I for one never really cared for what the society think as long as my parents have faith in me. Many a times in our lives we give up cherished dreams and let go of important people under societal pressure.
This is where we really need to understand what the society is all about. Sure 'man is a social animal,' but you should not be bound to rules which others make for you. God has given all us a brain to judge things and make our own perceptions. The same people who miss no opportunity to critise will be the last ones to help during your time of need. I've seen all this as part of my growing up, not just in my family but elsewhere as well. My 'gurumantra' for all this is simple, hear everybody but do what your inner-self tells you.
But, it's all easier said than done. People who are not strong enough normally give in to the demands of the society. This doesn't mean that you've to be an iconoclast all the time. There are certain things which even the weakest of minds understand, viz., cigarette smoking is injurious to health, gambling is not good, etc. What I'm trying to say is you need not break the rules all the time but don't compromise when your heart says otherwise.
The whole universe revolves around the world 'I.' I love my parents for what they did to 'me.' I love my friends for being there when 'I' needed them most. I love my teachers for what they tought 'me.' I love my work because 'I' enjoy doing it. I love a city because 'I' was born there. Isn't it all about 'You.' End of the day it's your happiness and peace of mind that counts and not what others think of what you do!
Had the Wright brothers given up their dream of flying to appease the society we wouldn't have crossed oceans in hours. Think about it!