Social Question

nonexpert's avatar

How do you balance between what society, your family and you expect of yourself in life?

Asked by nonexpert (563points) September 10th, 2012

There are so many choices to make in life, so many potential pathways. How do you decide when society bombards you with so many messages about what you should or shouldn’t do? When you have responsibilities to your family. When you have high expectations of yourself. How do you cope when life is too much to handle?

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11 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

Why do you have to do what society tells you? My mother wants me to have a kid, so I should do that just to appease her?

wonderingwhy's avatar

Pick your target, don’t be afraid to lose sight of where you started or where your going, and just enjoy the journey. And, along the way, try to help others do the same.

Coloma's avatar

Don’t should on yourself! Wise words I once heard. lol
Society matters not, forget society, do what makes YOU happy. The same goes for friends & family.

If you feel life is too stressful time to re-evaluate on your own terms. Change jobs, downsize, stop doing so much for others, especially if you feel the balance is not there in return. If you are in an unhappy relationship get out of it! Same goes for work, community, etc.

Work on becoming more self aware. Where do these high expectations of yourself come from? Your family script, ” society”, Hollywood, Maxim? haha
Realize that EVERYTHING you believe, has, most likely, come from outside yourself and you are following, rote, a preprogrammed script that you did not audition for.
Time for a re-write maybe?

zenvelo's avatar

Society’s only appropriate expectation of me is that I be a good parent to my kids and pay my bills. I am and I do.

My families only expectation is that I do what’s appropriate so that I am happy and content without harming anyone; as long as i ma happy and content and not in jail, they are fine with me.

And it’s pretty easy to meet my own expectations. I learned a long time ago to not beat myself up over silly things.

marinelife's avatar

I only pay attention to what I want from my life. My family does not have to live my life and who cares what society thinks.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t find society and my parents in general to be in conflict with each other. I do have trouble sometimes listening to my own voice, listening to what I want, my gut intuition. But, I don’t think of it as listening to my parents and not society or vice a versa. Societial expectations and my parents desires are just one big mess of voices I need to sort through to figure out what I really want for me.

Society is so varied, I don’t see how it can be thought of as one singular opinion really.

KNOWITALL's avatar

You have to determine your own fate without fear -of the unknown, of the repercussions, of expectations of others or anything else.

YARNLADY's avatar

I mostly to through life just experiencing each day as it comes. I have built up a set of expectations for myself based on what works for me and what doesn’t. It is based on the values I was taught as a child, along with some modifications I learned on my own.

deni's avatar

I don’t give a shit what society expects, and my family doesn’t expect anything other than I can pay my rent and exist on my own as a human being, and more important that I’m happy, which is all that should matter. Society can go fuck itself: Hey, kids! Decide what you want to do before you’ve ever done anything with your life or even left your home state, get $100,000 in debt, and by that point you’ll know that what you thought you wanted to do barely even applies to interests by this point. And so uh, just deal with it and live miserably til you retire in 40 years. Sounds good.

bookish1's avatar

I was done paying attention to societal expectations when I was about 15. Hence the decision to live authentically as gay and then trans was no problem, even in a world that largely wants trans people to disappear so as not to trouble anyone’s precious schemas.

With my family, it was much more difficult. They would rather see me be miserable the rest of my life (which I used to contemplate ending just about every day) than be the person I know myself to be, and you know, embarrass them or something. So I made a decision which was very good for my mental and emotional health.

I was raised to be selfless and full of guilt, and it took a lot of energy and determination to break through that programming.

nebule's avatar

I wish I could be as pro-self as many of these posts but I am still trying to figure out how to shut all the opinions of the social world and family/ friends out. Really struggling with this at the moment so I have no idea how to balance it… I am constantly worried about what I should do and what people will think of my actions :-(

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