I have this concept, I encounter it every day. It’s the concept of having to be the perfect person. It’s an ideal we are continually given mixed messages about. The perfect person is who each person you interact with expects you to be. In spite of being told our whole lives that it is better to be yourself then to act like some one you aren’t. Yet everyone we encounter, especially the people who tell us to be ourselves, expects us to act in ways that aren’t usually true to ourselves.
For example, how many times growing up were you told to settle down, be quite, etc. All the time? At least that’s how it was for me. My mother would tell me to be myself one day, then the next it was my fault I didn’t have any friends. My Grandmother wants me to spend more time out side of my room (my only private space), yet she makes derisive comments about how I act when I read, or how involved I get in what ever I’m doing.
Another aspect is expecting you to like what they like. I don’t watch much TV, it’s like that with many people I know. Yet people are always telling me to watch this show or that show, that they watch, which is no problem, but then when I tell them that I’m not interested in watching it, some times these people freak out, as if I am doing something completely wrong. It can be even worse with books, especially since I personally read a lot. People like to assume I will read anything (and that’s about 70% accurate). But (sorry twilight fans) when I say that I haven’t, nor will I ever, read twilight, because of what I’ve heard about the book, and just not feeling an need to (I have picked it up, multiple times, and each time I put it down after reading the back), I get persecuted. Then I have to defend myself, and provide proof of the reasons I won’t read the books (um… like how am I supposed to do that when I haven’t read the books…). This can happen in music, though I like to think more people are smart enough to accept that no one will have the exact same taste in music The biggest thing I get pressured to do, to align to people’s expectation of a perfect person? Suppress my gag reflex and eat food that I don’t like. I am openly a picky eater, because my taste buds hate a lot of food, especially very watery foods (like most everything in salads), most meat, and the list goes on. I have one family member who things that I should eat it any ways “because my taste buds will come to like the food”. Some times I will stop liking a food because I’ve ate too much of it (those foods I will come to like again though). Another thing I’ve had happen, is the worst thing off all in my opinion. I’ve had people tell me to ignore my sexual preferences and date and/or have sex with people I’m not attracted to “because how will I know if I’m asexual if I’ve never dated/had sex”.
Often the things people will expect from you will conflict with each other, even from the same person. Like some parents will say they don’t mind if their child drinks, or say that their child can call them at any time. But when the child ‘tests’ that theory out they will often get into trouble, or the child might even know/anticipate that the parent is lying (I called my own mother out on this).
I could go on and on about “The perfect person”, But I think I’ll leave it at this. The perfect person is the person/people everyone else expects you to be, no matter what it may or does cost you. Some times it will be reasonable (like taking responsibility for your actions, ex: paying bills). Other times it will not (like expecting you to suppress your reasonable emotions). What you do, or can do, about these demands depends on the situation, and depend mostly on what you are willing to put up with.And a warning, when you start to stick up for yourself, they may get mad at you.