The Issues Surrounding Being Different-the Minuses and Pluses
People perceive being different as both positive and negative. Some consider being different is a mark of a person being fearless, even fierce. in their purview, it takes courage to be different from the rest of human automatons in a society. They see those being different as the true leaders, movers, and shakers in society. They contend that it takes a thinking person who is willing to challenge and question the status quo. They further maintain that if it were not for those who are different, there would be no advancements, changes, and/or progress in civilization, culture, and society at large.
There are others who see being different quite negatively. They view people who are different as odd, strange, even deviant. They believe that being different is quite burdensome and oftentimes without rewards. They feel that it is far easier for people to conform and be like everyone else. After all, they cite that people are accepted, even immensely rewarded for being like everyone else. They consider those who are different as problematic, even troublesome. They maintain that why do people desire to be different when it is so much easier to conform.
The ISSUE of Conformity
Cultures and societies value, praise, prize, even deify conformity. Conformity is the name of the game in most cultures and societies. The person who conforms is accepted. People want to be belong and fit in. They want the applause and adulation of their particular social circle whether it is familial, school, work, religious and/or another social circle. They want to be included. They know that there are numerous rewards in conforming and being similar, if not the same as those in their particular familial, school, work, religious, and/or other social circle. As a result of their conformity, they are seen quite favorably by others. They are viewed as obedient, controllable, and even exemplary.
For example, children who are the same and similar to their parents in terms of characteristics, personalities, views, beliefs, and outlooks are oftentimes treated preferentially by their parents. They are given more privileges and held as examples to what the other children in the family should be. They are even deemed to be parental favorites. Not only at home, children who conform to their prevailing school structure are oftentimes praised by teachers as being the ideal, well-behaved child. They are even teacher's pets. Likewise, people who conform to their particular social circle are admired. They are viewed as trustworthy as people are comfortable around them as their views and outlooks are the same, if not similar to those of their particular circle. Besides people being comfortable around those who are the same and/or similar in outlook, they feel a sense of safety, even security around such people. In essence, those who are the same and/or similar to others are considered to be non-threatening.
Being Different.............Oh, the .......FEAR
The FEAR of Being Different
The reason why many people conform is that they do not want to be different from others. They want to be within the graces of their particular social circle. They want to be considered normal, the all around person, and a desired social person. They even want to be deemed well-liked, if not popular among those in their particular social circle. They feel that there is safe and security in crowds. They may contend that conforming gives them a sense of validity in that those of their social circle believe and act as they do. They feel quite comfortable in their respective status quo.
Even if they do not desire to conform, they must do so in order to be accepted and approved, even held in high esteem by others. There are people who disguise, even subvert their true personalities in order to fit in with their social circle. They fear that if they show their true personalities, they would be ostracized or worse. The biggest stigma that many people have is being different from the rest of society or even their own social circle. One of the worst things that one can be deemed as odd. Most people are afraid of being called odd for that word has negative connotations. It means that one is not like others. It means that one stands out and not in a positive way. It means being alone. Yes, many people conform because they do not want to be different from the crowd. What they most fear besides from that is being alone because of being excluded solely on that basis.
Us Versus .............THEM
The DEMONIZATION of Being Different
Many people perceive those who are different quite negatively. With such a premium placed upon people being the same or similar to others in their particular social circle and/or in the majority culture and society on whole, being different is considered to be odd, even outlandish at best and a pariah at worst. Being different is even viewed as somewhat abnormal, even pathological. People are inherently afraid of differences and what many do not or will not understand, they tend to demonize. This demonization begins in childhood, children who are different are expected to conform. If they do not conform, they are considered to be problematic. This is done not only by teachers but other children exert pressure on such children to conform by avoiding, barely tolerating, and/or even bullying them. Adolescents fare worse. Tweens and teens who do not conform are ostracized by their peers. They are considered to be unpopular and are oftentimes excluded from social activities.
People who do not conform to their particular social circle or the majority culture and/or society are considered untrustworthy. They are viewed as suspect, even dangerous. The thought is who can really trust such people when they do not agree with the majority consensus whether it is a social circle or the general societal culture. They are even perceived as being beyond the norm. They are even classified as evil because of their difference from the rest of their social circle and/or the majority culture and/or society. They are considered to be the other, even an outsider. They are even denigrated to a nonperson status. Because of their nonperson status in the eyes of others, they can be easily marginalized as insignificant.
Being Different Seen As........THREATENING
Difference is perceived by people to be.........threatening. It can also be considered to be disturbing, unsettling and unnerving. People are comfortable, even ensconced in the usual order of things because it provides an emotional, psychological, and/or psychic continuity to their lives. They contend that certain paradigms and parameters are established and/or agreed either by their social circle and/or cultural and/or societal social order upon for a reason. They maintain that these established and agreed upon paradigms and/or parameters provide a sense of certainty, comfort and/or continuum to their lives. They see those who are difference as disruptive to such established and/or agreed upon paradigms and/or parameters.
People who are different make others quite uneasy, even uncomfortable. They question things that others easily accept and take for granted. They further examine things that others believe to be predestined, preordained, and even sacrosanct. They are the ones who refuse to behave, go along, and to be nice just to please others. They will not accept cultural, social, and/or societal conventions that they deem to be illogical and outdated. They are the ones who see that others refuse to see. They may even possess talents and gifts which others do not. So others see their particular talents and/or gifts as an affront to their authority and self-confidence. They are perceived as intimidating by others because they do and/or act upon things that others would not dare do and/or act upon because of cultural, social, and/or societal censure, even condemnation.
It Takes COURAGE To Be Different
Being Different Is So.....FEARLESS
There are some people who love, even embrace difference. It takes courage and fearlessness to be different from the rest of the human automatons who slavishly adhere to the paradigms and/or parameters established by their social circle and/or the society in general. There is an admiration and respect, even if it is begrudging for those who do things that others fear to do because of the fear of being castigated and/or even ostracized by others. People who are different are not about to live circumscribed lives in accordance to social and societal paradigms of what is deemed to be acceptable and/or permissible. Such people believe in living on their own terms and by their own rules.
People who are different are unapologetic in terms of their wants, needs, and desires. They believe in doing what is honorable, just and/or right even if it is the consensus and/or belief. of the social circle and/or the general culture and/or society at large. The censure and/or even condemnation of others is of little or no concern to them. They will try to do things although no one else in their immediate circle or society has done it before. It is of no concern to them if others have not gone through such an undertaking before, they intend to do the task at hand. In their estimation, if everyone followed the same path as others, refusing to go on a new and different path, there would be no progress in civilization, culture, and society. They contend that change occurred because some people elected to be different, adventurous, and to think out the proverbial cultural, social, and/or societal box.
Making THAT Mark
Being Different .....Is Making One's MARK
Some people want to make their individual and unique mark on society and/or in the world at large. They refuse to live the living death that many people subscribe to. They also will not follow the patterns of others whether it is fashion, relationships, education, and/or job/careers. They will make, even create their own niche and/or brand regarding those areas. They are not about to be followers regarding other's games and rules as to how something should be. They do not live by prescribed mantras as to one must, ought, and/or should do. They live by passion and desire. They are also not followers regarding lifestyle and life paths. They are their own arbiters as to how their life goes.
They intend to do what others fear to tread. In fact, they thrive on being trailblazers. They feel that someone has to make that FIRST step, so why not them. They know that movers, shakers, and/or history makers are oftentimes the first ones to do something that others have not done before. They are aware that they rejoice in seeing things that the majority cannot, do not, and/or will not see. They realize that oftentimes they may be criticized, even condemned for going on a different path than others but they will do such nevertheless. They are going to make their particular mark on society, even the world. They maintain that it is those go on unchartered, untested territory are seen as exceptional, unique, significant, and/or even pioneers. Conversely, they assert that those who do what always have been done are seen as nondescript, even inconsequential.
Being Different Is .......VERY Attractive
Being Different Is...............So Attractive
There is an adage that opposites attract. People are oftentimes draw to those who are the opposite of them either physically, emotionally, psychologically, and/or even psychically. They are bored by those who posses the same and/or similar attributes, characteristics, and/or personality. They feel that if they have friends or partners that are the same and/or similar to them, it would be akin to looking at their own reflection. To them, such a commonality is the kiss of death for they have nothing to learn from such people. They want someone who is different, even opposite than them so that they can learn something they never know before. They also see such associations as adding spiciness and variety to their lives. They see the allure and exoticness of those who are different from the people they usually know and associate with.
There are people who are attractive because they are different from the majority either in their particular social circle and/or in the general culture and society at large. They refuse to succumb to the paradigms and parameters of what is acceptable in terms of attributes, characteristics, and/or personalities. They intend to show their true selves whether it is accepted or not. They know that they are attractive the way they are although their particular attributes may not fully accepted by the prevailing culture and/or society. They realize that there are more than one acceptable way as to how human beings should be.
People view being different in varied ways. Some view difference quite negatively. They are of the school that it is easier to conform with the majority consensus whether it is in a group, culture, and/or society. They elucidate the immense rewards of those who conform in terms of preferential treatment, inclusion, and acceptance. They see those who conform even elevated to exemplary status. They argue that people who are different are somewhat disadvantaged. They assert that such people are oftentimes ostracized, even marginalized by others. They remark that being different is unnerving to others.
There are others who see being different quite positively. They feel it takes courage to be different from the rest. In their view, anyone can be a conformist, being the same cookie cutter as everyone else. However, one has to be fearless, even fierce to want to stand out from the rest. They maintain that being different exude a pioneering spirit, adding that movers, shakers, and history makers are the one who do things that others do not. They attest that there is an allure and exoticness of being different. They cite that there is an attraction to people who are different than they are and/or have known. They also see people who are different have an unabashed confidence, not really caring what others think about them.
© 2015 Grace Marguerite Williams