“Do not impose on others what you do not wish for yourself.” The principle of the golden rule existed even in Confucius’ time.
So what is the golden rule?
“Do unto others as you want done unto you.”
Most of us learn it as a child, treat others the way you want to be treated. Pretty much a don’t hit that kid because you don’t like it when you get hit type of rule.
This is a good basis but we need to build off of it. There are parts where it falls through.
Tell the story about how my roommate thought I was a lesbian because I gave her hugs all the time. I was following the golden rule.
You also need to learn to use the golden rule to be kind to yourself.
Dr. Tony Alessandra built off the golden rule and created a principle he called the Platinum Rule, “Do unto others as they want done unto them.”
Everyone wants to be treated differently, everyone is different. Compare my roommates Lilly and Carilyn. They’re opposite and can’t be treated the same. There are multiple personality tests, and types of personalities out there.
But this rule also falls through when people do not know how they want to be treated or they think they should be treated like dirt. That is unacceptable. I think most of us have that friend who says “Wow you’re awesome, but I’m awful.”
I think most of us know many people struggling with depression and anxiety that are very critical of themselves.
American Psychological Association wrote an article detailing how you need to be more self-compassionate apply the Golden rule to yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/07-08/golden-rule.aspx
In the study they discuss benefits that come from self-compassion according to Kristen Neff and Mark Leary. Mark Leary, PhD, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University said, people who practice self-compassion “tend to suffer less from anxiety, depression … and fear of failure. There’s no question there are all sorts of emotional benefits.”
What I propose is taking these principles, applying them to yourself and others, but going beyond that and following a rule I created called “The Rule of Simplicity.” There are 3 parts to the rule.
1st– Talk. Ask questions, ask that roommate if they like physical touch or not, that could have saved my roommate and I’s relationship. Ask if your friends like hanging out with a lot of people. Talk to them!
2nd – Listen. Be open. Gottman Institute did a study following couples for many years and were able to predict with 90% accuracy who would divorced based on multiple factors. These four things, if they were present in a relationship, they predicted divorce in an average of 5.6 years, “criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling, meaning stopping someone from communicating.” Are these things present in your relationships? What is your intent in communicating?
3rd – Empathize. Care for them and take things from their perspective, you can love people you don’t even like right now. Tell story about how I came to love someone that hurt me because I took a moment to consider their perspective.
The Golden rule is a great basis as well as the platinum rule. Treat yourself and others well. And remember to apply the rule of simplicity in your life. Talk, listen and empathize. I promise as you do that you will have an increased capacity to love and you will be able to develop relationships you didn’t think were possible.