April following rules discussion: yea or nay?
What’s your relationship with rule following? Are you a Questioner or an Obliger? Maybe you are an Upholder of rules? Or are you a Rebel, and rules have no hold on you? During our April following rules discussion we will explore our relationship to obligation, responsibility and freedom.
By shifting our lens of perception at our April following rules discussion, essentially, we will be creating a variation on a theme of goal setting. In other words, we will be discussing our relationship to limitation. After all, a goal, is a kind of rule to live by, right? And by focusing on a particular goal, you limit your options in other areas, right?
Gretchen Rubin’s four categories of following rules
In order to look at how humans handle rules, Gretchen Rubin, a self-help author on the topic of happiness, created these four categories of Questioner, Obliger, Upholder and Rebel. (Read her article “Four Personality types: Which Are You?” for more information.
In the article, Rubin defines four facets which we will use to craft our April following rules discussion. What follows is Rubin’s rule follower categories:
Upholder—accepts rules, whether from outside or inside. An upholder meets deadlines, follows doctor’s order, and keeps a New Year’s resolution.
Questioner—questions rules and accepts them only if they make sense. They may choose to follow rules, or not, according to their judgment.
Rebel—flouts rules, from outside or inside. They resist control. Give a rebel a rule, and the rebel will want to do the very opposite thing.
Obliger—accepts outside rules, but doesn’t like to adopt self-imposed rules.
What kind of rule follower are you?
In our April following rules discussion, the hope is that you will find yourself and your habits in one of Rubin’s four categories. You might have a home base way you approach following rules most frequently, and then there could be a hierarchy of special circumstances where you are motivated to use all or a just a few of the other following rules categories. I imagine each of us has access to all the categories, but one or two will feel most comfortable. You can take Gretchen Rubin’s quiz; or, just join us for a lively discussion.
As with many personality systems, the real goal is to discover who you actually ARE. And it is accepted, that no one is just a designation or definition in a personality system. It’s a 3-D world people, not a binary series of black-and-white, on-off decisions! While you may actually look like a particular personality designation on a day-to-day basis, who you really are, your true self is someone much more loving, beautiful and divine. Truly, while we are our type, we are also so much more than our type.
Can your relationship with rules uncover aspects of who YOU really are?
Any time you look at yourself from a particular vantage point, other vantage points can be ruled out or they can emerge and be seen. If you are a Rebel, and you live as if no rule can hold you, imagine how your perception might shift, if you included the idea to uphold a rule or two? Your bandwidth of existence could move from, “I always break rules and trouble follows” to, “I can choose to break or not break rules, and trouble may or may not follow.”
Imagine if you are an Upholder, and you always do the right thing, regardless of consequences; imagine when you discover the Rebel following rules position or the Questioner position. As a result of that discovery, the Upholder will also discover whole new worlds of choice and option to experience. Imagine an Obliger, who realizes they can Question a rule, and determine for themselves if it makes sense, before they just oblige the rule?
After the April following rules discussion, the hope is you will be more aware of your personal tendencies. Maybe, you will even be more conscious of another person’s tendencies around rules and limitations. Following rules, or breaking them, is a choice point which happens on a daily basis for every one of us. Why not understand how you currently enter that paradigm, the things you already bring to the party, and what other options for party things you might have?
Join the Grounded Living Meetup and RSVP today!
Our facilitator will be Pamela Perkins Donnelly of Grounded Relating, LLC who studies “the human condition” in the laboratory of life. She is also a Certified Teacher of the Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition, as well as a Certified MBTI practitioner.
Our venue will be Blue Mountain Coffees, located on Byers Street in the Historic Wharf District of downtown Staunton. Please support our venue by purchasing an item for consumption; thank you!