Am I normal?
Are we normal?
Is this normal?
This can’t be normal, can it?
Normal people don’t do this, do they?
These are common questions in my therapy sessions. Folks I work with are often convinced that their struggles are somehow abnormal, strange, or even bad. This fear is understandable because people generally don’t share their deepest struggles with each other during the flow of regular daily life.
Everything human beings do is normal for human beings to do. Becoming depressed or anxious, having conflict with loved ones, having the same arguments over and over-these are behaviors within the realm of what is normal for people to do. It is even normal, at times, for people to become violent, or addicted, or obsessed with someone or something.
Whether or not a specific problem or behavior is normal is not the issue. Better questions to ask are: Does this behavior, or habit, or situation of mine
1. Add to my quality of life or the quality of life of my loved ones?
2. Help me to achieve my goals or to live by my values?
3. Create a sense of personal satisfaction and pride within me.
If the answer is “yes” great. If, however, the answer is “no” then you might want to think about ways to make positive changes. I think it’s easier to make those changes when you start with a position of acceptance for yourself and your struggles. Understanding that everything about you is, by definition, normal , is a great way to start on the road to acceptance, and then positive change.