Existential Psychology

Move Beyond Defining Yourself In Terms Of Your Value

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Those posts on social media imploring you to ‘know your value as a human being’ and to ‘not let others treat you as anything less than what you’re worth’ think they’re providing profound, helpful insight when in actuality the phraseology shows this insight remains trapped within a system of thought, a cultural way of seeing the world, that’s responsible for unhappiness and low self-esteem.

By talking about ‘value’ and ‘worth’ and applying these concepts to a living human being you turn that human being into an object, an object that can be bought and sold like any other consumer item. The only real concern is assessing its price point and then trying to get the most you can out of it in a transaction.

This whole idea of not accepting anything less than what you’re worth is itself detrimental to your mental health and happiness because it robs you of your personhood, of the fullness of your being, of the fact that the unique traits that make you uniquely you are beyond the sphere of economics. Whether you ‘value yourself highly’ or ‘value yourself lowly’ you’re still thinking of yourself in terms of value, as if you were a good or service whose utility to others could be easily measured.

You’re a person, not an object. What makes you uniquely you is bastardized when it’s forced into a socio-economic way of thinking where everything has some sort of use value. Worry instead about developing who and what you really are. Surround yourself with people who support and encourage this growth and you’ll feel like a person rather than an object.