It’s ok to be different

Human beings are born with a certain type of temperament which manifests in behaviour and personality.

As we grow and learn, we acquire traits which refer to our personality types. The empirical study of human behaviour has managed to categorise behaviour into five different personality types: openness, conscientiousness, extrovert, agreeable and neurotic.

The categorisation of human behaviour is not only limited to these personality traits. Some people are introverted in one context and extroverted in another, depending on different variables. Despite being born with a set of personality traits, human beings are socialised into different ideologies – value systems and belief systems. In addition, our biological makeup also has an impact on our behaviour and the way we experience life. The nurture and nature debate for human behaviour is an accurate reference for understanding people. Because of this, it is almost impossible for everyone to be the same.

Human beings are all different in some way or another. We are all flawed and imperfect. Being different from the rest of the crowd shows that you are being true to who you are. A number of people tend to change their behaviour to fit the environment they find themselves in. This is a social psychology phenomenon known as social conformity. People change their behaviour in different contexts for various reasons: either to be liked or considered cool by others. Transforming into different personalities all the time is exhausting and will lead to people being fake and phony. These people are a perfect description of the ‘fake it till you make it’ mantra.

It is absolutely ok to be different. There is so much beauty in diversity. Life would be boring and dull if we were all the same – same behaviour, same cognitive processes, same experiences. We are all learning and sharpening each other in our differences.