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How to Solve The Double Edge of Uniqueness (Also, Philosocom's Subcategory Directory on Uniqueness)

Updated: 3 days ago

A cold-hearted cyborg.

(The Subcategory's Directory

Why Being Ordinary Feels Like Oblivion

Truth be told, without any condescension, there's a spectrum of uniqueness in the human experience. Some have attained a special form of vibrancy, like those with a high charismatic presence. That is while others remain so average, that their average-ness can be seen as their uniqueness.

However, for a specific segment of this spectrum – the distinction seekers – there's fear lurks beneath their ambition: the fear of being "like" everyone else. This fear can also be regarded as the fear of being forgotten, or Athazagoraphobia. We can deduce from this that some people have a psychological need to fit in, while others feel obliged to stand out. Both needs stem from our individual mentalities. The claim that "We all Want to Fit In" is therefore a product of the generalization fallacy.

For me, the notion of being indistinguishable from "the crowd", is a more disturbing fate than death itself, for in death I can still be remembered. In today's virtual world, the need to promote ourselves is also done for the sake of the content we're creating. In other words, the more we're known online, the likelier we'll be read/viewed more. That's known as having a unique brand identity. Without it, our contributions can be so insignificant, they would vanish with the passing moments, undermined by our many competitors.

By this philosophy of self, similarity isn't just about belonging, but also about fading into the background. Is it really beneficial to sacrifice our distinction in favor of belonging?

This can terrify those of us with large amount of ideas that must be expressed and marketed in order to even be regarded as relevant. Whether we're correct or not, some of us believe our perspectives are so distinct, they're capbale of creating a new ideology, like I did with Political Rubinshteinism, or even create a significant change in people's lives. The thought of being remembered simply as a name, can deter of the value we can give to humanity. Thus, importance can be regarded as a tool.

This fear fuels an unrelenting drive to be good and, most importantly, to produce, for our time in this world is limited as well as it is uncertain. As such, many of us strive to leave a mark, even more than we feel a need to belong to a bigger collective. Do the best you can, and becoming/staying as another nameless cog in the machine of existence, can decrease in its probability.

When Standing Out Demands Explanation

Uniqueness, while often seen as a virtue, possesses a hidden cost: the constant burden of explanation to those you depend upon, and refuse to accept you for who you are. This applies not just to outsiders, but also to those who know you well.

Complexity, inherent in unique individuals, demands extra effort – effort not everyone is willing or able to give. As presented with people with disabilities, being different from the ordinary is not always something people like to be, as they can hinder you from meeting standards.

Furthermore, unique people aren't always easy to understand. In relationships, understanding your loved one is key to a successful relationship. According to Betterhelp:

Love may involve empathy, sympathy, or compassion for those you care about. If you can only think or act from your point of view, you may struggle to relate with others or show love in a way someone else understands. 
In a romantic relationship, do your best to understand your partner's motivations and goals. They might come from a different background than you or have a different love language. They might approach a relationship in a way you do not understand. For example, if they show love to you through physical touch, but you only understand love through words of affirmation, you might feel your partner has never shown you love, even if they have been trying to. 
Knowing your differences and considering how your partner feels might allow you to reduce conflict. Love may feel invisible when a couple isn't willing to compromise or try to understand each other. Trying to empathize with your partner might make it feel easier to get along with them and lead to a smoother relationship.

Now, some might argue, "Isn't a little similarity enough to be unique?" Similarity and identicality are distinct concepts. Even slight variations between similar individuals create differences. In that sense, we're all inherently different. This is why I started the article with "There are people who are more unique than others.: Distinction and separation are the tools that forge true differentiation, which allow us to navigate existence more effectively.

As such, not all forms of uniqueness are universally positive. Would you say that being a psychopath is a good thing, just because they're unique? Here's where objectivity comes in: Objectivity implies universal truth, which can lead to a trap of absolution.

As such, objectivity's a concept I challenge, and I disagree with the proverb of "HaKol LeTova" ("everything is for good"):

This can be traced back to the cost of significant uniqueness. When it outweighs similarity, it often demands a higher price: the relentless need to be understood.

Unless you choose the life of a full hermit, being understood becomes crucial for a healthy existence, especially for public figures like writers who must communicate in some way. For those who aspire to a public platform, the need for explanation becomes a necessary cost of entry. Otherwise, they can be considered madmen, and their uniqueness become a professional liability.

Can We Be Too Unique for Our Own Good?

Individualism can come at a price that paradoxically limits your individuality's self-actualization. It's why I criticize Nietzsche's Overman. Humans are inherently complex, but some possess an extra layer of intricacies, both positive and negative. This complexity can create a wall between you and the "External World," leading to frustrating miscommunications, and thus to a reduction of your potential's accomplishments.

How come? We rely, and often thrive, on shared understanding. To truly connect, we need common ground, often established through labels and words. 

The question, then, arises: is there a point where complexity becomes a barrier?

How to Reduce Your Misunderstood Complexity

Imagine a world filled with individuals who spoke entirely in private languages. While their self-expression would be boundless, communication would grind to a halt. This highlights the importance of a balance between individual uniqueness, and the need to be understood in the name of survival and success.

While embracing your unique qualities is crucial, ensuring some level of clarity in your communication is vital for fostering healthy connections. This doesn't necessitate sacrificing your individuality, but about finding a way to bridge the gap between your inner world and the world of others.

Finding the Bridge: Communication as a Tool

Terms and labels are powerful tools for building bridges. They provide a shared vocabulary, allowing others to grasp the essence of your experiences. But remember, labels are just starting points – they don't capture your entire story. However, it's better than having people reject you as insane.

The key lies in using these terms alongside open communication. 

  • Share your experiences, the feature that lie beneath the label. 

  • Offering a window into your unique perspectives. 

  • Create a space for genuine understanding.

As unique people, the challenge lies in finding "the sweet spot" of embracing your individuality while fostering competent connection methods. Remember: an effective self-expression isn't just about being unique. Rather, it's about sharing your unique voice with the world, in a way that it would understand, if not learn!

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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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