A Strange History
“He’s a strange guy”
“Wow, that’s fucking strange”
“The estranged father”
“It’s strange to say”
The above statements almost undoubtedly elicit feelings of ambiguity, awkwardness and maybe even a slight cringe.
We’re programmed, through social conditioning, to believe that strangeness is a detrimental attribute to be avoided.
You’ve never heard a story start with ‘he was a strange guy’ and end with ‘puppies, laughter and happiness’.
Much more likely is ‘creep, murderer, rapist’.
I’m not going to delve into the history of the word or why we believe strangeness to be negative. Instead i’d rather talk about how we should all lean in to our inherent strangeness to develop who we truly are.
And no, do not worry, i’m not going to get all Oprah Winfrey, American dream, fuckin’ Tai Lopez on you.
Let’s take a logical route instead.
Why Strange Is Better
It’s really simple and doesn’t warrant some long, convoluted explanation.
- Firstly, embracing your strangeness is a foolproof way to get in touch with who you truly are.
We live in a society of rules, systems, governments, bureaucracy and order. This keeps the world around us functioning and has it’s purpose in ensuring we’re not all homicidal, lord of the flies, maniacs running around fucking, killing and eating everything on a whim. This order allows us to live in a society where interdependency creates easier lives for us all. Unfortunately, while this system ensures order, it can also inflict strict societal expectations that limit our individuality. For example, it’d be weird to walk around topless as a woman in the summer but not as a man. I’m not allowed to eat a steak with my bare hands because society expects cutlery — yet in the east, it may not be frowned on as much. I can’t talk to myself in public cause that’d elicit a visit to the local mental asylum. These are a few niche examples, but i’m sure there’s more.
Societal expectations can put arbitrary limits upon us in a manner that suffocates our individuality. Being weird is about being yourself. It’s finding that balance between ‘Lord of the Flies’ and ‘Straight edge rulebook adherent’. Maybe just push the scales a bit towards the strange side. Test the waters, see how much you can get away with.
2. There’s less competition as a weirdo.
Hear me out on this one. If everyone’s doing the same thing, studying the same courses, learning the same material, playing the same sports then there’s going to be a concentration of people in one particular profession/area/thing. Think about it, walk in to any marketing class at any university and you’ll be greeted by 400+ students, yet naval architecture has 4 Greek men and 1 brave woman. Embracing your weird allows you to lean in to those niche areas — the ones with less competition. You’re much more likely to make a name for yourself by targeting something you care about, that’s also extremely niche. The above example purely pertains to education/careers but i believe it can also be applied to friends and relationships too. If you’re truly your unfiltered, strange self then you’re more likely to find those your speed. Display strangeness to attract strange strangers.
A Strange Conclusion
Like my point, this article has been strange and confusing.
But i’m not apologetic about it, because it’s truly how i feel.
Being strange is about being yourself — no one’s a cookie cutter, straight edge, rulebook wielding haircut on the inside. We’re all fucking weirdo’s, and in my opinion, the weirder the better.
All i’m saying is, don’t be afraid to be strange. Strange is better than normal.