People who dance to their own tune and live their lives outside of other people’s expectations are often shunned by those who cling to socially acceptable sameness.
Anyone who doesn’t adhere to what society deems as “normal,” namely what everyone else is doing, can be seen as a pariah.
But can you imagine how absolutely dull and boring life would be if everyone was the same?
If you’ve been called “weird” at any point in your life, you’re probably a remarkably interesting individual, rather than a member of the “I’m going to be just like everyone else” brigade.
Below are just a few different reasons why people might think you’re weird, and why they actually mean that you are a spectacular fleck of gold in a sea of dross.
1. You Don’t Dress The Same Way Everyone Else Does
Who is it that gets to determine what type of clothing is and isn’t fashionable, or otherwise acceptable?
Were you consulted about whether you actually like to wear Ugg boots or bright yellow trousers? Neither was I.
Most people seem to follow whatever is trending on Instagram or in various fashion magazines, striving for homogeneity rather than any kind of individuality.
They seem to be afraid of standing out from the crowd, even if it means that they spend every day in discomfort and inauthenticity.
People might think you’re weird because you use your clothes to express not just your individual sense of style, but your interests and ethics as well.
Maybe you like to wear all natural fabrics that move and flow with you because you love to dance or be otherwise physically active. Or you really love the aesthetics of a certain era, and wearing styles from the 1870s or 1940s makes you happy.
Wear clothes that best suit who you are and what you love, and never mind what anyone else thinks.
If they make fun of you for what you’re wearing, it’s likely because they’re too afraid to express themselves and are projecting their anger at their own cowardice toward you.
2. You Have Interests That Others Don’t Understand
I know several people who take great joy in being historical re-enactors. These individuals spend countless hours sewing era-specific clothing by hand, often from fabrics and threads that they have spun, woven, and dyed themselves.
They train in ancient weapons, or crafts like basket weaving and pottery, and attend festivals with others of like mind where they trade skills and revel in the festivities of bygone eras.
And you wouldn’t believe the mockery they get for these pursuits. So-called “normal” people make fun of them for their hobby because they’re different from what everyone else is doing.
Similarly, if you’re immersed in a hobby or career that makes other people uncomfortable, or even just confused, their first instinct is usually to laugh at it or dismiss it because it’s “weird.”
What’s hilarious is when this “weird” interest of yours suddenly becomes mainstream because of a film or television series or celebrity endorsement, and then all of a sudden it’s cool and everyone’s into it. They don’t like being reminded of how they once made fun of it, believe me.
3. You Have An Odd Or Dark Sense Of Humor
Those who have lived through some pretty dark experiences often develop both creative coping mechanisms, and a fairly dark or odd sense of humor.
This usually helps people get through difficulty, and gives them a way to work through and express emotions without being morose about them.
People who have had soft, gentle lives without much difficulty usually can’t relate to this kind of humor. It makes them uncomfortable, and humans naturally veer away from anything that causes discomfort.
They like sameness that they can relate to and rely on. Hey, that’s why so many travelers go to McDonald’s restaurants in other countries rather than sampling the local cuisine: familiarity is comforting.
You’ve undoubtedly found some people who love your sense of humor, so you don’t have to dumb anything down so you don’t push others out of their comfort zone. Be real, be you.
4. You May Not Abide By Social Expectations Of Politeness
One of the reasons why some people are called “weird” is that they don’t necessarily follow what others consider to be appropriate social protocols.
For instance, those with Asperger’s syndrome or otherwise on the autism spectrum are often considered “weird” by neurotypical people because they blurt out whatever is on their mind, or ask questions that other people may find uncomfortable.
Every cultural group has different ideas as to what is and is not polite and acceptable, however.
If you’ve ever been to a dim sum restaurant, you’ll have experienced people talking over one another and belching at the table without hesitation. This would be considered unseemly (weird!) by many Western standards, but is completely normal for Chinese culture.
And vice versa: many Western foods, manners, and practices are abhorrent to those in other parts of the world.
Do you walk down the street, singing aloud, to other people’s discomfort? Do you laugh loudly when you’re happy? Good! Whose standards are you being expected to adhere to, and why?
Furthermore, why should it matter to you whether you “fit in” with what everyone else is doing anyway?
5. You Don’t Believe What Everyone Else Does
Do your political beliefs differ from those held by your friends or family members? Are you the one spiritual believer in a sea of atheists (or vice versa: the only non-believer in a community of the devout)?
Anyone who holds beliefs and ideas other than what’s bleated by those around them is usually considered “weird.”
Things are the way they are, right? Why on earth would you question them?
Quite simply, because there are different approaches to every subject, and it’s only by immersing oneself in information that we can glean how we truly feel about anything.
Learn about all the world’s religions in order to determine what you really believe. Read news sources from different countries to get different perspectives on the same issue.
Educate yourself, and you’ll be able to follow a path that’s true for you, even if that means forging your own path and leaving a trail for others.
6. You Like To Spend Time Alone
Have you noticed that a lot of people can’t stand to sit in silence, let alone solitude?
If they don’t have the TV or music blaring, then they’re on the phone. Or they have to be in other people’s company all the time.
And of course, they think you’re “weird” if you say that you’d rather spend a Friday night reading than going out and partying.
Being comfortable, and even content, in your own company is amazing. If they don’t get that, they might want to think about what it is about themselves that they’re running away from, or trying to distract themselves from thinking about.
7. You Don’t Follow The Status Quo
What, you don’t have a firm career, a spouse, 2.3 children, a house in the suburbs, a car, credit cards, and a retirement savings plan?
Wow, that’s really “weird.”
Or is it?
Those who have been programmed to live their lives a certain way have difficulty with the idea that there are, in fact, other ways to live.
They’ve been led to believe that anyone outside of the standard operating mode is somehow aberrant.
Sure, they might be absolutely miserable, living lives that don’t fit them properly and taking part in activities they despite, but at least they’re not social pariahs.
Forget trying to adhere to a consensual reality that you never consented to. If you’re happily self-employed, living in a yurt or caravan, fulfilled with our own pursuits, then you’re winning at life a lot more than those who are miserable and following the herd just because.
Weirdness, Or Wyrd-ness?
In ancient Norse culture, the word “wyrd” was related to destiny. Those who were following the wyrd path were living lives true to themselves, often with a supernatural force guiding their actions. That’s a rather splendid thought, isn’t it?
Famous artists and musicians seem to be able to get away with dressing, speaking, and behaving however they like. Moreso, they’re applauded for their individuality and creativity.
So why is everyone else expected to adhere to this sheep-like mentality where everyone has to look and behave the same way?
Helena Bonham Carter is an actress who has always revelled in being an individual, and one quote of hers really resonates with the spirit of this article. She said:
“I may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m somebody’s double shot of whiskey.”
Shine on, you crazy diamond. Sparkle exactly the way you want to, and the rainbow disco light you exude will help you find your tribe.
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