We have many set of rules which define the policies, guidlines and standards for behaving and acting. For example, We have a Pakistan Penal Code, Shariat law or Military law. If we don’t obey the rules of these laws, we are penalized. So it’s mandatory for us to obey these rules. Apart from these rules, we set certain personal rules to lead our lives. These rules are basically formulated to compensate for negative core beliefs formed as a result of our childhood experiences. These rules are irrational and illogical, so they are likely to be broken from time to time, causing emotional upset in us. If we are able to identify our key rules and are able to convert these in to more logical and rational ones, we can make our life reasonably less disturbale.
In a weekly group session today we discussed these rules. It was a fruitful exercise. Each of 22 participants identified one key rule in their life. These rules belonged to mostly three groups:
i. I must not commit a mistake and if I do so that means that I am not good enough.
ii. It is terrible to fail in exam
i. If I do something good to a person, he should reciprocate.
ii. If I love somebody, I should also be loved in the same way.
iii. People must obey my wishes or demands.
i. World should arrange quick recovery from illness for me.
2. It’s terrible not to get leave.
The group was then guided to formulate more flexible and healthy rules to become less disturbale.
Just by changing our shoulds and musts to preferences, we can become reasonable comfortable. For example, If I do something good to a person, He must recipocate can be changed to” it is preferable that people may recipocate my favours or kindness to them, but if they do not, I may not like it but I can vey well tolerate it’.
The life may become more tolerable and we more comfortable just by changing the language a bit.
Would u like to identify your key rules and how would u convert these into preferences?