Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,


This conversation is closed.

What is abnormal and what is normal, then who is the "special people" at the end of it all?

The world is always talking about fitting people into these categories. Let's challenge that mindset, and allow yourself to grow or change others mindset.

Are rulers special or are celebrities special? Are rich people abnormal or are poor people normal? Are you normal or am I abnormal?

Who makes that descision?

Closing Statement from Dyed All Hues

Thank you all for sharing your views with all of TED. I hope everyone found this as helpful as I did.

Stay weird my fellow tedsters! ;)

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    Mar 19 2012: Hi Derek, I am a outside of the box kind of guy and a world traveler so I look at things from the top, bottom, and all sides. Normal and abnormal or dependent on your culture and setting. Some tribes pick the lice from each others hair, you probally do not want to do that at the church social in the US. Some places bathe both sexes in the same area in community facility this could lead to jail time here. Wash you cloths on the banks of the Hudson on a convient rock would probally get you a free exam at Belmont and child protective services to your doorstep. So admormal and normal are dependent on cultures and further if it endangers yourself or others. I like to sky dive and others get scared standing on a chair. What is crazy to you may be a challenge or fun to me. A Shakespherian kind of quote might be, Everone is strange but me and thee, and I have my doubts about thee. Best of luck. Bob
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      Mar 20 2012: Ahh...everyone and all are but subject matter to the idea of normal and abnormal, so it is spun in ways of where you reside and you struck that Shakespearian bone in my body, Thank You. ;)
  • Mar 25 2012: Regarding the question "who are the special people at the end of it all?"

    We might think of it in terms of natural selection.

    Suppose that a person is accurately described by some collection of attributes.

    By definition a normal attribute is common and abnormal one is uncommon.

    The abnormal attribute that is more successful soon becomes the new normal.

    Ideas might also be attributes.

    You might say that the "special" are those that possess abnormal attributes that haven't yet, but are destined to define the new normal.

    Like that weird guy that is tinkering in his garage, that we don't realize has just figured out how to get 1000 miles per gallon with his SUV.
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      Mar 25 2012: I like the simplicity in your answer, but very to the point and isn't cluttered by other ideas. =)
      The spacing was also a nice addition.

      Thank you for reading my thoughts and sharing yours.
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    Mar 20 2012: Abnormal and Normal are just words. no human is none of these things. a person who may appear to be normal e.g (the way they dress,speak and act in public,) can be a mentally sick individual behind close doors. Here in the Bahamas we have a number of teachers who molest students, and were jailed for there crimes.but if you look at them you'll never think there those kind of people. there church goers,active in the community, and will even speak on how sick child molesters are, yet there one themselves. Also Crooked members of the government who enslave and deceive the public. but they wear suits and eat at nice restaurants and speak proper, but are they still normal? my point. everybody lies, people put on acts to appear a certain way to the world. we all have issues, we all have problems. we all aren't killers or child molesters. but were all animals trying are best to act civilized. ''I'm so normal'' was created by the insecure to feel superior. My quote: ''Were all evil trying our best to be good''
  • Mar 18 2012: The terms normal & abnormal are only 2 of many that I wish had never been thought up.
    To be honest, I have never thought of myself as normal, as that word implies. Like everyone & everything we are all special, NOT normal or abnormal.. We all hold a special place in life's circle.
    Many poor people are highly educated & may even had wealth at one time & the reverse is also true.
    As someone once said: "Everyone has to use a form of toilet paper each day." So rich or poor, famous or infamous, gifted or non-gifted, we are all special. Toilet paper being the great equalizer.
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      Mar 20 2012: If everyone was special, then can we conclude, since "special" meaning unique, no one is special?
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    Mar 17 2012: Normal means "The usual, average, or typical state or condition.". So, that's what I meant by it. Is that what you are talking about here? When it is legitimate to use the word "abnormal"? Just to be clear, by abnormal I mean "Deviating from what is normal or usual, typically in a way that is undesirable." Abnormal usually has a negative connotation, in contrast with special, "Better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual: as in "a special effort"." My misunderstanding then , I though we were talking of talent and potential. The definitions of normal, abnormal, "special", and so on can befound in a dictionary BUT it depends on your background how you apply them. Where I come from, it's "normal" that at age 6 you start school. It's not normal if you don't. But then, hey, you migt be part of a different community where school is not valued so that for them it's "normal" not to go to school.I have lived in different countries and regions in Europe and I can say with a certain degree of certainty that what people consider normal is simply what they are used to, and particularly normal is whatever does not offend them.
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      Mar 17 2012: I am most definitely seeking an answer with personal insight towards your own individual thought and perspective. I have a passion for finding other definitions and views of things, then I enjoy learning the social aspects of that persons view and by what paths lead them to this ideology. I enjoy asking simple, but in depth questions that, I feel, we take for granite everyday.

      Like someones normal can be someone elses abnormal if you expose them to that new environment. For instance, somewhere on earth everyone sings instead of talking, but say a visitor comes from out of town and they only speak in hand signals, that would be funny and most likely abnormal for both parties to see.

      When I thought of special, I was thinking of when a kid talks with their parents and the parents always tells their child that they are "special", then I feel that if most parents tell their kids they are "special" that kind of loses its specialness. No one is "special if everyone was special. I do understand your perspective being talent and potential as your personal view, which is my curiosity to understand other perspectives.

      Thanks for giving your perspective. I am delighted to hear it. =)
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    Mar 26 2012: Normality is the mask for madness.
  • Mar 26 2012: Being special in their normal or abnormal trials are the one who stay ever :D
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    Mar 21 2012: To decide what is normal or abnormal you need a standard to compare it to.
    So if the standard is that a spider has 8 legs, any spider with 7 legs or 9 legs has to be considered abnormal.

    Now, the trick is to decide on the right standard. Another example: are gays abnormal ? The immediate response that comes to mind is "yes", however, on second thought we have to question this wisdom considering that there exists a significant number of gays and in addition, homosexuality isn't limited to humans either. Hence, are we really applying the right standard ?
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      Mar 21 2012: The answer to each question has its own bases, such as, the religious aspect for those individuals who would condemn homosexuality, then we put in equlity into the picture. The logic outweighs secular thinking, I believe. There has also been some scientific research into that realm as well, and yes, many animals do exist with such behavior and even bisexual ones too.

      So a spider with 7 or 9 legs appears, would that be evolution or is that a mutation or are they the same concept? Would that apply to humans as well? Pretty interesting stuff.
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        Mar 21 2012: I think the delimitation of what is normal and what is abnormal is pretty arbitrary.
        To stick with the example of homosexuals:
        If we have a sample size of 1.000.000 and 1 out of those is homosexual we would most certainly consider this single case an anomaly.
        Now, if we have 500.000 out of 1.000.000 exhibiting homosexuality what would we think then ? I guess we would consider it a normal phenomena.
        Question, where is the demarcation line ? When does something becomes normal/anormal ? Or in other words, how do we define the standard we measure against ?
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          Mar 22 2012: Well, I believe that there isn't truly another side, but we as humans socially constructed these ideas and built upon them from a point of where it previously was non-existent. So the standard for normalcy depends on the region, culture, society, education, affiliations, and life experiences.

          What I seek is understanding of an individuals understanding of the concept and how I could reshape mine or to question anothers definition to understand more about how thought changes through the circumstances. Though I only ask as much as the other gives out. =)
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    Mar 19 2012: Whatever one's answer may be regarding normal and abnormal: Speak no words unless sincerely encouraging or complimentary; or suggesting a change that is possible and necessary.
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      Mar 20 2012: How does this pertain to the prompt above? Is this transcending thought with exponential meaning?
      Could you please elaborate more on your quote, I would like to understand your meaning. =)
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        Mar 20 2012: Transcending thought with exponential meaning? Well, I don't know. I doubt it.

        Your last question - Who makes that decision? You. And in making that decision, in my opinion, one ought to "Speak no words unless sincerely encouraging or complimentary; or suggesting a change that is possible and necessary."
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          Mar 20 2012: That is entirely correct, but I do desire to try and encourage new thinking and a change in personal perspectives. I like to try and think with a collective mind, through the never fleeting opinions of others. Thank You for the clarification. =)
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    Mar 17 2012: I love this question!

    When I was a teenager I found my dad highly embarrassing. Every morning he would GO OUTSIDE - IN PUBLIC to walk the dog. He dressed like a tramp, carried round bags of dog sh*t, he smelt really bad and behaved overly loud to those he met... Shameful! .

    Role on 30 years. A couple of years ago I got a dog of my own. I love my dog. Each morning he gets me up with a nice wet lick on the face. I get up and throw on an old pair of jeans and a raggedy jumper (after all I'll get muddy from all the dogs I'll meet at the park), I brush my hair - but that's all (I'll shower and clean my teeth after)... dog and I stride out towards the park - about 100m from the house, dog takes a crap - so I scoop it up and carry the bag with me. At the park I meet all my lovely dog walking friends and we have a great laugh....
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      Mar 18 2012: Your father seemed highly entertaining from an outside stand-point. We all find our families/parents to be embarassing haha.

      What do you mean by "dressed like a tramp"?

      So do you feel like you have become the image of your dad walking the dog in the morning or do you do a "better job" than he? Haha.
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        Mar 18 2012: In the UK a tramp is an unkept homeless person who chooses to live in such a way. A lot of ex-service men who served in the far east ended up that way.

        Today, I can't help feeling I've become just like my dad when I'm out walking the dog - and what's more, all the dog walkers are the same - I guess as you get older you don't care what others think of you so much, and just get by in life for the purpose of being happy and comfortable. I have to smile at my memory of my dad.
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          Mar 20 2012: Life has funny ways of reminding us of our roots. =)

          That is very vivid and adorable correlation of you and your father. Hopefully, you both were/are really close. =)
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    Mar 16 2012: By normal I guess here we mean standard,common, so that if you are normal you are not special. In order for something or someone to be special they must stand out. Then in order to stand out they need to have something not too common AND they must be lucky enough that someone who has inflluence notice them and make them special AND famous for it. What is the point of being a special star or ruler or rich if nobody knows about it? So in the end the decision is made by people who have enough influence (a leader) to make something or someone with potential become famous. Then the followers will "follow" the leader and if enough people like it/him/her the person/thing will become a success. So I guess ithe decision is made by FATE (luck), by an influencing leader who discovers your talent, and by determination (you make the decision to be determined and persevere in your pursuit). Exactly in this order, I am afraid.
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      Mar 17 2012: I am having trouble with understanding your concept of "standard" and "common". Expand your meaning of the two words.

      I am looking for definitions of what you consider normal and not normal. "Special" is more of conclusive aspect of your thoughts.

      Normal as in, consciously thinking and has no mental disabilities or elderly are considered abnormal because they don't understand concepts due to their retrograde of the mind from biological reasons, so is that abnormal?