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10 DANGER Signs You Are A Conformist

10 DANGER Signs You Are A Conformist

Massive success is reserved for independent thinkers who aren’t afraid to break rules that don’t fit their worldview. If you want to be happy and successful, watch out for these 10 danger signs you are a conformist.

1. You can’t think for yourself.

If you can’t answer a basic question without consulting another person or your favorite search engine, then you might be a conformist. Nonconformists are confident enough to speak their minds without seeking anybody else’s approval.

2. You wear different masks depending on who you’re with.

If your behavior and personality are influenced by who you are hanging out with, then you might be a conformist. It is natural to curse like a sailor in the presence of friends, while at the same time avoiding curse words in the presence of family or co-workers. This is acceptable, because there might be certain expressions you only feel comfortable saying to certain people. Nonconformists, however, know that performing a different routine for every single group of people they come across can quickly become exhausting.

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3. You pretend to like things to impress people.

If you think you can fake your way into a relationship, then you might be a conformist. Having a mutual interest with another person can create common ground, opening the door for a friendship to blossom, but this growth process can only happen if it occurs in an atmosphere of honesty and openness. Nonconformists roll their eyes at phony people who proclaim, “Oh yeah, I love that song!” when it is clear that they haven’t really heard it and are only saying that in a misguided effort to impress others.

4. You don’t buy clothes based on your personal preference.

If your wardrobe decisions are entirely based on seasonal styles, then you might be a conformist. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good and feel handsome or sexy in your attire, but you shouldn’t abandon your unique tastes for whatever happens to be “in style” this year.

5. You follow a religion because your parents told you to.

If you pray to a God or Goddess for no other reason than, “My parents told me to,” or, “That’s just how it is around here,” then you might be a conformist. Don’t misread me: faith can be a beautiful thing when it is a personal decision between a believer and the Creator that he or she chooses to believe in. A lot of folks, however, don’t go to church or follow a religion because it is something they actually believe… they go, because they’re afraid of what everybody will think about them if they don’t.

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6. You vote for whoever your favorite pundit says you should.

If you vote for whoever Rush Limbaugh or Bill Mahler say you should without analyzing the issues for yourself, then you might be a conformist. I personally have a severe dislike of pundits of any political spectrum, because they are nothing but talking heads who distract us from the issues that really matter, so it blows my mind that any person would vote for a politician just because they “said so.” Nonconformists don’t let other people make their decisions for them; they make their own decisions.

7. You won’t confront bullies or wrongdoers.

If you see a person in your school or office get bullied and stare at the ground as if there is “nothing to see here,” then you might be a conformist. Bullying should never be tolerated. Your silence is a green-light for the bully to continue putting down others. Be confident enough to speak up for people who you witness being put down, insulted or made fun of. Nonconformists aren’t afraid of confrontations with bullies, because they are willing and able to be the change they want to see in their social circles.

8. You say things like, “That’s just the way things are.”

If you think self-defeating thoughts like, “I’ll never make a difference,” or, “Why bother? That’s just the way things are,” then you might be a conformist. And before you play the, “But I’m just one person!” card, remember that countless individuals like Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Rosa Parks and Mother Teresa have accomplished more in their lifetimes than any government or elected body ever could. Nonconformists know that just because something is the way it is, doesn’t mean it is right, and they had the guts to stand up for themselves and say so.

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9. You’re afraid of what society thinks.

If you make important decisions based on what “society” thinks, then you might be a conformist. It is human nature to want other people to like and accept us, but making life-changing decisions based on popular opinion (instead of your personal belief) will not make you happy or fulfilled. Nonconformists know Mark Twain was right when he said, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

10. You get all your news from a single source.

If you are deluded enough to think your cherished media outlet of choice is free of personal bias, then you might be a conformist. Nonconformists are aware that humans are inherently flawed beings who can’t keep their opinions to themselves. So it is silly to expect any newspaper or television station to be 100% unbiased. Journalists, editors and talking heads are ruled by their prejudices just like the rest of us, and it is delusional to think otherwise.

If you would like to test this final theory from these signs you are a conformist, perform a thought-experiment by paying attention to the most popular breaking headlines at a few different media outlets over the course of about a week. You could follow the news cycle at places like CNN, MSNBC, Fox Newsthe Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Salon, First Look Media, and the Guardian. You should notice that certain “Breaking News” stories receive constant coverage at some outlets, while not receiving as much as a mention at others. The only way to stay informed about the world is to cast a wide net, collecting information from several places; because if you put your faith in any single media outlet, you will be doomed to be a sheep forever.

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Featured photo credit: Sheep/Peter aka anemoneprojectors via flickr.com

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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