What is normal?
March 30, 2017 4:39am CST
What is normal? I've always hated the term "normal" because it makes it seem like there's an actual definition for the way someone or something should be. In truth we are all different, we are all our own version of normal. You can't just take everyone and lump them into the same mold. We all have our own unique personality, we all have different likes and dislikes. We all look, think, and act differently. We may share some similarities with others but we also have many differences from those around us. I spent my teenage years trying to fit into this mold of what I thought normal was, I wanted to be accepted. It took me years to figure out that I wasn't normal, but that's because no one is. Some of us may be less awkward, or less peculiar than others, but we are all unique. Even identical twins aren't completely alike. You can look a lot like someone and still be so completely different. I grew to despise the term normal, at least for describing people. "She's not normal" you're darn right I'm not, but neither are you. I feel like I could have saved myself a lot of time when growing up if I had just accepted myself as I am. I still haven't quite accepted myself. I have self-esteem issues, and I am not confident, and a lot of that was social pressure. The only time I can remember ever being OK with who I was, was before junior high. Once my teen years started I started to realize I was what some people considered "weird." It's not that I changed, it's that I became more aware and started to care more. I was always a little awkward and shy, but I didn't really become aware of it until I got older because people made me aware of it. My teen years shaped who I am now, the people around me are what helped turn me into the mess that I am. People don't realize that their words and actions can make a huge difference to those around them. You may be being mean to fit in, but words aren't just words, they can cut like a knife to a kid who is already so unsure of themselves. It's easier to believe the bad things than it is the good things about yourself. Words matter. Kids are mean because they want to fit in or maybe feel better about themselves, and at the time they don't care about what their actions do to another person, but they NEED to understand. They might regret it later, but in that moment they don't care and if they do it's not enough to stop them. Who we were as teenagers can haunt us for years to come. I believe that part of the issue is because we use the word normal. This term makes us organize people into groups instead of seeing them as actual people and looking at them for who they are and not who we think they should be. Again I ask, what is normal? To me, normal is a term we use to describe how we think people should be and not for who they actually are. I don't like the term normal when it comes to describing someone. "They're normal" but the truth is no one is actually normal because we are all so different from one another. We find people who might have more similarities to us than others do, but even then there's still so many differences. I don't believe there is a single normal human being on this planet, but that's just me, maybe someone else sees things differently than me, but I think that's the point. We are all different and we all think differently.
7 people like this
• United States
@celticeagle I really wasn't, most people just thought I was weird and I got bullied some and made fun of behind my back. I had a few friends and for the most part, I was happy with that, but there were times when I just wanted to be more accepted and not constantly made to feel like a freak. I think the biggest reason I wanted to fit in is so I wouldn't have to feel like I was often made to feel. That maybe I wouldn't have a target symbol on my forehead.
• Hartford, Connecticut
I think being different is the normal. I was one of those weird kids in school too. Didn't have a whole bunch of friends... I was shy until in my 20's But I never did think I should give in to peer pressure to be normal. I liked who I was for the most part. I thought most of them were probably the jerks. LOL. I may have been shy, But I had high self respect. Now as an adult I am still picky with my friends.. but most of the ones I pick are just a little skewed this way or that from what most people think as Normal. I like that we all have a twisted warped sense of humor. I think those without one are abnormal. It's okay to be different.
• United States
I wanted to fit in and be accepted but I was never fully willing to change who I was to do it. I never had a lot of friends but the ones I had were pretty awesome people. I wanted to be accepted for myself but there were only a few people willing to do that. All of my friends are a little odd but they're great people. I have always had issues fully accepting myself but at the same time I am not willing to be someone else to get acceptance. It was something I wanted but was never willing to be someone else to get it. Now I'm still socially awkward and shy but have still managed to find a few friends who accept me. I learned that fitting in isn't important but I'm still not fully accepting of who I am. More so now than what I was then though.
• United States
@minx267 lol, that's easier said than done when I have grown up with the issues I have. I have anxiety too so I constantly feel judged and as much as I'd like to not care my anxiety doesn't allow me to. It's something I'm working on though.
A vague definition would be that people are normal if they follow the prevalent rules belonging to their culture. A simple example: an Indian with a turban is normal. A German with a turban wouldn't be normal. Working women are normal in Western societies but not in traditional Arab ones etc.
• United States
True, but I often hear it in the context of when a person seems odd based on their actions. Someone who does something that someone else thinks is weird. Like I was told I wasn't normal growing up because I was socially awkward and I was quiet. In that way plenty of people wouldn't be normal because their personality doesn't match what society says it should.