In a horoscope, 2nd house symbolizes one’s feeling of self worth, and 8th house has to do with other people’s self worth. Tension in the 2nd or 8th house significator (i.e. house ruler or planets occupying it) may manifest as inability to give compliments to others, because it threatens one’s self worth to do so: the 8th house may overpower the 2nd house in one’s perception, threatening the self image.
To counteract such threat, one may adapt a superiority complex in an effort to artificially strengthen the self worth, basing one’s valuation on some external qualities (looks, money, accomplishments, etc.) Another way self worth problem manifests is the habit of self deprecation – Noel Tyl said people put themselves down first so that others won’t have a chance to do so.
In order to be able to give compliments and still avoid the perceptual imbalance between the 2nd-8th axis, one must cultivate enough genuine self worth. Nathaniel Branden, who wrote extensively about self esteem, asserted that self worth is not based on a passive attribute one has, but rather is based on how one lives – he thought the practice of living consciously with integrity, assertiveness, self-responsibility, and self acceptance would lead to a cultivation of genuine self worth.
When one’s self worth has been sufficiently strengthened, we could imagine a positive, reverse scenario to take place: one’s self worth may become so strong that in order to balance the 2nd-8th house axis, one feels the need to lift others up through compliments, edification, and by pointing out the talents and strength in others. In other words, it’s the feeling of “I like myself, and I’d like for you to like yourself as well so that we can appreciate each other.”
Noel Tyl is a master at finding people’s talents and strengths – whether you’re his client or a student, he finds something about you that is your special strength, and makes you believe in it. He is one of the most confident people I know [Tyl’s Mercury is in 8th house opposed by Pluto, with its deep awareness of people’s self worth and strengths.]
It’s no fun being around insecure, depressed people who have low self worth – especially once we develop a healthy self esteem. Then the next thing to do is naturally to try to lift others up, instead of tearing them down. Both actions usually aim at bringing the people to ‘our level,’ whether that implies lifting them up or tearing them down depends on how we perceive ourselves (that’s why we say things like “Let us not be pulled down to their level by resorting to violence”, etc.)
One suggestion I’ve heard that makes sense: if we hang around with people that are better than us in some regard (i.e. people that know more about something that we’re interested in, or are more successful at it) we tend to benefit by approaching their level. This way we can make sure that we keep growing.