Weirdos – Why Your Friends Are Strange And How To Make Them Even Stranger
Your friends are a lot weirder than you think they are. And I do mean your friends, not my friends. My friends are exactly as weird as I think they are. That’s perfectly okay though, because weirdos inevitably attract other weirdos. It’s just a force of nature, like gravity.
You probably have some friends who you think of as a bit odd and some friends who you consider relatively normal. The odd ones are even odder than you think they are and the relatively normal ones are way more odd than they appear.
In fact the only person you know who isn’t weird is probably someone you work with. The one who tries desperately to be more interesting than they actually are. The one who insists on telling everyone, loudly and frequently, how “off their rocker” they are. The one with the little plaque on their desk that reads : “You don’t have to be mad to work here…but it helps!” There’s always one in every workplace. The person who aches to be mental but is doomed to be soul crushingly sane and sensible.
There is a flip side to that particular coin though. Every group of weirdos has in it someone who doesn’t seem to fit in. Someone who is a bit standard. A bit run of the mill. A bit plain vanilla rather than an exciting Tutti Frutti.
At first glance this would appear to contradict that universal law of weirdos attracting other weirdos. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth being that the most ordinary member of a group is always the oddest one of the lot. Usually by a country mile.
This happens because that person, for whatever reason, has come to the conclusion that what happens inside their head is so deeply, deeply fucking bizarre that it really isn’t suitable for public consumption. So they develop a camouflage personality. A vanilla coating around a flavour so delightfully peculiar that it doesn’t even have a name. The whole thing is often topped off with some sort of crispy shell, just in case the world finds even vanilla a bit too challenging.
This is a shame. Because although not everybody is worthy of experiencing such top quality levels of hidden weirdness, these people tend not to share it with anybody. This makes the world a far duller place than it ought to be.
I am the complete opposite of this in many ways. Most of my brakes and filters ceased functioning years ago. I have a tendency to just say what I think. Not that I am recommending this as a strategy. It hasn’t got me very far in life and is part of the reason I am currently pursuing a career which involves tapping away my thoughts on a keyboard rather than sharing them in person. Being yourself is a great rule to live by but a pretty dumb thing to do in the workplace.
Me and my friends broke through each other’s crispy shells a long time ago. But even we haven’t dug right down to the centre. There is always more to discover.
So, I’m not recommending that you just say what you think. You’d just be talking in a series of non sequiturs, even on a good day, and might run the risk of getting locked up for your own safety. What I am recommending is this: allow yourself to be that little bit weirder than you currently do. We all hide ourselves a bit, even me.
If you make the effort to reveal a little bit more of your oddness than you are comfortable with, then something wonderful might happen. That quiet vanilla one in your group may just take the cue and show you some tiny glimpses of how they really are. Make no mistake, this will enrich your life more than you could possibly imagine.
Weirdness is not an affliction. It is a beautiful natural resource and we don’t mine it nearly enough.
Oh, and if you’ve been running through your list of friends in your head and can’t think of a quiet, vanilla one who is actually the oddest of the lot, then that means it’s you, I’m afraid. Sorry to break it to you like this. But somebody had to.
Copyright Michael Grimes 2016