Young people are constantly being told how they should feel and act in the public eye. The “right” way to interact with others on a daily basis. Sometimes it seems that social courtesies have become rules forcefully enforced by those found in older generations.
These rules may include: always smile in public, never be in a bad mood around other people, and never question what an adult tells you. In reality, these things can be harder than it looks to achieve.
But the truth is that adolescence marks a primordial moment in life. Adolescence marks the transition from childhood to adulthood. This results in psychosocial, moral and emotional changes as development progresses.
There are many times in your life when you may not understand how and why you feel a certain way. And there are several scientific reasons why it’s normal to feel whatever you’re feeling.
1. Your psychosocial development
An early theory developed by Erik Erickson divided psychosocial development into eight individual stages. An important step in its development is Confusion between identity and role. This stage usually occurs between the ages of 12 and 18, when adolescents struggle with the questions “Who am I” and “What do I want to do with my life?” » Adolescents seek a sense of self, sexual and personal identity through focused examination and evaluation of values, goals and beliefs.
But why is this process so difficult?
Generally, the idea of evolution is to adjust and adapt to one’s environment when necessary, in order to survive. Well, the transition from childhood to adulthood is your version of evolution. You are placed in a situation where you must grow and evolve in order to keep up with societal changes.
The idea of belonging to a society that is constantly reshaping itself can be stressful. At this point, you become more vulnerable as you begin to gain a greater sense of independence and question who you are. These questions range from situations in the present to what might happen in your future. You can begin to envision the future in terms of career, relationships, and family.
2. Your psycho-development
When introduced to this stage, Erikson suggests that adolescents are confronted with the virtue of fidelity. This is characterized by self-esteem and self-confidence which are essential for associating with people and beliefs. Teenagers may feel uncomfortable with their bodies until they are able to commit to themselves and “grow” through the changes.
Remember that it’s okay to have insecurities, as long as you learn from them and keep growing. Make room for improvement. But it’s important to remember that you don’t need to apologize for who you are or who you are becoming. This period of your life may seem hard, but you have come this far in your life. There is so much more to come. So many great things that have yet to happen in your life.
3. Your moral development
The idea of morality is a person’s ability to form judgments based on what is right and what is wrong. Kohlberg’s theory of moral development divides human morality into three distinct levels. During adolescence, young adults are generally at the conventional level of moral development.
At the conventional level, morality is tied to personal and societal relationships. Teenagers begin to internalize and adopt the moral standards of respected adult role models. And the idea of authority is internalized, rather than challenged, and reason is based on the social norms developed by the group you belong to.
This level is divided into two stages: Good boy, nice girl orientation, and Law and order orientation.
4. Find your “good boy, nice girl” orientation
This stage is represented by the idea of social approval. Teenagers tend to act in ways that seek approval or avoid disapproval. You can try to retain or win the affection of others.
For example, you may dress in certain clothes or listen to certain music due to the fact that it is popular among the people around you. Your interests and behavior can be influenced to gain the approval of others.
A popular pop culture example of this stage is the movie, “Mean Girls”. In this film, the main protagonist modifies her behavior and her beliefs in order to integrate into a social group present within her school.
5. Go through the “law and order” orientation
This stage is represented by the idea of social order. You may instinctively accept rules because of their importance in maintaining a “functioning society”.
A popular pop culture example of this stage is the television show, “The Right Place”. In this show, the protagonist must let go of his old life and adapt to the rules and moral standards of his new life, in order to survive.
6. Your emotional development
As you begin to mature, you may notice that you experience more intense emotions. You may experience emotional ups and downs that you cannot explain. Indeed, as you mature, your brain is still learning to control and express its emotions in a reasonable way. Many emotional aspects change as you grow.
Various studies suggest that the brain goes through a sensitive period at the height of adolescence. During this period, the level of sensitivity displayed in adolescents is heightened in social settings.
Teenage self-esteem is a very notorious concept. Many teenagers may begin to use their physical appearance to determine their character. Self-esteem is strongly influenced by parental behavior and social factors. Social factors can include comparing your body to your peers or close friends.
During this time in your life, it’s normal to struggle with your sense of self. It is a natural process that is necessary for your development.
You are allowed and expected to question anything and everything. Your gender, your sexuality, who you like and dislike, who you want to be when you get older, who you respect and don’t respect, what you care about and what you don’t. It doesn’t matter what your parents tell you. It doesn’t matter what your school tells you. It doesn’t matter what society tells you. You have the right to question everything.
If you feel lost, you are not. It’s just a normal part of life. Changing your mind and having more questions than answers is normal.