Being yourself and celebrating individuality

Constantly we are told to ‘be ourselves’ but with such societal pressures, this is very difficult. We each have our own idea of who we want to be. Those wanting to be themselves may seem ‘weird’ to one yet ‘loveable’ to another. Is society actually encouraging us to be ourselves or are we slandered the second that we act out of character? We should not have to try and compromise our integrity or beliefs meet societies pressures, or gender norms and stereotypes for instance.

Stereotypes must be challenged.

man in blue Champion tank top and shorts running at the field


Stereotypes are an important element of celebrating individuality, as people can form prejudice and assumptions of a particular character. For instance an older adult may be assumed as vulnerable or weak, and that they all sit around doing nothing. This is a sweeping generalization though as there any many cases of age not limiting an older adult – such as 100 year old marathon runners. People like this should be taken seriously for their individuality and not just grouped into an ‘old, incapable of physical activity’ group.

Stereotypes aren’t always accurate or appropriate.

Younger people also need to be taken seriously though, as we are all unique and enjoy different things. Not every student wants to ‘party’ and not every older adult wants to be cooped up in their bed or in a bingo hall. Perhaps these interests can actually be contrasting to the stereotype, as an older adult may enjoy getting out more often than the younger person. The issue regarding this is the potential exposure to peer pressure or the fear of missing out – particularly if someone is labelled as’boring’.

Be yourself but free of guilt.

woman wearing black tank top

‘Boring’ just like’fun’ is a subjective word for me, in that we can all interpret and judge what is ‘boring’ or ‘fun’, differently. There is no need to feel guilty for doing what makes you happy, nor is there a need to feel pressure to do what everyone else is. A simple saying that I love to say is ‘you, do you’ which is pretty self explanatory. Always stick by your beliefs and your interests and try not to compromise yourself for the convenience of others. This can be difficult especially through teenage years and it happens to the best of us. But it is worth it to wait around for supportive friend that will accept you.

9 thoughts on “Being yourself and celebrating individuality”

  1. Honestly this is where I think growing up with autism has actually helped me. Being unable sometimes to read what people are thinking I just learnt that it’s not worth obsessing over whether that person is angry at me, sad or happy. I just learnt not to care at all really. People said to me I couldn’t travel on my own, I’d get stressed and I’d flake out. Guess what, I booked a holiday to Bratislava for a couple days all my own. Best time of my life – got to do exactly what I wanted on my own schedule and listen to some good tunes at the same time. When I got back I booked a trip to Estonia and another to Italy all on my own. I spent my time in Estonia travelling to Finland and Latvia as well as talking to locals. In Italy? I walked for hours on end, popped into a couple museums and had a lazy day. Boring? For some people sure, but like you said it’s all subjective. I don’t regret a moment of those trips.

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  2. It’s great to see some inspiration here. I think A LOT of teens would find this very useful to read as sometimes you feel lost and unsure of you really are but as you grow older, you’ll learn to find yourself, love yourself and be who you truly are. It takes time and A LOT of courage.

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    1. I totally agree with you. As we get older a lot of us do seem to find ourselves. But I still notice a lot of people my age (or even older) who are not experiencing this. There is no rush to do this perhaps but you have to at least be making the right steps forward.

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  3. Well, older people can overcome stereotypes, but seriously many don’t. For instance, my elderly mom should exercise, but she doesn’t. In fact, it’s a joke when physical therapy would come over and do exercises with her – cause sure enough, lol – that will be the only time she does them!

    Anyway, older people, at the least, need to keep the mind going with math or some other thing – cause dementia seems to be the worst thing that can affect many of them.

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    1. It would be good if people had the confidence to do the activities or things of their own according though, without external influence. It is important for them to keep the body and mind engaged in a healthy manner.

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  4. Celebrating ourrselves is something we all should embrace.

    I used to pester my friends asking them to come along with me so that I dont have to eat alone. But later I realized that I should learn to like myself and enjoy my own company. I started to go out and eat alone.

    I would get bizzare looks when I walk into a cafe as if eating out alone is a crime worth corporal punishment. After months, I got used to the looks but I also started to enjoy my own company.

    Today, I eat out with my friends so much, but I find no problem in being alone also. I have embraced myself. I have learned to enjoy my own company. I now celebrate my individuality. Stereotypes be damned.

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    1. I am so proud of you Lord Saru! I feel that eating out at a restaurant is a huge accomplishment. Well done. I find it terrifying and I have tried it on numerous occasions. It is convenient to have somewhere quiet to sit, away from judgy and googly eyes! I don’t know why but it seems like one of several things where people get looked at funny, for doing something by themselves.

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  5. I would love to show the world more of who I am while I’m out in public but the world is not like how it was when I was younger. Everyone has phones now and if someone does something that people question or don’t like it immediately is broadcasted on social media and then flamed for that behavior. I don’t even dance at weddings anymore because of how everyone is recording the people on the dance floor and then some get mocked. It’s sad really because it’s hard to be yourself when you fear getting mocked online or if something were to go viral.

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    1. That is one of my biggest fears actually, getting mocked for doing something incorrectly or ‘strange’. The influence of social media can be negative as people are often recording things rather than living in the moment. I hope that can find comfort in yourself away from these constraints.

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