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  • Writer's pictureAustin Aloysius Tay

How to be yourself when you know that you are Neurodivergent

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

I had always known that I was different when I was growing up. I was, and still am, broody. I often rationalise things and conclude that I am 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 to 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, it does not thrill others when I am somewhat quirky. I speak and often say I do not care about people's thoughts.


I have been told that sometimes my response can be curt and lack pleasantness. 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 I never intended to portray myself this way.


I have recently come across the term - 'Neurodivergent'. I had 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 for 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 including 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 it because we are just that special for being who we are.

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