We go through our lives trying to be like everyone else. We even have the phrase for it “Keeping Up with the Joneses”. But why do we try to be like everybody else? It is so stressful! Wouldn’t life be easier if we could just be ourselves? If we didn’t have to worry that someone won’t like us because we are different in some way?
Another way of looking at it is why do we try so hard to be “normal”? One big reason is other people don’t like it when we look, behave or respond to them in unexpected ways. We rock the boat so to speak, and that makes THEM uncomfortable. And if THEY are uncomfortable what happens? They judge, they pass laws, they arrest, they cancel parades, they ostracize, they disown, they scream, they flip us off or they may even attack.
But for anyone who isn’t “normal” or doesn’t “fit in” life can be difficult, maybe even dangerous. If we can, we might hide those parts of us that others don’t want to see because it makes them uncomfortable. But if we can’t hide what makes us different - then what?
The problem with normal is that normal, just like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Your normal isn’t necessarily my normal. The second problem with normal is that normal isn’t creative, or adventurous, or exciting or uplifting. Normal means everything stays exactly the same. Worse, normal means everything is exactly the same. Normal is safe.
Take a moment to think about people in history that might not have been considered “normal” for their time. Then consider how they have impacted our lives. How they changed society. Having Trouble? Here are some to get you started:
- Rosa Parks
- Albert Einstein
- Patrons of the Stonewall Inn
- Nikola Tesla
- Steve Jobs
- Michael Jackson
- Gloria Steinem
- Susan B. Anthony
If you have trouble getting beyond comfortable so that you too can have an exciting and successful life, please call. I would be happy to talk to you.
PS: A really fun read on this subject is “Why Normal Isn’t Healthy” written by Bowen F. White, MD .