Following the Rules

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How often do you find yourself feeling irritated by things that other people do? If it is more often than you’d like, read on.

People who are easily irritated usually blame others for it. But to find the reason – and we are not talking about blame – these folks need to look inside themselves, instead of at those around them. Of course, irritability can have many causes, but one of the most common is having too many restrictive zones. In other words, too many rigid ideas and rules about right and wrong behavior.

These folks believe there is a right way to squeeze the toothpaste tube, a right way to load the dishwasher, a right way to do just about everything, and they have all the so-called “facts” to back them up. Now, the problem is not so much that they feel compelled to follow these restrictive and unnecessary rules themselves, but they have the same compulsion about other people following the “rules” as well!

Sometimes others go along with them, just to keep the peace and reduce their own stress. Often others will deliberately or unconsciously break these needless rules, just to drive the compulsive folks at bit “around the bend.” Passive aggressive? Yes, and in any type of community setting, whether it’s the workplace or someplace else, it is destructive to the overall culture.

It is important to become aware of the self-imposed rules we live by. We want to analyze why we have them, and whether or not they are helping us or not. Then we can get rid of those that keep us rigidly confined, for no important reason. It is also important that we refrain from imposing our personal standards on others.

Why spend our days stressed out and irritated, wondering why our relationships don’t work? We do need to take into account our own well-being, as well as that of those around us. So, relax! Loosen up a little! It’s a near-guarantee everyone will feel better for it.