When You Don’t Fit in: Thriving in a World You Feel Separate From

Maybe you look different. Maybe you live different. You’re a creature of a world all your own. This can be a great thing. Some people build their entire identities around it.

Not fitting in can also feel crappy. The outcasts, the loners, the people who put on fake smiles while they’re secretly grimacing at how frustrating it is to be so different from everyone around them—they all know this. Sometimes, the feeling only lasts a moment. Like when you’re the only person in a group discussion who disagrees with something. It can also be a lifelong thing. Or maybe feeling misunderstood by the people around you is a constant. You might even feel like you were born on the wrong planet.

Oh, I’m an INFJ—That’s Why I’m Weird

You can be blessed with close friends but still feel at odds with society in some way. That’s me. I’ve known for years I’m an INFJ, but it was only recently that I really started reading about what that meant. It’s the rarest personality type on the planet, apparently. I guess that makes sense.

Personality Page says:

“INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand.”

I like that there’s documentation of my complexity and all, but other personality types feel misunderstood too. There’s enough differences in the world that everyone feels that way sometimes. Whether you were “born on the wrong planet” or not, you’re meant to be here, and that’s important to know. Your presence will change the story of life on Earth. This is always true but especially if you make an effort to be remembered for your unique gifts.

Fully Utilize the Internet

This seems obvious since you’re online right now, but just in case it isn’t: take advantage of the web. No matter what you’re into or how you feel about any aspect of existence, someone out there is feeling the same. I’ve been on forums for long hair, colorful hair, cooking, skincare, health, dancing, unique/free spirituality, general exercise, arts and crafts, and of course, writing. I’ve met so many interesting friends this way.

If you really feel alone with your ideas, consider starting a blog so you can introduce your unique perspectives to the world. There might be others like you out there. Not everyone knows how to express themselves. If you can and feel the desire to, you should!

Relocate—with Realistic Expectations

Some people go out and search for a place that feels right for them. Edge of Something More is about a search like that. After living in three states, I don’t think I “belong” anywhere. Maybe I’ll feel different in the future, but I kind of doubt it. I’ve had happy experiences many places. The world is beautiful all over. Traveling is always worth it, but making a permanent move is a different thing.

If you do relocate:

  • Know what you’re looking for and why. The more you have at stake, the more you want solid, dependable reasons for doing what you’re doing. Being in love with the local music scene or a nearby national park is dependable. Being in love with a girl you met online three days ago is less so, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it. Just look at what you have to gain versus what you have to lose, and then go with what feels right.
  • Don’t build the place up too much. An atmosphere more conducive to your landscape is a valuable thing, but it’s never good to expect more than a place can offer. Sometimes feelings change over time as well. The excitement of a new place wears off.
  • Don’t get dragged down by negativity. People can be harsh on places, so keep in mind that you might love what someone else hates.
  • Be serious about climate. If you’re like me and can’t deal with winter, a lot of locations are off the list. I didn’t realize this about myself until I had traveled quite a bit. The first snowy winter was exciting and fun. After that, not so much.

Live Your Way

I was okay until I reached kindergarten and people started demanding I get up at a certain time and do a bunch of stuff I didn’t want to do. I was depressed a lot of my life. Not only did I feel like a weirdo, but I also had a bunch of health problems. Somewhere in my twenties I figured out that living my way is my only chance of survival.

Don’t let society force you into a mold or a life plan that doesn’t work for you. There are all millions of lifestyles, and they all rock as long as you’re in alignment with your real self and not hurting anyone else.

Moments of Connection

Chances are that you do fit in and don’t realize it. At least in a lot of small ways. I try to notice those ways and point them out to myself. For example, I feel that connection to the world around me when:

  • Sharing humor. I love seeing the memes people make. Some of them are so awesome that it makes me love the human race once again.
  • Interacting with other writers. It’s such a huge part of me. Even the writers who get me the least still align with me more than a lot of the world.
  • Watching television. Connecting to other people in TV fandoms has always been fun for me. I plan on doing more TV recaps and rants on this and my other blog soon.
  • Talking about relationships. There are only so many different problems and situations. It’s easy to connect to people on the subjects of sex, love, and heartbreak.

Just be You

Never accept toxic relationships in the name of fitting in. People who put you down for being different don’t deserve your time or energy. Being unique is setting an example. I’ve been influenced by many brave individuals who set examples for me over the years, and I’m thankful.Those who clash with society help change it, so speak your mind and do what you want.

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4 thoughts on “When You Don’t Fit in: Thriving in a World You Feel Separate From

  1. Throughout life we are going to be in circumstances where we feel we do not fit in. We may feel weird (for some being the odd one out is preferable) and different from those around us. The truth is, there are more similarities than we might think. We as individuals experience stress, joy, and disappointments. We may see life different but we experience many of the same emotions and some of the same experiences. One of the keys to being okay with being different is being confident in who we are as individuals. I am currently researching this topic and would love it if you would take a moment to answer a survey I have created. https://melaniefellmanwrites.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/a-survey/ We are all individuals with our unique qualities, but, there are also similarities we share. May we enjoy the journey God given to each of us.

    Liked by 1 person

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