From a young age, we tend to be placed on a pedestal. We are consistently told that we are unique – that we are special. We are told we should make something of ourselves and to be brilliant.
But as we grow up, we realise that this is not necessarily the case. Society does not particularly appreciate us for our uniqueness. We learn that in many situations, we are treated as a dime a dozen. This could not be more evident than the example of job hunting, where you are competing with other young adults of similar qualifications, skills and general background. Once you enter the working world, you soon find that you have become a cogwheel in the machine.
As adults, we start to lose some of the things that made us unique when we were younger, such as our passions and imaginations. We even start to lose our identity as an individual as we become categorised, such as an accountant, a doctor, somebody’s partner or a parent.
Instead of feeling like a unique snowflake, it is easy to feel like a plain white dot in a field of snow. Perhaps this is why we yearn to find someone who will treat us like we are the most important, special person in the world.
However, there are some downsides to being unique. More often than not, people feel alone because of their niche interests, specific perspectives and strange imperfections. Then you meet someone who shares a quality that you thought was unique to yourself.
It might be the way they think how it’s odd how an object looks different as you move past it or even something as little as sharing the same guilty pleasure song. When we meet someone like that, we feel connected with them and that we are not alone in our weirdness.
Furthermore, thinking that we are special makes us feel entitled and act less kind to others as we believe we deserve special treatment. Not being unique grants us empathy as we can see ourselves reflected in another person.
Statistically, most of us will lie within the bulk of the bell curve where we are not so different from the average person. But perhaps that’s okay as long as we can find someone who we can be uniquely weird together with.
“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”
~ Dr. Seuss
(Image source: Puuung http://www.grafolio.com/puuung1)