AIDing and Abetting: Self value

“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.” 

(Robert Heinlein)

You’re Not Listening!

One of the more common wounds we human folk tend to carry into adulthood wraps around not feeling valued or heard. It can leave us believing that we don’t matter.

(Spoiler alert: It’s a lie.)

Emotions 101

Emotions can be tricky things, especially when they have neural pathway traction from occurring again and again in similar circumstances. Emotions can feel so fixed; unchangeable. We feel what we feel.

When someone challenges the assessments that led to this or that emotion we can get the message that our feelings aren’t important.

Feelings are important shorthand communications sent from gut and/or heart brain to head brain.Those communications are designed to keep us alive, and to bring vitality to the life we’re in. At times, however, the shorthand is so short that’s it omits important information that would more fully inform our perceptions.

You Don’t Matter

The “You Don’t Matter” message is a good example. Imagine that you are trying to share something important with someone and that person is preoccupied, uninterested, or too wrapped up in their own survival strategies to hear you. The person is not listening to you.

If you’ve had a lifetime of experiences where you weren’t heard, the unraveled shorthand message from gut and heart brains is likely to be:

“This person is not listening to me, therefore, they don’t think I have anything to say that’s worth listening to. They think I don’t matter. I’m furious, because I’m not ok with that! I want to prove to the person that I matter!” 


That whole string of thought happens in a nanosecond. The consequent anger surges you into Sympathetic Nervous System imbalance. (For a more complete explanation, click here.)

Going into SNS dominance makes two things happen: 1. You can’t objectively observe your assessments because your logic brain has gone offline, and 2. Challenging any one part of the logic string can unintentionally further negate your feelings.

What Else Is True?

It matters that you are hurt. It matters that the situation left you feeling undervalued. At the same time, it may be well worth your time to consider what else is true. It’s not that your split second assessment was wrong; but it could be that there is more information to consider. Let’s approach it both internally and externally.


It would be helpful to consider more nuances of the exchange. Ask yourself:

  • Is it possible that this person isn’t listening to me for reasons that have nothing to do with either the quality of the message or their assessment of the quality of the messenger?
  • Is it possible that the person is listening, but has different social cues than I do so their interest isn’t showing in the way I would have expected?
  • Why does this person get a vote on my worth to begin with?
  • Why would my statements determine my worth as a human being?

Answering these questions can better inform the assessments that you’ve made, which have formed your emotions.

You might still end up angry or frustrated. Those feelings would indicate that something you have control over could change, (for example, no longer buying into an unqualified person’s opinion of you.) If so, you will be more solid in your thoughts, freed up to respond in a more effective way.


With all of that information now available to you, you might want to consider one of these three responses, (summed in the acronym, AID.)

  1. Address

You might choose to address the situation. “I really don’t appreciate it when I’m talking and your face is in your phone. It feels rude.”

  1. Ignore

You might decide that addressing it is pointless, not worth the effort, or could cost you more than it’s worth. (For example, if addressing the person could cost your access to something important to you like your paycheck or your access to an opportunity.)

You aren’t withholding to collude with the person’s opinion of you, or of what you’re saying: You are valuing yourself enough to be strategic, to protect yourself.

  1. Distance

Shake the dust off and move on. Share your goodies with someone who will appreciate them.

Your Treasure

The human family is beautifully diverse. We aren’t going to click with all people at all times. That doesn’t mean that what we offer isn’t good enough! It simply means that in our diversity, we will be hit or miss on different issues with different people. If we were all alike we would be incredibly boring.

Value what you uniquely bring to the world around you. Connect with others who value what you bring, who you also value. Don’t waste energy on people who are willing to miss out on you.



Do you feel un-valued by those around you? Are you struggling to find a community where you are heard and understood? Contact Tiffany today. Let’s talk.