“If you spend your life valuing yourself, dependent on how others say you, then you’ll live a life buffeted by a lot of extreme emotions, even if you don’t try and become Prime Minister.” (Julia Gillard)

source: Aussie 7 News (This is part of the original)

It seems ‘value’ is used in negative meaning, judging by the latter part of her saying. Does the word, value, have two aspect – negative and affirmative – in it?

1 Answer 1


Two problems with the transcription probably added to your confusion; there should not be a comma after yourself, and it should be see you not say you. The modified relevant section of the text:

If you spend your life valuing yourself dependent on how others see you,

What's being said is, if you value yourself based on how others see you, or based on others' opinions of who you are, then you will live an unhappy life. You can never make everyone happy, so if your self-worth is determined by others' opinions you're never going to be happy.

So there's nothing negative about the word value. You can either value yourself highly or poorly (or any number of things in between). But if you value yourself based on others you will always have poor self-esteem, and thus be unhappy.

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