8 things authentic people do that seem weird to others (but are really not)

by Isabel Cabrera | January 19, 2024, 10:27 am

Authenticity is a rare treasure in this world.

I love authentic people, because they are the bold few in a society that operates on unconscious behaviors and choices that we’ve learned as ‘acceptable’.

These behaviors can be influenced by trends, traditions, family, or social groups, combined with a fear of standing out. 

I can remember:

When I was someone who worried about how people perceived me, those who were brazenly authentic were often labeled as ‘weird’ by those around me. 

Deep down, I envied the freedom and courage it took for them to be their truest selves, when I felt restricted by my own fear of judgment. On the outside, I would judge them, too.

That was until I had the realization that what’s considered ‘normal’ actually seemed crazy to me. 

What I see as truly weird now is living in fear of being authentic, when there’s no life-threatening danger – in this era and in the area of the world I live in, anyway.

I envisioned a life where I continued to repress my expression, my style, my creativity, my quirks. And what a waste that imaginary life seems. 

I started to realize how little consequence others’ judgments actually held. 

I also saw that judgmental people aren’t people I want to be around, nor even want validation from. So the idea of judgments gradually lost hold over the way I live my life. 

So as someone who has lived on both sides of the spectrum, I’ve compiled these 8 things authentic people do that seem weird to others, but are really not:

1) They have unique interests

Have you ever met someone who is into ant-keeping? Or carves soap into mini-sculptures in their spare time?

What about someone who loves to build Japanese gandam robots? 

Authentic people often have odd or unique interests and hobbies that you may have never even known existed.

If you have an unusual hobby or interest, it’s a sign that you don’t conform to what society deems as ‘acceptable’ hobbies. 

You allow yourself the freedom to explore various activities, and have the self-awareness to recognize true enjoyment, even if nobody else around you enjoys it or approves of it. 

That’s the root of authenticity – doing things from an alignment of your own values and desires, and being open and honest about those interests even if they may be labeled as ‘weird’.

2) They’re radically honest 

Speaking of being open and honest:

This is another trait that authentic people tend to display unapologetically. 

They express their opinions and emotions candidly, which can come across as blunt or abrasive to some. 

However, they’re also more likely to build genuine relationships and friendships through their radical honesty as people will know exactly where they stand from the start. 

With an authentic person, there is no wondering about their intentions or what they think about something. 

They are consistently forthright and don’t play manipulation games with other people. 

This is something I value highly about authentic people. I would rather know what they feel, even if it’s negative, than to get to know someone who isn’t being honest.

With this authenticity, you can decide from a truthful and fair place whether you want to get to know this person further, rather than being blindsided down the line. 

In a world where media, corporations, and many people have learned to be charming because they want to sell us something, radical honesty is truly a breath of fresh air. 

3) They ask meaningful questions

Every time I hang out with authentic people, the conversation is never surface-level. 

There’s no weather talk, no gossip, and no drama. 

This is because someone who is authentic will ask questions that hold meaning, with the intention of actually getting to know who you are beyond the superficial layers you present to the world. 

They have an understanding of the difference between the facade you might show, or what they might perceive from you – versus who you truly are at your core. 

And, they’re actually interested in uncovering more about that. 

Oftentimes, I observe that people who aren’t being fully authentic will react with discomfort to questions like these, because they’ve never asked themselves those questions. 

So if you are with someone who asks you deep questions, trust that you likely have an authentic person who just wants to form a genuine connection with you.

It’s also worth appreciating that they’re not trying to get something from you, they’re actually interested in getting to know you as a person. 

4) They celebrate individuality

Individuality can be demonstrated in a number of ways. 

It can be a fashion sense, language style, embracing one’s physical attributes, a unique path, diverse interests, ideas, or beliefs. But if you notice someone who:

  • Embraces their physical ‘flaws’ rather than changing them
  • Has a unique way of talking 
  • Wears whatever they want, even if it’s not in style
  • Expresses ideas that aren’t conventional
  • Has unique hobbies
  • Has a unique profession

They’re likely authentic people, especially if they celebrate and encourage the same individuality in others. 

Conventional beauty or success standards don’t faze them. They aren’t trying to prove how much better they are than others through their looks or what they’ve achieved. 

They’re doing things from a place of genuine enjoyment and self-acceptance, and that’s about as authentic as you can get!

5) They let themselves show vulnerability

On the flip side, being authentic isn’t just about sharing the ‘cool’ or ‘good’ parts of oneself. 

If an authentic person is struggling, going through challenges, or feeling lost, they’re unlikely to pretend otherwise. 

They understand that life is a constant journey of ups and downs, and they’re not in the interest of pretending their life is perfect. 

Vulnerability is something that they value, rather than see as a weakness. 

This is really important in a world where the status quo is for people to hide their negative feelings and present only their ‘best’ side. 

But as you know:

This societal norm is doing deep damage to many people who are struggling internally, and aren’t able to be authentic about their challenges. 

Maybe they don’t feel free to express this, or maybe they aren’t around the right genuine people who will accept this side of them. 

So I consider the vulnerability of authentic people as a lighthouse of hope that allows everyone else to slowly learn that feeling ‘negative’ emotions is part of the human experience. 

6) They can have unconventional careers

Many authentic individuals pursue careers that align with their passions, even if they deviate from traditional paths.

This can lead them down unconventional routes that others may not always understand. 

However, it reflects their commitment to living a purpose-driven life, regardless of what others think or expect of them. 

The most authentic friends I have are usually in creative careers, entrepreneurs, business owners, or are artists paving their own unique path. 

They may fail often, because they value the freedom of experimenting and figuring out what truly aligns with what they want. So often, it takes them time to settle into a career path. 

Sometimes they never do, and can change between various endeavors throughout their life. 

And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that – contrary to what the conventional career model says.

It’s important to have trailblazers that change the status quo, and show us what else is possible beyond the prescribed paths we already know. 

7) They question the status quo

Through their words, actions, and how they live, authentic individuals are constantly questioning what’s normal. 

Where others might have had a ‘rebellious teenager’ phase and then slowly come to accept the societal norms, authentic people never gave up on questioning what’s not aligned. 

They don’t accept, “because everyone else does/ has done it that way” as a justification.

Questioning these societal norms, traditions and expectations may come across as weird, rebellious, or attention-seeking to some, but it stems from a commitment to being authentic. 

It reminds us that personal growth happens beyond our comfort zones. 

8) They don’t adhere to acting a certain way in public

In certain places, there’s somewhat of a belief that extreme displays of emotion, enjoyment, or movement are reserved for a specific time or place. 

If they want to move, they go to a gym or yoga studio. 

If they want to dance, they go to a club. 

If they want to hug, kiss, or show emotion, they have to do it privately. 

On the other hand:

Authentic people don’t believe that they have to reserve certain expressions for specific places. 

They understand that self-care is a priority, and it’s OK to meditate, sing, hold hands, or dance if that’s what they feel like doing – and it doesn’t matter if people stare or judge them. 

They live through their own passions, needs and desires, and respect those human aspects enough to let them shine. 

Conclusion

In summary, all of these 8 things authentic people do really come down to one thing: 

An alignment of inner needs, values, passions, and feelings with what they express to the outside world. 

That can be misunderstood as ‘weird’ at times. 

But let’s call it what it really is:

Courageous and inspiring leadership to live uninhibited by others’ perceptions.

To live in alignment with your passions and desires (as long as it’s not hurting others).

Authentic people trailblaze the way for others to see that it’s always possible to be more genuine, more honest, and more brave as we navigate this life we have the opportunity to create – in any way we want to. 

It’s miraculous, and it’s not worth wasting that opportunity in the shadow of others’ judgments.

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