Why does society dictate how you should live your life?

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chris1989
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01 Nov 2022, 1:25 pm

I know time and time again, people have told me focus on being ME and not compare myself to other people who live their lives differently to me. I do find it hard telling myself when it looks like I when I see other people my age or younger doing things such already driving a nice car at 17, 18, 19 or 20, or marrying their long-term partner and having a child in their late 20s/early 30s that they are doing at the ''right'' time because that is usually time that do those things and that if you are someone who hasn't done all those things by those times I mentioned then its as though society looks at you as someone who is ''weird'' because they haven't followed the norms that society expects of them.

I work with two people who are unmarried, have no children and don't drive. One is nearly 50 and the other is nearly 60. The one who is nearly 50 seems happy as a singleton and she was for ten years because she had to care for her grandfather and had been in relationships in the past but never married and never drove a car and gets the bus to work.
The colleague who is nearly 60 from I know lives on his own with a pet cat and has never really divulged anything to me if he ever had been in relationships and seems to like anything comic-related and did tell me that years ago he once worked for Forbidden Planet in London and once had some famous actors and authors come in for sign-ins (people like actor Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) and author Neil Gaiman). He also doesn't drive except he rides a bicycle to work or gets a train. They both seem happy and content but there is a part of me that feels not wanting to be a long-term singleton like the time that they are now at. My other colleague admits she comes across as ''weird'' and likes to have a laugh about things when she is in the right mood. A married colleague said to another colleague that she was glad my 60 year old colleague wasn't at work on the day we had kids coming in for a halloween competition as she was worried he might come across as ''weird''.



CockneyRebel
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01 Nov 2022, 6:42 pm

Society does not dictate the way I should live my life. I dictate the way that I live my own life.


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r00tb33r
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01 Nov 2022, 6:53 pm

You can (try to) live it any way you want.

Ask yourself, on your deathbed, looking back, did you make good choices?


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chris1989
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02 Nov 2022, 1:17 pm

I really mean the norms that are expected of people to be doing.



CockneyRebel
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02 Nov 2022, 1:45 pm

I don't care about the norms of what people are expected to be doing.


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temp1234
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02 Nov 2022, 7:43 pm

chris1989 wrote:
I know time and time again, people have told me focus on being ME and not compare myself to other people who live their lives differently to me. I do find it hard telling myself when it looks like I when I see other people my age or younger doing things such already driving a nice car at 17, 18, 19 or 20, or marrying their long-term partner and having a child in their late 20s/early 30s that they are doing at the ''right'' time because that is usually time that do those things and that if you are someone who hasn't done all those things by those times I mentioned then its as though society looks at you as someone who is ''weird'' because they haven't followed the norms that society expects of them.

I work with two people who are unmarried, have no children and don't drive. One is nearly 50 and the other is nearly 60. The one who is nearly 50 seems happy as a singleton and she was for ten years because she had to care for her grandfather and had been in relationships in the past but never married and never drove a car and gets the bus to work.
The colleague who is nearly 60 from I know lives on his own with a pet cat and has never really divulged anything to me if he ever had been in relationships and seems to like anything comic-related and did tell me that years ago he once worked for Forbidden Planet in London and once had some famous actors and authors come in for sign-ins (people like actor Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) and author Neil Gaiman). He also doesn't drive except he rides a bicycle to work or gets a train. They both seem happy and content but there is a part of me that feels not wanting to be a long-term singleton like the time that they are now at. My other colleague admits she comes across as ''weird'' and likes to have a laugh about things when she is in the right mood. A married colleague said to another colleague that she was glad my 60 year old colleague wasn't at work on the day we had kids coming in for a halloween competition as she was worried he might come across as ''weird''.
Although I do think you compare yourself with others too much, I can understand it's difficult not to. People often say not to worry about what others think of you. However, in reality most people do judge you based on what they think is the "norm". As a result, unmarried people are seen as "weirdos" etc. They may not say it to your face, but you can feel it in the air or you do hear such discriminatory comments about other unmarried/single people. So, it's natural that you are tempted to compare yourself against others. That comment that your coworker made about her being glad that your 60-year old coworker wasn't there because he would come across as "weird" to kids is discriminatory. You should report it to HR. She needs some kind of punishment.

I fit in that category - not married, single, not interested in relationships, no child, not driving. And I AM seen as a weirdo partly because of those facts among other habits of mine. Although I'm happy that I'm single and never want to be in a relationship again (relationships are full of obligations and I can't help feeling I need to protect myself from my partner), people love seeing me as a "loser" because I'm single. Whatever people think, I can't change the way I feel about relationships.



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03 Nov 2022, 9:41 pm

chris1989 wrote:
I really mean the norms that are expected of people to be doing.
I set my own "norms", within the limits imposed by the legal system and law enforcement -- but even then, there is still a lot I can do as long as I do not get caught doing it, and if I do, I will have a good reason for doing it.

("No, sir . . . that ain't moonshine . . . that thar is home-made hand sanitizer!  See?  Says so on the label!")

Back to your original question: Each society establishes its own norms for human behavior to maintain control over its citizens; ostensibly for everybody's health, safety, and security, but more for the safety of the wealthy.

When should a person be married?  Whom shall they marry?  Under what circumstances can the marriage be negated?  Can unmarried couples live "in sin" together?  How shall unwed mothers be treated?  How shall "bastard" children be treated?  At what age "should" a person gain or lose interest in sex?  How should a person be treated if that person has no interest in relationships of any kind?  Who decides what kinds of intimate activities are "wrong" and which are "right"?

Strange, is it not?  Society perceives a greater threat from sexual activity than from accumulating firearms and plotting insurrections against legally elected government officials.


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CockneyRebel
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04 Nov 2022, 12:34 am

Society will dictate the way you live your life, only if you let it.


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