It’s been my experience that people who are “quirky” or “weird” are often outcasts, lonely, and/or shy. There are feelings of worry and sometimes dread when “normal” people meet “unusual” people, and there’s a good reason for it. There are bad kinds of weird and good kinds of weird. The bad kinds of weird are the ones that people remember. There are some people with serious mental or social disabilities who are dangerous, but these are not “quirky” people, these are people with serious conditions. Still, it’s something on the edge of a person’s mind when they meet someone who is “strange”.
However, what you may not realize is that not everyone who is quirky is going to be dangerous, delusional, or unintelligent. In most cases, you just need to have a positive attitude, patience, and bravery to not let your hidden fears deter you from getting to know them. You might find some wonderful qualities in those “quirky” people that you can’t find in most “normal” people… like true loyalty, real honesty, and total acceptance of your own faults. You may come to understand why a person is the way they are and come to appreciate them. Sometimes, being “different” isn’t so bad.
If you know our Captain, you know she’s quirky. She’s very child at heart, silly, and happy. What you may not know is that her childhood was very hard, complete with abuse, feeling like an outcast, loneliness… things that heavily contribute to the quirkiness of an individual. However, if you really know the Captain, you also know that she’s very bright and creative! Our Captain understands every day conversation, geeky conversation, even science and theory conversations, etc. She also is well capable of being “normal” in a formal situation, or when the situation calls for it. In her case, she’s embraced her quirkiness and accepts who she is. She’s not an outcast or lonely anymore and has friends who accept and love her.
Through out her life, she’s been around all kinds of “quirky” people. Her mother is a very generous and compassionate person. There isn’t a time that she doesn’t remember having some homeless, elderly, or strange person living with them. They once had a very “quirky” veteran with one leg who mumbled a lot and said strange things living with them for several years. They even had a teenaged boy living with them when she was young, because his family didn’t care about him. He was like a second brother. There was a woman and her child that was badly burnt in a fire who lived with them during the recovery (this contributes to a fear of some fire related things). These experiences (and there were several more of these) give our Captain great insight into “Quirkiness”. She’s had experience with being around unusual, weird, and quirky individuals of all ages, gender, and backgrounds. She, also, grew up with a best friend who was mentally slow with a speech impediment, who she adores and calls her sister to this day.
Some quirky people are mentally handicapped (or handicapable). They are slow to understand conversations or social situations. They may not understand social etiquette. Often times, they mean well and are very happy and a kind individual. Not everyone is well meaning or kind, but those who are, deserve the patience and can learn from social interactions.
There are people who have quirks because of physical disorders, mental disabilities, and perhaps even brain trauma or abuse trauma that makes it very hard for them to fit into “normal” conduct. There are disorders that some people cannot control and might not be curable. These people may be highly intelligent and understand social etiquette very well… but they can’t help their condition.
In fact, you’ll find that some highly intelligent people are quirky because they are so smart. People don’t understand, or misunderstand, what they are talking about because it’s over their head. Some smart individuals can come off as arrogant, egotistical, or generally offend people who might inadvertently feel less smart because of something someone says. Misunderstandings happen. Most quirky people are just misunderstood.
There are people who are just quirky because it’s who they are and it’s not a mental handicap, or some serious disorder. It’s just who they are and quite harmless. They aren’t slow, they can keep up with any normal conversation. They know when you are laughing at them or with them. They know when you are giving them weird looks or treating them unkindly. They have feelings and they are people just like you.
We’ve had the closest and best friends that are quirky and tolerant and FUN! It’s our theory that more people should just let go and be who they are. Don’t let fear suppress your natural quirkiness. In the spirit of being all inclusive and not leaving anyone out… take the time to get to know the quirky ones and have patience and a positive attitude!