Normal is Boring, How to Use Weirdness to Your Advantage


Normal is Boring, How to Use Weirdness to Your Advantage

Do you feel like you’re hiding a big part of your personality when you first meet someone new?

Here’s why:

You’re still trying to get a gauge of the other person and figure out if they’d accept who you are. You want to be comfortable before you disarm yourself and let “it” out.

So you throw up a stiff, guarded persona in case the other is turned off by your more eccentric, real self.

You don’t make the usual jokes you would with people you’ve gotten the chance to know. You don’t say anything risky that the other person might disagree with. You try to project an image of normalcy.

Basically, you become cardboard.

Sometimes this is necessary in situations like a formal job interview where you can just tell the guy who’s in charge of hiring you is tightly strung. Or when you’re meeting your fiancee’s parents for the first time (not that I’d know anything about that!)

But you’ve got the wits to know when it’s appropriate to let loose.

Should you really be holding back your personality when you’re meeting a mutual friend or a cute stranger for the first time?

Whenever I find myself becoming cardboard, I remind myself of this:

Normal is boring. You don’t make close friends or be remembered by being average.

If you’re hiding what makes you unique, whether it’s your obsession with dad jokes or your obsession with niche science fiction shows, you miss out on the chance of connecting with someone who shares the same interests.

Sure, you’ll turn some people off or you might be branded as “too weird.”

That’s alright. They weren’t good matches for you, is that so bad? You’re not supposed to be liked by everybody on earth.

The ones that matter, the ones who truly add value to your life, will be the ones left. You’ll find them easier through a crowd of faces. You pare it down to the ones that matter.

I could name several people who don’t like me and I can honestly say it wouldn’t have made my life any better if they had liked me.

Your unique perspectives, interests, and manners of presenting yourself is an advantage.

It’s the bat signal that calls other who have a lot in common straight to your door.

Your display of your true self makes the others think to themselves, “Holy crap! I thought I was the only one!” Then they come out of the woodwork and suddenly, you’ve got a tight-knit group that enjoy each other’s company.

So what if what you say or do isn’t normal?

Normal is boring.

Photo Credit: Flickr – slettvet

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Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway and founder of Growth Ninja, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads. Voted "Most Guapo" five years in a row (lost during 6th year to a hand model.)

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19 responses to Normal is Boring, How to Use Weirdness to Your Advantage

  1. I remember attending a talk by Indra Nooyi, who said when it comes to building your professional legacy that being average is also boring.

    I’ll never forget how she said, “Raise your hand for the hardest assignments, because no one remembers the people who raised their hands for the easy assignments/”

    • Yup, no one actively looks to hire an average employee. They ideally go after someone who stands out and excels above the rest of the applicants. You don’t excel by being average.

  2. I once got a part time job because in the group interview, we were asked what animal we would like to be. I was honest about my choice and why I liked that animal. The interviewer laughed so hard and I was embarassed by the reactions of the other candidates but I definitely made a memorable impression and never regretted my answer.
    I wanted to be an ostrich.

  3. That summer really sucked. I just Moved to town. I was 14 years old. My family had to Move cause my Dad’s job Moved. I was bored. I didn’t have any friends yet.

    I had just left the coolest gang of girlfriends back at our old neighborhood right when it was really getting interesting. The most beautiful and popular, Lisa, loved me. We had great times together. This Move sucked big time.

    There were a bunch of kids near our new neighborhood that were in a “clique”. What was that? New word. I found out it meant nobody new could join their group unless you played follow their leader. Meaning, if you acted like yourself you were a jerk or nerd or wuss or some other piece of crap.

    So I tried to join in by imitating them. It worked! We started to run around together. Then I would lie down in my room at night and wonder why I was still lonely. You see, they were so ordinary they bored me to death.

    Then my uncle took me out to scout for crow’s nests. When we found an active one we waited several weeks until it was time. There were juveniles in the nest and I climbed up an 80 foot pine tree to carefully put one in a fishing creel that I then lowered by a long rope to the ground. He was to become my best friend, Maynard.

    Everybody in the neighborhood soon learned about Maynard. He made sure about that. He could even talk. Suddenly lots of people I didn’t know wanted to meet me and Maynard. The “clique” of course called me crazy. That’s when I learned how boring they were. Do something crazy (but safe) and you won’t believe all of the grace that follows.

    • Please tell me you and Lisa ended up together! Or at least met up again sometime afterwards?

      • Nothing stays the same. She got fat and ugly. There are plenty more fish in the sea. It might have been luck or fate. At least I didn’t end up with kids at an immature age. Plus, I met a new soulmate and we are still together after many years!

  4. Applies well to socially challenged people like me. Hits me when you say “cardboard”. Nonetheless, i first work on turning my wallflower mode into party mode before turning my cardboard self into a jolly face 😉

  5. This is one among the best truth ever spoken.

  6. Normality = Insanity

    We are all human beings each with our own unique gifts that we have. If we just try to fit in with society then we are depriving that part of ourselves that makes us who we are. I for one do not want to be a cardboard because I have a gift just like everyone else has their gift and I plan to exploit it to the world!! 🙂

  7. This is so true, Vincent. I’m learning more to let go in my meeting with people–especially potential clients. For my writing business, I aim for FUN writing materials for professionals, so it’s important that I reflect my sense of fun and natural goofiness when we get together! Thank you.

  8. It is very good to hide the truth first time about our personality . Because if we share it the stranger might not like us . Even if we become partners the other person has different nature to accept us as we are . The conflict can be there any time so it is better to let them know what is good in us .

    • But why would that be a bad thing? To hide your true personality means you’re attracting the wrong type of people (those who don’t mesh well with you.)

      There’s a time and a place and you often have to use your judgment on when it’s appropriate to bust out any odd idiosyncrasies, but you should be able to gauge the situation pretty easily. More often than not, it’s okay to be doing you.

  9. Couldn’t agree more with this article – being normal is the most boring thing you can do! And also the most stupid thing; if you keep hiding who you really are, you’re never going to attract similar, like-minded people who would make your life so much better.

    Sure, if you appear “normal” you will be liked by the other “normal” people out there. But by hiding your weirdness, you will also turn away all the other weird people with whom you could have shared a much deeper connection.

    Nice write-up!

  10. wow! Now i love reading blogs thank you for this article, this is a good start-up for me. I will always bear it in my mind, NORMAL is B O R I N G.

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