I’m willing to bet a few times in your life you’ve been laughing with a friend over a beer as they’re telling you a story and they say something to the tune of, “but you know me…I’m weird!”
I used to be guilty of this — constantly. It wasn’t until a close friend pointed out that I’m not weird, but uniquely me that I realized what a disservice I was doing to myself by calling myself “weird.” I recognized that what was really happening was that my high school lizard brain was going off and I somehow wanted to quickly explain something that maybe the masses wouldn’t understand or accept. By calling myself “weird,” it was a cover for an apology to society that what I was saying or doing didn’t “fit in.”
It was then that I started to notice it more jarringly when others would do it, too. I notice it more forthrightly in women, especially women I believe to be beautiful and/or accomplished by society’s standards. It shows like a gaping chink in their confidence armor, like they can use it as cover for a “cool girl” identity. Women that I believed to be awesome, gorgeous, badasses were putting themselves down, right in front of me. They were trying to cover themselves so as not to be harshly judged.
When you call yourself weird, you’re doing a disservice to yourself and the parts of you that make you wonderful. First of all, weird is relative. Who is to say what’s weird and what isn’t? Second, weird means unique and that’s pretty damn great. I am most attracted to people who know themselves and are at home with what makes them different. But most importantly, when you’re weird, you’re 100% yourself and more likely to attract people that love the real you. That close friend that pointed out what I was saying? She’s pretty weird. I don’t know anyone like her. She’s also one of my most favorite people on the planet. And we found each other and have maintained an almost 15-year friendship because we are unapologetically ourselves and those selves are attracted to each other and have a blast.
They say “Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe.” I also say “Your Weird Attracts Your Peers.”
I used to work with a woman whom I once gave a ride home. When she opened my passenger side door, she saw not one, not two, but THREE books about lobsters.
“What’s this?” she said. She had one in her hands and was looking at me, waiting for me to justify myself.
I paused. I panicked. I didn’t know this woman all that well and she could see my weird, right in front of us. I came clean.
“Um, I find lobsters really fascinating right now, so I am reading a lot about them.”
She looked down at the books and looked back up at me.
“You just became 10X more interesting to me.”
That was it. She dug my weird. We’ve been friends ever since.
Stop calling yourself weird and just accept that we’re all weird, which kind of means that none of us are weird. That’s right — you’re not weird. (Except you kind of are). There is no “fitting in” and that’s a good thing. You are you and people around you like that person. You’re just apologizing and you don’t need to. And when you embrace your weird, you’re going to find all sorts of weirdos not just like you, but right for you.