Long Reads

Why We Need to Defy Social Norms

Society’s expectations have dictated our behavior long enough.
Why We Need to Defy Social Norms

There has always been pressure to conform to social norms. Whether it’s how to dress for certain occasions or behave in a given setting, there’s a consensus on what is deemed acceptable to the public eye.

Failure to comply with these expectations can often lead to false accusations from people who barely know the person in question. That individual could also be the subject of gossip and even risks the possibility of being called out and humiliated on social media, even if he or she is simply doing what he or she personally feels is right.

Culture breeds social norms, social norms influence behavior

The need to conform to social norms remains strong in most cultures, even if we claim to belong to an age so progressive that people are encouraged to express themselves, voice out their opinions, and love whoever they want. Society has long been operating on an old-fashioned way of thinking that has made things uncomfortable for some members of the population, particularly ones who want to rock the status quo.

It’s difficult to contend with the status quo, whether it’s the accepted mode of dressing, manner of speaking, standard behavior, or public image. People will say you should do one thing and avoid the other, without necessarily taking into consideration your needs, personal situation, and the fact that the world has changed so much since the so-called norms were invented.

This is the reason why more people, especially the younger generation, should defy social norms. While shifting the traditional mindset of our predecessors may prove difficult, breaking limiting conventions can pave the way for a more welcoming future.

Take for example DJ Mampusti, who, at just 25 years old, is one of the highest-ranking professionals in the world of e-sports. Challenging the belief that you cant make a career out of playing computer games, hes now the highest-earning Filipino gamer—not bad for someone who started out with just playing DoTA with his high school classmates.

Confidence is key

If you choose to stand out, be confident about it. Sometimes, for the sake of showing your abilities, it becomes necessary to stick out rather than fit in. If people mock you for having the free spirit to stand out, it would be safe to assume that these people fear innovation.

Try a fresh approach every now and then. A person can only go so far with a typical work routine, and most of the time, it’s the risky ideas that bring great rewards and create a positive effect for others. Mediocrity should not be an option and, if you believe this, you have to step out of your comfort zone.

Rebel with a cause

It’s better to rebel with a cause than to die without trying. If you’re truly passionate about something, you shouldn’t be afraid to take the next step only because people expect you to choose a different path. You’ll never know if you’ll succeed unless you take the chance and make that big leap—even if you have to defy the norm while chasing your dream.

Finding your personal rhythm, even if the corresponding behavior is rather unconventional, allows you to live your life to the fullest. This is the gist of CLEAR’s latest campaign, #DareToGetFresher, which dares you to break the rules, set the rules, and challenge the norm.

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This article was created by Summit StoryLabs in partnership with Clear.
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