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Social norms and expectations guide our daily interactions with others, but some of these norms may not always align with our personal values. In fact, there are many things that are socially acceptable but probably shouldn’t be. Here are some of the top responses from an online thread that shed light on some of these questionable societal norms.
1. Going to Work Sick (Particularly in Food Service)
Many people feel pressure to come to work when they’re sick, either because they don’t want to fall behind on their work or because they can’t afford to miss a day’s pay. However, this behavior can be incredibly harmful, both to the individual and to the people around them.
In the food service industry, working while sick can have serious consequences. Illness can be easily spread through food and can cause harm to customers, leading to negative reviews and even legal action. It’s crucial for food service workers to prioritize their health and the health of their customers by staying home when they’re sick. Employers should also create a work culture that supports sick leave and encourages workers to take the time off that they need in order to recover.
Beyond the food service industry, showing up to work sick can have serious consequences for individuals as well. It can lead to burnout, worsen symptoms of illness, and harm mental health. It’s important for workers to prioritize their own health and well-being and for employers to create a work culture that supports this.
2. Spreading Rumors Amongst Friends
Spreading rumors, especially among friends, can have harmful effects on individuals and relationships. Rumors are often based on incomplete or inaccurate information and can lead to false conclusions about someone’s character or behavior. This can damage the reputation of the person being talked about, cause them emotional distress and even harm their relationships with others.
Rumors can also spread quickly and become uncontrollable, leading to widespread misunderstandings and even conflict. This can create an unpleasant and stressful environment for everyone involved, including the spreader of the rumors.
Paparazzi can cause significant distress and harm to the privacy, dignity, and well-being of the individuals being photographed. Celebrities have the right to privacy and should be able to go about their daily lives without being harassed or followed by photographers. The constant intrusion of the paparazzi into their personal lives can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
Paparazzi can also create a culture of obsession with celebrities and their private lives, promoting unrealistic expectations of fame and fortune and distracting society from more important issues. This can lead to a distortion of values and priorities and contribute to a harmful celebrity culture that often objectifies and commodifies individuals.
4. Getting Less Sleep
Getting less sleep has become a socially acceptable norm in our cultures, but it is not a healthy habit. Many people believe that sleeping less allows them to be more productive, but this is not always the case. In fact, sleep deprivation can have many negative effects on our health, both physical and mental.
Sleep deprivation can impair our cognitive function, making it harder to concentrate and remember things. This can have serious consequences, especially for those who work in professions that require a high level of concentration, such as doctors or pilots. It can also weaken our immune system, making us more susceptible to illnesses such as the flu and colds. Chronic sleep deprivation has also been linked to a higher risk of developing chronic health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Moreover, sleep deprivation can also affect our mood and emotional well-being. Lack of sleep can lead to irritability, anxiety, and depression, which can affect our relationships with others.
5. Being Late to a Gathering With Friends
Showing up late to a friend’s gathering is often considered a socially acceptable norm, but it can be disrespectful and hurtful to the host and other guests. Arriving late can disrupt the flow of the event, causing unnecessary stress and inconvenience for everyone involved.
When someone hosts a gathering, they put in a lot of effort to prepare for it, including purchasing food, beverages, and other supplies, cleaning the house, and arranging decorations. When guests arrive late, they may miss out on important parts of the event, such as shared meals or planned activities. Moreover, the host may have to reorganize the schedule to accommodate the late guests, which can be stressful and frustrating.
Showing up late can also send a message that the person doesn’t value the time or effort of the host or other guests. It can be disrespectful to keep others waiting and may imply that the late person thinks their time is more important than everyone else’s.
Furthermore, arriving late can be especially problematic for events with limited seating or capacity, such as concerts or theater performances. In these situations, the late arrival may not be able to get a good seat or may cause disruptions for others as they try to find their way to their seat.
6. Mistreating Service Workers
Mistreating service workers, such as waiters, retail associates, and customer service representatives, is, unfortunately, a socially acceptable norm in this culture, but it should not be. Service workers are often the face of a business, and they work hard to provide a positive experience for customers. Mistreating them can have serious consequences, both for the individual worker and for society as a whole.
Service workers are human beings, and they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. They are often working in challenging and stressful environments, dealing with difficult customers and long hours on their feet. Mistreating them can cause emotional distress and may even lead to physical harm in extreme cases.
Mistreating service workers can have a ripple effect on society. Service workers are often paid low wages and do not receive benefits, making them vulnerable to financial instability and poverty. Mistreatment can further exacerbate their difficulties and contribute to a culture of disrespect for service workers.
Additionally, mistreating service workers can have negative consequences for the business itself. Happy and satisfied workers are more likely to provide good service and create a positive experience for customers. Conversely, mistreated workers may become resentful and provide poor service, leading to a decline in business and reputation.
7. Watching Videos or Listening to Music Without Headphones
Watching videos or listening to music without headphones is a socially acceptable norm, but it can be a source of annoyance and discomfort for others. It is not respectful to others and can also be a distraction in public places.
Not using headphones in public can disturb the peace and tranquility of others who are trying to focus or relax. People may be studying, working, or simply enjoying a quiet moment, and loud sounds from someone’s video or music can disrupt their concentration and peace of mind. This is especially true in places like libraries, public transportation, or coffee shops, where people go specifically to work or relax.
Playing videos or music without headphones can also be a safety hazard, especially in busy areas with heavy foot or vehicular traffic. It can make it difficult to hear important announcements or warnings, putting both the individual and others at risk. Moreover, not using headphones in public can also be a matter of privacy. People may not want others to overhear their personal conversations or details of their life that they are discussing on their phones or devices.
8. Taking Your Dog Everywhere
Not all public spaces are appropriate for dogs. For example, bringing your dog into a restaurant or grocery store can be unsanitary and pose a health risk to others. Moreover, some people have allergies or phobias related to dogs, and their presence can cause discomfort or even fear.
Bringing your dog into crowded or stressful environments can also be stressful and overwhelming for your dog. Dogs have sensitive hearing and can be easily frightened by loud noises or unfamiliar surroundings. Furthermore, not all dogs are trained to handle social situations and may become aggressive or uncontrollable in public spaces.
Taking your dog everywhere can also be a burden on others. For example, bringing your dog to a friend’s house without prior permission can be an imposition on the friend, especially if they have allergies or pets of their own.
9. Clothing For Toddlers With Inappropriate Phrases On It
Clothing with inappropriate phrases on it can be harmful to children’s development. Toddlers are at an age where they are learning language and appropriate behavior, and wearing clothing with inappropriate phrases can send confusing or harmful messages about what is appropriate or acceptable. It can also expose them to language or concepts that they may not understand or be ready for.
Clothing with inappropriate phrases can also be offensive or disrespectful to others. It can be uncomfortable or inappropriate to expose others to offensive or crude language, especially in public spaces. This type of clothing can also be a reflection of a larger culture of disrespect or lack of accountability. It can send a message that inappropriate language and behavior are acceptable, even for young children.
10. Feeling Entitled to Attention
Feeling entitled to attention can be harmful to others’ emotional well-being. It can create an environment where others feel pressured to constantly provide attention and validation to individuals who feel entitled to it, even if they may not want to or have the capacity to do so. This can lead to emotional exhaustion and resentment for those providing the attention.
Feeling entitled to attention can also be disrespectful to others’ boundaries and preferences. Everyone has their own needs and desires for personal space and attention, and feeling entitled to attention can ignore these needs and preferences. It can also be a form of emotional manipulation, where individuals use their entitlement to attention to coerce others into providing it.
Moreover, it can also contribute to a culture of narcissism and self-centeredness. It can create a belief that one’s own needs and desires are more important than others, leading to a lack of empathy and disregard for others’ perspectives.
This article was produced and syndicated by Femme on Fire.
Claire is a student turned financial enthusiast who has a passion for helping others. Her goal is to help as many people reach financial independence and early retirement as possible. When Claire isn't working on her blog, you can find her buried in a good book, testing recipes in the kitchen, or outside playing with her ducks.