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The Rules of Love, 2nd Edition by Richard Templar

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RULE 88

Let go of your role

I have an older brother I’ve always got on well with. But even though we’re now both grown up, there’s still a tendency for him to act the older brother with me. It’s bearable, but quite irritating. So a couple of years ago I raised the subject diplomatically, and asked if he could drop the big brother act. He got the message and said he would do his best. A few weeks later, he explained patiently to me that although he was trying, it was very difficult because I was still doing the kid brother routine. Do you know, I hadn’t even noticed but he was quite right.

When you’ve spent 18 years in a role, it’s so easy to sink back into it. Try as we might, people get pigeonholed in families: the clever one, the absent-minded ...

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