We’ve spent our whole lives being told what to do and why to do it…
‘Keep your elbows off the table, it’s not polite’
‘Don’t stare, it’s rude’
‘Tuck your shirt in, look respectable’
‘Get married, think about your future’
‘Keep your head down, stay out of trouble’
We’ve been told to do the ‘right thing’ so often that we’ve more or less lost the ability to think for ourselves, and totally lost contact with our own unique desires and instincts.
I don’t know about you but I always thought having my elbows on the table was more comfortable, staring was entirely appropriate, tucking my shirt in was only necessary when cold, getting married was something that would come about naturally (or not), and most importantly, keeping my head down and shying away was never going to get me anywhere.
But of course, if you’re told to be a certain way by your family, friends, the media and society as a whole, then any deviation from this normality will seem pretty scary and even a little shameful. The shame of not living up to expectation lurks around the corner of every act of individuality.
And so it seems that in modern society a persons normality is revered and their individuality is squashed. To be different or unique, or take on an alternative life perspective is seen to be dangerous and stupid. Consequently, we have become a society of shame-filled ‘sheeple,’ incapable of critical thinking and totally detached from our individuality and natural inclinations.
This is one of the main reasons that men find it so difficult to walk up to a woman they’re attracted to and express an interest in her. No one else seems to be doing anything quite so bold so it is thought to be weird and dangerous. In reality, it is neither weird nor dangerous, but we live in a weird and dangerous society where natural action is condemned if it doesn’t conform to the collective norm.
The fact is that we are all totally unique. YOU are the only human being that is, or ever will be, exactly like you in all all your ways of thinking, beliefs, values, emotional impulses, insecurities and talents. So, why try to be like someone other than yourself!?
If you’ve ever found yourself acting in accordance with social norms in spite of your true innermost desires, you’re only serving to perpetuate your own unhappiness and freedom of expression as well as helping to maintain the status quo of a very dull society. The more that you embrace your individuality and act in accordance with your own desires, the happier you’ll feel.
Try this exercise, grab a notepad and a pen and spend fifteen minutes writing down two lists. The first one will be titled, ‘What is expected of me,’ and will detail what is expected of you by your family, friends and society as a whole.
Think about what is expected of you in terms of every area of your life, eg, how you should be around women, how you should dress, whether or not you should take risks, what kind of job/career you should have, how you should walk and talk, what kind of people you should hang around with, etc, etc. Try to be as detailed as possible.
Once finished write a second list, titled, ‘What I want,’ and make sure to write a counter point for every point you’ve made in the first list. Perhaps what is expected of you and what you want will occasionally be the same, but pay particular attention when this isn’t the case.
Upon completion of both lists spend five minutes meditating on how you would feel if you exclusively adhered to either one of those lists as a life plan.
Which one leaves you feeling happier within yourself?
I don’t know about you but for me the very act of denying my own wants and needs to appease others feels bleak and restrictive beyond belief. Conversely, the idea of living a life free of expectations leaves me feeling absolutely free and fulfilled.
“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” -Bruce Lee
Having compared and contrasted your two lists, consider carefully where in life you’re holding back from being the real you and be sure to make some positive changes to embrace your individuality.
Don’t be afraid to wear a pink t-shirt if the mood strikes you.
Have the courage to walk over and strike up a conversation with a cute girl at the bus stop if you feel compelled.
Don’t pay any attention to what anyone else might think if you want to get up and dance.
Choose a job that you’ll love rather than one that is considered ‘respectable’ or ‘safe.’
In taking the actions that you really want to take you’ll lead a vastly more fulfilling life. What’s more, your individuality and strength of character will shine forth and make you magnitudes more attractive than a man who succumbs to the wants and needs of the collective zeitgeist.
“You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled then something has been lost.” -Martha Graham
Want to get your dating life handled?Sebastian Callow is a personal dating coach for men in London. Unlike other dating services he provides a practical, real-life coaching experience that actually involves meeting and interacting with women in everyday situations. Sebastian helps men develop the comfort and ease to express themselves with raw honesty. If you're unhappy with your dating life and you're hungry for change, the Personal Coaching Course could be exactly what you need.