1. The first rule is to control everything. If life is scary and unpredictable, and important people could stop loving you and could leave you, then control, control, control.
2. Be perfect. And of course no one can ever meet the rule, so you are constantly judged as wanting by this rule. This rule also begets the principle of never admitting you are wrong.
3. Blame and shame when things get uncomfortable and control (rule #1) didn’t work. And if you get blamed you should wish that the earth had opened up and swallowed you rather than to receive the shame you receive.
4. Don’t think, don’t feel, don’t want and don’t dream. If you do, keep it to yourself (and be ashamed of it).
5. Rule number five is reminiscent of The Fight Club: Don’t talk about it. If you have a feeling, need or want, don’t talk about it, hide it, because that is something truly to be ashamed of.
6. Never admit you are wrong. Cover up, lie, hide your mistake, but if someone else makes a mistake, shame her.
7. Never trust anyone, because if you do, they will shame you in the end.From John Bradshaw’s book: Healing the Shame that Binds You
These rules emotionally cripple people as they grow up. (The gospel of forgiveness is the opposite of these principles.) Although many supervisors are shame based, the ones who are not tend to rise in the ranks farther than those who are shame based, thus keeping the shame based fundamentalists in lower paying jobs.
Psychoanalytic psychologists call these families obsessive. These are the families that lose sight of the big picture and focus on the rules instead. They are constantly catching their children doing something wrong, blaming and shaming them until the children are convinced no-one would really like them if they knew who they really are. Classically set up to be either obsessive as an adult, or an addict. (The Apostle Paul describes the feeling at the end of Romans 7: “I do what I don’t want to do. Who will rescue me from the body of this death?”)