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The Benefits of Self-Expression

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Wisdom Sep 17 2012 · 419 views

:kaukau: Here's a post in response to this entry. I thought it was worth reposting as its own entry. These thoughts are incomplete, by the way, so feel free to add to them.

:kaukau: I think you're just better able to express your thoughts. It doesn't make you a different person: you just find that you have a different way of interacting between environments. I don't see myself as being different people between my blog and my regular life either, just that I've found more than one way of expressing myself. My blog and my comments on other blogs is basically me typing out my thoughts in a slightly more organized matter than I would in real life, where I say more or less the same things to express the same core thoughts.

Meanwhile, if you knew me, you would know that I don't really care about the norm so much. I do, in a sense, and I really went with the flow for my senior year of high school, but I don't let social norms dictate the ways I express myself when I deem it necessary. I love bowties and Superman. Most people know that. They may not be what everyone else is into, but the world weary know that not everyone can be the same. Some people have asked me "Why?", as in "Why are you like this?" I tell them that it's because I'm just that guy.

We're all different. The sooner you realize that the sooner you'll be comfortable with expressing yourself. Look at the person across the hallway and realize that he or she also has some unique interests that you might not be interested in. Maybe football isn't your thing, but that doesn't stop you from judging people who find that athletics is part of their identity. Then there are people who are into anime, which I think is weird, but I guess there will always be people who will enjoy anime so I shrug it off. It doesn't define them, and they have every right to have their own interests. It would be boring if all my friends were too much like me, and I like it when they're open about their interests so that I know more about them. In fact there's a girl I'm thinking of asking out on a non-romantic date just because I have a hunch that she's completely different than me and has interests and views that I won't think are cool, but I want to find them out anyway because I don't want her to just be a face in the hallway. I want to know her better, just as I want to know everyone better in this new setting.

This diversity is good. It makes us more world weary if we are aware of it and it lets us better know how to handle each other. When you add in your own diversity, you attract new sorts of people. For example, I never would have attracted the friendship of multiple nerds if I hadn't worn bowties, and I have started many superhero debates by wearing my Superman shirts. That taught me something about the interests of others, and I never would have learned these things if I hadn't dared to express myself first.

Just some thoughts. I hope you find them beneficial.

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Some people have asked me "Why?", as in "Why are you like this?" I tell them that it's because I'm just that guy.

I suppose that's the best answer to that question, anyway. But the problem is, most people either don't understand it or simply do not want to.

And while I'm all for diversity and expressing oneself, it always comes as a surprise to me how close-minded others can be. The assumptions they make about someone based on how he/she dresses are often shaped by stereotypes and absolutely ridiculous.

On the internet, however, nobody will ever know what you look like (unless you tell them, of course). The only thing that could influence your first impression is the avatar/banner or profile content (or proto bar, sure). Therefore it's certainly easier to approach people and generally be more open (-minded)...

just my few thoughts.
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Username: Jean Valjean
Real name: People literally don't have names in my family
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Heritage: Half Dutch, Quarter Hungarian, Eighth Swedish, Sixteenth German and Irish
Physical description: Looks like the eleventh Doctor
Favorite food: Chicken, turkey, and beef.
Least favorite food: Vegetables of any kind
Favorite band: Queen
Favorite singer: Billy Joel
Favorite song: American Pie
Favorite movie: Schindler's List
Favorite TV show: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Favorite play: Les Miserables
Favorite color: Silver
Second favorite color: Brown
Favorite board game: Risk
Favorite athlete: Michael Phelps
Lucky Number: 53
Past-times: Writing, reading, drawing
Political Caucus: Iowa Republicans
Religion: Christian
Language: Iowegian

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