When is a rule not a rule?
We grow up thinking many things are set in stone. There are rules all around us. Some for fire safety. Some to protect our possessions. Some to keep things the way they’ve always been.
What becomes more complicated is the idea of societal norms. A societal norm is a way people behave, which has become so familiar that people think of them as rules when they are not.
So, while we’re toeing the line, and there might be a time and place for this, sometimes it can do more harm than good, especially when it comes to doing what’s right for the sake of your mental health and emotional well-being.
How do you know which societal norms you must break to be true to yourself? Think about these things:
We always Do It This Way
It seems no matter what you’re talking about, trying to convince someone they should do something different is always an uphill battle. After all, it’s always easier to keep things exactly as they are. Change is difficult. It’s why it’s hard to convince ourselves sometimes just how much success relies on change. You can’t get anywhere at all if you’re always doing the same thing over and over.
Everyone has expectations. Our parents might put certain educational expectations on us. Our friends expect us to do what they’re doing, especially when it comes to marrying or having kids. Even our significant other expects us to behave in specific ways sometimes. The problem? When we live to others’ expectations, we forget to stay true to ourselves. Maybe we don’t want college or kids. Or our picture of success is entirely different from someone else’s.
We should all be exactly alike. Right? Sometimes it seems this way. We discourage those who are different from the norm and even make fun of them for being odd or eccentric. How does this make you feel when you want to do something a little ‘different’ from everyone else? It takes courage to stop being a mirror image of those around you.
It’s What You See
We love movies, tv, the internet. We also love to listen to what the media tells us about absolutely everything. We make celebrities our role models and sometimes take information from the sketchiest of sources for gospel truth. Isn’t it better to think for yourself and decide what’s right and wrong?
Forget societal norms. They are created by people like you who got tired of whatever the old status quo used to be. Life isn’t supposed to be this hard. Keep things simple by staying true to yourself, and your life will be so much happier.