The Pain Of Being Different

Everyone experiences it.

Photo by Zhu Liang on Unsplash

Being different from others means communicating in another tongue despite using the same language. And, to find relatability to one another, everyone has to be communicating in the same language.

As a person who lives in a family of six, I experienced many difficulties with communication with others while growing up. Even now, as an adult, sometimes, it can be a chore to communicate my perspectives.


The meaning of a word is based on what is attached to it by the person using it. Through different experiences, the meaning of a word can vary from person to person. Even though we tried to standardize the meanings of the words with a dictionary, experiences have the biggest impact on our usage of words.

For example, at the common mention of an ‘apple’, I may think of a red apple. However, for another person, he/she may think of a green apple. And, at the mention of something like ‘water bottle’, the image that I have compared to another person may differ greatly.

Similarly, an action can be interpreted differently based on personal experiences. For example, an act of punishment can be interpreted as training for a person to become resilient and disciplined. Yet, it may also be interpreted as cruelty and imprisonment.

What Happened?

Being the youngest means being the physically least developed among my siblings during the early years. That also includes my vocal cords. At the same time, primitive instincts may loosely set in during the early development stages. So, bullying and abuse can occur easily among close ones who are growing together.

Also, the adults of my family and relatives are strict about behaviors and mannerisms that only they agree with. As a result, there are many arguments and anxieties among themselves. And, it can be an argument over a spoken word, an innocent action, something that they heard from someone/somewhere, or just an expression.

Thus, from my observation, I feel that I have to be extremely careful with every action and word as they can easily become a tool for manipulation or abuse. Due to the sensitivity of a vulnerable child, fear creeps in and hampered my ability to communicate for years after.

The lingering fear affected my performance in schools, my relationships with friends and relatives, and my psychological well-being. And, I often feel unrelatable to anyone.

I was often quiet, not because of shyness, but, because of fear of doing the wrong things that make me a target.

How Do I Overcome It?

As I am often drawn to self-improvements and spiritual stuff, I do many reviews of my behaviors and thought patterns in comparison to others. Also, I looked through information from gurus/teachers to understand this reality or life that is created.

Through examination, I realized how everyone is living in a different world; everyone’s experience of life is different and that leads to a different interpretation of how the world is for the person.

Just as when a coin is observed by different people; some may only see two sides, some may see three sides, an engineer may see the material that it is made of, a trader may see its exchange value, a historian may see its history, etc.

At the same time, often, I come across information mentioning the difference between the body and the person experiencing the world. And, the person is experiencing the world through the body. So, even though it seems like everyone is a different entity to everyone else, in a way, everyone is experiencing life in the same way as everyone else.

Thus, in the realization, I found a little comfort; since everyone is living alone in their world, everyone is, in a way, the same as I am.

What’s Next?

I believe courage comes from clarity. With just a little clarity, courage will grow. And, because someone decided to share the information, I got that little clarity which gave me the courage to live my life in my way. Therefore, as much as the information has helped me, I do hope someone will benefit as well from sharing my experiences.

P.S. If you like my work, do follow me as Medium will be un-partnering writers with less than 100 followers.




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