How do I accept that I may be different?

Some background, some drama

People are not all the same. We don't all look the same, act the same, have the same abilities or have the same religion or values. People have different ways of doing the same things. In order to deal with being different you can embrace your distinctive qualities, build positive social relationships, and cope healthily.

Do’s and Don’ts

It's important to love yourself. If you're not comfortable with who you are, you'll inevitably end up trying to be someone else or being someone who you're not to please others. The “How Do I" series tries to list down a few Do’s and don’ts to guide and help you to accept that you may be different.

Do’s

  • Accept that you are unique, embrace your special characteristics and learn to deal with being different from others.
  • Re-frame your unique qualities. Perhaps you feel these different qualities are flaws, but they are what make you special.
  • Be proud of your background and embrace the unique characteristics which are due to your upbringing, culture and family values.
  • Increase your self-confidence. People are drawn to positive and confident individuals.
  • Try mindfulness to help you become non-judgmental and more accepting of yourself.
  • Do whatever makes you feel awesome.
  • Find people who are similar to you to feel socially accepted and connected to a community.
  • Be genuine in making positive connections with others.
  • Create your own style.
  • Be assertive with bullies. Unfortunately, being different can sometimes increase social rejection or bullying.
  • Do what you like. If you enjoy it, it'll feel right.
  • Think out of the box. You don’t have to fit in always.
  • Be very open-minded and learn to see the world from different perspectives.
  • Do what you like and don't think about what people will say.

Dont’s

  • Don’t change your personality to try to fit in. Be your very own unique self.
  • Don’t encourage thoughts of inadequacy.
  • Don’t define yourself as completely different from other people. This can lead to you feeling ostracized, left-out or rejected.
  • Don’t blame yourself or beat yourself up. Use positive self-talk.
  • Don’t be a carbon copy of someone else. Find yourself and be yourself.
  • Don’t be afraid saying what you mean.
  • Don’t be afraid of standing out.
  • Don't bother trying to impress.
  • Don't act superior to those who are not different.
  • Don't be afraid of those who challenge your preconceptions and values.

Last words

Learn to embrace your unique qualities. It’s a wonderful feeling when you know that you are original and unique. Remember labels are pretty useless; accept that you're already unique and work with yourself. Learn to find yourself and accept yourself wholeheartedly. You are yourself and not a carbon copy of any other individual. Remember self-discovery is an ongoing process.

Sources and citations