Everyone’s a little quirky: what makes you ‘tic’?

I’ll be honest: I’m writing this article in the hope that I will get a laugh at your expense. I hope you get one at mine too. After reading about my personal tics, I am hoping that you will open up about your own so that we can all have a good laugh at ourselves.

You know what tics are, right? They’re those little things you do that could potentially have you categorised as having OCD. Except, you don’t have OCD. You just have a few things that must be done in a particular way. OR ELSE!

By definition, tics are ‘an idiosyncratic and habitual feature of a person’s behaviour’. You’re not sure why you have them. You’re not sure where they came from. You can see that they are a little odd. But can you stop doing them? Fuck no!

I mean no disrespect to anyone who actually has OCD. I can’t imagine how incredibly tough that must be on a daily basis. If anything, perhaps this article will highlight some similarities in all of us, rather than segregate or discriminate against anyone.

See, I believe that everyone has tics at varying degrees. They just tend not to be at the forefront of many conversations because we keep them to ourselves. But we’re all friends here, so let’s air our weirdness together. I’ll go first….

My top five tics are:

  1. Holding my breath after someone coughs or sneezes near me so that I don’t breathe in their viruses or germs.
  2. Rinsing cups, crockery and cutlery before I use them, unless I was the one who washed them, or they came straight out of the dishwasher.
  3. Not eating sandwiches made at other people’s houses. Restaurants and cafes, sure. Just not from where people live.
  4. Not allowing people to eat juicy fruits like oranges or mangoes in close proximity to me. (They make sex noises.) Being stuck in enclosed spaces (like cars) when people do it is unbearable.
  5. Having all doors and cupboards closed in my room when I go to bed. Curtains must be closed, but the windows themselves must be open.

There’s probably a whole lot more that I have that drive the people around me nuts. These are just my non-negotiable ones. I don’t really have a problem with them myself. I feel like they are just part of what makes me uniquely me. Quirky, not strange. Charming, not annoying.

My friends and family have some good ones too. One of my friends is an obsessive cleaner. Another always has to walk on a particular side of a tree when she’s walking down the street. My dad and brother won’t eat anything that has come into contact with cucumber.

So often I think we beat ourselves up over silly things like this – telling ourselves that we are weird or different. Making ourselves hide our little discretions, in the hope that no one will notice that we are not exactly the same as them. Hiding who we truly are.

Quite frankly, I love seeing other people’s quirkiness. It brings a smile to my face. I don’t think there’s a single thing that someone could do that would make me think they were odd, as I truly believe that everyone has their ‘things’. The only difference is, some people don’t bother to hide them.

People who show their differences are interesting to me. I find them attractive and intriguing, and I always find myself wanting to get them know them better. I’m sure I’m not alone on that one either. As humans, I think we tend to look up to people who are confident enough to be comfortable in their own skin. To say to the world ‘Here I am fuckers! Take me or leave me!’.

So will you join me in embracing your quirkiness? Let’s show the people around us that it’s actually fine to have some differences. Let’s, for once in our lives, just completely be ourselves. We are all wondrously unique and perfect.

What are your tics? Do you wish you didn’t have them or do you accept them?

Written By

Mahdi is an advocate for nature, animals and people. She has poor fashion sense but a good sense of humour. She hopes that one day there will be ample female toilets in all venues. She is the author of ‘The Power of You: How to Positively Influence People, Places and the World’ and founder of Mahdi Earth and The Earth Healers’ Hub.


  • Dear Mahdi,

    Love that you’ve shared!

    In the not too distant future, expect an invitation from me- I’ve found this lovely little spot for a picnic. I’ll drive- but I’ll need you to hold closed the passenger door & the glovebox….the closures are broken. There’s also something wrong with the electronics, & the windows won’t open…albeit the AC is caput too! Damn…just saying, in case it’s a really hot day, dress lightly. I’ve recently also had this weird allergy thing happening…the mere whiff of a cucumber starts me sneezing uncontrollably. The only thing that I’ve found to settle it is to suck on oranges…I know it sounds weird, but it works…no other treatment required. Anyway, I digress.

    We’ll head off to this divine little spot I’ve discovered…it’s actually a glazed in courtyard garden I’ve found in the middle of a retreat- well, it’s actually a rehab facility for the elderly…the addicted….& surprisingly a large number of poor souls suffering with Tourette’s. It’s a little bit exposed to the facility…but there’s this lovely water feature…nothing like the continuous tinkling sound of running water to relax one!

    I’ll make some sandwiches…I’ve only recently discovered the light & crisp pleasure of the classic cucumber sandwich of days gone by. We’ll wash them down with mango daiquiris…that I’ll freshly hand squeeze the juice from the fleshy oozing pulp whilst there, & place in some fabulous antique long crystal glasses I’ve had tucked away for many years…time to bring those puppies out of hiding, in celebration of our special day together!

    It’ll take awhile to get there…so we’ll have a chance to catch up on the long drive. I’ll throw in a bag of some new chips to snack on- they are without doubt the crispest chips ever…the crunch factor is unsurpassed! Wondering now if your Dad could make it for the catch-up also?

    I’ll be in contact soon to tee up a day…love always,

    p.s. My tics- I’ve never been politically correct- I’m proudly a critic…because without it, there would be no humour. Guess that makes me a mean bitch…or just blatantly inappropriate in today’s world! I have this thing about the number 3- I constantly add up dates of ticket draws…& the actual time/date that I buy them for luck…numbers of the pokie machines- 7294832- nope, I’m not playing that unlucky sucker…addresses…you name it- always doing the maths! Oh, & if I don’t cross a road or descend stairs starting with my left foot…I know it’s got to end in disaster!

    • Haha! I wonder what would actually happen in that situation? Would my head explode? Would I get over it? Either way, I don’t think I would enjoy the day whatsoever. Might give that one a miss, but thanks anyway 🙂 Number 3 eh? Don’t you know number 14 is waaaaaaay better?
      I knew reading other people’s would crack me up. Thank you. X

  • I have so many – and thanks for helping to me think about them in a more positive light! I have a weird number thing – I hate numbers ending in 7 and 3. I hold my breath when I was past electricity meters because a boy told me when I was about 5 that if you breathe when you walk past them you die.

    I used to not be able to sleep if cupboard doors are open, but my husband proudly tells me he cured me of that. By leaving them open so much that I eventually had to get past it or I’d never get any sleep!

    • Hey fellow closed cupboard door friend! You did well to get over it. Good on your husband for being so kind to help you on that one 🙂 I also love your other ones. They make me laugh and warm my heart. Thank you for sharing!

  • I must put my left shoe on first and I have continued this on by always putting my daughter’s left shoe on first. I must sleep with the door closed, including all wardrobe doors. Red and pink together makes me uncomfortable.

    • Yay! Another cupboards and doors shut before bed person! I love that you are passing the left shoe thing down through the generations too. I wish I could read people’s minds just to be able to see everyone’s funny thoughts and habits. I would be in heaven!
      Thanks for sharing Beth and I hope you have a wonderful weekend! X

  • I count remote control buttons but then have to recount them to make sure I counted correctly the first time. To the point where our tv remote has all the numbers now rubbed off!! I also have to can he the toilet roll if the paper isn’t coming up and over the roll.

    • Hehe! Wonderful! I love it! So, do you feel your job is done counting on that remote now? Or do you keep going regardless of the numbers being worn off?

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