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nonexpert's avatar

How do you know that what you think and feel are normal?

Asked by nonexpert (568points) May 29th, 2012

We can’t put ourselves in someone else’s head. Do you ever just wonder if other people can think and understand better than you? If everyone is just listening, tweaking and repeating what they hear from other humans – no thought or idea is really original is it?

And when talking, do you suddenly finally understand what something means? Like a complete awareness of what you’re saying and life suddenly feels “real” for a moment?

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6 Answers

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Well, I know that some can. I have often wondered; if some natural (or unnatural) disaster struck and there were only a handful of people left as well as myself, how much technology would be lost? For instance, I have no clue how refrigeration works, or telephones, or TV. How do you put sound waves on a wire??? We would be back to jungle drums or two tin cans and a string.

Trillian's avatar

Not only do I not know this, I strongly suspect that what I think is not normal. Or at least, I seem to be in the minority a lot.

tups's avatar

How could we ever know if what we think and feel is normal? We can talk about it with other people and they might say they feel the same way, but we really can’t be sure. Like you said, we can never be inside somebody else’s head. We only get to be one person and that’s the only thoughts and feelings we experience.

And yes, sometimes I feel like I get revelations. But it usually doesn’t take too long before I’m full of doubt again.

But I often get the feeling that my thoughts are not normal. ‘Cause whenever I try to explain them, people either don’t understand them or they look at me like I’m the most stupid and weirdest person in the world. But then again, maybe someone thinks exactly the same thought as me, we just use different words to describe that certain thought. But well, I can never know.

wundayatta's avatar

First ask yourself what normal is. This is not a simple definition. Normal is a statistical concept. If refers to an averaging of the observations of thousands or millions of people on one particular trait of interest. What is an average of millions of people? It’s an abstract concept, I’ll tell you that.

Everyone differs from normal. Everyone is different. Some are more different than others, but we are all different and no one is normal in the sense that no one perfectly fits the definition of the average of millions of people.

So you can be sure you are not normal. Anyone who is normal would be so unusual as to be worthy of putting in a zoo. Poor @nailpolishfanatic.

Whether you are normal or not doesn’t matter. No one is normal. It doesn’t even matter how different you are from normal.

What matters is how other people treat you. As long as you are happy with how they treat you, then you don’t need to change. Of course, who is happy? So if you want to change, then you need to get a sense of what people you care about want from you. That’s what drives the change.

You can’t worry about the normal person. They don’t exist, and even if they do, you’ll never meet them. They are that rare. You can only worry about the people you actually care about. They aren’t normal. So what. Learn how to please them and you’ll do fine. Normal, and the idea of “normal” won’t help you here. People are all specific. Averages are meaningless when it comes to life as it is lived.

The concept of being “normal” really means what do you have to do so people won’t isolate you? The truth is that there is a huge range of behavior you can get away with and people will not be upset. Thus, you will be “normal” in the practical sense. Nothing else matters. Normality is not a useful concept for most of the things we want to do.

Original thoughts—I don’t know what difference it makes. Like I said, everyone is different, and really, most thoughts have some element of originality to them. Why does it matter? If you can show me why originality matters (and if you can define originality), I’ll tell you whether you have any.

As to that sudden awareness of what someone else is trying to communicate—yes, those moments are special. I believe we all crave those moments of connection, because they make us feel not alone. Loneliness is hard on us. That’s why spiritual experiences are so important to many. That moment of understanding is a moment of spiritual connection. They are rare in life. Enjoy them!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Because I’m bad. I’m bad. I know these things.

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