Take the 2-minute tour ×
Cognitive Sciences Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for practitioners, researchers, and students in cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, and psychiatry. It's 100% free, no registration required.

There is a saying I was once told:

"I no longer fear going insane, I am enjoying every moment of it"

For some (including myself), this is in fact a rather happy and liberating reality, albeit a reality that I don't quite understand. So, my question is, what is the psychology behind choosing to let one's weird side show?

Please note - I am not asking for self help, don't need it - just trying to understand the psychological aspects. An example of this is when I wore a ballerina suit and walked around a shopping centre as if nothing was out of the ordinary... it was not a pretty sight

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The psychology behind choosing to let one's weird side show?
I think the this question would work as effectively as:
The psychology behind choosing to let one's individuality show?

Human beings are social animals. Social pressures play significant factors in moulding personality.

The term conformity is often used to indicate an agreement to the majority position, brought about either by a desire to ‘fit in’ or be liked (normative) or because of a desire to be correct (informational), or simply to conform to a social role (identification).

So assuming "weird" is more likely to be further away from social norms. The more social pressure to be borne. This means a greater courage is needed to be oneself. There are links between self-acceptance, social pressure and depression.

Correlational results indicated that all three trait dimensions of perfectionism (i.e., self-oriented, other-oriented, and socially prescribed perfectionism) were associated negatively with unconditional self-acceptance. Also, as expected, depression was associated with relatively low unconditional self-acceptance. Finally, a path analysis revealed that unconditional self-acceptance mediated the association between socially prescribed perfectionism and depression, and other-oriented perfectionism was found to affect depression only indirectly through its association with low levels of self-acceptance.

Dimensions of Perfectionism, Unconditional Self-Acceptance, and Depression
Gordon L. Flett, Avi Besser, Richard A. Davis, Paul L. Hewitt
Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy
June 2003, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 119-138

Conclusion
Gaining self-acceptance, one's individuality or "weirdness" is inversely proportional to the incidence of depression; and also improves the individual's capacity to cope with social pressure to conform. So by accepting one's strengths and weaknesses one is freed from (social and psychological) pressure, improving one's sense of well being.

share|improve this answer
add comment

By being weird you choose a smaller group of similar weirdos to compete for status in. At the limit you're in a group of one. Smaller peer group, easier to be near the top. High status feels good even if it's in a smaller peer group.

It's relatively easy to be the manliest brony as opposed to being the manliest human.

Disclaimer: I'm not an expert.

share|improve this answer

This post does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this post by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

1  
Have you got references to include with your answer? Your 2nd sentence does not really make sense to me. –  user3554 Aug 15 '13 at 11:08
1  
@Skippy Oh I see where this is going... If you're weird, you're an outcast, but by embracing your weirdness and joining with other outcasts, now you're an accepted member of a group. This could be why people choose to be weird rather than working to be normal. –  Randy Aug 15 '13 at 12:06
    
@Skippy You mean someone running from the law and constantly looking over their shoulder? I mean someone weird as in dressing in a ballerina outfit and walking around the mall. What would be the motivation? It may be easier to make friends in a ballerina suit than a business suit where you have to compete with 10000 other joes in a business suit. I think that was the idea behind this answer. True or not, idk, but I think that's Ansis' thought process. –  Randy Aug 15 '13 at 12:29
    
Can you find some references for this answer Ansis? As it stands now it's attracting downvotes and flags and will likely be converted into a comment. –  Josh Gitlin Aug 15 '13 at 14:36
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.