The etymology of “eccentric” is out of center. Likewise, eccentric people are off center in terms of their beliefs, views and behavior relative to conventional thinking or the views of affinity groups generally. Their views tend to be unique and insightful. Yet, like Cassandra in Greek mythology, few believe in the prophecies of eccentrics that have a good track record of seeing the future.

According to Dr. David Weeks who has studied eccentrics, the characteristics of eccentrics are:

Enduring non-conformity.



An enduring and distinct feeling of being different from others.

Idealism, unrealistically hoping to improve the lot of others by having others think like them.

Happily obsessed with a number of long-lasting preoccupations.

Intelligent, in the upper 15% of the population.

Opinionated and outspoken.

Non-competitive, not needing tangible recognition of success.

Unusual eating habits and living arrangements.

Not particularly interested in the opinions of others.

Possessed of a mischievous sense of humor, charm, whimsy and wit.

More frequently an eldest child.

Having an eccentric family member.

Focused on thoughts, not feelings.

Feelings of invisibility as they feel others don’t take them seriously.

Feeling that others can take them only in small doses.

Dislike small talk or other inconsequential conversation.

A degree of social awkwardness.

More likely to be single, separated or divorced.

A poor speller in relationship to their intellectual capacity.