I wonder if everyone sometimes feels like they’re not like everyone else. Belonging is such a big need for us, we seem to be built to gravitate towards other people – and at the same time, we’re constantly worried that they’re not going to be interested in us or particularly welcome us gravitating towards them.

Sometimes we have evidence for this and sometimes we don’t. But when we feel this way, we quite often conclude that it must be because there’s something wrong with us. Are we just weird?

I actually think that everyone is a little weird in their own way. Everyone has little things that they do that someone else might not understand. The way you were brought up is not the same as the next person. Your sense of humour is different. You picked up your own habits, sometimes from your parents or peers, sometimes of your own invention to deal with whatever you were going through at the time. Whatever it is, it’s unique to you or a select few people, and everyone else is going to think it’s just bizarre.

This is actually great news. It’s interesting. How boring would it be if people didn’t have their little quirks, strange ways of doing things, odd food preferences? And how much fun is it hanging out with a group of friends and finding out which one of you sleepwalks, who eats their cereal without milk, or who unexpectedly knows all the words to every song Dolly Parton ever released?

It’s really a good thing that you like different stuff from me, and that you find different things exciting. I might even try it your way just to see if I like it. This is how we learn from each other.

And – your quirks can be endearing. They mean that you are a real person. Sure, it may seem that nobody will ever understand you because you’re too weird, but the truth is that nobody can ever what it’s like to be you anyway because to do that, they’d need to have lived your life. And you’re only just beginning to understand yourself even though you have lived your life.