Picking up from where we left in the last blog, rules can threaten the very essence of relationships and peace. However, that isn’t because the rules are bad. It is how we pursue that makes anything good or bad. Hence, we don’t need to drop all rules. But we need to learn how to not have rules at the cost of relationships. Below are a few tips for the same:
1. When faced with resistance, seek to understand the reason for it. Don’t insist or try to force a rule without understanding why is there a resistance. When you insist too much, you spark off a rebellion.
2. If a situation is too intense, give some time to diffuse the tension before you pick up a discussion. Don’t strike when it is hot. Maintain rapport!
3. Rules were created to see your loved ones happy. If they aren’t doing that, then you need to either re-look at the rules or the way you are going about them. For example, I can encourage my father to go for a walk. But not insist! If I become a nuisance asking someone to either walk, eat, sleep, drink water, or engage in any healthy behaviour, then I am responsible for creating an unhealthy atmosphere in the first place. Even healthy behavior practiced in an unhealthy environment leads to unhealthy results in reality. So, what’s the point? One might prefer a shorter but happier life, rather than a longer but miserable one. We shouldn’t make anyone’s life miserable with our rules.
4. Have rules with a room for the individual to grow, exist, and speak their mind freely, without fear.
Your rules shouldn’t be a reason for someone to avoid you. Your rules shouldn’t be a reason why people would want you to go out of the house or for them to stay out of the house. Your rules shouldn’t make people feel like a slave with no choice. Intentions may be right. But our actions shouldn’t create heartache for others. Then even the right things done for the right reasons may land up having the wrong effects. So, keep the mind healthy and the heart happy before you set out to make the body a project. Rules shouldn’t take away the joy of living.
And for that, we need to learn how to set/uphold rules with Reason, Rapport, and Respect. The 3 R’s to ensure rules work!
- Nothing should affect the dignity of a person. Reject behavior, without rejecting the person.
- Express displeasure without melodrama or abuse.
- State the importance and relevance of following a particular rule.
- Steer clear of comparisons. Each person and each situation is unique. So, understand and educate accordingly.
- Don’t try to fix people. No one needs fixing more than our own selves. If we can’t handle ourselves when others behave a particular way, then it is important we learn how to handle ourselves first.
- And lastly, keep the ego at bay. Be mindful! Avoid getting into a wild rage and creating a rampage.
Reduce the number of rules by trusting that every individual is blessed with a brain that can think. Let people make their own mistakes and learn. Facilitate the process of learning. Don’t dictate it. When you rule, you make them resistant. When you trust, you make them responsible. Empower people to make better choices by creating awareness and letting them make their own choices. Guide them without directing them. And be a compelling example without forcing or expecting them to follow. If you can be a happy example of good habits – WHO WOULDN’T WANT TO FOLLOW?