I tend to keep a lot of my more unusual things private.
Sometimes I will test the waters by telling people something mildly unusual and seeing what kind of reaction I get. If it is negative, I don't reveal more to them. If the reaction is neutral or postive I may reveal more.
Sometimes you can guess if they might react negatively before they say anything. Example: I would not try to talk to a fundamentalist Christian about past life experiences.
People who are eccentric tend to be more open minded about other people's excentric traits.
My personal experience is that people who listen to indie music or look different (dress, hair, make up) from the norm tend to be more open to eccentric people.
You can also search around for people who share the same eccentric traits/interests as you in person or on-line. You probably won't find a perfect match but you might find a person or group that shares one or two things with you.
I usually fantasize about getting even with them, even though I fear the incompetence of following through. Testing out different scenarios internally and brainstorming ways to stab the abuser. Some of them are fanciful, some of them would be realistic if I was given the situation to enact upon it. I'm a big believer in emotional torture -- it hurts more than anything.
I tend to get into this whole wishful thinking process where one day, I meet up with the former abuser and discover that he's changed into a nicer person. The tables will turn after I make him/her feel secure and then stab them in the back (figuratively) to remind them of the torture they put me through.
It's a rather poetic strategy, if you ask me. I just wish this opportunity will present itself one day.
I be even more like it, until eventually they get used to it or at least, realize that it's not a threat and nothing to fear. I just carry on being myself and over a period people learn I'm trustworthy and decent, and then they start to imitate me. Honestly they do...
I started working in this community centre once where people were all wary of me to start with because of my 'eccentricity' as they put it (oh wow I never got called that before! not!), but like I say, I just ignored their apprehension and carried on being myself. Within a couple of months they were all using my catchphrases and someone said to me at one point "It's more fun when you're in the office, when you're not around it's really dull but when you come in somehow even though everyone starts playing and lightening up, more work gets done."
I think the worst thing is to start dampening yourself down and getting all precious about "oooh I'm not gonna share my ideas with this audience full of ingrates!" like some actor having a queenie strop. Just carry on. If you know you're good and your ideas are good and your work is good, all that leaves is for it to be proven, which it naturally will over time, and when that's proven, they'll have to accept you even despite themselves.
And seeing that you're not afraid to be a bit different, and that you get on better for it, gives other people the courage to show more of themselves. It just makes everything better, IMO. Cos what you have, typically, is a lot of people who all have their own individual personalities, style, sense of humour and knowledge, but everyone hides it for fear that the others won't like it. I walk into some rooms and feel almost knocked over by the stench of so much inhibition. I'm damn well not gonna inhibit myself - my weirdness, as they put it, is all part of my creative process. I gotta extravert it or I go downhill on all levels, I can't think straight. And like I say, once I start doing it, everyone else follows suit in their own way and the atmosphere just gets way better.
It's a pity though, that they only do it when I'm around. I've never stuck around a place long enough really, to get to the point where they do it by themselves now. I'd love that to happen.
edit - oh and Edahn's right, pretty much everyone's weird. Usually the people who put on the biggest front of normality are the ones with the biggest skeletons in their closets. The number of 'desperate housewives' in this world, with their picket fences and perfect lawns and 'nice' lives, who have secret eccentricities that they're terrified of anyone finding out is amazing. And you know, being known as the oddball means that people come to you and trust you with things they wouldn't confide in anyone else. Because they know you wouldn't judge them. Which is funny, cos if someone else told them their secret, you can bet they'd judge them right there, rather than sympathize and reciprocate the confidence. People project their own potential opinions onto others, so if they're judgemental, they fear other people will be. So the judgemental ones are usually the ones with the most hidden stuff.
In the past that's been a 'way in' for me with some of my most vocal detractors!! lol The reason they resented me so much was because they envied my openness and wished they had the courage to be themselves rather than hide it all behind a mask of respectability. When I've found out their skeletons and not judged them, and talked with them about it, they've ended up feeling closer to me than their own family, and have become the most loyal friends.
In fact that's what I'd define as normality: having no less weird shit than anyone else, but being good at hiding it and looking respectable. They still shit on the toilet like anyone else, dammit, and their shit ain't made of gold. You just gotta remember that what looks like them hating your ideas and hating you is 99% of the time them envying your courage. Hack through that over time, get to know them and win their trust, make them feel brave enough to open up a bit and free themselves from their inhibition and they'll become powerful supporters and patrons!
Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!
"When it all comes down to dust
I will kill you if I must
I will help you if I can" - Leonard Cohen
You know what... I don't explain it at all. I don't even try. I don't really react to them. If they think me wierd then fine, to me it's obvious that what I say or do is grounded in evidence and experience and such but to them they just don't see it as I do or can't be bothered to try... As far as I'm concerned, I'm okay with being weird. I consider it far better to be branded as weird and different than as just another one in the flock... Who want's to be a sheep anyway?
Of course, if you're caught short or are irritable, there's always the NT standard... 'They're just stupid'