What are social norms and why do we follow them?
Technically speaking social norms are unstated rules of the society that we all follow. Someone who doesn’t follow these societal norms is referred as ‘abnormal’. These social norms provide us an idea how to behave in a society. Norms change with the passage of time. No society is complete without norms.
These norms are informal understanding that governs the behavior of a society. Norms can be cultural products that include values, customs and traditions. It is very difficult to see how society operates without these social norms. We human beings need norm to guide and direct their behavior.
Effects of breaking social norms:
If you want to get noticed, then the best way is to break a social norm. Breaking social norms has no legal recourse and social norms change with the time. But remember there is always a consequence of breaking a norm. A person may get neglected from the society. If you break a norm people stop associating with you. You may even lose your job. You just end up alone.
Here, are following social norms that we follow in our everyday life even without noticing it:
- Chewing with closed mouth: Well, this is a basic etiquette as well but it is considered as one of the important social norms. A lot of people consider it as a bad manner if you chew with an open mouth. Many of you are surely not aware of this norm but still you chew with closed mouth.
- Unpleasant odors: It is another important social norm that you should smell good, when you are in public in order to avoid embracement. When you are out in public always wear fresh and clean clothes. Wear deodorants. If you wear perfume wear it little otherwise its strong smell can cause problem for others. Do not expel gas in public.
It is important to dress well according to the place where you are going. If you are going to office wear something formal. Avoid wearing jumpsuits or jeans and t shirt. Do not dress in a vulgar manner. If you are going to hang out with your friends, then you can definitely wear something casual. These are once again unstated rules. We follow them just blindly.
- Be careful what you say in public: When you are in public place, mind your verbal and non verbal communication. Avoid using inappropriate words when you are at a public place. Do not use words that might offend other people. Do not argue in public. Refrain from doing these things like pointing on someone.
- Phone etiquette
There are some acceptable norms for mobile phone usage. This is a basic social norm of saying hello when you initiate the conversation and goodbye when you end up it. Reply to all texts and mails. Do not refuse to take a message. Do not tell telemarketers you will call them back.
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