When Are Rules Made to Be Broken?


by Deb Ng

Ever since having a conversation with Liz Strauss on Twitter the other day, I’ve been thinking about following the rules. Specifically is it ever OK not to follow the rules?

One of the reasons I never enjoyed any of my traditional office jobs was because of “the rules.” Every thing had a rule. From how and where one poured coffee to how and where one filed a document,  there were procedures to follow and regulations at every turn. I’m not one for a cookie cutter world. I’m not saying I have my own set of rules when working for others, because I find that disrespectful, but I do believe there are times when we should go with our hearts over policies and rules.

  • What if something doesn’t feel right? Should we forget out gut and continue following proper protocol? Or should we explore further and take the course of action best suited to our own best interests?
  • What if a good friend is making a bad decision? Do we not say a thing out of politeness or kindly offer another point of view out of friendship?

When are rules made to be broken?

  • I don’t follow the rules with my blogging. I hardly remember to tag my posts and only sometimes do I remember my SEO. Does that mean I’m a bad blogger?
  • I don’t always follow the rules when raising my son. I feel he should be raised by parents, not books. Does that make me a bad mom?
  • I don’t always follow the rules when socializing. I’m always myself rather than the person some people would like me to be. Does that make me a bad friend?
  • I don’t always follow the rules when it comes to housework. I don’t own a set of pearls and only give the house  a really good cleaning when company comes. Does that make me a bad wife?
  • I don’t always follow the rules with family. I don’t call my mom every day and don’t visit for Sunday dinner every weekend. Does that make me a bad daughter?

When is it ok not to follow the rules?






5 responses
  1. Robyn McMaster Avatar

    Deb, I find people who are so stuck in rules, remain in lower positions in workplaces. Those who succeed find ways to break them without being obnoxious, but modeling new ways of approaching tasks and projects. There’s never “One size fits all” and that’s where rules have a downfall.

  2. JulieF Avatar

    Following rules without question is the number one sign of a weak person, imho. Humans are built to use their brains, those who do not fall by the wayside. I think rules just weed out those who stand in the way of others.

    Maybe that is a sadistic way of thinking, but I’ve never claimed to be nice. I don’t follow rules well. Heck, if cleaning the house perfectly without company coming is what makes a good wife, my poor husband must think I am horrid! And my kids, well, I really do not think there is a book out there that has my favorite line in it, “Stop jumping off the furniture because I will not wash your eyeballs off before putting them back in your head if you knock them out!”

    😀 Maybe I’m not a great mom, but my kids think I’m funny. Is there a rule against goofy moms? Probably.

  3. Diana Avatar

    I don’t have a problem with rules, sometimes it makes it easier. If you can tell your kid the law says they have to wear a seatbelt,and you know it will save his life, it’s not so bad. There are the rule people who can’t relax. The ones who complain to the head honchos at work about the people standing on the shuttle, calling them resistant standers because they won’t sit in the back, or the ones who complain about people holding the elevator because it will cause them to wait 5 more seconds and want a reading on what the proper rules are, those are the ones I shake my head over. Those are the ones who don’t want to let some things go and need to regulate everything so their lives will go exactly how they dictate.

  4. JR Moreau Avatar

    Like a cornered animal, I break rules when I feel I am out of all reasonable options.

  5. Cheryl Wright Avatar

    Any time you darn-well choose.

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