Why Being Polarizing Is Actually a Good Thing


Why You Want to (and Should Be) Polarizing

Do you want to be loved by everyone?

Sure you do. I did and still do, to some extent.

It’d be great if every single person we met fell in love with us and laughed at all of our jokes (or at least half of them would do for me).

But as fantastic as that sounds, it’s unrealistic.

Everyone has a crowd of non-fans.

Some people are so afraid of external disapproval that they aim to be as vanilla, average, and “normal” as possible to avoid drawing any negative attention.

They think if they do nothing out of the ordinary, there couldn’t possibly be anyone who would think badly of them.

Great, let’s say you accomplish that. Hooray! You’re normal and non-polarizing. No one dislikes you.

Congratulations, but here’s the cost:

No one is a raving fan either.

People aren’t drawn to average and they’re not drawn to the personalities of cardboard.

They’re drawn to uniqueness and people who are interesting. You can’t be either of the two by withholding your honest opinions, your quirks, or your personality.

When I ask people about their life story, the majority of people say something along the lines of “Oh, it’s pretty boring.”

What I’ve found is that not a single person has ever given me a life story that wasn’t captivating. They just have to think for a second and choose a chapter to begin on.

Once they get going, you start seeing unique features of their upbringing, their thought process, and their experiences that could probably fill a decent amount of a book.

This matters because you’re more interesting than you give yourself credit for. Your life story, your interests, and your past experiences are interesting.

The biggest issue, though, is that you’re hiding part of yourself to avoid turning people off. You love it when someone likes you but the thought of someone not liking you terrifies you.

Here’s what happens when you’re polarizing:

You disqualify the people who you wouldn’t get along with anyway.

Disqualify enough people from your life and you have less toxicity bringing you down.

This is fantastic because now you have more time to spend with the people who make you happy.

And what happens after you’ve disqualified the people you don’t gel with?

You’re left with the gold. You’ve tightened it down to a core group of people who you proudly call your friends and would gladly show off to the world so everyone can see how awesome they are.

When you’re polarizing enough, you turn off the people that don’t matter and attract the ones who get along with you the best.

They’re quirky just like you. They have the same interests you thought no one else had.

They were all waiting for someone to raise their hand and shout, “I’m just like you!”

Suddenly, you’ve got more gold in your life than you ever thought was available on all of earth.

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Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway and founder of Growth Ninja, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads. Voted "Most Guapo" five years in a row (lost during 6th year to a hand model.)

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20 responses to Why Being Polarizing Is Actually a Good Thing

  1. Love this post! I admit that I struggle like everyone else to not walk along the vanilla line. But when I’ve taken the risk to step out and be MORE than normal, I’ve had amazing reactions from those around me. It has been those moments where change and dynamic movement have been made, and it’s made all the difference.

    I think I needed reminding of this. Thanks for sharing!


  2. It’s a tight rope act walking on fragile eggs :O There are those we need to hold close and there are those we are better without. When I told my boss what I really thought of him and his company. Well, you get the idea. My parents taught me that if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it. But for sure its harmful to hold ourselves back, killing the spirit. Let your freak flag fly! (Almost Cut My Hair, CSNY) 8|

    • I like what you said . Everybody knows what we mean to say . But they listen our story very nicely and tell somebody else changing the main content . So I like writing a blog or sharing with unknown people , who knows they can solve your problem by sharing their wisdom . That is called humanity .

    • Awesome imagery, Nick.

      “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it.” Eh… Imagine if the world actually operated like that. Wow, we would never hear any sort of constructive criticism (without tiptoeing around the issue).

  3. Thank you for sharing such golden words which are so true . It is good to be with people who are just like you but we also need some enemies or people who are different to copy some of their qualities . Every one has some unique qualities which can be appreciated and might be possible they become our friends later if we appreciate them in one way or other . But it is better to avoid them .

    • Variety in personalities is incredibly important. They don’t have to be just like you to be enjoyable to be around.

      A lot of my closest friends are near polar opposites to me in a lot of regards. One of my best friends and I have completely different opinions on most things.

      We’re close because those opinions don’t make us draw a sword. Instead, it brings out fun discussions and mini-arguments that never escalate beyond banter.

  4. You’re inspirational

  5. Reminds me of a quote I read in Austin Kleon’s book Show Your Work!:

    “The trick is not caring what EVERYBODY thinks of you, and just caring about what the RIGHT people think of you.” – Brian Michael Bendis

    I used to be so afraid of what people thought of me, and that fear used to hold me back from speaking my mind and doing the things that I wanted to do. I’ve finally started to realize that it doesn’t matter what people think of you. No matter what you do (unless you do nothing–like you said), you can’t please everyone.

    Being open and honest about what you like and doing the things that you like to do is the best way to filter out the people you don’t want in your life and, simultaneously, to attract the people you do want in your life. I wish I had realized this a lot sooner than I did.

    • BOOM! That’s the perfect quote to describe how I feel about a lot of what I do.

      Half of my family doesn’t know what I’m up to and any attempts to explain has them shaking their head with disappointment. Chalk it up to miscommunication, maybe.

      So I’ve made a conscious decision to not allow their judgment to affect my path.

      I know whose opinion matters. It’s the people who are doing great things and are leading fulfilling lives. My role models.

  6. This is something we all need to internalize!

    Everyone always puts on a degree of self-censorship when meeting others, for fear of upsetting or repelling people. But all this accomplishes is to make you a boring copy of everyone else, attracting other boring people while repelling those who would have been perfect matches for you!

    • I always feel silly when I reflect on times where I didn’t say something I really wanted to because I was afraid of what others would think. More often than not, people’s reactions are never as bad as you’d think!

  7. It’s the time we become true to ourselves, and avoid the safe side, when we will truly find the right people to make us grow and be better.

    It takes years, maturity ro realize that we don’t need ALL the people’s approval and validation. Thank you for this reminder. This is very helpful for us to live a simpler and better life free from the pressure to please everyone and just be ourselves.

  8. I have something called, “Don’t stand and chase your dreams.”
    and i am happy with having that problem because it makes go ten times harder to pursue my dreams.

    Last year i lost my girlfriend, half of my friends and useless people around me.
    And it get’s lonely, believe me it does, but it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.
    So now i just want to lay low, you know keep it low-key and just go with the flow.
    I do believe that everything happens for a reason and if it’s not meant to be, then hey whatever! I still have myself and i love that.

    So my point is i don’t think people should stand out and go crazy all the time.
    I think people should stop for a minute and understand why are they here, what they’re mission is and do everything to complete it.
    Life isn’t that hard it’s just a roller coaster so just ride with it! 🙂

  9. Thanks Vincent. I just created a subreddit and your post inspired my second-ever discussion. 🙂


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