Everyone thinks they're outsiders

. 1 min read

The desire to be special is so universal that I'd go as far as to say that most, if not all, people on Earth think they're outsiders. They think they never fit in. They think they're fundamentally different from everyone else. (This is just like the study that suggested that most drivers think they're above average drivers.)

Since most people do things the same way, and most have friends to connect with, chances are that most people are average. The fundamentally different, or the outsiders, must be a minority by definition. If most people were outsiders, then outsider would be the average state, and since average is the biggest group, you can't be on the outside if you're in the biggest group. (Or something like that.)

Just like (literally) everyone else, I've fallen for this trap before, thinking I was the outsider, not knowing that's exactly what others thought of themselves as well. Then I read an aphorism in Nassim Taleb's The Bed of Procrustes:

The fool views himself as more unique and others more generic; the wise views himself as more generic and others more unique.

Naturally, I was pissed. I was, after all, both wise and unique - just like everyone else.

Bah. But if I couldn't be unique, at least I could be wise, right?

So I decided that I was wise and was the only one in the world to think that I was generic and others unique - making me quite unique.

It's such self-serving circular reasoning with clear ulterior motives that I immediately resign from the paradigm. (...making me the only one in the world to do such.)

Dammit! How do I get out of this?

Can I just say that I and everyone else on Earth are both fools and wise men, both generic and unique, depending on the situation, circumstances, habits, routines, and life choices?

That sounds solid. Although I'd really prefer a more black-and-white approach over that kind of grayscale thinking. (You know... because I'm so different.)