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  • Denis Pepin

The Existential Dilemma of Being Unique in a Troubled World

Updated: Mar 30

A person in a dark top stands in front of a mirror that reflects their back. The image is in black and white and has a somber mood.
In the mirror, I see myself as I am: a lone soul in a vast and indifferent world. I wonder if there is anyone who can truly understand me, or if I am doomed to be forever isolated. I question my purpose, my identity, my worth. I feel the weight of existence crushing me, and I long for a glimpse of hope. But all I see is my own reflection, staring back at me with silent indifference.


We all have a sense of existence, a feeling that we are alive and that we matter. We also have a sense of uniqueness, a feeling that we are different from others and that we have something special to offer. These feelings can be sources of happiness, motivation, and authenticity, as they help us to live according to our values and passions.

However, these feelings can also create challenges, especially in a world that is full of problems, conflicts, and uncertainties. Sometimes, we may feel isolated, misunderstood, or overwhelmed by the complexity and magnitude of the issues we face. We may wonder why we exist, what is the purpose of our life, and how we can make a difference. We may also feel frustrated, hopeless, or angry when we see that nobody wants to change, or that our efforts are not appreciated or effective.

This article will explore the existential dilemma of being unique in a troubled world, and offer some suggestions on how to cope with it.

The Benefits of Feeling Unique

Feeling unique can have many positive effects on our well-being and happiness. According to a study by Koydemir et al (2018), a personal sense of uniqueness is positively associated with authentic living, which is positively related to happiness. Authentic living means being congruent with our true self, expressing our emotions and beliefs honestly, and pursuing our goals and interests. When we feel unique, we have more freedom and confidence to make our own choices, rather than conforming to external expectations or influences.

Feeling unique can also help us to find meaning and direction in our life. We can use our unique talents, skills, and perspectives to contribute to the world in a way that is meaningful to us and others. We can also discover and explore our passions, hobbies, and interests, and enjoy the diversity and richness of life.

Feeling unique can also foster a sense of belonging and connection with others who share our values, goals, or interests. We can find communities, groups, or friends who appreciate and support our uniqueness, and who can enrich our life with their own uniqueness. We can also learn from and collaborate with others who have different backgrounds, experiences, or opinions, and expand our horizons and perspectives.

The Challenges of Feeling Unique

Feeling unique can also pose some difficulties, especially when we face a troubled world that seems to contradict or threaten our uniqueness. Some of the challenges we may encounter are:

  • Feeling isolated or alienated from others who do not understand, accept, or respect our uniqueness. We may feel lonely, rejected, or discriminated against, and struggle to find our place or role in society. We may also feel guilty or ashamed of being different, and try to hide or suppress our uniqueness.

  • Feeling overwhelmed or powerless by the complexity and magnitude of the problems we face. We may feel that our uniqueness is insignificant or irrelevant in the face of global issues such as poverty, war, climate change, or human rights violations. We may also feel that our actions are futile or ineffective, and that we cannot make a positive impact or difference.

  • Feeling frustrated or hopeless by the resistance or inertia of others who do not want to change or improve the world. We may feel that our uniqueness is not valued or appreciated, and that our efforts are not recognized or rewarded. We may also feel that others are ignorant, selfish, or stubborn, and that they are part of the problem rather than the solution.

How to Cope with the Existential Dilemma

The existential dilemma of being unique in a troubled world can be a source of anxiety, depression, or despair. However, it can also be an opportunity for growth, resilience, and creativity. Here are some suggestions on how to cope with it:

  • Embrace your uniqueness as a gift and a strength, rather than a curse or a weakness. Recognize and appreciate your unique qualities, abilities, and contributions, and celebrate them with pride and joy. Do not let others define or judge you by their standards or expectations, and do not compare yourself with others. Be yourself, and be proud of it.

  • Find your purpose and meaning in your uniqueness, and align your actions with your values and passions. Identify and pursue your goals and interests, and use your uniqueness to make a positive difference in the world. Do not let the problems or challenges of the world discourage or distract you from your mission and vision. Focus on what you can control and influence, and do your best with what you have.

  • Connect and collaborate with others who share or appreciate your uniqueness, and who can support and inspire you. Seek out and join communities, groups, or friends who have similar or complementary values, goals, or interests, and who can offer you acceptance, respect, and encouragement. Learn from and cooperate with others who have different or diverse backgrounds, experiences, or opinions, and who can offer you new insights, perspectives, or opportunities.

  • Maintain a balance and a perspective between your uniqueness and the world. Do not isolate yourself from the world, or lose yourself in the world. Do not ignore or deny the problems or realities of the world, or become obsessed or consumed by them. Do not give up or surrender to the world, or fight or rebel against the world. Instead, engage with the world with curiosity, compassion, and courage, and seek to understand, improve, and coexist with the world.


Being unique in a troubled world can be both a blessing and a challenge. It can bring us happiness, motivation, and authenticity, but it can also cause us anxiety, depression, and despair. The key is to cope with the existential dilemma of being unique in a positive and constructive way, by embracing, finding, connecting, and balancing our uniqueness and the world. By doing so, we can not only enhance our well-being and happiness, but also contribute to the well-being and happiness of others and the world.

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