10 Social Expectations and Why it’s OK to Ignore Them

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24 Oct 2017

It’s time to say goodbye to meeting expectations

There are so many expectations in society and whoever you are you probably feel immense pressure to live up to them.

One of the reasons we strive to meet expectations and be perfect is probably because of what we constantly see on social media – we’re always comparing ourselves to others!

*SPOILER ALERT*

What even is perfect? In reality, no-one is perfect. Your definition of it differs to other people’s definitions. You will have things you like and dislike about yourself and those things are what make you unique and perfect in your own distinct way! Only when you love your uniqueness will others start to see your true confidence. Loving yourself will positively impact all different aspects of your life.

The pressures you’re faced with throughout life from a young age can seriously impact your mental health and wellbeing. You may feel like you’re not successful enough, happy enough or good enough. It’s time to start focussing on your own individual goals, dreams and happiness and stop comparing yourself to others!

Here are 10 common expectations in society and why it’s ok to ignore them:

1. To have loads of friends and be really popular

You probably see loads of people who have big friendship groups and you feel like you’re weird for only having a couple or even one. Well, it’s absolutely healthy to have a small amount of friends. Remember, it isn’t about quantity, it’s all about the quality!

2. To always be active on social media

Studies suggest that the pressures attached to being very active on social media are damaging people’s mental health and wellbeing. You probably feel like if you don’t instantly reply or maintain a Snapstreak (which is where you keep a Snapchat relationship going every day) then you are going to upset your friends. But if your friends actually get angry with you for breaking a Snapstreak then you might want to question your friendship…

3. To be really, really good at something

It doesn’t matter if you’re an average pianist or football player or dancer or singer or whatever else there is… It’s absolutely fine to just enjoy doing something because hey, you enjoy it! It isn’t about being fantastic, it’s all about having fun and feeling good!

4. To always be busy doing something productive

There seems to be a constant pressure these days to always be really busy doing something. If you’re happy chilling on your own and living a simple life at a slow pace then that’s all good! It’s all about what is good for you – no-one else!

5. To be in a relationship

Don’t just be with someone because you feel like you should have someone. When you meet somebody who makes you feel really good then start thinking about being in a relationship with them! Don’t just do it for the status, otherwise, you’ll soon realize and it’ll get seriously awkward!

6. To be happy all the time and smile all the time

Ugh, this one is just so frustrating! It’s perfectly normal to not be happy 24/7. When people say “smile”… I mean come on, who just stands there smiling? It’s nobody’s business what your face is doing anyway!

7. To do the standard education route and go to college or university

You may decide to do an apprenticeship instead of going to college or you may decide to go later in life and work for a bit beforehand. You may even decide to not go to university at all! Whatever it is you decide to do – it’s your life and guess what? You can decide how it goes. Listen to your instinct and don’t just do things because you think it’s what you should do. Your instinct is usually right.

8. To do certain things at certain ages…

Live your life how it feels it should be lived. Don’t just do things because some people your age are doing it! For example, at 17 everyone might be rushing to learn to drive. But if you don’t feel like you’re ready to – then don’t rush it. Do stuff when you feel ready and it feels right – otherwise, you’ll just end up causing yourself a lot of unnecessary anxiety and stress.

9. To act a certain way just because of how you look or dress

Newsflash… Our appearance doesn’t define us! We can express ourselves through the way we dress but that doesn’t mean people are allowed to pass judgment based on appearance.

10. To have certain views because of your family or social background

Loads of people feel as though they have to live by the expectations of their family or that they have to behave a certain way. If you don’t agree with these things, then you shouldn’t go along with them. Family members can put a lot of pressure on each other and yes, we all have duties as family members – but we are also individuals. So just be you, otherwise, you’ll end up frustrated and unhappy if you continue pretending to be someone you’re not.

Say goodbye to being told who or how you should be. Say hello to being you and living life how you want to live it. It’s ok to ignore all these pressures and social expectations and you will find true happiness when you stop looking outside for the answer and start looking inside.

Our digital mentors are here to help you – whether you’re struggling with social expectations or got something else on your mind, we’re here for you! 😊

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