Can Values get distorted?

Can Values get distorted?

The debacle of the last few days has got me thinking!

This time last year Stephen asked me to write down my list of my top 50 Values! Wow! I panicked! I downloaded a list from the Internet! (I bet most people do this!). From this list of a couple of hundred or so I deleted all those that didn’t ‘do it’ for me. I was then asked to put these in order! Another interesting piece of homework. What is fascinating in all this is that Fairness never got into my top 50! Let alone the Top 10! Why? That’s what I’ve been pondering!

Well I think it’s because to me Fairness is intrinsic to meeting my Values of Love and Generosity (both of which I value highly). So actually for me Fairness doesn’t have to appear in my list. My other Values are too strong to need it. In fact resorting to Fairness only happens (for me) if the values of Love and Generosity are absent. Yet for my 2 brothers Fairness took them over. It’s become their obsession. So much so that the good values of love and trust, not to mention generosity have fallen by the way side. Like 2 small children in a playground they don’t want anything that isn’t Fair. Gosh I so nearly got sucked into their “game”.

So what got into them? Well I think it was driven by H. H has huge issues and I think they go back a long way. Years ago. when our parents were alive he was always trying to find out if I was getting what he considered preferential treatment. Whether I was getting some hidden ‘deal’ from them that he hadn’t had. He would check up on me and them by asking questions and expecting answers to things which were none of his business!

His biggest resentment was when Alex and I bought the flat thus owning a part of the parental property. We did it so cash could be released which they desperately needed. It also meant we ended up being the ones on hand to do the caring – which we did! But H wanted to be the one to do the bailout. He told me as much!! Significance is very important to him.

His resentment even stretched to Alex and I spending money on our holidays. He told me we shouldn’t be able to afford to go to the places we did! So he would try and scupper things when he and I had to share the caring of our Dad in the last years of his life, by attempting to organise his holidays at the same time as us!

Stories and incidents like these are too numerous to mention here. And the more I look at it the more horrified and saddened I am that he’s ended up in this place where resentment seems to be consuming him. I wonder what the trigger was.

And sadly his influence has infiltrated and coloured and affected what could have been a loving and fun time sorting out our inheritance. Instead of where we are now!!

So my question is Can Values get distorted?  Can the wrong rule end up being applied? Or a rule which is un-winnable?

11 thoughts on “Can Values get distorted?

  1. You chose your own values. H seems to have had resentment, jealousy, meanness and greed as his from a very early age. He seems to have had issues with you having anything at all for a very long time.

    There was nothing ‘fair’ in what he has done to you in the last few days. Perhaps he would take a secret satisfaction if you had to move home to somewhere not suitable for financial reasons? That way he could see that you were not as ‘successful’ as he is, that you don’t have the financial comfort that seems to control his views of success and happiness. Maybe he resents that you now have some control of you’re life?

    From what you have said of him he comes across as a mean, inhibited, selfish and petulant little boy.

  2. Interesting post, as always. I think it is less that our values get distorted but more that other people’s values (or lack of them) can influence and potentially distort our own. If we accept that in the most part people judge us by their own standards then you only have to reflect on your brother’s standards to see where he is coming from. As a carer I can empathise with your commitment to your father. I also understand the cost of caring and I don’t mean the financial cost. Despite it all your values remain intact and no-one, not even your brother can take that away from you.

  3. yes values can get distorted, H’s view of fairness has become distorted, as really he does not want fair at all, only what is best for him. He still thinks this is being fair.

  4. Values within us have an order. They also have rules.

    If someone has a life that is unhappy in some way, it means they are not living true to their values.

    In other words their behaviours don’t match their core beliefs. This is different from conscious beliefs.

    This will happen because they will create rules by which they meet their values and these rules will be driven by their fears.

    This means the way they meet their values will be distorted.

    Translated their behaviours will hurt them.

    Both fears and values will have rules and so without knowing people can live in ways which hurt them.

    Anyone who is unhappy is doing this.

    If this is not understood their lives will remain distorted and so they cope and exist rather than live a passionate life.

    Values are our engines that design our futures.

    Without understanding the person will be forced to live in reaction to the world they live in.

    Never in control – if this gets too extreme the person has to detach from their fears creating numbness as their only way to cope.

  5. I wonder what happened in H’s life so many years ago that has left him living in fear for so long. I wonder if it was the collapse of his 1st marriage? He retreated then and avoided contact with anyone who he felt might be more intelligent or successful than him.

    Did this become so ingrained that he got so used to it he became happy in this state. His youngest daughter who I love dearly, says she just wishes he’d ‘let go’ and not be so controlled all the time.

    I believe he feels very insecure. Because the H I grew up with wasn’t like that (well not so much!!! Always a bit on edge and reserved!!).

    Anyway like it or not he now knows how I feel as I took the bull by the horns yesterday before I bowed to pressure and actually asked him (in an email) why he resented me so much!! And also saying that I loved him and had no idea what I’d done to him that sparked this level of resentment. Anyway he accused me of emotional blackmail!! So clearly I hit a raw nerve – which was my intention.

    So I wonder what his core values are? Maybe he’s buried them so deep he has no idea. Maybe he’s never actually thought about it in any great detail. This could well be the case. I know I hadn’t given them any thought at all until Stephen asked me. I didn’t even really know what he meant initially!! ( Memories of being thoroughly confused come flooding back!!)

    BTW I’ve had no acknowledgement to my email bowing to their wishes!!! Not that I expected one! They’ll be finding it difficult to know what to say or do without appearing to gloat!!

    Sorry for the waffle!!!

    • His translation of this situation has ignited his fears, that’s why the anger is present within him… “it’s not fair” is a very childish response. He is reacting to fears he created years before probably as a child without knowing.

      So he runs those same fear patterns as an adult agian without knowing. We all see a child within him come out stamping his feet when you don’t agree with him.

      This is proof of something to him…

      His panic is because he feels wrong, but doesn’t know why. So he has to control his outside world to feel better even if that means bullying you.

      Some people tidy, some nag their partners, some line up all their food labels. One man was about to lose his wife and new born because all the knives had to face the same way, she couldn’t take it any more.

      You see they don’t know why they do what they do so they live in reaction, never really happy.

      So focused within themselves on their fears, what they fear is what they get and they keep getting it and now they are angry at the world!

      Fear of not getting love or not fear of not being enough is usually the cause. I see it in my sessions every day and in the blogs of people searching for answers.

      They are so scared they hold on to what they feel they can control to keep them safe, but this never works because it keeps their fears alive and will do forever.

      So time does not heal with this person, time numbs them from feeling and this is the way they cope.

  6. Great post Caroline.
    Your family situation makes me realise how lucky I am to have pretty decent brothers and sisters (two of each). We have all been through some tough times individually, but know that someone has always got our back, is always there for us. We do have “internal” dogfights from time to time, but they are really just “air clearers” … although my younger brother occasionally, and for not discernible reason, stops communicating with one or two of us for long stretches …
    Now I’m going to have to have a look at my Top 50 Values …

  7. I think values get distorted all the time. We have a tendency to self-decieve and believe we are expressing a value, when we are really expressing something entirely different. How sad for H to have lived his whole life in a competition that didn’t exist.

  8. You asked a question: “Can Values get distorted?”

    “Values” become distorted by the “rules” a person sets up (without knowing) that helps them to meet that value.

    The “rules” are created by the persons fears.

    Most people have no idea what their values or rules or fears are.

    Those that think they know, usually don’t, Katie is right you can choose them to make your life better, but unless you know what you are choosing and why you will meet your needs in distorted ways.

    To choose them you also need to know why the way they were didn’t work.

    What do you think Katie are you willing to share so others can learn from you?

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