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Are Your Values Being Violated?

Friday, January 22, 2021


Timely vlog today from Steve Siebold -- yes, I mentioned recently in the context of fatloser coaching, that I'm on his email blast! But he's about much more than weight loss -- his bedrock is what he calls "mental toughness" and critical thinking. And I thought this short video critical thinking message from Steve today was very illuminating.

Essentially, what he says is that sustaining toxic relationships takes too much emotional energy and also extracts too high a price in self-esteem.

Most toxic relationships arise from a fundamental clash of values. And so when he finds himself in such relationships: he limits them. Whether personal or business relationships. Sometimes and depending upon the impact of the disparate values, by ending them entirely, while other times distancing and minimizing the contact suffices.

For example: he won't tolerate people with racist views. At all. He won't tolerate people who behave in demeaning fashion to co-workers. At all.

And in contrast, he says, most enduring relationships -- such as friendships and most especially long marriages -- are based upon shared values. Not so much on emotional "attraction" which may be important, even necessary: but is never sufficient.

Most of us are all about diversity, about respect for differences -- understanding with empathy that we need to walk in the shoes of those from different cultures (or, in the case of dogs, "walk in their paws"!!)

But: there are most definitely limits to that tolerance if we are to sustain our own self-respect as human beings.

Canada's governor general -- a very distinguished scientist and former astronaut -- has today tendered her resignation. Because of wide spread complaints from her workplace colleagues about her abusive behaviours in that vice-regal workplace. Utterly unacceptable. After a thorough workplace investigation, her resignation was apparently sought by our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. She, and her 2IC -- according to the investigation, also very abrasive -- are both gone. Suddenly and dramatically. Front page news up here!

Compare President Joe Biden who says, with passionate sincerity that's entirely credible: he's all about unity and bi-partisanship. But, he was within his first day in office also quoted as telling his staff: I won't tolerate any incivility in the workplace. If you cannot treat your colleagues with courtesy and respect, then I promise you, you'll be gone. No disparaging, no name-calling, no ad hominem attacks. Refreshing!! Good on him.

There's no inconsistency in Biden's two positions: tolerance for diversity and intolerance of incivility. Management must manage in business or political settings . . . even parent- managers in personal settings, such as families. But: we can disagree without being disagreeable. Civility is not an optional extra. Civilization depends upon civility.

And I do know for myself: those are my values. Not theoretically but in my actions. There are limits to my tolerance for "diversity" when such diversity encroaches upon my fundamental values.

When a relationship becomes toxic, I either distance myself or discontinue the relationship. Rarely is actual confrontation necessary, although when it is I don't shy away from that either.

We're done. I end it.

Have done so, not often but as necessary for my own self-preservation: over and over again, over many decades. For example, I'm gonna end it entirely if it's a matter of bullying or racism, for sure. But if it's just a matter of eating a whole lot of junk food every time we get together then probably I'm just going to distance it. That will be enough for me (although sadly, some friends no longer wanted to hang out if cheeseburgers and French fries weren't going to be involved! and that's OK).

Has that been your experience too?

What Siebold doesn't say explicitly but is a reasonable critical thinking inference: sometimes we can see the need to end toxic relationships which violate values happening not only on an individual basis but in larger community and even national contexts.

When a relationship becomes toxic and corrosive of fundamental values such as democracy -- and even if that relationship serves their financial interests or their power interests or some other set of important but clashing interests -- sometimes quite large groups of people decide that nevertheless, they have to end it. And then, good and decent people do that. That's what they do. So they can continue to uphold their own values, their own goodness and decency.

Preferably through democratic processes, and not through civil war.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    But: we can disagree without being disagreeable.

    A person's core values are who they are: honest, trustworthy, dependable, respectable, light hearted, positive and much more.

    I worked my final years of my career in an environment where some ruled the "attitude" of the office. Negative, demeaning, hostile, bully, verge of obscene. Mind you this was some of the employees core values. But those some included the leadership. It took its toll on those of us who ... were different.

    I retired the very first day I was eligible.

    How can the few ... govern the many ???

    I do not tolerate abuse of another to include abuse of myself.

    Diversity is one thing that we all can learn from. Different core values ... there is no compromising.
    37 days ago
    I was sad to hear a couple of long time, good Spark friends actually were going to participate in that March and had kept hinting in the weeks before that something big was coming. I knew they were rabid Trump supporters, but still. Just goes to show you, you can never really know someone online for sure. The 'face' shown on Sparkpeople was totally different than that revealed on FB.
    Supposedly there is a new party in the US called the Patriot Party and I am guessing they want Trump to lead it. Hopefully, its just a temporary response to some angry people.
    37 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    37 days ago
    Return to civility in the US! How wonderful!
    38 days ago
    38 days ago
    ...on so many fronts!
    (so glad out LG is out... appalled by the news as it has unfolded over the last many months... also impressed that the Conservatives ousted one of their own over white supremacist ties)

    Whenever I encounter something 'toxic' in any of my relationships, I always ask myself, "how long do I want/need this relationship to last?" Then I invest energy and set my boundaries accordingly. I also ascribe to the notion that it's easier to move a personal boundary in than out, so I proceed cautiously with new relationships. It's much too difficult to maintain close relationships when values don't align. The pandemic has been a test of many of my relationships... I've unfortunately discovered that I have friends/family with whom values do not align... lots of pondering and soul-searching these days... and yes, it does come down to the level of civility and respect people are willing to maintain.
    38 days ago
    Unfortunately, my one and only sister is the most toxic relationship in my life - she plays mind-games, her world revolves around her and no one else, on and on. But she has five wonderful kids who are all adults and with whom I am closer than I am with her. So, I keep her at a distance but tolerate her in order to maintain my relationships with my nieces and nephews.

    Fortunately, that is my one and only toxic relationship.
    38 days ago
    My childhood included toxicity between parents,one always attacking the other one. There was condemnation to me and words of demeaning and how my life would not be good ... as a child I took it in as truth. Shyness, standing back, keeping away from people.

    When I married I became the same for a time. For me to have such a wonderful strong husband was great and over the years I realized how wonderful he was. He stood up to me and still loved me :)

    When I started the weight loss journey and faced my own problems with eating and my self image, I began to take ownership of my past and future. I totally understand everyone has a back story, however each of us can find peace and give that away too :)

    Treat others as you would be treated and give space for the person to be themselves :)

    38 days ago
    What OKM said!
    38 days ago
    Oh goodness. This hits home . . . DD is in a toxic relationship and getting out of it. LOTS of effort, but she's doing it.

    38 days ago
    As a victim of childhood schoolyard bullying, I will not stand for disrespectful behavior. It can be hard in the workplace sometimes to call it out, but it can be worth it. Keep blogging, love to read 'em.
    38 days ago
  • BJAEGER307
    38 days ago
    Nicely done!
    38 days ago
    So very grateful that better sense prevailed in some people. Watched that young girl reading her poem again on a recording from the Inauguration.
    38 days ago
    So true for the balance of civility and holding true to our values.

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    38 days ago
    Yes, I have ended a friendship that had become toxic and the relief I felt was instant. I tolerate differences but not being bullied or used for another's gains.
    38 days ago
    Yes, I understand completely the toxic relationship! MY son was married in one and finally ended it. His daughter's generally find his home calmer and more organized than their mother's so choose to be with him. I find narcissists have that toxic tendency. Everything is great until they don't have a "use/need" for you anymore, than all H breaks loose in how you'll be treated! I know too many who've ben int hat situation! This ex-DIL was trying to brutally bullying me and has essentially denied me time with the girls who fear her. Perhaps in time. I am a patient person. I have tried to hold out an olive branch from time to time. Nope. We learn to set boundaries (authors McCloud and Townsend).
    38 days ago
  • no profile photo INCH_BY_INCH
    38 days ago
  • NANCY-
    Respecting differences! One of our group of our Wine and Whine group became vegan. We all explored her choices and respected her. I do not do wine, I'm more of a vodka person and they tolerate me, LOL I do not tolerate meanness, bullying.
    I see a brighter future for the USA.
    38 days ago
    Amen to that last line! Humanity has not been immune to the temptation to violent struggles. May the "pull back from the brink" we recently experienced to your south, "stick".
    38 days ago
    Thankfully, in the case of the recent insurrection in the USA, democracy prevailed.🙏
    38 days ago
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