Dysfunctional "rules" are unconscious programs that people have learned to do in their families and groups. The following are such dysfunctional rules:
1. All are not equal. Some are more important than others.
2. The way to "matter" to the family/group is to be like someone else (who matters) or to be gifted like someone else.
3. If I am myself I will probably not matter so I will either hide out or find a way to be thrust into the attention of others (see the dysfunctional roles listed below).
4. Negative feelings are bad to have.
5. Keep the peace at all costs.
6. Don't talk about dysfunction or problems.
7. Don't bring up controversial subjects.
8. Conflict is bad. If it exists, don't acknowledge it.
9. Don't be yourself if being yourself rocks the boat.
10. Deny one's own issues; blame it on others.
11. One person's feelings--if expressed demonstrably--are more important than the rest of the group.
12. We're better than another family or group because of...
Dysfunctional roles that people take on:
1. The "good mom or dad" who takes care of everyone else's feelings and problems.
2. The pleaser-- whose identity is wrapped up in pleasing all others, especially the ones that seem to be the "mom" or "dad."
3. The expert-- who garners attention this way.
4. The clown-- also garnering attention.
5. The caretaker-- seemingly filled with God's love but often resentful for not being appreciated for "all that I do."
6. The martyr-- same as "the caretaker" but sighs loudly more often.
7. The dependent-- who just loves to be taken care of by others.