I have had many conversations with people who tell me that they feel like they do not fit in. In many work and study environments, people often form small cliques and it seems almost impossible to get past the surface with them. You are either part of their club or you are not, and no one tells you how to join.
I think it is part of human nature to want to feel like you are part of something and that you ‘belong’ to a group, but why is it that so many people feel like they are left in the cold in their work and study environments? Even as we grow older many still seem to easily fall into that ‘pack mentality’, perhaps the ones who do that most easily are the ones who have more of a need to cling onto others in order to feel adequate, and hide behind a mask to project false confidence to others. I am not speaking of those who are naturally outgoing and social people, but those who cannot survive socially without being part of a group or clique, even if that is with just one other person.
There are many people who just go along with the crowd and follow what the majority are doing, or go where the majority are going just so they can feel like they fit in. I have witnessed it so many times and have had individuals confide in me, admitting that they do this just so they don’t feel left out. They also admit being fearful of standing out from the crowd.
I understand how easy this is to do because it can be challenging to stand alone and do what you want to do and be who you want to be. Being true to yourself even when it does not match the majority makes you stand out and naturally draws those who want to criticise you for being different. We are all born as an individual and we all will die as an individual. Although it is a blessing to be able to connect and ‘gel’ with others, that does not mean we have to be ‘clones’ of other people. You will not feel like you belong anywhere if you do not accept yourself. No matter how large your social circle is or how popular you think you are on the surface, self acceptance is key!
The only way in my opinion to truly feel like you fit, is to know who you are, accept yourself as you are, and be yourself unapologetically. If people do not accept you as you are then they are probably not meant to be part of your circle anyway. Do not worry about whether you fit in with a particular group of people, it is always more rewarding and more fun to stand out and be a leader rather than a follower!
Once you truly accept yourself you will find it will not bother you so much if you fit in with those around you. It is good to be different!