Ever thought of yourself as abnormal? Or that no one would be able to relate? Perhaps you think that no one else is like you so others won’t understand.
You’re right. Most people are not like you, and that's ok because you're probably not like them either.
I’ve always struggled to fit in. Especially in large groups of people. You can debate that I’m probably just an introvert and use the fact that I moved out of downtown Montreal into a forest as an argument. That may be partially true but I’m not the only introverted person in the world. And although no one can possible fully understand the way I feel or live through my experiences, some people can relate.
In my opinion, we’ve been educated since childhood by the pressure of making friends, being social and ultimately fitting in. Our parents did it, consciously or not, by dressing us is the clothes that their friends’ kids are wearing, putting us in group classes, making us do things better than other kids. You did it to yourself as a child because you needed to connect with others and didn’t know how unless you did the same activities or dressed the same way. It all creates this need to fit into certain groups of types of people.
Now, I’m not saying that everyone should become recluse and weirdos. We are social creatures after all, and until humanity has dealt with all of its own childhood traumas, we will pass on our own insecurities to our children and our social circles.
Instead, what I’m suggesting is that we should spend time to get to know ourselves. By doing so, you might discover that you are in fact NOT like your childhood best friend, in fact there are aspects of you that are unlike anyone you’ve ever met. You may also find out that you have certain traits, preferences, likes and dislikes that don’t relate to the group of people you consider your closest friends. You might also find the opposite and realize there are some in your life who are exactly like you. The thing is, you’ll never know for sure until you do a proper assessment of yourself.
This is no easy feat. We struggle taking our own advice (even though it’s typically the best one), and we beat ourselves up when we fail. Yet, when a friend is in trouble we have no problem giving them the best advice, and even knowing them better than they know themselves. Why is that? Why is it that we know some people better than we know the person we spend the most time with?
The answer is simple. We don’t actually spend enough quality time with ourselves. When was the last time you were actually alone? With your own thoughts, and without distractions from social media, Netflix, YouTube, a book…but truly with just ”me, myself and I”. How did you feel? Did you get anxious and felt the need to get up and clean the house? Did you start getting emotional and couldn’t deal with it so you found a distraction?
What I’ve come to discover is that the more to get to truly know yourself, the more reasonable you become with your expectations towards yourself. This can be in a form of journaling, meditation, jogging, yoga, painting, silent walks alone, or any other activity that allows you to focus on your mind instead of your body.
Ever since I started taking the time to spend time with myself, I‘ve gotten to know my strengths and flaws so much better. With this newfound knowledge, I’m now better equipped to go through life’s curveballs and understand where I need support, and where I’m able to support others.
Finally, by learning more about myself it has become easier to let go and know that most things that happen in life - they’re not about me. They‘re just things that happen. They’re thing that happen like a domino effect because of some stranger’s insecurity or confidence in life. I just happen to be in this domino chain’s path. The only important thing is how I choose to deal with this impromptu event. Do I allow myself to get sucked in? Or do I take a step back because it doesn’t allow me to grow as a person and doesn’t bring me any sense of joy. The choice then becomes yours, because you KNOW yourself.
So the next time you think that you’re not normal, or that no one else is like you - you’re absolutely right.
You are unique and only YOU can authentically know yourself so that you can take control of that steering wheel and go where YOU want to go in life. The caveat is now you are accountable for your own choices and actions - and THAT is true freedom.