Social Aver’ages’ – Part 1

Socially we are programmed to confirm to certain aver’ages’. These Social Aver’ages’ can end up making our lives miserable because of the importance we place on them.


‘I will be 29 next month and I am still not married!’ a girl told me once in my consultation. She is not alone in this.

‘I am 31 and I do not know how to mingle with people properly,’ many guys told me with obvious pain written all over their faces.

‘Most of my colleagues are much younger than me. I feel ashamed I am just a Team Leader in my office,’ is another statement (more or less) I hear again and again.

‘My younger brother earns much more than me!’

Every culture has its aver‘ages’ – an unwritten social chart that dictates appropriate age for each important phase in life. These aver‘ages’ are embedded in our minds as a product of childhood programming and peer pressure. Yes, they are subconscious. And we try our best to adhere to it. I get a lot of clients who have issues merely because they do not fall into these aver‘ages’. They place so much of emphasis and importance that it is all they could think of day in and day out.

We fear so much what the world will say if we do not stick to these averages that we end up creating a severe critic within ourselves. Whether the world will look down upon us or not, the moment we fail any aver‘age’ this critic within will censure us endlessly. The result: We suffer from severe self-esteem issues. But that is just the beginning of our problems.

If our subconscious has an issue it cannot resolve, it will create a defence mechanism to hide that weakness from the world. The defence could be anger, withdrawal, arrogance, displacement of issue (where you start pointing out similar issues in others so they will become the butt of ridicule and you can hide behind the diversion), etc.

Over time, these defences themselves turn into issues merely because it had become a habit. Of course, simultaneously the stress being produced by the core issue within also manifests itself in various ways. The complexity of the issues grows so much that we even forget our core issue after sometime.

And it is all because of the importance we place on these aver‘ages’. Yes, the programming begins very early and is subconscious. But it does not mean that you cannot overcome it. Frankly, you don’t even need to rush to a therapist to address this issue. It just takes awareness, some effort, and persistence.

I will discuss more about what kind of awareness you need to carry and what effort is required in the next post.

Photo Courtesy: Salvatore Vuono at

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