Embrace your Inner Weirdo: Being Ourselves
I’m sure I’m not the only one around here who’s been called a weirdo or been shunned in someway for being different. In fact, being informed of my so-called weirdness was almost a daily occurence in elementary school and junior high, but to be quite honest, it never bothered me.
It does now though. I’m living in a new city which means I’m meeting lots of new people and while I really hit it off with some, I definitely don’t jive with others. No hostility involved, but some personalities just don’t help each other grow and it’s not wrong at all, it’s just the way it is.
Sometimes I allow myself to feel inadequate when this happens. I know from lots of experience when someone thinks I’m an oddball, like something’s wrong with me because I’m a creative spirit and I still like to climb trees and roll down hills, or because I refuse to participate in body-bashing sessions and will even say something nice about myself, or because I don’t really watch TV or wear much makeup or listen to Ke$ha.
Then I remind myself that’s it’s not my job to make other people like me. It’s my job to like myself, and now that I’m writing Handprint Soul, I also feel that it’s my job to help others like themselves.
Have you ever felt inadequate for being different? Have you ever been shunned for your differences? Do you ever try to hide who you are when you’re around other people?
I’m sure that if you asked nearly anyone in the Western world if they are weird, they’d probably say yes. Even those who’ve raised an eyebrow at someone else’s strangeness. Normal really doesn’t exist, so why do we pretend that it does? Why is weird such a problem?
So here are a few tips for being 100% yourself around others, or to embrace your inner weirdo:
1-Introduce yourself as who you really are- Example: I’m a writer and an artist. That’s what I do. I also work in an office, but that’s not who I am or the first thing I tell people when they ask what I do. What are you? A dancer? A photographer? A homemaker? Sometimes this takes a little work to convince ourselves, but that’s another post for another day.
2- Speak your mind, stand up for your beliefs. Don’t participate in Fat Talk or other forms of body bashing just because everyone else is. Instead, say something nice about yourself. Don’t ever cover up your religious or spiritual beliefs, but don’t shove then up people’s noses either. This basically goes back to junior high peer pressure lessons, but they hold true in adulthood too.
3- Wear it on the outside– I know clothes don’t make you who you are, but using your appearance to express who you are makes it easier to act like yourself. Wear clothes you like and that make you feel comfortable and attractive. Play with your hair and makeup a little bit, paint your nails acid green, do whatever you need to give yourself a visual reminder to be yourself.
4-Find people who like who you really are– For me, this is Sam, my family and my theater friends from high school. Spend lots of time with them so you can get in the habit of being your weird self.
5-Live it– If you get the urge to climb a tree, climb it. Unless of course, it’s on private property. We don’t want anyone getting arrested here. If no one laughs at your jokes, oh well, but don’t stop joking. Do the things you loved as a child. Listen to the music you like, read the books you like, do the things you like even while people are watching.
6- Remember, it’s not your job to make people like you, it’s your job to like yourself.
Have you ever struggled with being yourself around others?