To be eccentric is to display behaviour that is considered unusual. In other words, people think that you are strange. The term seems to be thrown around a lot now a days even though there is no way of determining what “normal” truly is.
“One person’s craziness is another person reality” – Tim Burton
The truth is that what one person calls eccentric, everyone else calls it normal. We all have different interpretations about what behaviour is considered normal. It is for exactly that reason that I have recently gone off using the words “strange,” “eccentric” and “quirky.”
The things that set apart eccentric people to “regular” people are often these things:
- Nonconforming attitude
- Intense curiosity
- Happy obsession with a hobby or hobbies
- Knew in early childhood that he or she was different from others
- Highly intelligent
- Sometimes not interested in the opinions or company of other people
- Mischievous sense of humour
The first five being the most common diagnosis of a person’s eccentricity. My problem with these things is that on the most part I consider these traits to be incredibly NORMAL, particularly the creative side.
Since when has it been “unusual” for someone to be creative? If no one in the world was creative then we would have no television. Everyone operates in different ways and that is normal.
I do understand that eccentric is a nice way of saying that someone is strange, but it really bothers me that those people are found strange in the first place. Just because somebody doesn’t show the typical behaviour you expect does not make them strange. For all you know there could be a reason.
Different cultures encourage people to be friendly and close, which is why when they are brought out of that culture they are considered eccentric, because their normal is someone else’s strange.
Personally I have been referred to as eccentric my whole life due to my awkward presence, my “strange” humour and my interests. I have to admit that I can give off a really awkward energy, but mainly because I often find social confrontation awkward and never know what to say. My “Strange” humour is called satire – look it up. For the record, my interests are perfectly normal. I just prefer Flight of the Conchords, awkward comedies (Napoleon Dynamite, Eagle vs Shark, Submarine etc) and Tim Burton to most other things – somehow that made me strange.
My point is that eccentric lost it’s meaning at the same time as normal did. It’s not like any body can set the state of normal for us all to follow, we are all different and that is something to celebrate.