Influences on our relationships: Social norms


Social norms are unwritten rules in society that everyone lives by which tells us if something is acceptable or not. These norms can impact how we act, think, and feel about ourselves and our relationships.
For example:

  • —The Simpsons is a cartoon that depicts a regular family with daily problems trying to function normally in their everyday lives. They follow the social norms of a relationship where Marge (wife) stays home and takes care of the children and house while Homer (husband) works and hangs out with his friends.
  • —The underlying social norms in the show can contribute to how we think and act in a relationship by modeling after them in our own relationships. Some of the norms portrayed in the show are negative and do not promote healthy relationships. For example, Homer usually makes plenty of mistakes that causes Marge to be upset whether it’d be him spending all of the family money or making poor life decisions. No matter what mistakes Homer makes, he always knows that Marge would never leave. Marge who always forgives Homer through everything would always stay by his side because she loves him.
  • —When we apply this scenario into real life, everyone can make mistakes within a relationship. However,  it does not necessarily mean that we would leave the relationship right away because of mistakes. It is important to be able to weigh the situations and consider the relationship. Mistakes that are big and can jeopardize a life altering decision should be reconsidered.
  • —This has an influence on us in which we learn and adopt it into our own relationship. However, these thoughts embedded into our society are not a normal part of  healthy relationships.  It is up to us to determine which positive and negative influences that we should  or should not learn from.
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