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  1. #1

    Default That rebellious phase...

    I was wondering about whether or not forum members experienced a rebellious phase or if they believe that a rebellious phase exists as a part of maturation or the life span and your thoughts on whether or not its time limited, involves a prodigal abandonment and return to some value base or not, also if you did or didnt go through a phase like this can you say why and how the family philosophy or spirituality may have been involved?

    I'm really interested in intergenerational conflict or consensus and in the abscence of major crisis I tend to think it can be more significant in terms of social change than either status or social class struggles.

    More recently the rioting in the UK about reform of the education system, which I think is at once a financial fix for government and the banks and a serious political attempt to exclude lower income families from privilege contingent on academic credientialism, has made me think of this in political terms. It really does look like one generation which has benefited from particular policies has effectively "pulled up the ladder" to prevent another from doing the same. However, that is the more political sense and I'm really interested in the more personal sense.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mephistopheles's Avatar
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    Sep 2010


    As far as I remember, it's a scientifical fact that there is a rebellious phase in every human being, though length and strength varies strongly. The "goal" of this phase is to make the teenage mind seclude himself from his parents, to make him able to think on his own.

    I'm still in this phase (though it's not very strong... it's just a constant need to live without disturbance by my parents), but I'll get my Abitur soon, so that I can go to a university and I won't have my parents all the time around me.
    They say I only think in form of crunching numbers.....
    -Fall Out Boy

  3. #3
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    594 sx/sp
    LII Ne


    From personal experience and observation of various other people, I think a "rebellious" streak is necessary in order to make a clean break from childhood (where you are the recipient of lots of forces acting upon you, including parents, family, peers, and culture) and enter adulthood, where you can now make autonomous, self-directed decisions.

    I think the severity of the 'rebellion' depends on the personality involved, how accommodating they were of the system beforehand, and the size of the disparity between internal inclination and external pressures, among other things. Those who are rebellious from an early age and never fully accept the environmental imprint usually have to learn the opposite sort of lesson -- how bend and accommodate others -- in the process of becoming integrated into society, while the obedient or accommodating will at some point have to make a clean break from being a child and dependent on the system before coming back to engage it as a truly independent adult. Otherwise one lives a sort of "half-life," beholden on the approval of some range of authority figures.

    Usually it takes a crisis (or series of crises) of some sort in order for one to make the necessary changes toward either rebellion or accommodating/connection. The behavior pattern until that point is fairly stabilized, especially if the person has reached adulthood in the legal/physical sense, and has to be upset/challenged by something fairly large and disruptive, where lines finally get drawn and commitments to self or others get made.

    This is typically also part of attachment theory, with children. It's common for the child to quickly becoming attached to Primary Caregiver (usually the mom in western culture), so after 6-12 months the child will fixate on PC and be more wary of strangers, and when the child begins to range out (after learning to crawl and walk), the PC provides an anchor/reassurance point the child keeps coming back to. Eventually the child will hopefully stretch and explore and that tether becomes longer and longer. Typical parenting involves moving from a more authoritarian mindset when the child is young to one where the parent is letting the child be more an more autonomous as the child approaches adulthood. The rebellious streak will be in proportion to the amount of force exerted by the parent to keep the child under control, so parents who equip their children to think autonomously and encourage expression of ideas and exploration rather than stifling the child will hopefully lessen the severity of the rebellious streak. But this is typically why the teenage years -- where the child has more capacity to make decisions, more awareness of decisions to be made and social influence being imposed upon those decisions, and is physically, emotionally, and mentally coming closer and closer to living independently -- are the rebellious stage. The child has to "leave the nest" before he or she can fly back, so to speak, and parents have to relinquish those bonds.

    For me, I had a fractured life for much of my adulthood. I never had an actual rebellious phase in my teenage years and instead maintained the goodwill of authority figures in my life, partly to keep my life calm and partly to win approval. I felt too voiceless within my family and subculture to be able to express an opinion (all it caused was sterss and trouble inflicted on me), so typically internally I held one set of values, externally I knew what the other set of values was, and I tried to somehow express only the intersection of the two (aside from trying to flex and twist those demarcations in order to expand that intersection set -- i.e., change the environment if I could without pushing hard enough to break it). I also, like a child, did not want to lose people's approval, which I had received all my life. When I was alone or in other environments, I was able to express myself far more freely, and there was a growing dichotomy between the inner and outer even if the intersection of the two that I expressed was still part of who I was.

    I finally got to a point where I couldn't handle the stress of that dichotomy, and my environment (family and social network) responded pretty much as I had expected, and I lost a lot of support. It was devastating to go from being respected by everyone and considered a font of advice and an example to, literally overnight, the black sheep who people either shun or else "patiently await my return" to their values.

    For example, a lot of my family sees my stopping attending church as some sort of adolescent rebellious phase I'll outgrow, whereas actually it was far more a true reflection of my idea that spiritual values for me are not something that typically grows within institutionalized religion; I need far more freedom than that, and I hated the way that open discourse had always been stifled in my family and in church. It was also one of those situations where I wasn't yet quite strong enough to push back against the array of social forces putting pressure on me to conform, so I did the next best thing: I left. I might one day become a consistent member of some "group expression of faith" but it will be on my own terms, and a group of my own choosing rather than one meant to accommodate my family.

    In that sense, then, it's very much that I had to "break away" to get rid of the lingering traces of the old so that if and when I finally reclaim some of that, it'll be on my terms and a reflection of my own choices and values, not anyone else's.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #4
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    May 2007
    6w5 sp/sx


    Very rebellious with parents, not so much with society or anything else (mostly because I was pretty withdrawn from everything else anyway).

    Mind you, that "rebellion" was really just me realizing that they couldn't force me to do anything. So it wasn't doing anything I don't do now, just being more forceful about getting to do it, I guess. Like when I stopped going to church, it was rebellion in the sense that I was flat-out refusing to obey (and never did), but it wasn't done to "be rebellious", either.
    -end of thread-

  5. #5
    Self sustaining supernova Zoom's Avatar
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    Feb 2009


    Rebellious phase? Oh, right... I moved across the country without telling anyone.

    Other than that I don't remember one specific period - there were some random examples over the course of years, every time I got to a breaking point of boredom and/or stress. It was normally done more to be free than to rebel specifically, but...

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    I have had what one might consider rebellious stages at different points in my life. Mine tend to be more about disdain for policies or rules that I think are completely illogical or unjust. I think rebellion is probably a natural part of an individuals existence. Like your example of the rioting in the UK, I currently do have a pretty strong dislike for the policies and practices of what could be called the "ruling class". If I could see a way to rebel that was actually productive I probably would not be against it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Jan 2010


    I deleted some stuff I had here earlier (too personal, I think..), but I was kind of a cliche as far as rebellious behavior goes. I wasn't getting taken seriously enough from either the "authority" angle or the peer angle, so I ended up with a big chip on my shoulder. Inside, I was never "hardcore" or anything, but it got pretty stupid how I started devaluing and defying "standard behavior" (whatever that is). I latched on to a lot of criminal fantasies, started hanging out with gangs, made a point to just experiment with everything I was told not to do. I think I took the majority of street drugs before I was 16. Among other things. It's amazing how just 3 or 4 years in my teens have affected the outcome of my future though. I'm still kind of paying for it. The odd thing is is that my parents were OK for the most part. I lost touch with them at the time, but it was never their fault exactly. I trust them more than anyone else.

  8. #8


    Its interesting some of the points that have been made because I agree that it does involve a striking out independently of some authority and challenging a received wisdom to become autonomous. Consequently I do believe it is an age and stage of development thing. How it looks can be very different though.

    When I was growing up I do think I rebelled and was conscious about doing so, in part it was about the joy of simply being able to and a reflection of immaturity too, I try not to guilt myself too much about people I perhaps was rude to but would not be if I met them now in the same circumstances but sometimes.

    However one thing that I do find interesting is that my rebellious phase didnt really involve challenging my parents, it did involve some challenge to social norms or perceived social norms but not what could perhaps be framed as broadly liberalising, instead I thought the cultural or other authorities which proffered alternatives to my family's values or norms where found seriously wanting in the balance. So while I may have worn a T-shirt with swears on it, I was more interested in the fact that it also had Che Guevara on it and symbolically this was in congruence with some of the political and social perspectives of my home life.

  9. #9
    Senior Member IndyGhost's Avatar
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    May 2010
    4w5 sx/sp


    I had a late rebellion stage... which i think resulted in me also feeling like a late bloomer. So this "rebellious phase" topic is pretty interesting...

    My parents never really gave me much reason to be rebellious. They were incredibly liberal in how they raised me and my sister. We didn't have a curfew. They let us drive out to the city for concerts and what not all the time. We both had jobs where we often worked late, which gave us room to also hang out late with our friends. They even let us drink. It just wasn't a big deal to them... my dad always said he was raised in a bar and he spent the first part of his life in Germany, where he said if you were tall enough to reach the bar, you were old enough to drink. Haha.

    Also, we were never spoiled growing up... and we were taught to work hard. I've been working full time since I was 16. I bought my own car, my own clothes, my own cd's and cellphone, etc.

    My parents in general, were also very fun loving people who worked hard. They raised us to have an open mind in politics and religion and many other aspects of the world. And I always appreciated this in them.

    My rebellious streak started when I was in early college. Once I began having a serious relationship with a boy my parents hated... problems arised. On top of this, this is about where my parents began having serious financial issues of their own. I couldn't afford my car payment and other bills I used to be able to handle on my own, while attending a university... so I took time out of school to try to help. My parents interpreted this as, me taking time out of school to spend more time with my boyfriend... though I was obviously working my ass off every week.

    Eventually, the relationship I was in ended... I was back in school again... and thought they might finally be able to financially back me. They weren't able to, and the problems continued. Me and my parents fought more than I could remember in any point in time in my life. Eventually, I lost my car... then had my heart broken (by a different boyfriend), moved in, then out, then back in again, then out again of my parents household... and all my other finances were in a frenzy as well. Basically, we were all stressed out and lots of blaming happened. This is about the time I began my serious drug use. I was on a pendulum of emotions that swung back and forth and didn't know how to handle it all... and eventually I had a complete breakdown.

    Outside of family and rebellion, or the law and rebellion, I've always been rebellious against the social structure, norms, and ideals. Like I said, my parents raised us to be open minded... but I pushed that a bit further than them. My parents were moderates, where I leaned towards anarchism. They didn't raise us in a church and considered themselves agnostics, but I wanted to study buddhism, hinduism, philosophy, etc. I suppose I lean towards New Age spiritualism.

    But, just as everyone theorized above... once exiting the rebellious phase, I found a peace and a balance between my outlook and the world's and could finally reintegrate myself as an autonomous and independent adult.
    "I don't know a perfect person.
    I only know flawed people who are still worth loving."
    -John Green

  10. #10
    F CK all I need is U ilikeitlikethat's Avatar
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    May 2012
    7w8 sx/so


    I've had a reckless stage, that was pretty fun... The year was 2004, Emos were multiplying and everything we could afford, we did. The Goths and the Skaters and the Trendys and the us, the Stoner Disciples.

    I've rebeled against fellow stoners who, tbh, the same old tired story to pick up new girls wore thin with me, but that was 2007. Everyone and anyone in Croydon would be raising all sorts of Hell in Queen's or Fair's or, where ever... A lot of good times, mostily drunk, mostily stoned, mostily saw the dirty underbelly for a while.

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