What Is Normal Anyway?

In my last post, I went into some of the "quirks" I've noticed about myself over the years that have caused problems in my relationships with others. I'm I normal? And who decides?

So, of course, when I have a question, I ask the great Oracle of Google. Here are some relevant definitions that were results:

  • conforming with or constituting a norm or standard orlevel or type or social norm; not abnormal; "serve wine at normal roomtemperature"; "normal diplomatic relations"; "normal working hours";"normal word order"; "normal curiosity"; "the normal course of events"
  • being approximately average or within certain limits ine.g. intelligence and development; "a perfectly normal child"; "ofnormal intelligence"; "the most normal person I've ever met"
  • In behavior, normal means not deviating very much fromthe average; "not normal" is often used in a negative sense (improper,sick, etc.). Abnormality varies greatly in how pleasant or unpleasantthis is for other people; somebody may half-jokingly be called"pleasantly disturbed". …

While in the shower this morning, I remembered the story of the "normal" man who found himself in a town full of insane people (I don't remember exactly how the story goes, but this was the gist). He, of course, got persecuted because everyone else in the town thought he was insane. Why? Well, given the general population of the town, this "sane" person was not the norm. The general population of this town viewed this "normal" person as insane.

The moral of the story, of course, is that normalcy is all relative. What seems perfectly reasonable to you might, in fact, be absolutely insane to someone else. So all of my "quirks" are perfectly normal to me because, well, that's how I am. My wife, who is a very different kind of person, finds my quirks anything from annoying to maddening, depending on when they choose to manifest themselves.