Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

How are you different from most people?

Asked by wundayatta (58321 points ) February 9th, 2010

We all know that we differ from others in a myriad of ways. Take that as a given. But if you pick one of those ways as being either the most significant or very significant, what would it be? You can think of it in this way, too: what separates you from others?

Please characterize the difference and then characterize how you think “most people” are with respect to this area where you differ.

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57 Answers

phoebusg's avatar

Yes, and no. I’m different in some respects. But I think our differences in comparison with what we have in common are 1% to 99%. If you don’t understand how that can be, look at chimp genome compared to human. We all have more or less the same brain and biological pre-dispositions. But follow different paths and make different decisions. If all decisions were fixed – and same, we’d all be the same also. (Like amoeba :P).
Another good question, you’re on a roll :)

A good way to explore humanity’s common nature: http://www.6billionothers.org/ lovely project.

Oxymoron's avatar

I think I separate myself from others because I’m a teenage girls that doesn’t wear an inch thick layer of make up on my face, have horse hair attached to my head, sleep around, or drink. I’m pretty much the opposite of everyone my age that I’ve seen.

Blackberry's avatar

I don’t think I am. I’m just surrounded by people that are not the same as me. I don’t know how to explain it, but I have an overall understanding of situations and people to where I’m not surprised by seemingly new concepts as they arise etc. But some people must question every single thing that is different as if they are just baffled and can’t possibly believe there is diversity around them.

I’m just tired of people around me being so intolerent I guess.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t want a gender identity. I identify as queer. I am in an open marriage. I am a vegan.

CMaz's avatar

Because I am me and you are you and as you are he as you are me and we are all together.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Since I am the child of artificial insemination and I do not know who my biological father is, I am different from other people because other people typically have two parents. I’ve seen people manipulate their parents by pitting them against each other (but Mom said I could!) and I never had the opportunity to do that. I also don’t know the social rules and etiquette when talking about people’s families. If there’s only parent around, I have no idea how far I am allowed to go when talking about it. Often, people get angry with me when I ask about their odd familial situation. One time, a single woman was talking to me about her two children. Because of my origins, I asked her if she had them the same way my mother had me. She immediately got angry and said, “I got pregnant by two different men and kept their children,” in an extremely defensive tone. The same thing happens if I ask about people’s absent parents. At this point in my life, I either don’t ask any questions about someone’s familial situation or I ask entirely too many. I don’t know the middle road!

deni's avatar

As a 20 year old girl I think there are only a select few of us who realize that if you need to put on five pounds of makeup, struggle to squeeze yourself into a pair of pants that is 3 sizes too small, push up your boobs and wear a shirt that shows everything, all this just to attract a guy, then you are not going for the right type of guys. I just can’t stand it. Sorry, but it’s my personal opinion that any men you attract in that way are not going to appreciate anything about the real “you” because you aren’t showing them anything that’s real. It’s all a show. And if you have to sleep with them on the first date to keep them around, well then clearly you’ve really picked a winner.

So all in all, pretty much what @Oxymoron said. I’m not one of those types, and I think that’s kinda rare.

Harp's avatar

I don’t watch TV, which certainly puts me in a statistical minority, at least among Americans. Not that that’s especially significant, but it is different.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I am bipolar, making my reactions to life’s situations often quite different from my friends. I’ve had to learn to filter my significant actions through the advice of very trusted friends.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I don’t think about it.I just am what I am.

phoebusg's avatar

@hawaii_jake you’re not your condition, you are you – but also have been categorized somewhere under that label… for the purposes of organization and tracking your progress/treatment. But you are you, right?
You’re not far from the “normal”, at least not as far you may think. Not to make you feel less special :)

A close friend defines “mental illness” as someone others don’t find compatible (can’t stand due to difference)... Given you are well and survive – does it matter? Hehe. Some truth in that statement. Group norms and obedience make you ‘normal’, you can be normal without being normal, whenever you want to – the irony.

BoBo1946's avatar

Love this quote! “Pretty much” sums up my answer too your question.

“I laugh, I love, I hope, I try, I hurt, I need, I fear, I cry. And I know you do the same things too, So we’re really not that different, me and you.”
Colin Raye

Christian95's avatar

I don’t like american football,baseball hockey or any other american sport
and I also I’m one of the fewest people in the world who watches his friend jumping around and ask himself with what energy is he pushing the ground to give him the required velocity to make the jump possible and I also think what is the elasticity constant of the muscle who produce that energy

wundayatta's avatar

@phoebusg This is how he chooses to see a difference between him and others. Please don’t give him a hard time about it. I don’t want to discourage others from opening up on this question, and responses like that are likely to shut some people down.

If you want to ask a question about whether people are identifying themselves when they say “I am [insert condition here]”, please do.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I’m a 53 year old guy with Aspergers Syndrome, depression and recently lost the only person who made life meaningful for me. I’m basically groping around for a reason to justify my own existance. Some days I can see a faint glimmer of hope, some I’m paralyzed by depression and grief. I’m torn between a sense of duty to contribute something to the world and the feeling that the raisson d’etre has gone, no further point in trying. Like a pendulum swinging between “barely worth it” and “to hell with it”.

Jude's avatar

I’m really just figuring out who I am now…

Steve_A's avatar

Trying to find musicians around my age who want to experiment with classical and jazz, into rock,metal,hip hop and rap.

Most people my age just don’t care to get deeper into it.

Just music in general really. I don’t mind the new hardcore,screamo,emo music scene that seems to be coming up but the dropped tuned guitars are getting old already.

syzygy2600's avatar

I think the internet is evil, makes people stupid, destroys social interaction, and breeds extremism and ignorance. I have a internet connection, but use it for very little other than watching tv shows or listening to music, if I have to do research on a subject, I’d rather go to the library where I can find things written by people who actually know what they’re talking about. I think blogs are stupid because 99% of the people who write them have nothing worthwhile to say. My cell phone is for calls and the occasional text, I would never want to own an iphone or blackberry because the idea of having the internet with me at all times is very unappealing. If I want to read a book, I’d rather have an actual book made out of dead trees than yet another computer screen to stare at.

There’s other things I feel make me different from most people, but my views on internet and technology put me at odds with a good 95% of the population these days.

And no I’m not old, I’m only 24.

CMaz's avatar

@syzygy2600 – ROCK ON!

jazzjeppe's avatar

I think I am very unselfish and I have a lot of empathy. In the best of worlds this should apply on everyone, but it seems as if it doesn’t. I feel rather alone….

Symbeline's avatar

I don’t think I’m really different than anyone, which might make me different after all, considering that so many people are so convinced that they’re unique.

phoebusg's avatar

@wundayatta no intention to give him, or anyone a “hard time”, but this is what I see. In my mind’s eye. He’s more than just his condition. It’s easy to become a label.

wundayatta's avatar

@phoebusg I understand. I seriously would like to discuss this issue, but I am out of questions at the moment and will forget it later. So if you want to ask…... ?

Facade's avatar

I think most people have a group of people, no matter how small, whom they can call “friend.” I have no one like that (besides my boyfriend. But then who is there to talk to when we fight?). It’s pretty lonely…

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. I feel what separates me from the masses is that I have a better ability to think out-side-the-box when it comes to logic, I place the logic ahead of the emotion where I feel most go with emotion or their gut, as they say. Not to say I am an unfeeling guy with no passion but I know how to keep it in check. I have friends who if someone cuts them off getting to the freeway exit ramp they figure it is about them, that the other driver did it to be disrespectful to them. They don’t go the extra yards before getting pissed off to think maybe the person is unfamiliar with the area and saw their exit at the last moment, they were distracted by talking on their Bluetooth, or plain just didn’t see them behind. Or the folly of 3 Strikes law, people buy into the nonsense of the politician about sticking to criminals and cutting crime an create a catchy but flawed asinine law. When they have 100,000s of old ailing geriatric criminals they will be paying a boat load of money for because they swiped a Snickers bar we will see how much sense that made. Rather than go with reasonable and logical solutions I feel many people will go off emotion and what makes them feel better for right now than in the long run over all. Plus I have a maxim no on understands and loves to hate LOL

aprilsimnel's avatar

I think I’m extremely emotionally sensitive in comparison to most people.

BoBo1946's avatar

@syzygy2600 Excellent answer!!!!!

deni's avatar

@Facade I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL. I’m the same way, not always but definitely right now since I just moved and my boyfriend is the only person I hang out with. I really have no problem with that but when he’s at work and I want to go get a free Grand Slam with someone…well, then I’m out of luck and lonely.

Blondesjon's avatar

I don’t bullshit myself.

janbb's avatar

I’m black and white and have flippers and like to sit on my igloo reading a book.

Facade's avatar

@deni I’m glad it’s not always that way for u :)

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’m different than most men because I have a 3rd testicle. Let’s keep that a secret, shall we?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Bluefreedom is it smaller than the others?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I liked being like @Oxymoron (and @deni) when I was her age (except for the ‘girl’ stuff, and I was a ‘boy’): On Saturday nights I didn’t drink ‘til I got stupid out at the reservoir, and then drink more; I wasn’t heavily into cars, and my relationships with girls at that age were completely chaste. Hot, but chaste.

I never had blow-ups with my parents, either. Talk in the 70s was all about the “Generation Gap”, but even though my parents were 30 years older than I was—and I certainly didn’t agree with them about everything!—we had completely respectful and thoughtful disagreements and ‘debates’ more than arguments.

And now… forty years later… I still feel like a teenager as often as not.

I can also really relate to @lucillelucillelucille as Popeye.

lloydbird's avatar

Well,.......I do have…......This!.

Jude's avatar

@lloydbird.. Nah, I had one of those for years. I’ve since had it removed, though.

drClaw's avatar

I am the biggest, German, Norwegian, Scottish, boxing, fighting, spitting, drinking, kissing, loving, push over with a flair for interactive marketing you have ever met.

downtide's avatar

The most significant thing about me that’s different is that I am transsexual. (female to male).

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@phoebusg : I am also right-handed, a son, a brother, and a father. These things are labels.

Bipolar is an illness with definable symptoms and, thankfully, treatment. It is more than a label.

If a person is diabetic, no one questions the diagnosis. My disease happens to be centered in my brain causing it to work improperly. This is not the forum to go into all the ways that manifests itself. Suffice it to say that my brain does not function at optimum levels.

Jeruba's avatar

I just don’t think of myself that way. Aren’t we all made of star stuff?

I do have an unusual name; the name search engine says there is probably less than one of me in the U.S..

zephyr826's avatar

I don’t fight with my husband, and I get along with both parents. My parents are still married. My three siblings are my best friends. I still go to church, and not just because it’s a habit. According to many in my generation, I’m a throwback.

downtide's avatar

@Jeruba that is worrying. Have you double-checked to ensure that there’s none of you missing?

Shae's avatar

I think I am different from most people around me b/c I never wanted the a normal life. The whole get married in your 20’s have some kids and join the PTA was not anything I aspired to do. People still look at me like a mutant b/c I don’t have children.

Another way that I think I am different from most of the women I know is that I am very confident. I always I assume I belong where ever I want to go.

evandad's avatar

I’m a bigger asshole than most of them.

TheLoneMonk's avatar

I’m a male who puts the seat down.

Justnice's avatar

I’m different in a lot of ways. I call myself an oxymoron. I am an unbelieveably nice person. I would do just about anything anyone asked me to do. But on the other hand, I am so much more selfish than normal people. I will walk over anybody at any given time to get what I want. I Also have a sixth sense in which I am able to read people and understand people very well (of course no one believes me when I say that)

BoBo1946's avatar

i give lots of lurves!

Cruiser's avatar

I feel things…specifically peoples energy…I don’t meet too many people like me in that way. In fact I only know my son and one other guy who posses this similar ability. I’m sure there are others probably a lot but I have yet to run into them.

wilma's avatar

Um, I am different.

@Cruiser I feel things too, the energy shh!

tinyfaery's avatar

I am unique, just like everybody else. But, I am the only human being on the earth that receives the wonderful love of my wife. That makes me pretty special.

Sampson's avatar

I am the same decaying 0rganic matter as everything else.

my letter 0 butt0n d0esn’t seem t0 be w0rking…

Holden_Caulfield's avatar

I think I am different because I have a unique perspective from others… I consider so many different perspectives… and yet I continually find my self fascinated by how others have different perspectives than I have considered. That is one thing, among others, that make us all unique and different. It never ceases to amaze me.

YARNLADY's avatar

I never have figured out just what it is, but apparently other people can tell. I used to try to dress like everybody else, and act like them, but after a short time around me they could tell. Even on here people think I’m different. I have very strong opinions and I don’t back down.

One symptom I sometimes notice is that I am a compulsive talker, and I’m also very sensitive.

I do not lie, I do not cheat or take anything that is not mine, I am very close to my family (with one exception, a daughter in law), have been married for 35 years and still going strong.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I have no preconcieved notions. I subscribe to no particular ideology. And I endeavour to percieve things as they are, not as I would like them to be.

jeanna_'s avatar

I am just like everyone else except more honest with myself and others, often leading people to cry/hate/leave.

Nimis's avatar

I am a beautiful and unique snowflake.

BoBo1946's avatar

Oh no….will never tell! Don’t want people knocking on my door in the early morning hours!!!!

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