Some people are really weird. Not that normal is something to strive for all the time. Normality is overrated. Cause it doesn’t exist. Really, no one’s really normal. But it’s just that sometimes it is striking how truly weird some people (choose to) behave. A lot of the time the behaviour is a curiosity and something to laugh about. Like the young guy at the metro – probably in his mid-twenties – bragging loudly about his mum coming to his apartment to vacuum clean for him. Though, who knows what else this mum is doing for her precious son. Or the guy next to him who was on the phone with an important (?) client disclosing a lot of interesting details. There are also examples of being happy-weird, like the people down the street who still have huge Christmas-decorations in their garden even if it is September. Maybe I’m the weird one concerning this….the decorations might be all-year-round-ones, or they have decided to drop the hassle in December and just kept them hanging on…
Other times being weird equals being mean. And you might say that weird is not the appropriate word when describing people saying or doing bad things. But it is weird that some people go ahead and do a lot of things that: 1.make people unhappy 2. make other people dislike you. Psychologists could probably elaborate a lot on this topic and describe how such behaviour seems to be rational, sociopathic. Looking back at the (somewhat confused) insights from the social anthropology curriculum – a major point was that people live in social systems with intrinsic rules of behaviour. Some people obviously miss out. Or just ignore the fact that they live in a society together with other people.
The office is often the place for observations of weirdness in action. In the past few months I have actually felt a bit like an anthropologist myself, doing some fieldwork. Witnessing a person’s battle to maintain a high position – a whole number of weird and mean behaviour has been on display. It is almost fascinating to experience someone who does not seem to care about what other people think and feel. Who can say things that are intimidating and very rude. The weirdest about this is that few people – if any – counter the unsocial behaviour. This person can just carry on, creating a lot of upset and pissed-off people along the way.
How to prevent this kind of weird behaviour? Very challenging. One thing’s for sure, it’s not efficient to ignore it. Someone will have to get some guts – talk back and draw the line – probably using capital letters. And that comes with a price. Am I up for the task? Not sure. Could the price be too high? Probably yes.
But can we continue ignoring such mal-practices? NO! Cause if we do it is like accepting them. But then again, look at Assad and Syria. Who has really done something to change things? Look at the million of innocent people that are fleeing the country. Look at some really, really weird acting presidents in this world. They’re abusing their power and continue their work. How do you stop them other than using violence? They will not listen. But can you continue looking at pictures of drowned children looking for a better future and not do anything? I can’t. In a continent that becomes more and more nationalistic and wants to secure its borders and its ‘wealth’, I start to feel ashamed of being European. And for many citizens in Europe, I might be the weird one, who thinks it’s best to open borders and welcome all refugees, and safeguard their journey to a better future. Even better though if our governments would start acting humane and put all their effort in really ending conflicts. Where they started. Diplomatically.