Weird. Eccentric. Unorthodox.
Three words that are considered synonyms of quirky.
But what is quirkiness? I can’t tell you because it’s subjective. What’s quirky for you may not necessarily be quirky for me, and vice versa.
Regardless of our varying definitions, one thing’s for sure:
We all have our own versions of our quirky personalities hidden somewhere.
The question is, do we keep it hidden, or do we embrace it and flaunt it unapologetically?
Again, that’s a question only you can answer.
But if you choose the latter and you’re not sure how to go about it, here are 10 ways to embrace your quirky personality and stand out from the crowd:
1) Laugh at yourself
What better way to embrace your quirky side than to invoke a positive emotion? Sure, our quirks can sometimes be humiliating, but it’s just a matter of perspective.
Think of it this way:
If you can laugh at your own quirks and the occasional embarrassing situations it may put you in, others will laugh with you – instead of at you.
If that’s not enough to convince you, maybe this will:
Did you know that Jennifer Lawrence is known for being clumsy? Yep, she trips over everything, including her own feet.
Sure, there are many clumsy people like her too, so what makes Jennifer stand out besides the fact that she’s a celebrity? Well, it’s that she laughs about it.
By doing this, Jennifer has turned her clumsiness into her trademark. And now, it’s a big part of what makes her charming and relatable.
So if a Hollywood A-lister like Jennifer can publicly embrace and laugh at her quirks, what’s stopping you?
2) Flaunt it with pride
Look, I get it.
Not all quirks are funny.
But here’s the thing:
All quirks, however weird they may be, make us unique individuals – and that’s something to be proud of.
My grandmother has worn tailor-made suits for as long as I can remember. Her sleepwear were the only clothes she’d buy straight off the rack.
I vividly remember every few months tagging along to her tailor appointments for her measurements and fitting. The young me thought this was so cool, but I often wondered why she didn’t just go for ready-made ones.
You and others reading this probably think that it’s weird or over the top to have every piece of clothing tailor-made.
But here’s the untold story:
My grandmother didn’t always get tailor-made suits. In fact, she grew up poor, so for most of her childhood, she wore hand-me-downs from her better-off cousins.
But through hard work and persistence, she and granddad rose above poverty while raising 5 kids who eventually became successful professionals in their chosen fields.
So by the time her last child graduated from college, she could afford to splurge on herself – and she did.
Her tailor-made suits were her badge of honor – a quirky testament to the highs and lows of her life, and she wasn’t afraid to flaunt it with pride.
3) Be unapologetic for being different
Another thing I learned from my grandmother is that it’s okay to keep doing what you love doing as long as you’re not stepping on anyone’s toes or putting someone at a disadvantage.
I think this can be applied to our quirks as well. They make us stand out from the crowd, so if they’re not affecting anyone negatively, there’s no reason for us to be apologetic for embracing our quirks.
Think about it:
Have you ever heard Lady Gaga apologize for her outrageous outfits and bold self-expression? Or have you ever known Elon Musk to apologize for his ambitious ideas like colonizing Mars?
So why should you?
4) Use your quirkiness to fearlessly break the norms
To explain this point, allow me to introduce you to a couple of famous quirky personalities:
I’ll start with Freddie Mercury, the famous frontman of Queen.
His quirky personality manifested in his flamboyant choice of costumes and theatrical performances, fearlessly going against mainstream rock music performances.
Next up is Maria Montessori.
She was an Italian physician and educator who challenged conventional educational practices with her child-centered approach. Her methods were considered quirky during her time, but today, this teaching method is widely accepted – if not preferred – across the globe.
If Freddie and Maria weren’t as bold as they were with their quirkiness, do you think the band Queen and the Montessori schools would be enjoying the fame they have to this day?
The most iconic people in history weren’t afraid to break the norms – and so should you.
5) Turn your eccentricity into strengths
There’s beauty in everything – and that includes our quirks.
Just look at people like Tim Burton, for example:
Have you seen Alice in Wonderland, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? These were just some of the few hit films directed by Tim Burton.
Tim had a dark, eccentric style, and instead of shying away from this, he turned it into his creative superpower.
Have you noticed how his gothic vibes, macabre style, unique characters, and dark humor have eventually become a niche on their own?
They even have a term for it: Burtonesque.
You know you’ve made it when a term has been coined in your honor.
Tim Burton is living proof that there is strength in our quirkiness!
6) Be your own cheerleader
Look, not everyone will appreciate your quirks, let alone accept them – that’s why they’re called quirks in the first place.
When this happens, your top priority is to be your cheerleader and believe in yourself and your quirks – even when no one else will.
Let’s take Quentin Tarantino, for example:
Like Tim Burton, Tarantino is another quirky director.
The thing is, when Quentin first broke onto the film scene with his non-linear storytelling, some were skeptical. But he didn’t let the naysayers get to him.
He kept cheering on his offbeat style, leading to iconic movies like Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill.
So in a world of influencers and followers, be a Tarantino who believes in their own quirkiness, even if it seems outlandish to others.
7) Stand your quirky ground
Sometimes it takes a lot of courage and firmness to embrace your quirky personality.
Because, again, there are a lot of cynics out there.
Have you ever heard of Frida Kahlo? She’s a perfect example of this.
Frida is a celebrated Mexican artist known for her self-portraits. She didn’t conform to traditional beauty standards and she loved embracing her quirky side by featuring her unibrow in her self-portraits.
She used subjects like miscarriage, heartbreak, and emotional and physical pain in her paintings, using representations of her body as a metaphor. These depictions often featured her body in vulnerable positions, portraying scenes of bleeding and nudity.
The issues she addressed were considered taboo then – but she persisted in her form of art.
And Frida standing her ground paid off. Today, she is considered an iconic role model for artists and people with disabilities.
8) Find your quirky tribe
Quirky loves company.
So if all the above ways of embracing your quirky personality don’t work for you,why not find like-minded people who share your quirks?
Not only will they help validate your quirks, but you will feel a sense of belonging – a sense of understanding.
Surround yourself with people who appreciate and celebrate your unique traits.
Sure, you might not stand out as an individual if you do this, but hey, look at the bright side:
You can stand out collectively – as a quirky group.
The more, the merrier, right?
9) Celebrate quirkiness in others
Find your tribe, but appreciate other tribes too.
Just as we should value our uniqueness, it’s equally important to appreciate and celebrate the quirks in others.
When we recognize and appreciate the uniqueness of those around us, we acknowledge the value of each other’s differences and eventually end up promoting an inclusive environment where everyone feels accepted and respected for who they are.
10) Be kind to your quirky self
The last, but probably the best, on our list of ways to embrace our quirky personalities and stand out from the crowd, has something to do with you.
Be kind, accepting, and loving of your quirky self.
Because if you can’t do any of these, how would you expect others to do them?
Look, I understand.
Being different can be challenging, so you, of all people, should be the kindest to yourself.
Show yourself the same level of compassion and understanding that you would want others to show you.
Final quirky thoughts
Embracing your quirky personality is about courage, self-acceptance, and individuality.
It’s about learning to see your quirks as the special trait that makes you uniquely ‘you.’
So go ahead, rock that polka dot bow tie, discuss quantum physics at parties, or sing opera to your cats.
Remember, like our examples above, history has proven time and again that it’s the eccentrics who make the world a more vibrant, exciting place.
Here’s to all the beautiful, quirky people out there!