You’ve always known you were a little off. While other people seem to glide through life with effortless social grace, you find yourself stumbling through awkward encounters and cringe worthy conversations daily.

Your weirdness manifests in mysterious ways—an inappropriate joke that falls flat, an obscure reference that no one understands, a tendency to laugh at precisely the wrong moment. You often feel like an alien observing human behavior from afar, unsure of the correct protocol or emotional response.

The good news is that your weirdness is curable if you have the courage and determination to remedy your off-putting peculiarities. This article will diagnose your specific brand of weirdness and provide targeted treatments to make you 10% less weird every day.

By following this simple 9-step program, you will know how to not be weird. And then you’ll be hosting dinner parties and engaging in witty repartee in no time. Your weirdness will be a distant memory. You’re welcome, future normal humans.

Understand What Makes You “Weird

So you’ve noticed that people tend to give you strange looks and back away slowly during conversations. Don’t worry, you’re not alone; we’re all a little weird. The key is identifying what exactly makes you weird and making some simple changes.

Maybe you have an unusual hobby, like collecting belly button lint or yodeling at sunrise. There’s nothing wrong with having unique interests, but you may want to avoid discussing them in mixed company. Or perhaps your fashion sense is, shall we say, avant-garde?

Now is not the time to debut that sequin fanny pack or Crocs and socks combo. Stick to more mainstream and socially acceptable attire when going out in public.

Do you have trouble reading social cues or understanding sarcasm and humor? You’re not the only one who struggles in these areas, but work on improving your emotional intelligence. Observe how others interact and react, ask clarifying questions if you’re confused, and try paraphrasing what others say to confirm you’ve understood them correctly.

We all have our quirks and oddities. The key to overcoming your weirdness is self-awareness; notice the behaviors and habits that seem to put others off and make an effort to tone them down in social situations.

How to Not Be Weird

You don’t have to change who you are; just be more mindful of how you present yourself to the world. With time and practice, interacting with others can become less awkward. You’ll still be weird, but in an oddly charming way.

1. Develop Your filter.

Develop Your filter
Develop Your filter.

If you want to stop weirding people out, the first step is developing your filter. That little voice in your head that tells you not to blurt out whatever random thought pops in there? You need to strengthen that guy.

Start listening when your filter warns you that oversharing about your anime figurine collection or love of Renaissance fair cosplay might make casual acquaintances uncomfortable. Learn to read the room before launching into a diatribe on the merits of trickle-down economics or the healing powers of crystals. Ask yourself, “Does this enrich the conversation or just make me seem like ‘that guy’?”

  • Practice pausing. Take a beat after someone asks you a question to consider your response instead of rattling off the first thing that comes to mind. A few seconds of silence won’t kill anyone, and it will save you from awkward encounters later.
  • Focus on listening, not just waiting to talk. Pay attention to social cues that the other person’s eyes are glazing over or they’re inching away slowly. Then change the subject before they have to fake an emergency phone call to escape.
  • Do a gut check. If you have the urge to over share some weird or offbeat interest, ask yourself how you’d feel if someone else brought that up out of the blue. If the answer is “deeply uncomfortable,” keep it to yourself.

With regular practice, filtering your thoughts will become daily habit. Then you can be confident that you’re not subjecting friends, coworkers, and innocent bystanders to more awkward weirdness than necessary. And that’s the most any of us can hope for.

2. Listen More, Talk less.

Listen More Talk less
Listen More Talk less.

If you want to fix your weirdness, the first step is to stop yapping and start listening. Seriously, close that gaping hole of yours and open your ears. Listening is the most underrated social skill, yet it’s the one that will win you the most friends and help you learn something.

When conversing with others, make a concerted effort to listen twice as much as you speak. Pay attention to what the other person is saying by maintaining eye contact, nodding, and avoiding distractions.

Resist the urge to plan what you’re going to say next and instead focus on understanding their perspective and experiences. Ask follow-up questions to make sure you comprehend their point of view fully before offering your own opinions.

Listening demonstrates you value others and are genuinely interested in them. People will appreciate your attentiveness and be more inclined to listen to you in return. It also prevents you from dominating the discussion and steering it in weird directions that make everyone uncomfortable. If you’re not sure how to respond, it’s better to say nothing at all than something strange.

While chatting with friends or meeting new people, make a game of seeing how long you can go without interjecting your thoughts. Start with just 30 seconds of uninterrupted listening and build up from there. It will feel unnatural at first, but with regular practice, listening can become natural.

If all else fails, imagine a roll of duct tape over your mouth and a voice in your head saying, “Shhh…listen.” The more you listen, the less weird and more socially adept you’ll become. So zip it up and let others do the talking for once. Your weirdness will thank you.

The secret to being more likeable

3. Make Eye Contact, but Not Too Much Eye contact.

Make Eye Contact, but Not Too Much Eye contact
Make Eye Contact, but Not Too Much Eye contact.

To avoid coming across as weird, it’s important to establish normal amounts of eye contact. Too little, and people will think you’re shifty and avoiding connection. Too much, and you’ll seem like an overeager puppy, or worse, a creepy stalker. As with many things in life, moderation is key.

When speaking with others, make eye contact for 3 to 5 seconds at a time, then glance away briefly before re-establishing eye contact. This helps to create a normal ebb and flow to the conversation and avoids the dreaded “stare-down.” Think of it like a tennis match—look at the other person when it’s your turn to speak.

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Then glance away when the ball is in their court. If you struggle with this, try focusing on the other person’s nose or forehead. From their perspective, it will still seem like you’re making eye contact.

Avoiding prolonged eye contact is especially important if you tend to get overzealous or passionate when speaking. Your enthusiasm may come across as aggressive or manic to others if you stare deeply into their eyes for too long.

Take a glance away to break the tension, then refocus to continue your thought. This also gives the other person a chance to respond, rather than feeling trapped under your unblinking gaze.

In group conversations, make eye contact with each person as you speak to them, but then glance at the others in the group as well. Spread the love; no one wants to feel excluded from interaction or connection. As a general rule, make eye contact with each group member for 1 to 2 seconds at a time before moving on to the next person. This helps to draw everyone into an engaging and inclusive discussion.

By following these simple tips on moderating your eye contact, you’ll master one of the most important skills for connecting with others in a normal, socially adept way. No more awkward stares, shifty glances, or feelings of exclusion. You’ll be chatting comfortably with friends and strangers alike in no time!

4. Practice Good Hygiene and grooming.

Practice Good Hygiene and grooming
Practice Good Hygiene and grooming

To stop being weird, you’ve got to get your hygiene and grooming in check. While quirkiness can be endearing, poor hygiene is off-putting. You don’t want people to avoid you because you smell like old gym socks or haven’t trimmed your toenails since the Bush administration.

Bathe Regularly

Take a shower at least every other day, or daily if you’re active or sweat a lot. Use soap and shampoo to wash your whole body and hair. And while you’re in there, wash the parts that never see the sun: behind your ears, between your toes, and your belly button. Scrub hard—weirdness could be lurking in the unwashed crevices.

Brush Your teeth.

Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush. Floss, too, to remove hunks of food wedged between your teeth. Bad breath is a major turn-off, and no one wants to see (or smell) the remnants of your last meal stuck in your smile.

Trim and File

Trim your nails—both fingers and toes—every week or two. File them into a smooth curve, not sharp points. Sharp nails catch on clothes and scratch people, weirding them out. While you’re at it, tweeze or wax any stray hairs on your brows, upper lip, or nose. Unibrows, mustaches, and nose forests should be tamed.

Style Your Hair

Get regular haircuts or trims every 4 to 6 weeks. Shampoo your hair a few times a week or as needed for your hair type. Apply a product like mousse or gel to give your hair some shape and style. Unkempt hair, dandruff, or a flat, lifeless mop top are off-putting. Put in some effort to make sure your hair looks clean, styled, and not weird.

Practicing good hygiene and grooming on a regular basis will help you avoid weirding people out. Take a shower, brush your teeth, trim your nails, and do your hair. It may seem like common sense, but for the weird at heart, it bears repeating. Stop being weird—bathe! Your friends, family, and coworkers will thank you.

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5. Respect Personal space.

Respect Personal space
Respect Personal space

By respecting other people’s personal space and privacy, avoiding excessive eye contact, and not oversharing with strangers, you’ll be well on your way to not being quite so weird.

Stop Staring

You know that awkward moment when you make eye contact with a stranger from across the room? And instead of politely looking away, you just keep staring? Yeah, that needs to stop. Prolonged eye contact with people you don’t know well is creepy and can make them extremely uncomfortable.

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Take a cue from your dog—avoid direct eye contact, look away frequently, and give others their space. If you do make eye contact by accident, flash a quick smile and look off to the side. Looking at someone’s forehead or over their shoulder works too. The key is to not lock eyes for more than a couple of seconds.

Respect the bubble.

Ever notice how most people tend to keep a certain distance between themselves and others in public? That’s because we all have an invisible “personal space bubble” that we prefer not to have popped by strangers. As a general rule, keep at least an arm’s length of space between you and others in public, especially with people you don’t know.

Some other weirdos don’t seem to grasp this concept and will stand uncomfortably close when talking to you or even—yikes—touch you for no reason. This is not okay. If someone is invading your bubble, don’t be afraid to take a step back to reclaim your space. You can say something polite but firm like “Please give me some space” or “I prefer more distance, thanks.” Your comfort comes first, so don’t feel bad about speaking up.

Stop Oversharing

We’ve all met that person who tells you their entire life story within 5 minutes of meeting them. Don’t be that person. While sharing details about yourself can help form connections, oversharing with strangers or new acquaintances is off-putting and can make them feel uncomfortable. Keep things light and casual at first, and wait for the other person to reciprocate before sharing more personal details about your life, feelings, or experiences. If in doubt, say less rather than more.

6. Match Your Emotions to the situation.

Match Your Emotions to the situation
Match Your Emotions to the situation.

So you tripped in front of your crush and face-planted into a puddle of mud. How embarrassing! But freaking out will only make the situation weirder. Take a deep breath and laugh it off. Say something clever like, “Just testing out a new mud mask recipe!” Your crush will appreciate your ability to not take yourself too seriously.

Anger is only a letter away from danger.

Feeling rage? Step away from the situation before you Hulk out. Take a walk, do some jumping jacks, and scream into a pillow. Physical activity releases pent-up energy and emotions. Once you’ve cooled off, revisit what made you angry with a calm, rational perspective. You’ll often find the issue wasn’t as big a deal as you thought.

And that guy who cut you off in traffic probably didn’t do it just to ruin your day. Don’t make a bad situation worse by reacting aggressively.

Tears should be reserved for sentimental commercials and chopping onions.

We all have moments of feeling blue, but we avoid turning on the waterworks for minor frustrations like a messy room or losing at board games. Take a breath and evaluate if the situation warrants an emotional reaction. If you still feel like crying, do so privately. Then do something to improve your mood, like call a friend, watch a funny video, or eat ice cream straight from the container. Because why not? No one’s judging you!

The key to matching your emotions appropriately is developing self-awareness and a sense of perspective. Learn to evaluate situations objectively before reacting to determine if your feelings suit the circumstance. With practice, you’ll get better at responding in ways that don’t make you seem weird, even if you are a little strange! But hey, weird is wonderful. Never change!

7. Avoid Being Too Loud or Too quiet.

Avoid Being Too Loud or Too quiet
Avoid Being Too Loud or Too quiet.

Make minor adjustments, and you’ll find the perfect pitch to avoid coming across as an obnoxious loudmouth or a timid mouse. Conversational skills, like so many things, just take some practice and self-awareness. With regular use of your inside voice, you’ll be conversing comfortably in no time.

The Loudmouth

We all know that one person who never seems to have an “indoor voice.” Everything they say is punctuated at high volume, as if the entire room (or zip code) needs to hear their every thought. While being loud can seem like confidence, in excess, it just comes across as obnoxious. No one wants to hear about your latest gym routine or vacation at top volume. Save the loudness for sporting events and rock concerts. In normal conversation, use your inside voice.

The Mouse

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the person who speaks in a voice so soft you have to read their lips to understand them. Constantly having to ask someone to repeat themselves becomes frustrating for all parties involved. Speaking up and projecting your voice shows confidence and allows others to hear what you’re saying.

Find your confidence and use it—your thoughts and opinions matter, so make sure people can hear them! A good tip is to speak from your diaphragm rather than your throat. This will give your voice more power and help you avoid sounding like a squeaky toy.

Finding the Right Volume

As with most things in life, the ideal volume level in conversation is somewhere in the middle. You want to be loud enough to be heard and engaged, but not so loud that you overpower everyone else in the discussion. A good rule of thumb is to match the volume of the people around you. Pay attention to cues that you may be too loud (people leaning away from you) or too soft (lots of “what was that?”).

8. Improve Your Self-Awareness

Improve Your Self-Awareness
Improve Your Self-Awareness

The first step to fixing your weirdness is simple: look in the mirror. No, not to check your hair or makeup. Look into your own eyes and ask yourself some tough questions:

  • Do you understand how other people perceive you?
  • Are you self-aware of your quirks and idiosyncrasies?
  • Do you know how your words and actions might seem strange or off-putting to others?

If the answer is no, then Houston, we have a problem. Lack of self-awareness is the leading cause of weirdness and social awkwardness. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. Take some time for honest self-reflection and think about how you come across to people. Ask a friend or family member for constructive feedback. The truth may be hard to hear, but it will set you free.

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Observe Normal people.

Once you have a better sense of your weirdness, start observing how “normal” people behave in social situations. Notice how they make eye contact, carry on conversations, interact with others, and generally conduct themselves. Look for differences between them and your habits and mannerisms. Try emulating the behaviors and styles you find appealing and see if you feel less weird.

Rehearse New responses.

If certain types of interactions or situations trigger your weirdness, practice new responses ahead of time. For example, if meeting new people makes you feel awkward, plan some go-to questions to start a conversation. If you frequently say weird things at the moment, script some generic, polite responses you can deploy instead. Repeating new responses, even if just in your mind, can help make them second nature. Muscle memory applies to social skills as well as physical ones.

With increased self-awareness and the deliberate practice of “normal” behaviors, you can overcome your weird tendencies and become socially adept. Just remember—everyone is a little weird in their own way. Your goal shouldn’t be to eliminate your quirks but to gain mastery over them. May the force of societal norms be with you!

9. Expand Your Interests and Pursue New Hobbies.

Expand Your Interests and Pursue New Hobbies
Expand Your Interests and Pursue New Hobbies

In all seriousness, pursuing new and quirky interests is a great way to broaden your horizons, discover hidden talents, and become a more interesting person.

Develop a quirky hobby.

You need a hobby, stat. No, not just any hobby—something really weird and quirky, like competitive punning, extreme ironing, or yodeling. The quirkier, the better. Having an unusual hobby shows you march to the beat of your drum and don’t care what others think of you. The next time someone calls you “weird,” just shrug and say, “Yeah, I’m into competitive taxidermy. Want to see my prize weasel?” That’ll show ‘em.

Learn a useless skill.

Useless skills are all the rage these days. Things like pen spinning, speedcubing, and yo-yo tricks are popular options. Pick something complicated that takes hours of practice to master, then whip out your new skill at parties to impress people. When they ask why you learned how to solve a Rubik’s Cube in under a minute, just wink and say, “Because I’m weird like that.”

Dress in distress.

Normal clothes are for normal people. You want to stand out from the crowd, so raid your grandma’s closet for some vintage threads or hit up the thrift store for the ugliest sweater you can find. The more outrageous your outfit, the more people will realize you’re too weird to care about societal norms like not wearing a kilt and clown shoes together. Hey, fashion is self-expression, right?

Read books.

Expand your mind by reading bizarre books on strange topics like fungal pathogens, the history of turnips, or the mating habits of the Madagascar hissing cockroach. The weirder the subject matter, the better.

People will think you’re pretty weird for delving into such odd areas of study, but the joke’s on them—now you have a wealth of weird facts and trivia to share at random inappropriate moments. Weirdness achieved!

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Don’t worry so much about what others might think—just follow your passions and embrace them.


So there you have it—the hard truth about your weirdness and the steps required to join the rest of us normal folk. But between you and me, normal is overrated. Your little quirks and oddities are what make you, well, you. Rather than changing who you are just to please others, embrace your weirdness.

Let your freak flag fly high and proud. March to the beat of your off-kilter drummer. While the rest of the world obsesses over popularity and conformity, you can focus on the things that matter to you. Like your collection of vintage lunchboxes or perfecting your birdcall mating sounds. Stay weird, my friend. Stay weird.


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