The Power of “Weird”
by Madeline Vann, NCC, M.Ed. at White Cloud Therapeutic Services
One of my favorite books is titled “Weird: The Power of Being an Outsider in an Insider World” by Olga Kazan. I recommend it to everyone who feels sometimes like they don’t fit in and wonders if they have a place in the world as it is. The “weird” people amongst us – those who behave differently, see things differently, and think outside the box – are also often the innovators and creators who both challenge us and move us forward, expanding our perspective and opening our hearts.
The problem, however, is that the word “weird” is more often used to hurt people. And unfortunately in my work I’ve seen more people than I can count who have been deeply hurt because someone else has told them they are “weird” – and possibly even followed that up with painful social rejection and exclusion or escalations in verbal attacks. The word “weird” is wielded like a sword by children and teens against their peers – and sadly, it is also endorsed by many adults.
In counseling, we have the opportunity to work one on one, or in families or couples, to explore the joys of being weird – and to build resilience against the harmful ways that other people talk sometimes. We can work on ways to find the strengths in being weird, and appreciate the fact that it would be a very boring world if everyone was exactly the same. In counselling we can help you heal from the ways in which people’s harsh judgments have lingered.
I often like to say that curiosity is a super power, because it can help us be flexible, resilient, and overall more interested in ourselves and the world. Being “weird” has super power potential as well – because it opens up so many new possibilities for how we can be in the world.
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Article was written and sponsored by Madeline Vann, NCC, M.Ed. at White Cloud Therapeutic Services
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