Social Norm Violation by Carmen Mowrey

The social norm I decided to violate for this assignment involves entering another individual’s apartment. Typically one knocks on their door and waits either for someone to open the door or yell “Come in!” before they enter the apartment. I decided that I was going to enter an apartment without knocking beforehand, but acting like I was comfortable enough with the inhabitants that I can just make myself at home.

I decided to break this social norm with my friend Alan’s apartment (to ensure that I did not get arrested for entering a stranger’s home). I had only been to his apartment once with my other roommates for an FHE activity, so it was obvious that I was not a frequent-enough visitor to be comfortable enough to simply enter whenever I wanted.

When I approached his door, I was worried about what would happen after I entered. His blinds were closed so I could not tell if he was even home or if I would be entering on his roommates who I rarely talked to. After standing outside his door for an extra minute or two, I summoned enough courage and finally entered.

As soon as I had entered the room was silent. It seemed like his roommates were in the middle of a conversation and had no intention of continuing it when I was present. After a few long seconds had passed I asked them if Alan was home, which luckily he was. One roommate left to get him and I was left with the other who still had a surprised look on his face that I was still in the living room. He actually seemed quite annoyed now that I reflect on the experience. As soon as Alan entered, I made up a question that I “had” to ask him and quickly departed the awkward apartment.

Throughout the whole experience I felt awkward and ashamed of what I had done. I had no idea that such a small action of knocking before I enter an apartment could have such a severe consequence. Later that night I explained the situation to Alan and I hope that he passed the information from this assignment on to his roommates so that my reputation can be salvaged.

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