Is that normal?
The concept of ‘normal,’ and what counts as ‘normal behaviour,’ has long been of interest to sociologists. Sociologists have very different approaches to answering the basic, but fundamental question, ‘what is normal‘?
Normal is seen as usual, typical, or expected, and appear to be certain patterns of behaviour, which majority of the people in a society, conform to. In its simplest form, normal is seen as “good,” while abnormal is seen as “bad.”
The negative side of “normalcy“, is the marginalization of people, that do not fit within the norm. Someone being seen as normal or not normal, can have social repercussions, such as being included, excluded, or sidelined by larger society.
Normal is defined by yourself, and acceptance is determined by the society. In such cases, one may decide to find a community, where they are easily accepted.
I think people are obsessed with social conformity. Think of the typical person, their life goes something like this – Go to school, graduate, get a job, find an ideal love partner, get married, have kids, raise kids, go into retirement, then die.
Sounds pretty “normal”, right?
I guess this is what the society expect of us. Besides, most of our peers are into this identical way of living, we can as well be a part of it. A lot of people stick to this textbook way of living, and anyone who deviates from it, is seen as a weirdo.
We live in a world, of which each individual is unique. Some people tend to think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective.
Sometimes, we need to pause, and think deeply about the paths we take. Don’t do things simply for the sole reason of ‘Everyone is doing it, I might as well jump on the bandwagon. I don’t want to be labeled “eccentric.”
What is wrong in being “unusual“?
A lot of people think there is only one way of doing things. Thinking outside of the box, might gradually be going into extinction.
One thing you should understand, is, people has their “quirks.” These quirks are considered abnormal by larger society.
Some people are trying to fit in, because they don’t want to be perceived as “odd“, so as not to be excluded, or made fun of.
Who gets to decide what’s normal, and what’s not?
Norms are decided by nobody in particular, but by everybody in general. Norms are simply the average of different popular views/beliefs. Although at some point, a popular belief may be preserved as a law, and people are expected to obey that law.
Unfortunately, society does to some extent, dictate “normality”. We have social rules to obey. Every society has their accepted customs. These customs may serve as a means to prevent extreme behaviour. But nonetheless, every one will always have his or her own definition of “normal“.