Since I put firm value judgements on things, and am concerned to act rightly, I tend to be fairly firm about sticking to ideas and plans unless genuinely convinced that they are wrong. (Going by the MBTI personality description system, it is natural for me, as a strong INTJ, to be confident of what I know.) I'm inclined to suspect this is much of the reason why I am still single... if this sounds cycnical to you, here is the logic behind it...

Many people (I've noticed this a lot amongst young ladies I fell for before I dropped romanticism) want to be affirmed as valuable, and so want you (their friends in general, or anyone who seems interested in pairing up with them) to go out of their way for them... doing something valuable for them doesn't mean much to them if it didn't ``cost'' you much... something that you would have done anyway, or something that you're happy to isn't of interest to such people. No, it has to be something you didn't want to do. Since, for me, it is important to do what I consider to be right, such people will feel that I value them only if I do the opposite of what I've worked out as being right... and so they want me to do wrong.

(Prepared for a mailing list article but I then removed it as being off-topic -- I'll probably integrate it here.) One thing with which solitude can help (although other things, such as resolution of heart, can also help with this) is steadfastness of righteousness. I have observed that when people feel undervalued, they sometimes may try to extract a sign of value from someone else, by getting them to do something which they would not otherwise have done. It doesn't have to be something intrinsically useful to the person seeking affirmation; what matters is that the person from whom they seek affirmation (or, to put it more bluntly, are using to affirm themselves) should have gone out of their way to do it. This will often take the form of requiring them to do something they don't want to do (because if they wanted to do it anyway, it wouldn't be much of a sign of value). If the person from whom the affirmation is sought has openly committed themselves to doing right (as best they can), this means requiring them to do something wrong. (The small-scale example I've seen, through I realized this pattern, is someone saying something like ``Please [show you care about me, and] do XYZ for me'' to someone who regards turning up when they've said they will [Psalm 15:4: who having given their word, will keep to it even if it turns out to be awkward] as important, when they know that doing XYZ will make them late for something... the requester doesn't particularly care about getting XYZ done, but wants to see themselves put first.)
As I see it, this kind of pattern of distraction seems very common ``in the world'' (perhaps I notice it because I've long been a sucker for ``just do such and such for me''), and solitude is one way of avoiding it.

I don't mean this in any sexist way (that is, as demeaning any quality intrinsic to either sex): I wouldn't claim that it applies to all women, or only to women... it's just something I've noticed among many of the women I've been involved with or attracted to (and so part of the problem may be with which ones I've been attracted to... I've noticed that their eventually-choson partners tend to be very docile and obedient, and not to have strong desires, wishes, opinions or plans of their own). And I don't think the apparent gender link is biological -- I think it comes largely from the low esteem that society tends to push on women. But, two wrongs don't make a right, and so I don't let myself be drawn into a relationship through which I can be manipulated into doing other than what I'm convinced is right!! (I get things wrong enough anyway without being manipulated into being worse!)

Of course, uncompromisability only works for good when that on which you will not compromise is good... how do you distinguish between uncompromisablity and pigheadedness? (Perhaps by whether the action being stuck to suits you? Or is that too cynical about human nature? (I doubt it!))

``Values'' is a new area of my web pages; some of these pages are simply stubs to mark what should subsequently appear there.

John C. G. Sturdy
[John's home] Last modified: Sun Jun 10 21:39:56 GMT Daylight Time 2007