This is one question that as a therapist I get asked time and time again. Are those thoughts, feelings or behaviours ‘normal’? It ties into the fear that we are not the same as everyone else. The comparisons we can make to friends, family or even strangers can be incredibly damaging as they can make us feel like outsiders.
What is normal?
Personally, like perfection, I do not believe ‘normal’ really exists. Normality is based on cultural, social and personal constructs. Depending on what country you are from, the town you grew up in and family you were raised, normal can look very different. Instead of asking yourself is something normal or not, ask instead, ‘Is this helping me or hurting me?
- Do you feel the need to drink alcohol when you’re feeling sad? (help or hurt)
- Do you internalise your anger until you want to explode? (help or hurt)
- Are you scared of happiness in your life because you are waiting for the other shoe to drop? (help or hurt)
We often go through life one way, not knowing things could be different. It’s okay to feel sad and want to cry. When you are angry you are permitted to express it as long as you aren’t hurting someone else. Feeling happy doesn’t mean fear is waiting around the corner to take it all away.
Instead of beating yourself up because your thoughts are weird or your dreams seem unrealistic, embrace it! The truth is, we’re all a little weird, which makes weird ‘normal’. We can all have those bizarre imaginings that makes us shake our heads. But isn’t that amazing? As far as we know, we are the only beings on the planet who can create these worlds in our mind.
The only time you should feel concerned is if these imaginings are bringing you down. If you are always worried about how you are stacking up how can you enjoy the weirdness that is you? Today allow your mind to daydream and go easy on yourself. Life can be such a challenge, you don’t need that voice in your head to add to the struggle.
“There is no such thing as a weird human being, It’s just that some people require more understanding than others.” – Tom Robbins