This is a very vast and deep topic.
David Hawkins had a very interesting abstract picture regarding how values emerge: Context -> Meaning -> Value -> Goals.
So context creates meaning, meaning creates values, and values create goals.
I am going to narrow my analysis here, but the same could be applied to any set of conflicting values.
A conflict which I often face is between orienting myself towards “likeability” or “truth”.
When I agree with everything someone says, usually, I am not “liked” per say by that person, but I get a background of ‘acceptability’ in their life.
It is primarily a strategy to avoid conflict and rejection.
So “Conflict avoidance” and “Rejection avoidance” are some of my values.
Now, if I go out of my way to please a person by showering them with compliments, astute positive observations in a sophisticated subtle way (if you are too overt about it, it will backfire, make you look desperate and they will avoid you) or buy them gifts and basically give them a lot of loving attention, then I enter the “Likeability” territory.
So that is another value I have: “Secure Likeability points”
On the other side of the spectrum, I want to speak the truth to people and not filter anything out, whatever it may be.
It may be a combination of things I like and do not like.
OR I may want to ask for something I need from them.
This is my value of: “Truth”
Now, this is a dangerous territory.
Because, things are not equally weighed.
You may give 10 compliments and get +10 points, but if you are critical of something they are sensitive about, it may shut down the whole conversation and result in instant rejection or may greatly reduce all the goodwill accumulated.
And once they get defensive, now if you persist in what you said, the inclusion will be lost and it will become a war.
And this would go against my value of: “Inclusion”
Also, once I trigger something in the other turning them into ‘defense’/’attack’ against me, I have lost the inclusion and lost the trust in that moment.
This makes me fearful and makes me defensive too, in both cases, esp. in the attack case.
This goes against my value of: “Safety”
Always agreeing to everything the other says, is not “interesting” and neither is it “genuine”, and it also lowers the value of my agreement because I give it out to everything the other says. Also I may never express my own opinion about the issue.
So me doing that violates 4 values of: “Being interesting”, “Being genuine”, “Being valued”, “Being heard”
But I also value “Listening”
, so I may not interrupt the other when they speak.
There are also some other values like: “Fair Participation”, “Fair involvement” & “Respect
, i.e. both the people in conversation get to express all that they had in mind, both were equally involved in each other, both were equally heard, and both contexts were embraced.
My social life and interacting with others tends to invoke this chaotic soup of values in me which then drive my actions.
I am looking for a way to resolve this chaos.
There are 2 ways of resolving this in my understanding:
1 – Commit to certain values, polarize, and discard the rest
2 – Shift the center of gravity to a higher value structure that includes and transcends all these values.