How Can I Be More Normal – Free Ebook

most of us are rather interested in being normal we want to belong and worry about ways in which we don’t quite no matter how much we praise individualism and celebrate ourselves as unique we are in many areas just deeply concerned with fitting in it’s therefore unfortunate that our picture of what is normal is in fact very often way out of line with what is actually true and widespread many things that we might assume to be uniquely odd or disconcertingly strange about us are in reality completely average in ubiquitous those simply rarely spoken of in the reserved and cautious public sphere the idea of the normal currently in circulation is not an accurate map of what is actually customary for a human being we are each one of us far more compulsive anxious sensual high-minded mean generous playful thoughtful dazed and at sea than we are ever encouraged to admit part of the reason for our misunderstanding of our normality comes down to a basic fact about our minds that we know through immediate experience what’s going on inside us but we can only know about other people from what they choose to tell us which will almost always be a very edited version of the truth we know what we’ve done at 3 a.m. but imagine others sleeping peacefully we know our somewhat shocking desires from close up we’re left to guess about other people’s from what their faces tell us which is not very much this asymmetry between self-knowledge and knowledge of others is what lies behind loneliness we simply can’t trust that our deep selves can have counterparts in those we meet and so we stay silent and go melancholy the asymmetry encourages shyness to for we struggle to believe that the imposing competent strangers we encounter can really have any of the vulnerabilities and ADEA sees we’re so intimately familiar with inside our own characters ideally the task of culture should be to compensate for the failings of our brains by assisting us to a more correct vision of what other people are normally like by taking us in a realistic but entertaining way into the lives of strangers this is what novels films and songs should constantly be doing defining and evoking states of mind we thought we were alone in experiencing in order to alleviate our shyness and our loneliness we are particularly bad at recognizing how normal it is to suffer and to be unhappy around relationships for example we constantly operate with an image of the bliss of others which mocks and undermines our own efforts to keep going with many flawed but eminently good enough unions we find it hard to bear in mind that more or less everyone is beneath a cheery surface intermittently profoundly sad and rarely not anxious we become embarrassed to by our close-up knowledge of our own sexuality which appears necessarily more perverse than that of anyone we know it almost certainly isn’t we simply haven’t been told the full story ideally artworks would offer us a hugely consoling truth that are hidden worries the nagging anxieties we keep to our chests and our stranger thoughts and compulsives don’t actually make a strange on the contrary they are precisely what make us normal one great goal of a love novel for instance should be to tell us what love and long-term relationships are really like so that our own tribulations wouldn’t appear so readily assigns that everything had gone wrong our culture often tries to project an idea of an organized and poised and polished self at the standard way that most people are we should discount this myth other people are always far more likely to be as we know we are than they are to be like the cardboard cutouts we meet in our social lives new thought-provoking films every week be sure to subscribe to our Channel and take a look at more of what we have to offer at the link on your screen now you

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