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Why do people conform to societal norms?


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#16    Alienated Being

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 05:50 PM

View PostHasina, on 30 November 2012 - 05:46 PM, said:

Everyone's different. We all want to 'fit in' to some degree (notice I say 'some degree' because I doubt there's any large number of people who just want the rest of society to hate them and ostracize them) but at the same time we want to 'stand out'. It's a juggling act, for some, it's more comforting to fit in a lot then to stand, while for others it's much better to be the outsider of the group.
I have always been a member of the latter; I have always found it better to do things on my own than in groups... I am introverted, with extreme extrovert qualities. :) I have only a few friends, but those who have met me have responded to my sentiments with great pleasure. They often refer to me as "Charismatic" and a "Socialite", even though I have little to no social life at all.

I remember sitting down in the food court at my University, and one man said, "You know what they say about people who have a lot of friends? They make it in life!". I told him, "I only have three good friends, who are all married; I have practically no social life." he responded with, "Really? Wow. How are you so cheerful and energetic? I would have imagined you to be a party fella... holy ****", and we talked pretty much every lunch break about varying things.

I have always been comfortable in my own skin. I can be amongst a group of 100 people, and be dressed entirely differently and have all of them "mean-mugging" me, yet feel as if I have been completely accepted.


#17    Ever Learning

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 05:52 PM

View PostAlienated Being, on 30 November 2012 - 05:45 PM, said:

That depends. When I have children, I am going to be a father who makes them "earn" what they have been given; I don't believe in rewarding children simply for the sake of earning appreciation. That's ridiculous, and that is why parenting has gone down the ****ter. Parents are too soft on their children these days. As for Christmas, yes I will probably conform to traditional practices such as Christmas trees, presents, Santa Claus, etc. until they are a certain age. Then when they have reached a certain age, I will probably cut it off.

I like to question things, as you can tell.
i can respect that answer as theres sound logic there. i probably wont be able to help my self when im older as christmas is reborn as soon as siblings have kids, my nephew has made the holidays fun again. i love seeing his face light up, he has 2 aunts and three uncles to spoil him. we will deal with the personality disorders later on lol
funny thing is he says please for things but in his head its just to get what hea wants in stead of manners lol

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#18    ealdwita

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:02 PM

I was a soldier for fifteen years - go figure (as our Colonial friends say)

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#19    Lilly

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:08 PM

View PostAlienated Being, on 30 November 2012 - 05:39 PM, said:

And why should we care about the feelings of others? How one feels in a certain situation is their business, not mine. I am not a person who does things to merely please. If they are uncomfortable, that's their own problem. I will not intentionally avoid doing something simply because I am afraid that others will be uncomfortable with it.

Why should you care about the feelings of others? Perhaps you should ask yourself that the next time someone does something you don't particularly like.

Also, there are definitely some things one should avoid doing publically due to the fact that others would be uncomfortable. Example, some people believe in nudity as a life style choice....most realize that they need to do this among other nudists verses 'in public' in front of others not so inclined.

Like I said, it's a matter of good manners, and in some cases even legal issues. Basically, If one doesn't want to conform to any social norms at all one will eventually find themselves in an uncomfortable position they don't *like* very much.

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#20    Purplos

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:12 PM

Quote

And why should we care about the feelings of others?

Some people enjoy being nice to people. If you don't, that's fine.

But I don't see either as a conformity issue unless someone is purposefully being nice to others just because they think they have to.

I'm nice to people (in general) because it pleases me to be so. Not because if I'm not nice to them they'll dislike me. I really don't care if other people like me. That's their business.

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#21    ouija ouija

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:23 PM

@ Alienated Being: you're getting away with this while you're young, but trust me, it won't seem like such a good idea as you get older ...... you will regret it(unless, of course, you've got a mental disorder which causes you to be that way).

Life is all too much ............................................. and not enough.

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#22    Ashotep

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:24 PM

Sorry but I have to say this.  Would it kill you to buy your mother a card?  Maybe that is what makes her feel loved and appreciated by you.


#23    Alienated Being

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:29 PM

View PostHilander, on 30 November 2012 - 06:24 PM, said:

Sorry but I have to say this.  Would it kill you to buy your mother a card?  Maybe that is what makes her feel loved and appreciated by you.
No, it would not kill me; but why does she require material items in order to feel loved and appreciated?


#24    Alienated Being

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:31 PM

View PostPurplos, on 30 November 2012 - 06:12 PM, said:

Some people enjoy being nice to people. If you don't, that's fine.

But I don't see either as a conformity issue unless someone is purposefully being nice to others just because they think they have to.

I'm nice to people (in general) because it pleases me to be so. Not because if I'm not nice to them they'll dislike me. I really don't care if other people like me. That's their business.
If others met your "niceness" with extreme hostility, would you still be nice?


#25    Lcvec

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:31 PM

Personally, I think it goes beyond the 'being part of the herd' thing. I believe that people have a reason to behave that way, and it's the same reason why you started this topic. We deal with things in different ways. I think someone might try to fit in and be accepted into a group so that person can have a sense of accomplishment, as insignificant as it may seem to you. It's part of their everyday lives, they go to work or parties, they meet those people often and if they belong to the same group, there won't be as many 'shocks' between them. To put it simply, I think it's more about having a smooth social life instead of having people criticizing you often and maybe even causing inconveniences in a work space for example. You may not care about that, but not everyone reacts the same way to criticism, most would probably unconsciously avoid it. Like it or not, the everyday social life affects a person no matter who that is. Criticism is what made you post here after all, isn't it? So in a way, even you care about other people enough to think about them and even discuss their behavior, despite not finding it necessary to avoid shocks with them.

I try to fit in when it's convenient. If there's a crowd of people wearing black, I won't be the one wearing red, simply because I want no one to notice I'm there. There are many reasons why we do what we do, you may think you're unique but in fact you're just part of a different group that's scattered and not nearly as common as what we see every day. Keep in mind there's almost 7 billion of us and if we could all be put in one giant room, there's not a single one of us who wouldn't be part of a group, even if it's 'the group of the ones who like to sit alone in a corner'.


#26    Alienated Being

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:33 PM

View PostLilly, on 30 November 2012 - 06:08 PM, said:

Why should you care about the feelings of others? Perhaps you should ask yourself that the next time someone does something you don't particularly like.

Also, there are definitely some things one should avoid doing publically due to the fact that others would be uncomfortable. Example, some people believe in nudity as a life style choice....most realize that they need to do this among other nudists verses 'in public' in front of others not so inclined.

Like I said, it's a matter of good manners, and in some cases even legal issues. Basically, If one doesn't want to conform to any social norms at all one will eventually find themselves in an uncomfortable position they don't *like* very much.
So, basically I should conform to the societal norm of doing things out of concern for the feelings of others, instead of doing things for myself, even if I really want to do it? If I wanted to dress up as a clown, and I made many people feel uncomfortable, should I stop doing so, even if it makes me completely happy? In a sense, I am conforming to their wants and needs, not my own. Sorry, but I will not intentionally avoid doing something just because it displeases others. If I am reading say, Harry Potter on the bus, and a group of people around me say that they feel extremely uncomfortable while I am reading it, yet it brings absolute bliss to me, should I stop reading it?

I am interested in hearing what you have to say. :P

Edited by Alienated Being, 30 November 2012 - 06:39 PM.


#27    spartan max2

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:40 PM

It was kind of programed in us. Evoultinarily (if i spelled that right <.< ) it is safer to be with the group then to walk the other way. In the movies the guy who walks alone in the forest normally gets killed first lol. If someone is "diffrent" then us then they can possibly be a threat so we are hardwired not to like it. What we know is safe, what we dont know is not safe.

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#28    spartan max2

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:43 PM

Personally i think you should get your mom a gift... lol she did raise you after all.

Being nice to people HELPS you out by the way because humans have a natural need to give back to someone who gives or does something for them.

Its called the power of recipication. For example waiters who give extra mints get like 20 percent higher tips. Its just a natural human thing programmed in us.

So if you be nice it does help you. Alittel "conformity" doesnt hurt. ;)

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#29    Alienated Being

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:47 PM

View Postspartan max2, on 30 November 2012 - 06:43 PM, said:

Personally i think you should get your mom a gift... lol she did raise you after all.

Being nice to people HELPS you out by the way because humans have a natural need to give back to someone who gives or does something for them.

Its called the power of recipication. For example waiters who give extra mints get like 20 percent higher tips. Its just a natural human thing programmed in us.

So if you be nice it does help you. Alittel "conformity" doesnt hurt. ;)
The intention of this thread is to understand why people conform, not whether or not I should conform. I have included some hypothetical scenarios to see what people think; for example, I have given my mother presents/cards/etc for Christmas... I am just interested in seeing what others have to say.

Also, I will not do something that makes another feel uncomfortable; I am just interested in why some feel as if I should do things to make a person feel comfortable. Why do we care if we're liked? Why does it matter? Is social grouping as important to us as it was through our evolutionary history?

Edited by Alienated Being, 30 November 2012 - 06:48 PM.


#30    ThickasaBrick

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:51 PM

"Fitting in" is a survival trait. In order to be part of the group, which gives the entire group a better chance at survival, you must have fit in with the group. In today's world it is not as true as it once was, but 10,000 years ago, if you were different than the group and outside the group, your chances of survival were greatly diminished. Even though we like to believe we are above instinct today, it is still a process which occurs in the brain which we have little control over.

On a side note, it is going to be real funny when tattoos are no longer "cool" and all these people who say that it is just an expression of themselves are wishing they didn't go along with the group. Those barb wires around the arm will not look so good on a saggy, wrinkled bicep.





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