Defining One’s Best Normality

By Dina Marcelina. Dina, 22, is a junior interior architect who has recently graduated from the University of Indonesia. She lives in Tangerang, Selatan, Indonesia. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

Triggered by Albert Camus’s quote that: “Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.”, I wonder if the quote is completely true. Come to think of it, Camus was born 1913 and died in 1960 which means that this issue has been brought to light around a century ago. Rather than fully agreeing with the quote, I believe that most people are just too busy trying to be normal to realize that some other people are merely trying to be normal too. We are aware of this phenomenon, yet we choose not to care (or maybe we do but just don’t want to admit it).

The existence of the word ‘normal’ brings up the word ‘abnormal’ , like there is a wrong way to be a person when actually there is not. Based on the Online Oxford Dictionary, normal is an adjective which means conforming to a standard; usual, typical or expected. When people pursue the word ‘normal’, they actually pursue something that they barely understand because, in fact, it is often more difficult for people to highlight the normal value of something than it is to define something as unusual or abnormal. The concept of normality depends on subjective opinion and differs for each person in the world.

Understanding the issue deeper, there must be a reason behind the people who expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. Some of them may do it to fit in with the crowd to survive and some of them may just go with the flow, being too lazy to think of another way. To be honest, I was actually one of those folks who tried really hard to be normal. I was a very timid person who struggled socializing with people. When I saw relatives that I knew in a public area, I would rather hide and leave the place instead of waving my hand at them. I was a very punctual person and came at least half an hour early to any meeting, yet I often ended up coming into the meeting late since I was too scared to be the first person to talk to people. If by any chance you had ever met me, you may have thought I was an easy-going person, now you know that I was actually fighting myself hard inside. Realizing how far I have come now, I wonder whether all of those efforts are really worth it.

Being typical or normal is an option yet we have to understand why we choose to be it. Competing against the rapid pace of the world, figuring out issues and also options we have are important before we make any decision in life. The globalization and technological development have abolished the boundaries between people through social media. Unfortunately, this innovation not only lets people appreciate themselves and others, it also allows them to compare themselves to one another. By only looking at the happy moments that other people post on social media, they tend to envy the things other people “seem” to own and forget to be grateful for what they have, creating jealousy over something that may actually be a delusion.

Wanting to be or act as expected may also turn down other possibilities. People who want to be normal will compare their condition to something that exists or at least has ever existed. Not considering their true condition, they would close their eyes to any new possibility and choose a solution to their problem based on someone else’s experience that they consider normal. A simple example is a story from my mom’s experience a while ago. Once, my mother and her friends were told to line up and throw a tennis ball. Believe it or not, everyone threw the ball straight forward only because the first woman threw it that way. As they were afraid to do it wrong, the rests of the participants chose to follow her when they could have thrown it anywhere, farther or higher.

As the world changes, people do too. Do you know somebody who used to love listening to popular music but now chooses to listen to the unpopular indie songs? Or perhaps you know a friend who would love to travel to unique destinations to avoid the crowd in the mainstream ones? Nowadays, many people are more excited to discover something that is new and fresh, something that they consider unknown. Then, does it mean that they do not want to follow the usual and choose to be abnormal instead? Or are they actually setting the new trends as the new normal?

As we look deeper than its surface, the concept of normality is more complex than it seems. Wanting to be normal or abnormal turns out to be beyond one’s preference as it can influence how people react to each other. Unfortunately, to be viewed as normal, people are not only influenced to do good deeds. The desire may also give people the courage to do bad things merely to be ‘normal’ and accepted. As being normal also means being typical, environment plays a big role in creating a normal habitat. For example, when students cheat in a class, those who actually found it odd may get used to it and eventually see it as something normal.

Considering normal as a standard, I came to the conclusion that expending tremendous energy merely to be normal could both be a good and a bad idea, depending on the situation. I imagine a graph where “normal” is in the middle, “not normal in the bad way” is in its lower side, and “not normal in the good way” is in its upper side. From this graph, I find that it will always be a good thing to move to a higher position in the graph. In other words, if you (by any chance) have shown your uniqueness and want to hide it by being normal, expending tremendous energy merely to be normal clearly is a foolish idea. However, if you find there is actually more of yourself that you can improve by being more normal, expending tremendous energy to be normal is something you need to do. Looking back about how much energy I spent to be more social and normal, I am glad to say that trying to be normal was clearly something that I had to do and now I have improved a lot.

In the end, all of us need to be wise when making this decision in life. We need to be sincere about our true feelings and about the genuine reason behind our acts. Just be the best version of you even though you may look different from the others. In reverse, still be the best version of you even though you may seem similar to others. Some of them may say that you are weird because you are different or boring, because you are normal, yet be aware that everyone only cares about themselves and nobody actually cares about how you live your life. They may judge, but they will pass by and forget. Thus, you should not change your own true colours just because you are afraid of how they may judge you. Come to think of it, can you imagine how boring life would be if everyone was the same? Each of us were born differently and face different problems in life, whether they are normal or abnormal. If we think about it again, it is as Victor E. Frankl once said, “an abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal after all”. So, do not worry too much about the “rules” and just be the best version of yourself in your situation.

 

139 comments on “Defining One’s Best Normality

  1. Amelie on

    In my whole life I will never consider my self as somebody who is trying hard to be normal. I had once asked that to a younger version of myself, and when I turned to the young adult stage I came to realization that this is me, the real me. Taking too much others’ opinion is toxic if the aim is about changing yourself to society standard. Even standard sounds lame, why reach a standard line if you can hit the roof by being above normal? Never let anyone changes you if it is not to bring out the best version of you. They don’t owe you life.

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      Hi Amelie, I really like your spirit on pursuing anything beyond the standard or above normal! Thank you for kindly reading my article and leave such heartful comment. I wish you can bring the best out of you without being swayed by the society standard. Much loves and have a good day.

      Reply
  2. Almira ghaisani on

    I was one of the folks who tried really hard to be normal. But now, I just go with the flow, not trying to be a normal person like anyone expected me to be. Go with the flow, with a normal or an abnormal side of me, I don’t care. I’m just trying to be my self. I live not because they wanted me to be, I live because I know how to be normal not in everyone glasses, but mine.

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      Dear Almira, thank you for kindly reading my article and sharing your thought regarding this. It is true that many people cannot see things you see in your glasses though. Thus, after understanding the issue from all perspectives, believing in yourself to be your best self is something I really adore.

      Reply
  3. Denti on

    Yeah i know being normal is hard for some people, in fact i already experienced the exact same situation of being normal. This happened when i was in high school. My high school is known to be one of the best in my city, so the students there were actually very competitive, but the problem is, they didn’t show it at all, they didn’t want to look like a nerd in classes as if they wanted to look like they’re born genius, but the truth is they studied so hard after school, all night long. This kind of situation made you wanna be as normal genius as your friends or they would think you’re stupid enough to need extra time for studying during the class and that you were not in the same level as your friends. And like most of the time, people tend to be friend with someone that has a lot of common. The main fear of my problem was not to have any single friend. So back then, i was doing my best to be as genius as they were, To have a friend. But now i realize they actually weren’t really my friends. So why bother trying your best to be someone that you are not and to find out that all of it were just a waste?

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      I feel you, Denti. We cannot deny that as human being, we tend to do something to be accepted in our environment. and in some cases, they push us to be their kind of definition of ‘normal’…. Then, as the one who live our lives, we need to be wise in deciding what we should do. In the end, if you improve yourself by giving your best, it will not be a waste of time though 🙂

      Reply
  4. Khairunnisa Liummah on

    I used to be that person who always think “If I do this, what would they say? If I do this, what would other people think? Is it normal?” Or “is it too mainstream?”.I agree with Dina. Nothing’s wrong for being normal or being different as long as we can enjoy our life to the fullest

    Reply
  5. Aditya on

    So true! Somehow, there are so many people try to be “something” which they believe that is “the best of the best” for themselves, which can make anybody become jealous, envious, and so on. Or for making other people can judge us as someone who is normal. I was honestly was sad because of this phenomenon. I agree with Dina, if everyone has been born in diversity with their each uniqueness. Just be yourself, you know what should you do when facing the world with its complexity. I experienced this phenomenon, when I was in college life. I was an interior architecture student. You will feel stressful, if you’re not a talented person who tries struggling in architecture life, So do I. To be honest, I’m not a talented person at all. even, I often judged my drawings are disaster! But, I enjoyed the “the life”, whatever it is, and I didn’t try to be like the others did. I just believe there must be something special in myself.

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      Dear Adit, thank you for kindly reading my article and giving such heartful comment. I think in those situations, reminding ourselves about the genuine reason behind anything we do could be a strength to keep us going on our track. Everyone is special. However, as we see and admire other people, we often forget that we are special too. One must have a great courage believe that there must be something special within oneself, and it is cool to see you do!

      Reply
  6. Novira P.S on

    Yes i am, who is the one that trying so hard to be normal. It start when i was getting bullied in my childhood and living my life as an outsider until now. I tried being normal and my life going quite well. The other part i tried to live my life as like i used to be. indeed, i got a pleasure and lessons. And i ask my self in this early 20, how do i want to live my live? i am grateful that i can teach my self that being normal is just like an “universal language” that help us to relate and communicate to the system that we have to deal with. In which the summons of our souls or different paces are make us being us. That is also triggered the improvement of a “normal” thing to the best version while we are also improve ourselves to the best version in life.

    Reply
  7. Risma on

    I couldn’t agree more with Dina’s thoughts. We are now living in a world where sometimes being normal is not an option–it’s a must. Though it doesn’t always bring negative effect, it makes easier for us to follow what’s actually bad (since it’s followed by everyone and it looks normal). Thank you for Dina for bringing up this issue and remind us not to behave wisely even though it doesn’t look as “normal”.

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      It is indeed scary how the word normal could also make us to do something bad, only because they are considered normal. Thank you for kindly reading and leaving a comment regarding my article. Wishing all of us would behave wisely in all kind situations 🙂

      Reply
  8. Raka fawwaz on

    I have ever wondered the same though. I bet that many people are actually aware of this situation. However, I guess expending tremendous energy merely to be normal itself has been the new normal.

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      Just like ourselves, normality changes with time and conditions too. Hence, there will always be the new normal as the world goes on. Perhaps, in this case today, trying to be normal is indeed normal…

      Reply
  9. Yuniawati on

    It’s really impressing how i find that we think similarly :)) being not normal means being not typical or usual, and nothing’s wrong with it. Yet, there is also nothing wrong about being normal or being typical. Just be the version of you and don’t ever be abnormal or normal because of you are afraid of being wrong.

    Reply
  10. Nadia Mahendrati on

    I truly agree with you Dina! there are so many possibilities in life and absolutely no time to be someone else. I also think it is okay to be “go with the flow” but is there anything better than to be yourself? to be weird and to be fun? In the end, it’s us who will face our own paths. So, never be afraid to be yourself 🙂 and thank you for sharing your thoughts din!

    Reply
  11. Pramaythessa on

    Oh girl, I have been there too. Many told me to live off my life just the way they do and actually I tried. Yet, I cannot live someone else’s life thus I have gone back to the original me. I wonder if changing from normal to abnormal or otherwise is needed when you have been the most you out of you.

    Reply
  12. Isna Naziladinka on

    Truthfully, I find that people actually is setting the unusual as the new normal. They thought that ‘the normal’ was boring, yet by the time everyone is thinking the same. Hence, the normal and abnormal value is now blurred even more

    Reply
  13. Putrinka on

    The article is well written and I really enjoy reading it as I reflect how I live my life. Environment does play a big role in society thus people, including me, may also just go with the flow… I think I need to be wiser in choosing how I act to improve myself, and not too focus on whether I need to be normal or abnormal.

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      Dear Putrinka, thank you for kindly reading my article 🙂 Realizing or not, all of us may suffer this kind of confusion in life. Unfortunately, many are too focus on the word normal or abnormal without trying to figure out what they trully need to be.

      Reply
  14. Mustika Ajeng on

    I find it funny when some people judges others without wanting to know deeper about their reasons. We all go through different situations and all, so it is justified that we act differently too. Those who act as if everyone needs to be the same should really open their mind. In fact, even minions are different from one another.

    Reply
  15. Dita on

    I really like how the writer sees the issue through all perspectives. As in fact, nowadays, people also expend tremendous energy merely to be abnormal too.

    Reply
  16. Hanif aulia affandi on

    Normal and not normal are valued differently by each person in the world. That’s why I never really care about it much when I decide to be my own self. Every soul is beautiful and has their own charms. However, as what the writer says above, we do need to be wise in doing our acts.

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      Every soul is beautiful and has their their own charms. Thus, can you even imagine how great we all can be if we decide our choice in life wisely? Anyway, thank you for kindly reading my article, Hanif!

      Reply
  17. Hanif aulia affandi on

    Normal and not normal are valued differently by each person in the world. That’s why I never really care about it much when I decide to be my own self. Every soul is beautiful and has their own charms. However, as what the writer says above, we do need to be wise in doing our acts.

    Reply
  18. Dian elvira on

    As she says, ‘people may judge, but they will pass by and forget. I feel sorry for people who is insecure about what the others think. They may have lost some chances in their life that way…

    Reply
  19. Nadia on

    Yes, indeed we need to be sincere about our true feelings and about the genuine reason behind our acts. These are the basic principle of or lives, however many people are too busy trying to be normal to mind them.

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      Eventhough it may sound simple, being sincere about our true feelings and about the genuine reason behind our acts is a really hard thing to do. Thank you for kindly reading my article, Nadia.

      Reply
  20. Carla on

    True! I myself am actually confused when I am doing something. I am thinking whether I do it because of people or just for the sake of my need. But by reading this, I think I can understand that being normal or not normal doesn’t really matter as I do things to improve myself better

    Reply
  21. Rara on

    I think many people forget how to be theirselves or some of them even have forgotten who they trully are. They just go with the flow without questioning why they need to do this and that. At the end, they always wonder why other people who do their best to be their best selves look so much happier….

    Reply
  22. Aquila Carol Adimurti on

    Trying to discover what lies beneath the surface is both fun and tricky work. In most of the cases, and in a sense, we could agree that the concept of normality is firmly attached to the idea of contextualities (conditions of being contextual).
    A normal chameleon changes color according to the colors of its surrounding. Its color will change continually and gradually as its body moves in time and takes place in different environments with different colors. Yet a normal zebra doesn’t. It stands out in its black and white stripes over any expanse of colors behind. When it needs to hide, it could seek specific places with certain sort of stripe-like qualities with which its physical entity blends into its spatial context. How if this idea is applied (and adjusted) to human as both physical and mental, individual and social, space-time being? Can we state that our contextuality as human beings is about who we are, where (when) we are, and how we negotiate these two realities?
    To talk about the mechanism of getting contextual (or being normal) means to discuss questions on alienation and ability to adapt. People’s perspectives on normality are deeply grounded on layers of complex societal qualities (characteristics and attributes) into which they keep adapting themselves to conduct their livings. The parameters of being labeled “normal” (or not) always manifest based on trends and values upheld in certain environment, why? How does one’s capacity to adapt affect the stigma of normality embedded by his/her community to him/her? How about time? Regarding the ever-changing nature of trends and lifestyles, what roles does the continuum of time as a dynamic context play in defining normality? This process of conveying the essence of what is meant to be normal (for us) as a space-time entity is a part of learning how the system of (our) society as a space-time territory works and, thus, is integrated to many other issues of personality, psychology, social studies, etc.
    To conclude, this article could be elaborated further by investigating and exploring the interrelations between the state of being normal and the idea of adaptivity, also by seeing normality as a system of interfaces that connects who one truly is with where and when he/she exists.

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      Dear Aquila, thanks for kindly reading my article and leaving such thoughtful comment! Yes, I agree that normality is not a simple issue that can be covered by only an article like this. If I have the chance, I really wish that I can study about it deeper to have more insight regarding the interrelations between the state of being normal and the idea of adaptivity! Again, thank you to share such insight by giving feedback to my article! 🙂

      Reply
  23. Meisya Eadyana on

    As you said when people want to be normal, they will compare their condition to others and i believe when we are pretending to be “normal” it just made our life very difficult. Agree with you Dina, we Just need to be the best version of ourselves, as Maya Angelou said “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be”

    Reply
  24. Sumayyah on

    Well it is relatable, to some point. I remember on one of those big family meeting and tried really hard to be a “perfectly normal daughter” but almost always end up getting scolded and my mom would say “Why can’t you act like normal people? Socialize with your relatives more!”

    Reply
  25. Anisa Wisnu Putri on

    Couldn’t be more aggreed with Dina!
    Once, back then, I was that girl who trying so hard to be normal for the sake of getting friends. I was trying so hard “to be like them” but ended up felt tired everytime I socialized with them. I didn’t happy. I didn’t enjoy myself. I realized…for whom I became like those?…who am I trying to satisfy?…
    Then, I tought myself, be youself for the sake of your own happiness, be the best version of yourself, be you!

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      In fact, I bet that most of people must have ever felt that way at some point. I wish by realizing our own true feelings, we could be wiser in the time ahead. Thank you for kindly reading my article, Anisa 🙂

      Reply
  26. Tia on

    We see normality standard based on the group of society we grew up in. What we see as a normal thing can be odd to other, and vice versa. People who wants to break free from their ‘normality’ somehow will search and find another people who have the same ‘abnormality’ which then became a new ‘normality’ from their new community. So, what is normal anyway?

    Reply
  27. Vivi on

    Dina’s text is reassuring for me, since I’m always worried about what people think of me. Actually, that way of thinking was built up since little by my mother. She always said that I’m not normal or that it’s better to be hypocrite than showing your true self to others. That’s the reason why I become introvert, to stay away from people, because when I’m not with other people, I can be free. I know that it’s important to be adaptive to your surroundings, to be accepted by other people, to consider other people’s feelings. But it is also important to be just who you are. Because I heard that the most stressful thing in life is to be someone you are not. That’s why I always keep in mind that whatever I do, as long as I don’t hurt myself and others, I don’t care what others think of me. But that determination all crumbled when I’m in front of my over-controlling mother, because there’s no way that I can not care about her, can I? That’s why I dislike it when some nosy people tell me what to do & what not to do, since I already receive that kind of treatment from you know who. I had actually told my mother about this politely, but when she decides on something, she hardly changes her decision. I guess that’s where I get my hard headed attitude. That’s why when I’m married, I’m going to choose a husband who can accept me for who I am, let me do whatever I want to do as long I don’t hurt anyone. And I might also ask my husband to persuade my mother about this. Thanks Dina, for writing this text. I thought that I’m the only one who’s trying hard to be normal and that a normal status is a necessity. Now I can be more confident to be the way I am. After all, God creates each of us to be unique, no one is the same with one another.

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      Dear Vivi, I am touched by how you says that reading my article does have a good impact on you. I bet your mother does really love you and that is why she tries really hard to steer you. However, she does not realize that you also have your own conditions and choices. I bet you do love her too, yet you cannot be someone else merely to satisfy her choice. I do wish all the best for you and your mom. And I do also wish that you will meet someone who can deeply understand you. Thanks a lot for kindly reading my article and sharing such personal story, Vivi 🙂

      Reply
  28. karen on

    I dont think being normal is make sense. I tried my whole life to fit in the normal life, which i think it’s waste of energy. The things is how to be consider a normal? what is the normality parameter? sometimes being normal means to hide your identity, (where as in my case, I did lie to my self to be fit in). I could see that how you be a normal, but forgot to mention about identity.. I think it is not about being normal, but developing your social skills, may leads to acceptance by society, but this article really make us try reflecting to ourself once again, how we be a “normal” in daily life

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      Being someone else by trying to be normal and developing our social skills are two different things. However, we may slip into the wrong decision if we do not think wisely. Thank you for kindly reading my article, Karen!

      Reply
  29. Dinda on

    That’s why I never want to be that “normal people”. I think whatever I’m trying to do or say, people judge. So, I do what I want. Happily.

    Reply
  30. Rona on

    Well I used to try to be normal back then, but I realize that I wasn’t being myself. I pretend to be someone else just for pleasing people around me. So I learn how to accept myself, even until now. The most important is you are who you are, you’re not here for pleasing people and do everything you think that it’s a right thing to do. You go, Girl! I really agree with you.

    Reply
  31. Yenny permata sari on

    Yess so true! I always worried about how people think about me. Always think that ‘ if i act or do like this, how people think about me.. can i look like a normal person? But sometimes, just be yourselves is one of being normal person.

    Reply
  32. Aditya A N on

    We are unity in diversity. Unfortunately there are still many people who can not accept the difference. Most people think, people who are different from the others are abnormal conditions. That is why many minorities are oppressed by the majority. For example as my experienced, being born with dark skin in a white-skinned person makes me mock often. It’s not my fault was born with dark skin and i also can not change my destiny. All I can do is accept what God has given to me and boast about it. Thank you Dina hopefully your article can inspire many people. 🙂

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      Oh true, this issue is way more complicated if we also talk about races and cultures. It is sad to see how people are treated badly only because they seem different from their environment. Thank you for bringing more insight, Aditya.

      Reply
  33. Ufa on

    I feel happier after reading article seriously. Thank you so much for bringing up this issue dina! You are totally right! In the end no matter what kind of situations we are facing, we gotta be the best kind of ourselves to go through it whether people will call us abnormal, weird, mainstream or whatever, so there will be no regret after we’ve done what we chose to do or be. And just like you said, as long as we are going to a better direction, whether it’s normal or abnormal, it will be considered good, if not for other people, then ofc it will for ourselves! Hehe.
    And you reminded us that we should always be grateful to God for all of His kindness. “I breathe. I read. I see. I blink. I fart. I hear. I have problems but I have choices. I have a good friend who writes good things.” It’s beautiful.
    Love yourself, love myself 🙂
    Thank you so much for sharing Dina! xoxo

    Reply
  34. Bella on

    That’s absolutely true. Sadly, most people always blame others for making them they way they are, when they actually have the opportunity to change it. I hope everyone who reads it and think that “this is so me!” would now take the opportunity to be the best version of themselves.

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      Oh so true. Instead of blaming their environments to steer them that way, I wish people would choose to act wisely about their decisions ahead. Thank you for kindly reading my article, Bella!

      Reply
  35. Aziz Amirudin on

    This is why I consider normality as a fluid and constructed concept. People are too afraid to be judged as abnormal (or too normal) while the notion of normal itself is not really fixed. The article, however, succeed to pinpoint the importance of self-reliance against this stereotyped world. I hope that no more people flow with or against the stream for the sake of the stream itself, but for themselves and the values they hold instead.

    Reply
  36. Annisa Putri Lestari on

    You amaze me to the deep of my brain and soul with your words, ’cause it felt like reading my inner thoughts. I thought.. these issues only existed in my silly head, but it turns out that many people have been worrying the same thing as me. I do realize that sometimes i expend tremendous energy merely to be normal, just because i am too afraid of what others might think. I must say, i completely agree with you. Being overthinking only drives one’s to noxiousness, so that’s why being the best version of you and start living are the best answer after all indeed. Thank you Dina for your kind words and wonderful writing skill 🙂

    Reply
  37. Anggoro AJiputra on

    After all abnormal is a part of anything we called “normal”. To be called normal sometimes we need to do completely different things like we used to do, for us those are abnormal but for them its surely normal.

    Have you ever heard that right or wrong is like the face of a thin paper? A paper have two sides, but normally we called its face is the one which we can see it not the opposite. There is almost no boundary between those sides, but you know exactly they’re on the opposite sides. It’s not wrong if you say one of them is the face because its on the upper side, but if you say the back side is the face you’re not wrong either. And its still okay if you say it has two faces too. Then, there is no wrong in term of defining faces. Well, you can easily flip that paper if you want to change its face.

    The problem is, we’re not as simple as a thin paper which can be flipped anytimes. Yet, we can barely change with some efforts. But, to be normal or abnormal, other people see it as simple as flipping a thin paper. Human is a super adaptable being after all. In other word, we’re living in a world with normal and abnormal as an opposite but we also need both of them. Define as you like, there is no wrong unless you admit it 🙂

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      This is my very first time knowing such analogy, Angga. However, I think I agree with your interesting thought that ‘there is no wrong unless you admit it’. Thank you for kindly sharing your thought!

      Reply
  38. FACP on

    Nicely explained Dina. Nothing’s wrong for being typical or being different as long as you could find your own happiness. Just accept yourself, and take the chance to be the best version of yourself. Thank you for sharing Dina!

    Reply
  39. Firlie on

    Life is all about trials and errors. However, if we all do that for the sake to be our better selves, I agree with the authors that we need to keep trying be the best version of ourselves, no matter it is normal or not normal.

    Reply
  40. Kanty on

    “an abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal after all” – Victor E. Frankl. This quote explains much that we all live differently and the word normal itself changes with time and conditions. Hence, we do not need to worry about what others say. They do not understand the life I live in after all.

    Reply
  41. Aulia Mosmarth on

    In the end, we find secure and comfort in normality. But, what makes us move forward is to embrace the uniqueness for cultivating the potential self. To think of it, no normal person want to be a president, to start their own business, or to speak their own opinion. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.

    Reply
  42. Benny Chandra on

    Well for me the word “normal” is just a label. A label for something that is publically done and those things that was usually done by people. I don’t really care if people want to be, act, become “normal”. It’s just, when you did something normal you don’t get something new. Well, people may judge, but that what’s make us unique, isn’t it? Except that “abnormal” thing is some kind of pathology traits, so feel free to act abnormal. If you can act the abnormal way why choose to be normal when it wears you down

    Reply
  43. Der on

    Haha i often found bunch of guys that trying to be unique and look anti-mainstream for just the sake of their prestige like “im very an unique person who dont like the social standard like you, ok im above u all”. Do they dont think that they are not the only one who tipically like that? Do they dont think that they actually are normal? Back then, i was the part of that bunch of people. Haha yes indeed, i wanted people look at me coolly, an anti-mainstream person, an unique one! Until i realized that i dont unique at all, i instead am just being a normal type of them. And top of that, actually i did not really like that anti-mainstream things. Yep i lied to myself, just for being an unique (abnormal) person meanwhile i was going to be a normal person of them. At this time, i just doing what i want to do. I am liking what i want to like. I do not care what category of types i am into. I do not care whether i am into a normal or abnormal. I just want to be a normal of me. Thankyou dina for these wondrous words, I will always be on your side!

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      What an insight! It is true that we all have desire to be abnormal too, is not it? And yes, being abnormal within the abnormal environment is just another set of normal. Thank you for kindly sharing such interesting thought, Der!

      Reply
  44. Amanda on

    So here comes another perspective, and I love it! Most of people nowadays are usually think being ‘abnormal’ is something bad/negative than being ‘normal’. Abnormal can be something good or unique, and everyone has a side of it. There is no one who is trully the same as the others, everyone is different.

    Reply
  45. Cika on

    The thing I got from your article is that people want to be normal because they want to be accepted by others, right? Actually, in my opinion, abnormal word comes when people are not confident with the inequality between theirselves and others. Normal is when a person admits “it’s me” AND accepts the “it’s me” of other people. You should respect of yourself and others. Everybody is normal, guys!
    Well i really like this article, Din. Good job!

    Reply
  46. Annisa Purnama on

    I kinda stressed out with this situation lately. But now, I realize everyone has their own way and no matter what you do, normal or not, just be true to yourself. Your thought has really opened my mind. Thank you for sharing this, Dina!

    Reply
  47. Anyssa on

    The article is well written and I really enjoy reading it as I reflect how I live my life. Environment does play a big role in society thus people, including me, may also just go with the flow… I think I need to be wiser in choosing how I act to improve myself, and not too focus on whether I need to be normal or abnormal.

    Reply
  48. Dahlia Rafita on

    Personally, I think changing our true colors just because of someone will never bring the best out of us. Thank you for reminding me with your writing that we need to be wise in choosing our decision as it will impact both our environment and our own selves.

    Reply
  49. Prisca on

    Could not agree anymore with you Dina! We all tried to fit in and adapt to the social environment. Some survived to walk with the flow and some failed. The external factor such as community, family, or society which you involved also took a big part for your “normal” standards. In my opinion, everyone should adapt first to every situation before they can stand out. As people observe the surrounding condition, they will have a pattern in everything such as habit, regular activities, perception, and the surrounding way of thinking. If you think in a different way from other people, it is your choice to either walk away and find other environment which you find it comfortable or make a difference with your own way. It is all about the process of adaptation.

    I agree that in the end, all of us need to be wise when making this decision in life.

    But as Dr. Seuss said: “why fit in when you were born to stand out?”

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      True though, how can we judge that we are similar or different to our surroundings when we barely adapt with them. However, it is still our choice to take our own path when we have known our true selves. Thank you for kindly reading my article, Prisca 🙂

      Reply
  50. Rizka Almadea Anindita on

    One thing that I surely get from reading this are to live the best version of our lives, without taking other people’s opinion on how we do it. Sure, people might give good advices, but many of them also give their opinion abruptly without knowing who we actually are, and what problems we have in life. To this day I’m still trying hard to be ‘normal’ in the society. While some things are beneficial (like your case on how you deal with people), I found that trying too much to fit in would only give me a burden. The burden to always please them with being ‘normal’ and not doing things that are, you know, not ‘normal’. But then I realised that I am the one who live my life, not them. I should do things that I want, not what they want! And at the end of the day, I am the one that should be pleased of my life. Just be the best version of yourself, whether you’re the norm or not. Because while the word ‘normal’ has positive connotation and ‘abnormal’ is negative, ‘extraordinary’ also has more positive connotation compared to ‘ordinary’.

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      Come to think of it, ‘extraordinary’ and ‘weird’ are both abnormal yet valued differently. Hence, it is our own choice to be one of those if we want to leave the ordinary standard or normal. Thank you for leaving such interesting thought, Rizka!

      Reply
  51. Yudanti on

    I am glad to know that I’m not the only one who find ‘being normal’ is hard in this kind of society. I recently went through the same situation as you mentioned, like you chose to be late to avoid chit-chating with other people. Do you sometimes still trying to fit in and work hard for just being normal?
    As the time goes by, I find it hard to always try to ‘being normal’ just because it fits people’ standard, so I’m just trying to be the better version of myself only for the sake of my self improvement and not because of the society.

    Thank you for sharing with us, Dina!

    Reply
  52. Diandra Zahra on

    i really love the way you describe how “normal” word works in our world, because it is really happening, maybe it already happened back then, but with soc-med power, it takes a huge different. i personally think that everyone, in every range of age, gender, or nationality have to read and learn from this paragraphs. or at least everyone can take a look at their own self, which kind they are now. keep spreading the good words, dina!

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      Living with such great technology can both be an advantage and also a trap to our generation. I am glad to know that many of us are now broadening our minds and refuse to be trapped instead. Thank you for kindly reading and sharing my article, Diandra 🙂

      Reply
  53. Vania on

    First, I would like to thanks Dina for her words that made me reflect about life. Actually not long ago I just realized that I was a really overthink person, so I quite understand about the words “trying to be normal”. You will overthink about something because you’re afraid of how other peoples might think about you, if I reflected to Dina’s words it’s probably because you wanted to look normal in front of others, and this is the problem that i used to have before. And I was once hated myself for being overthink about something, cause it feels like i’m doing something for someone else’s satisfaction, insted of my own.
    After being that kind of person, nowadays i’m just trying to enjoy myself to the fullest, doing anything that I like without caring what others might think and yes it’s really satisfying. But i’m trying not to forget that we life in society full of peoples with different personalities, we can live the way we like but we shall also not judge other people’s life cause it will lead into the insecurity of not being normal.

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      I personally think that we will rethink about our acts more as we grow up. Thus, bringing this issue to my fellow friends is a way to remind all of us to reflect our lives. Thank you for kindly reading my article, Vania 🙂

      Reply
  54. Rifqi Pratama on

    What a well-written article Dina! It surely is an interesting topic to be brought about. But since everyone here is trying to normally share their deep thoughts here (pun was intended), I’m just going to add a little something here:

    “What is normal to the spider is chaos for the fly”
    All i can say is that “normal” is a matter of perspective, what’s normal for you might be abnormal for the others and so does the other way around.

    There’s something that has been bothering me though, people keep saying that they want to stand out from each other, be different, be extraordinary and so on, what if it actually is the “normal” way to do.
    ps: do not take it seriously 🙂

    Reply
    • Dina Marcelina on

      I also wonder the same! I wonder if they do want to be abnormal or they are actually setting out the new normal in this generation. It is reallllly funny that being abnormal is the new normal, is not it? haha thank you for pointing out such interesting thought, Rifqi!

      Reply
  55. Aulia on

    Sometime I wonder, is abnormal a bad thing? Or we just trap ourselves with the word ‘normal’. Reading this article makes me realize that it indeed can be a good and a bad thing, depending on our situation and condition..

    Reply
  56. Tania Bunga on

    nice one, Dina! one thing i got from your article is “being accepted”. sadly sometimes we have to be someone else to be accepted in public. but it is not always bad, like if you work in a office, we should to be polite like normal people. but the bad side is when we try so hard to be someone else toward friends.

    Reply
  57. Luthfi Eryando on

    I’ve experienced being abnormal and trying to be normal through both the (as you said it) “good” normal and the “bad” normal ways. And all it does is put an unnecessary burden on me to be accepted to the status quo. Understanding that the status quo is a made up thing by our society helped me stay abnormal in the society of ‘normal’s yet keeping me normal to my own state of mind.

    I completely agree with you. It has always bothered me seeing someone forcing themselves to be ‘normal’ and ended up missing being abnormal. All and all, the best way to stay sane while being normal is just to enjoy our life and stay as abnormal as we see fit.

    Reply
  58. Taqiyoung on

    I think “normal” and “abnormal” absolutely subjective. Because many people has their own perspective about what’s normal thing and abnormal thing in their life

    Reply
  59. Athiyah on

    Couldn’t agree more with Dina!! Especially in this era where technology and social media have a really big part in our lives, everybody tried to be “normal” and want to get acceptance so they can ‘fit’ in their society. Ironically, this behavior is causing everybody is trying so hard to be “normal” and doesn’t really show their true identity

    Reply
  60. Sarah on

    Love it! Simple yet complicated thinking. Somehow the word ‘normal’ is just stereotype on people’s mind.

    I am kind of person who just (highly) enjoy for be myself, until I personally don’t know what kind of person am I. Am I normal enough? Or am I unique?
    The thing is : Is it a problem if I am normal, or vice versa? I think it’s okay since this is the real me.

    Also, being normal or abnormal (or better spell it as ‘unique’) is depends on your surrounding or let say, friends. Find friends who think exactly like you for being ‘normal’, and find friends who opposite with you for being ‘unique’.

    Thankyou for sharing the new side of thinking for me, Dina! Apreciate it!
    Don’t care about normal, be you❤

    Reply
  61. Afifah N on

    This is what i’m waiting for! It’s happy to read this article.
    I can imagine how boring life would be if everyone was the same. We’re all different, just be yourself and enjoy your life.
    I hope everyone will read this. Thank you for sharing, Dina!

    Reply
  62. Syarifa Rofiany Arief on

    I personally think that your writing hit the issue just right and humbly from every directions. It is indeed one of the most important issues concerning living a life especially for us youngsters who are said to not having a clear ‘identity’ yet. It is a respectful way to treat ourselves as someone worthy to be listened and not to be pushed to follow precedents, whether they are considered normal or not. I do think that the moment a person finally opens up and be true to him/herself will be the time when he/she can blossom her/his best self, therefore being a happier person. I really appreciate your time in making this writing and I thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂

    Reply
  63. Xenia on

    I never considered myself as ‘normal’. From elementary school until today, I’ve been growing up with many friends thinking that I am ‘lemot’ everytime I talk to them. But not just that, I have a really soft voice that hasn’t changed since I was a child.. And it just.. Attracts people very much. Moreover, I’m considered as a funny person because I always say what’s on my mind–either if it annoys me or pleases me–with ‘kepolosan’ hahaha. Or basically just saying literally funny things. But you know what? People love me for the way I am 🙂 they think I am cute and one of a kind. My traits come naturally. I am not self-pretentious, that’s why they love me. Growing up with many friends, families, and people whom I love since I was a child, I feel that… It means that you don’t have to fake yourself just to get loved. Other example, I know few people who are fake, self-pretentious, and a phatological liar in intention of making them look cool in front of everybody, resulting in them being hated so much by everybody because they lie so much and fake. So, I encourage everybody to stay positive, be yourself, love yourself for who you are.. Don’t be stressed out about being normal because being normal is just needed for professional need.

    Reply
  64. Cut Meudi on

    Being both are quite important. You need to be “normal” to socialize with other people whom probably have the opposite personalities as yours and there’s nothing you need to against it. Let’s just face the fact that it is also hard for us to understand and comprehend other people without judging, so it requires “normal” to finally be accepted in society or just be accepted in our state of mind. The fact is We do need other people to survive. Either that’s for work or probably to have the advantages of getting free food haha. If normality wasn’t a problem, then public speaking class wouldn’t be needed.

    But being abnormal shows the uniqueness we all have and those differentiate us from one another. So for me, normal and abnormal work at the same line

    Reply
  65. Vidya on

    Thank you for the great article! It reminds me of a YouTuber who talked about bullying, and one of the victims told us how he became a bully to make himself ‘equal’ to the bullies, so that he could save himself from being bullied. Bullying is not normal, yet when it considered as normal in a certain circumstance, it becomes dangerous. Another case happens to many youngsters nowadays, the urban poors (a term stated by Gayatri Jayaraman)–millennials who are broke but on trend–who are trying their very best to become ‘normal’. Normality is a social construct and it’s context-specific, thus it surely takes a lot to become ‘normal’ in this dynamic society; it could even be tiring and depressing when you try to be one. But then again just like yin and yang, for me normality is a part of a system that needs to exist, as an immeasurable thing to ‘measure’ the immeasurable abnormal and what’s in between the two–the uniqueness of one’s self. 😀

    Reply
  66. Dur on

    So relatable especially on this social media era lol. Anyway, since people and time is changing, the definition of normal will always change as well so…
    …”let’s just do what is good.” Is how I comfort myself.

    Reply
  67. Nazhira on

    After all these times I consider myself as one of those folks who always tried hard to be normal. The thought of “what would people think if I said this? What would people react if I did something that isn’t on a common line?” always passing by in my head before I did something. And thus thought always force me to stay in the line you called ‘normal’ and honestly it makes me feel like ‘a frog in the wheel’ for being typical or usual. Well- I wish I would get rid of this mainstream thought as I’ve been living my life this way all these times and find something special in myself.

    Anyway, that’s a well-written article, Dina! Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂

    Reply
  68. Harry Tangel on

    Hi Dina, I think this topic is very interesting in today context. It happens that people struggle hard for being normal.

    I might see this issue beyond surface in a way that it could be driven by motivational urgency behind. I think we could only spare tremendous energy for something we thought really important and strongly desire.
    To think of it, the wish of every people should be unique and different, but instead it often ends up in the pretty much the same thing.

    Why? I suspect it links to our needs of feeling safe(1), so we choose over the usual or safely judged option rather than the possibility of new ones. At the same time, we have sense of achievement(2) as one of our needs in life too. We might only feel satisfied if we struggle hard to gain unique result, differ from other people. Unfortunately, the other people here might be set to be the underrated people below the standard of normal.

    These two motivational factors in my opinion drive our decision to act. The problem is when we tend to set our mind to act for safety, we might not see as much opportunity to act out of ordinary, by which we might gain better result. Or, it is to say that we may miss the safety as our ultimate achievement. By then, it limits our potential and our capability to act more freely. Maybe we will spend huge effort for the safety itself without fully noticing we sacrifice something else. It could be a pity to take great effort for the idea of being normal, that’s not really necessary.

    The definition of safety itself is questionable. In this modern society, I think we can observe how people in developed country are even enthusiast to do surgery for the sake of beauty standard. This could be seen as an example of great effort for being normal, to be safely judged as beautiful in society.. So, maybe its true that we are struggling hard just to achieve the state of safety in being normal.

    Reply
  69. Tika Nuranisa on

    Hello Dina! wow. i found it interesting and you’ve just made me realize about how many people in life are putting a lot of efforts to be “normal”, including myself hahaha.
    under the circumtances, it reflects to the personalities and behaviours in society nowadays. they are tend to follow the predictable patterns of life. well yeah, sometimes we have to forget trying to be normal, because we should nurture our diversity. i believe the greatness lies in different ways of thinking.

    Reply
  70. Shabrina on

    Hi! As far as I can remember, I think whenever I heard the word “normal”, I’ve often been reminded of the standards held in our community and how the word “strange” or “weird” would come up to label those who do not fulfill the standards. In my case, it was not my nature to easily ‘fit in’ to the community–some people are blessed to be this way and I’ve envied them. I believe there’s nothing wrong of being normal, but our situations often push us up to the limits and trigger us to think or do something out of the box. And people who came out of the wave safely is never the same person again like he was before.

    So I think, life will gives us situations where we will find our own true colors, and it’s completely okay to not be ‘abnormal.’ Just like what you said, it’d be foolish to spend so much energy to hide our uniqueness.

    Your writing has made me reflect. Thanks for writing. Good luck! 🙂

    Reply
  71. Shofagi Raniyah on

    I always question the ‘normality’ standards that applied on this society, and it always lead me to another question which makes me even more confused. I feel that I’m such an awkward person, I’m very bad at socializing. So I spend more time to look closely at the way people socialize, with so much hope that I could learn from them. Some of their actions affect the way I socialize, while on the other side I also question a few of their actions that I thought doesn’t appropriate but they think it’s normal because many people do so.

    And this is what I called the toxic on our society. Many of our actions are based on other’s people opinions, that often made us insincere while we did it. We often forget how to be true of ourselves because our actions are often the product of the society, not the product of our own thinking and genuine feeling.

    Reply
  72. Lissa on

    I love the fact that this article is indeed a food for our brain. But I think the idea of normality, “people being normal” or “you are normal” are actually do have connections with being able to “work” or collaborate and making agreement in our society. People always use standard to be able to agree on something to create further influence on each other. People need something to hang on to to make bigger things, to make the world moves and develops. So basically I think that it is a common sense for people to spend their extra time and strenght to fight for their “normality” and be accepted in the society rather than going for a new breakthrough. But when it is too mainstream or when people realize that the world needs to change, people will try to find other options by being “edgy” or different solutions for themselves. I think it is a rather circular motion that happens from time to time. Being true to yourself is very important but the idea of knowing how the world really works will eventually lead ones to go further in life. Thank you for writing this awesome post. Keep on writing, Dina!

    Reply
  73. Tania Gunawan on

    I really appreciate how you think of any perspectives and not only stucked in one Dina. There are so many variables in people’s life, hence we cannot literally jump into one conclusion regarding this issue.

    Reply
  74. Calvin Walantus on

    How much and why I should conform to the mainstream is something I’ve always struggled with. When I was younger, I was very adamant about going against the mainstream, especially in music. With this mindset, it became very hard for me to figure out what to listen to, since I’m open to all types of music, but no one genre was really pulling me in, I just had to follow my gut. I’ve recently realized, however, that there is a value in following a trend – having something to share with other people! Even if their type music isn’t exactly what you prefer, it’s fun to go to a concert with others where everyone knows the words. You also get to learn a lot from those people about the music, and why they’re so into it.
    But yes, this is a hard decision to make. I’m especially troubled when the lyrics in music support values I don’t agree with, even if the music is still enjoyable in some way, and listened to by people I like.

    Reply
  75. Lidya Noble on

    Trying hard to be normal and trying hard to be abnormal are actually kind of similar. It is about trying being someone you think you need to be. Thus, it is not really about what is right or wrong but what actually fit in our own situations. This writing helps us opening our mind since it clarifies the issue from both sides.

    Reply
  76. Allie on

    Criticism is always happening in this world. How does one measure someone or something to be normal or abnormal? The criteria to be considered normal or abnormal is different from each persons perspective. This essay explains with great detail about both sides of the issue!

    Reply
  77. Intan astari on

    Thank you for bringing up such topic. I bet many people are swayed by the word ‘normal’ and become confuse who they are or who they need to be. Some end up expending tremendous energy merely to be normal while some finally expend tremendous energy merely to be normal..

    Reply
  78. syara xoxo on

    Hi Dina, what a beautiful and engaging writing! Well it is good if we can actually sit dow, think and reflect what we actually want to achieve in life. With the existence of social medias which are too demanding and have huge influence to the young teens especially, I guess whatever shown at the screen becomes whatever normal and “needed” in their lives. And me too, being one of them, struggling to fit in the society by acting like I’m been keeping up with the trend. I think there would be a point where people will realize that what matters the most is our own happiness, its just a matter of time. I’m glad that our time is now, so forget about what and how to be normal and remember that being different is what makes our lives more beautiful 🙂

    Reply

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