Social cohesion is mainly based upon consensus and mutual cooperation. Which means that nobody gets to do his/her own thing all of the time and ignore the wishes of others. Part of being an effective member of a social group is occasionally tempering one's own wishes and trying to dove-tail these into the necessities of a social existance. Anybody who does whatever he/she likes is usually very quickly sidelined in daily life, because if people can't count on you, you run the risk of being ostricised and ignored at a certain point. A society doesn't have much use for totally selfish people, at some point there needs to be some point of meaningful contact between its members from which all stand to gain.
On the other hand though, trying to become as acceptable as possible in a social setting by ignoring your own wishes, and pandering to popular interest whilst putting your own needs aside, leaves you feeling used and abused, and wondering what the hell is going on. It's a set-up for feeling totally miserable, given enough time. Nobody wins, you feel frustrated and compromised, and others view you as a pushover and a wimp because they know that you will never, ever say "No". Once again, even though conservative forces in society demand otherwise, the push towards total conformity with too many people saying and doing the same thing out of fear of what others might think, is a recipe for disaster since any forms of originality,creativity or renewal are pushed aside as irrelevant, undesireable or unnecessary.
One of the things I fear is not being taught enough in schools, and in society in general, is that assertivity and self-promotion is important and very necessary for a sense of self worth. We live in a society of consumerist individualism, where everybody seems to be following each other in fashions, trends and memes, where real individuals who assertively promote their own points of view are few and far between. Such individuals are initially viewed with suspicion, even hostility occasionally and kept at a safe distance until the merits/demerits of their standpoints have been assessed. Nevertheless, they serve an important function in the development and progress in society, questioning old values and defining new ones, pushing accepted boundaries to the limit and redefining modes of social interaction.
A society that can not or will not change will eventually die, stagnating in a gray cloud of sad mediocrity where innovation is stifled, creativity frowned upon and benefiting only those running the show. In contrast, a society which is in a state of extreme flux and revolution runs a great risk of falling apart since the social "glue" which keeps them together is dissolving at a faster rate than the population can deal with effectively, leaving the way open for opportunists and profiteurs to take advantage of the disrupted social situation. People are needed who can, at the same time, generate enough energy and insight to provide new insights to social existence and at the same time create enough confidence in a social setting to provide a stable framework in which to live.
Standing up for your own views in a clear, concise and articulate fashion forms one of the bases of a worthwhile and meaningful existence. Knowing what you want, expressing what you need, being realistic and not immediately accepting the inevitable conservative reactions is of vital importance for growth, not only in a personal sense but also in a way of benefit to society in general. No matter what happens, you are exquisitely important as an individual. You are not just part of a collective group, you have your own unique talents and possibilities and have the right to use these in whatever ways you find necessary to improve the society you live in. The world is yours, take it and make it an even better one.