Rules are expected behaviors that, when broken, can have negative consequences.
Nonverbal communication has rules as well. As a rule, we look into one another’s eyes when talking. As a rule, we do not interrupt the speaker. As a rule, we only hug certain people. Rules may be society based, family based, and even relationship based. We have certain rules of behavior with friends that we don’t have with strangers, etc.
Think of your rules for greeting people in your life. How does a particular rule differ from one group of people to the next. For example: Greeting rules. When I greet my mother I hug her and kiss her on the cheek. When I greet my brother, I hug him. When I greet a stranger, I just say “hi.”
So, here is what I want you to do:
- Choose a rule category (greeting, showing affection, eye contact, etc.)
- List how the rules differ for at least 3 different groups in your life (see my example above)