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How to Become More Unique

Updated: 3 days ago

A man inside a water container

Introduction -- Uniqueness As Expression of Power

Without intending any pun, uniqueness is something that is up to the individual to decide whether or not they wish to become more or less unique than they already are. On the one hand, some of us have a bigger desire, if not need, to become more distinctive than the people in their environment, so they don't feel too bland or unspecial.

On the other hand, however, there are those who wish to be "like everyone else," even if they already look and behave like the average person. The reason for this is usually because they want to avoid shaming, isolation, and most importantly, to feel like they do belong.

Either way, uniqueness is a double-edged sword. Your gifted uniqueness can also be a liability, depending on where you live. Having more power in a collective allows you to be more of yourself, and be less restrained by others. "Power is everything" because power grants you freedom to be more and more of who you are. The need to mask, or the fear of being who you really are, belongs to those who fear others and thus, see them as more powerful than yourself.

After all, masking, as well as compromising yourself, is a sign of social submission. Submissions to those who don't want you to be the best verison of yourself. The norms do not want just that, hence why they seek to compromise you, and reward you for being part of the herd mentality.

Fictional villains, like the Joker and Dr. Eggman, are eccentric because they live outside of the social contract. We may love them as characters due to their expressed and uncompromised uniqueness. Their eccentricity is one of the expressions of their opposition to not only the protagonistic force, but also to orthodox society at large. Their uniqueness stems from the fact that they oppose the orthodox ways of life.

Unlike the autistic, who may be socially incompetent by being, one can become more unique through conscious effort, whether or not they have a neurologically-diverse condition. Daring to be who you are means to challenge those who want you to be a typical person.

The problem with being typical is, that you will be losing your potential as an individual, by restraining yourself too much in favor of others. Why restrain yourself so zealously in the name of those who would not necessarily care if you die? I've been asking this question seriously in my thoughts for a while now.

Do you want to be the world's greatest artist? How about the world's greatest intellect? Society has barriers it tries to enforce on you, with justice or without. The choice of whether or not to oppose it, will forever remain ours. Why be modest when you can be irreplaceable?

Where I Stand

I belong to the camp of those who believe that one should strive to be more unique than ordinary (but not necessarily eccentric in their behavior), because once we begin to better realize ourselves, we will be able to better contribute to the world in a way that will hopefully suit our individuality and our distinct merits.

In other words, while those who seek conformity wish to better belong to the world, others who seek more individualism can still belong to society in their own way through contribution, which is made possible by their increased individuality. Thus, nonconformists are not necessarily egotistical people who would prefer to keep to themselves and leech on the economy or anything of that sort. They may even help others if it is of use to their own gain. By the way, there is no necessary connection between egoism/altruism and conformity/wanting to be more distinct. It's all because both factors can go in both ways. One may even strive to be more unique for the sake of helping others, with Gandhi being a prime example.

The Path to Uniqueness

If you wish to become more unique, for whatever purpose you desire and under any motive of your choosing, self-isolation from the world, at least from time to time, is imperative for increasing your uniqueness, especially as a writer or artist. The reason for this is that socialization, the glue that keeps us together under a collective identity, is often an obstacle that stands in the way between ourselves and the goal of becoming more unique.

Socialization isn't there for you. It's there for society to gain new, submissive members into its ranks. And of course, this is most present in many countries' public education system. You are not taught how to be a citizen in a democratic country. No. You are taught to be a productive worker in factory-like settings that simulate the professional world.

There is no true love in society, as you are not expected to be the best version of yourself. Even in democracies, you are expected to submit and obey.

And you cannot be unique when you are submissive like everyone else.

After all, socialization seeks to enhance our similarities, not our differences. It uses tradition, religion, and even popular culture to "unify" us under one or more mindsets, or at least give us a common language. It may even use sports for that intention.

While this is all good and well, it puts aside the importance of individuality, since in the larger picture, unless you are a very important personality, your distinct individuality is of little value compared to the bigger, common ideals, events, and symbols of the people around you; People that you too are a part of as long as you are not an outcast.

Dare to be more of yourself, and you will be accused of being arrogant. Consider the implications in the theaters of life.

Solitude As a Virtue

Being alone from time to time might be more important than you think. It is when you can realize who you are beyond the sphere of society. It is when you gradually begin to enjoy your own company, and not see it as something that should be avoided in favor of others. Writing, a solitary activity, allows you to know yourself more.

And how can you be more of yourself of you lack self-knowledge?

Long and/or constant periods of alone time are also when you get to disconnect yourself from the extensive influence of your local socialization, and expose yourself to things about yourself that you would otherwise miss.

Learning more about your talents, affinities, and potentials, you get to slowly but surely see yourself as a distinct, if not autonomous, unit, that does not necessarily need to be rooted in the society they grew up in or were raised in. You may realize that you exist beyond society.

Personal Impact of Isolation

In Judaism, there is a concept that I very much disagree with its premise -- "Ha'avat Israel" is simply the specific love for anything related to Judaism and to the Jewish people, that has been attributed by Jews themselves (also, the love to other Jews).

Religious folk believe that the Jewish people have something in existence that does not exist anywhere else -- the higher potential of loving anything Jewish, and those who are not born to the "Selected People/God's People", are incapable of feeling said love.

Anyways, being Jewish myself (by ethnicity, as I don't believe in Judaism), I never felt strongly belonged to "my" people, nor had seen any reason to renounce my secularism and to convert to my far ancestors' religion. This example has been given to present how one's isolation can be effective enough to drive you to individuality, far more than your own roots.

Surely, someone who spent most of their life in voluntary isolation, and only went to a synagogue to perform the Bar Mitzvah ritual, would not be likely to have this over-generalizing, self-entitled belief of "Ha'avat Israel," but this is merely a specific example, nonetheless.

I never felt any of that love to anyone, and by intuition, I only felt loved very rarely. I mostly felt it in dreams. Uniqueness isolates. It isolates because being typical will make you appealing to more people because similarities attract.

Being the unique person I am, I don't know if and when I will be loved again. Thus, I do not take pride in my uniqueness. Outside Philosocom my life is very lonely.

And yet, I believe that without isolation, one would find it significantly hard to enhance and discover their individuality. The company of others, you see, is a distraction, since when you are in another person's company, you ought to invest time and energy to them and vice versa, never completely to yourself (unless you are with a psychologist, in which case it is all about you). We shouldn't, therefore, underestimate the time we have that can be used for solitude.

Quick Review of Isolation & Conclusion

Isolation doesn't have to be confined to meditation or doing nothing. We should remember that we, too, are people, just like any other person. Therefore, being with ourselves is like being with any other person. The relationships we have with others do not have to be superior or inferior to our relationship with ourselves. It's called a self-relationship.

Furthermore, we should enjoy ourselves, feel comfortable when alone, and do whatever makes us happy and can evolve our contentment and love for ourselves. If it is okay to love others and be friends with them, why should that skip when it comes to one's own company?

It is when we get to know ourselves more, just like any other person, where we can not only know who we are as distinct beings, but apply that uniqueness, to "generate" even more uniqueness.

How come? That depends on who you are as an individual. Simply get to know your individual traits, and sharpen them like a weaponsmith may do to his or her sword. With that "sword", you can bring much benefit to this world, by being the genius that you can become.

To wrap this up, our time alone shouldn't be seen as a burden or something we find ourselves in and therefore have to kill time until something else arrives. One's solitude could be a date, a time for studying, or simply a time when we can be the most free we could ever be. See it as an adventure, a quest.

It is indeed more imperative than some of us may think, not only for our ability to have fun, but to increase our talents and reach heights that would make many very impressed by our endeavors. There is so much potential waiting in our ability to listen carefully to our own thoughts.

And that is why I think isolation is, in some ways, a virtue, rather than a verdict. It could be the latter, for sure, but it doesn't always have to be that way.

It can be there for your growth, as a more complete, greater self.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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