Social norms – between tradition and change. Without deviation from the norm, progress is impossible? Nowadays, as society changes quickly, the rules we live by are being talked about more and more. These rules affect how we make decisions, act, and get along with others. But should we always follow these rules? Can breaking them help us improve and understand ourselves and the world better? Let’s look at different views on social, moral, professional, and religious rules to better understand their impact on us and others.
Social Norms – Personal Approaches
Recently, I heard several interesting statements in the context of the question: “What are your moral/social norms based on my experiences that I shared with you? etc.” In the Personal category, some of the more interesting ones were:
“Agata’s norm is that you fall in love first, and then everything turns into friendship” vs “True love starts with friendship”
“Don’t go back to your ex for the 4th time, because it’s the same river” vs “Try even 10 attempts, after all, so much connects you”
<Social norm? Or advising based on opinion?>
Professional Standards and Expectations
Professional: “It’s the norm here that we women wear suits” vs “A woman should choose the right outfit for the situation”
<Customary norm or internal regulation?>
Other: “You must care for your loved ones” vs “Treat your close ones with reciprocity”
<Moral norm or value?>
“If you are a Christian, then you decorate a Christmas tree” vs “I am a Christian, I buy a ready-made, ‘dressed’ Christmas tree in the supermarket”
<Religious norm or church fancy?>
The Meaning and Impact of Social Norms
Social norms aim to ensure a certain harmony and safety in the life of a group of people, but are they all correct and good? How many things we do out of habit, not wondering why and for what. It seems to us that it should just be that way. Society is constantly changing precisely because of the “breaking” of norms. Shouldn’t we remember that social norms are created for the general public, but still, everyone is different and has different needs? In my opinion, you cannot build your life based on the opinions of others. We should not feel guilty for wanting to follow our own, chosen path.
Social norms – between tradition and change. While social rules can guide us, we don’t always have to follow them exactly. It’s important to find a balance between sticking to these rules and being true to ourselves. Questioning and breaking rules can lead to better ways of living, personal growth, and a society that understands and accepts everyone. In the end, thinking about what really matters to us helps us make choices that not only fit the rules but are also right for us. What do you think about norms?
Agata Nowak is a distinguished figure in the world of business and lean management. As the founder of SoulCare and the CEO of Leanovo Academy, she has exemplified her commitment to excellence and innovative leadership. Her tenure as the Head of the Standardization Department at CCC Group showcases her prowess in leadership and her dedication to implementing lean strategy management.