1. CONTROL - One must be in control of all interactions, feelings, and personal
behavior at all times ... control is the major defense strategy for shame.
2. PERFECTIONISM - Always be right in everything you do. The perfectionist rule always
involves a measurement that is being imposed. The fear and avoidance of the negative is
the organizing principle of life. The members live according to an externalized image.
No one ever measures up.
3. BLAME - Whenever things don't turn out as planned, blame yourself or others. Blame is
another defensive cover-up for shame ... Blame maintains the balance in a dysfunctional
system when control has broken down.
4. DENIAL OF THE FIVE FREEDOMS - The five freedoms, first encountered by Virginia Satir,
describe full personal functionality. Each freedom has to do with a basic human power
... the power to perceive; to think and interpret; to feel; to want and choose; and
the power to imagine. In shame-based families, the perfectionist rule prohibits the full
expression of these powers. It says you shouldn't perceive, think, feel, desire, or
imagine the way you do. You should do these the way the perfectionistic ideal demands.
5. THE NO-TALK RULE - This rule prohibits the full expression of any feeling, need, or
want. In shame-based families, the members want to hide their true feelings, needs, or
wants. Therefore, no one speaks of his loneliness and sense of self-rupture.
6. DON'T MAKE MISTAKES - Mistakes reveal the flawed vulnerable self. To acknowledge a
mistake is to open oneself to scrutiny. Cover up your own mistakes and if someone else
makes a mistake, shame him.
7. UNRELIABILITY - Don't expect reliability in relationships. Don't trust anyone and you
will never be disappointed. The parents didn't get their developmental dependancy needs
met and will not be there for their children to depend on. The distrust cycle goes on.