Value dependency is about how another person’s value from conflict affects your own value. Whether another person gains or loses value from a conflict can also cause us to gain or lose value as well. Plainly put, whether something makes another person happy or sad, can also make us happy or sad. The degree to which that happens determines the value dependency of a conflict. Value dependency can be examined by 1) the degree to which individual parties are value dependent, and 2) whether that value dependency is direct or inverse.
“It just doesn’t make sense.”
“They’re acting against their own interests.”
“I’m sure they’ll listen to reason.”
“They’re being irrational.”
How often do you hear people use these kinds of phrases? How often do you hear people describe those they disagree with, or don’t quite understand, as being “irrational?” When we call someone irrational, we lose the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of that individual’s values. In essence, we write that person off.