The nail that sticks out gets hammered

posted Jun 23, 2016, 8:52 PM by   [ updated Jun 26, 2016, 11:16 PM ]

This proverb comes from Japanese.  In Japanese, it is "出る釘は打たれる".

The proverb means that everyone is expected to follow the rules.  If anybody breaks the law or disobeys, they will be subject to criticism and will be made to obey by force.

The proverb is used to give advice to people who are not following orders.  Here is an example:

"When are you going to listen to me?  I told you this company has rules and the rules are very clear.  Everybody is following them.  What makes you the exception?  You are just another employee here.  If you don't follow the rules, you will face problems.  The nail that sticks out gets hammered.  You know that very well."