Recently I had an interesting conversation with a friend and we talked about what we considered to be ‘weird’ about ourselves. Weird is a weird word. Weird is often used as a pejorative term but in this context, I simply mean different from what we perceive to be the norm. Though of course the norm is subjective and depends on who we spend our time with and where we are in the world.
This conversation moved on to us celebrating other people’s ‘unusualness’ and we talked about how often we have edited ourselves in the company of people whom we don’t think will ‘get’ us. This kind of social chameleon behaviour is about hiding in plain sight. The problem with social chameleon behaviour is that we become difficult people to know or love because we are constantly trying to please. We bring only half of ourself to the party and wonder why we’re not having a good time. Chameleons often think they are easy to get along with when the opposite can be true. Because we all have preferences and it’s better to be honest about them.
When we embrace our weirdness/difference/unusualness, we’re able to meet the people we are supposed to gel with, the job we’re made to have and the life that we fit the best.
Your quirks (and when I say quirks I don’t mean anything that harms another) are not mistakes. So you like to get up at 3am and paint? Go for it. Maybe you howl at the moon, find insects fascinating and or know everything there is to know about bluegrass music – good for you.
Your nerdiness, strangeness, silliness, worldliness, interest and curiosity in life makes you. Nobody else’s approval is needed and the day we stop looking for it and forgive those who may never be able to accept us without judging is the day we stop changing colour. Because when it comes down to it the more we contort ourselves around what we think others will like or love the redder our cheeks will be.
We’ve just had the spring equinox, a time of renewal and re-birth. At this time I invite you to consider if there are any patterns of compliance that need shaking out.
You might also consider where are you when it comes to stepping forward in to what you deep down know you need to do, where you need to be, who you need to connect with and what you need to let wither in order for you to be more of your authentic self?
Thanks to Alison Stoker for this guest post.