Positive Deviant

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What kind of person do you picture when I say the word Deviant?

If you are anything like me, it tends to be a psycho murderer sex pest.

But that isn’t what being a deviant is.

A deviant is described as “those whose actions are beyond most human comprehension”.

Deviant behaviour is “departing from usual or accepted standards”

And why can’t they be good things?

I was watching a video that talked about Positive Deviants in some African countries (for my uni course) – members of the community that are educated and inform others about better nutrition, hygiene and first aid – within the context and community they are in. They give real world advice and solutions that really work in the context they are living in.

Well, I really love the idea of that. Rebelling against the societal norms to make things a little more positive sounds like exactly what we need right now.

Who says that just because something is the way it’s always been done it should always be done like that?

I’m not aiming to turn the world arse up – but a few little tweaks to the norm sounds good to me.

Where I’m going to encourage deviancy.

Only asking for help when you’re on your arse.

Why do we wait until we are physically and mentally exhausted before reaching out for help?

I took my car for a service the other day – it was running fine, getting me from a to b no problem – but I got an expert to check it over, change the oil and do whatever it is that they do before it was anywhere near to breaking down on me. 

I know some people are good at getting regular support, but most wait until a metaphorical check engine light comes on, many ignore even that and wait until they have to pull onto the hard shoulder and wait for the AA – and that never happens at a convenient time.

I think we need to make it normal to go for a therapeutic service on a regular basis.

Measuring success by other peoples standards

Weight, Money, Career, Car, Clothes, Level of Enlightenment, Hours in Gym, Yoga Poses, Work Promotions, Relationship, Number of Kids, Foreign holidays.

Wowsers! There are so many “measures” of success that we are encouraged to chase by all kinds of people. It’s going to drive you absolutely barmy.

Decide for yourself what your values are and how you’ll know you’ve achieved them. Pick wisely though – not everything is a suitable measure of success (not if you want to be content with your life anyway.)

How we use language

As an example, many of the conversations I have end up talking about food. “I’m being good” means they are eating healthily. “I was naughty” means anything from “I had a kitkat” to “I ate 2 tubs of Ben and Jerrys and 6 McDonald happy meals.” When did we decide that what we ate was a measure of our goodness?

I know some of you will be thinking that I’m being pedantic, that it’s just a turn of phrase, but these things get into our subconscious and impacts our beliefs and behaviours. Not just in this context, but in many and it’s time to start noticing it.

I think 3 is enough for me to get started with. I’d love to hear from you about where you are going to start your positive deviancy.


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