Some of us humans are just ‘weirder’ than others. That’s how it is. That’s how it’s always been and always will be. There is a very good reason: we can’t all be weird. We can’t all be the outliers of life. Only a minority can be, by definition. But who is this ‘weird’ minority?


Well, us weirdos have a lot in common with one another. We like and need alone time. We feel and think deeply and are affected by emotions and opinions of others, we are moved by scenes of nature and make deep meaning in art. We are drawn to caring and creative professions and have obsessive interests and hobbies. We are bright, intuitive and seem to have uncanny memories and insight at times. We can’t do trivial life – and we don’t feel like we really ‘fit in’. Sound like you?

Maybe you were labelled a ‘weirdo’ at school? Or were considered to have weird hobbies or interests. Maybe you were considered rather cool for your weirdness, perhaps eccentric and interesting or, maybe your felt rejected or excluded. Whilst some of us absolutely naturally thrive in our unusualness some simply don’t and have to focus on how they survive. Either way, this blog is here to let you know something… your ‘weirdness’ may well be your best gift – your natural magic – the very thing that is sensed and yet not grasped, by those who noticed, named and ‘othered’ you.

If you were often labelled ‘weird’ by others, perhaps it’s time to reclaim the word for it’s depth and magic, just at the witches did in the 90s cult classic, The Craft:

“We are the weirdos mister”
The Craft (1996)


At Wyrd we believe it’s time to reclaim the word. Wyrd – is our keyword. It is our anchor of meaning. It means weaving of fate, interconnection. The website tells us it means:

fate, chance, fortune; destiny; the Fates, literally “that which comes”

So as a spiritual or philosophical term we might enjoy reclaiming and identifying proudly as a ‘Wyrdo‘. The etymology of words can be a fascinating insight in to our social history and it’s demonstrably true with the word Wyrd. Through changes in religious context the word was ‘corrupted’ to mean “odd, strange, disturbingly different” – essentially, undesirable or untrustworthy and took on the more modern spelling of ‘ei’ in place of ‘y’.

Where science meets magic

Here at Wyrd Research we have a particular interest in deep interconnection – and practical understanding of how to cultivate such states of consciousness. One area of fascination is that of ‘individual differences’ – what psychologists refer to when they talk about what makes us each who we are – i.e. personality traits and types. Essentially, are some people just more aware, more connected at that subtle level, more psychic than others? If so, what are these nuanced individual differences? In parapsychology, this is a key area of inquiry and in our ESP experiments we do indeed look across a range of ‘traits and states (of consciousenss)’. We look for what Charles Honorton first coined as a ‘recipe for success’, back in the 1980s.

Curiously, since then, a scientific term describing the people who fit that ‘recipe’ has emerged. It also describes those same wyrdos discussed in this blog. The scientific term is Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS), more colloquially known as the ‘HSP’ (highly sensitive person).

So, what is HSP?

Literally an HSP is a ‘highly sensitive person’. It is a term that gets used and misused so let’s clarify. HSP specifically, is a term coined by Dr. Elaine Aron a psychologist in the 1990s. Check out her scales and articles here:

The HSP tends to receive and process more information than most – especially sensory input and social information. The depth and speed of processing can mean such people experience challenges such as overwhelm, higher tendency to anxiety and low mood, self-doubt and so on – but the flip side of this offers ‘vantage sensitivity’ in the forms of heightened empathy, creativity, intuition, intelligence and, what’s more (from my own research speciality), a higher natural capacity for ‘psi phenomena’ aka psychic capacities.

It is perhaps no surprise that HSPs can feel ‘different’ and misunderstood by others and are drawn to caring and /or creative roles in life. They might like to work solo or need a particularly open and reassuring manager.

Sensitives feel the sense of fate, of karma, of subtle interconnection, of cause and effect – and either lean in to it, or lean away from it. They can fully thrive – or just survive – in their own very thin-boundaried bubbles.

Dr. Aron has offered us a handy acronym: DOES

D – Depth of processing, especially social and emotional information

O – Overstimulation, tendency to be over stimulated by what’s going on around us (external world – bright lights, loud nose, crowds…) and also inside (internal world of thoughts-  bodily sensations, emotions)

E – Empathy, tendency to really feel what others are feeling – not just sympathise.

S – Sensitive to subtle cues, nuance of both what’s going around us e.e atmospheric changes, and also what we sense within us e.g. body hunger, temperature, stress, illness or pain.

So here are some of my lived examples to help frame this. You may relate to being:

  •  Quiet and focussed whilst you take in information and think it through, thoroughly. This may also mean you are observant for much of your time socially.
  •  Anxiety triggered by physical discomfort or feel alarmed when your environment turns really loud or bright or crowded.
  •  Overcome with sadness when seeing a child cry, an injured animal or an advert for a charity on TV. Cannot shake off upsetting imagery from TV.
  •  Aware when a storm is going to break or when another person, pet or yourself are beginning to feel poorly. Just ‘know things’ by some sort of ‘feels’.
  • The sense of ‘Self’ and others is pretty fluid…. no real boundaries and this on the one hand can mean reading others easily, ‘knowing’ things and having immense empathy – but can also get us in to trouble with people pleasing and excessive worrying about what others’ think of us…

All of this means that an HSP requires certain optimal conditions to thrive. The flip side is that when we do thrive… we have a heightened potential than average. This is why leveraging the sensitivity as a strength needs to be a practical and holistic in approach. It’s an immense resource and skill to be able to perceive more than most. Although HSPs can be easily fatigued or overwhelmed by say, crowds and the emotions of others; on the other hand, they have an intense insight in to how to heal and help others. Archetypically  HSPs could be thought of as the local sages or wise women living in the woods with a tame crow.

Wyrd woman by the woods

Sounds very much like a Wyrdo, right?

This HSP processing style and reactivity is considered to be an innate trait found in approx 20% – 30% of the population (equally across male/female genders) and so far, has been identified in over 100 over species too. Living as an HSP can be paradoxical – it is a minority of us humans yet this minority make up almost half of people in therapy as we tend to be more vulnerable to overwhelm, anxiety and so on.

Certain dimensions of the trait are thought to be linked to giftedness and mystical or spiritual states of consciousness too. Yet the HSP is likely to be stuck in self-doubt and procrastination. Whatever we call it, it is a very real, beautiful and tangible way of being with so much inherent good to cultivate. Much of the emergent science on this topic focusses on the challenges of high sensitivity – and so here at Wyrd, we not only support HSPs to thrive, we actively research the advantages… the ‘innate magic’… the natural Wyrdness. Contact me if you would explore with us.

Understanding your HSP processing style – as the gift it actually is – can be totally life-changing when you realise that all that dud advice about being ‘too sensitive’ and your need to ‘toughen up’ is false and misguided rhetoric from an lesser sensitive, arguably ‘masculine’ dominated culture that has historically valued competition and empire building – the patriarchy some would say. Sensitivity is the clear key to any success now in this emerging era of intense communication and interconnection above all else.

So… are you a natural Wyrdo too?