You are different

By Christian Nielsen

“You are different” is a simple sentence with confusing connotations. What does that even mean? What sort of different?

"You are different!"
“You are different!”

Wednesday 16 March 2016

“You're different.”

What does this mean? Maybe you've changed. Something small but noticeable… your hair, eyeshadow. Maybe you have an air. Age has caught up or events taken a toll.

Maybe you're different from expectations. A blind date… online relationship enters next phase.

Someone younger. Someone older. Someone with nicer clothes. Someone with a glint. Someone with less tics. Someone with charm, freckles, wrinkles.

Someone liberal, cool, straight, straight-laced. Someone in skinny jeans, with a man-bun. Someone caring. Someone cruel.

Maybe it's something about contractions. You are different. You're different. Or something about emphasis. You are different. You are different. You are different.

Could be about punctuation. You're different! You're different. Or the delivery. You're… different. You… are different. You are… different.

Could also be the things you do. Collecting mushrooms. Making Lego. Drinking white Port. Listening to Burt Bacharach. Chewing pens. Torturing animals. Watching Netflix.

What if it's all about the word ‘different'? What sort of different? Different good. Different bad. Different without connotation, context… meaning.

But then why say it?

The words mean nothing, then? Chit-chat. Something to say. Observance. Insight. Better than… you.

What if it's none of this? Focus is on you, not perception. Maybe you really are different.

Funny looking. Stunning. Funny. Cross-eyed. Misshapen. Trendy. Angry. Unfashionable. Bald. Unclean. White. Poor. Together. Punk. Sad. Christian. Yellow. Gothic. Red. Happy. Black. Jewish. Unhinged. Rasta. Clean. Muslim. Rich.




  • Christian Nielsen

    Christian Nielsen is a journalist, copy writer and editor based in Brussels. He writes pretty much anything that takes his fancy, from the woes of travelling with kids to the dangers of antidepressants, but technology, EU affairs and science writing pay the bills.

    View all posts

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One thought on “You are different

  • Johannes Schmidt

    Hi, Christian, different or not, you are still in Belgium and I am still in Dresden, Germany, like back in the early 1990s. Now I am about to come to Brussels and was wondering if we could meet there…


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