Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Do you break rules that other people won't?

Asked by wundayatta (58648points) February 19th, 2010

What rules are they? What enables you to give yourself permission to break those rules? Has it ever gotten you into trouble? How do you feel about your rule-breaking—ashamed? proud? defiant?

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31 Answers

lilikoi's avatar

I bend rules when they are illogical, unnecessary, or in my way. It is the only logical, efficient, reasonable thing to do.

Ivy's avatar

As an adult, I can’t think of any rules that apply to me beyond the golden one. Maybe I’m missing something?

marinelife's avatar

I break the rules when it seems like the thing to do.

I don’t do it lightly, though, or without thought.

Val123's avatar

Funny. I was thinking about this the other day. Our bank moved into a whole new building downtown after extensive remodeling. Well, when you drive through the commercial lane…the lane closest to the building….in order to exit out into the street, you have to make a sharp right to avoid this big cement island. It’s shaped kind of like a triangle that slants sharply to the right. I can barely squeeze past it in the car, I hit it with the Suburban every time. I asked the bank what was up with that? They said it wasn’t them. The Dept. of Transportation put that in to force people to turn right. To stop them from turning left onto Main street! WTH!!!?? You can turn left out of every other business on Main street! Now, I’m really not a rule breaker, but I make it a point to TURN LEFT out of that parking lot every time, even if the next place I want to go is to the right. I’ll tell the teller (who is on a first name basis with me,) “Thanks for making that deposit. I’m going to turn left now!” They just laugh….

tinyfaery's avatar

Rules or laws?

faye's avatar

Some rules are just made for the benefit of a few- I try to break those. And I don’t stop at a red light if there is no other traffic. Some rules are just stupid like Val’s example, I’d break that, too. I am more apt to keep rules of behavior.

Berserker's avatar

No. I might slightly bend them or slide by, if I absolutely have to, or at least if I think I have to, but I see no satisfaction or need to get myself in shit.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I have broken rules heh hehe hehehehheheh

Trillian's avatar

I drive against traffic on a one way street for about three feet to get to my Starbucks. I do this about once a week.
Seriously, I break the rules of polite society when I say what I think rather than making “social noise”. I generally can’t manage it.

UScitizen's avatar

I view the rules that others would impose merely as suggestions. I make my own rules, and never violate them.

lilikoi's avatar

@Trillian That’s awesome, lol. I used to make 4 or 5 illegal traffic moves a day when I had to commute to work thanks to bad planning and a couple of ill-conceived laws, or both.
No, I have never been in an accident, knock on wood…

rooeytoo's avatar

It depends on who made the rules and what punitive actions could be taken against me if I am caught.

Silhouette's avatar

Rules, rules, rules, too many rules. Yes I break some rules and I break them because they are stupid and arbitrary. I feel meh.

candide's avatar

I don’t need to give myself permission to break rules; whoever made the rules is the one who needs to give permission – and if you don’t recognise their rules then I guess you don’t need their permission to break them!

Response moderated
slick44's avatar

somtimes i do. it gives me a rush. somtimes we have to be bad

susanc's avatar

@the100thmonkey: literal lol, after a shocked moment. @wundayatta: the monkey didn’t mean you!! Don’t get your feelings hurt!!!
A little story:
My friend M and I went to Iceland last summer.
As the sun rose after over the city, we had to cross a big 4-lane city street with a divider down the middle. The previous night had been a big Independence Day celebration, so everyone was at home sleeping it off. You could see that there was absolutely no traffic for about half a mile in either direction. So I jaywalked. Doodle dee doo. M waited for the light to change and then joined me. “M, there weren’t any cars.” “It’s not our country!! We must obey their laws!! It’s very rude not to!!! It’s a slippery slope!! Do you leave stores without paying for stuff?!?” “No, I don’t do that. This is a victimless crime, M.” “No, it’s disrespectful!!!!!” Yikes. I let it go.
Two weeks went by, lots of good adventures, and we were back in the city. We had to cross the very same street at the very same spot. The light was red. There was a little bit of traffic, but it was blocks away. I stood at the corner waiting for the light, out of respect, even though I thought M was insane. M walked right across and then walked off down the street. I had to run to catch up.

A bit later, back in Seattle, I was talking with our mutual friend X. She and M had travelled together in Brazil the previous year. I told her this story and she said, “Yeah, he did exactly the same thing with me – first he said I couldn’t jaywalk, and then he did.”

This is a story about people breaking and not breaking rules, but frankly it’s a story I still don’t understand.

the100thmonkey's avatar

Thankyou, @susanc. It’s good to know that there is someone here who understands pragmatics. Sadly, it appears that the moderator who removed my post does not.

susanc's avatar

What? I’m disappointed.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

If you live long enough, you’ll realize what most of the rules are there for. I guess I haven’t lived long enough.

mammal's avatar

i don’t pay income tax and refuse to; one : because i need the extra money, i try to give money to causes i strongly believe in, but i spend more than i should on booze, but not a ridiculous amount, two : because i pay tax on petrol/gasoline and other consumables and services including alcohol and last but by no means least three: because i’m not going to fund autistic money grubbing maniacs in the financial sector who want to create a credit mad economy stacked on a house of cards, that is prosperous in the falsest most illusory way….so that when all the tax coffers are empty it begins to totter, and all the public service infrastructures that i would be happy to fund are ruthlessly cut. finally i absolutely will not pay the military to bomb, kill, murder and destroy, in the most vile and cavalier manner all the poor people on this world that dare oppose the implementation of a corrupt democratic system that is easily exploited by the likes of our corrupt democratic system purely for the purposes of self aggrandizement.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


Well, there are two different kinds of rules. There are the written rules, and the so called unwritten rules. These rules, as I take it, are not necessarily laws or part of our legal system in any way.

There is a business down the street with a sign in the parking lot… “No Foreign Cars Allowed – You will be towed away”. That is a written rule. And as unreasonable as it may sound, I’m sure the owner of the lot thinks that he has very good reasons behind it. It’s his lot, and I guess he can make the rules.

As a side note, even the stripes on any parking lot are a form of written rules. They are the rules of parking on that particular lot. If they are not adhered to, then my car will be towed… but is it necessarily illegal? I’m not convinced of that. Perhaps on the public street yes, but I don’t really know about a private parking lot.

More written rules would include the common “No Smoking” and “No Shoes No Shirt No Service”. Even in communities that don’t ban public smoking will allow individual establishments to post their own rules. In this case, I don’t believe it is actually illegal. So the only thing we have to be concerned with is dealing with the consequences. It’s no different than me asking a person to wipe their feet off before entering my home.

But unwritten rules are different. Remember the senator that spoke out during the Obama speech a few months ago. As a matter of courtesy, it is an unwritten rule that we are not supposed to do such a thing. But don’t you wish that someone would have spoken out against Hitler during one of his speech’s? It’s not so clear if breaking an unwritten rule is always wrong.

For instance, in my own personal life. I give my dog chicken bones. I know I know, it’s an unwritten rule that I’m not supposed to do that. Somewhere in the past a rich lady probably had her lap dog choke on a bone and from there we concede that little dogs (smaller than a chicken) might not should be given them to indulge upon. But my dog is not a lap dog. My dog is a Wolf Hybrid mixed with German Shepherd. It would be quite natural for him to devour a chicken whole in the wild feathers and all. There is no reason that my friends should pester me about not treating the beast the same as a little unfortunate lap dog. My dog doesn’t play by the same “rules” as a Yorky. Sure, he may choke one day and everyone will tell me that I killed him. But who would they blame if the same thing happened in the wild? My dog is named Pitch, and his contest against the Chickens rages on.

So far the score is:

mammal's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies um actually no, the parking lot dude with the penchant for the home grown car industry is out of line. Private ownership of parking lots is unacceptable in the first place, like beaches and areas of outstanding natural beauty, or whole water courses and so on.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Are you telling me that a man can own his property, but when he converts it to a parking lot he somehow looses his rights to manage that property? How about my driveway? Can I determine who does and doesn’t park there?

ratboy's avatar

I regularly break the golden rule, Cramer’s rule, and the rule of three. I am deeply ashamed, but it is a compulsion I simply can’t resist.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Yes. There is a certain rule that many other people won’t break but I do. That’s all I am willing to say right now but don’t worry, it’s nothing weird, aganst the law or dangerous for anyone else.

thriftymaid's avatar

Obviously since my answers and questions are sometimes removed. Stupid rules are very ignorable.

mammal's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies come on…you know what i’m saying here, private ownership in that arbitary capacity is a social evil

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


No sorry I’m really at a loss here. Why is the private ownership of a parking lot any different than the private ownership of the shirt on your back?

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Where I encounter a rule I think is unreasonably restrictive, I will try to respect the intended spirit of the rule, even where I may ignore the strict letter of the rule. In some ways, I guess I know what the rule was meant to prevent and assume it was made more general to prevent stupid people from doing anything that could result in what the rule was intended to avoid.

For example, in a park where there are wildlife in proximity to visitors and where barriers have been erected to keep stupid people from handling or touching the wildlife, I may step over the barrier when I can do so to take a photograph without alarming or threatening the wildlife.

I feel proud to bend the rule to my purpose without violating the underlying principle underlying the “Stay behind this line” rule.

My kids (as adults) are sometimes annoyed by the liberties I take but I have never gotten into trouble with my rule bending. Perhaps I have just been lucky.

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