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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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      The Gentle Art of Saying No

      The Gentle Art of Saying No

      No!

      It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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      But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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      What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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      But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

      1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
      2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
      3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
      4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
      5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
      6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
      7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
      8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
      9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
      10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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