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  1. #1
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Default Do people want to be normal or speshul?

    Warning: Huge generalisations taking place. Simplifying a complex matter.

    Having just come back from some psychology/sociology lectures about development and identity. I've been trying to figure out the reason people self-identify themselves as deviant/normal/don't really care or think about it. So far speaking to most of my friends...

    Most of my friends: "I'm different"
    One or two friends: "I'm normal"
    One friend: "I don't strive to be normal or different"
    Ignoring the problem of having to define what is normal, in this case, we'll take it as what the observer thinks it is. The three categories above probably capture how most people feel about themselves in comparison to their peers with the sub-categories of "I want to be different/I want to be normal". There's going to be lots of different motivations and reasons for taking the various positions like rejection of a specific culture, desire for greatness or lots of other reasons, that I can't think of at the moment, but believe probably exist. Help me out here?

    For a long time, I believed that most people strive to be unique, which is especially reflected in the culture with live in now "Be yourself/Do what you want". This is also supported by own perspective that deviant behaviour is slowly but more likely to be accepted today in the younger generation (That's so random! I'm so random!) or things like alternative sexualities being accepted. This is contrasted with the past, where there appears to be more strict controls of acting normal in order to be accepted by society.

    Moving back the main questions.

    How many people actually want to be normal?
    How many people actually want to be different?
    How many people are indifferent?
    What's the population ratio and the reasons for striving for these positions?
    It's only starting to dawn upon me, that there are people who are content with being normal and might even strive to be so. But I suppose I should have seen this ages ago, considering that we still get people saying "That's just weird". The most odd thing was hearing someone who considers themselves weird to call another person weird in a negative way.

    Despite all of this, part of me thinks that people in general do want to be different and unique. That people aren't really wanting to be normal, rather they want to be accepted instead. That would mean that if differences become more accepted in the future, the idea of normal behaviour will become even weaker/broad to the extent that it'd become a useless term.

    Some other thoughts that come to mind when thinking about the issue. But overall really I'm discussing about perceiving yourself as different/normal, not about whether you really are different/normal.

    - Those who strive to be different are really normal. Those who are actually different, often want to be normal. Damn it!
    - If everyone is unique, technically nobody is really unique?

  2. #2
    Listening Oaky's Avatar
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    People want to be 'unique'.
    People are most likely not unique because they want to be unique.
    People who considers themselves normal can be normal or unique
    The contradiction though is that as much as people want to become unique, they want to 'fit in'.
    'Fitting in' = being normal
    Actually being unique =/= 'fitting in'
    It could also come to conclude that someone would 'fit in' by wanting to become unique but they wouldn't be.

  3. #3
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I want to be normal, but I'm depressed because I feel like I'm different.

  4. #4
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    Most people claim normalcy outwardly (take pride in) (what is accepted as standard by most), secretly wanting to be unique/believe they are unique.

    Others assert their uniqueness (take pride in), but, in the terms we are talking about, are probably not wholly remarkable in measurable standards.

    Still others are only inclined to think one way or another but don't assert...probably just hope others notice.

    And some don't really think about it.



    I don't care/don't know if I am unique or normal according to others, and I don't spend any time thinking about it in regards to myself.

    I see humans more like this (in terms of being special...everything kind of is):

    “Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world's phenomena intersect, only once in this way, and never again”

    --Hermann Hesse

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Phantonym
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    Nowadays, when everybody seems to be wanting to be special, wanting to be normal is actually pretty special.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    That people aren't really wanting to be normal, rather they want to be accepted instead.
    I agree. I don't make any specific effort to be either normal or different/special, I just am and I want to be accepted just as I am.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ragingkatsuki View Post
    People want to be 'unique'.
    People are most likely not unique because they want to be unique.
    People who considers themselves normal can be normal or unique
    The contradiction though is that as much as people want to become unique, they want to 'fit in'.
    'Fitting in' = being normal
    Actually being unique =/= 'fitting in'
    It could also come to conclude that someone would 'fit in' by wanting to become unique but they wouldn't be.
    Yes, but we're dealing with the perception of being normal and different. As to whether they actually are normal is a different matter. What causes people to self-identify themselves as unique/normal and what is that ratio?

    Ergh, the huge problem of being normal to one person, but being unique to another individual. That's probably why it's best to look at it from the perspective of the person making the claim than base it on outside standards. Using the idea that to fit in = being normal, that would mean that all humans are normal because it's likely all people want to fit in somewhere. Even those that don't care about normality, would go under the category of normal. ^^'

    Quote Originally Posted by Sky is BLUE! View Post
    Nowadays, when everybody seems to be wanting to be special, wanting to be normal is actually pretty special.

    I agree. I don't make any specific effort to be either normal or different/special, I just am and I want to be accepted just as I am.
    1. Brain explosion. x___x (To be normal would be to want to be special, which is pretty normal. Confusing ah.)
    2. I'd say that's a pretty abnormal position to take, but maybe I'm just really out of touch with how people really think.

  8. #8
    Phantonym
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    1. Brain explosion. x___x
    2. I'd say that's a pretty abnormal position to take, but maybe I'm just really out of touch with how people really think.
    1. Um.
    2. Thanks, now I feel special. That's just how I think, other people have brains on their own.

  9. #9
    Listening Oaky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    Yes, but we're dealing with the perception of being normal and different. As to whether they actually are normal is a different matter. What causes people to self-identify themselves as unique/normal and what is that ratio?
    People self identify themselves with something they want to be.

    They want to be unique because it seems that people take an interest in unique people therefore people will take an interest in them.

    Ergh, the huge problem of being normal to one person, but being unique to another individual. That's probably why it's best to look at it from the perspective of the person making the claim than base it on outside standards.

    Using the idea that to fit in = being normal, that would mean that all humans are normal because it's likely all people want to fit in somewhere. Even those that don't care about normality, would go under the category of normal. ^^'
    Yes, All humans are normal as long as there is a place they can fit in in the world. This is also to say that people can be unique in one place and normal in another.

  10. #10
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ragingkatsuki View Post
    People want to be 'unique'.
    People are most likely not unique because they want to be unique.
    I understand what you're saying here, but I have one clarification I'd like to add.

    When you say "People are most likely not unique because they want to be unique." , I am going to interpret that as:

    "People that want to be considered unique by others are numerous, therefore such a mindset is not unique."

    ALL people, ALL humans are UNIQUE. Each of us has not only a unique DNA blurprint (with the exception of monozygotic identical twins) and each person has been reared in an environment that provided them with experiences that shaped their DNA blueprint as it morphed into their phenotype, their growing/adult minds/bodies, thus making them even more UNIQUE.

    I think the issue discussed here is more of an issue in western, individualist societies than in eastern collectivist societies. We have hang-ups about if anyone else in town has the same T-shirt as us, while others across the globe are making sure their Grandma has enough food for the day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    Yes, but we're dealing with the perception of being normal and different. As to whether they actually are normal is a different matter. What causes people to self-identify themselves as unique/normal and what is that ratio?
    Your question is not solvable because the defintion of "normal" cannot be standardized in a way that every perosn in the world agrees with it. It's as hard to define "normal" as it is to define "terrorism." Perspective is everything, thus making the endeavor very subjective, and exposing any study done of the concept to a wide margin of error.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sky is BLUE! View Post
    1. Um.
    2. Thanks, now I feel special. That's just how I think, other people have brains on their own.
    See here, a good egg has spoken.
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