(These are deep matters, and I apologise for putting you on the spot like this - one of my excuses being that I put myself on the spot too.)
If you like someone, they are not worthless. Liking someone makes them not worthless, by definition.
They should not extrapolate future impossibility from present time absence.
I would think people could be worth something to themselves too, regardless of other people. Even if it doesn't seem that way to them at the time.
You appear to be arguing that a rational person should form an opinion of their worth by taking into account the opinions of their worth held by others; however, when those others are unfortunately indifferent, or merely absent, or hold actively negative opinions of their worth, then they should discount that present indifference or absence or hostility, and instead derive a sense of their own personal worth from an expectation - based on what? - of encountering in the future some other
others (so to speak!) who will (apparently!) hold a positive opinion of their worth.
However - as if aware of the seeming inconsistency of such a procedure - you also appear to be hedging your bets by advising that a person should also have access to some more direct sense of their own worth, without requiring other human beings as intermediaries in this validation.
Is that a fair paraphrase?
If so, I have the impression that this is not what I (or any other rational person!) would call a 'rational' way of forming an impression of one's own worth as a person.
However, as I have indicated, I am not at all clear how one goes about applying 'reason' in this area at all (in particular, is it begging a question to use the word 'opinion' as I have been doing here?); and I don't think anyone else is very clear about it either; so I suppose it is permissible for us all to flounder about in these deep waters for a while - and try not to drag one another under!
What you say - all of it - appears to make a kind of sense, on the assumption that a person has direct access to his or her own self as an object, and that others have access to the same object (either by similar or different means), and that self and others can all potentially collaborate in the assignment of a value to the self as object.
And such a picture of the situation also appears to be in accord with common sense.
I might be mistaken about my worth; and someone else, possessed of a more accurate perception of the truth, might help me to correct my mistake. That seems to make sense.
[Footnote: The same comment might also apply to narcissism or mania - either involving an 'unrealistic' or 'irrational' high sense of one's own worth - or any other 'mental disturbance', but let's please stick to the case of depression for the time being, to avoid overcomplicating what is already highly complicated.]
But all personal judgements are notoriously subjective. Judgements of persons in respect of being [un]likeable or [un]lovable or worthy or worthless are perhaps the most subjective of all (compared, say, even to moral or aesthetic judgements) - to the extent that few people, if any, dare to consider them as having any objective content at all - i.e. it is nonsensical to describe them as 'opinions', as I have been doing.
Also, the concept of the self as an object to itself is highly obscure, perhaps even paradoxical.
So it is highly dubious whether this appealing vision of commonsense realism can be applied to the situation of a self and others judging the worth of that self.
Nevertheless, the situation of a self judging itself to be totally worthless, occurs - very frequently, and with devastating results (including death).
And surely something ought to be done to help, in such sad cases.
Since reason and commonsense realism seem rather shaky, as tools to use in working on such a situation, one is tempted to abandon them altogether, and perhaps leap to the conclusion that, in all such cases as are too extreme for common sense to muddle through, perhaps an expert in brain chemistry and drug effects, who is presumably also an expert in how the brain works - or perhaps alternatively an expert in the mysterious workings of the Unconscious Mind, or perhaps a witch doctor - should be called in, to work his or her magic, directly upon the brain (or on the Superego and Ego and Id, or Life Instinct and Death Instinct, or the demon possession, or whatever).
And perhaps one should
call in the self-described experts. Who would actually dare not to, and perhaps risk a death?
(Also, we know
that the brain is in there - and that it has something very much to do with the mind, although it is the mind whose disturbance is directly known to us - so perhaps the brain-doctors should have first call.)
But surely one should be clear as to the reason
for doing so. And the reason would appear to be the failure of an entire philosophical picture of the situation - the situation, not only of an extremely depressed and perhaps suicidal person, but of anyone
attempting to form an assessment of their own personal worth.
Is it rational to call in doctors (or mysterious psychological gurus) to handle particularly extreme individual cases, when we do not have a clear intellectual picture of even the simplest and most routine and everyday cases? Can we really say we know what we are doing when we do that?
Does it make sense - when a case arises, which, like a natural 'experiment', is extreme enough to cast doubt on our normal conceptions of self and other - to simply stop thinking in terms of minds at all, and to take drastic physical action upon the brain associated with the mind which seems not to like itself nearly enough (and even to hate itself, perhaps to death)?
Oughtn't we at least to have a theory as to what the problem is, before defining the very problem itself
in terms of what some self-described expert tells us is a necessary, drastic attempt at a physical
solution? (One which, moreover, happens to be highly profitable to the mega-rich drug companies who sponsor most of the research.)
What would Socrates say?
I've asked a lot of questions here (I hope it is clear that they are not solely addressed to Jebediah, and I apologise again for their merely tangential relevance to the OP), but what I would most like us to concentrate upon is the belief that it is somehow 'rational' to have a good opinion of oneself, and 'irrational' not to.
It is certainly desirable
to have a good opinion of oneself - to the extent that lacking such an opinion can even make life absolutely impossible - but why do people describe this desirable (even essential) state as a form of 'rationality'?
Is this use of language related to what I called the "commonsense realist" picture of relations between self and others? If not, then what?
And if it is, then why is a positive outcome of this process of self-evaluation deemed to be the only 'rational' outcome, when more generally, in this sort of "commonsense realist" collaboration in making a judgement, it is actually deemed highly irrational
to require a specified outcome in advance?
(OK, I didn't mean to write at nearly such length about this - as I am only gathering my thoughts, over a period of years, and am not yet nearly ready to put forward any actual theory - but I seem to have fallen into doing so, and can only hope that this contributes to the discussion. If not, sorry!)