Read a really good post on Google+ by Michelle Marie regarding her take on how others (society in general) try to push what they think is the “norm” on to others, particularly in regards to labeling many of us “antisocial”.
It’s a battle if you will that I’ve been fighting a lot lately. Others claiming I’m unhappy or couldn’t possibly be happy because I prefer what they view as being “antisocial”. It’s my opinion that when you say or call someone “antisocial” what your saying is they simply don’t conform to your ideals or idea of fun or social. So then your view must be right and their feelings don’t matter or are wrong?
Anyway… I’m reposting her take on things here and I hope others read it and consider her perspective on things.
Original Link: https://plus.google.com/114618043230336563405/posts/VazNeT7o9gk
A rant to those who think they’re social experts – by Michelle Marie
“Public schools create artificial societies and these societies are not true to real life. Besides public education, there isn’t a time at any other point in your life that you’ll be living around people who are all the same age as you.
Kids don’t just learn from teachers in public education/private education they also learn from their peers. Some of the lessons I learned in school (even though I had parents who taught me otherwise) were downright bad for me. I did a lot of really stupid things when I was younger, not because of public education but from the insecurities that grew from learning in an unnatural social setting. It wasn’t social skills I learned in school, what I learned is that life is a big popularity contest. Those who were thin, athletic, good looking, and wore name brand clothes were accepted in popular social cliques. Those who weren’t (that’s me!) were made to feel like a social outcast and unworthy of being part of those “special clubs”. Popularity contests are so prevalent in many areas of our adult life. Such popularity contests are rare in societies where social skills are learned in a more natural setting in which socializing occurs amongst a diverse group of people. It’s becoming more and more apparent to me that public and private schooled children are molding and prescribing a decent part of destructive social norms which carry over into adulthood. One that stands out the most – the accumulation of nice things makes you better than those who can’t afford to accumulate nice things. Power and greed is learned at a very early age and it’s learned through the constant surroundings of immature people who have yet to form decent solid values unassociated with selfishness.
Public/private schooling has its disadvantages but I would not pull my son out of school due to the negative influences that surround him, he’ll have to face temptation and pressure outside of a school setting as well. I don’t believe in sheltering but I would never condemn another parent if sheltering is part of their parenting style. I’m in no position to tell someone else how to parent their kids and enforce what’s best for them (unless there is abuse). We all have different beliefs and different styles of living. Individual choices produce diversity and free thinking. What’s good for the goose is not always what’s good for the gander.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with someone who is socially awkward or antisocial. Most people don’t know this about me but I’m probably one of the most antisocial people (outside of socializing online) you’ll ever get to know, or hardly know I should say. I very rarely go out, I don’t converse with people at work unless it’s work related, I hate small talk and avoid it at all costs, and I don’t talk on the phone with friends except for one person (+David Bowden). Why? Because I really enjoy my solitude and freedom to be me without ridicule or pressure to conform.
I laugh at the claims of others who often tell me my antisocial behavior is unhealthy. Not all antisocial people are callous, aggressive, irrational, and criminally minded people who are prone to depression! Just because people don’t fit in with social norms does not mean they are leading an unhealthy and destructive lifestyle. In fact, I think quite the opposite. I live my life to be free, happy, and comfortable by being a good person and doing what I feel is naturally right, not right because it’s expected by a society. When people live their lives in a way that society expects them to live often times they fail. If someone follows legalities, ethics, and morals then it shouldn’t matter how they socialize or even if they socialize as long as they are happy and not hurting others. People could never understand that I’m happy being free from conforming to social standards. I have never suffered from depression, which from an outside perspective is found to be rather odd considering some very terrible life experiences I’ve gone through. I’m highly resilient and wonder why it is that people are always expecting me to go postal assuming I’m burying emotions that need to be dealt with which will eventually surface dangerously. I don’t have post-traumatic stress disorder and I’m not going to explode and lash out at the world. Not because I’m lacking empathy or emotion but because I don’t feel emotions from negative past experiences should determine my current state of mood or level of happiness. Where others define success by the accumulation of goods I define success by emotional balance and control. I have emotional control and balance therefore I’m successful. Since I’m successful I’m emotionally controlled and balanced.
Am I socially awkward? Very much so. And had I been homeschooled my awkwardness would have surely been blamed on not going to public school where I would have learned good social skills! I’m not antisocial due to the lack of socialization in school, I’m unsocial because I don’t see eye to eye with most of societies thinking and their “standards” of living. Excuse me for not conforming! People can be antisocial without having antisocial personality disorder. Not all of us antisocial people are sociopaths who violate the rights of others. Some of us find it more entertaining and moral to live in our own heads. Social norms bore me because norms lack creativity.
I teach my son to be a free thinker, to never let anyone tell him he’s doing something wrong because it’s not the “norm”. As long as he is happy, comfortable, and free to have his own mind away from societies mind then he will live a fulfilling life. Society should not determine what “fulfilling” means, society should not determine what someone needs in order to be happy, it’s something individuals should determine on their own without social influence. I only see one rule that everyone should follow – be good to each other. Like Dr. Amit Goswami, Ph.D (The Quantum Activist) said “do good, be good. Do, be, do, be, do!”
Some of the most intelligent people in the world are the most socially awkward or antisocial people. Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison just to name two. Had Edison spent more time socializing with the outside world than he did obsessing in his lab life would have been much more different but not better. The same goes for Einstein.
We need diversity. We need antisocial people who live in their heads and obsess over science. We need people who are happy flipping burgers, working at a convent store, washing cars, and driving garbage trucks. Not all of us need or should be successful entrepreneurs and business people. Society needs balance not universal conformity. Lets stop focusing on money and power and start focusing on love and acceptance. And lets stop chastising antisocial behavior, it dilutes creativity necessary for innovation. Thank you.”