Have you ever wondered if you are normal? Do you spend time comparing yourself to others? It is not uncommon to have these thoughts because we tend to judge many things as being normal or not normal. If people don’t perceive themselves as having “acceptable” thoughts, feelings, beliefs, or behaviors, they think there is something wrong with them and believe they are not normal.
What is normal? One of the definitions of normal is that of being sane. I doubt most people reading this article think that they are not sane. Normal is also defined as regular, standard, ordinary, common, usual, or natural. I assume that what most people think of as normal is being ordinary, common, or usual. In other words, people want to think that they are just like everyone else. Many people want to believe that their thoughts, feelings, and actions would be like everyone else’s. Our own beliefs determine our own perception of normal. We only experience ourselves and most people don’t talk about their internal experience. If we have thoughts or feelings that we think are different from others, we could question if they are normal.
My next question is: what are normal thoughts, feelings, and actions? I believe that there isn’t one thought that is right or “normal.” I do not believe that any one feeling is right or “normal”. Is there one action that would be considered to be the only right or “normal” action in most circumstance? I think that we can be in agreement here. It is possible that different things would be considered to be normal as opposed to one. I think there are thoughts, feelings, and actions that would be considered socially acceptable in a given culture that would vary by culture.
We talk about the normal development of children. They roll over or sit up, stand, and walk by a certain age. If they do it a little early or a little later than what would be considered normal, they aren’t considered to be abnormal. We talk about a normal weight for a certain height. But there is a range that is considered normal. These are just examples of what we refer to as being normal.
If you consider the definition of normal as being ordinary, common, or usual, would most of us really want that? Who would want to be average or ordinary? Many seek to be extraordinary in one way or another. We admire those who are exceptional. Many of us aspire to be the best rather than average. If someone has an exceptional talent, intellect, or appearance, they are not ordinary, common, or usual. Those people are not “normal.” Maybe we should all avoid trying to be normal and just be who we are. It is something for all of us to consider.