The 12 Weirdest Social Norms That Actually Make No Sense

Warning: this post will make you think about things in ways you never have before. Or, at least, that’s what happened to me. I went into this Reddit thread on odd social norms that we never question thinking it would be full of funny answers that I could agree with. Not even halfway through, I found myself pondering the existence of the entire universe. It was a little overwhelming.

But I had to share with you guys. I know that every culture is different, but here in the United States, there are some social norms that are actually really weird when you think about them. Why have we never questioned these before?? Here are 12 of the weirdest social norms that make no sense. A lot of these can apply to everyone, but some are more culture-specific. So, I want to know, what is normal in your culture that you find strange? Check these out and then tell us more in the comments!

Which of these social norms do you think is the weirdest? Which do you think is fine? What did we forget? Tell me in the comments!


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  • Redditor

    Lol, these were directly taken from an AskReddit post that hit the front page of Reddit in the past couple days.

    • Jessica Booth

      Yes – that’s why we clearly stated that it was from Reddit and included a link to the original thread. 😉

  • Matt

    Purse = makeup. That’s why. The rest are good and god bless you after sneezes definitely belongs on the list.

  • Rei

    The last one I can get. We grow up being taught not to talk to strangers and because of socitety today everybody is weary of each other cause of all these increased crime rates today. It makes sense but not compleately fair. Me personally am a extremely paranoid person. My worst fear is someone breaking into my house and kidnapping and or murdering me. Its very possible in this day in age which is sad.

  • KernalK

    I agree with almost all of these, but birthday candles aren’t as weird or as morbid as we think. People in ancient cultures believed that smoke could send their prayers and thoughts to the heavens but some historians also think that birthday candles have German roots originating from the festival Kinderfest. It’s also possible that the Ancient Greeks used such candles as tribute to the goddess Artemis but there’s an article written about it on Mental Floss

  • Tehreem

    This changed my perspective of everything.

  • Ruby

    Hey Gurls, i just wanted to bring up this ridiculous post on face book the cosmo brought up, showing an ad of there hottest “plus-size” woman. i just wanted to spread the word of his bogus social standard. check it out here >

    • Nia

      Point taken. But consider this: What’s so wrong with being called “plus sized”? So she’s not what we typically think of when it comes to plus sized models, but just look at the comments under that photo. Everyone is angry because they think this woman has been wronged in some way for being called plus sized. Does that mean that being plus sized is bad? Or that to be called that is an insult, when there are women who better fit the definition? It shouldn’t be.

      They probably called her a plus sized model because she is hired AS a plus sized model. And they were raving about how good she looked. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

  • Nia

    To add to the list: The fact that we say “god bless you” after someone sneezes. ? And the thing is, I actually feel some type of way if I sneeze and no one says that haha. Like, how is my sneeze your fault, and how is saying “god bless you” going to affect me in any real positive way.

    Also, how many times have you been out with a guy and they say, “Hey, can you put this in your purse for me”? We need a change in culture. They need to suck it up and carry around their own stuff.

    • Suze

      Saying “God bless you” or just “Bless you”, (if i remember correctly) started because people (a looong time ago) believed that when you sneezed you could expel your soul out of your body, thus killing you. By saying it, they hoped (if you did die) you would have heavenly favor.

  • Krystal Barragan

    I think what is weird, is our name! The fact that other people chose this group of letters that make a certain sound and that is what you would be called for the rest of your life. It is really insane how we have this name before we may even be born and even have a personality.

    Another funny thing that we do is that when we walk into an elevator, we automatically turn around to face the doors of the elevator. If you were to describe how you get into the elevator, people rarely notice that we about face. There is no sign that says turn around, but we do!

    • Nia

      I think it’s also kinda weird that even though everyone has a given birth name, it’s considered disrespectful to call our parents and grandparents by their first names. Like, it’s your name. Why am I rude for calling you by your unique name? lol

    • Sheridan

      Many tribes in Africa actually wait until about 9 days after the baby is born to name it. This whole picking out names before the baby is born is totally a Western tning.

      And about the elevator thing: we are instinctually programmed to face points of entrance. It’s a survival response. Think about the next time you get in bed; your bed is most likely facing opposite the door 😉

  • Queen Bitch

    Wearing a bathing suit and wearing underwear differ in the way that when in underwear you generally aren’t expecting another to see you, making for surprise, embarrassment, and a feeling of being violated