Why people are more alike than different

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Kevin Mangelschots

Summary:

  • People are more alike than different.
  • People still have their unique personalities.
  • These different characters are due to genetics, our environment, and the experiences we go through.

As a whole, people are more alike than different. That might seem like the polar opposite to the popular notion that everyone is unique and different, which holds some merit as well.

That’s because these small differences in temperament and characteristics can lead to seemingly entirely different personalities. And that’s precisely why we have such distinct attributes.

If we think about it for a second, then it starts to make sense. Since most people are average, that means that the general public is by and large not all that “special”. And I’m not saying that it’s necessarily a bad thing, nor do I want to put others down. But it is a valid observation, in my opinion. If it weren’t true, then people would by definition not be ordinary, and that’s what most people are.

Image of the quote, “don't settle for average, be awesome” written in black letters on a yellow background.

But if most of us are sitting right around the median, then that means that we are in truth more the same than we are different.

What makes being mediocre hard to accept is our ego. We like to portray and think about, ourselves as being better than we truly are. That’s because we form an image of ourselves in our imagination, and we are willing to go to great lengths to protect that positive mental representation.

That comes as no surprise to me since we would have to challenge and rethink our current beliefs if we find out they aren’t true. Discovering that we’ve been living in a lie can be mentally painful, especially if we’ve been living according to these falsehoods for years, or even decades.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why do people have different personalities?

Image of the big 5 personality traits: conscientiousness, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and neuroticism, and the symptoms of them.

People have different personalities since we have some important variations in temperament and personality traits, even though we’re more alike than different.

These fluctuations arise out of our genetic makeup, the experiences we go through, and the environment we reside in.

That’s why people can have such unique characters, even though we have more overlap than deviations between one another.

What makes us different from each other genetically?

Illustration of a DNA string.
 
What makes us different from each other genetically is our DNA. That happens because of an autonomous mixture, the switching of genes during reproduction, and a variety of mutational circumstances.
 

All cells of our human body consist of the same genetic series of data. Each cell has gone through adaptations to become a heart cell, skin cell, hair cell, and so on. These phenotypic deviations are acquired from mother cells to daughter cells.

Is everyone different?

Yes, everyone is different. Even though we’re still more alike than different.
 
That’s because each individual has their own incomparable thoughts, ideas, and personal views on the world due to the experiences we all go through in life.
 

There are some striking similarities between all of us, but these differences in genetics, experiences, and the environment we grow up in make for specific characters.

Can two humans be the same?

Image of two young women who are identical twins.
 
No, two humans can never be the same, even if they are identical twins.
 

Even though identical twins might look precisely the same to the bare eye, they will still have their differences. That’s because they go through unique life events, and will reside in different circumstances due to a different career path, social circle, work environment, et cetera.

How are we all the same?

Despite our differences, we’re still all the same in the end because we’re all human, and share the same emotions.

We also share the same feelings, needs, and desires, yet differ in the amount we require those things to be content.

It can be argued that we’re ultimately all the same since we’re all human beings in need of love and acceptance to lead a purposeful and happy existence.

Final note

Despite our differences, we are more alike than different.

While we praise individuality, uniqueness, and feeling special, the truth is that most people are dead average. That’s not a knock on the norm, but it’s a simple fact of life.

If that’s the case, then we know that there must be certain aspects that keep most folks mediocre. Thus, there’s a lot of overlap between each one of us.