The Weirdest Social Norms We All Just Go Along With

We often look at traditions from other cultures, past and present, with a critical eye. We think, “That’s weird,” when watching National Geographic specials about remote tribes without ever stopping to examine our own weird societal norms. 

Here are the things we do that are really weird when you stop and think about it. 

Talking About Making Babies

man and woman sitting awkwardly together on a couch.
Photo Credit: Voyagerix via

In most cases, discussions about intimacy are taboo and with good reason. But as soon as a couple gets married, it seems like everyone wants to know about their sex life. But it’s okay because they’re asking about kids. 


Funeral casket outside at a cemetery ready to be buried with flowers on it.
Photo Credit: AlwaysMoreToExplore via

Our rituals surrounding loss would likely seem weird to folks looking in. We pay exorbitant prices to preserve and bury our dead, but why? Does this have a purpose outside of tradition?

Garter Toss

The groom bends down and holds the bride's ankle as he's about to reach for her garter.
Photo Credit: Tetiana Ch via

Many wedding traditions are weird, but the garter toss may take the cake. Why do we want hundreds of our closest friends and relatives watching our new husband lift our dress and remove our garter? And why do people want to catch it?

Massive Weddings

A ballroom and tables set up for a fancy wedding.
Photo Credit: Andrew Duany via

Everything about our obsession with weddings is weird. Why do we put so much stock into two people getting married, like it’s the ultimate achievement in life? And why do we go into debt paying for a giant party? 

Scandalous Body Parts

A woman making a shocked expression with her hands on her face.
Photo Credit: Cast Of Thousands via

We have a bizarre stigma against women’s upper bodies. Every other part of the breast is fine, and men can freely wander shirtless, but for some reason, we can’t bare the thought of seeing a bare-chested woman, even if it’s used for its intended purpose of feeding children. 

Inability to Be Alone

Happy woman at a restaurant holding a wine galss enjoying her solitude.
Photo Credit: Nejron Photo via

Society enjoys pointing fingers at folks who do things alone. There’s a stigma that if you do things alone, like dining alone or enjoying a movie alone, you’re a loser and have no friends. 

We should be allowed to enjoy our own company. 

“How are you?”

Man walking down the street waving to someone who appears to be on the other side.
Photo Credit: fast-stock via

It’s so weird that “How are you?” became a greeting. People will say, “How’s it going?” or “What’s up?” and keep walking right on by without thinking to stop and hear a response. 

Why do we ask how someone is if we don’t care?

Birthday Candles

birthday cake with the words happy birthday spelled out in candles
Photo Credit: Studio Romantic via

We hoped society would realize that having someone spit all over a cake in an attempt to blow candles out was gross after the pandemic, but we were wrong. The tradition has roots in Ancient Greek mythology, but we still do it today just for fun. 

Work Culture

man at work looks really bored and unhappy
Photo Credit: Minerva Studio via

Work culture has us spending the best years of our life toiling for the hope of a stable retirement. Most of us can’t afford to quit our jobs, and those lucky enough to retire are too frail to enjoy the last few years of our lives. 

There has to be a better system that allows folks to enjoy their lives while balancing the need to work. 

Violence vs. Nudity

Two women screaming at each other.
Photo Credit: Ollyy via

Our culture celebrates gore and violence while clutching its pearls at nudity. Why do we allow children to view gratuitous violence but cover their eyes when intimacy is on display?

Taking Kids’ Autonomy

Nervous child with a microphone in her face at a beauty pageant.
Photo Credit: Denise Andersen via

We force children to hug people they don’t like, then get surprised when they grow into adults who don’t understand consent. Parents treat their kids like little extensions of themselves rather than individual people with their own personalities, hopes, and dreams, and even work to prevent their kids from learning and growing. Society lets it happen under the guise of “parental rights,” but what about the kid’s human rights?

Expecting People To Want To Work

woman throwing papers behind her as she quits her job.
Photo Credit: Tero Vesalainen via

The common boomer refrain derides younger generations for refusing awful working conditions. Are they right?

Find out why no one wants to work anymore

Working a Job You Hate

A man making it rain with a pile of money in his hand.
Photo Credit: Dean Drobot via

Tired of working for someone else? Use Passion Fire to forge your own path

All the Weaponized Incompetence

Confused looking mad scratching his head.
Photo Credit: Cameron Whitman via

Not sure if your partner is truly dumb or just pretending to be dumb to escape work? Here are some warning signs that it’s weaponized incompetence

Our Weird Obsession with Gender Roles

A man faceplaming
Photo Credit: Cookie Studio via

Men share the weirdest things they’ve been called “girly” for enjoying

Freedom for the Rich, Not the Poor

Stylish wealthy man on a boat.
Photo Credit: Nejron Photo via

America has freedom, if you’re wealthy enough to enjoy it. Here are 14 ways only the very rich get to enjoy America’s freedoms

Source: Reddit