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How Being Quirky And Unique Can Improve Your Life

How Being Quirky And Unique Can Improve Your Life

Many people believe that calling someone “quirky” is a derogative term, but it’s not. Being quirky means that you are different, but in a lovable way. Let’s clear up some things right from the start: I’m not here to tell you how you can play the role of a unique, quirky person by giving you acting tips. I’m also not here to talk about weirdness. Being weird is a different thing altogether and it’s a subject for another time.

Being quirky isn’t something reserved for the chosen few, but only some of us allow our inner quirks to surface in everyday social interactions. The reason why most people tend to keep themselves on a “mental leash” is the fear of coming off weird and alienating people around them. This is a genuine concern, considering that one man’s quirks can most certainly be another man’s weirdness.

Still, there are more than a few reasons why you should surpass this fear of being judged and allow your unique personality traits to mark you as the unique human being that you are. Social norms and rules of conduct are all well and fine, but in most cases they are not as restrictive as we perceive them. Here are few ways that your quirks can work to your benefit.

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Quirky people tend to be more confident

    Being unique isn’t easy. Even though most people don’t really have anything against someone being unique, casual humorous jabs at the expense of these traits are quite common, and after a while they can tire a person out, leading to annoyance or insecurity. Furthermore, not everyone will understand how you can be that different from the majority of people around you (in most cases this will be your parents, but it doesn’t just stop there) and they will be uncertain why someone would want to be so different. This can lead to you being pressured to fall in line with everyone else and endure “serious talks” with a final goal of helping you, even though you didn’t ask for it.

    This pressure usually gives counterproductive results and actually leads to a confident person who is at ease with who they are. People who are OK with the unique side of their personality being public are used to having a different perspective than others and will not shy away from making decisions that seem radical to the outside world.

    Your quirks can lead you to unique opportunities

    Quirkiness is reflected in more than a couple of things. It can be the way we talk, what we eat, what hobbies we have, our music taste, our movie taste, and tons of other things. Once we accept the ways we are different than the rest of the world, we usually start focusing on these things a bit more and exploring their depth. Developing this uniqueness usually means research or hands-on experience, which almost always helps us develop skills and acquire knowledge not many people have mastery over. This can lead to finding interesting career paths, networking through alternative channels, working on creative projects, and so on.

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    Your quirks ensure that you are not easily forgotten

    A regular conversation with a person who keeps their quirks in check tends to follow the proposed social norms and rarely strays from this path. Sure, sticking to the norm makes communication a bit more direct, easier, and more predictable, but it also removes all the fun. It can feel as if we are just going through the motions, and this is why these conversations can be easily forgotten.

    A conversation with a person with a couple of loose quirks almost always leaves an impression, and we all know there is no such thing as bad publicity. Even brands are attempting to draw out some quirkiness to get these benefits for their branding process. Quirky people usually don’t follow the proposed best practices for job interviews and will rarely resort to generic answers. This helps them be remembered by the interviewers and increases their chances of getting called back.

    Spotting unique personality traits in others is a lot easier for quirky people

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      Let’s take a seemingly simple situation like choosing a present as an example. Most people are biased by their own wishes when picking out a present for someone, or rely on stereotypes and protocol to make it easier for them. Quirky people choose a different path. They tend to remember small things mentioned in casual conversations that point to a person’s inner passions, which allows them to pick out something that the person really likes and surprise them in the process.

      This perk doesn’t just come in handy in this situation. It has its fair share of benefits in the work environment, relationships, family affairs, and so on. Furthermore, quirky people don’t find differences that confusing. They are very much aware that their lifestyles deviate from the norm. Because of this, they don’t see diversity as strange, but instead as very interesting.

      Thinking outside the box is second nature to quirky people

      Living a bit outside of social norms is something that requires you to make decisions on your own. This means that you need to get creative in order to make your life plan fit into an environment not ideal for it. Creative thinking is essential for the survival of unique points of view. Proving to people that there is a different solution to a common question can only be done by people who see an alternative. Quirky people never let their creative juices rest.

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      Being unique is merely exploring yourself a bit more and finding the unique interests that you are passionate about, then allowing them to surface in everyday interactions. Still, being quirky doesn’t mean you should be pushy. Relax and don’t force things. Be comfortable with who you are and work on yourself. This is easier said than done, but I always find comfort in the realization that everyone is doing this, with more and less success, which means we can all help each other out on that road.

      Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/users/Unsplash-242387/ via pixabay.com

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      Aleksandar Ilic

      Blogger, Social Media Butterfly, Guitarist

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      Last Updated on May 21, 2019

      How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

      How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

      For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

      If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

      Example 1

      You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

      You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

      In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

      Example 2

      You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

      People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

      You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

      Example 3

      You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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      The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

      Example 4

      You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

      Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

      If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

      Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

      • Understand your own communication style
      • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
      • Communicate with precision and care
      • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

      1. Understand Your Communication Style

      To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

      In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

      Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

      2. Learn Others Communication Styles

      Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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      If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

      “How do you prefer to receive information?”

      This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

      To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

      3. Exercise Precision and Care

      A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

      On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

      Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

      I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

      I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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      In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

      The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

      Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

      4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

      Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

      In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

      “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

      Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

      Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

      It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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      It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

      It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

      Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

      Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

      The Bottom Line

      When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

      I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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      Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

      Reference

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