Being a weirdo is a-okay. Here are six reasons why:
1. As long as your weirdness doesn’t extend into severe social anxiety or obscene outbursts (in which case, practice taking some deep breaths before you panic), it can help others feel more comfortable around you. Everyone has a freak flag; they’re often just nervous to fly it. You admitting your fascination with flightless birds may be just what your conversation partner needs in order to let their guard down and connect with you (perhaps even over mutual avian interests).
2. Weirdos get a free pass to have more fun. Love moonwalking down the street to the music coming out of other people’s windows? Just do it. It’ll only take once for you to get a “weird” label and then you can street dance as often as you want without anyone bothering you.
3. According to John Manley of Fast Company, your inner weirdo helps you get ahead at work. His recent article also includes some wonderful commentary about “declaring a minor” in life—a weird or not weird avocation that keeps you stimulated and fosters your propensity for adventurous creativity.
4. In extreme situations, weirdos always prevail. Stranded on an island? The weirdo knows which plants taste like pizza (and won’t kill you). Accidentally erased your harddrive while trying to watch videos of cute cats? The weirdo will have you back in business in three minutes flat.
5. As my mother always says, “to be interesting, you have to be interested.” Showing interest in something unique helps define you as an interesting human being. Showing interest in others unique interests doubles (maybe even triples) your interesting factor and additionally makes you extremely pleasant to be around. Everybody likes a weirdo who asks good questions.
6. Because of your wide-ranging weird interests, you’re able to connect the dots on disparate concepts and come up with creative (albeit not always plausible) solutions. When successful, this ability not only helps you at work (see number 3), it gives you greater appreciation for the community knowledge-pool. You’re more likely to be able to capitalize on someone else’s weird skill when you have a few of your own.
One of my weird family members with a squash head named “Turkita” over Thanksgiving. We clearly had no fun.