Why It's Okay To Be Different

We all have our quirks and so-called flaws and strictly speaking we are all very different in our own unique ways. Whilst some of us may have a disability, a psychological issue or anything else that we personally believe makes us different, if you look at each and every person around you they are completely different to each other.

That being said, a lot of us don’t see our “different” as something positive. It’s seen in a negative light. I think this is mostly due to what society has told us is “normal”, or because a person or group of people have made us feel like an outcast because of our own version of different.

Unsurprisingly, I took to social media for some answers. I started off by posting a yes/no poll that asked ‘Do you have something that in your opinion, sets you apart from the “norm”?’. I got many answers to these (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) with the majority being yes.

I hoped that this would mean that these same people would be happy to elaborate on an anonymous survey, however that wasn’t the case, with only 3 responding.

Nevertheless, this actually helped me more than I thought. It showed to me that whilst many admit to being different for a certain reason, that reason isn’t necessarily something they’d be happy to discuss – because it’s what makes them different.

Is being different wrong? No. Have we been conditioned to believe that it is? Certainly.

It is more than okay to be different, and you don’t need me to tell you that. What’s not okay is letting somebody else make you feel ashamed because of it, and most importantly letting yourself believe you’re any less of a being.

I’ve never been one to follow the crowd but for a very long time I thought that who I was, wasn’t okay. Just so this doesn’t come across as dramatic as it looks, I’m on about my personality and way of being.

I’ve always felt different purely because I’ve never felt like following everyone else, I’ve mostly stuck to my own beliefs and ways of being, especially as I’ve gotten older.

The truth is, when I want something, I fully immerse myself in it. I go for it with all that I’ve got, and I’ve always been like it. From wanting to be a professional jockey, to wanting to become a personal trainer (which is pretty laughable now considering my lack of exercise…..), to wanting to become a photographer, to wanting to become a writer!

Going back to the point, over the past year I’ve met people, lots and lots of people who are so very unique in their own ways. They are all so different, but not one of them were or are different in a bad way. They are just different. Just like I’m different to you, and you’re different to the next person.

Truth be told, I think this alongside a gradual increase in confidence has helped me become a lot more accepting of myself and when rejection has arisen it hasn’t had such a knock on effect as it used to.

For the sake of my own mental well-being, I truly wish I hadn’t spent so much of my time hating myself and wishing I was “normal”. To be quite honest I still don’t know what my definition of normal was or is!

I am so many different things compiled. Some I like, some I don’t. They all combine to make me, me and that is so very okay. You too are so many different things compiled. Some that you like, some that you don’t. They all combine to make you, you and that IS so very okay.

The question is, what did those three people (thank you very much by the way) have to say? Here they are –

“In my opinion, something that sets me apart from the “norm” is the fact that I really obsess about some things more than I should. If I’m lucky it can be something as harmless as a TV show or a book I really wanted to buy and read, but if not, it can be something like a teacher/employer/colleague’s alleged opinion of me, a particular exam result, to a bad turnout to a job application. To elaborate, at the start of the year I sent out a myriad of job applications, and while waiting for a reply. I became obsessed with checking my phone to see whether I got one. I overate out of the stress, lost sleep, and lashed out whenever the subject was brought up, even to someone else. When I got a rejection I reacted really badly. Things turned out well there in the end, which is fantastic, but that was just an example. I guess the reason i think it’s a problem that sets me apart is pretty basic: my obsessions give way to anxiety and go on longer and harder than most people I know, and it’s been really difficult coping with that. I’m not so conceited to say that I’m the only one who obsesses, but I’ve always felt like it alienated me from everyone else at the time.”


“No emotions”

Just to back up my theory that we’re all very different here are the statistics from all three polls I put out –

Instagram – 5 out of 6 voted yes.

Twitter – 10 out of 13 voted yes.

Facebook – 10 out of 12 voted yes.

We spend so much of our time, picking the bits we don’t like about ourselves. The bits that nobody else who’s “normal” has, wishing that we were like her or him. Never once do we sit down and thank god we have that little bit of different that makes us who we are. Beautifully unique.

You deserve to embrace who you are. You deserve to accept who you are. You most definitely deserve to be happy. Whenever possible.

It’s okay to be different.

Ciao for now x

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Wellbeing writer, host for The Inspired Narrative podcast and mental health support worker.