It’s normal to want to fit in with our peers. Not only will you be accepted, you will realize that you’re not so different after all.
Or, so they say.
Being different is something that is being gradually accepted–from people who want to change their gender to practicing a different religion that’s not Christianity or Islam. Or, having no religion at all.
Yet, why do some of us still worry about conforming to social standards?
I say loneliness and previous criticism can create that need to be like everyone else, or conforming. Have you ever been raised by parents or family members that the moment you try something new to wear, change your morals, or anything that is practically foreign to them, they judge you? I’m sure everyone has, especially around the most crucial time of exercising your independence: adolescence.
Middle and high school was definitely hard as far as being different. Oftentimes there were cliques that expected you to act or wear something similar to them. Even those who weren’t a part of an exclusive group were expected to act like the majority to even make (and maintain) friendships. Then again, some of us have made friends just fine by being ourselves.
Despite the growing desire to be yourself and accepting individuality, there’s still a social stigma that is very prevalent. Looking for jobs now require you to take a personality tests to see if you’re good enough to hire, perhaps to see if you’d get along with co-workers or have the personality type they need to perform the job successfully. This is wrong–a person’s traits shouldn’t determine whether they get the job or not, or how good their skillset is. This is something I call personality bias. Yes, it’s true that some people don’t get along with others because their personalities tend to clash from time to time. However, job-wise, it should be based on skill, not how your personality will do on the job.
Regardless of jobs, what about when it comes to terms with finding a lover?
This is tricky. On one hand, people normally expose the best part of themselves in order to attract the opposite sex, physically first and then personality-wise. And how does this happen? By remembering all the stigma that comes to attraction. For men, they believe if they have a strong body, great hair, being tall and showing the luxuries you can afford would attract a woman. For women, they believe that if they have a thin body, no body hair, make-up, a large chest and a big behind would attract a man.
Personality wise, both men and women exert this confident, nonchalant, worry-free attitude. For men, in particular, they want to show off by talking about certain skills or how much money they earn. Women generally exert this bubbly, flirty, “fun” personality in order to grab his attention. Though there are individuals who can pull this off naturally and truthfully, often times people exaggerate in order to find a partner.
With all the magazines we read, the media constantly bombarding us on what is right and what is wrong, it can be a real challenge to be genuine and humble when it comes to being ourselves. It shouldn’t, and doesn’t, matter what they think. Finding a great lover happens once you forget what others want you to act and look, and loving yourself first will certainly attract a mate. That should be the goal when finding someone to love: be yourself. Who wants a typical girl or guy as a partner?
Regardless of what you’ve been taught, being different can be a good thing. How do you think these leaders in our world came to be, by following others? Of course not. They paved their own path and did things that “normal” people wouldn’t think of, especially when it came to fighting for something they believed in. Those leaders can be anyone; presidents, kings, queens, politicians, teachers, students, family hierarchies–anyone who doesn’t have a problem leading others.
Be the person you want to be. As long as it’s not hurting anyone, why care what others think?