The Ten Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships

These deceptively simple little gems are taken from an excellent handbook by Dr Temple Grandin and Sean Barron, both of whom have autism, called Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships: Decoding Social Mysteries Through the Unique Perspective of Autism.

What to do, what to do...?

The book is worth a look for anyone living with autism/Asperger’s, as it provides some good basic “signposts” about manners, expectations, and how to keep frustrations and misunderstandings from blowing up into full-on thermonuclear war, emotionally and socially speaking. I wish I’d had a copy of it when I was a teenager and young adult, as it probably would have saved me a lot of time and energy in terms of trying to decode the behaviour and motives of people around me, and simply figuring out how to behave.

My favourite, and one I am still learning (even at my age) is Number 6, that not everyone who is nice to me is my friend. Sigh. 😦

Hope these are helpful!

The Ten Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships

Rule #1  Rules are Not Absolute. They are Situation-based and People-based.
Rule #2 Not Everything is Equally Important in the Grand Scheme of Things.
Rule #3  Everyone in the World Makes Mistakes. It Doesn’t Have to Ruin Your Day.
Rule #4 Honesty is Different than Diplomacy.
Rule #5 Being Polite is Appropriate in Any Situation.
Rule #6 Not Everyone Who is Nice to Me is My Friend.
Rule #7  People Act Differently in Public than They Do in Private
Rule #8 Know When You’re Turning People Off.
Rule #9 “Fitting In” is Often Tied to Looking and Sounding like You Fit in.
Rule #10 People are Responsible for Their Own Behaviors.


9 thoughts on “The Ten Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships

  1. I can relate to this. Dealt with #6 and #8 as of late and it’s really tiring. Been trying to be #3 about it, but it’s hard. Thanks for taking the time to post this. 🙂

    • I love the way you put that: “…trying to be #3 about it.” Yes, it’s really hard (been struggling with some of this stuff myself lately) but a sense of humour definitely helps.
      Thanks for your comment and thanks for reading!

  2. the not everyone who is nice to me is my friend one gets me all the time. I simply have failed to realize that there are many people who mask hostility, contempt, arrogance and superiority and unkind motives, with acting as if they really like you or care about you. Obviously I need a new “grid” to evaluate people through.

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