What is Normal?

This is a question I hear quite often in my practice. My answer is normal is what lies on a bell curve between 0 to 2 standard deviation of the mean. Please reference the picture below.



If one looks at the curve, normal is on a spectrum mathematically speaking; there is not one hard true normal. There is an average or mean; however, normal is a range. Yes, there are outliers and that does not make the outliers wrong or bad just different. Being inside the curve does not make an individual better or good, they just fall within the curve. These points a graph are neutral. People impose their values and meanings on these little neutral dots. Questions to ask to process could be “what does being normal mean to me” or “what value do I find being different?”

As an American I have noticed the American culture places a lot of value in “being normal.” I also find value in being an outlier because outliers bring another perspective to the table and multiple points of view are great and essential if a culture is to evolve. An example of this is individuals identifying as third gender or non-binary. Majority of individuals identify as one of the binary choices, male or female. These choices fall within the “normal curve.”  At this moment identifying as a third gender is considered to be an outlier. Identifying as third gender or non-binary does not make an individual bad or wrong; neither is identifying as female or male. All of these labels are neutral, until an individual or community imposes a particular value on it.

So to be clear this is my perspective and it does not make me right or wrong. If you agree awesome; if not, you are allowed and encouraged to have your own thoughts and opinions because I may learn something from your point of view. Thanks for reading.

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