Self-worth is the foundation of belief, so threats to beliefs are interpreted as threats to self.

Explanations for how the world works must first start with the belief that one belongs in it and has a part to play. Threats to any part of this interpretation link quickly back to the matter of self-worth and then read as personal attacks. Digging into these feelings when finding them is the key to changing the self, thus interpretations, thus actions.[^G1] Ego defends self-worth and therefore beliefs.