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Not Allowed! How Do Societal Expectations Affect You?

Not Allowed! How Do Societal Expectations Affect You?

The last day or so I’ve felt not so great. I’ve been super tired so I’ve spent more than my fair share of time on the couch. While there, I’ve had lots of time to ponder. One of the things that kept bubbling up is what we are “Allowed”. Allowed to be, allowed to think, allowed to feel…you know, things that are allowed….those societal expectations that force on all of us.

Thinking through my life, I can see my actions being driven by what I felt I was allowed to do. Now, before you ask, I am not saying that there were actual things that I wasn’t allowed to do by a specific person. It’s more what our brain tells us we are allowed to do. So I totally own that some of this is my perception ONLY. Unfortunately, perception is just as huge as a person standing there saying “you are NOT allowed”.

The hilarious thing is that back in the day, I thought I was the biggest, baddest thing around. I had a degree in a mostly male dominated industry. I had a great job that I loved. Looking back, though, I was just as affected by what I thought I was allowed to do as I am today.

So at 41, I am left wondering…when do I grow up to the point that I care less about what other people expect of me or allow?

We are surrounded by messages of what we should or should not be doing:

  • there is no way you will qualify for that with your numbers.
  • should you be wearing that?
  • are you going to let your kid do that?
  • can’t we just agree to disagree (ie can you just be quiet about your thoughts because I don’t want to listen to you)?
  • posting about personal things on your blog looks unprofessional.
  • not posting about personal things on your blog makes it un-interesting.
  • don’t you feel like you are wasting your education?
  • you shouldn’t let people’s opinions about religion, politics, etc alienate you from them.
  • you shouldn’t let people teach your children things you don’t agree with.
  • you should be thinner, you’re so unhealthy!
  • you should eat a cheeseburger, you’re so unhealthy looking!

And it goes on and on and on.

So how do we come to a balance between societal norms/expectations (and realize that these are different depending on who you talk to/hang out with) and our own self inerest? I mean, we can’t all just say “screw it” and do what we want. Can we?

Hmmm….it’s an interesting thing to think about and one that I don’t have the answer to. What do you think? Do you have this struggle?

Not Allowed! How is Society Affecting YOU-

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Wanda

Thursday 16th of March 2017

Maybe it's because I've had to put up with so much crap from family and those I used to call friends, I no longer let the little things bother me and perhaps that just comes with age. Or mental exhaustion. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and I think when you can't come to an agreement you should agree to disagree because who is really right or wrong? So move on and let it go because life is too short to argue about silly things. I'm losing too many friends and relatives at this point in my life so I really do try to let most things go. You can't change how people perceive you so learn to let it go and answer only to yourself! Does any of this make sense? I'm sad you are leaving tomorrow! #sappy

Merry Kuchle

Thursday 16th of March 2017

It totally makes sense! And I'll be back before you know it! Mwah!

Sandy

Friday 3rd of March 2017

I used to really worry what others thought - in my younger days. Things must naturally change with age as I no longer concern myself as much anymore about what others think. After reading your list, it's amazing how many things people question - and those are just a few things. We could all list more than that - which is scary. It's like we are always being bombarded by people telling us what is or isn't allowed. Great post Merry! How you are feeling a little better after writing that :)

Tiffany C

Thursday 2nd of March 2017

For the longest time I had these unrealistic expectations for myself. I saw so many other parents that were making these fun lunches, always were dressed neat and tidy and their kids were always smiling and loving to each other. It wasn't until I was talking to another mom and she said to me...do you think I would post about the Kraft dinner my kids ate for dinner, or the black eye one sibling gave to another. At that point I accepted things for what they were and that was real.

Shan

Thursday 2nd of March 2017

I feel as long as I am not being a general asshole any issues another person may have with how I go about my life are their issues to work through.

Merry Kuchle

Thursday 2nd of March 2017

That is a good line to draw in the sand for sure. :)

Laura

Thursday 2nd of March 2017

I quickly learned as a teenager to do what makes me happy instead of following the unwritten "rules". I'm not one who fits in a box and I love it that way. The hard part is finding a social circle with the same attitude on life.

Merry Kuchle

Thursday 2nd of March 2017

Oh so true!

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