Have you ever felt like you don’t fit in? Like you are strange, different, or weird? Do you sometimes feel like there is no one else in the world who could possible understand you?
Join the club.
As introverts, we are especially susceptible to feeling like we don’t belong here … or anywhere. Everywhere we turn there are advertisements, T.V. shows and influential people telling us to be less of what we are and more of what we aren’t. Often, the extrovert ideal presses heavily on our shoulders and makes us feel like there is something wrong with us. If we let it.
What I’m beginning to discover is that we are all strange. Each of us is struggling to feel our way through the dark, hoping that one of these days we’ll stumble upon who we really are. As introverts, we are simply more likely to stay with ourselves long enough to find what we are looking for.
It is only when we are alone that we can know the truth about who we really are. Tweet this
So, everyone is weird. It’s just that those of us who are highly sensitive, introspective and introverted tend to figure it out sooner than others. What we do with this information is entirely up to us.
We can let it degrade us; we can look in the mirror and see a distorted funhouse image that we fear; we can develop a sense of self-loathing; we can try to be ‘good’ and fulfill all the ‘shoulds’ of this life until we’re so depleted that we can’t remember what we truly want; we can cram our beautifully unique and complex personality into a two-dimensional mold that suffocates us.
But all of these tactics ignore the simple truth that strangeness is beautiful. The very word “strange” implies that we are talking about something rare and unusual. Rare things are valuable. They stand out. They stir intrigue. Sometimes, they make people feel uncomfortable. That’s not our problem.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been interested in making others feel comfortable. I don’t want to be the warm blanket that is soft, but forgettable. In my personal manifesto, I talk about coloring outside the lines and metaphorically flipping the bird at naysayers and trolls. What I’m trying to convey is that I want to live a life that is true to who I am. I want to be radically authentic – even if that means making a few ‘normal’ people feel uncomfortable along the way.
Being authentically yourself is a radical act these days. It is the sweetest form of rebellion. Tweet this
So, the next time someone tells you that you are strange, or weird, or different, say “thank you”. Believe me, it’s a compliment.