We wear the same clothes, because we feel the same

Recently I wrote a slightly tongue-in-cheek post called Peer pressure when you are 30++ and this post received a huge number of comments and pings and one particularly caught my attention and has prompted me to think more about the shoulds in my life and the lives of my peers. Thank you sylvietoldyouso for your post about ‘seeking approval’.

I actually think that should is a good word as it motivates and does not control. Should is a word that implies that it might be a good idea to do something, but also that it is not a vital imperative. So if you don’t do it then you will not suffer for your inactions. I think that should is akin to would like. In the same way that need and want are more dictatorial terms, should and would like are ideas, they are wishes and dreams. They aren’t stentorian and bullying, and they are not demanding.

I find my list of shoulds affect me in a number of ways and not all for them are warm and cuddly, but is it approval that I am looking for? No, I don’t think so, I think there is an element of that, but I don’t think that we are all charging about thinking that every person that we come across must approve of us in some way, or every way. I don’t think that we are as unsure of ourselves when we are in our 30s and beyond. Approval is something that you earn and it cannot be won without effort. The shoulds, that feel at times like peer pressure, are more about our own wishes and dreams rather than those heralded by our peers or society in general. They are our way of identifying who we are and what we are about.

Also, in this fast-paced world we need to have outward signs of our beliefs and values so that we can make clear to others what we are all about and find others like ourselves, and I suppose also avoid those who are not like us and don’t think that the Harlequins rugby union team is the best team in the world! Clothes, houses, jobs, everything we choose to do, wear or buy describes us and shows others who we are and what we are about.

Peer pressure just becomes our friends and colleagues etc. wanting to share their ideals and their wishes and dreams. I go and watch Harlequins rugby team play at their home ground and I wear my team top, as does nearly everyone else who is a season ticket holder. We wear our tops with pride as they show our support of our team. Immediately I know who my fellow supporters are and this has at times enabled me to strike up a conversation with a total stranger who I would never have spoken to otherwise. It enabled me to make a new connection in the world.

So yes, there are a lot of shoulds in my life, but I don’t find them a massive burden. They are goals to aim for, ambitions that drive me. If I didn’t feel that I should be a writer I wouldn’t have started this blog. If I didn’t have shoulds I would lose direction and achieve little. They do cause me stress and they can become tricky to manage if you are trying to achieve too many things at once, but the choice of having them is mine and the management of them is mine also. My frustration isn’t that I have to achieve all of these because I have been told to, but the fact that there just isn’t enough time. If I didn’t have a full time job there still wouldn’t be time for me to achieve the gigantic lists of things I desire to do, learn and experience etc.


One Response to “We wear the same clothes, because we feel the same”
  1. Lushfun says:

    Some people do not put thoughts into what they wear, it fits its on. To you its feelings to others may be utility, etc.

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