There are lots of questions that frequently come up when people talk about the word normal, as part of the Everything about Normal Series of posts that I’ve been doing I thought it would be good to attempt to answer some of the questions which most frequently pop up. With that said let’s get to it.
What does normal mean?
The dictionary definition of normal is, when used in adjective form, the usual, typical, or expected state or condition, and when used in noun form, conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.
But this does not tell us at all what normal in the sense that people ask the question what does it mean actually means. That’s because normal is basically the law of averages, for example if out of a hundred people ninety of them had a normal body temperature of 37°C, despite ten having a different body temperature which to them as individuals may be entirely normal for this group of a hundred people the normal body temperature would be 37°C.
But where things get confusing, the ten who have a different body temperature do not have abnormal body temperatures, it is just their body temperatures are different to that of the majorities.
That is because again normal is nothing more than the result of the law of averages, meaning when talking about normal context in regards to the data that is being used to define normal is everything. For example 38°C is a normal high temperature so under the context of when a person is ill it is normal to have a temperature of 38°C.
So to define what is normal you first have to define how you wish to define normal, for example if you wish to define what is normal for you, using body temperature again, you would test your temperature over the course of a week or so and log the results, your normal temperature being the temperature which came up the most often.
But if you wanted to define what the normal body temperature for all the human race is, you would need to know the normal body temperatures of a large number of people, and the normal body temperature would be the temperature which came up the most often.
That means normal means whatever you want it to mean because you get to choose the context and the dataset which you use to define it.
What is a normal person?
Technically there is no such thing as a normal person, namely because the only way to define a normal person is using the law of averages, but just because seventy people turn left at the end of a junction and thirty people turn right does not mean that the thirty people who turn right are doing something abnormal. It just means they are doing something different from what the other seventy are doing.
That means a normal person is whatever a person wants it to be mainly because they get to choose the dataset by which to define what is normal. For example if a person wishes to define what is a normal person using a societal model, then they would need to know what every single person in a society would do in every single possible scenario that could possibly exist.
Which is completely and entirely impossible, which means it is impossible to define what a normal person is under this context. But on the flipside, as each individual is on one level or another different from every other individual, this means the closest definition we can get for what a normal person is is a person that is different from every other person in at least one way or another.
Which means a normal person is a person that is different from every other person in one way or another, but also similar to every other person in one way or another.
What is normal behaviour?
Normal behaviour is defined by the law of averages, if seventy people turn left at the end of the road and thirty turn right, and they do this every single day, then the normal behaviour for seventy people will be to turn left, while the normal behaviour for thirty people will be to turn right. While the normal behaviour for the entire group would turning left, because the majority turn left.
What is unusual?
This frequently crops up when people talk about normal, is it unusual for a person to do this a person may say, or he usually does this and doesn’t usually do this another may say. But again what is usual is defined in exactly the same way as what is normal, namely it is defined by the law of averages.
For example if a person every time they go to their favourite bar for the entire course of their lives asks for a Foster’s beer, when they ask the bartender for the usual, the bartender will know to give that person a Foster’s beer. But should they ask for a different drink they would not be doing something unusual there would just be doing something different.
However, should they ask for their usual and the bartender gave them something different to what they normally give them that would be unusual behaviour, because the bartender is expected to know the regular drinks of their regulars.
But again this is only true because the law of averages has proven that bartenders know the drinks of their regulars. Or rather bartenders usually know the favourite drinks of their regulars which is why it is usual for bartenders to know the drinks of their regulars.
That means what is usual is the same as what is normal and is defined completely and entirely by using the law of averages, meaning it is whatever a person or persons usually do, or to put another way it is normal for bartenders to know the drinks of their regulars because they usually know the drinks of their regulars.
That means if you want to know what is usual for a group of people for example like a society, simply watch that group of people and see what they usually do, and if you want to know what is usual for an individual watch that individual and see what they usually do.
What does it mean to be normal?
It doesn’t mean anything to be normal, namely because again normal is nothing more than the result of the law of averages. But the most normal definition people give i.e. the answer that the majority of people give when asked the question of what does it mean to be normal, is that what it means to be normal is to comply to what is expected by others.
But that’s only because the majority of people think that, but those who think it means something else are not wrong they just think differently to what the majority think.
That perhaps does not answer the question most people when they ask that question want answered, to answer that question what people are asking is more often than not what does it mean to be normal so that I can be normal. And most people when answering this question would answer it along the lines of it is normal to be accepted by the people around you, and only a person who is not normal gets rejected by the people around them.
But that is a horrible answer, technically speaking the majority of people on the planet are accepted by their friends and family, which means technically speaking it is an accurate answer because normal is nothing more than the result of the law of averages.
However that answer tells us absolutely nothing, and that’s because it doesn’t mean anything to be normal other than what you choose to define as normal. For example, if what it means to be normal to you is to be accepted by others then that is normal, meaning if you are rejected by others under your definition it would not be normal.
If what it means to be normal to you is to be yourself regardless of whether others accept you or not, then that is what it means to be normal. If it is normal to you to be accepted by people who are on the same wavelength as you and to reject people who are not on the same wavelength as you, then that is what it means to be normal. Which means that what it means to be normal is whatever you want it to mean.
What is considered normal?
This question cannot be answered without context, or rather a person needs to expand on the question namely because they have only asked half a question. For example a person may ask what is considered a normal grade in mathematics, or they may ask what is considered a normal sunset. But they cannot just ask what is considered normal namely because without context the question simply is asking nothing, or rather in a way it is like asking a question along the lines of what is the colour, but then not specifying what it is they want to know the colour of.
But mostly when people ask what is considered normal, they more often than are asking what is considered normal for a person. But again without context it is completely and entirely impossible to answer, for example, are they asking what is considered a normal grade, are they asking what is considered the normal appearance of a person’s genitals.
Assuming a specific question has been answered, the answer in every case is the result of the law of averages, for example the most common grade is what is considered the normal grade in mathematics. However, just because a person got a grade that was different to the majority does not make them in any way not normal, it just means they got a different result to what the majority got.
So what is considered normal is defined by the majority, and whatever the common result is is what is considered normal. But again the question would have to be asked considered normal for what, a working class person, a man, a woman, a man from Scotland, a woman from southern England? Without specifics the question is completely and entirely meaningless.
For example, if a person consistently gets a grade C, then what is considered normal for that person is a grade C. If in a class of thirty the majority get a grade B, then what is considered normal for people taking this class would be a grade B. But should a different grade be attained in both examples though it would be out of place in regards to what is considered normal under the context of the question asked, under another question the result may be completely and entirely normal.
Meaning what is considered normal is whatever you choose it to be namely because you get to choose the context by which to define it.
What is normal in society?
This is an impossible question to answer namely because it depends on which society a person wishes to know what is normal for. For example, a person may wish to know what is normal for the nation in which they live, or they may wish to know what is normal for their region, or for their city, or they may wish to know what is normal for for example the global science fiction community, or for Americans, or for Germans.
The answer in every case is whatever the majority of the selected society deem to be normal is what is normal for that society, but just because they deem it to be normal does not make it normal for another society, or even for that society.
For example the majority of society may think it is normal to turn left, yet the majority may in fact turn right it is just the majority do not know this fact and believe that the majority turn left. Meaning it would be normal in this society to think that it is normal to turn left, but in actual fact it would be normal for the society to turn right.
So what is normal for society is defined by what that society does and think, whatever the majority does is normal for the society to do, whatever the majority think is what is normal for that society to think.
But just because a person does something different and thinks something different does not make them not normal it just means that they do something different and think something different to the majority.
Why do I want to be normal?
The majority of people do not want to be alone, which means it is normal to not want to be alone, and a person who is unable to connect with others even when accepted by others more often than not ends up feeling alone.
So people don’t want to be normal they want to be around people who think like them, or rather they want to be able to connect to people and the way we connect to people is by finding people who think on the same wavelength as we do.
And because the majority of people don’t want to be alone, and because the majority of people need to be able to connect to others to not feel alone, it is normal to want to be normal because normal under the context it is used in this case is to not want to be alone.
So people don’t want to be normal, they just don’t want to be alone. And the most normal thing in this world is to not want to be alone, namely because the majority of people don’t want to be alone. Which is why it is normal to want to be normal.
If I am not normal will people reject me?
This is an impossible question to answer namely because the only way to find out is to show yourself to the world and see how they respond. But if you have shown yourself to the world and people have rejected you for being who you are then there are two possibilities, either there is a problem with you namely in regards to how you treat other people and you need to address it otherwise people will continue to reject you, or you have simply been approaching the wrong people.
Assuming it is the latter then you are entirely normal in regards to defining normal under the context of you being who you are, it is just the people you have been around and have approached have a different view for what is a normal person.
This means you don’t need to change who you are to be accepted by others because you are normal under the context of you as an individual, what you need to do is change the people in your life, rather you need to replace the people who don’t see who you are as being normal for people who do see who you are to be normal.
Or to put it more simply you need to replace the people you don’t connect with with people you do connect with because when you do you’ll be surrounded by people who consider you to be normal, because you’ll be surrounded by people who have the same normal as you do.
So you don’t need to be normal to be accepted by others, you just need to find others who have the same normal as you do. Meaning people who have a different normal to you may find it difficult to connect with you while people who have the same normal as you will not. Meaning people who don’t think like you are likely to reject you so long as you don’t think like them while people who do think like you are most likely to accept you because you already think like them.
Which means to answer the question will people reject you if you are not normal, you need to answer the question what do I define as normal, a person who thinks like me or a person who thinks completely differently to me. If the latter then yes they will because to them you will not be normal, if the former then no they won’t because to them you will be normal.
Which means the question will people reject me if I’m not normal in actual fact translates to will I be able to connect with people who think and act in a completely different way to me. And the answer is in some ways may be but in most ways probably not namely because if you asked yourself the question would you rather be around people you connect with, people that think and act in a similar way to you, or would you rather be around the opposite it is a fair bet what your answer would be.
That’s all from me for today, stay safe!