Eccentricity — is often associated with genius, intellectual giftedness or creativity. The individual’s eccentric behavior is perceived to be the outward expression of their unique intelligence or creative impulse. In this vein, the eccentric’s habits are incomprehensible not because they are illogical or the result of madness, but because they stem from a mind so original that it cannot be conformed to societal norms. English utilitarian thinker John Stuart Mill (b. 1806) wrote that “the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigour, and moral courage which it contained”, and mourned a lack of eccentricity as “the chief danger of the time”. Edith Sitwell (b. 1887) wrote that eccentricity is “often a kind of innocent pride”, also saying that geniuses and aristocrats are called eccentrics because “they are entirely unafraid of and uninfluenced by the opinions and vagaries of the crowd.” Eccentricity is also believed to be associated with great wealth. What would be considered to be signs of insanity in a poor person is generally accepted as eccentricity in these people. . . . Eccentrics may or may not comprehend the standards for normal behavior in their culture. They are simply unconcerned by society’s disapproval of their habits or beliefs. Many of history’s most brilliant minds have displayed some unusual behaviors and habits. . . . Psychologist Dr. David Weeks mentions people with a mental illness “suffer” from their behavior, while eccentrics are quite happy. He even states eccentrics are less prone to mental illness than everyone else.
According to studies, there are [eighteen? – not all were listed] distinctive characteristics that differentiate a healthy eccentric person from a regular person or someone who has a mental illness (although some may not always apply). The first five are in most people regarded as eccentric:
1. Nonconforming attitude
3. Intense curiosity
4. Happy obsession with a hobby or hobbies
5. Knew very early in their childhood that they were different from others
6. Highly intelligent
7. Opinionated and outspoken
8. Unusual living or eating habits
9. Sometimes not interested in the opinions or company of others
10. Strong moral obligations (against infidelity, strong family values, ultrareligious)
11. Mischievous sense of humor
Whoa… THAT’S ME! Content… happy… ECCENTRIC.