If you really think about it, there are so many things in our everyday lives — habits, behaviors, ways of life — that are often unfairly judged by others. Recently, members of the BuzzFeed Community chimed in with their takes on things that should absolutely be normalized by now, rather than judged or looked down upon. Here are some of them.
1. "Having an agreed 'time out' during arguments when needed. It's late, and you have to be up for work in four hours. Then, you can continue the discussion later which often helps clear your head anyway."
2. "Having a neutral facial expression be accepted as simply neutral. Not calling it sad or 'resting bitch face' because you aren't smiling. This is mostly something I've experienced in the US. In other places, my neutral face is unremarkable, but here, I've gotten expressions of concern or been told that I seem unfriendly. It's ok to just be fine — it is simply neutral."
3. "I'm an introvert, and I've decided if someone ever tells me to 'get out my shell' or something similar, I'm just going to tell them to get back into theirs and see how they respond."
4. "Not making friends with all your coworkers because, to be honest, a lot of them are just superficial and might tell on you no matter what you do."
5. "Normalize wearing sweats or leisurewear more in public. It doesn't always mean the person is a slob or thinks little of themselves. I don't mean fancy, trendy athleisure wear. I mean my comfy old sweatpants and my husband's T-shirt. Not in all situations, of course — and no sweaty, stained, torn items. Just let me run my errands in comfort; I'm not hurting anyone."
6. "Normalize the fact that the concept of 'the early bird gets the worm' is societal BS, and making people get up horrendously early to go to work or school is just not conducive to productivity."
7. "How about we normalize people having opinions that differ from others, and NOT flag them as hateful? We're all entitled to have and state anything we like because it's how we feel."
8. "Normalize married couples sleeping in different rooms or beds occasionally — or always if that's your vibe — without anyone judging them for having a 'bad' marriage. Sometimes, it's just nice to have your space especially when you and your partner have different sleeping habits."
9. "Normalize ethically non-monogamous relationships or partnerships. Monogamy is not for everyone — open communication and honesty are. The classic picture of monogamy that most people have had programmed in their brains is very hard to undo sometimes."
10. "I’m all here for platonic affection. Our psychological health benefits greatly from touch, but it doesn’t have to be intimate or sexual. Men especially could do with some hugging and holding hands. Keep in mind some people are an exception and prefer no touching for psychological or sensory reasons. Obviously, consent is also vital."
12. "I wish opting out of social events that you can’t afford to attend was more widely accepted. Things like weddings or baby showers are becoming increasingly more expensive for guests to attend, especially when there are several of them every year, the costs add up quickly. I wish 'This is currently not in my budget' was perceived as simply stating a fact, not as an insult."
13. "Women being able to compliment men without it being seen as flirting."
14. "Living with your parents into adulthood. Obviously, many people cannot for multiple reasons, but given the uncertainty of the jobs and housing markets of the past few years, it makes sense to live with parents if you choose to, and it's cheaper to do so."
15. "Very basic, but saying 'Please,' 'Thank you,' and 'You're welcome' when someone does something for you. Just because it's their job doesn't mean you shouldn't express your appreciation."
16. "Not bothering or going to a neighbor's house just because you know they're home. I live with a lot of elderly people in my building. They can see my car, and hear me watching tv, so they know when I'm home. I help them as often as I can and offer to listen when they feel they need to chat with someone. A lot of them are single with no children, so I get they need to talk to someone sometimes. But there are times that I just don't have the capacity to be social or want to help. I have to turn my phone on silent because they'll call me if I don't answer their knocks."
"Then, they can hear my phone ringing so I have to answer the door. I tell them I was napping, or I'm busy, but they keep chattering away (gossiping usually) or ask me to do something 'really quick.' I want to help, but only when I'm available. This can also be applicable to friends and family. Just because someone is home or physically available, doesn't mean they are mentally available. And normalizing not feeling guilty for saying, 'No, I'm not available.'"
17. "Being willing to be wrong, apologizing, and meeting people in the middle. Obviously, not talking about bigotry here, but in other areas: yes."
18. "Baby changing stations in men’s bathrooms. And I say this as a female minor. My mother was/is chronically in and out of mental hospitals, and when my sister was a baby, my dad wasn’t able to change my baby sister in public bathrooms. It needs to be a regular thing, especially since taking care of kids should be divided equally between spouses."
19. "In America, I’m gonna need normalization of offering women actual pain management and anesthesia for procedures like IUDs and cervical biopsies instead of just telling them to take two Advil ahead of time. It’s genuinely barbaric."
Do you have anything else you could add to this list? Share it with me in the comments below!
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.