1. You might be forcing yourself to like obscure indie music, films, or books only because you feel cooler than other people for doing so. But when you do make an attempt at conversation with real non-conformists, you end up not contributing much other than surface-level ideas and you just embarrass yourself in front of them.
2. You are low-key obsessed with at least one pop star and admire how they dress, how they express their feelings, and how they shared their stories on song albums, despite how terrible their reputations might be to critics and how haters bash them for being “shallow and stupid.”
3. Your political views are either Democrat or Republican. Real non-conformists do not have a set of political views that adhere to a particular party or faction. Some are extremists and some are anarchists. Some might have even created a manifesto for an ideal government that’s completely different from anything that has ever been implemented before.
4. You generally like popular young adult novels. You enjoy how entertaining they are, how they bring back good memories of your teenage years, and how they make you feel young again.
5. Whenever someone asks you what your favorite classic novels are, you would say one of the following: The Great Gatsby, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, The Scarlet Letter, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, or 1984. You really don’t read underrated classic novels that most people haven’t heard of.
6. Even if you think you’re non-conformist for not watching much TV, you might still enjoy watching a couple of shows that are popular, and you’re inspired by certain characters (hello, Blair Waldorf).
7. You think that Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic is a very inspiring book and you constantly throw around the phrase “shit sandwich” into your conversations. Most of the abrasive and non-conformist critics find her work cliché and terribly uninspiring.
8. You don’t believe in a global conspiracy. You think that the world is going to face some tough times ahead economically and politically, but you don’t really think that reptilian people are going to show themselves and take over the world. You also think of the microchip as something technologically advanced and believe there’s nothing harmful about it.
9. You’re either part of an organized religion or you have vague beliefs that are really mainstream. You generally believe that spirituality is about doing good, being charitable, following your dreams, improving yourself, making others feel special, and thinking positive thoughts. You don’t really know much about real pagan magic, astral projection, opening your third eye, clairvoyance, summoning spirits, or practicing ancient spiritual traditions that are actually profound, frightening, and otherworldly. You probably haven’t read a single ancient spiritual text from cover to cover or bought an original version of it.
10. You haven’t completely shunned the materialist side of living. Even when you do have fewer things than others, you still like iPhones, computers, clothes, accessories, and nice things. You think capitalism is okay, and you continue buying things from big-box stores.
11. You like pumpkin spice lattes and some other Starbucks holiday drinks. Real non-conformists go to their local independent coffee shops. And when they do, they order the four shots of espresso that they need for pursuing their non-conformist endeavors.
12. You are able to be obedient and do what’s expected of you, even when you don’t feel like it because you want to meet the company’s standards and make sure that everyone’s needs are being met. Real non-conformists have a hard time obeying orders and putting up with people telling them what to do. They hate being forced to do trivial stuff or putting a show of fake friendliness because they’d rather be guiding themselves for themselves only.
13. You don’t read about history from alternative points of view or have strong unpopular opinions on certain historical events. The things you know about history are what you were taught in school, what you saw in movies, or what the news said.
Regardless of whether or not you’re a non-conformist, you don’t have to feel bad for liking certain things. You can like what you like, and others can like what they like. And if your interests aren’t good enough for them, then who cares? You’re not any better than anyone else if you like obscure things. Learning about people’s interests shouldn’t be a form of competition to see who’s the most unique because really, all things mean a lot to different people. You shouldn’t force yourself to like what you don’t like to gain approval of a certain group because that isn’t worth doing. What matters most is that you have things you enjoy, simple as that.