Societal Pressures: Friendships and Relationship

Society is the building block from which many of our opinions come from. It’s what we’ve been raised from, and there’s nothing wrong with basing your opinions on the environment you’ve been raised in or from the social norms you’ve been told to follow. However, I think, now more than ever, the society we’ve built many of our opinions on is becoming archaic, and our points of view are becoming outdated. And with that said, let’s talk about friendships and relationships.

I see this in the baby boomer generation a lot. A consistent loyalty to people who do nothing good for you. They are not even convenient to keep around, but simply the length of time they have been a “friend” (at a stretch) means that they are still firmly in the picture. I think society pushes us into this level of loyalty from an early age. We were all presumably taught to stick by our friends and look out for them. The problem with this unerring loyalty is that it maintains when those friends give up on us. It is of course difficult to simply get rid of a friend you have known for years, but many times it is the right thing to do.

Unfortunately, society shapes our human nature massively. This is why, often, even when our friends are not treating us as such, we continue to stick by them. Many people could be treated like dirt and still keep the person doing so around for “convenience”. What I struggle to perceive is why we as humans are so opposed to change. Surely, if we think logically and take emotion out of the equation for 3 seconds, we will realise that we need to make a change of personnel for the betterment of our own lives.

We are very emotional. That’s why we are unable to do this, however beneficial it would be. Sometimes it is simply impossible to shut your emotions off for 3 seconds just to think logically. This is why toxic friendships exist, and our society continues to promote them. With social media thrown into the mix, we have the perfect recipe for the creation of toxic friendships. Well done, society.

Relationships often go a similar way. There are many toxic relationships that people fail to end due to the fact they are “not toxic enough”. By that, I mean 90% of the negative aspects are completely put by the wayside for the 10% of positive aspects. It’s not healthy, but it continues. You wonder why (according to the ONS) 42% of marriages end up in divorce. Society tells us that finding “the one” is the way forward, and that any sort of other way forward is wrong. In reality, it’s almost seen as more commendable to get married and then divorced than never getting married in the first place.

It is still somewhat frowned upon to not want to get married. Less so than in the past, but the condescension still exists. This shows how much of our opinions are based on other people in society. On top of this, we are basically taught daily that everything that anyone else does is going to affect us. This means that we get upset with people who don’t agree with us or do the things we want them to do.

There’s no doubt society gives us outdated expectations and opinions. Maybe if we made our own minds up instead of letting every other aspect of life make our decisions, life might all be that bit easier.

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