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I’ve been told I’m weird (and other variations of this) more times than I can count. And if only I got a dollar for every time someone called me quirky or odd… I’d still feel weird, but I’d be rich.
Can you relate? Do you also feel weird and want to be normal so you can fit in and not stand out? I know, being weird has made life extra challenging.
Most people aren’t very accepting of those who aren’t like them. You aren’t meant to be a sheep and follow and say “yes and amen” in life, but if you don’t do that, you aren’t seen as normal.
So how are we to be normal?
The good news is that you can be “normal” but it’s also essential that you learn to accept and love who you are. I’ve got all the info you need to live a better and more fulfilling life as you learn to act more “normal.”
What You Will Learn
- What Does It Mean to Be “Normal”?
- Why Do I Feel Weird?
- 11 Ways on How to Be Normal
- Tip 1. Use the Mirror or Parrot Technique
- Tip 2. Know Your Weird Habits
- Tip 3. Fake It till You Make It
- Tip 4. Follow Trends
- Tip 5. Be Kind
- Tip 6. Don’t Overshare
- Tip 7. Define Normal
- Tip 8. Remember: Everyone Is Uniquely “Weird”
- Tip 9. Learn What’s Acceptable Weird vs Creepy
- Tip 10. Work on Your Social Skills
- Tip 11. Focus on Them, Not You
- Why Is It Important to Accept Yourself for Who You Are?
- Final Thoughts on How to Be Normal
What Does It Mean to Be “Normal”?
Being normal should mean “to be your authentic self” or to be what’s normal for you (and that will be different for everyone since we’re all 100% unique), yet that isn’t what it usually means in real and current life.
“To be normal” generally means that you are ordinary and what people expect, which is being identical to everyone so they can understand you and fit you into one of the socially constructed boxes.
A “normal” person conforms to the most common behaviors, regular patterns, standards, and ideas in society. They are sheep in the flock (aka sheeple), following what everyone else does.
If you are normal, you fit in with certain racial, status, social, and sexual ideas that are commonplace. If you aren’t normal, people don’t understand you because you don’t fit in any of the boxes, and so you are strange and weird.
But what is considered normal changes across borders, cultures, ethnicities, and even families. For instance, if you live in a country where 95% of people are Catholic, you may be considered as not normal for being an atheist, a Buddhist, or a Protestant.
If your family considers heterosexuality to be the norm, but you identify as other (i.e… asexual, bisexual or pansexual), you’ll be seen as weird. If you friends are all meat eaters and you are a vegetarian, vegan, or fruitarian… you won’t be normal to them.
As such, your actions and choices partly define whether you are normal. It’s never really thought that stealing or killing is normal, yet if you are a soldier in a war, killing is more acceptable.
There is also the other definition of normal, where a person who is normal doesn’t have any serious or strange mental health or physical issues. In society, the normal “standard” is that the majority of people are not disabled. They can walk around and function as normal beings, yet people with health impairments or conditions are often not treated as normal.
People who have mental health disorders like psychopathy, social anxiety disorder, personality disorders, depression, schizophrenia, autism, and more don’t really ever feel like they are normal. Yet, 1 in 5 American adults have a mental health illness.
So, while you may strive to be normal, there is no one-size-fits all definition of being normal. It’ll be different depending on the community where you live, so you need to find what’s “normal” for you.
Why Do I Feel Weird?
If you identify with “weird,” you may know that your weird is not the same as my weird. We feel “weird” for various reasons, and yes, we may even have some of these in common. It’s 100% subjective and mostly a feeling, never a fact.
First things first. If you are having an off-day and just feel weird or strange for a day or two, then you aren’t weird. Chances are something happened or is happening in your life that’s causing you to act, think, or be different compared to how you normally are.
It may be the medication you are using, side effects of the meds, the pressure of moving, a new job, having lost your job, or getting married or divorced. Or it may be something entirely different.
If you’ve always felt different from anyone else, chances are you “feel weird” because you are different from the norm (whatever that may be) in some way.
11 Ways on How to Be Normal
I want you to know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you if you don't fit in with the normies. And you don’t need to change who you are just so others will maybe like you.
A.J. Downy said it best: “When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with glad cries of “Me too!” be sure to cherish them. Because those weirdos are your tribe.”
However, acting normal at times can make your life easier and more tolerable, so here’s how.
Tip 1. Use the Mirror or Parrot Technique
One way you can seem to be more normal, especially in social situations is to mirror or parrot what you see. You don’t want to come across as even weirder, so you need to be subtle about this.
Movies and TV shows usually tell us what is acceptable and what isn’t, so you can practice the acceptable behavior in front of a mirror. Don’t over-rehearse, because that will come across as strange too. But do practice so you feel more comfortable.
You can also people-watch while you ride the train or bus, eat lunch at the park, or sip coffee at your local java joint. Make mental notes (or journal) about what’s normal in various situations, and then use what you learn to appear normal.
Tip 2. Know Your Weird Habits
Maybe you speak in a different accent or like Yoda when you feel shy and nervous? Do you tell eccentric jokes to make conversation? Or maybe you stop blinking or have some other weird tell(s)?
Whenever we need to solve a problem, we need to first understand what exactly the issue is. Not that you being weird is a problem that needs solving, but you can only work on your weird habits if you know what they are and why they are strange to others.
So be mindful about what someone gives you weird looks or says something about your being an odd-ball. What did you do that triggered that reaction from them? Then work on changing that strange habit you have so you can fit in better.
Tip 3. Fake It till You Make It
My dad always used to tell me “To fake it till I make it” in an attempt to get me to be more normal. I always hated the expression (and still do) because it feels like you aren’t being authentic when you present a fake you to the world.
I have, in recent years, seen the value of faking it – but I know I can still be me and just fake it when I need to help me get through certain social situations.
So, I try to adopt a “normal persona” so the other person or people can take me seriously, listen to what I have to say, or accept me for whatever reason – be it at the doctor’s, a job interview, or (#cringe) social outing I can’t avoid.
When you fake it, you don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t. You are simply finding the more serious and normal aspects of your personality to help you out when you need them. It can be exhausting acting “normal” all the time, so choose carefully when you put on the normal persona.
Tip 4. Follow Trends
Normal people like to follow the trends so they can be in with the in-crowd. This helps them feel like they belong, and they are normal. So that’s what you need to do too – follow what is trending on the runway, in the movie theater, on TV, and on streaming services, and on the internet and social media.
If you know that on Wednesday The Witcher is trending, then make time to watch the show. It’ll make it easier to engage in conversation with your family, colleagues, or acquaintances.
I only read The Hunger Games because it was trending way back when, and it helped me make conversation with my colleagues.
Tip 5. Be Kind
“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” ~ Unknown.
You can be weird, but when you are kind, that’s what people will notice and remember about you. Being kind will also help you fit in, and don’t think you can get away with being fake nice. People will notice that too.
So do random acts of kindness, genuinely smile at people, write thank you cards, help where you can, listen mindfully, and just be kind in any way you can.
Weird people sometimes overshare, making others even more aware of their weirdness and why they are not normal. Maybe you keep a lot bottled up inside, or maybe you crave social interaction because you are lonely?
No matter the reason, you don’t want to draw attention to your weirdness.
When you want to seem normal, keep your weirdness to yourself and your trusted inner circle and don’t tell others about your weird dreams, unique outlook on death, or why you believe we are robots and should praise a certain alien deity.
So, keep details on the down-low and to a minimum. It’s best to protect yourself and your personal information because you don’t know whether you can trust the other person.
If you want to see if you can trust them, just share a small, weird tidbit and see how they react. Don’t drown them by oversharing. Oversharing is simply not cool.
Tip 7. Define Normal
“Being normal” doesn’t mean the same to you as it means to me. You need to determine what normalcy is depending on where you live, who your family and friends are, where you work, and within your faith, ethnicity, and culture.
Normal could mean:
So, when you understand your weird habits, you can define what it means to be normal and then work on it.
Tip 8. Remember: Everyone Is Uniquely “Weird”
Yip, this is 100% true. Normal is overrated, and people just seem like they are normal because they are good little sheeple who follow the flock leader – whether that’s society at large or someone who has power and influence.
When people become self-aware and accept themselves for who they truly are, they’ll realize they are weirdos too. And most people are insecure about a lot of things in their life. They too follow the masses so they can seem like they are normal.
Did you know that feeling weird and wondering how to be normal is quite normal and more common than you probably think?
People aren’t as concerned about your weirdness as you may think they are. Most people are inherently self-absorbed and preoccupied with their own life and dramas.
So, ask a trusted friend or colleague how weird you really are. Be specific and let them know what you are trying to understand, and then notice everyone else’s quirks and how un-normal they really are.
Tip 9. Learn What’s Acceptable Weird vs Creepy
There’s a huge difference between being weird and being obnoxious or creepy. The first is more acceptable, and you may get a few odd looks or comments here and there.
But generally, this normal kind of weirdness, awkwardness, uniqueness, unusualness, or quirkiness isn’t something you should really spend a lot of time overthinking or worrying about.
Now, if you fall in the latter category, where you are just plain creepy weird, then it’s kind of a problem. People who are normal weird don’t push social boundaries, whereas those who are obnoxious and/or creepy, do.
If you come across as creepy, then you need to work on your social skills and how to be normal even more.
Tip 10. Work on Your Social Skills
Most of the time when you feel as if you are weird, you are probably just socially awkward. You don’t feel like you belong in social situations.
It’s uncomfortable and unpleasant, and you may wish a magical portal would open up, swallow you whole, and spit you out anywhere other than where there are other people.
Having social anxiety, you overthink social situations. You worry about saying the wrong and right things and what people think of you. And you feel super self-conscious.
So, to feel more normal and less socially anxious, you need to work on your social skills so you can fit in better when you are among a group of people.
You may need to talk with a therapist, practice smiling, learn to listen actively and mindfully, move out of your comfort bubble, and learn to initiate and partake in conversations.
Set one socializing goal and work on it. Once you feel like you are starting to master it, incorporate another until you feel comfier and more normal in social situations and not completely out of your depth.
Tip 11. Focus on Them, Not You
Divert your attention away from how weird you are feeling and focus on the other person. When you are hyper-focused on you and your awkwardness or quirky personality traits, you will feel even more left out and alienated.
So, focus on them, not you. You can become an active and empathic listener, ask open-ended questions so the person needs to answer in a sentence or 5 instead of just a short “yes” or “no,” and engage in their interests.
Learn open body language, smile, and make eye contact so the person you are talking to feels like they are the focus of your attention.
Why Is It Important to Accept Yourself for Who You Are?
“When you accept yourself, you are freed from the burden of needing others to accept you. Don’t allow anyone or anything to control, limit, repress, or discourage you from being your true self.” ~ Steve Maraboli
It is essential that you learn to accept yourself for who you are, quirks and all. You are imperfectly perfect and perfectly imperfect – just as you are.
And you are enough.
There are various benefits to learning self-acceptance and self-love:
Final Thoughts on How to Be Normal
Everyone is unique, and you aren’t the freak show you or others may think you are. There are benefits to learning self-love, self-awareness, and self-acceptance, but there’s also value in navigating life and making things easier for yourself by learning how to be normal.
Remember that pretending to be who you aren’t won’t get you far. Instead, focus on learning communication and social skills, defining what’s normal for you, usingthe mirror technique to teach yourself to be more normal… and always be kind.
After all, your weirdness makes you unique and is part of who you are, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Learn about more ways to accept yourself by practicing self-love with these 8 self-love exercises.