About Social Roles and Rules

    A role is an assumed or spoken agreement between two or more people about who is responsible to fill a set of specific needs among them. For example, family adults are responsible for providing food, shelter, safety, guidance, and nurturance; and kids are responsible for learning how to leave home, and cooperating with their adults as they do.

    Rules are sets of shoulds, ought-to's, have-to's and musts that describe how people are "supposed to" behave (perform their roles). All human groups and personality subselves develop roles and rules automatically to fill primal needs for order and security. How these develop, and how well the roles and rules fill everyone's primary needs determine a group's nurturance level, security, and harmony. 

    Family adults and kids must negotiate and stabilize many roles and related rules over time, as they age and the environment changes. Unless adults are effective communicators, this negotiation often causes stressful values conflicts and relationship triangles. Aware adults can minimize these conflicts by (a) expecting them, (b) learning how do identify every-one's primary (vs. surface) needs as teammates; and (c) learning how to resolve them effectively.                                        

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