Do You Have the Weirdo Syndrome?

“Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else” – Judy Garland

One of the things that comes up over and over again in my conversations with a lot of the cool, creative people that I meet is what I’m calling the Weirdo Syndrome. The Weirdo Syndrome is the love/hate relationship some people have with their own uniqueness.

If you simultaneously want to be a part of the crowd but know you’re at your best when you’re not, you’ve got the Weirdo Syndrome. What makes the Weirdo Syndrome so frustrating is that, deep down, you don’t want to give up the best parts of yourself to fit in, but you also don’t want your life to be so damn hard.

If you’ve got the Weirdo Syndrome, you may have wondered why everyone around you has such an easy time meeting people and making friends when it’s so hard for you. You don’t want to go out to the bar and talk about football or the weather, and if that’s what “hanging out” means, well, you’re better off staying at home and reading a book.

The saddest thing about the Weirdo Syndrome is how insecure it makes you. You have this really cool gift that nobody gets or understands, and because you’ve been directly or indirectly rejected, you hide that gift away. You might hate that it’s your gift and would rather exchange it for something less “unique.”

And since you’re hiding your true gift, it’s hard to be passionate about anything else. Sure, you can be good at something – maybe even better than anyone else you’ve met – but you know you’ll never be great at it. You want to care, but there’s a big difference between wanting to care so that you can get the approval of others and caring because it’s your thing, even if you haven’t cognized that until just now.

The bad news is that you can’t get other people’s clothes to fit you. You’re never going to be truly comfortable because you’ll always know that the clothes don’t fit right. Go ahead, try on as many suits made for other people as you like; you’ll always know that nothing will fit you like your clothes do.

Now, I’ve got some good news for you, too: you’re not alone. There are people out there who are just as weird as you who will value you and your gifts because they’re uniquely yours, not despite them being yours. You don’t have to hide yourself to be loved and accepted – let go of the thought that being authentically happy and being seen, loved, and valued are mutually exclusive.

You can’t be remarkable and fit in at the same time. The unique value that you bring to the world can only be done by you – and the more you try to fit in, the less remarkable you’ll be. The more you accept and share your gifts, the more you will stand out and be able to connect with people who want to be around you for who you are. (Yes, I know, this is terrifying because that means you’ll be seen, but you’ve tried hiding out – what did that get you?)

The bittersweet reality is that you’ll never get rid of the Weirdo Syndrome, but the more you understand that your weirdness isn’t a bad thing and something to hide in the closet, the more you’ll be able to find those people who see how uniquely beautiful you are rather than how weird you are.

I’ll end this by saying three things:

  1. You’re not alone. I’m a weirdo, too, and I have lot of weirdo friends.
  2. You don’t have to hide from us.
  3. You’re safe here. Welcome home.

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      • andrea says

        thank u 4 the post, it’s the story of my life, and in fact i love the things that i believe make me different, everyone is unique but some of us just break the model or something.
        I think that i can’t loose myself in order to fit… it’s like stop been me and been around my Little things like music, Reading, movies.. Those things bring me joy..
        Sorry if the rest of the world doesn’t get’s me, they don’t own me and through those Little things, with them, i feel real, myself, i’m free.
        It’s inspiring.


  1. Ashley says

    Um, wow. This is oddly topical for me. I’d just been thinking about this very thing a few days ago!

    Thanks for calling it a “thing,” giving it a name. It’s ironic, but in this situation -very- fitting that I should feel more comfortable belonging to an identified group known for not feeling comfortable in groups. Hah!

    In all seriousness, reconciling this insecurity with a strong desire to embrace my own unique talents has been an ongoing struggle (for whom is it not?), but a particularly relevant one at this junction.

    Thanks for posting this. :)

    • says

      It’s definitely a thing – hopefully, giving it a name will help when you’re sitting in and with it. And, as I said, it’s something we’ll all live with, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

  2. says

    I’m so appreciative for those embracing their uniqueness and inspiring others to do the same!

    Not an easy thing indeed, but so worth it – It brings great diversity to this World!

    Thank you for the empowerment Charlie!

  3. says

    As always, Charlie, you empower me! Thanks for helping me embrace my inner weirdo. You’re such a poetic writer. It’s so powerful to read words that come from the heart.
    Thank you! Great way to start my weekend…

      • Joe says

        Thank you so much, at first I was debating on suicide for years. Even though iv chilled out. I still think about ending my life any giving time. I’m a weirdo, even my own family and so call close friends could never relate to me. It’s hard out their having no sence of belonging.

  4. says

    Can I get a holla? [wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care]

    Great post fellow Red Bird, just great. Home is where your weirdo thrives! Welcome, indeed.

    Thanks Coach.

  5. says

    One thing that comes from embracing and accepting the Weirdo Syndrome is absolute gratitude. I’ve found that as complicated and misunderstood as we are, there is a great number of people looking at us from afar wishing they had a passion for life like we do. The more grateful we are for our Syndrome the more opportunities we receive to be a flourishing weirdo and help others embrace it too.

    Thanks for the terrific reminder.

    • says

      You’re dead on, Adam. If you embrace your inner weirdo, it can be positively disarming for others. It’s like they can finally breathe around you – and the air is sweeter.

      Please remember this when the termites come out, Adam.

  6. says

    My wife and I do lots of stuff together, but because I am a semi trained artist, animator designer type, I can get ideas out faster and chart the exploration of my curiosity so others can follow. It’s hard to be hyperverbal and visual and musical and want to spend a lot of time alone…but then it makes it all the sweeter to have someone or many people to share things with where you do not have to explain yourself all the time. Even better, they can also add to the shenanigans and exploration.

    • says

      It’s hard to be hyperverbal and visual and musical and want to spend a lot of time alone…but then it makes it all the sweeter to have someone or many people to share things with where you do not have to explain yourself all the time.

      Okay, so you just described me. Thank you.

  7. says

    I just had this conversation earlier this week with a friend. Dennis Rodman was a “weirdo” but because he was so great and talented on the court– they let him be anything he wanted to be off the court. He could be pierced, tatted, whatever…..besides him being troubled, and he was. He had reached such a level of excellence that he could fly his freak flag and it was ok….I dig it!

    • says

      Rodman is a great example of a weirdo that people finally accepted. But most of the innovators we tell stories about are weirdos, too. I could down the list, but the point is that you can be great and weird, too – and many times, the same thing that makes you weird is what makes you great.

  8. Archan Mehta says

    Hey Charlie:

    Thanks for the “Weirdo Syndrome” post.

    I tried to read your post “objectively” –as a philosopher would–so it made a lot of sense. You write from the heart.

    However, the post did not resonate with me exactly in the way you describe, but I could still appreciate the ideas. You see…

    In my case, I am sociable by nature and feel comfortable stepping into a bar and talking about sports and weather.

    I have always been rather “popular” and surrounded by friends and relatives.

    Since I am friendly, I don’t have problems meeting up with new people.

    Even perfect strangers find it easy to be around me. People know that whenever they are with me, it is okay just to let down your hair and be yourself.

    Frequently, I go up on stage, play the clown, and make people laugh till they are in mortal pain–and then I get off the stage.

    Therefore, it is not unusual for me to be “the life of the party.” No problemo.

    The real issue I had was getting to know my self.

    In my case, it helped to spend a lot of time in quiet isolation.

    All my life I have been surrounded by people, so I felt uncomfortable spending time alone.

    I wasn’t able to sit still even for five minutes. I felt restless with my self.

    Meditation helped me to step out of my comfort zone.

    Now I don’t always need to be surrounded by people. I can spend time alone–all by myself–and still be okay with that.

    Now, meditation is a habit, although I have still not mastered it; but it has helped me to find peace of mind–what I was always searching for, but could never find.

    All my life I have been reaching out to others when what I really needed to do was to reach out to my own self. And this is not self-indulgence; more like self-realization.

    In a sort of round-about way, your post reminded me of this fact. So, thank you for writing such a lovely post. And cheerio!

    • Anonymous says

      Archan, I really enjoyed reading your comments. Just like the “Weirdo” article…it’s so nice to see that there’s others with a similar outlook! And, even better to read a fine description with subtle suggestions on how to make one’s outlook even better. Good suggestion re: meditation…I think I may try it too.

    • says

      You and I are kindred spirits, Archan. I, too, know how to get along well enough.

      The deeper question, though, is whether I was really getting along or coming alive. There’s a big difference, one that’s almost tangible to me now.I much prefer the latter than the former, even though I’m natural doing the former.

  9. says

    Ahh we are all wierdos, it’s just that we spend a lot of time trying to pretend that we are like everyone else… just stop and take a good look…as I said we are ALL let’s just embrace it…

    Your fellow Wierdo..

  10. says

    Hi Charlie.

    Good stuff here. I don’t even fit in with the people who don’t fit in with the majority. I take it as comical and try not to think too much about it.

    Your point about not being able to be remarkable and fit in at the same time sure makes sense. They are exclusive. It is a sacrifice that has to be made to be “the one” in some respect. When you’re “the one” and someone else is also “the one” in the same aspect, you’re suddenly “the two”, and so neither individual is as remarkable as before.

    That part saying “but you’ve tried hiding out – what did that get you?” sure does make a statement. A person in a cycle has much less of an open view than a third-party individual who is not in that cycle.

    • says

      This reminds me of the comedies that show women getting frustrated because someone wore the exact same dress that they did. If the dress is what makes you stand out, you’ve got worse problems than wearing the same dress as somebody else.

  11. says

    I like to play on the famous line from the movie Network, “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.”

    Mine is, “We’re weird as hell and we’re not going to fake it anymore.”

  12. Maggie says

    thank you so much! I have had wierdo syndrome all my life, and am just starting to come to terms with it and value it – it’s great to meet fellow wierdos!

  13. says

    Thank you for reminding us to allow ourselves to be unique. There is nothing more boring than to go to a meeting, conference, or even a blog and see everyone saying the same thing, doing the same thing, and looking the same.

    Thank you for reminding us that we have permission to be a little weird.

      • says

        Excellent post Charlie – I just tweeted it out (slowly savoring your site – smile). Also excellent point that our own permission to do, be and have anything is the only permission that matters. But Chris has a point – when you’re making that decision to give yourself permission, it sure does help to know there are others in what may seem like a very scattered tribe – who care, who are okay with your weird, and who encourage rather than disparage. Again, thanks for your weirdness, brilliance and excellent coaching here. :-)

  14. says

    Thank you for this reminder. It can be frustrating at times to want to be a conforming non-conformist lol. I am learning that just accepting and appreciating all the parts of me, regardless of what others think is incredibly freeing.

    • says

      It’s incredibly freeing, but it can be scary, too. I’d rather live an uncomfortable life where I grow than an uncomfortable one where I stagnate, though.

  15. says

    I find that I just need to do a bit more searching to find the right people to hang out with.

    Bars and clubs aren’t for me.

    Talking about football definitely isn’t for me.

    But there are weirdo “tribes” out there, you just need a bit of thinking and searching to find them :)

  16. says

    I gave a talk back in November and someone I used to work with (back in my employed days) who was there came up afterwards and said something like “You just go on being your quirky self.” And it made me realize that my quirky self really is valuable.

    • says

      You, my dear, are incredibly quirky, and my goal is getting you to share that quirkiness with the people who need to read, hear, and see it. But you knew that already, didn’t you?

  17. Dee Harrison says

    My shoulders relaxed as I read this.

    If you only knew how often I looked at your retreat details and then looked at flights London-Arizona and then scrunched my shoulders and dropped the idea………..I worried I wouldn’t ‘fit in’.

    How many times have I taken a hesitant step forward followed swiftly by three back.

    Thank you for this post Charlie. Acknowledging and understanding are perhaps the first steps to either embracing or changing……..not sure which is best!

    • says

      I wish you would have come, Dee! What we all were reminded about was how nice it is to be accepted.

      And, re: embracing or changing: to take a step, we have to have some firm ground to step upon. Being grounded in who you are makes changing so much easier.

  18. says

    I should have this taped to my screen! My wife is beginning to worry at my lack of socializing. I want to avoid being judged until my “craziness” becomes the “brilliant idea” that others wish they had thought of.

    • says

      I’m glad this resonated with you, Hans. I’d like to add something to toy with: what if your idea was neither crazy or brilliant, but it just was? (Sometimes we put a lot of pressure on ourselves by placing comparative judgment on our ideas.)

  19. says

    I used to be a weirdo myself, back at 19. It helped me a lot to realize there are only 4 certainties in life:

    You are the only person responsible for your happiness. (This helps to keep you from looking to others, like fitting in, to be happy; instead, focusing you on the right path for you.)

    The only person you have to live with is yourself. (You can get away from literally anyone but yourself; hence while not everyone has to like you, you do have to like yourself. That’s most important.)

    People only have the power over you that you give them. (This keeps you from holding grudges, obsessing over incidents or people, etc.)

    You will die. (What you want comes with an expiration date.)

    Soon after realizing these certainties, instead of spending time hanging out w/people who swapped nothing but stories about how drunk they got last night, last weekend, and last month, I found myself changing the topics and/or associating w/people who had more substantial things to discuss. As I shared my opinion more because I realized I only had to worry about myself, not anyone else, it turned out people agreed w/me, found me engaging, etc.

    Realizing these certainties is very liberating!

    • says

      Great comment, Ian – and I agree with you wholeheartedly.

      I’d like to humbly add a fifth in between your 3 and 4. “Though you only have to live with yourself, there are people out there who can help you find yourself.”

  20. says

    This made me smile:

    “You don’t want to go out to the bar and talk about football or the weather, and if that’s what “hanging out” means, well, you’re better off staying at home and reading a book.”

    I prefer to talk about/do things that mean something. I sometimes struggle with the frivolous things – though I am getting better.

    • says

      I’m with you with trivial conversations, but even calling them trivial makes it seem condescending. We all know what the weather is – why not talk about things we don’t know or would like to know more about? ;p

  21. says

    Thank you so much, I was having a downer kinda day, no sales, no messages, and this helped! I always knew this but it felt like i was wierder by knowing it and I never said it outloud before!:0)

    • says

      Thank you, Jeanette. I’m glad it’s resonating with so many people; living with the Weirdo Syndrome is hard when you’re doing it alone.

  22. says

    Standing out and fitting in is a beautiful tension that, like a lot of things … works best when balanced.

    The secret is connecting at values … so you’re true to you and you connect with others that appreciate your passion and uniqueness.

    • says

      Exactly. I think I’ll write a follow-up to this post that explains what happens when you try too hard to stand out, because it’s just as disastrous at trying to hard to fit in. Thanks for stopping by again, J.D.!

  23. says

    This is one of those posts that really felt like it was aimed at me. A therapist once told me that I’d arranged my life to let me be as eccentric as I wanted, and I took it as a compliment, I think he meant it as one. :)

    • says

      You’re welcome. It’s something we’ll continue to deal with, too – but we don’t have to walk the road alone, thinking we’re the only weirdo.

    • says

      Because we hide from everyone, including those that would accept us. And because we’ve been hiding all of our lives, sometimes we don’t realize we are.

      • Cammie says

        Exactly. I used to belong to the Writing Club in my old school where majority of its members were part of the ”weird outcasts.” Like if you even mention that you’re part of the club, ”normal” people will give you a nasty kind of look. One of my senior club members, let’s call her Patricia, is the batchmate of my ”normal” sister, and I had to convince her that Patricia did act different inside and out of the club, that she seemed to be more weird with other proud weirdos with her. But my sister told me that she knew Patricia well and wasn’t trying to hide back anything, and I said that’s because she’s used to hiding it unknowingly, and so it pulls off easily. I know this because I tried to hide myself as well, and thought of it as a normal part of growing up. Until I realized that ”normal” and ”good” aren’t the same thing, and I HAD to just be myself.

  24. Dave S says

    Wow, you don’t know me and we’ve never met and yet you have managed to write my life story in one short post. I can’t thank you enough for this.

    Mine has been a slow journey to finding the real me and every sentence really resonates with how I feel.

    Your quote ‘you don’t want to give up the best parts of yourself to fit in, but you also don’t want your life to be so damn hard’ hit me like a hammer. I have battled with this for years. It is time to accept who I am and to stop pretending to be someone I am not.

    Thanks you for sharing this, it has given me great courage to take my next steps.

    • says

      Thank you, Dave, and I get that a lot. We live in the world as if we were separate, but there are parts of ourselves that we share with others.

      It’s scary to let go of the mask because it’s what we know, and we don’t want to stand before the world naked. But when someone can really see us, it makes all the difference. Good luck on your journey, and you don’t have to do it alone.

  25. says

    Charlie, Charlie, Charlie…. How do you know me so well? I have struggled with wanting to fit in and yet be unique for my entire life – and the resulting insecurity. Especially in my school days.

    I got pretty good at molding myself into a form that met others’ expectations. I went to law school because I had something to prove — to my family, classmates, and even to myself (I tied my self-worth to my career). I was really good at the law practice gig. Very good. And I wanted to care – really. But the longer I did it the more I lost myself. You hit the nail on the head when you said:

    “And since you’re hiding your true gift, it’s hard to be passionate about anything else. Sure, you can be good at something – maybe even better than anyone else you’ve met – but you know you’ll never be great at it. You want to care, but there’s a big difference between wanting to care so that you can get the approval of others and caring because it’s your thing, even if you haven’t cognized that until just now.”

    My problem is that I got so good at fitting in that I more or less lost my connection to my “really cool unique gift”.

    I left my law practice last Fall to seek my place in the creative world. Just making that decision feels great. But I am struggling with finding what I AM passionate about. I’m trying to stay in the moment and enjoy the journey, but ….

    Thanks for the post!!!

    • says

      I’m glad this post spoke to you. May I recommend two other weird lawyers to you? Connect with @marissabracke and @kpdurand on Twitter – I have a feeling they’ll be able to help.

        • says

          I failed to add that I was not living a fraudulent life – not completely. I have actually found that I am, by nature, a friendly outgoing person. That’s one of the things I suppressed due to my fears of being rejected. And I genuinely like people. And helping people. I crave human interaction – it gives me energy. But my law gig ignored an important part of me: creativity. And I don’t think I am naturally as “cerebral” as my law career would suggest. I had to work way too hard at feigning interest in tax codes and sounding “smart”. : )

          I’m on a good path. I know I will find what makes me tick. Just reflecting on your post and my comment has been enlightening and has reinforced some recent discoveries.

          Thank you for the nudge!

  26. A. A. Perrot says

    I have (um…) “suffered” from Weirdo Syndrome for almost fifty eight years, thanks for noticing. When asked why I was so weird, I often tell people I’m a god. They often nod and go on with their lives, question answered. I sometimes answer that I’m ‘Too’—too weird, too imaginative, too old, too threatening, too fat, too whatever-you’ve-got. Its exhausting. Please explain in some detail how we are supposed to live in the world.

    • says

      So, part of the trick is finding other people who don’t find your weirdness something that’s weird.

      Weirdos wear a veil, too – because we know we’re weird, we project that on other people and it unnerves them. Being yourself and trying to be weird are too different things, and the latter is where a lot of people get into trouble.

      • says

        Great point (and post!). As a 40-something I have found the Internet (and blogs like these, Twitter, etc.) to be one of the easiest sources of “finding other people who don’t find your weirdness something that’s weird.”

        The other thing I’ve started to realize that “weirdness” sometimes just means cutting-edge.

        Example: I met the man who is now my husband via a personal ad way back in 1990. Personal ads back then were strictly snail-mail connections and strictly for “weirdos” (or worse!)

        Today, we have the online/email version of personal ads — and who doesn’t have at least one acquaintance who’s tried an online dating site? It’s such ordinary behavior (relative to 1990) that it barely registers on the weirdo-meter.

        Enough about me, though — thanks for the rockin’ post!!

  27. says

    Hey Charlie,

    Question: HOW did you do that? :)

    I’ll be honest. I’m not sure what to say. This was a great article and you hit on so many points. I gave up on fitting in a long time ago and I’ve been living life awesome since then. It’s great to know there are others. :)

    Thank you,

  28. says

    I’m attempting to set up a business because of my weirdness. I figure if I work doing what I love & what I am, then I won’t get people going ‘why are you dressed like that’. Plus, I love my job for the first time in EVER!

  29. says

    Really good article – reading it at a perfect time – just setup a website – which is ‘my own brand of personal madness’, and was getting worried about what people might make of it. However reading your article is cool – even if people don’t get, I’ve been authentic and true to myself – that is what matters…

  30. says

    I’m not a weirdo, everyone else is odd. 😉

    I learnt pretty early on that I’m weird. I was lucky enough to have a bunch of similarly weird (very bright, geeky, fun) friends until I was ten, then we moved house.

    I don’t make friends easily. I don’t “fit in” easily. I’m 25 now and still I have to convince myself that the people I know at college, at church, etc aren’t just *pretending* to like me. They really do like me for who I am.

    Nowadays, I’m generally much more glad than sad about being a weirdo. When I was 18 and went to uni, I found lots and lots of weirdo friends (I was at Cambridge… nuff said…) I’ve found plenty of geeky groups to be part of, from online roleplaying games to LARP to AD&D to blogging.

    Yeah, a lot of people don’t get it. There are loads of people who I knew when I was a teenager who’d probably still laugh at me. But every day, it gets a bit closer to no longer mattering.

    And Charlie, you’re one of the people who make it not matter, you always make me feel good about just being Ali and about bringing what I bring to the world. You make me glad that I got into blogging and that I found a whole wonderful world of interesting, funny, clever people here.

    • says

      I have the same problem, I mean worrying if people really do like me or not.

      I blame the girls who bullied me at school, that takes a heck of a lot to grow out of. I am, for the first time in my life finally becoming happy & comfortable with *me* though.

      And I’m happy to be weird 😀

  31. says

    Great job, Charlie, of helping us weirdos feel more normal, ironically!
    I like to think of myself as quirky or kooky. I’ve slowly gotten to understand why social settings like the one you describe drive me nuts. I have come to admit that chatting kills me.
    Douglas Eby’s work at Talent Development has also helped explain a lot about introversion, creativity and highly sensitive people.
    Working from home helps, and finding like-minded people also helps. Most of my friends – all of them, let’s admit it – are quirky weirdos, forging their own paths.
    In my work as a coach, I help people understand that their methods are not wrong – they just need to accept them and find ways for them to work. So much of the prescriptive how-to doesn’t work for weirdos.
    I’m working on writing and publishing more personal work and on developing a web TV show where I can highlight and share my unique ways. You’ve added one more encouraging message to do so.
    Thanks for this and the rest of your great, weird work!

  32. says

    Hello. My name is Emily and I have weido syndrome. I sometimes have bouts of trying to conform – following where all the sheep go… thinking I should be “normal” even though I won’t be happy… but… well, it never lasts for long!

  33. says

    I appreciate this post and the quote.

    “Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else” – Judy Garland

    A distinct personality and character needs to come through in blogging, an authentic voice. Thanks.

  34. Linda says

    Great post. I’m a weirdo, and I’m almost 50 years old. I realized I was weird when I was about 6 years old. I think it’s easier for young weirdos these days because of the internet – they can find others like them and therefore they feel like they fit in somewhere. I didn’t have that growing up, so I was always acting “normal” and hiding the weirdness. I’ve been doing this for so long that I feel I can never show my true self to anyone, except maybe new people. None of my friends would want to be friends with me if they found out my true nature, although they do know about some of my weirdnesses, after all it is impossible to hide it all, all of the time. I’m always searching for people like me. I know they are out there, but they are hard to find.

  35. John says

    Great article. A lot of my experience as a weirdo, is tied to a life long aversion to the small talk the author references (bar-talk involving sports and weather). I understand it is a bridge to communication, but I have little patience for it, and this lack of patience diminishes with age. If the topic of discussion doesn’t quickly lead to deeper waters (even moderately so), I feel my eyes start to glaze over, and the gravitational pull of the exit. The trick is really finding other, weird, kindred spirits, because it is truly frustrating to “hide”, while at the same time, yearn for genuine friendship.

  36. Gracie says

    “This is what Édith Piaf used to say: ‘Use your faults, use your defects; then you’re going to be a star’.”

    (who said it? some dude I can’t remember. who’s Edith Piaf? A great singer who I don’t really listen to that often. But were truer words ever spoken?)

  37. says

    Perfect post for me to read today Charlie. I’m really struggling with it right now. It feels like I’m a weirdo times two. To the lawyers I train, I’m really a weirdo. But then I’m also a weirdo to the weirdos (who are really my peeps), who see me as a lawyer/hard core business person.

    • says

      Alexis – We should talk! : )

      I’d also consider myself a weirdo in and outside of the legal field. I left my law practice Sept 30 2009 and am now trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up. Still a weirdo, but maybe a cool one now. Ha!

      BTW, what kind of lawyer training do you do?

      • says

        Hi Melony.

        What kind of law practice did you have? I train lawyers on how to be with their families and small business owner clients in a new way that is really good for both them and their clients.


        • says

          Ooooo – that sounds interesting!

          Estate Planning and Probate for 15 years. Loved it for quite a while, but finally burned out. The other side of my brain wants a chance to reign. : )

          • says

            Wow, synchronicity! That’s my primary practice area. Where were you in practice? Should we take this off Charlie’s blog? Are you on Twitter? I’m @alexisneely. @msg me, if so. :)

  38. Ren says

    Thanks so much for this post, Charlie – it’s good for us creative weirdos to be reminded we’re neither alone nor disadvantaged by our uniqueness. I used to say I suffered from the Fraud Syndrome, because my attempts to fit in made me feel like a fraud. I like your title a lot better!

  39. Thomas says

    holy shit !!!!! haha i mean i knew theyre were weirdos, and my social skills are weak, but you summed it up for me~

  40. Karen says

    And, oddly, the less you try to “fit in” and the more you’re just yourself, the more you fit in because a) people are attracted to confidence and integrity, and b) all the people who’d like you for being you start crowding round.

    And EVERYONE’s a weirdo. I’ve never met a single person who told me that they’ve never felt like the odd one out. We’re stuck in a mass delusion.

  41. says

    Thank you so much for this post. I would love to hear from others who are stuck where I am: working hard/good at what we do, and grateful for jobs in this economic climate. I need my day job for my children (almost grown) and my husband (unemployed thanks to the current recession) while being full-on hands-down in the weirdo tribe. I work hard to just get by in the corporate world. Yet every time I try to force my way out something’s blown up. At the same time I am so tired of life being hard. So I keep on looking, gently pushing on every and any door I can find….

  42. Bill says

    Wow! That pretty much sums me up. It’s nice to know there are others out there in the same boat.

  43. says

    Bless you for this post! As an attorney who is an aspiring spiritual healer and writer you can bet I have been on the receiving end of raised eyebrows for a while :)

  44. says

    Such a beautiful statement:

    “You can’t be remarkable and fit in at the same time. “

    It reminds me of one of my favorite Albert Einstein quotes:

    “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”

    Wishing everyone the best and do embrace your uniqueness…the world needs it!

  45. says

    How disturbingly comforting! I’ve always know I was different, I just would never have called myself a weirdo! Thank you for putting into words what I have know for a long time. Let us all celebrate our “weirdo-ness” but can we come up with a better term?

  46. Tara says

    I just wanted to say thank you for this website. When I read the last part of the article I actually almost started crying, I think this site is exactly what I needed, and I stumbled upon it…funny how things work out like that :)

  47. says

    This is one of the best lines I’ve heard all year:

    The bad news is that you can’t get other people’s clothes to fit you.

    Great ode to the weirdos of the world!

  48. says

    A blog post that made me cry. My word, this is a first. Thanks for writing this. It was exactly what I needed to hear at exactly this minute.

  49. says

    wow… I just stumbled across this today. Thank you SO much for this post. It’s really timely because just last night I was asking my partner (also a weirdo) what’s so wrong with us, that we have such a hard time making friends unless we try to act like everyone else and fake enjoyment of sports (him) and shopping and celebrity gossip (me). Which, of course, always fails because people can tell if you’re faking normalcy!

    So I guess the next question is where to find other weirdos? I live in a major city that you’d expect to be teeming with them but I seem to keep meeting only normal folks.

  50. Christina says

    I have asperger’s Syndrome which I believe is the same thing as Weirdo Syndrome. I have always had trouble with fitting in and socializing. To the other weirdos out there: You are definitely NOT alone in feeling this way!

  51. says

    Charlie…so many like-minded friends! Is ‘weird’ the new normal? Or do we really care about being (so-called) normal? Not me.

    Struggling to typify myself to new friends offline, I’ve characterised myself as an extroverted introvert, with eclectic, diverse tastes. With the internet, I don’t have to typify myself – I AM. And the excellent winnowing process that Twitter and other social media offer means that so many say, “Yes, you are. And so am I.” Awesome. :)

  52. says

    Can we make some sort of dating site for weird people? This blog has answered things I’ve asked myself for years. I see people come and go, have relationships, break up from them, start new ones, and I’m just stuck on the side, watching. I’ve had 2 years of being very alone at University, after being rejected from groups I was attracted to by their apparent weirdness (then being kicked out because I was too weird for them). I just wish that other weirdos would come out of their rooms and into the real world more often.

  53. says

    Thanks so much for this post. I’ve always felt just like you described…I’ve enjoyed putting together my blog and hope I’m helping people, but I’m also very lonely and don’t know how to remedy that. Finding other wierdos is hard…I like fashion and makeup so likeminded people stay away from me and then those that look like me quickly find out i’m a wierdo and well…its a paradox…I’m like a nerd in disguise lol. Either way your post was really nice to read today :) Thank you.

  54. says

    This is such a good post – I have a book for students dus out in October and one of the chapters is all about weirdos – how it can seem as if there are weirdos all around you, and how scary that can be especially when the thought comes to you that maybe they are the ones that are normal and actually it’s you that’s the weirdo. To my mind, no-one is really a weirdo, it’s just that we all have our own different ways of being human. Some of those ways will seem strange to other people, depending on how near to us they are on the scale of human diversity. Once you start to accept that (with the exception of course of people with severe personality disorders and psychosis) everyone is strange in some degree or another to everyone else, then weirdness in yourself and others can start to become less challenging. The difficulty lies in the fact that society has certain behavioural expectations that it lays down as “normal behaviour” and if your own preferences fall outside of those norms, life starts to become more tricky.

  55. says

    Hi Charlie. Isn’t it that you are not really a wierdo because I feel you are not. Or maybe we both are wierdos because I don’t fell different from you. The fact is you have do many followers. And I know these followers are not that wierdo.
    Going along with people is knowing people. It’s a sense of unselfishness and humility.

    • says

      I’m not a weirdo here because of this community. And the fact that you don’t feel weird around me is also because my nature and the nature of this space.

      The thing about weirdos is that they don’t try to go against people – they are just themselves and people have a hard time getting them. Freaks, on the other hand, are contrarian about who they are and who other people aren’t.

      I love weirdos but tire of freaks quickly.

  56. Brooke says

    I stumbled on this post today and it’s given me a lot to think about. A couple years ago, I was living on the east coast and feeling like things were falling into place. Good job, good home, good friends, good headspace, so-so relationship (another time…). I felt comfortable. I was doing a lot that was ‘good for me’ – eating well, exercising, being wise with my money…basically playing it safe and following the expectations I had for myself…or so I thought.

    But I was growing increasingly dissatisfied with myself. I felt that my career was not right for me, my relationship was not right for me – overall I didn’t feel like I had reached ‘my potential’. So I changed it all.

    I moved to the west coast. I went back to school to learn something totally new. I dropped my fitness routine (mostly because of lack of time). I found a new relationship. I’m slowly making new friends. And it all felt good at first…I was excited by this new ‘me’ – she was alive and willing to try anything and not afraid of what others thought of her. She set an intention and it was all working out beautifully. For the first time, I felt like I was really living life.

    But things have become increasingly difficult again now. I am struggling with feeling as if I don’t fit in. And I don’t want to fit in, but I am pursuing an industry that is all about networking and ‘who you know’ and I realize how scary that is. I have made a lot of valuable contacts and I think I’m generally well-regarded by most I come into contact with. But I put so much pressure on myself to be what they want me to be – to fit in with their company, or network, or whatever it is. And it’s kinda’ driving me crazy.

    Your post was a reminder to stay in tune to what got me into this new life situation in the first place – I was trying to reconnect with what was ‘weird’ about me – what I was always drawn to since as early as I could remember.

    That thing was animation, and that field is all about being a weirdo and not trying to fit in. How fitting that my career path is one that asks me to get more comfortable in my own skin every day.

    Okay, so I just used this post as my own personal journal, but it feels good to share. Thanks for the words – I really appreciate this site.

  57. says

    This post moved me. It gave me that warm feeling where one’s mind goes, “Someone else knows how I feel!” I could relate to it so much. I’m extremely glad I stumbled on this.

  58. lyn lewis says

    lWell put!
    I think I sussed much of this several years ago, and am content that I no longer need to try to be in any, ‘in crowd’. I am who I am. Im thoughtful, creative and kind by nature and my heart is no longer on my sleeve, but its very much still there.
    But folk in life can be carelessly cruel, so I now listen to my gut feelings and tactfully side step, those who arent as ‘wierd’ as you put it, as me.
    Lifes too short to waste time trying to fit in those sqaure holes, when youre well rounded lol

  59. Christina Churchill says

    A year later and your post is obviously still making a huge connection! Thanks, I had that terrifying and ecstatic experience of feeling like you were talking directly to me. Then I saw all the comments. T

    This post is perfect timing for me since I am trying to make myself “fit in” so I can get into my industry of choice as I am graduating soon, and yet knowing that my weirdness is what will bring me success. The realities are painful but embracing this Truth you speak of makes it easier! Proud to be a weirdo! Thanks!

  60. Jennifer says

    I stumbled upon this and I wanted to comment…

    Thanks, thanks a ton! I’ve been struggling with this for a great and many years – in fact I can remember being accepting of myself and hitting elementary school and it all changing. It’s sort of silly that it changed since I do really enjoy being me… but it did.

    Thanks for reminding me!

  61. Nikki says

    I have been struggling with this issue for awhile – especially since I am between being at home and being at college and trying to find myself and the friends who I can be myself around without feeling like a freak. I’ve become quieter for fear of saying something stupid/weird or creating an awkwardness. I am so glad that Stumble brought me to this post because It really is something that i needed to hear! Thanks so much for posting it and helping me to accept that fact that I suffer from Weirdo Syndrome and it’s not a bad thing.

  62. moreteavicar says

    Deep down everyone is a weirdo – it is a fundamental rule of genetics. The problem is that some people are too ignorant to comprehend this. None the less, an interesting page.

  63. boo says

    Hi,I found your article to be extremely informative and I thank you for going to the trouble…..OH NOES MY WEIRDO SYNDROME IS COMING…. LALALALALALALALAALAL OGAGBOOGA HELLLLLP MEEEEEEEEEEE

  64. weirdoforlife says

    dear whatever your name is my wife has told me that i have weirdo syndrome,when it is in fact that it is her that has weirdo syndrome,but she keeps telling me im in denial of my condidtion,which part of me thinks shes right…man i love that woman…weirdo syndrome for life!!

  65. says

    Woo Hoo!!
    “Search for the weirdo inside yourself
    track down that weirdo with pride
    you gotta hunt for the weirdo inside yourself
    until you let her into your life”

  66. Lucky.Easy.Free says

    This is at the same time one of the most depressing and uplifting things I’ve ever read. My only problem with this is, that I’ve met weirdos like you describe them in the past, and compared to me they were still quite normal. I just live in my own world, but not in a good way. In a way that’s choking and stopping me from making any progress. Do my words make any sense?

  67. WindheartCogs says

    I think the real question here is ‘Where are all the other weirdos?’ If we could just all find each other, we could have a lot more fun. Being weird can be great in its own right, but a big group of weirdness can be far more enjoyable and productive.

  68. Lyndis Stranger says

    Shouldn’t we overpower them? Do you think Napoleon is weird, and I think being weird means I’m not THAT weird ’cause I know what’s normal and thus I know I am not damn what am I saying

  69. Randy says

    Wow, finally someone has articulated what I have been feeling for most of my life and career. It all makes so much more sense now. Thank you Charlie!

  70. says

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  71. Matt H says

    This is awesome.

    Just knowing I’m not alone is enough to make me feel a lot better. And the possibility of meeting someone similar one day is a fun thought. Now I know I’m not the only one. I can’t even count how many times in my life I’ve really felt like I was just screwed up.

    There’s got to be a group I can join for people just like this.

    • Charlie says

      The tragedy of being a weirdo and needing to find like-minded people is the odds are against you because there is less of us….I know a couple of odd people (like myself) but I get on better with normal people!
      This post did make me feel better!!! I am weird and should be confident about that! I’ve spent most of my life hidden away and I’ve missed a few golden opportunities. I maintain that I still have no regrets though.

  72. Aleena says

    “If you’ve got the Weirdo Syndrome, you may have wondered why everyone around you has such an easy time meeting people and making friends when it’s so hard for you. You don’t want to go out to the bar and talk about football or the weather, and if that’s what “hanging out” means, well, you’re better off staying at home and reading a book.”

    I spent like an entire minute just staring at this because I swear it is, word for word, the story of my life! Everyday I have arguments with people who absolutely cannot understand why I never want to “hang out” or attend social events rather than curl up with a book at home.

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It was wonderful to read :)

    • says

      Thanks for commenting, Aleena. In case it’s not obvious, I “see” you. Between bar talk or a book/writing, I’ll almost always go with the latter. Unless there’s karaoke and board games involved, in which case it’s a live option for me. :)

    • Mick says

      Im from a small town where everyone just has labled me a wierdo. Girls would look at me and if i looked back all the sudden they would act like i was a stalker. I also noticed there boyfriends and other people around town acting like they need to stay away from me. The worst is i havent done anything worth how ive been treated. this all happened after someone i cared about died so i didnt hanle it all that well.You could say i lost my marbles and am now dealling with paranoia and post traumatic stress disorder. Any advice because i cant even go to the store anymore with out acting wierd.

      • Marsha says

        Move away as soon as possible. Until then, try to focus your attention on your goal of moving away and not on people or what they think.

  73. jena says

    Thank u that was amazing everyone at school thinks that im an ugly outcast and that i am a with because i wear all black that totally gave me so much more stamina.

  74. indynel says

    I loved this article. I’ve had a lot of trouble accepting me. Recognizing my faults and improving myself, without changing the essence of who I am. Lol I am a weirdo and I am proud. The more I accept it, the more I just let me be me and feel super comfortable in my own skin
    Thanks for the article, it was really inspiring.

  75. anon Danon says

    I guess i’m a total weirdo but what troubles me is that I remember times when I’ve totally fit in and not raised any eyebrows. They’re like fleeting moments when I look back, but I desperately want to rediscover that side of myself. When I used to just be like everyone else, and even well liked.

    Do you guys have moments like this?

  76. Hamza says

    This article made me feel so good. I’m so loud and ecstatic pretty often so a lot of people think I’m a weirdo, no matter how much i try i can’t fit in.

  77. Jason says

    Hey, thanks a lot. Recently, because part of my job is to travel with coworkers, I was feeling rejected. I can’t fit because I like different things. I can’t even play music because my taste of music is so rare, and I have this fear of maintaining a conversation for fear I may say something wrong. My hobbies are so unique and amazing (some things related with numbers), but people in general aren’t interested on them. As soon as I start talking about them they get bored or think they are weird and unnecessary; neither my parents or siblings understand me. On the other hand, becouse I keep it to myself, people think that I’m not interested on anything, and that doesn’t help me to get friends.
    Still, I couldn’t say that everyone rejects me. Some people try hard, with loads of patience, to understand and hang out with me, and I have a friend who likes almost the same as me.
    Thanks for the article! It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t fit easily?

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