Let Your Weird Light Shine Bright
The most interesting people are the unusual. No one writes about or discusses the average, the ordinary, or the common; they write about and discuss the weird, the mad, and the different, so if you are one, even though the opinions of others are of no importance, you are, in their eyes, significant to notice and remember.
-Donna Lynn Hope, Author
Public opinion is a vulgar, impertinent, anonymous tyrant who deliberately makes life unpleasant for anyone who is not content to be [average].
-William Ralph Inge, British Author and Professor of Divinity at Cambridge
It is difficult enough to navigate the world as an adult experiencer who is considered “different.” Thus, imagine how incredibly challenging it is for children. They are frequently ostracized by their peers and even family members. From a young age, these children have an awareness that they are unlike others. This “differentness” often creates feelings of not belonging, isolation, and an ingrained belief that they are “weird.”
Yet, they are, usually from a very young age, different than other children. They tend to be “old souls,” misunderstood by conventional values. Why are they perceived as weird, peculiar, and unusual kids/teenagers? There are numerous reasons, the most common being:
Their openness and empathy set them apart from how others feel, think and act.
They are concerned with making life meaningful. From their earliest memories, they understand their mission or purpose in life is to “help others.”
They are unconcerned with future career prestige or financial success. They are purpose, rather than success oriented. Many will eventually choose less lucrative, but emotionally fulfilling careers in the arts or helping professions.
They have had paranormal experiences and are interested in inexplicable phenomenon.
They are open minded about topics most people are closed to, or feel threatened by.
They are always asking “Why?” They constantly seek explanations for the world around them, and love to engage in deep, "non-childlike" conversations.
They are old souls, more mature than other children their age, which may cause difficulties in socializing and/or making friends.
They tend to be assertive, forthright, curious, incorruptible, non-conforming, and anti-authoritarian.
They value service, charity, and as teenagers, exploring human potential.
Because of such atypical childhood traits, they are misunderstood. Peers, adults, parents, and siblings may consider them out-of-touch with reality, weird, threatening, and/or “difficult.”
As a child I always felt like an outsider. Weird, different, unaccepted, and unloved by my parents. I seemed to seek out other children who were termed "losers." I purposely made friends with the "outsiders" and "outcasts."
Ann was one such friend. She suffered from severe motion sickness. Thus, to minimize her chance of becoming nauseous (or worse), she was assigned the front seat of the school bus. Yet, without fail, she would inevitably become sick Every Single Day. Like clockwork, as we pulled into the school parking lot, Ann would puke her guts out. This would spill across the aisle, and usually down one stair. Each child would hold their nose while stepping/jumping off the bus, careful to avoid the 'puke zone.'
Needless to say, I, my peers and the bus driver were totally grossed out. Poor Ann was nicknamed "Throw-up girl." No one (but me) wanted to be her friend. She was laughed at and cruelly mocked.
Yet, I related to Ann. I was weird, different, and ostracized too. I empathized with her-understanding the pain of being different and feeling unaccepted. I wanted to offer her comfort and acceptance. We became friends. Close friends. She was a sweet, intelligent, kind, and sensitive child. I always felt most at home with, and related best to "weird" and "different" friends.
Convergence co-Author Lynn Miller, and contributor Penny Wilson also describe their unique childhoods-realizing they were “different” than others.
As a child, I don’t think I even realized there was something “different” about me. I assumed everyone was having out-of-body experiences during the night, flying over the neighborhood and beyond. When I hit my teen years, I realized there was something about me that others would classify as weird.
I often knew when people had passed, before I’d been told about it. I sort of felt them leave the world and I often knew under what circumstances. After my near-death experiences things only got stranger. I would meet people and suddenly see events happening in their lives in my mind, kind of like remembering an old movie, or a dream. The intense feelings that came with those visions finally compelled me to share the images with the strangers they concerned. Those revelations came with looks of shock and disbelief. Eventually, I learned to keep these things to myself for fear of being judged, and then came to block them out almost entirely.
- Penny Wilson, RN, and NDEr
Even from an early age, I was an overly sensitive child. I did not relate to my peers so I would explore nature, taking many adventures. As I grew into puberty I tried harder to fit in and was usually bullied. I tried to make friends by giving belongings or my food from my packed lunches away. I came to realize I was different. My heart belonged to nature and the stars in the sky. I grew to hide this part of me, always wearing a mask to hide my true self, in order to “make it” in this world.
-Lynn Miller, MS, and Author
Children with these unique personality trait are different. However, instead of labeling them as weird, let’s redefine them as curious, creative, and unique-embracing, rather than negatively labeling these traits. They have much to offer the world.