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Social norms are informal rules that govern behavior in groups and societies. They touch almost every aspect of our lives.

Academics like to use this comparison to explain the concept: just as grammar is a set of regulations that governs the structure and organization of language, social norms regulate the structure and organization of people, and, again, just as grammar shapes how we communicate and understand language, social norms shape how we behave and interact with others.

Sociologists talk about social norms motivating people to act, economists explore how they influence market behavior, and legal scholars view them as alternatives to laws, and while their words make sense, if we deconstruct these systems enough, they can begin to look silly.

Recently, Reddit user Irish-Springs made a post on the platform, asking people to share what social norm they find pretty weird when they think about it, and it has already received over 5,300 comments, many of which raise some hilariously valid points.

#1

30 People Share Social Norms That They Find Weird, Make A Lot Of Hilariously Valid Points People's absolute horror about women breastfeeding in public.

Oh, I am sorry, Karen. I am giving my baby substance, not trying to attract your 12 year old son.

KayD12364 , RDNE Stock project Report

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Robert T
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11 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Please don't give your baby substance. That is illegal and dangerous to the child's health. Give them sustenance instead. ;-)

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#2

30 People Share Social Norms That They Find Weird, Make A Lot Of Hilariously Valid Points Paying tens of thousands of dollars to bury corpses in the ground.

ieatsthapussy , cottonbro studio Report

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TheAmericanAmerican
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My wife knows my wishes: dig a hole, toss me in, bury me with a young oak tree on top. Done.

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#3

30 People Share Social Norms That They Find Weird, Make A Lot Of Hilariously Valid Points People expect you to get along with family (parents, siblings) even if they treat you like s**t.

ODBrewer , fauxels Report

#4

30 People Share Social Norms That They Find Weird, Make A Lot Of Hilariously Valid Points The expectation of tipping for certain jobs, as a substitute for paying employees a higher wage.

Keikobad , Dave Dugdale Report

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xxx
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When I was a kid tipping was meant only for for waiters/waitresses and petrol attendants (we don't 'pump our own gas' - now it's drivers, delivery peers, shop assistants, hair dressing assistants, literally any assistant, any service provider, and their mom. It's crazy. I can't afford to tip everyone damn.

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#5

30 People Share Social Norms That They Find Weird, Make A Lot Of Hilariously Valid Points Gender reveal parties.

Curious_Elephant_200 , Rebeca Alvidrez Report

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Ace
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I _think_ these are still largely confined to the US - let's just hope it stays that way.

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#6

30 People Share Social Norms That They Find Weird, Make A Lot Of Hilariously Valid Points Showing excessive gratuitous violence is fine, and will get you at most a PG-13 rating, which most people will think is too strict anyways. But show even one uncovered booby and people will lose their minds.

TipzE , Pixabay Report

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Robert T
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Boobs seem to be more of a taboo in America than anywhere else, which is ironic for the country with the world's biggest porn industry.

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#7

30 People Share Social Norms That They Find Weird, Make A Lot Of Hilariously Valid Points Circumcision is pretty wild. Cosmetic surgery on the genitals of a baby is pretty weird.

BigMax , Sarah Chai Report

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Lama
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This. This is the one that is absolutely crazy to me. Somehow they managed to brainwash millions of people into thinking it's ok, or even "better". No, leave them babies alone, weirdos.

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#8

Women’s pants don’t have pockets.

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baby frog
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

i wear men’s jeans for that reason. and that my legs are really long and they’re comfortable for me sooooo

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#9

30 People Share Social Norms That They Find Weird, Make A Lot Of Hilariously Valid Points The absurd obsession the US has with the flag and the "reverence" surrounding it. It's a godsdammed piece of fabric. Actually, US patriotism as a whole.

YankeeMoose , The absurd obsession the US has with the flag and the "reverence" surrounding it. It's a godsdammed piece of fabric. Actually, US patriotism as a whol Report

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Ace
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not just the US. Anywhere that venerates their flag in that way is deeply suspicious and there are many much worse offenders than them.

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#10

Grand gesture marriage proposals in public are embarrassing and weird.

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Black Rabbit
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It can be quite romantic and memorable. But if you're going to go big, you DEFINITELY need to know how your partner will respond beforehand to save yourself from being shot down on the spot because of embarassment.

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#11

30 People Share Social Norms That They Find Weird, Make A Lot Of Hilariously Valid Points Working your a*s off for 65 years to then live for 10 years.

maybetoomuchrum , SHVETS production Report

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Black Rabbit
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Welcome to the shïtshow. Make good choices and try to enjoy it.

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#12

Sending hungry kids to school and not feeding them for free.

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#13

The topic of sex being generally taboo despite the fact that it is the reason we’re all here and that a majority of people love it.

missesalchemist111 Report

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Cecile Visscher
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It is quite acceptable to see pple getting gunned down or stabbed to death, but show one female nipple and the movie is for 16 years and older cause apperantly kids minds are too frail to deal with that.

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#14

Bikinis vs bras. If you bra is made out of swimwear fabric, suddenly new social rules apply.

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Tracy Wallick
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's about intent and consent. In a bikini you're intending to be outside and consenting to be seen in that manner of dress. Bras, besides sports bras, are generally worn with the intent of not being seen, and unless the wearer reveals it themselves, they are not consenting to be seen in that article of clothing.

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#15

30 People Share Social Norms That They Find Weird, Make A Lot Of Hilariously Valid Points Forcing people in their teens to decide on a career with the implication that they'll do it for the rest of their life and sealing the deal by putting them into so much debt studying for said career that they're pretty much enslaved to it.

BedroomCactus , Kyle Gregory Devaras Report

#16

30 People Share Social Norms That They Find Weird, Make A Lot Of Hilariously Valid Points Working 40 hours a week. It’s actually insane that we all put up with it.

Clementinequeen95 , Andrea Piacquadio Report

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Agfox
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11 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I worked in a number of Government & private sector organisations & the number of people working considerably more hours than 40 was totally surprising

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#17

30 People Share Social Norms That They Find Weird, Make A Lot Of Hilariously Valid Points Women are expected to be hairless-presenting.

Ninithyemo , Karolina Grabowska Report

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Rens
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Shaving or not shaving should be a personal choice and it's none of anybody else's business.

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#18

Education should be fully free across the board. It makes 0 sense that a country would impoverish their own people rather than invest in a strong, educated and healthy population.

The ONLY reason that university costs money is to perpetuate social stratification. You could probably take 5% of the military budget and it would more than cover it.

Also, isn’t that what “free market” people always b***h about? That once people are rich they will give back and trickle down? Tax the 1% sell slightly more and you would have it paid for.

Germany has free education. It works just fine.

If you are smart and ambitious enough to attend a university, it should be fully state sponsored. The only reason people are against this, is that some kids who grew up rich and didn’t have to take out a mortgage to enter the rat race are jealous they don’t get to keep their advantage.

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Lama
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

But what if we abuse our right to education and get smart and realize we are governed by greedy goblins?!

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#19

30 People Share Social Norms That They Find Weird, Make A Lot Of Hilariously Valid Points Women can show their whole breast just not the nipples.

No_Gap_2134 , Nastya Korenkova Report

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Oerff On Tour
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Women can't show nippels, because MEN could get "inpure thoughts", according to fundamentalist "Christian" leaders. They like to spout their disapproval all over the internet, which is full of pørn. And the most watched pørn in the US is GAY pørn...

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#20

Encouraging people to drink more alcohol. I'm guilty of it myself, 'go on, just one more!' Or I've bought shots for people who have said no, which then pressures them to drink it.

I didn't see a problem with it until I saw a guy taking the p**s out of another guy for drinking alcohol free beer. Imagine being ok with being pressured to take drugs? It's madness when I think about it.

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Lama
Community Member
11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Good for you on growing as a person! You are completely right :)

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#21

30 People Share Social Norms That They Find Weird, Make A Lot Of Hilariously Valid Points Forcing or encouraging a child to hug a family member that has known them since their birth but the child doesn't have any sort of bond with said family member.

WickedBasket2000 , Ivan Samkov Report

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baby frog
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

my mom used to make me do this and then i made it VERY clear that i hate hugging anyone, even my own parents. i have a few exceptions, like my BEST friend but other than that absolutely not. thank you, but don’t touch me!

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#22

30 People Share Social Norms That They Find Weird, Make A Lot Of Hilariously Valid Points Family asking if you're trying for a child. 

EveRommel , Clem Onojeghuo Report

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David
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There is nothing wrong with asking a relative if they plan to have children. Also nothing wrong with said relative choosing to demure or say they have not decided. The problem IMO is when the person asking tries to pressure them into the choice they want to hear.

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#23

30 People Share Social Norms That They Find Weird, Make A Lot Of Hilariously Valid Points The expectation to have a huge wedding.

asj0107 , Leonardo Miranda Report

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Leslie B
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My entire wedding, including my dress and the marriage license was less than $600 CAD. Invest in the marriage not the wedding.

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#24

30 People Share Social Norms That They Find Weird, Make A Lot Of Hilariously Valid Points Asking a grown woman's father for her hand in marriage. What?

snydermann , Andrea Piacquadio Report

#25

30 People Share Social Norms That They Find Weird, Make A Lot Of Hilariously Valid Points Everybody hates being sung happy birthday and everybody hates singing happy birthday, so what the hell are we doing here?

funkyjiveturkey , August de Richelieu Report

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Kristal
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I like it, it's sweet. I moved to another country by myself and the people I thought were friends never visited or anything. My best friend (not nearby at all) facetimes me with her kid and sing me happy birthday, then her husband pops his head in and says happy birthday. I truly felt love when they did that and I haven't felt that in a long while. To respond to other commenters: it's not always about being the center of attention.

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#26

Fireworks on the 4th of July. We celebrate independence by showering our land with expensive toxic chemicals from China.

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honeyk
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

i think fireworks should be illegal... it's noise pollution. air pollution. ocean pollution. fire danger. extremely expensive. causes terror in all animals... it's outdated and ridiculous. what's wrong with an incredibly fantastic laser show in the sky?

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#27

You can't use swear words on TV, radio, or in movies under PG-13; but you learn most of the swear words that exist by middle school. What's the point?

earhere Report

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Lama
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Also pretty country specific, here in the Netherlands it's ok to swear on radio/tv. Not that we do it all the time, it's still considered a little crude or impolite. But there's no outrage when someone lets slip a heartfelt f-ck 😂

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#28

Caring what another person wears or what they look like.

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Mabelbabel
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I have a medical condition called lipoedema, which means that although I'm not overweight going by BMI, my legs are disproportionately large compared to the rest of me. I can guarantee that a total stranger will comment on it about 50% of the time I'm out and about. Its usually in the supermarket, and its usually some ignorant old woman telling me my ankles are swollen, or asking me directly about it, or making a rude comment about me needing to lose weight so my legs aren't so fat. What makes people think a rude comment about someone's appearance will be welcome? Do they think before opening their ignorant mouths? The next old biddy who comments is getting shoved in the freezer with the fish fingers.

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#29

Not going to a restaurant by yourself.

I am on a business trip, I want to eat somewhere nice, drink some wine, dine nice since the company is paying for that stuff, I didn't bring anyone because its my arrival night or I just want to have a moment for myself.

And then I get treated like I have a leprosy, or the waiter tries to strong-arm me to go to the communal area or patio to eat because then I would have some company from the random patrons.

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Hugh Cookson
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ex Hotelier and Michelin Chef here ; If any of my staff (or me, when I was training) treated a lone diner with anything less than the utmost courtesy and kindness, they would have (and have) been taken to one side and told the error of their ways. For example, I used to have a delightful chap used to come in probably once a month with his wife for a couple of years, then started coming in by himself as his Wife had died of Cancer ; one of my new waiters made a comment along the lines of 'what a sad old git, coming in by himself ...etc'. My Sous Chef made him see the error of his ways (basically gave him a light thumping) and he left the next day. The elderly gentleman ate there regularly for the next 3 years before succumbing to Alzheimers.

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#30

30 People Share Social Norms That They Find Weird, Make A Lot Of Hilariously Valid Points Asking people how they're doing as a matter of courtesy when you truly don't care and are hoping they just say "good hbu" in response.

TheMaskedSandwich , George Milton Report

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Black Rabbit
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is mostly just an American thing. Many of my Euro friends hear about this and are confused when they hear this and then actually start to say how they are or what's going on.

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