Humans are social creatures. Anthropological evidence would have that as a species, homo sapiens thrived in ‘groups’. Cooperation over disunity helped early humans endure harsh pre-historical landscapes. We were able to develop and evolve based on our ability to be social. Safer in numbers, groups who pooled their resources together were better able to protect themselves against predators and adversaries in their environment.
We’re social because it’s a survival instinct. It is by no mistake that we take social cues from each other. Though this is not always a conscious effort, nor is it an explicit effort. As human beings, we’ve been taught to behave according to the prevailing cultural norms in our respective birthplaces – things deemed as ‘acceptable’ are usually a code of what’d helped the previous generations to thrive and propagate themselves.
Traditions are passed down and accepted because of the ‘norm’ practices and accepts it. We’re taught to behave in ways that maximizes our chances for survival in our immediate environment, though, the system is not perfect by any means.
Our environment, the world, is constantly changing and so are the customs.
Take this for example: women being able to vote did not always exist in history. In fact, the suffrage moment occurred in the early 1900’s and spread from there. Though, not every country in the world was so keen to embrace the policy. In Europe, with Finland being the first in 1906 and Liechtenstein being the last in 1984.
1984. That’s a mere 31 years.
And of course, to this day, as I sit here typing away on a MacAir wondering what type of haircut I should get, there are places out there where women are still not allowed to vote (and yes I’m aware some of those places, the gender inequalities run deeper than not being able to vote).
I don’t know about you, but this fact alone is sobering in the sense that:
How privileged I am to be alive in 2015.
How much of my time I’d wasted on petty insecurities.
Do you really need to excessively follow the herd and their ‘opinion’, ‘play by their rules’? Because, remember, ‘opinion’ are not ‘fact’.
‘Facts’ are objective, ‘opinions’ are subjective.
When you remember that, then everything becomes much clearer – even in asking for permission you are essentially asking ‘is it a good idea for me to _insert the action here_’ thereby transferring that decision making process and the checklist for approval to the other person, as if you really need a second opinion? Why don’t you take that power back and decide for yourself? Is it really facts (which are measurable, constant and universal) rather than opinions (which are immeasurable, changing and unique personal) that you’d be getting in the feedback.