She looks real smooth, but she’s all hooks. Don’t let her hang you on one of ’em. – from Jane Russell’s classic film, The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown
The line between quirky and weirdo is not as thin as people casually say. Firstly, the connotations with the word, “quirky” are not quite negative; interesting, complicated and harmless is how we view the descriptor. “Weird,” however, typically connotes strange, indecipherable and potentially cautionary.
What qualifies as a weirdo? What’s the difference between unique, creative, quirky and weird? I don’t know if there is an official definition of a “weirdo,” but I do know that I’ve dated a few in the past. From experience, I can tell you this “weirdoness” seems to show itself suddenly. When you’re out with a person on a third date or so, you might immediately begin to ask yourself, “was that wierd?” “Am I overthinking?” “Whatever. Everyone does weird things right?”
The worst scenario is finding yourself sort of stuck dealing with a weirdo; this can become a simple nuisance or a complex “f*#k with your head” type deal. The truth is, the arrows pointing to “weird” are always there, but we don’t always know how to see them. It’s not really a popular topic of conversation nor is it talked about in the media. I mean talking about weirdoness is weird.
To put it most harshly, some weirdos can result in safety issues, for example the obstacle of being stalked or the emotional backlash.
Had I known how to read some of the early signs though, I could have saved myself some time and pain in the as%es.
So, though I’m no expert in psychology or social behaviors etc, looking back, hearing stories and reading have sharpened my ability to spot a weirdo, to see the signs in focus.
10 Signs He/She is a “Weirdo”
1. Passive aggressive behavior/attitude. For example, subtle or camouflaged insults, like “oh, I see; you’re trying to make a joke.”
3. Pushiness. For example, “you have to take a shot with me; Im taking you out. It’s the least you could do.” He/she might even sound flirty or charming, but look past the presentation to the reasoning behind the comment or pressure.
4. No friends. If he/she has no friends; don’t expect the person to know how to be a good friend to you.
5. Rejects all your ideas. Weirdos have weird reactions to normal interactions. They might feel threatened by letting you pick a place or coordinating a date.
6. Inappropriateness. Towards you or towards others. ‘Nough said.
7. Makes demands. Rather than telling you what you are going to be doing tonight, a non-weirdo will ask you what you’re up to or what you feel like doing. Comments like, “tonight, I want you to go to dinner with me.” Doesn’t sound too bad right? Especially if it’s a nice place. But, before you start planning what you’re going to wear, examine the tone.
8. Getting too personal too quickly. Once a person starts asking you about stuff you only share with your best friend or therapist, that’s a flag.
9. Judgmental perspectives, proclaiming “types.” Making over-generalizations about others or labeling others demonstrates an ability to disconnect from perceiving others as individuals, potentially a lack of empathy and/or compassion.
10. Constant checking-in. This is a huge red flag, especially if it’s early on in the courtship. This can mean a lot of negatives like jealousy, obsession, insecurity, boredom, no understanding of boundaries, possessiveness and so many other weird traits.
I felt weird making up this list, probably because it’s not exactly a comfortable subject, but regardless, I hope it can be an empowering read.
I’m sure I missed a bunch of red flags; what can you add to the list? Have you had any encounters with weirdoness?
Suggested further readings:
I’m so pleased to announce that three of my poems, “Slots,” “Scraping” and “Make a Decision” have been published in Barking Sycamores Literary Magazine Issue 13. Barking Sycamores is dedicated to neurodivergent literature and its craft. I’m so honored to be a part of this project. Barking Sycamores Issue 13
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