Bath naked? You do not do it. Boasting of his skills? Not at all. Not to mention all the other minor norm violations. It lives with a little stubbornness much happier and healthier!
I would like to be a cowboy – ever since I was a little girl. A cowboy is an independent man who satisfies himself. He does what he likes and does not care what the others think of him. Sometimes a cowboy goes to a bar. Alone. There he thinks in the distance and time trickles around him to the ground. Some counter cowboys are wrinkling their brow, who have lovesickness or tricky questions to clarify, you do not know. In any case, they seem casual, independent and free and have the reins of their lives in their hands.
Female pondering is often about what others think of you
I would like to clarify my sensitive questions from time to time at a dim counter. But I’m afraid that alone in a bar I could act like a freak who has no friends and a lot of problems. “What would the others think?” I mused. “Is the woman an alcoholic, is she looking for a connection, or a one-night stand?” I solo at the counter does not conform to the norm and average behavior of my social milieu. So I leave what I have opportunity. Not just going to a bar is my personal “I will not do it, because I think it somehow does not belong” -Waterloo. Many women are reluctant to be cowboys – even when the horse is saddled and bridled in front of them, scraping their hooves.
Instead, they sit down on the gate and ponder. The thoughts revolve around vague problems, for which there seems to be no solution. Female pondering is often about what others might think of you if you do this or that. So hesitating has little to do with gender-specific synapses or hormones, but a lot with rules that women do not want to break. Social norms are a complex story. They are not fixed, but socially expected behaviors. They are based on values such as helpfulness, compassion, fairness, honesty, respect.
Even on a small scale, we know what is required: we do not jostle in the queue, behave well in the restaurant and make every effort to attract as little annoyance as possible. Standards make our actions predictable, so working together. In addition, we only add a few things because it is so common. Few women over the age of 60 wear miniskirts, no matter how beautiful their legs are. If it is not common in the job to bring in new ideas, we leave it alone. At the family reunion we do not talk about the problems of the depressive aunt because we know that it is taboo for the others. Rule break only if our environment does not feel shocked, hurt, ignored, annoyed.
Few women over the age of 60 wear miniskirts – no matter how beautiful their legs are
Those who take the liberty of whistling on reactions often get displeasure and are sanctioned. Like Ines, a surgeon from my circle of acquaintances. Everyone admired their determination – until they were offered unexpected additional vocational training. A rest place – it was important to decide quickly. The problem: The one-year training took place at the other end of Germany , she would only be home on the weekends, and her son was still in kindergarten. But as his father was ready to look after him alone, she reached out. But that really was not the case, Ines felt. Even her working friends reacted cautiously or openly without understanding.
Women do not take advancement opportunities so as not to offend anyone
Dr. Petra Wüst is an expert on self-branding and helps her clients to build themselves up as a strong, successful brand. Time and again, she experiences that women do not take advancement opportunities in the job, because they do not want to snub anyone. “The more of my own profile I show,” says Wüst, “the more I start, the more critically I have to live with criticism and the fact that I may not like it anymore.” Women are afraid of this exclusion, because they define themselves very much through personal relationships The fear of not being liked also has sociopolitical implications, because the social framework has changed and now women have to prevail. “
The more profile I show, the more I attack and have to live with criticism. And that you may not like me that much anymore (Dr. Petra Wüst)
In theory, my colleague Kerstin agrees. She is a successful children’s book author and has been writing for one of her publishers for 20 years. “They like me a lot,” she says, “and I like that they like me.” At the same time she gets annoyed every time she holds the new brochure in her hands – once again, another author shines on the cover.
“With every book I have the opportunity to address that,” she knows. “But I want the publisher to say, ‘Man, this woman is really the most flexible, pleasant, and responsive author we have!'” She herself follows the rule of not detuning anyone, stricter than anyone else ever dictates could.
Be Pippi, not Annika!
The cheeky Pippi Longstocking postcards, which women so much like to give each other, do not help either. “Be Pippi, not Annika,” it says. “Be naughty and wild and wonderful” and “I make the world, widewide as I like it”. Big girls love Pippi because she’s the way an adult woman would ideally like to be: a free person with a morality who does what he wants. Sending off-putting postcards is a pretty, but safe story.
Sure, women who take more than we seem allowed, fascinate us. But at the same time we are afraid to be self-willed and, yes, even selfish. A friend of mine has registered with an erotic portal. The time was ripe: The child was out of the house, she was solo and wanted to do sensuous experiments. In exuberance she also told conservative friends about her experiences. “They looked then,” she says. “And look again, and then they changed the subject, it was their own shame, their bondage – but I felt devalued.”
Another girlfriend has an incredibly nice man. Besides, she has a secret lover we all know. She happened to meet him at a party and packed in – her husband did not want sex for a long time. Some of us disapprove of what she does and wave the flag of virtue. Your husband is so adorable, would not there be a better solution? And is not it perhaps even her that it does not work with the two in bed?
“Rule breakers” are even highly regarded in business
Beyond the women’s world is the break with the common normality. Without him, there would be no innovations – music, art and science would not be able to evolve. And in the corporate world the objective maxim applies: Who follows the rules and thus does not win, has exactly three possibilities: act as usual and further lose; leave the industry – or break the rules of the trade. “Rule Breakers” are even highly regarded in business.
Psychologist and executive trainer Roland Kopp-Wichmann often deals with women who have a hard time taking such an opportunity. The internalized rules of life, which many follow unconsciously, he calls “inner impeller”. “And he often asks women to ‘do it all right’,” says the coach. “With rational arguments, you can not compete against such a powerful commandment.
For each impeller, however, there is a helpful ‘inner permission’. It could read, ‘I’m adorable, even if I violate a rule.’ “But women seldom give themselves that permission. Regrettably. “Because the authority to act against a norm can not be given from outside,” says Kopp-Wichmann.
Angela Merkel was considered a “father murderer” and “Nestbeschmutzerin”
When Angela Merkel was still General Secretary of the CDU, the point came that she decided not to wait any longer for the consent of her party. She took the opportunity to utter what angered her and to say what was important to her. In a newspaper article she called on the CDU to separate from the then party leader Helmut Kohl. He had long refused to name names in the big fundraising affair.
Merkel’s call was an affront, a violent rule break. The Minister was considered a “father murderer” and “Nestbeschmutzerin”. But: It was her entry into the ascent – she became party leader and eventually even chancellor.
Neighbor Insa swims only naked, even in the city
Even a bath in the canal can be a statement. My neighbor Insa rarely gets angry about a missed opportunity. Especially not in summer. Insa is in her mid 60s, and if she wants to go into the water to go for a swim, she does. Whether in a rural stream or an urban river. Insa swims only naked.
She looks for a quiet spot, undresses and quickly climbs into the water. “Anyone who feels bothered by that, I can not help,” she says. The liberator of all the rules we obey: you have the opportunity to override them. Those who break with an unwritten standard are not unscrupulous – they are just unconventional. And keeps out of being the most popular family member, the nicest neighbor or colleague to be elected.
I have the right to be ‘different’. As a stubborn person, I enjoy the otherness (Ursula Nuber)
In her book “Eigensinn: The strong strategy against burnout and depression – for a self-determined life”, psychologist Ursula Nuber formulates the “fundamental rights of stubbornness” as follows:
- “I have the right to raise my voice, I do not keep quiet out of consideration for others, so as not to irritate or hurt their feelings.
- I have the right not to be nice. Because I realize that niceness is no guarantee that others are just nice, fair and respectful.
- I have the right to be proud of myself – and to show it. I do not make myself smaller, just so that others can feel bigger in my presence.
- I have the right to consider the expectations that will be placed on me: what price do I have to pay? Is the price too high for me? If a claim does not make sense to me, attachment will protect my integrity and protect me from outside determination.
- I have the right to be satisfied with myself and to refrain from self-improvement proposals. ‘Good’ is ‘good enough’ for me. I make sure that I do not become a victim of foreign standards.
- I have the right to be ‘different’. If I live my own truth, it may mean that I’m not swimming with the tide. But as a stubborn person, I enjoy the difference. “If you live like that, writes Gruber, you do not run the risk of becoming depressed or becoming a burnout patient, on the contrary, you are maturing into a personality, a person with rough edges, who that is why it is “respected and appreciated by others”.
Okay, we do not have to ride right through the prairie. But when the horse is saddled in front of us, it is not conducive to pondering on the gate. Even just riding into the next bar can take us further – and be a wonderful revolution of the existing order.