“It’s the principle.”  Maybe one of the top 10 phrases I say.

I live and make decisions based on my values and principles, as do many people.  I think, though, that I might be an extremist.  I guess it’s part of my nature, as defined by the Enneagram (1) and my INFJ personality on the Myers-Briggs.  I’m an idealist.  I would like to believe that ideals make the world a more tolerable place to live.  Although, the exact opposite happens – my ideals make the world unbearable because so many things are just. so. disappointing.

By the way, for the purposes of this discussion, I’m using “values”, “principles”, and “ideals” synonymously, because, for me, they are.  Maybe that’s the problem?

Several people have told me that “I’m not living in reality” and that my values and principles are not realistic.  I mean, are values, ideals, and principles suppose to be created based on the current realities we live in?  Isn’t that contradictory?  Values, ideals, and principles are guiding forces that hold our actions and thoughts to a higher standard, no?  Maybe I should distinguish values, ideals, and principles.  But aren’t principles based on one’s ideals?  Aren’t one’s values the building blocks on which one erects principles?  I propose that they should be interchangeable.  🙂

Whatever the case, I think my values are getting me into trouble.  I find that I can’t do things because I feel my values prevent me from wanting to work with certain people, working under certain conditions, etc.  For example, if I don’t agree with a team supervisor’s basic values, I feel like I can’t work with him/her.  Is it just the normal course of life that one has to compromise their values for the sake of mutual cooperation?  As I get older, I find myself clinging more tightly to my values and dismissing things/people/organizations that clash with them.

My counselor recently told me to try and organize my thoughts in this way:

  1. An event – something that has happened or that I’m anticipating to happen that will clash with my values
  2. My thoughts – what is going through my head as I’m experiencing or reflecting on the event
  3. My feelings – how I’m feeling about the event

Generally, I’m finding that every event causes anger – enraged or dull.  My thoughts go round and round, but I feel anger at the core.  Maybe next week, she’ll have an answer about what I’m suppose to do with that anger?

Why is it that as I get older, I feel less and less like I know what I’m doing?  I feel more incompetent and unqualified to navigate my own life.  How did I even get here??  I mean, you would think that I’d be rocking back and forth in some remote corner of the world…ideal world, that is.


One Comment

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  1. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes I think I’m doing wrong by not working with some people because we have differing values. No matter how I try to work with them, I find it all the more difficult. Thanks again for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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