Why Do People Conform?

Why Do People Conform?

Last update: 09 October, 2017

Have you ever looked back and realized that there was a time when you didn’t conform? You dreamed of going far, you wanted your life to be memorable. But then something happened and suddenly you changed course.

People conform for various reasons: dependence on other people, low self-esteem, lack of motivation, fear… These factors can limit your personal growth and development and prevent you from going above and beyond what’s strictly necessary.

Anybody can live the life they want, and maybe that’s where the problem comes from. Some people will do very little, and others will do the bare minimum to live life under the radar, without getting too involved in any major issues.

“Case by case, we find that conformity is the easy way…”

-Noam Chomsky-

Doing more things that add value to life makes a huge difference. In addition to being a way to modify your environment and put your unique stamp on life, this added value is also what defines your destiny, your achievements, and your limitations.

People conform so they only have to do the bare minimum

Conformity is closely related to interest level and self-demand. Only those who set out to achieve the highest goals will construct a life for themselves that blooms with every step. On the flip side, doing strictly what’s necessary is basically renouncing the best parts of life.

Woman who conforms


We certainly don’t always give ourselves the chance, or the gift, to try new things and answer a simple yet puzzling question: how far do we want to go? Behind this attitude is a lack of confidence in ourselves and a fear of standing out. This results in laziness and apathy, thus setting the foundation for a flavorless life.

This doesn’t mean you should do more than you have to just because. Sometimes when you try to do more, you actually do less. As the popular saying goes, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” It’s more about putting a touch of excellence into everything you do each day, no matter how small it is. It’s important to add value to your actions, because in each one of them you leave behind a little trace of your journey through the world.

Letting other people take the lead

Some people resist growthThey know that continuing to act like children comes with huge limitations, but also many benefits. One of them is that they never have to confront the anxiety of making decisions, resolving problems, or taking responsibility for their mistakes.

Regardless of how old people are, sometimes they continue to act like children. One common behavior that best represents this attitude is letting other people do things. In every uncomfortable or compromising situation, they let others take the lead. They don’t want to be responsible for that burden; that’s what other people are for.

Clearly, living according to other people turns you into a conformist and destroys your abilities and potential, which can only grow when you have to face demanding situations.

It’s interesting that the more you delegate responsibilities and risks to others, the less you trust your abilities, leading to a vicious cycle. When you let everybody else do everything, you might also be saying goodbye to the most intense and constructive emotions and experiences in life.

Low self-esteem and lack of motivation

People who have a low self-esteem or lack of motivation tend to conform. For one thing, because they don’t think they’re capable of doing certain things, and for another, because they don’t have the energy or drive necessary to begin or continue a project.

sad person wanting to conform

Having children is a perfect example of how this can change. Becoming responsible for someone else’s life leads many people to develop the motivation that pushes them to create and construct. It’s precisely in that moment that they stop conforming, at least in this sense. Limiting situations can also become a source of motivation, because you know that if you don’t take action, you’ll drown. Therefore, big dilemmas don’t always bring negative consequences.

For this reason, self-esteem and motivation go hand in hand, and they can determine how much people conform. People who don’t believe in themselves or have the drive to do and create will certainly lack the motivation and the courage to achieve any goal beyond what’s strictly necessary.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.