Social Question

ubersiren's avatar

Do you feel like you fit the world in which you live?

Asked by ubersiren (15044 points ) July 15th, 2010

Because, I just don’t. I have white skin, and in my area, that means I’m the majority. But that’s where my sense of belonging ends, usually. Not that people of other ethnicities make me feel like I don’t belong, but at times, it seems that’s all I have in common with the people I encounter most. Strangers at the store, faceless internet typists, sometimes my own friends and on rare occasions, even my husband… I feel like my brain was made on a totally different planet.

Often I want to escape. It feels hopeless. I get depressed. It’s not really about feeling lonely- sometimes I wish I was more alone. It’s more about… I dunno… not being a freak?

An example I can think of is being a mom. I’m a mom, but I don’t feel like I fit in with other moms, or even fit the idea of a “mom.” Politics, religion, etc. are the same way. I don’t fit into any “category” which, in itself doesn’t bother me, in fact I kind of like it. What bothers me is that if you don’t fit one mold or the other then you’re a freak to everyone, instead of just the opposing/ differing side.

Thanks for letting me get that out. Now I want to know- Do you feel this way? Would you care to share your examples? Also, around what ages did you start/stop feeling this way?

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29 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

No, I don’t think I fit in – I fit in some future society that I won’t get to see.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

No. If this were the late 1930’s and I was a financially flush cranky bohemian then I would be in my element. If I then survived WWll I’d be a near recluse, travelling with a small pod of quirky friends and lovers.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I’m odd, too. My entire life I’ve heard people make comments about how weird I am. Sometimes it’s to my face, other times it’s in a look, sometimes it’s mean, sometimes it’s nice, and sometimes people just don’t know what to think. I used to hate it. I wouldn’t have minded, had people not commented so frequently. And it’s not that I didn’t like myself, it’s just that I felt, literally, like an alien – like no one could relate to me. The majority of the time, this is still the case. However, I’m not an extroverted person, I don’t like having acquaintances (only a few, close friends)... So I figure… I suppose it worked out for me. Lonely? Yes, frequently. But that’s what makes it so worth it when I finally do manage to connect with someone.

ninahenry's avatar

I don’t think it’s neccessary to fit in. Most people don’t fit stereotypes. Try talk to a counsellor about your feelings and they may be able to help, and try to find some things you enjoy like some TV programmes, some kind of exercise even if it’s just gentle exercise like walking, some way to vent like art (I like collaging). But other than that I admire your honesty and bravery and you’re not the only one. And not being the only one who doesn’t fit in makes us all together in that.

I don’t think I fit in with the paths that people around me are taking as I’ve chosen different ones. It’s made me lose some connection. I don’t think I’ll stop feeling that way, but i’ve got a long way to go yet.

Vunessuh's avatar

I had a conversation about this the other day with a friend.
I don’t feel like I belong in my generation. I would have fit in much better if I had been born 20+ years ago. Among other reasons, I’ve always formed close bonds and attachments to people who are 15–25 years older than myself. I have very few friends my own age and these friends I’m not really too close with. I don’t take to them as well at all. That’s how it’s always been even when I was a lot younger.
I’m not quite sure why. I haven’t discovered an explanation yet.

I blend in well with that generation. My friends tell me that they don’t feel like they’re spending time with a typical 22 year old, which is code for ‘I can tolerate you’. Lawl. And for a lot of them, this is the first friendship they have like this. I’m not closed off to making friendships where there’s a significant age gap. I think that would be subjective anyway. I also ignore shallow fucks who think friendships like that don’t work. And believe it or not, people have made some pretty ignorant comments about it. They find it difficult to understand how two people with such an age difference can be friends when they’re not at least family members. I’ve never understood what’s so strange about it.

Other than that, I don’t fit in too well with the majority of the people in the city I live in. Most of them are really extroverted, social and fast paced. I’m way more anti-social, introverted and reserved. The complete opposite. And I can’t find anyone like me because they all stay home like I do so we never run into each other. :P

BoBo1946's avatar

@ubersiren I do now…my ex complainted enough about where we live and we bought a house in the “jet set” area. NEVER liked it there. People were so artificial and uppity. Now, I live around “real people.” My neighbors are very important to me. They look out for me and i for them.

BoBo1946's avatar

and goodnite Irene! bedtime here!

zenele's avatar

Great Question with capital letters.

I do not. I never have, I probably never will. I have lived in so many places with so many different languages and cultures – I belong here, on fluther, more than I do in my (current) neighbourhood.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Not. At. All.

It’s very frustrating. I don’t feel like I belong in this TIME, let alone this place. Usually I catch myself failing to live my life as a direct result of feeling so displaced.

gemiwing's avatar

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Right now, no. I don’t fit in on Fluther, don’t fit in with the other wives, don’t fit in with other gamers, don’t fit in with other Mensa folk, don’t fit in with other christians. I just don’t fit.

Most of the time I can ignore it. Sometimes it gets to a person.

I’m starting to wonder where I’m getting these ideas of what ‘everyone’ is because I’m starting to think it’s bullshit.

ninahenry's avatar

@gemiwing I don’t fit in on Fluther either. Asked a question that wasn’t a proper question and it got moderated. And made a social comment in the general section. Felt bad about it. lol. I’m new though (excuse for lack of common sense)

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Glad someone else said it before me. I thought about saying that I didn’t fit in on Fluther, but, I didn’t want to make myself even less likable.

gemiwing's avatar

@ninahenry It’s a badge of honor to be modded here- we’ve all been there!
@TheOnlyNeffie Maybe that’s all Fluther is. A bunch of people who didn’t fit anywhere so we just grouped here?

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@gemiwing and @TheOnlyNeffie I happen to think you make good additions to Fluther. :)

ninahenry's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie it’s kinda funny really.
@gemiwing thanks for accepting my fluther right of passage.

chels's avatar

@ninahenry If you only knew how many times I’ve been modded ^_^

ninahenry's avatar

@chels bahahahahah ^_^

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@gemiwing by the responses here you’d almost think so. :)

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I have lived 56 years knowing I just don’t quite fit in. My life improved dramatically when I embraced my uniqueness and stopped looking for a crowd with whom I could relate. Instead, I have tried to learn about people and find a person who might share one feature of my unique set of characteristics. Someone else might share a common hobby or experience.

You will find people who mean something to you when you embrace who and what you are and stop trying to fit into some “crowd” or group. Invest in people and in yourself.

DominicX's avatar

Is it more normal to feel like you don’t fit in? Because that’s what I’m getting from these responses. If most people feel this way, then I think we may have to reevaluate this whole concept, which may be flawed altogether.

For the most part, I feel I do fit in. Now, I think some people are taking this too far. Just because you don’t fit into one of our stupid restrictive political or religious labels, doesn’t mean you don’t fit in as a whole. To me, people who don’t adhere to such strict labels “fit in” just fine (maybe they don’t want to hear that, but that’s what I think). I don’t consider a person fitting in based on the amount of labels that work for them. To me, it’s “normal” to be a mixture of various things and not fit in so well with a restrictive label. I don’t see those labels as positive.

Do I feel like I fit in with my generation? I sure do. I don’t have to match every stereotype, but I work well with people my age and find making friends with them easy. I match some stereotypes, such as being technologically-oriented. I fit in with other extroverts and liberals (for the most part of course. I don’t match them on everything and I wouldn’t want to). I fit in with my geographical region (Bay Area) more than you could ever imagine.

There are some areas where I don’t feel I fit in that well, though. Being gay is a big part of that. Of course I think being gay is normal and should be treated that way, but so much of the world does not feel that way that it leads to me to feel sometimes that I don’t quite fit in. With my gender, while I am 100% a man and don’t want to be anything else, I am more effeminate than many men and the fact that I’m gay sets me apart from other men. Musically, I like much music that is not very popular (I’m referring to classical and foreign pop music), so I guess I don’t fit in to well there.

Oh well, good enough for me.

chels's avatar

Also, to answer the question:

Sometimes.

It’s really hard for me to understand how people can be so horrible to one another. How people can be cruel and mean and are still able to live with themselves. That often makes me feel like I should be elsewhere. So many innocent people get hurt in so many ways, daily. It’s just really hard for me to comprehend why someone would want to hurt another, and the thought of it can be really upsetting (and sometimes makes me just want to run away).

On the other hand, I finally feel like I know where I fit in so to speak. I’ve never really felt like I was able to really connect with anyone on so many different levels. I always felt misunderstood and could never really talk to anyone about how I really felt about anything. Now, that’s all a lot different. I’ve found someone who has made me feel like I belong, and that’s a really amazing feeling that I never want to lose.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@chels The last part of your answer is inspiring and hopeful. I’m sure your partner feels you have make their life more complete too.

jazmina88's avatar

I do not fit in. I march to the beat of a different drummer. i sing a song of my own.

but i’m me….and I think we all are better if we are unique. and a bit out of the mold, or box, and/or cage.

chels's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence Thank you so much :) and I hope so!

augustlan's avatar

No way. I’m weird to the bone. That’s ok with me, now. It took a long time, but I’m just about completely comfortable in my own skin these days. For what it’s worth, those of you thinking you don’t fit in on Fluther would be greatly missed by me (and many others, I’m sure) if you weren’t here. I think Fluther might just be The Island of Misfit Toys. :P

chels's avatar

@augustlan Can I be the polkadotted elephant plsssssss.

augustlan's avatar

@chels Certainly! I feel I’m stuck with the red-headed doll. :)

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

All my life I’ve never felt like I “fit in”. I feel like most people do not “get me”, and that they view me as “odd” because I am not a good socializer. I’m not the kind who likes to talk frivously in the social crowd, or even talk in general terms among acquaintances and co-workers. I feel I can never totally relax in public, at work, even at big family gatherings. When I was young, I used to be very self-conscious. It is better now, but I still feel that I have to “watch” everything I say and do in public or at work. It becomes awkward and uncomfortable at times, but I feel as I grow older it is getting a little easier. Still, the feeling of being the “odd man out” is constantly there. I find my daily associations with people outside my home is made up of a lot of “acting”, because it’s a way of “shielding” myself from strangers and co-workers——the concern of not being able to be “myself” in public is because I don’t want to be criticized unduly——I am a sensitive person who is easily affected by what others say and do to me. Sometimes that takes its toll and I get depressed by it all. :(

I have always wondered if I was the only one who has the same experiences.

Gabby101's avatar

Sometimes it’s about where you live and the norms of that particular region. I grew up in the Midwest and lived there for the first 30 years of my life and always felt like people misunderstood me or misjudged me. I felt a constant need to explain myself and got tired of not being considered a good person just because I didn’t go to church. I moved to San Francisco and felt much more comfortable. I just happened to find an area, a group of people that thought more like I did than the people of my hometown.

Sometimes you just have to search for your place. It’s funny people mention Fluther. Over the years, I have explored a lot of sites similar to this and always found them to be low quality, irrelevant and boring. I just assumed that was the nature of anonymous online interactions. Then, one day, I stumbled across Fluther and well, I found my place ;)

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