People have an innate desire to be liked and accepted. This is normal. However, in this society, there is a major disconnect between how much value you may place in public opinion instead of your own. It is for this reason that we see people consuming trendy diet pills loaded with hefty side effects and hopping onto the latest celebrity diets. What’s more is that public opinion also serves to silence opposition, causing you to be afraid of spreading the truth due to potential public disapproval.
Of course this hierarchy of opinion goes much farther than just the latest pharmaceutical trends. In fact, it touches on basic human psychology. Nobody wants to be rejected. This desire to avoid rejection, whether it be in a direct social circle or in the eyes of public perception, is a hard driving factor. For some individuals, it is an overriding factor in life. As a result, these people often will conform to what is deemed a societal standard of excellence, in order to avoid being ridiculed.
Unhealthy & Unethical Practices Become ‘Norm’
This process is highly compounded by today’s media. Unhealthy and unethical actions are glorified in movies, music and television. Oftentimes, people can innately tell when something they decide to do is wrong, but are partially blinded by these mediums. And when the mass majority is taking part, it makes it an extreme challenge to deviate from these newly defined ‘norms’. In fact, some social circles may alienate you if you attempt to break away from the norm.
Is it really normal to take health-wrecking antidepressants that cause your arteries to thicken 400% more than aging? Is it really normal to have clinical depression in the first place? The answer is no, but the motif of depression and the subsequent pharmaceutical ‘treatment’ is so deeply embedded into society that it is now considered normal by most individuals!
Take it a step further by acknowledging that high level media personalities and stars often are the ones promoting these things. Whether they purposefully do it or not, the image projected is that since these ‘successful’ people are accepting or indulging in a particular form of ideology, product or behavior, that it must be popular to others.
As a result, many people will strive to be just like their celebrity idols, twisting themselves into something that they are really not. This is the case with consumers taking damaging diet drugs to look like their own celebrity hero. Often, people are also placed in certain social situations where similar forms of pressure will compel them to forego their normal values or philosophies, all in order to avoid conflict or rejection. Though this is more the case in younger circles with hard drugs and alcohol, the same scenario also applies in many life situations and similar environments far beyond youth.
This is dangerous, however. Your mental state plays a vital role in your health, especially when you are stressed. Being psychologically stressed by feeling social pressures can often lead to many forms of illness as a result. In fact, stress can increase your risk of overall death by a shocking 50%! Prolonged repression of these feelings by continuing stress-inducing activities makes it even worse. Rather than taking pride in a manufactured and false personality (the kind that you might think people want to see), you should not be afraid to be a unique individual. When you actively try to impress or gain favor of others, you often suppress your true feelings and intentions. You have to learn to be yourself, work towards your own cause, and love yourself.
Don’t be afraid to speak out on key issues due to fear of what others may think.
Some people go for days, months, or even years suppressing their true feelings on controversial issues because of how much they value somebody else’s view of them. Twisting yourself into a knot will make all other aspects of life, including achieving optimal health and wellness nearly impossible. Your value is not determined by somebody else. Things in your life have as much meaning as you decide to place into them. In fact, the popular opinion is usually wrong based on historical fact. People respect individualism, and if you are self confident enough to reject a purposefully manufactured influence, then you will be able to accept yourself.