Feeling different to everybody else can make a person feel like they do not fit in. Therefore they do not have a sense of belonging. This may lead them to ask, “why can’t I be like everyone else?”. The simple answer is because everyone is different and even though people may have similar qualities, everyone is unique in their own way. To answer this question in further detail, another question may have to be asked “why is it that you want to be like everyone else”? 


The beauty of humanity is that we are all different and no one is a copy of another person. Diversity in all its forms is something to be celebrated because each person will bring to society a contribution that others cannot. This can be a perspective, a talent, a value, a skill, a role in the community etc. Rather than trying to resist you being different, you may notice that by accepting yourself as you are and celebrating your individuality, will make you feel more at peace. The journey of acceptance from others most often must first start with self-acceptance. 

Social Norms

Sometimes, a person may feel like they are different to everyone else because they do not fit in the norms of society. If you look different than the majority, if you express yourself differently than others, if you have unconventional opinions or perhaps lead a different lifestyle than most, it may seem like something is wrong with you because you do not fit the standard. Be careful not to let such pressures make you feel like you have to change yourself just so that you can fit in. Unless you are harming yourself or others, it is okay to remain the person that you are. 


Questioning why you cannot be like everyone else may also arise from a fear that others will judge you and reject you. As humans, most of us want to be liked by others and accepted for who we are. If a person has experienced discrimination, harassment or even abuse because of who they are, they will try to change who they are and be like everyone else to avoid re-experiencing such events. However, you must remember that if you are not true to yourself just to belong, you may feel like you have lost yourself in the process of change.

In conclusion, being different can be a strength rather than a weakness as it makes you unique, which can lead to qualities such as being creative and thinking outside the box resulting in the creation of solutions and innovations that others wouldn’t think of in the first place. A different way of thinking can bring about the much-needed change in a system. Thus, whilst you may desire to be like everyone else, focus on embracing what makes you diverse and unique. You may find yourself feeling happier than if you try to change who you are just to be like everyone else. 

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.

Dr Marilyn Muscat is registered as an Educational Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom where she trained. She works with children, adolescents and their families to understand more about educational, social and emotional well-being concerns that they have and to help them improve upon their difficulties. She can be contacted on marilyn@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.