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Trying to be like others.



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Leonard

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Peer-pressure, fear of abnormality, whatever you want to call it.
This problem started for me only recently and it's a habit I've been desperately trying to kick ever since. I feel like I'm starting to lose control over myself, like I'm only a pawn that can't think for itself anymore.

I see people in my age, partying and meeting girls on a Saturday evening, and I ask myself "Why can't I ask out people and spend time outside on weekends? Why don't I get to go to parties and celebrations with my friends?"

I see people in school getting good grades, making contributions to the lesson, showing great interest and joy for a subject, and I ask myself "Why can't I be so skilled in one particular topic? Why do I feel like I need everything explained twice until I get it, while they have close to no effort with that?

I see people with great and unique talents, musicians, artists, programmers, etc., how they effortlessly make one genius thing after another, gaining popularity and praise for their work. And I ask myself "Why can't I do these things? Where is my talent? Why can't I contribute anything that will amaze others and bring me praise?"

And after all those things, it normally ends in one particular question: "Am I abnormal?". Along with countless efforts to change myself accordingly, mostly getting me nowhere.
It's almost like a drug that you just can't lay off.


Have you ever encountered thoughts like these before? Have you ever tried to be like other people you know? Have you ever tried to change things about you and your life to be like somebody else?
Have you ever felt like you were too different from people of your age?

Post your experiences and opinions on the subject.


(This is not supposed to be a counter-thread to Jezza's (or Sam's threads for that matter) by the way, just so you know. Even if it would be deliciously ironic.)
 

Snow

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Sometimes, I'm like that. Then again, I've long accepted the fact that I am abnormal, I just sometimes get disheartened by other's talents such as in art, and wish I had such abilities too.

But normally, I'm happy being the sadistic right wing person in my class. I have absolutely no qualms about my personality or what I do. Just my skills.
 

Orion

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(This is not supposed to be a counter-thread to Jezza's (or Sam's threads for that matter) by the way, just so you know. Even if it would be deliciously ironic.)
Yeah that thought struck my head, given how mine was how you act around people, peer-groups and such.
Anyway.

At least on the social side, I'm a lot like you. The why might be different, but the what is the same. In school, well as far as others go, it's really quite rare that someone is praised for their intellect, talent or creativity, which sucks, because I think I have all those and being recognised for it is nice.
 

Rix

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Well. I've always liked to be a little different, but I gotta admit that I have wished that I could be more like others at times. Most of my friends and others at my age is out drinking every weekend. I'm out drinking only now and then. Some times I wish that I could be more like them and more outgoing and all that and wish I knew how to dress like them. But I'm also glad that I don't have the need to drink every weekend.
 

Prajna

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Peer-pressure, fear of abnormality, whatever you want to call it.
This problem started for me only recently and it's a habit I've been desperately trying to kick ever since. I feel like I'm starting to lose control over myself, like I'm only a pawn that can't think for itself anymore.

I see people in my age, partying and meeting girls on a Saturday evening, and I ask myself "Why can't I ask out people and spend time outside on weekends? Why don't I get to go to parties and celebrations with my friends?"

I see people in school getting good grades, making contributions to the lesson, showing great interest and joy for a subject, and I ask myself "Why can't I be so skilled in one particular topic? Why do I feel like I need everything explained twice until I get it, while they have close to no effort with that?

I see people with great and unique talents, musicians, artists, programmers, etc., how they effortlessly make one genius thing after another, gaining popularity and praise for their work. And I ask myself "Why can't I do these things? Where is my talent? Why can't I contribute anything that will amaze others and bring me praise?"

And after all those things, it normally ends in one particular question: "Am I abnormal?". Along with countless efforts to change myself accordingly, mostly getting me nowhere.
It's almost like a drug that you just can't lay off.


Have you ever encountered thoughts like these before? Have you ever tried to be like other people you know? Have you ever tried to change things about you and your life to be like somebody else?
Have you ever felt like you were too different from people of your age?

Post your experiences and opinions on the subject.


(This is not supposed to be a counter-thread to Jezza's (or Sam's threads for that matter) by the way, just so you know. Even if it would be deliciously ironic.)

My friend, don't even worry it. I'm the same way, I have only one good friend and he lives towns away from me and I hardly get to hang with him. Having a lot of friends usually leads to a lot of problems along the way. Drama is something that is at it's peak and is getting more and more problematic. I hear girls in my school talking about stupid stuff and how bad their lives are and I just roll my eyes and shake my head. It's just extra baggage and not worth getting caught up in. Partying is another thing. I could see why it might seem glamorous but it's all stuff worth missing out on, there's better things in life.
 

Leonard

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∞;4460012 said:
Yeah that thought struck my head, given how mine was how you act around people, peer-groups and such.
Anyway.

Oh? I thought yours was about the exact opposite, being yourself. D:
Well, sorry about that. This was actually a thread I originally wanted to make in H&S because of my personal issues, but I thought this might make a good discussion topic. :l

My friend, don't even worry it. I'm the same way, I have only one good friend and he lives towns away from me and I hardly get to hang with him. Having a lot of friends usually leads to a lot of problems along the way. Drama is something that is at it's peak and is getting more and more problematic. I hear girls in my school talking about stupid stuff and how bad their lives are and I just roll my eyes and shake my head. It's just extra baggage and not worth getting caught up in. Partying is another thing. I could see why it might seem glamorous but it's all stuff worth missing out on, there's better things in life.

I know a couple of people in the same situation myself, and you're absolutely right. Of course one cannot deny that trying to be like others all the time mostly leads to stupid situations, but like I said, it's a little bit like a drug.
This drama aspect of it is also probably one of the things that bothers me most. Whenever I think about my problems, some time or another I start to notice "why am I worrying about this shit anyway, there are much more significant issues out there that I could worry about." But that doesn't really last too long.

Thanks for the input though.
 
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Prajna

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Oh? I thought yours was about the exact opposite, being yourself. D:
Well, sorry about that. This was actually a thread I originally wanted to make in H&S because of my personal issues, but I thought this might make a good discussion topic. :l



I know a couple of people in the same situation myself, and you're absolutely right. Of course one cannot deny that trying to be like others all the time mostly leads to stupid situations, but like I said, it's a little bit like a drug.
This drama aspect of it is also probably one of the things that bothers me most. Whenever I think about my problems, some time or another I start to notice "why am I worrying about this shit anyway, there are much more significant issues out there that I could worry about." But that doesn't really last too long.

Thanks for the input though.

You just need to focus and truly find what's in your best interest instead of worrying about saying all the right things to everyone to fit in. It just doesn't work like not, no one is perfect.
 

Laz

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Well, I am different alright; but I don't try to be like anyone else. I know my skills and my limits; why waste time trying to make yourself better at something that you are not born to do? You have a talent, everybody does. You just need to find it, and with it find yourself. [I know, my skill to state the obvious is amazing, isn't it?]
 

Prajna

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Well, I am different alright; but I don't try to be like anyone else. I know my skills and my limits; why waste time trying to make yourself better at something that you are not born to do? You have a talent, everybody does. You just need to find it, and with it find yourself. [I know, my skill to state the obvious is amazing, isn't it?]

I believe anyone can be good at anything if they work hard and apply themselves, it sounds trivial but it's true.
 

Laz

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I believe anyone can be good at anything if they work hard and apply themselves, it sounds trivial but it's true.
I believe so too. I just don't waste my time doing it anymore. Like there was this time when I wanted to be good at soccer, I trained everyday thinking, "If I keep it up , i'll get better"....uh nooo I didnt get better in the whole year. Conclusion? I wasnt born to play soccer, I was born to play volleyball, drawing, writing stories...more blablablah.
@ Leonard: Find your skill, sharp it and get outside to conquer the world.
 

Passion

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Okay listen here,
I don't know what school you go to where EVERYONE has everything come easily to them. That's not the way life works. And trust me, being popular is not so great, the pressure to be perfect all the time is extreme and its probably not one of the best lives to have. Plus why be like everyone else? "Everyone else" is such a broad term and EVERYONE ELSE has their own issues that you probably don't see. As I said before, being popular is not the greatest thing on the plannet. All you really need to do to survive is to find some friends that may have things in common with you like skills and talents. And you may say now that you don't HAVE any skills or talents but have you tried anything? Have you joined any clubs in school or anyhting of that sort? Just don't get so down on yourself. Just remember that "everyone else" isn't as great as you may think it is...
 
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This question has such a simple answer it's almost funny. Leonard, I want you to ask yourself this:

If you discovered today that you had terminal cancer and only three months to live, what changes would you make to your life and your character? I'm not talking about the things you would necessarily do, but rather the person you would become -- do you really think that fitting in would even play a role in your decision making process anymore, knowing you were on that time line? Now ask yourself why you're waiting to die to make those changes to your life.

When you're able to answer the first question with "none" you've got your life in order. The rest doesn't matter. Try to forget about the rules for a second. Life is not about checking off the boxes and making sure that you're doing everything properly based on the preconditions of society and the people around you. If you are being the person you want to be -- the best version of yourself you can achieve -- then all of the other social abnormalities you may be suspicious of are going to melt away.

To a certain extent, imitation is okay, especially when you apply certain ideas to yourself for the right reasons. Just try to understand the difference between being the person you want to be and being the person you think you're supposed to be. Only one will lead to happiness, and more than just a temporary sense of belonging...can you guess which?
 

KaiSparda1018

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I've always noticed, at least with the people at my school, when people try so hard to fit in, it becomes very transparent and everyone can see right through it, thus, no one really likes them. But at the same time, if you are doing things just for the purpose of standing out, this will also make you look like a tool. It might be cliche, but the best thing to do is really be yourself. If you are in a store picking out clothes - for example -, you shouldn't be saying "this is in right now, I'll buy it" or "I've never seen anyone with this, so I'll buy it", but if you say "I love this, I think it is cute", than those are the type of clothes you should be buying. No one else's opinion should come into play at all.
 

Naximi

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I know my situation is probably nothing like yours, but I strive to be different. It sounds weird, but the one thing I hate the most is trying too hard to fit in. The idea is completely rediculous to me. I'm not exactly the average person though. I think a lot and see things differently. As Sherlock Holmes put it, I try to escape the commonplace. Everybody knows me as anything but ordinary, and I love that, and that's what people like about me. Calling me normal is like an insult. And I don't exactly bend over backwards to be different, it's just me. I do admire people and want to be like them, but in my own way. I don't get why someone would want to be the same. I'd rather not be a follower, because that's when you lose what makes you you and you cannot leave your own mark on the world. Instead, you are walking in another's footsteps and there is no trace that you were there. Who wants to be "just another"?
 

KaiSparda1018

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Some people feel the need to fit in, but that sounds like a horror movie storyline to me. Everyone becoming clones or robots, and losing their own consciousness and becoming zombies. I dress really out there, although I do not try to be different, per say. I am African-American and live in the "ghetto" (for lack of a better word) but I am into every genre of rock. My musical tastes range from everything from Buddy Holly to Mastodon, and my mom hates this. She thinks I am ashamed to be black and am trying to be something that I am not. But most black people complain when other races develop stereotypes about them, so why would I change who I am to try to fit into some ignorant person's preconceived notion of how a black person should act?
 

Orion

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This question has such a simple answer it's almost funny. Leonard, I want you to ask yourself this:

If you discovered today that you had terminal cancer and only three months to live, what changes would you make to your life and your character? I'm not talking about the things you would necessarily do, but rather the person you would become -- do you really think that fitting in would even play a role in your decision making process anymore, knowing you were on that time line? Now ask yourself why you're waiting to die to make those changes to your life.

When you're able to answer the first question with "none" you've got your life in order. The rest doesn't matter. Try to forget about the rules for a second. Life is not about checking off the boxes and making sure that you're doing everything properly based on the preconditions of society and the people around you. If you are being the person you want to be -- the best version of yourself you can achieve -- then all of the other social abnormalities you may be suspicious of are going to melt away.

To a certain extent, imitation is okay, especially when you apply certain ideas to yourself for the right reasons. Just try to understand the difference between being the person you want to be and being the person you think you're supposed to be. Only one will lead to happiness, and more than just a temporary sense of belonging...can you guess which?

Fuck, why are you always so helpful and insightful.
 
G

Gunmetal

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Ever heard the phrase "The grass is always greener on the other side"? What makes you think you'd be any happier living the lives of others?
 

Leonard

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When you're able to answer the first question with "none" you've got your life in order. The rest doesn't matter. Try to forget about the rules for a second. Life is not about checking off the boxes and making sure that you're doing everything properly based on the preconditions of society and the people around you. If you are being the person you want to be -- the best version of yourself you can achieve -- then all of the other social abnormalities you may be suspicious of are going to melt away.

To a certain extent, imitation is okay, especially when you apply certain ideas to yourself for the right reasons. Just try to understand the difference between being the person you want to be and being the person you think you're supposed to be. Only one will lead to happiness, and more than just a temporary sense of belonging...can you guess which?

I appreciate the help and the effort Sam, but I'm afraid it's more complicated than that.
It isn't the stereotypical peer-pressure trying to be like other people, seeking popularity or women or whatnot. It's far more basic, yet probably more complicated, too.

What I normally seek aren't things completely exclusive to special people, they're more basic things like good friends, hanging out at parties from time to time, etc. That probably also comes from the fact that I had always been quite different from other kids around me, that now I'm trying to break out of my boring daily life and want to accomplish other things.
But to be honest, I'm not sure if I can really formulate in words how I truly feel. Like I said, it's complicated.

Anyway, I appreciate all the advice and sentiment, but I actually wanted this to become more of a discussion thread, which is why I didn't put it into the H&S section. xD

Sorry about the confusion.
 

DJQuackQuack

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Is it really that beneficial to want to fit in with a certain group of people? Its like putting on a mask and lying to them and yourself imo. Sure, if you honestly look in the mirror and wanna change yourself for the better, then that is positve. But definitely don't change yourself because someone else wants you too. If they don't accept you as you, then they aren't your ideal friends.

Also, is it good to fit into the 'norm' of society? Sure, being social and making friends is important, but becoming your average joe (or jen) won't make you happy. Conformity is just hiding yourself from the world, whether it be joining them in the fads or being rebelious and doing the opposite of them just cause you are a little demon or w/e. Imo you just have to be who you want to be and like yourself. If you can do that, what else ya need?
 

Finland

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I've sometimes thought what it would be like to be like others.
And I've come to the conclusion that it would be boring. I want to be myself and do what I want without caring about what the others say.
 
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