How Are You Crazy? – Our Inner Contradictions

Written by: Jorinde Berben
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I’ve long lost the illusion that there is any such thing as a ‘normal’ human being. We all start out thinking we are it, that we grew up in a 100% normal family, and gradually find out that the way in which we are ‘normal’ is so very different from the way other people are.

I’ve had the privilige of living on three different continents by now. I’m lucky enought to meet people from all over the world in my classroom every day. Normalcy is hugely dependent on culture and habit. And even within our own cultures there are vast differences, perhaps not in how we behave in public, but definitely in how we act in our private lives and how we think and feel about things.

So no, we are not normal. We are, in fact, all of us, in our own specific and endearing way, a little bit crazy. My own wackiness shows in (but is not limited to) my many inner contradictions. I’ll give you some examples:

  • I feel like I want people to help me, but at the same time I want to be able to do it on my own.
  • I like closeness but I also get antsy when I don’t have my own space.
  • I’d rather be at home yet I miss going out more.
  • I really enjoy talking with my friends but for some reason often postpone calling them.
  • I’m a good listener in general, but sometimes I’ll find myself hijacking another person’s story completely.

The list goes on, and we all learn to deal with these contradictions. We all have our own minor hypocrisies (why am I not a vegan yet?) and for me, being an adult, means partly learning to deal with these inner conflicts. We learn to accept that we can be two things at once. We can be outgoing and the quiet type. We can be generous one moment and stingy the next. We can love adventure and yet fear it at the same time.

How we deal with these inner crazy tendencies depends on how aware we are of them. Becoming aware can be tricky, though it helps to be open to the messages you hear around you. Often friends and family are eager to point out where you are inconsistent, perhaps not always in a very friendly way, but if you can put that to the side, their information can be very valuable.

When you are aware of these contradictions, they can become quite funny. You’ll find them playing up in relationships, or in your job. There’s no need to panick when they do. Chances are that in noticing them you’ll also notice your tendency toward one or the other. Or you’ll start thinking it about the issue more clearly.
And most importantly of all, you’ll finally realise that you, even you, are not as normal as you think and thus should take your own thoughts with a grain of salt.

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