The Five Dangers of Emotional Conformity
Conformity can be dangerous because it doesn’t let you see past the simplicity, how comfortable you feel and what you know. Therefore you fall into the traps prepared for you by the illusion of well-being in which you choose to live. Below are five ways we trap and stifle ourselves when we fall into emotional conformity…
1. The couch couple
Comfort and emotional conformity in love are both major enemies to a couple. Often while in a relationship, you strive to create a bubble of emotional stability that allows you to settle in and look at life as if you had already walked half the journey.
You have someone you love and who loves you back, by your side; at the end of the day, even if everything else goes south, you’ll always have a place to take shelter. However, people tend to get a bit confused. That bubble isn’t a couch you can pass out on because anything goes; it’s a breath of fresh air. When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, and not even necessarily that long, you tend to relegate your goals and aspirations.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
You stop being the person you were and you change, and that plus your relationship makes you deteriorate. You abandon yourself physically and emotionally in an emotional frenzy that makes you, unconsciously, think something like “Well, I’ll take care of myself later.”
And you think “It’s all the same,” but what about you? If in this exact moment, your partner were to disappear from your life, would you feel good about yourself? Will you continue to love yourself in the same way or have you neglected yourself too much?
2. Avoiding negative emotions
Let’s not kid ourselves: uncomfortable emotions have a reason why they rear their ugly head. Sadness, anger, uncertainty, concern, pain, disappointment, regret, etc. Each and every one have something to teach us.
But what we do is run away from them, we run in the opposite direction and don’t let them explain themselves. As a consequence, they can turn into horrible monsters like depression, rage, guilt and anxiety.
Fleeing is a cowardly thing to do but listening to what people have to say can be uncomfortable, and we don’t want to listen. We need to let the adequate emotions through; the ones that don’t interfere with the completion of our goals, but push them further.
3. Lack of critical thinking
Our thoughts can be parcial, distorted, biased, etc. We tend to choose the things we’re drawn to so as to not become uncomfortable, and not surpass limits that have such gratifying results. And so there’s a point in everyone’s life where we succumb, one way or another, to comfort.
In a similar way, we “swallow” everything that social media, friends, family or acquaintances tell us. We adjust to the social norm of “not putting our feet in the water” and stop thinking for ourselves.
We start to get mentally slow and lazy; hindering reason, honesty and the open mindedness we could be enjoying if we forced ourselves to question ourselves and what others tell us.
4. Relinquishing our autonomy
Letting other people decide for us is one of the biggest dangers of emotional conformity. As we mentioned earlier, letting other people make their own decisions is totally normal, and expected.
Since we don’t want to have to face the discomfort of our interests and beliefs, we end up letting other people adjust us to the norm. This wears out our present and future capacity to make decisions, as well as our physical and emotional freedom.
5. Emotional neglect
Letting emotional wounds fester is another danger of emotional comfort. It’s quite common to believe that we should leave the past in the past when it still hurts, but in doing so we never overcome what weighs us down and hurts us.
In doing so, we allow the past to condition our present and future, because we let that grime build up and fog our day to day lives. We stop meeting our emotional needs, and we allow the problem to explode and drown us. This feeling is, as much for our souls as for feet, like wearing a smaller shoe size.