Rules for Living

21 March, 2012
Rat Fink

According to the Fink (who needs to work on them as well):

  1. Look at people when they talk to you.
  2. Always try to greet folks by their name.
  3. Sometimes, you must apologize when it’s not your fault. It’s OK. You won’t die, and most times, truth will out.
  4. Don’t assume your personal story is always greater, or your experience is always better. Let someone tell his tale, and then comment on his experience.
  5. Never start a sentence with “No offense, but…” The listener invariably knows that an offensive comment is next, and then she stops listening in order to concentrate on being offended. Find another way to get your point across.
  6. Embrace periods of solitude. They recharge and refresh.
  7. Write. Keep a journal, even if it’s not daily. Write fun things, like wishes for your children’s future, where you’d like to be in 20 years, or something funny that happened yesterday. Not only will it serve as self-therapy, it will be a priceless legacy you leave for your children and grandchildren. After you’re gone, they will treasure it and cling to it.
  8. To defer is not necessarily a sign of weakness. Don’t ride your opinion pony to the point where you alienate others. Not everyone is dying to hear your take on things.
  9. Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. I think the Golden Rule has been shortened by some to “Do unto others as they do unto you.” They’re missing the point.
  10. A derivative of #9: Resist the urge to respond in kind to unkindness. Allow yourself a beat to recover from a hurtful statement, then try to respond in the correct manner. You don’t have to be a pin cushion or whipping boy or punching bag for anyone — but shouting matches rarely solve anything.
  11. Be OK with agreeing to disagree, without making it personal. I have seen too many relationships struggle (and sometimes fail altogether) because one or both parties simply would not back down and admit they could have been wrong. Wow.
  12. When you apologize, apologize. No “I justs;” no hanging “buts” allowed.
And there’s the dirty dozen. I definitely need to get to work on some of them. :-) And now I need to get to work, period. Yikes!
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Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
21 March, 2012 12:00 pm

Good list!

I’ve been guilty of not following number 11 on here before. I’m sorry! No “justs” or “buts”.

This good advice reminds me….you haven’t had an “Ask the Rat” in awhile. How bout it?


Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
21 March, 2012 8:15 pm
Reply to  Rat Fink



21 March, 2012 2:23 pm

re: #3: My grandma told me it all comes out in the wash. She was right!

re: #10: Always rise above. Don’t let anyone drag you into their negativity.

#13: Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. Words to live by.



22 March, 2012 9:46 am
Reply to  Rat Fink

You got it, girlie. Learn when to shut it down and move on. Kind of a “Know when to hold ’em; know when to fold ’em.” thing.


22 March, 2012 2:04 am

Ooooh I am sooooo behind! Just read your latest postings, this one is da bestest. :)


Meg's Mom
Meg's Mom
22 March, 2012 6:00 am

Amazing list! I particularly like… #4 – I heard a line in a movie recently that really struck me. It was something like, “We all just want the same thing. Everyone just wants someone to listen to them.” Now isn’t that so incredibly true? That doesn’t say to come back with your own story because you’re too busy thinking about yourself to even really LISTEN to the person who is talking. It says…listen! I’ve tried to do this since and have had the most amazing conversations! #7 – Huge kudos on this idea! I’ve kept a variety of journals for… Read more »

22 March, 2012 9:32 pm

You’ve presented a great list. If all of these were adhered to by everyone, all relationships would be much healthier and communication greatly enhanced.

Now, back to March Madness for me. Comcast’s service was horrible earlier and really messed up my watching, but they seem to have it corrected. Wisconsin lost by one point, and Michigan State is behind. How about the lady Eagles of AU playing for the national championship!


22 March, 2012 11:07 pm

Ugh….No offense, but….