How Are You A Non-Conformist?

There are many ways that you can be different from the crowd, some obvious and so not so obvious. How are you a non-conformist?

Social pressure encourages people to fit in. To become one of the crowd. In our current capitalist society, to become just a cog in a larger societal machine.

While there is some value in that, as individuals we often struggle to be the unique beings we naturally are. There is no one in the world that is quite like me, from my DNA to my fingerprints to my upbringing to my personality.

And so we find ways to display that uniqueness. We are all, in one way or another, non-conformists.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What makes you you?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What gives a person value?’


Some people shake off the yoke of conformity as rebellious teenagers. That might take the form of defying our parents, or dressing or behaving in ways that are not expected of us.

For others, being a non-conformist comes later in life. You might get a tattoo that has some sort of significance to you. Perhaps you decorate your work space in ways that are different from your co-workers. Clothing or jewelry can be used to set you apart from your peers.

Those choices are fine if you want to convey to everyone else that you have a streak of individuality. However, some might choose to be less obvious. They might seem just like everyone else from the outside, but they have a vibrant inner life, through what they read, or write. Or just think about.

Do you know the way in which you stand out from a crowd? Have you consciously chosen it, or does your lack of conformity come naturally? How are you a non-conformist?

Related questions: Individual or society? How much power does an individual have? How are you special?

4 thoughts on “How Are You A Non-Conformist?”

  1. To help sufferers know they are not alone and to help those who don’t suffer understand, I am fairly open about my struggles with Anxiety and Depression.

    I also encourage and engage (I think respectfully) in conversations about religion and politics. Why would we want to tamp down some of the most important conversations we could have?

  2. I’ll trot out a modified version of the usual list I use:
    1) I don’t drink coffee
    2) I don’t drive or have a driver’s license
    3) I don’t have a cell phone

    Typically, there is a fourth entry: I don’t have or use an alarm clock. However, I don’t really count it for this list, because I simply don’t need one. The list above are all things I made a conscious decision about.

  3. I always find myself coming back to: Where are we when we have finally conformed to nonconformity?

    Thank you gentlemen for providing this service for all of us. Grateful.

  4. Sorry it’s been a while since this was posted… I’ve been off the laptop for a few weeks.

    As a small child (age 4 or 5?) I already knew I didn’t like any of the things I was told I should like as a girl: dresses, dolls, expectations that I’d marry, have a big wedding, have children. Eventually I did marry and have 2 kids.. but the wedding was anything BUT conformist. And I fought hard against having to wear a dress. Once I grew up, they became okay occasionally.

    Have never worn high heels. Have never worn makeup. Have never liked pop culture. Prefer my hair very short. Listen to odd music… The list goes on. But outwardly, my behavior appears pretty conventional (as much as I can manage… I try to blend in, but it’s not easy).

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