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Rules In My House

Rules In My House

by Sunshine

August 10, 2000

Dear Dr. Irene-Per your response and at the urging of other "posters" here's my list - I came up with a few more...but it seems our "rules" could be never ending. (Expanded version of Sunshine's Yak Board Posting.)

Misperceptions or lessons learned: the UNTRUTHS  believed to be TRUE:

1.  Someone always has to be right. There is no middle ground-no compromising

2.  Don't just be yourself. That's not good enough. Anyway, people might not like you just the way you are. Be what others tell you or want you to be.
3.  Life is war. The good guys and the bad guys.  Take sides. Use whatever intimate knowledge you know about the "enemy" as a "weapon."
4.  Why tell the truth-you might get in trouble if you made a mistake. Why not just lie and take the chance you won't get caught.
5.  If you're not happy, it's the other person's fault. They are supposed to make you happy.
6.  Whoever can yell loudest is the "winner."
7.  Someone has to win.. that makes the other person the LOSER. No "ties" in this game.
8.  If you're unhappy, make sure the other person is, too.
9.  Life is perfect. Relationships should always  be perfect. People have to be perfect.
10.  Lie when you can to get your own way, have it all-maybe the other person won't find out.
11.  If you're caught in a lie, blame it on someone else, change your story and compound the lies-it really helps get people confused, including yourself.

12.  Don't take any ownership for your own actions-blame someone else because "they made you do it."
13.  Don't take ownership for your own feelings or emotions-you were just reacting to the other person-they MADE YOU feel that way (even though they can't make you do anything else).
14.  Money equals power and control. Make sure you control the money or use theirs.
15.  Who you simply ARE is not important-pretend to be someone different.
16.  Always find someone else to meet your needs-don't meet your own-after all,
people are just there to be used like objects..
17.  Other people's feelings don't matter, only your own. How dare they hurt YOUR feelings.
18.  Good guys finish last. Be a bad guy when no one is looking, then pretend to be the good guy in public.
19.  Don't tell anyone what you've done, seen, heard, had done to you-they'll think you're crazy or neurotic or paranoid-they'll say you need counseling.

20.  Counseling is only for crazy people. If I don't go to counseling it means I'm not crazy, I don't need any help. I don't have any problems-just others do.
21.  Keep everything behind closed doors-don't let out family secrets-not even to family.
22.  Embarrass others but never allow them to embarrass you.
23.  Sit back and do nothing. Don't take the initiative. Then blame someone else because they didn't tell you. (or if they really did, just deny it).
24.  Don't keep your commitments. But expect or force others into constantly keeping or proving theirs to you.
25.  Don't ask people for what you want-tell them-don't allow them a choice-then you can get mad that you didn't get what you really wanted- and it was their fault.
26.  Give people choices, say it's up to them. Then get mad when they didn't pick what you really wanted but never said in the first place.
27.   Ask people for their opinions. Then tell them their opinion is wrong.

28.  Make people feel stupid when they've learned something new and want to share it with you-after all, you already knew it, right?
29.  Offer your help to others-don't let them help you-that might put them "in control."
30.  Underdogs are poor helpless people who can't help themselves-you have to do it for them-be the "hero"
31.  Too much damage has been done-things can never be fixed, aren't worth working on to repair-that would require too much effort move on to something or someone new.
32.  Neglect or let things go for so long that you get overwhelmed and then give up.
33.  Always "get even", strike back, hit harder than them, get angrier, louder, whatever it takes to win the battle-even if it means losing the "war".
34.   Do what I say, not what I do.
35.  Children are to be seen and not heard; they're "second class citizens"

36.  Make promises and then break them or, better yet.. say you "forgot".
37.  Pretend to be listening when you're actually busy doing something else or thinking about what you'll say next to defend yourself.
38.  Always be on the defensive-after all, anything anyone says is "criticism" not feedback.
39.  You're better than everybody else-at least pretend to be.
40.  Always expect approval-if you don't get it---get MAD, feel resentful
41.  Expect attention, but only if you get some first-remember the world revolves around you.
42.  RESPECT EQUALS FEAR. If they fear you, they must respect you, right?
43.  Trying to problem solve takes too much thought and effort-escape the situation.

44.  If you've done something shameful, don't admit to it, it just adds to your shame. Better yet, find someone else to blame for your actions, words. Twist things around  until others totally confused.
45.  Use whatever forms of manipulation you know or have learned to get you what you want-try them all out until you find what works.
46.  Place expectations on everyone else-don't let them place any on yourself..

47.  When someone gives you an unexpected gift, be suspicious. Don't appreciate it.
48.  Say you appreciate something you got, then don't use it.
49.  The rules apply to everyone else but you.
50.  Don't take care of yourself, let someone else take care of you. Then you can complain they didn't take good enough care of you.
51.  Get others under control by going out of control.
52.  Don't let yourself ever feel "controlled" by others.
53.  Treat people who are different than you with pity, contempt an/or disrespect.

54.  Demand respect-don't earn it.
55.  Offer to help, but don't be available when it's needed.
56.  Expect compliments, "fish" for them but rarely give them in return.
57.  What is mine is mine-and so are the things that belong to everyone else.

58.  Use other people's possessions-get mad if they use yours.
59.  Tell the other person what they say is true isn't true-you know their truths better than they know their own.
60.  Do unto others what you'd NEVER want done unto you.
61.  Let others initiate a project, then take over or criticize-they obviously need your supervision.
62.  Expect to be supported then say you never are.
63.  Dwell on one bad thing to the exclusion of all the good things.
64.  Don't keep your commitments. Better yet, never make any.
65.  Use "blackmail" to get what you want.
66.  Believe that others think just like you-or should- because only you are right.
67.  Diminish others' self-esteem, sense of worth  to build your own.
68.  Make others' accomplishments appear trivial to your own-yours are always better.
69.  Treat others like you own them-they are your possessions-not their own person.
70.  Rules are to be made then broken or changed.


I'm sure I'll come up with more over time. I've been working very hard to "unlearn" and/or stop buying into these "rules." Most were not what I believed in when I got married, although some were part of my "family of origin", too. Maybe why it took me so many years to recognize the dysfunction in my marriage. Also, I adapt easily-or should I say "mold"?! Take care...I care                     Sunshine     Thank you Sunshine, Dr. Irene