Rules of Engagement. 

“Don’t”… it’s not my most favourite word.

It can be used to warn; ‘Don’t step out into traffic’ but one can better teach through awareness and not fear.  ‘Don’t is especially used on children but it can create uncertainty and clumsiness; “Don’t go near the precious ornaments, don’t ride your bike too fast, don’t do this, don’t do that..”.

The word ‘Don’t’ to me has always signified control, power games and a presumed authority; it is used to cast doubt on a person’s awareness, common sense or ability.  People who trust you have no need to use it – they trust in your judgement, they never try to control you and are at ease with your persona and decision making. Here’s some examples of control;

Don’t talk to my dog like that

Don’t walk her in the park in that hat

Don’t put your finger in my face when pointing out a fact

Don’t keep me here waiting so long

Don’t talk about a film or a book or a song

Never ever move my tray away

Or leave the table early with your dirty plate

Don’t drive too fast or slow in my car

Don’t leave the fridge door open ajar

Never dance next to me in the street

Please don’t ever get in my way

Don’t wear that shirt, it doesn’t fit

And please don’t be so sensitive

Don’t expect me to save you a seat

Don’t write to me ever again

Rules of Engagement (Don’t)

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