The Underpants Rule - Revisited

- POSTED ON: Mar 09, 2015


The Underpants Rule (UR) is a way to describe interaction around personal decisions. Our right to punch ends at the tip of someone else’s nose.  

So while I’m allowed to enjoy choosing to run around, punching my arms out and flailing them around muppet-style, I’m not allowed to do so in a crowed room and claim ... that if people don’t like getting punched in the face then they shouldn't come into that room. 

I’m allowed to yell “Fire!” at home by myself, but not in a crowded theater.

If someone’s decisions are personal and don’t affect me, then the Underpants Rule applies:  they are the boss of their underpants and it’s not for me to interfere if they want to diet, or attempt to climb Everest, or take the cinnamon challenge.  If someone’s decisions do affect me directly, including and especially if they are attempting to infringe on my rights, then it’s a UR violation.

Sometimes people make the conscious choice to break the UR because they feel that someone is doing themselves harm.  Different people have different ideas of when this is acceptable, this is a choice that we each have to make in our own lives.

The Underpants Rule is something that helps me remember that other people’s personal choices aren’t my business if they don’t affect me, and that my choices aren’t other people’s business if they don’t affect them.  Our underpants are, in fact, our own.

The statements above were taken from an article by Ragen Chastain,
who coined the term: “UnderPants Rule”
Ragean Chasten’s full article is available at www. danceswithfat .org
Also see DietHobby's Archives for the previous article on
the Underpants Rule.

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Existing Comments:

On Mar 09, 2015 dianne0007 wrote:
I try to never should on anybody else, but especially me.

On Mar 09, 2015 dianne0007 wrote:
Oh and forgot to write that I loved the original article on the UR too.

On Mar 09, 2015 Dr. Collins wrote:
             dianne0007, Thank You.

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