Cultures can be weird. Sometimes we celebrate toxicity while scorning things that would be beneficial.
While scrolling through my favorite Reddit community, R/AskReddit, I came across a fascinating question. What does society consider bad but really isn’t?
The answers were enlightening. Sometimes we need to take a step back and wonder why we group-think some actions and ideas into the “wrong” column when they don’t belong there!
For some reason, we tremble at the idea of not knowing something. Why does our culture make it seem like we need to know everything about everything?
“As a former retail manager, this is huge,” replied one user. “We always trained our staff to say they don’t know something but say let’s find out by asking the senior staff or Google it to find the answer.”
Many users respond that shifting to the “I’ll find out” mindset rather than blurting out an answer that may be wrong is a vast improvement.
Society berates those who make mistakes. One wrong tweet can derail a career, while a small mistake at work can cost your job.
One user admitted to messing up a lot but also realized those mistakes made them who they are today. “I’ve learned from it, grown, and become a better person than I would have been if I’d never made those poor choices,” they said, adding that “making mistakes isn’t bad. Choosing to not learn from them is.”
As a society, we should be more empathetic when folks make mistakes, helping them learn from them rather than chastising them for it.
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Our society celebrates wins and mocks failure, but that’s such a backward attitude.
“Failing does not mean you are a failure, began one Redditor. It “means you tried something, and it didn’t work out right. It is very possible that “Those who never failed also never tried.” is true.”
Failing is the key to growing. You can’t expect to be great at everything the first time. Sometimes you must put yourself out there, mess up, and keep going. It’s okay not to get it right the first time. As they say, anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.
No two people are the same. Everyone comes at problems with different perspectives, and that’s okay.
One Redditor said society has a weird way of thinking simple disagreements are the end of the world. It’s “totally normal to disagree with people,” they said. “It’s even more normal to disagree with your friends and still remain friends,” they added.
Another user mentioned that society’s perception of disagreements as ‘relationship ending” is a matter of social skills. “I think many people lack the skills necessary to disagree without torching their relationships,” they said, explaining that people often struggle to remain kind and respectful toward each other during arguments.
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Society scoffs at those who do things on their own. One Redditor received over 5000 upvotes and the heartwarming award by responding, “Doing things (like going to a restaurant) alone.”
Why do people care whether you want to enjoy a movie, dinner, or drink on your own? Learning to enjoy your own company is a valuable skill everyone should develop.
To get really comfortable with yourself, try a solo travel adventure.
Hustle culture deems anything that doesn’t make money useless. You’re wrong if you aren’t constantly working, moving, or improving.
One Redditor admitted wanting nothing to do with it. “I work and have chores. When I don’t have those things, I don’t feel like hiking or scuba diving or anything. I want to do nothing. Leave me alone,” they said.
Everyone needs a break. We don’t need to be constantly doing something all the time.
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Changing Your Mind
People SHOULD change their minds when presented with new information. So why do people dig into their obviously wrong beliefs when shown studies and research proving them wrong?
Redditors pointed out that society struggles with this when it comes to politics. Politicians who change their minds when presented with new information get destroyed by the media, called “flip-floppers” and worse.
“Honestly, when you think about it, it’s really crazy,” stated one Redditor. “The majority of people accept that we live in a quickly changing world where new information becomes available all the time, and yet we hold people to the same opinions that they had maybe 5, 10, 20 years ago without accepting that they might have changed their mind or recognized a better approach.”
Admitting You Were Wrong
Perhaps our refusal to allow folks to change their minds comes from our cultural attitudes about admitting you were wrong.
“This one really gets me,” admitted one user. “I am just tired, so tired of people who will not admit they are wrong because they see it as a sign of weakness or a fault. The worst part is it works for a lot of these people. Some of them even become leaders of the free world.”
Another agreed, saying, “We’re all often wrong, and having the ability to change your mind in response to new information or perspective is not the same as indecision or hypocrisy.”
When did we decide it’s terrible to be civil to those we disagree with? “A lot of people are quick to call you “fake” if you’re polite to those you dislike,” said one user, lamenting the rise in disrespectful behavior.
“You’re supposed to treat everyone like a person even if you dislike them!” exclaimed another, asking, “How is that news to people??”
Not Working 24/7
America’s work culture is toxic. It has people convinced that if they aren’t constantly working, their wrong.
“This is probably the biggest scam ever,” said one user. “I work 6 hours a day and I’m successful. I work for myself too.”
“What’s worse is how unnatural all this is for human beings,” responded another. “Watching how apes behave all day or reading about hunter-gatherers should give a clue how much we have enslaved ourselves to the culture of work and production.”
We need a cultural shift to move away from the profits above all else mentality.
Cultural Constantly Shifts
Society doesn’t always get things right. Cultures change as attitudes adjust, and we grow as a society. It often takes time and growing pains, but as a whole, we generally pull through.
Do you agree with Reddit users on things that society needs to normalize? What else might you add?
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.