Buck Black offers psychotherapy for anger issues through his practice in the Lafayette Indiana area (www.BuckBlack.com) via phone, email, and office visits. He ...Read More
Given that people come to see me because there is something not quite right in their life (or so they think), I see a lot of people asking if they are “normal.” This is such an interesting question. Actually, I do not claim to know the definition of “normal” and I don’t think anyone does. Most of us want to fit in. However, we all do things that are considered to be “abnormal.” So, I suppose that none of us are considered “normal,” for that matter. I certainly don’t consider myself “normal!”
Since everyone has his or her quirks, this is really a fantastic thing. Could you imagine if everyone was exactly the same? It would be a rather boring place and life’s goal post would be mighty crowded. For those who are really focused on trying to figure out if they are “normal” or how to be “normal,” I ask why this is so important to them. The answer to this question usually identifies the real struggle the person is having.
My take on human behavior is this: If your behavior is causing a problem, then it is a problem. If your behavior is different from many you know, but there is no obvious problem, then who cares? As a result of our society being so focused on fitting in, we often lose our individuality. This is a mighty sad thing. Just think how great diversity is. Dr. Alfred Kinsey, who many believe is the first person to scientifically study sex, emphasized how diversity is so important to every organism. He embraced the differences in human beings and did his best to encourage others to respect individual differences.
The next time you ask yourself if you are “normal” or if you should be “normal” or how you can be “normal,” Stop It! What good is “normal?” If you are enjoying yourself and not hurting anyone, then be who you are. Isn’t life much better when you are being yourself, instead of trying to just be like everyone else?