General Question

niki's avatar

What’s so interesting about being normal? and why most people stick with it?

Asked by niki (714points) January 15th, 2011

The more I stroll the street or malls at night, seeing all the humans and couples and happy and dull faces of them,
the more I feel so distanced and separated..
Men in suits always looking oh so professional, with their seemingly chic I-Phones or Blackberry on their ears,
Women often with glamorous necklace, and latest/newest brand of bag,
Ads blaring everywhere you see, hear, and even approached by so-called “Sales girls”,
discount here, buy this, buy that, discount there,

You come out from movie theaters watching perhaps most fantastical & hypnotizing movies/films,
that you even freezes out and don’t feel like you want to get back into Real life,
‘cuz it’s so damn dull, bland,
and everyday repeats and repeats, seemingly without and end,

There are papers to fill,
constant bills to pay: phone bill, water bill, electricity bill, gas bill,
you work from early morning until night,
often in a job you hate too just because 80% humans around you said “well it’s normal! wake up, tough it up! this is Real world you’re living in, hello? helloo! wake upp, stop dreaming!”
And at the end of the day, whether you’re driving inside car, or riding on a train or subway
with perhaps music plugged onto your ears, you sighed:
“is there really any point in all of these madness and boredoms?
when…until when I have to keep going like this??”

“Why can’t I just be FREE ???
Why do I have to live this ‘normal’ life?
And why EVERYBODY seems to be OKAY sticking with it???
What’s with all those faces??
I’m sick and tired seeing all of ‘em!
What is this world?
If not full of pains, sufferings,
while at other parts of the world: the often-neglected-and-ignored poverty, war victims, rape victims, pedophile victims,
while at the capitalistic side of the world: men chasing higher status and kissing their boss’ asses, and that’s all their life is all about, while women constantly comparing and fighting for newest brand of clothes, jewelries, bags,..a never-ending pursuit!
Everything just seems so shallow and dull..

Only rarely you feel that shivering feelings of Love, Peace, Touch….things that are basically really still worth for living and breathing on this blue Planet..
but too often you wish you’re just disappear away into your dream-world,
or into another multi-universe,
or you wish that cool science-fiction and movies come into reality, like there’s a portal to other world away from this dull & obnoxious world..

I don’t know…
I guess I just hate being normal, and don’t get why most people on the earth seems to stick and enjoy it…
it just makes me feel more isolated, distanced, separated from the “Real world”, and feel depressed..

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34 Answers

coffeenut's avatar

If you don’t want to be “Normal”.....What would you like to be?

Likeradar's avatar

I can’t help but think you are being judgmental. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like all you’re seeing in people is their clothes and cell phones. People are way more complex than you’re making them out to be.

What you see as normal and boring can be seen as different and exciting to someone else, and vice versa.

deni's avatar

Honestly…...I think it boils down to work and money. A lot of people want a lot of things. They want nice things in their home and a bunch of channels on television and a career that they’re proud of and a college degree from a university they’re proud of…and to have these things you have to in most cases have a job that requires a lot of your time…So you spend most of your time at work so that when you come home you have a nice place to relax and a plethora of tv shows to choose from. But that is what people have been doing for years because it’s, like you said, the path that is “normal” and what we’re told to take most of our lives.

I think it’s all a bunch of crap and I don’t understand why so many people do it. If you didn’t need so many material things, or maybe it’s even due to laziness (i’m using YOU to describe the “normal” people you refer to in your question) then there would be more time to enjoy the people you love, the things you love, the big beautiful world we live in. So many people have never even driven across the country, and I think that is sad. :( And why, because there is no time, because they are always at work, or if they’re not, they can’t afford it because they’re paying a mortgage on a house and car payments…whatever it is.

I understand a lot of people accept this lifestyle, and once you have kids, it’s probably really hard not to live like this. But before that, I don’t see why more people aren’t hippies, honestly. It really is the way to be. 9 times out of 10 your job is really not going to be that rewarding, is it? So quit and go on a trip, there will be more jobs later.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

As a person with a bipolar brain, I would give anything to be normal.

sahuleka546's avatar

Nothing is normal. A guy masturbating on the corner of the street could be normal to some people. Something being “normal” depends on how the world and itself views it. If you think you’re normal, then you are.

XxSHYxxGUYxX's avatar

Well, that’s the best part about people. They might all look their same boring selves. But there’s more to it than meets the eye… There’s a story behind every person. To put it a better way, every person has a story to tell…

It could be the striving businessman, the janitor, the salesperson, the cop, the cab driver, the college student… Everyone has a reason they do what they’re doing… Believe me, the next time you’re in a cab, ask the cab driver about his life. You might get to hear some amazing incidents that have occurred in his life…

Lifes tooooo short… Live it for today…

Kardamom's avatar

I would love to be normal and not have to suffer all the grief that comes with being slightly askew, different, or weird.

You have no way to know whether ot not those “mall people” as your are describing them are happy or un-happy. If their idea of happiness and contentment are different from yours, but yet they are indeed happy, then I think that’s ok. Everybody finds their happiness in a different way, but fortunately lots of people are able to have some common ground (the mall people).

If you are out there all by yourself with no one or nothing to relate to, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever be happy.

That’s not to say that people shouldn’t have interests that go against the norm, or to be creative and sensitive. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t discount everybody just because they seem to be different from the way you think they should be. In general, there’s nothing wrong with the “mall people” they’re just following what they think is the correct path for them. And for most people, happiness comes with not getting all caught up in angst and turmoil.

CaptainHarley's avatar

If your life is dull and boring, it’s your own fault. A group back in the late 60’s named “The MC5” had a song called “Kick Out the Jams, Mother____er!” There is wisdom there, believe it or not.

SavoirFaire's avatar

“Normal” is a statistical concept. We don’t choose to be normal, but rather our choices determine what normal is. Many of our choices converge because, in the end, humans are not hugely different from one another. Even the least normal people still tend to do an incredible number of normal things (e.g., ride elevators facing forward or walk on their feet rather than their hands). Habits are useful. If we agonized over every tiny decision point in our lives, we’d never get out of bed.

Normal need not be boring, however. If it is for you, figure something else out. Create a new normal.

deni's avatar

I think the OP was not being as vague in defining “normal” as a lot of you seem to be taking it. I think they’re saying the whole work all day, sleep, wake up, go to work again routine that almost everybody does and few people rarely have the balls to stray away from. But maybe not lol.

Likeradar's avatar

@deni That may be the routine the average people watcher sees, but what they don’t see are the people’s interests, relationships, secrets, sex lives, fantasies, passions, philosophies, pains, dreams, etc. The OP seems to assume that because a person likes shoes or cell phones or making money or wears a power suit to a 9–5 job, they are boring and just sleep walking through life.

marinelife's avatar

Why are you assuming that the people around you are all one way? They are not.

Why do you simply long for fictional life instead of creating the life you want for yourself?

Why don’t you go to a distant part of the world and help victims of some of those disasters that you are concerned with?

I agree that you are being judgmental without any real knowledge of people’s lives.

Feeling on the outside can be a symptom of depression. Have you taken the depression self-test?

Why are you so worried about what other people are doing rather than creating your own life?

Anatelostaxus's avatar

All is relative, sweetheart.
You’re normal amongst those like you.
You’re probably “canonical” or “standard”.
Which is good.
Appearances mislead, therefore anyone could seem normal, as well as abnormal.
The disguises used in everyday life such as suits, iphones, the places you go and even your tastes are all fruit of what is given to you.
You, as all are a fruit of your time.
BUT.. everyone has their own mind.
No one is equal to another.
In the universe everything IS everything, but nothing is the same as another thing.
Appearances make us use the word normal.
Be glad to be what you are, for it IS in fact unique and precious, whether you follow the trends or not.
Of course there is a problem though..
those who are seen and see themselves as normal are “taught” to adopt such a perspective. It is convenient that we all act alike and not let our pure persona and full potential develop to their apex.
Why? because we actually are incredible. We are only deprived of the acknowledgement of this fact.

MilkyWay's avatar

you know what? i thought I was the only one who thought like that . . . some moments I still do but hey, if you don’t want to be normal be like me!
I delibrately wear clothes opposite the current fashion, stuff I LIKE.
I delibrately smile at people when they call me weird or swear at me
I delibrately do more homework that was assigned to and give it the teacher on time
I delibrately make my life the way I WANT it to be . . . unusual.
I don’t have to be the same as everything else in this “NORMAL” world as you put it.
I delibrately be WEIRD AND UNUSUAL AND ABNORMAL because that’s who I am . . . ME.

lifeflame's avatar

Some years ago when I had long commutes to work in the morning, I would sketch the sleepy commuters on the train. I was overwhelmed by how beautiful each one was, in their own unique way.And I thought: you know, behind each of these individuals must be a story…

The more closely you observe, the more variation and detail you will see in each thing.
Each seashell on the beach, each rock, each wave is unique in its own way.

Anatelostaxus's avatar

@queenie Well dear.. doing something deliberately and actually being something are two different things.. not necessarily always hand in hand.

MilkyWay's avatar

@Anatelostaxus I delibrately make it obvious is what i meant to say . . . the things do come naturally :)

Anatelostaxus's avatar

@queenie GOOD, queenie. Good.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Have you ever been free? What do you think is free? Do you think you can survive being free for longer than a day?

iphigeneia's avatar

My dad once said he wanted to write a self-help book to combat all the go-after-your-dreams-you-can-achieve-your-goals-type ones out there. He was going to call it How to be Normal.

Like most people, in some ways I am normal and in other ways I am not. Perhaps that makes me completely normal. You don’t have to live a normal life, but you do have to know the kind of life you want to lead. Perhaps the answer is to look deeper into life. Sure, there’s a shallow side to society, but behind every 9–5 suit there is probably family, love, art, faith, joy… and/or perhaps illness, suffering, poverty, anger, fear… Normal can go either way, but it is never ‘normal’ right through.

It makes sense that at the heart of ‘normalness’ is community—even if you see nothing on the surface, @niki. Afterall, being part of a collective is a wonderful thing ;-)

Jeruba's avatar

I suppose it might be possible to look at the people you pass in the mall and believe that you can see at a glance all there is to know about them. But I have my doubts. The reason you see so little, I think, is that your view of them is only superficial.

I wonder what they think when they see you.

Sayd_Whater's avatar

I think that’s a great question. I totally identity myself, not only with the men and women you just mentioned, but also with you and your question.
Why the hell should we rush our life in studies, work, and the same old craps (cinema) that everybody?
– It seems like there’s an invisible line that everybody is suposed to follow…I don’t know why…maybe because it’s easier to follow someone else’s footsteps that create your own path…
It’s sad.
I felt it for the first time in highschool, but really regret it, humm…about 3 and half years ago, when I started work, comparing my life with my co-workers’s.
So…I quit my job for for a new one, on my own account… and not only I gain more, but also I feel that I control my life.
Now…from times to times, I just pick 2 to 4 days to do something out of my agenda – Pick up one or 2 unemployed friends, my car, or just grab a bag and camping material – And just go… No destiny, no watch, no cellphone, no limits… just nature! I always try to get myself lost and then, I try to find my way back home using no more than maps, sun and stars.
It’s true that a couple of times I truly lost myself, and got a little scared, but there’s nothing like the feeling of getting yourself back to “safety” – I have to admit that It really helps me to accept back the joy that a “normal” life can give…

- Parental Advisory (Don’t try this at home, or you know…alone… (unless Chuck Norris is with you, of course!!!)

bkcunningham's avatar

@niki may I suggest a trip to some place like Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakato. It may be just what you need. Look it up. If your are interested, PM me, I’ll hook you up with a free tour guide.

YARNLADY's avatar

It is not normal to judge yourself by the behavior of other people. You have to be what makes you most comfortable in your own life.

Arbornaut's avatar

It appears you may have reached the crossroads of bullshit and reality, my advice is to light scoobs and start wanking.
Having said that I know where your coming from, and totally understand your disillusionment with your current view of reality.
And if you need a break from it i would highly recommend some form of under water activity, scuba or snorkeling are fantastic ways to escape into another ‘real’ world. They can help to break things up a bit and change your perspective.
So normal is hard to define and i wouldn’t use it to describe myself, and the so called normal way of western living is not the only way. There are plenty of people living totally unconventional lifestyles in relative comfort all over the world, and if you really don’t want to live the mundane 9–5 there are other options.
But theres no free lunch.

basstrom188's avatar

As they say in Yorkshire
“There’s nowt as queer as folk except for thee and me, and I’m not so sure about thee”

niki's avatar

thank you everybody for your comments.
I learned a lot from many perspectives shared here, as usual!
Many of you are perhaps right, that I’ve been way too judgmental and too quick to make judgments (and an unfair one on top of that!), but I think @marinelife struck the root of the cause: I have taken the depression self-test, and my result is that I am severely depressed.
Should be no surprise, as that’s what I honestly feel in about this recent years,
mostly because I feel so trapped and stuck due to being too ‘obedient’ to my father’s pragmatist & ‘traditional’ Asian expectations for me, even though I’m now already 28 yrs old which means should be an adult, or my own person.
As a result, I am feeling becoming this ‘dark’ person who often envy “normal” friends of mine and people, and feeling hopeless, depressed and at times even suicidal, feeling Life is NOT supposed to be as free-ing and chasing-dreams as I used to dream when I was young.

ashuchawla's avatar

I always wanted a normal life but could never get it….we are always attracted to what we do not have…...I think you should just try and broaden your thinking….try looking at ppl who actually are abnormal and dying to be normal

mattbrowne's avatar

Up to a point it’s required for good team performance.

Hidden_Mystery's avatar

I look at life very simply. Without people we would not be who we are.
Our feelings and thoughts would be for nothing because no one would know anything about them.
Life is not all about me or even us. It is about making things better for others and giving something so others will have something to come into which is good.

I love watching other people. Smiles and sadness are all part of being human.
Would I wanted to have not be born? Would you have wanted never to have been born?
We are here and we have to make the best of it. That means getting along in a world where we only exist because of each other.

I have done all the philosophy thinking. I know we think and that is why we are what we are.
Being human is a very special thing for me. I think it makes life and people important and we should be glad for every good day and feeling that we have.

So that is why I bother. What makes paying all those bills worthwhile. The fact I have the life and the people to do it for.

niki's avatar

@Hidden_Mystery thank you so much.
that was quite a deep and enlightening answer!

GracieT's avatar

I agree with @niki! @hidden_mystery, you’ve given me much to ponder. My friends in high school and I would discuss questions like this for hours. I miss doing that. We’re all spread out now, and I miss doing that!

bookish1's avatar

@Niki: I had a father like that. I’m younger than you but I recently had to make the decision to live on my own and be my own person. ‘Normal’, proper life be damned. If you live in the West, IMHO, it’s hard not to go mad unless you can separate yourself from your Asian parental family’s expectations for your life.

Please consider seeking therapy since you are depressed and suicidal. It can help alot. Life can be worth living, and there’s no logical point to suicide, since there will be no “you” to rejoice in the fact that you are no longer alive and suffering. (This is what kept me for killing myself in high school and I am passing it on in the hopes that it will help you.)

Inspired_2write's avatar

Sounds like you have an identity crises.
You are just discovering who you are.
I wonder if there is confusion with the idea of Normal meaning Conservative?

It is a normal stage in your life to examine other possibilities in lifestyles to try on.
Artists of all types are independant thinkers and have independant lifestyles.
They create there own worlds through outlets such as this Career provides.
Some people like structured lives while others do not.
Everyone has choices to make to find their happiness and what that entails.

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