We all have core values whether we are aware of them or not. Core values are the moral codes or principles we live by in our daily life. Defining your core values in different areas of your life helps you to find out what’s truly important to you.
As this series of blog posts is about improving the relationship you have with yourself, I've simply shared my core vales in relationships as an example to work from. These values are specific to me in significant other relationships. Yours may be different.
My core values in a relationship are love, unity, nurturing, empathy, kindness, appreciation, connection and affection. You may find yours are entirely different based on your own experiences as well as if this is a significant other relationship, friendship or colleague or professional based relationship.
To work out your over all core values
1. Identify the times when you have been happiest and most proud
2. What are the themes which have run through your life when you have felt satisfied
3. Determine your top values based on your experience of happiness, pride and fulfilment
4. Write all your values down in no particular order (it’s helpful to write each one down separately on post-it notes for the next part of the exercise)
5. Compare each value with the next and ask yourself ‘If I could satisfy just one of these values, which would I choose?’ Keep working through the notes, until you have an order of preferences.
6. Check your values order. When making decisions about your relationships or life in general, be sure to be taking actions and making choices which meet your values
Uncovering your core values means you can decide what’s best for you. Living your core values daily, puts you on track to living your best possible life. The closer you live in accordance with your ideals, the nearer you are to having happy and harmonious relationships. Understanding your core values opens up an opportunity for discussion about whether or not those you have relationships with, accept your core values and that you accept theirs.
Basically discipline, effort, patience and courage are hugely important core values for kids to grow up embracing - Karen Salmansohn
Get to know your likes and dislikes
When attachments increase too much, dislike will arise - Dada Bhagwan
Likes and dislikes are similar to core values. Some of the excerpts in this blog series are from my second book Mothers and Daughters: the guide to understanding and transforming the relationship with your mother and are written in this relationship context through can be adapted as you read to your own personal significant other relationships
Our mothers may think we like a certain thing – but maybe we do not. If you mentioned once that you really enjoyed her bread pudding your mother may make a special effort to offer you more of the same when you visit. However, maybe you no longer want the pudding, because you are trying to reduce in weight or have developed a food intolerance. You try to explain, but feel your mother isn’t listening – whilst she feels “unloved” because you are turning down her pudding. This is where clear, ongoing, communication is needed. Voicing your likes, dislikes, preferred options and talking about the things which make you happy, all contribute to having a healthy relationship.
The positive “feedback sandwich” when expressing likes and dislikes to your mother, might go something like this. ‘‘Mum I love that you make something special for pudding when I visit, Your bread pudding is delicious but I’ve found out recently I am intolerant to wheat. Would it be possible to have one of your lovely fruit salads instead?’’
Or, ‘‘Mum I love catching up with you each week, but talking every day for a couple of hours is a real stretch on my time, what with work and the kids. I’d love it if we could make Sunday afternoons between 4pm and 6pm our time to catch up and I promise, you will have my undivided attention, thank you’’.
If we don’t communicate our likes and dislikes, we end up doing things resentfully. If we do not voice thoughts and feelings and the values that we live by, we cannot strengthen our relationships. It will serve you well to voice what you would like in your relationship and also ask your mother or signifigant other if there is anything about you and your behaviour which annoys her. Honesty (not unkindness) will go a long way to improve the relationship.
If you find boundary setting or communicating your wants and needs clearly difficult Mothers and Daughters the book will guide you through how to do this with love, assertiveness and with a positive intention in mind.
For 1-2-1 support and to work with me taking into account your personal situation, relationship and family dynamics, please do make contact to discuss the best support programme for your needs.