Human behaviourist Dr John Demartini explains why your self-worth impacts what you will allow yourself to be, to do and to have in life
When you perceive that someone is offering you something that supports what you value most you can become more open minded, receptive and willing to pay or give economic exchange for what you have been offered and so you can appear to them to be more altruistically generous. When you perceive that someone is offering you something that challenges what you value most you can become more closed minded, non-receptive and unwilling to give pay or economic exchange for what you have been offered and you can appear to become more narcissistically stingy. Both behaviours are dependent on your perceptions of the offer and your hierarchy of values.
When someone offers you something that supports your highest values and you respond openly and generously they will probably perceive and label you as an open minded and generous person. When someone offers you something that challenges your highest values and you respond in a closed manner and with more resistance they will probably perceive and label you as a closed minded and stingy person. Often these labels are nothing more than projections based upon the few or many transactions someone may experience. In actuality you may be considered both generous and stingy at times based upon the offer.
When you perceive that you are being offered a product or service that is overpriced then you can become unwilling to engage in the unfair exchange and you can awaken a more proud and narcissistic tendency to retaliate back until the exchange is once again fair. When you perceive that you are being offered a product or service that is fairly priced then you can become willing to engage in a fair and potentially sustainable exchange. When you perceive that you are being offered a product or service that is under-priced then you can become unwilling to engage in the unfair exchange and you can awaken a more shamed and altruistic tendency to negotiate back until the exchange is once again fair.
Equity theory explains that people innately prefer sustainable and equitable fair exchanges. When someone feels they have received less than what they feel they deserve they tend to raise their narcissistic quotient and want to take more and give less. When someone feels they have received more than what they feel they deserve they tend to raise their altruistic quotient and want to give more and take less. Both of these natural negative feedback tendencies help initiate a fair exchange.
These two natural tendencies are innate mechanisms that sustain equitable relations and confer evolutionary advantage. Over time these apparent and oscillating tendencies balance out so someone is ultimately neither a giver nor a taker, but actually both.
When someone with their subjective bias labels another person more of a “giver” or a “taker” they simply have not looked long enough and broad enough into that other person’s life to see the overall equity that is actually present.
Nature equilibrates any misperceived imbalances through time. When we factor all transactions in someone’s socioeconomic network the equitable fair exchange is synchronously present but the variables may be at times too complex to see this balance and therefore lopsided labels can emerge. Altruistically trying to give something for nothing or narcissistically take something for nothing is unsustainable.
You as a mini universe are no different to the greater universe. Any time you imagine yourself giving something for nothing or getting something for nothing, you temporarily raise or lower your perceived self-esteem. These elevated and depressed self-esteems oscillate around a mean called you true self-worth. It is your true, core self-worth that can determine your self-wealth, or what you will allow yourself to be, do, and have in your life. The more stable and centered your self-esteem oscillations are the more elevated your self-worth becomes. Your self-worth is directly proportionate to how well you can fairly equalise or equilibrate what you give and take.
The more you give what others love and receive what you love the more fulfilling your life becomes. The terms giving and receiving can also be perceived as ‘giving service of value to others’ and ‘receiving rewards of equal value to yourself’. When you give service, it’s certainly wiser and more fulfilling to give the service you love and love the service you give. Likewise, when you receive rewards, it’s wiser and more fulfilling to receive the reward you love and love the reward you receive.
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