Do you ever ask yourself: “Why am I so weird?”. This article looks into the three main kinds of weirdness and gives possible reasons why you may feel so different. Lastly, the Blue-footed Booby success formula looks at ways to better identify, explore and embrace your own weirdness. Let’s unpack the three types of weirdness you could be experiencing:
Main kinds of weirdness
How your weirdness is experienced by you, to others, and by others to you might be similar or very different. Your weirdness could be hidden, seen only by a few people, or seen by everybody.
Hidden weirdness – only you know about it
It may be that the outside world is oblivious to your struggle. On the outside you look fine, but you compare yourself to other people and judge yourself because you get overwhelmed with daily life.
Weirdness that only specific people can see
Most of the people you know or meet seem to think you’re fine, or at least don’t seem to notice your weirdness. However, there’s someone, or a few people, in your life who constantly tells you that you’re weird and/or not fine.
Everybody thinks you’re weird
It could be that most or even all of the people you meet communicate to you in some way, that they find you weird. You try your best to fit in but the world tells you that you’re weird because apparently, you respond to social cues and situations in ways that others find odd.
Whether only you think (or know) you’re weird, only certain people notice you’re weird, or the whole world seems to think your weirdness is obvious, there are reasons that you feel this way. Keep in mind that this isn’t an exhaustive list, and also that more than one of the following might apply to you.
Six possible answers to “why am I so weird?”
1. You’re not living with authenticity
People who feel weird may have experienced childhood trauma. Contrary to popular belief, trauma isn’t necessarily caused by abuse or objectively terrible experiences, like surviving a flood or an earthquake or a terrible car accident. Believe me, no one gets through childhood without experiencing suffering, but the qualitative extent of that pain is highly subjective.
Lasting childhood wounds can be caused by relatively common experiences like parents who weren’t emotionally present for you, or social anxiety at school. Or a relatively common loss, like losing a beloved grandparent or pet. It’s not quantitative. It’s about how you felt in that experience, which all depends on your unique combination of genetics and environment.
If you experience trauma in your life, especially in the early years, you tend to cope by altering aspects of yourself. You build a kind of facade to protect yourself, which can become a part of how you present yourself to the world.
So you might seem confident and authentic from the outside, but if you have buried aspects of yourself in order to cope, you will always feel like something is “off” or weird inside you. Your weirdness is hidden completely, or only specific people know about it.
When you edit your personality and develop inauthentic ways of being in the world, you do so to feel less vulnerable. But living this way leads to all kinds of self-doubt and inner conflict. You may struggle to connect deeply with others and this could be the reason you feel weird and different from others.
2. You’re in a toxic relationship
When only specific people seem to know about and/or notice your weirdness, it could be that someone or a group of people in your environment is directly or indirectly toxic for you (read more about toxic relationships here). This person or group of people could be in your workplace, school, friendship group, or home.
Toxic people and toxic relationships gaslight you. They leave you constantly questioning yourself and feeling like there is something wrong with you. Or that you’re different and weird (in a negative way) from everyone else.
It could be that the reason you feel weird and different is entrenched in your interaction with this person / these people, but you are filled with self-doubt. Instead of asking yourself “why am I so weird?”, you might need to ask yourself if this relationship is toxic.
3. You’re a highly sensitive person (HSP)
Approximately 20 percent of people don’t fit in with the average norms when it comes to how they respond to a stimulus within their environment. This estimate is taken from research conducted by psychologist Dr. Elaine Aron, and corroborated by research into how different brains respond to stimulation, as well as other psychiatric research.
Being highly sensitive means that your central nervous system is hyper-responsive (over-responsive) to sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and textures in your environment, as well as to the people in your environment. You may be highly attuned to the facial expressions and cues of the people around you, making you an “empath” or even an INFJ empath.
All of this is adaptive in an evolutionary sense because these traits are super helpful in certain situations and in certain roles. But high sensitivity comes with low tolerance for pain and sensory stimulation (including social stimulation). It also means you have stronger emotional and physiological responses to stress. Being highly sensitive could be a big part of the reason you ask yourself: Why am I so weird?
4. You’re neuro-divergent
Neurodiversity is a lovely umbrella term that embraces the idea that there are natural differences in the way human brains are wired, and such difference is not some kind of disorder or impairment. It incorporates all kinds of differences, which impact people’s lives across a big range.
If you are neurodiverse, you have different challenges and strengths to people whose brains are neurotypical. Being different neurologically means that you might feel weird inside, or other people might experience you as weird.
You’re living with some kind of mental illness
Mental illnesses are extremely common, experienced by approximately 13 – 20 % of the world’s population, or roughly one billion people. If you have some kind of mental health difficulty, such as anxiety, depression, panic, bipolar syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or one of many more, you are likely to feel and behave differently all or some of the time.
Mental illnesses come with varying physical, cognitive, emotional, behavioural, and interpersonal (relational) symptoms, which may range from mild to severe at different times. These symptoms might make you feel weird or others might judge you as weird, or both.
It’s a combination of all of the above
You may well resonate with more than one (or even all) of the descriptions above. Human beings are highly complex creatures, who may fit into a number of different categories at the same time. There are always commonalities, but how these are expressed is unique to you.
Blue-footed Booby Success Formula: What to do with the whole “why am I so weird?” issue
- Find out what kind of weird you (really) are. Read articles or watch videos online from credible sources. Educate yourself about your specific presentation (ie how you present yourself). Knowledge is power, Booby. Alternatively, see a psychologist. A psychotherapeutic assessment with a good therapist helps you work out what is going on.
- Embrace your weirdness. Whether or not you fit a specific diagnosis, it is helpful to find a way to accept your own unique set of strengths and resilience.
If you can’t change it, you may as well enjoy it. You are who you are, and there are special, wonderful, and beautiful aspects of you that you can gift to this world.
- Find your people. Whatever you’re facing, you are not alone! Thanks to the internet and social media, groups of people who share common challenges, strengths, and interests, are becoming easier and easier to find.
In conclusion, I’d like to suggest that instead of asking yourself the rather unhelpful question of “why am I so weird?”, set out to find a proper answer, Booby. Understanding yourself and building your self-awareness makes a huge positive impact on your self-esteem.
If this article resonates with you, please let me know in a comment, and feel free to share it on social media. And don’t forget to join the blue-foot flock (we love weird).