“We’re just a normal family.”
“She doesn’t behave like a normal five-year-old.”
“I wish he would speak in a normal voice.”
What is normal?
This word comes with such a loaded connotation of a certain standard that is easily attained. It is just as loaded with the connotation that anything not meeting that standard is abnormal, and no-one wants to be abnormal because it implies they don’t “fit in” and soon as they don’t fit in, they are destined to live a lonely existence.
We need to be careful about chasing a “normal” life to be happy. Although the dictionaries have fairly consistent definitions for the word, people don’t. “Normal” differs from culture to culture, home to home, and person to person and it is common to think our way of doing things is the normal way. This creates a great deal of conflict in the workplace where we have little control over the people we interact with; but it also plays a role within friendships and families.
As relationships evolve and new milestones are met, we share more of ourselves and learn about ourselves in new situations. Always assuming what we do is perfectly normal. When this normality is challenged, it can throw quite a bit of the relationship off-kilter. Often times we can reconcile the differences and find bring the other person(s) over to our side of normal and sometimes we create a whole new version of normal – without giving it another thought.
Sometimes though, it is more difficult to reconcile these differences of normality and here counselling can be a great help.