The good things about being weird
When we’re kids, we’re all weird. We do exactly what we want, whenever we want to do it. We put crayons up our noses, play with monster trucks when the urge strikes and sing and dance in whatever circumstance we feel like. There’s no need to be reminded of the good things about being weird because we don’t even know that weirdness exists. We just do what we feel. No one’s weird, because everyone is weird.
Then, in adolescence, all of that weirdness is stuffed into the back boxes of our closets, out of view from everyone. The focus shifts from doing whatever we want to doing what we need to do to fit in. In our defense, teenage years are weird enough even for the most “normal” teenagers. Most of us wouldn’t have been able to cope if we had the additional attention of our freak flags flying high. This is clearly not the phase in our lives when it’s easiest to be ourselves.
Then we creep into adulthood and for some stupid reason, we keep our teenage mentality about being ourselves, i.e. we are barely ourselves at all. We keep doing what we need to do to fit in. Slivers of our eccentric personalities might slip out with people we’re close to. But out in the world, we aim to just blend in.
Can’t everyone recall a workshop, class or meeting where the presenter says something like “Raise your hand if you think … is true.” You are sure it’s not true. And yet once you see everyone else’s hand go up, all of a sudden you debate raising your hand. You might have even ended up raising it, just to follow the crowd.
Why we strive to be normal
One of our most basic needs as human beings is to fit in. After meeting our physical needs, then making sure we are safe, next we can’t keep evolving without feeling love and belonging. It’s in our genes to want to be part of the gang.
As we all learned as teenagers, being part of any group means being similar to its members. The tough thing is being brave enough to not need to be exact duplicates of anyone to feel a sense of belonging. Learning to still be you, no matter how different some parts of you may be from your sewing group is key. It’s great that you all love making trendy pantsuits together, but that doesn’t mean you all have to like the same kind of music or have the same political views.
Instead, we mold our appearance, behaviors, ideas, shoe style and bubble gum flavor choice to become as similar to the other group members as possible. It’s as though we think that we need follow some rigid similarity guidelines to be friends.
And I suppose that some groups would be like that. But if a group doesn’t allow you to maintain and embrace your individuality and uniqueness, maybe it’s not a group that you should want to be a part of. Any group that requires you to limit your thoughts, beliefs, ideas or whatever else, in order to belong, will surely not allow you to grow and bloom to be the kick-ass person that you could be. Like the horse head girl in the photo.
Why being weird is the way to go
There are a lot of reasons why molding your amazing personal features to be more like others is complete ridiculousness. So many reasons in fact, that I’ve made a list. I love lists! Especially when it’s to help promote our individual weirdnesses. So here goes, reasons and ways to stop suppressing your wackiness:
- You can recognize the greatness of others and still be great in your own way. There’s no need to copy their greatness. Great people will enjoy your company if you are just yourself. If you’re just a duplicate of them, you bring nothing new to the table.
- Sometimes we copy the ways of people that we want to impress, even if we think they’re bad people. But if they aren’t good people, there is even less reason to falsify your behavior for them to like you. Only strive to impress people who will be impressed when you are being yourself. (Ok, maybe you’re thinking “but my boss is a complete jackass, but I have to impress him to get a promotion”. But imagine if by being a complete phony, you manage to get that jerk to like you and get that promotion. Then you become stuck in an eternal cycle of needing to maintain that fake persona to keep him satisfied. This will end up making you miserable.)
- Then there are other people who you like and think are cool, but with whom you tone down your wacky ways to make sure they’ll like you. It’s such a shame to do this because people are most attracted to people who are comfortable enough in their own skin to let their natural kookiness shine through. If you are keen to make this cool cat like you, avoid hiding those odd ways of yours. Instead, be you, eccentric hobbies, hairdos and all. It’ll make you seem more human and relatable. People are attracted to people with whom they feel like they can be themselves.
- If we all become copycats of one another, we lose the exact thing that gives the world and our cultures their flavor and beauty: our individual creativity and uniqueness. Let’s not all become the same person. That would be boring.
- There’s no way you will live authentically and passionately if you are just trying to be like others. If you need a reminder of the benefits of living authentically, check out my homepage.
- The world’s brightest and most innovative minds create masterpieces by thinking outside the box, not shoving themselves within it. You won’t become the world’s best anything if you just do things how they’ve always been done.
- The best type of life can be achieved by making decisions that many wouldn’t dare take. Be the oddball, live greatly.
- When you do things to comply with others’ demands, expectations, interests, life ideologies, etc. you will inevitably become unfulfilled by the life you create.
- We are at a point in the world, where we need people to be willing to stand apart from the herd to promote what is right for the world. Be one of those people.
- Everyone has “weird” traits. You heard me, EVERYONE. Pretending otherwise is just insanity. We might as well admit this to ourselves and embrace our weirdness and that of others.
I hope that reading this has helped convince you of the greatness of your weirdness. Please, don’t hide it, don’t minimize it, don’t avoid it. Embrace all that makes you unique and share it with the world.
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