We may be very attached to the idea of not being as Mr. or Ms. All-the-World, let’s face it : we are all deeply influenced by what our society considers as normal. But what do we mean really by “be normal” ? This is the whole problem, ” says the philosopher Alain de Botton the School of Life.
Alain De Botton
– Updated on February 19, 2019 at 15:15
Why do we grant it so much importance on what we mean by “be normal” ? Primarily because we are creatures collective ! We are extremely receptive to group dynamics, and sensitive to the way in which we integrate or not.
Regardless of the importance we place on individualism and our own uniqueness, we are, in fact, deeply influenced by the idea of what our society considers as “normal”.
This is the problem, since our idea of what is normal is in fact, very often, very far from reality.
Many of the things that we consider weird, disconcerting, strange – and, we imagine, we leave the other – are in reality completely trivial and very common :
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• you have the feeling of having married the wrong person
• the success of a friend makes you sick with jealousy
• you think of the companion of your sister when you are in bed
• you want to cry when you are criticized
• you don’t like your image
• do you panic at the idea of having a conversation with a stranger
• you stressez to the idea of farting in public
• you are afraid to vomit in the middle of a meeting because of the stress
• you sleep always hurt the hotel
• you have the voice that weakens or chevrote when you need to talk to someone important
• you are afraid to sit on dirty toilets
• you stumble on the edge of the sidewalk
• you think certain members of your own family-sexual way
• you bump the head trying to climb casually in a taxi
• you feel attracted by people of strange that the news (the Russian president for example)
• you masturbate a lot
• you consider yourself as an imposter
• you stressez to the idea of not getting to the bathroom in time
• you bump into doors, poles, posts and mirrors
• you are often afraid that they could see your private parts
• you are afraid of postillonner without wanting to be on your dinner companion at the restaurant
• you fear that others will think that you are a pervert
• you always think of a relationship that ended badly eleven years ago
… then congratulations : you are completely normal.
Put yourself to the test !
Are you yourself ? How to know if one is oneself ? And, between making sacrifices, ambitions, and inhibitions, how to find his way ?
The image of normality as conveyed by our culture is today defined so simplistically. First problem : this vision emphasizes our tendency to emphasize the appearance – the image that it refers to the other – to the detriment of the interiority, suggesting that it is normal, for example, to have a kitchen sparkling, or go on holiday abroad every year.
The other big problem is that our concept of normality has distorted our perception of what is a human being. Our culture wants to spread the idea that a self-organized, quiet and refined is the way to be standard for most people. This leads us to be impatient, we feel discouraged when we are not at the height. We cry out that we need to get a grip, get a grip, stop being so weak or weird.
But instead of insisting we conform to this idea of normalcy – that of a calm, coherent and rational – and we feel ashamed if we do not, it is better to recognize the pervasiveness and the complete normality of the folly, stubbornness and the concerns that characterise each human being.