’t care how my loved ones treated me, I saw them as humans and expected that some of their behaviors toward me would be negative. I was deeply enmeshed in the enabling role with adults and children (my family) who were verbally abusing me. Having no self-worth, I prided myself that *nothing* that anyone said or did to me would affect me. I thought I was like Jesus, in a way, that I could always turn the other cheek, and for me that meant, providing my body-mind as a dumping ground for their anger and I would turn that anger into self-despising. I attempted to craft my body-mind to constantly surf the emotions of my loved ones and help them experience the most pleasure possible
Actually, the freedom is still there, because you can never control the behaviours or reactions of others (notwithstanding your own response will have an impact on them). I believe that is quite healthy. Tolerating the abuse and internalizing it however is not. Though there are only so many alternatives.

Also to address contempt, criticism, stone walling, and defensiveness. Mostly with one's self- simply because that's all we really have a say in.

I was very surprised to learn 80% of abusive relationships (even physically) can turn around. Apparently usually both people are flooded.

Also, have you considered the role of potentially co-dependency coming in to play?

The first word I learned when building and defining myself? Was “no.” That was my first tool
That is what boundaries are about. (Very necessary with codependency too.)
In musing about this I’m trying to imagine someone with a very strong sense of self but no self-worth. I’m wondering how such a person would come across?
That would be me. 🤣 Sense of self, anyway. Very strong I wouldn't say, self changes and grows, I think.
 
the freedom is still there, because you can never control the behaviours or reactions of others
Yes, but I wasn’t really free before, at least from my perspective now. I would never trade the freedom of self-awareness and self-compassion for the freedom of numbed emotions and no self.

The Buddhist concept of no self spoke to me so loudly back then. But I don’t find it useful anymore, at least not in the way that I used to.
the role of potentially co-dependency coming in to play?
Huge role!
That is what boundaries are about.
Yes, when I was enmeshed and had no self my boundaries were all screwed up. Having no boundaries definitely affected my self worth at the time. I unconsciously believed that my value was wrapped up in my ability to hold up my loved ones and students above my head. It was exhausting.
 
I would never trade the freedom of self-awareness and self-compassion for the freedom of numbed emotions and no self.
Yes that's for sure @OliveJewel . I meant it more from a place of forgiveness. And if at all possible, the best boundaries you can muster in the circumstances.

I'm not into the Budhist thing either. Just forgiveness, I don't have to understand it (I won't- not in totality. Even if I think I do, I presuppose). And looking at my part. As a dynamic is always two. (I don't have to be right or wrong, neither do they).

Yep it certainly takes work. Mostly on myself! I have to step back, and say how do they see me, what are they responding to. Not because I'm wrong or right, but because I'm involved. Takes a ;lot of brutal honesty for me, tbh. Especially to do it with curiosity and not despair.
 
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