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What are your personal rules?
How your rules define you — and also cause conflict & disagreement
We all have a set of personal rules that dictate how we interact with and judge other people. Our rules also dictate how we view ourselves and how we see the world. We have pet peeves and our perceived concept of how things “should” be.
Think about it: When you say or hear things like, “If you loved me, you wouldn’t do X-Y-Z,” that is a rule. Ever get upset because someone didn’t do something they said they would do? That is also a rule.
But rules were made to be broken — and that’s exactly what we do. We get upset with each other all of the time because someone did something to violate some personal “rule” that we have. In unhealthy relationships, each person uses the other as a constant sounding board for some rule the other one has violated. And while sometimes our rules are indeed valid, other times they are just plain silly.
The real question is: Where do these rules come from? Did you just make them up as you went along? The answer is: they stem from your beliefs and from your values.
Your beliefs and values were adopted by you as you grew up. Ever hear the phrase “you are who your friends are”? We pick up little pieces of other people — the characteristics that we like. Then, we discard the characteristics that we don’t like. The end result are your existing values and beliefs. Both of these help you to determine whether something is “good” or “bad.”
Our rules shape us, they make up who we are. There’s nothing wrong with that! It’s when our rules become unreasonable and make our relationships more difficult that we need to re-evaluate and re-shape our beliefs and our values so they create more harmony, not conflict.
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