I suppose I shouldn't be but, I'm always a little startled by how intensely people want to feel special. It makes sense that a generation of media efforts to boost our children's self-esteem would result in the deeply held belief that we are unique and therefore special. Indeed, it's good to remember that we are special. But, it seems equally good to remember that we are pretty completely ordinary. Ordinary is what connects us to others. Ordinary is what guarantees similarity of experience. If each of us were completely unique, we would have little, if any, overlapping experience and therefore little to generate connection.
It's interesting to me that one of the most complimentary things you can say about someone you have believed to be special is, "He/She was so down-to-earth.." Although we often long to be special to someone, we also look forward to those times when we notice the "ordinariness" of those we have made special.
Just as it feels like a gift when someone notices the ways we are special, it can be gift to others when we notice the ways we are completely ordinary.
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Jake Thiessen, PhD
I've been working with couples for a very long time. And, I love it! This blog is my attempt to communicate some of the things I've learned over the past 40 years.