How to be yourself when you know that you are Neurodivergent

I had always known that I was different when I was growing up. I was and still am broody. I often rationalise things in my head and sometimes conclude that perhaps I am just a bit quirky and different.

I see things differently from most people. I see and feel a profound interpretation of perhaps an avant-garde piece of art compared to most who might consider that art piece nonsensical. I tend to put myself in the artist’s shoes and look intently at the art piece to see and pick up obscure things like colours or something insignificant (to others), but it could be something else.

I have never really been able to pinpoint why I am like that. I attribute that being arrogance, and I believe in what I see. This is not a form of grandeur or me displaying a Dunning-Kruger phenomenon. I am convinced that these are my interpretations, and I am okay with that. However, I can see that it does not thrill others when I am somewhat quirky. I speak my mind and often say that I do not really care about what people think.

I have been told that sometimes I can be curt and lack pleasantness in my response. You can say I am careless, and it is human to slip. The more I think about this and look back at some of the things I have written, I see why people think I am obnoxious in my response, even when I know that it was never my intention to portray myself this way.

I have recently come across the term – ‘Neurodivergent’. No idea what it was and started reading up on that. I am reading the book – Neurodiversity at work by Theo Smith and Amanda Kirby. I am slowly beginning to understand some of my behaviours. If you are wondering whether I am jumping on the bandwagon on the latest fad, I want to say that I was diagnosed as dyslexic. So I have a reason to dwell on neurodivergence since dyslexia is within the umbrella of this classification.

Reading more about neurodivergence provides me with an understanding of my behaviour. That is all. I will not be advocating or starting a campaign about the inclusion of neurodivergent individuals. However, as an organisational psychologist, I can see why organisations consider a fair way to assess neurodivergent folks in the spirit of inclusion.

I have found a way to navigate my learning difficulties as a dyslexic person. I look back at my journey and my successes, which were not easy. I want to share, though, that if you are someone who is neurodivergent, there are many more like you. While your journey will be challenging, you will find ways to navigate that because we are just that special for being who we are.

Published by Dr Austin Tay

I am a Chartered Organizational Psychologist fascinated by how people behave, think, process, strategies and collaborate with others at work. I am passionate about helping individuals become psychologically flexible and move towards a value-based life. I am an advocate against bullying and harassment in the workplace. I am the founder of OmniPsi Consulting, and I provide consulting services in leadership development, leadership assessment, executive coaching, career transition management, training and workplace intervention. This blog is a platform where I share my observations, thoughts and opinions.

One thought on “How to be yourself when you know that you are Neurodivergent

  1. Thank you for this post. It’s interesting that you just came across the word neurodivergent because that is the word that I learned just in the past two weeks. And I learned that it was me. From birth. It explains a lot of my behavior, lack of social skills, being left out, shunned. I think differently. I have ADHD, SAD and MDD. I’m going to be writing a post now!

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