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 The notion of normality (8)

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The notion of normality


Something I've been thinking about recently is normality, i.e. being normal.

I'm often described as weird because I don't like certain things (eg) Football, Pop music, inane conversation, not that it bothers me, but it does make me wonder.

There seems to me to be an unending array of new "personality disorders" being named and, most pertinently to my point, treated, the global figures for sales of antidepressants, beta blockers etc is phenomenal.

Have we as a society developed an ideal that most think they must aspire to and are not right if they don't?

Is this ideal imaginary? 

Just look at the actions and words of people when in an anonymous setting, on the internet. It goes to show that most people aren't truly being themselves, I mean we are a societal species and the development of an ideal society is just as open to the flaws of humanity as any other trait, as has been seen in the many failed attempts of our ancestors.

What I'd like to ask is the following:

Does anybody else either feel this way or at least agree to some extent?

Is there a perceived normality that doesn't actually define anybody, but defines the aspirations of many? 

Is this actually a healthy pursuit, given the multitudinous ways in which we are defining personality by disorder rather than type?


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3 points

Being normal is a flaw, in my eyes.

If you are not a quirky person, but rather, you follow accepted culture and obey authority, then you are more like an automaton than any sort of creative or intelligent human.

A person with a generic copy-paste personality is not a very interesting person, however, such a person will be stable and easy to control.

Being normal is a flaw, in my eyes

I'm of the same opinion.

A person with a generic copy-paste personality is not a very interesting person, however, such a person will be stable and easy to control.

Do these people actually have these personalities or are they trying their best to be like the majority that are all in the same position?

1 point

Does it matter?

I don't think they actually care very much. They try to fit in and they are not strong enough to do anything else.

They are just not worth talking to generally. Not that they are bad or anything, but they are not exactly interesting. There are so many people like that, that it feels like I'm wasting my time talking to them because you could meet a person like that nearly anywhere in any city in the USA and besides personal details or appearance, they might act exactly the same.

My personal view is that there is no one "normal" personality. There are however, several "normal" personalities, or as I call them "stock personalities".

I believe that every person on Earth fits a specific base mold for a person. This is somewhat shown in a primitive way in high schools. In that people are categorised into jocks, nerds, plastics, etc. Of course, there would need to be more in depth categories to aptly fit everyone on Earth, but I believe the basic idea is sound.

Now, onto trying to achieve "normality". This I think is something uniquely human. I'm going to hedge a bet here and say that the majority of cases of personality disorders are found in adolescents.

Adolescence is a turbulent time for humans, because not only do we have biological processes to deal with, we have societal issues too. The various hormonal releases at this age make us more susceptible to peer influence and "quasi-depression" (my own term, I like to distinguish between actual depression and depression caused by adolescence). This combination starts to make us think about why we don't fit in to arbitrary group X. Seeing as nobody is perfect, most adolescents crave that missing attribute in their personality, not mature enough to realise it is unobtainable. Even the most popular kid in school would probably like to be a little smarter, and may get depressed over his inability to be so, thus leading to diagnoses of disorders and what have you.

In essence, kids aren't mature enough to realise they can't be perfect, and will seek for some 3rd party excuse to justify their imperfections to themselves.

In adults, I'm not really sure. To be honest, I don't think too many adults care about normality. They have taxes to pay.

There are obviously emotionally troubled teens, but I'm not so sure that there is a relative majority population of sufferers in the adolescent age bracket.

The wide spread abuse of Oxycodone, Xanax, Clozapine, and the like among professionals and housewives etc shows a different side to the story I think.

People are increasingly not being themselves, and why is that I wonder?

I really don't know the exact statistics, it was a guess made on personal observations.

Do you have any sort of data regarding the modal age for these disorders? It would be useful for further analysis.

This is not directly related but kind of on topic (Mack and Chuck already said most of what I'd say, anyways) but I really can't interact with stock or normal personality types for very long. Aside from finding them to be mind-numbingly boring, we can't connect on any personal level. If we were fish, they would very much be in the main stream while I swim against the current.

I understand that this is how you all feel when interacting with the "normals" simply because I feel the same.

I was trying to develop a discussion on whether these people actually are this way or is there an underlying struggle to perform to a standard.

I was thinking of the disgusting amount of mood altering drugs that are been peddled to the masses. There could be nothing to it, but it was something me and my wife were discussing the other night over a few beers and has been in the back of my mind since.