17 Things Society Says We Shouldn’t Talk About

There are many important aspects of life that society is slowly becoming more accepting of and open about. But unfortunately, many still struggle with issues that are considered relatively taboo to discuss. Here are 17 things society says we shouldn’t talk about.

Mental Health Challenges

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Everybody struggles with mental health issues at some point in their life, and according to the World Health Organization, 1 in 8 people are currently living with a mental health disorder. But unfortunately, society still didn’t quite get the memo that we should always feel free to talk openly about these issues. There remains a stigma around speaking about and seeking help for mental health struggles, and we think it’s high time that changed.

Personal Finances

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Although we all use or make money almost every day, it is still surprisingly difficult to talk openly about it. As a result, many people feel uncomfortable talking about their debts or financial struggles, which can make it difficult for them to get the help they need.

Political Opinions

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Debates and discussions on political issues can be very productive in helping us solve important issues and reach a middle ground. Yet all too often, these types of discussions result in explosive arguments, hurt feelings, and division. Because of this, political debate is often socially discouraged.

Religious Beliefs

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Everybody has their own religious beliefs or lack thereof. However, despite this being a significant part of many people’s lives, it can be very difficult to talk about. People often fear upsetting or angering others by disagreeing with their perspectives, which can prevent spiritual growth and exploration in the long run.

Sexual Orientation and Identity

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In modern society, we are finally becoming more open-minded toward and accepting of people with different gender identities and sexual orientations. However, there remains an unfortunate stigma around the topic, which often makes people fear coming out about their true selves for fear of judgment or ridicule.

Death and Dying

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Whether we like it or not, we all die one day. Yet, strangely, in the Western world, we fear talking about this natural part of life. The subject of death is often considered taboo and avoided. Talking about dying can help us cope with loss and mentally prepare ourselves ahead of time, so we think it’s time this changed.

Reproductive Health

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Like any other form of health, reproductive health is incredibly important to be informed about. But unfortunately, many people feel unable to speak on the topic, fearing being shamed or looked down upon. By encouraging society to be more outspoken on these issues, we can ensure everybody has access to contraception, reproductive rights, and the knowledge they need about their own bodies.

Substance Abuse and Recovery

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According to the National Institute of Health, those who have had a difficult or traumatic childhood frequently end up turning to substances to cope with their pain. This is perfectly understandable, yet society often shames these individuals for lacking willpower or damaging their lives. By being more open about substance abuse and recovery stories, we can help more people get the help they need to live happier, healthier lives.

Domestic Violence and Abuse

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Domestic violence is a sad reality, but also one that is important to face. The stigma around domestic violence and the shaming of victims can make it much more difficult for those facing abuse to reach out and get the help they need.

Body Image and Eating Disorders

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There aren’t many people who go their whole lives without ever thinking negatively about their own bodies. Yet those who struggle with body image dissatisfaction and eating disorders are still sometimes shamed or misunderstood by society. By having more open, judgment-free conversations about this topic, we can help these individuals significantly improve their mental and physical health.

Grief and Loss

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Many Western countries can be somewhat closed off when it comes to expressing emotions outside of “acceptable” social situations. But grief and loss are things that affect us all, so it is important for us to feel free to discuss them to help us heal and move forward with our lives.

Disability and Accessibility

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A large portion of the population has some form of disability, so it is important to openly discuss their experiences and needs. Sadly, it remains difficult for many people, as some feel uncomfortable about the topic or have false assumptions and stereotypes in mind that prevent them from truly connecting with disabled individuals.

Immigration and Displacement

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Almost every country around the world deals with immigration and displacement. However, unfortunately, the topic is often stigmatized and politicized, making it difficult for personal stories to be heard free from societal judgment and stigma.

Incarceration and Criminal Justice

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Many of us know of someone in our lives who has dealt with incarceration or legal issues, but sadly, it remains a difficult subject to talk about. These individuals often face a great deal of shame and anger. While it is understandable to be angry at those who commit crimes, the National Institute of Health points out that these people have often led difficult or traumatic lives and have the potential to change.

Poverty and Homelessness

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No modern-day society should allow people to be without a bed to sleep in or food to eat. Unfortunately, this is still a reality for many people and one that is often stigmatized. By encouraging open discussions on homelessness and poverty, we can raise awareness and help support these individuals to improve their lives.

Infertility and Miscarriage

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Miscarriage and infertility are sadly more common than you may think. This is partly because it still feels very difficult to talk openly about these issues, with those experiencing them often feeling shame or guilt. Sharing these experiences helps others going through similar situations feel less alone and process their complicated feelings.

Loneliness and Social Isolation

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Most of us will struggle with loneliness or social isolation at some point in our lives. But this reality can feel all too difficult to talk about, as we often fear being shamed or hurt by the reactions of others. Sharing experiences of loneliness in itself can help people feel much less alone, so we think it’s time to destigmatize the issue.


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