"Normal." "It is what it is." "This is how it's always been." Social norms are dangerous, because we accept them as reality since they're common, even if we know something's not right. Normal does not equal correct, fair, or appropriate. Not only are there certain habits we should question, but there are some social norms that need to go away completely.
We're not typically encouraged to question or challenge social norms when we're younger. On the contrary, we're taught to abide by them. It's one of the reasons we grow up with toxic ideas like that "real" men don't cry, or that we have to dress or act a certain way to make friends, or even succumb to peer pressure. In reality, social rules exist only because we've created them.
If you don't believe me, all you have to do is look at other societies and cultures, whose norms are totally different. For instance — the other day everyone balked at the idea of IKEA making burgers out of bugs, but billions of people around the world eat bugs as an everyday staple. Really and truly, we make the rules — and what we consider "normal" is usually just a product of the way we were raised, or the culture we grew up in.
If social norms are cramping your style, you're not alone. Here are 16 we need to do away with, according to Reddit.
6Family Is Everything
Family is everything; but you also get to pick who your family is. Being related by blood doesn't automatically mean you and your fam are tight. For some of us, our friends are our family.
7Letting Work Define You
This is a challenging one, because from the time we're little, we're told part of the ~American dream~ is getting the big job. We were not put on this planet to work, and you should always value your own happiness and wellbeing above all else — even if that means taking a career path that differs from what you were "supposed" to do.
9A Full-Face Of Make-Up
If you love wearing make-up, excellent! If you find it to be a total pain in the butt, excellent! You do you, and don't let anyone pressure you into looking a certain way.
10The House, The Spouse, The Kids
This is such a personal decision, and we're all different. Nobody should be pressured into having a family just because it seems to be the norm. And if you do want a family? Happy baby-rearing to you!
12Having To Give Gifts
I love giving gifts! I dislike feeling obligated to get someone a gift because I feel like I'm "supposed" to, or worse, I do it just because I'm "worried" they'll get me one and I'll show up empty-handed. Giving gifts is something you do because you want someone to have something special. It's not an obligation. Let's stop being weird about this.
13Acting Like A "Young Lady"
I'll never forget the first time I was told young ladies are supposed to have long hair. To this day, I'm terrified of cutting my own. Wearing dresses. Refraining from expressing an opinion or disagreeing. Never letting a colorful word slip from you mouth. ALL things women are discouraged from doing at the risk of appearing less "ladylike".