Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

Feeling like the odd one out

I was in my A-level Biology class. The teacher had given us past papers to practice. I was sitting with my group of friends at a round desk and they began discussing people and things that I had either not heard of or took no interest in. I felt left out of the conversation. A friend of mine, without any malice, remarked that I might just live under a rock.

At the time, I felt upset that I couldn’t fit into the friendship group. I take no interest in the recent releases of albums by mainstream artists and I don’t have patience to sit through and watch movies unless if they have a moral message behind the plot.

I don’t read many contemporary novels, and prefer old ones with a moral message. I prefer the classics, so just didn’t relate to my friends who were reading Young Adult fiction. I invested in some books to try to fit in but they will certainly be going back to the charity shop I purchased them from. Meanwhile, Dostoevsky had me hooked within the first couple of pages.

People have often judged me for not knowing their favourite pop star or the latest TV show

I am going to be very, frankly honest.

I recently cried to my GP saying I struggle to fit in sometimes. I can’t do the small talk because I search for depth and meaning in conversation far too much and far too frequently – something everyone else is not always up for.

It was then I realised that this is not just a one-sided insecurity. People have often judged me for not knowing their favourite pop star or the latest TV show.

There is quite a tendency in many people to say this if the second person has not had similar experiences to them. Some might even take the liberty to judge one’s entire experience of a hobby, job, childhood, adulthood, or literally any other part of their life based on their responses.

Social media has intensified this problem, and made it easier to judge people based on their personal preferences

This is a request to those people to please stop judging others’ experiences of life based on your personal standards. I might sit through and watch a movie you told me I must but what you value so dearly has done nothing but wasted my time and probably ruined my mood.

Social media has intensified this problem, and made it much easier to judge people based on their personal preferences. After taking a break from Twitter, I have recently re-joined it and have noticed how many people tweet about their personal preferences.

I could never bring myself to tweet and say that I don’t like garlic bread because I know that there would be someone out there who would be so in love with garlic bread and judge me for my personal opinion.

I do not shy away from accepting that I am sensitive

I leave it to you to decide – is this kind? It is so easy and simple to enjoy Twitter by sharing your thoughts however judging and making remarks on others’ preferences only serves to tarnish the experience of others on the platform.

Some might read this and argue that this is just another example of me being a snowflake.

But I do not shy away from accepting that I am sensitive. This is about basic decency and respecting others’ preferences and decisions. I always welcome recommendations from people but implying that I must do all the things another likes to get the most out of my life, frankly, feels like a strange and unpleasant mix of naivety and narcissism to me.

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