Welcome to our ADULT LIFE DECISIONS Series. These posts are about the adults in the lives of children because children deserve caring, healthy adults taking care of them. It is designed to help adults become more aware of their own potential as they strive to make the best lives possible for themselves and their children. Each posting will explore life decisions adults are faced with and how they can update those decisions to be sure they are helpful to them in their current life circumstances. 
To get the most from this post …
READ FIRST the earlier posts:  

Internal Rules of Communication

Four important things about human interaction or communication …
  1. We need human interaction or communication to survive. We can’t live without it.
  2. Our human interactions or communications can be positive or negative.
  3. If we don’t get enough positive communication, we accept negative communication instead, because we have the need for interaction or communication and will take whatever is available to us. This is the only way we can be assured of having enough human connection.
  4. Human beings have “internal rules” about how they are comfortable communicating. These rules develop
    throughout life beginning when we are very young. Sometimes these rules are operating within us without our even being aware of them.
Examples of internal rules:
  • I don’t believe compliments from people I don’t know well.
  • I really like smiling and being smiled at.
  • It’s not right to invite yourself over to someone’s house.
  • Compliments from adults are more important than those from children.
  • Criticism is more believable than compliments.
  • Compliments about work are more important than any others.
  • For every time you laugh, you will shed tears later.
  • People are basically good.
About internal rules of communication or human interaction  …
  • Because most of our communications or human interactions are automatic, we need our internal rules so we know how to interact without taking time to figure things out every time we communicate.
  • In order to be helpful, our internal rules need to be up-to-date and make sense given the circumstances of our lives in the here and now.
  • Internal rules can be unhelpful if we are reacting to others in ways that used to make sense but don’t any longer as we become more mature and more powerful and as our life circumstances change. They can prevent us from getting the positive, supportive communication we need to build and maintain a helpful belief system that will lead to successful life decisions.
  • It is important to examine our internal rules from time to time to decide whether they are helping us make helpful life decisions and be the persons we want to be or whether our internal rules need to be changed, updated, or modernized to match our current circumstances and become more helpful to us.
  • Updating our internal rules is part of being empowered which means deciding to keep rules that are working well and changing those that need to be changed. Empowerment does not only mean changing and getting rid of rules. It also means examining our internal rules and strengthening any that are working well in our current lives.

Make a list of some of your “internal rules.”  Examine your rules.
  • Mark the ones that you think are helpful and that you want to keep.
    • Example: “I really like smiling and getting smiled at.”
  • Cross out any rules that you think may have been helpful in the past, but are no longer good for your life as it is in the here and now.
    • Example: For every time you laugh, you will shed tears later.
  • Make changes and reword ones that need to be tweeked to make sense with your life as it is in the here and now.
    • Example: Compliments about work are more important, (add: but not more important) than any others.
Next week’s post will discuss a belief system that can support helpful, satisfying life decisions about THINKING FOR YOURSELF which includes Solving problems.
This posting is inspired by and adapted from Jean Illsley Clarke’s copyrighted books.
Do not distribute or duplicate without permission.

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