This is the last email in our conflict series for April. So far we’ve touched on limited resources and unmet needs as reasons for conflict. Now we move to values.
I have a high value of saving, which can take a few different forms. One of which is keeping the heat low when using electric baseboard heat (it’s so inefficient as a heat source!). My spouse calls it cheap, but for me the cost-benefit analysis sways heavily to “Put on a sweater and get a blanket” instead of turning up the heat by two degrees. My husband values success, or at least appearing successful.
Just a few weeks ago I found out an interesting tidbit about my spouse. We had some friends over for dinner and he was telling them about how much he loves the coal stove and propane fireplace. He grew up in a house that didn’t have insulation in his bedroom or bathroom (I knew this part). In the winter he often had to wipe ice off the mirror when getting ready for school. His idea of success is having a house that’s warm. I did not know this. For most of our married life, my value of saving was in direct conflict with his value of success. I now understand why he gave me a raft of crap on the regular. I was stomping on one of his high values.
This is a lighter example, but think of how this can manifest in work, politics, and family or neighbor disputes. Without being able to identify our values and notice when one is being impinged upon, we devolve into mean and nasty people with no understanding of why we’re behaving the way we are.
Question to ponder: Do I know my values and what is very important to me?
If you answered “no” to the question, respond to this email and we’ll send you a values list so you can identify your top five values!
We also love leading values workshops, so if you and some friends or coworkers want to get more in-depth, contact us and we’ll set something up for your group!
Stay curious friends!