Being comfortable with being misunderstood when you are different

July 4, 2015

People who are different will always be misunderstood. That is part and parcel of life when people who are different try to live with others who are all the same. Frequently when misunderstandings occur, they will always be taken out of context and blown out of proportion – that is because people who are all the same invariably see the world ONLY in THEIR own way and never the way of people who are different.

That is why till today, there is such a huge irreconcilable divide that continues to separate people who are different from those who are all the same. Because all books, knowledge and methods to manage people who are different are ALL conceived by people who are all the same on HOW people who are different should best live, work and play in a world where everyone is the same.

No where, except HERE in this blog will you ever hear anyone of authority, education and stature advocating the idea that people who are all the same are REQUIRED to learn how to live in peace with people who are different.

Usually people who are different from people who are all the same…have to bear the onus of learning to live in peace with people who are different. If they don’t. So society feels justified to punish them!

And there you have it….the problem right in the palm of your hands.

This is the skeleton key that will allow you to open the door to wisdom on how to manage people who are different and those who are all the same. So that they can live together in peace and harmony without misunderstandings.

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‘What after all is a social norm, but the imposition of an expectation on how you should behave under a given set of circumstances. Understand this! That is all it is, nothing more or less. It’s a 50 cent word. No da Vinci code there. No mystery even.

Why is this deeper understanding of what is a social norm so jugular? Because I want to convince you if you happen to be different or have family members who are different this will allows you to set the social norm. Yes you have every right to set it! And sometimes, it’s not a matter of choice. YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO SET IT, IF YOU WANT TO SURVIVE!

During the moment of my youth for example, the prevailing social norm was for other kids to beat me up whenever they saw me. I am not talking about a one to one fair and square fight – usually it’s fifty to one and the social norm then was for adults to regard this matter casually as a socially acceptable pastime for ‘normal’ kids to treat the village dunce.

So one day I went to nearby warehouse in the port and hypnotized two giant sized Alsatians to break out and bribed them with curry puffs to bite the shit out of the ring leaders.

After that incident the social norm in my neighborhood and beyond was every kid left me alone and the other aspect of that new social norm was every parent was expected to teach their kids never to lay a finger on me. If they broke this social norm, then they will have to contend with the Chow Yuen Fatt replacement killers of the canine world and learn get by with 250 stitches or a six month stay in the hospital with a tube sticking out from one side of their mouth or both. That was my rudimentary understanding of strategic balance of power in the context of conflict management then and it proved to be so effective, it set the tone for the rest of my adult life. That is why today, I consider dogs more trustworthy than humans.

That is my point. You may not have the power to pass a law in parliament to set in place a social norm for the whole country. Nor do you have the power to convene an emergency meeting in the UN to pass a special resolution to set a social norm for the whole world. But you could just as well do this with your family members, close circle of friends and even those within your community and if you happen to be an enterprise owner you can also set the social norm for your internal and external customers as well.

The governing logic is not so different from stepping into my plantation. The moment you do so, by default you step into my world and your world melts away – and automatically, the onus shifts and you now bear the burden to buy into my beliefs and what I consider important, your norms and expectations are secondary to mine. To put it bluntly they don’t exist at all. Not in the four corners of my world at least. Here I control every aspect of how you should behave to X, Y or Z circumstances.

Since the profit motive features, your goal to materialize a profit will allow me to impose my understanding of the world on you. If you don’t like it – then it’s a free market and you are free to go elsewhere. But there is of course the penalty. You don’t get my business. You lose an opportunity to turn a profit and since it’s my habit to pay premium since I like things to be done my way. The loses are considerable enough to make walking away a very painful business proposition.

My point is I don’t ever need to conform to your norms. The onus is ALWAYS on you to conform to what I regard as normal.

This ability to shift the onus to the other person or community is the key.

This is the only way people who are different can live in harmony in a world where everyone is the same….by creating their OWN world within this world. All other ways just sound good, but since they are proposed by people who are all the same, they cannot be effective….as it will always be different strokes for people who are different.’

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