Since I had the authority, I could make rules that reflected the community I wanted to build. So, I saw fit to make only one rule: Thou shalt not piss me off (or, more diplomatically, "Don't do something someone with authority doesn't like"). With a straight face, I called my one rule "an experiment", and would point out that, technically, this was also the only rule in the outside world as well. I thought I was doing a favor, because after all, I could write all the rules I wanted, and use my authority to ignore them when it suited me. By having only one rule, everything was honest, and nobody could argue over the rules. It took me a long time to understand that my one simple rule wasn't simple, fair, or just.
In September 2014 we finally adopted formal rules. The rules are simple, and include examples of proscribed behavior. Now, instead of escalating, I can simply say "please stop that, it's against the rules." Their reaction to that line will determine whether the issue is dropped (sometimes), or it results in removal (more often than I'd like).