Being Weird is Great for Community

It’s OK to be weird, if anything it’s good that you’re weird. The old adage to “just be yourself” rings true and you should embrace it by embracing other people who are being true to themselves (remember that being weird doesn’t mean you get to be a jerk). We know that having a diverse team is better than a monolithic one and that is also accurate when it comes to how people think about the world around them regardless of their background. Communities benefit when “weird” people are a part of them. So go ahead, be weird and accept other people’s weirdness too.

As Joan Didion put it, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” It’s something I like to remember whenever I start worrying that I’ll never be successful because I hadn’t heard of Joan Didion until a few years ago. We do tell ourselves stories, and it matters what type of stories we tell ourselves. The people I met for my book told themselves more positive stories about their lives — about why they were still just as good, even though they were different. For instance, I interviewed a “choice” mom — one who had a baby on her own through artificial insemination — who focused on how much easier it was to make all of your own parenting decisions. A poor kid who went to a ritzy private school emphasized the advantages he did have, rather than the European vacations he missed out on.

They seemed to understand that if no one else is okay with you, you have to be okay with yourself. You have to be ready to embrace your weirdness.

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