15 Societal Expectations that Just Don’t Work for Everyone

Society expects everyone to fit in perfect little boxes, but we don’t. Here are 12 things society expects of us that don’t work for everyone. 

Constant Hustling

Frustrated woman sitting behind a desk rubbing her temples.
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The new idea that you must constantly work to survive highlights the disconnect between societal expectations and real life. Not everyone can work 24/7, and it’s perfectly okay to enjoy your free time relaxing. 

Be Your Own Boss

A worker wearing a headset is talking to someone on the phone while sitting at a computer.
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Entrepreneurship stands firm as the American Ideal, but not everyone is cut out for it. Some folks just want to work their forty hours and not worry about work after hours. 


A smiling business man stands in front of his team.
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The push for everyone to be a leader hurts those not cut out for leadership (and the people forced under them). Everyone has different strengths, and we should celebrate those rather than pigeonhole everyone into roles that don’t suit them. 


A poor man holds out his empty pockets to show he has no money.
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America has a weird relationship with poverty. Rather than place the blame where it belongs, at the system, we blame individuals and say they wouldn’t be poor if they just tried harder. 


A bride looks shocked and unsure. She's still holding the boquet as she lifts her hands to her head.
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Society slams everyone with the idea that marriage is the gateway to adulthood and the key to a happy life. Lots of people are better off staying single. 


A tired mom holds an infant with a string of baby clothes tied up on a line behind her.
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The insistence that everyone has kids leads to horrible outcomes for both the people who weren’t ready to be parents and the kids who suffer from their neglect. 

Having it All

Mom at a computer with two kids trying to work. She looks stressed
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We love pretending people can have everything they want. The dream house, blissful marriage, 2.5 kids, and dream career are all in reach, but you probably can’t have them all at the same time. 

Social Media

Female social media influencer holding a "follow" sign in one hand and a "like & subscribe" sign in the other.
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Social media is a pit of despair, but people act like you’re the weird one if you opt-out. 

Drinking Culture

group of friends clicking their beers together in the "cheers" gesture
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Americans rely on booze for a good time and sometimes look down on those who choose not to imbibe. 


smiling man wearing college graduation robes and holding a diploma
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When Millennials were in high school, our parents told us we must go to college for a successful life. The idea that college is the only path to success lives on despite the outrageous cost of education. 

A Forty-Year Career

A stressed out worker stares at his laptop screen while hands shove papers and tasks in his face.
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Society expects us to spend our best years working for someone else. We typically have no choice because we need to work to survive. With all the advances in society, we shouldn’t have to give our best years for basic survival. 

At Forty Hours Per Week

A boss with a stupid look on his face dramatically points at his watch.
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The forty-hour work week leaves little time for leisure after we factor in sleep, commutes, and other obligations. It may have worked during the Industrial Revolution, but it’s time to find a better system. 

Early Birds

A woman sits in bed in the morning hugging her pillow. She's wearing white and her entire room is white.
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Why does everything have to start early? Some folks are early birds; others are late risers. Why does society push us all onto the same schedule?

Hook Up Culture

man and woman sitting awkwardly together on a couch.
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Society puts outrageous pressure on young folks to hook up. Men face the worst of it, with people calling their masculinity and personhood into question if they refuse to participate. 


figure of a man carrying bag of debt on his bag in the center of a maze
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Debt is a giant ball and chain holding everyone back, yet the constant barrage of credit ads and the outrageous cost of pretty much everything makes it challenging to avoid. 

Ditch the Life Script

happy carefree woman in a field
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You don’t have to get married and have kids to be happy. The life script isn’t for everyone. Here’s why you should ditch it and do your own thing

Valid Reasons Not To Have Kids

Woman crossing her arms in a refusal gesture.
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Despite all the pressure to procreate, it’s perfectly valid not to want kids. Millennials and younger generations are opting out of parenthood at record rates. 

Here are their top reasons for not wanting kids

Your Ultimate Guide To Financial Freedom

man working on a laptop while laying on the beach
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Financial Freedom is more than just a buzz word. It’s achievable for a lot of people. 

Here’s your ultimate guide to achieving financial independence

Morning Routine Ideas for Everyone – Even Night People

happy woman after a shower holding a cup to represent morning routine activities
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Start your day off right! Here are 23 Morning Routine Ideas to Implement for a Great Start To Your Day

Let Your Free Spirit Soar

Woman smiling in the passenger seat of a car to represent road trip games
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Are you a free spirit, forced to live in a little box by society’s constraints? Here are some tips for letting your spirit soar

Source: Reddit