What Trait Of Yours Do People Find Most Unusual?

Each one of us has a trait that is unusual — possibly several. Is there anything that others recognize as standing out from the crowd?

No two people are alike. Like snowflakes, each and every one of us is unique. What that means from a functional perspective is that we all have things about us — our personalities, our physical appearances, our beliefs, our experiences — that are unusual. If we didn’t, we’d be just like everyone else.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘How do you think others see you?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘How can we maintain wonder?’


Of course, how you see yourself and how others see you might be different. Something that is perfectly normal to you might seem strange and different to your friends or your peers.

For example, imagine you happen to be double-jointed. You’ve always been double-jointed — you’ve never known anything else. But to someone who is not, it may seem highly unusual. The total number of people who are double-jointed is pretty small.

Are there behaviors or traits you have that other people think are different from most people? What trait of yours do other people find most unusual? Do you agree with them?

Related questions: What makes you you? What unusual habit do you have? How do you think others see you? What trait is most missing from our society?

3 thoughts on “What Trait Of Yours Do People Find Most Unusual?”

  1. I’m guessing my passionate optimism is the trait most people find unusual about me.

    For individuals, my default is to try to identify people’s strengths, and then I find opportunities to privately and publicly recognize those strengths when put to good use. I am a cheerleader. What more can I say?

    For society, it’s true: it’s hard to be optimistic. For example, we have poisoned our planet to the point of creating an existential threat to humanity. Our society stands aggressively divided, politically and culturally. And the injustices we tolerate as a nation, I find, are shocking. How can I be optimistic? As I’ve noted many times, I feel a responsibility to active hope. How can I choose to accept not just the status quo but the accelerated tailspin our society in which it seems trapped? Quite simply, I can’t. Resignation is not an option for me.

  2. I once posted this question for my friends:

    Which of the following facts about me is the most unusual?

    1) I don’t own a car, and in fact I’ve never had a driver’s license
    2) I don’t drink coffee
    3) I don’t own or use an alarm clock
    4) I don’t have a cellphone

    The general consensus was that the most unusual is #4, although I will say that this one has a caveat. While it’s true that I don’t have a cellphone, I *do* have an iPad Mini with cellular service. While I cannot make or receive phone calls, it does most of the other things a smartphone can do: I download and use various apps from the Apple store, including GPS, a weather app, Internet browser, and so on. Because it has cellular service, I can take it with me wherever I go (I got it for my cross-country bicycle trip). I even use it during my weekly videochat meeting with Michael to come up with the Intellectual Roundtable questions. I don’t often use it, however, when other people are around, so many people don’t even realize I have it.

    Personally, I think #1 is the most unusual. I know other people who don’t drink coffee, and I know other people who don’t use alarm clocks. But I don’t personally know anyone else who doesn’t drive at all. Some people don’t have cars due to expense, but they do drive occasionally.

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