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The Effects of Alternative Lifestyles

Updated April 17, 2017

Trying to come up with an exact, precise definition for an alternative lifestyle can be as challenging as trying to define the word 'normal.' It's an abstract concept, yet most people can identify an alternative lifestyle. Historically, individuals who chose to live outside the norm in an alternative lifestyle faced a number of challenges in their day to day lives.

Social Misunderstanding

If you chose to live an alternative lifestyle, whatever that lifestyle may be, others may not understand your choices and often won't make an effort to understand your point of view. Depending on the alternative lifestyle you live, others might see you as lazy, as a bad influence on society or as a counter-culture revolutionist trying to change the things they like about society. Parents may not want you around their children in fear you will instil your values in them or attempt to convert them to your way of thinking.

Unequal Treatment

People living alternative lifestyles often face discrimination for their beliefs. This discrimination sometimes spreads from everyday, conversational disputes to the way you are treated by those who don't even know you. Others might think that you are opposing their way of life, so they may not treat you like a normal, peaceful member of society.

Legal Troubles

Some alternative lifestyles are against the law. For example, if you chose to live an alternative lifestyle as a non-licensed drug dealer, you could face criminal charges. Furthermore, if you live an alternative lifestyle that isn't illegal but challenges a law or regulation currently in place, you may face opposition from law enforcement and the court system.

Social Change

Making positive societal change could also be an outcome of your alternative lifestyle. With patience and a willingness to calmly explain your beliefs to others, you could help your lifestyle catch on with others or at least make it less of a societal taboo.

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About the Author

Chelsea Baldwin began writing professionally for local newspapers in 2008. She has published articles in “High Country Press” and “Kernersville News.” She also produced newsletters for a local chapter of AIESEC, a global nonprofit organization. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Appalachian State University.