The Importance of Being Different
We don’t want to be different. We want to be original, but in such a way that others want to be just like us. They need to feel the desire to be just as ‘original’ as we are. If they do not have that longing, to be normal but simultaneously slightly different, they are predictable and don’t merit our company or even our attention.
Sounds a bit funny, doesn’t it? That’s because it is.
We all unconsciously search for the conformity in ourselves. We want to be noticed, but at the same time we don’t want to be an outsider. We want to fit in, but rather in an exceptional way.
And this is where it gets problematic. Being normal and being different are two colliding worlds. It is impossible to be truly different, while we aspire to be normal at the same time. It is a silly thing to try and hide our inconsistencies, just to fit in. We should not only accept our differences, but appreciate them, treasure them. Fitting in is ignoring who you are. It is obstructing you of being yourself. If they call you a rare bird or an eccentric, as if it is an insult, you should see it as a positive statement. Since they are compliantly blending in, while you are magnificently standing out.
We are ashamed of being considered atypical, as we are scared of being alone. But the thing is, that we should not be scared to be alone, just as we should never be ashamed to be ourselves. It truly is as simple and as complicated as that.
Going against the social norms makes you think in a different way. It makes you more creative. Your unique perspective will never let you down. People who are ‘normal’ are boring other people and themselves to tears. People who are strange, who are peculiar, who do not fit in, will never cease to surprise and fascinate others, as well as themselves.
Everyone is different. We have had different experiences, have lived different lives, thought different things and have obsessed about different stuff. We all have our own level of consciousness. No two persons are the same. Literally nobody agrees completely with how you think. Every person relates differently to the world and their surroundings. What feels like normal behavior to you, can appear like bizarre behavior to someone else. So, yes, we are all different, but at the end of the day we’re just people living in the same world.
Be that as it may, we are not considered equally socially acceptable. If we are not mindful, this reality of being different could harm our self-worth. Being socially acceptable is so pushed down our throat from the day we are born, that it is hard to say no to it. From an early age we are told that we have to act in certain ways to be accepted, so we sculpt ourselves, trying to match society’s expectations.
One of our basic needs is the desire for love. We need to be loved. In order to earn love, we usually choose to be someone we are not. We mimic to be who the other person wants us to be. Sooner or later, we get tired of this constant pretense, and the relationship will come to an end. Paradoxically enough we are always linking love to sincerity, while almost everybody wears a mask when they are falling in love.
And yet it is very simple, how we can get rid of being socially acceptable, although I must admit that it requires some considerable courage and you will need to take some emotional chances.
The people that are truly worth it, will never abandon you. In fact, they will actually appreciate your little – and maybe not so little – quirks, and they will sincerely love you for them. So, stop pretending that you are somebody else, and just be yourself.
Can you imagine the exciting freedom you will feel, when you start to be your true self? Yes, you will almost certainly lose some friends, but the relationships that overcome the fact that you don’t care about what people think of you, anymore, and the new relationships that will develop after that, will be so much more fulfilling than you ever thought possible.
You see, I truly believe there is a little conflict with the world in all of us. From the playground on we spend our lives struggling to camouflage our ‘being different’, but if you scratch away the surface you can see that under that layer of disguise is another person that slightly doesn’t fit in.
Wouldn’t it be comforting if we could just embrace our differences, rather than be worrying about them being exposed, our whole damn lives? Wouldn’t it be more rewarding, if relationships are built on openness, affection and empathy?
Aside from some superficial people, who are not capable to appreciate who we truly are, what have we got to lose?
© 2017 – David Lee Kollberg