Introducing the Value Scale

by Dan on October 29, 2009

I’ve been meaning to write about this subject for quite a while.  It’s so important and affects us in every aspect of our social and personal lives.

For this post, I am going to explain what the Value Scale is, how we use it, and why it has to be destroyed before we can even hope to reach self-actualization.

Here’s what the value scale looks like.

Looking at it, where you do you fit on it?  There are a number of them, but must of them end up being some version of being “Good” or “Bad”



Looking at the scales, where you fall on each of them?  Take your finger and point where you are.

Chances are it was somewhere between the top and the bottom.  Do you know how that affects you?

If you’re out at a party, and the people on the scale seem significantly higher on the scale than you, how are you going to feel?  Probably either a bit too over-eager, or just uncomfortable.

If you do feel like you’re in the upper echelon of the group, and someone greets you who falls to the lower end of your value scale, how do you think you’re going to treat that person?

The value scale thrives on how you compare yourself to other people.  No matter how high you think you are on the scale, it’s never enough.  Even if you’re at the top, there’s always a constant fear that you’ll slip off and lose your edge.

I was once invited to a friend’s apartment where a group of people were meeting up before going to the bars.  I ran into an acquaintance on the way upstairs named Cheryl. She’s cute, but about thirty-five pounds overweight.  She had brought two dresses with her.  I thought it was a little odd and asked her what was up with the extra clothes.  She said she wanted to see what the other girls were wearing.

I’d never heard of someone doing that before.  When we got to the top, she saw four very attractive women all dolled up, along with our mutual friends.  She ended up leaving and saying she was going downtown with some other people.  While I can’t read her mind, I can only assume that she was intimidated by how good looking the other women were and didn’t feel comfortable.

In this case, Cheryl thought that the other women were too high on the value scale for her to have fun in this social group.

You may think that Cheryl was being obviously unreasonable, but this behavior is in all of us in some fashion.

If you’re on a date with someone you consider to be extremely successful or extremely good looking, you’re likely to be a lot more nervous, and do things to mess up the interaction.

If you’re applying for a job at a company which you feel is the top of the nation in their industry, you’ll likely be off your game at interview time.

The solution to all these problems is to completely obliterate the value scale in your mind.  Destroy any concept of cool vs. uncool, beautiful vs. ugly, and high status vs. low status.

Instead of having “standards” for who you’ll date or hang with, think in terms of compatibility vs. incompatibility.  If someone is not your type, that’s fine, but there’s an enormous difference between “not being attracted to someone,” vs. your date “not being good looking enough.”

You’ll find this makes life a whole lot easier.  Any questions such as “Does doing this make me a loser?” or “Am I attractive enough?” become concepts you don’t even understand anymore, let alone bother asking.

The value scale is such a huge issue that I’ll be going into it more in the future.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alexandra October 29, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Babe.. your writing is getting better and better. Really enjoyed the article, however I don’t agree with everything you said. Hey, maybe I should start my own blog!

2 Rose February 10, 2010 at 9:48 am

Hi there just wanted to say fascinating stuff, can’t wait to read next article on it. Liked your Eckhart tolle post too!

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