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Sunshinegirl11's avatar

How can I accept that I don't fit in?

Asked by Sunshinegirl11 (1110points) July 8th, 2016 from iPhone

I’m a 21 year old girl and all of my life I’ve never really fit in. For the longest time I gave up on friends and I was happy just hanging out with my family and with no one else. I feel like I fit in with my family, and they are my best friends. During this time I had awesome self esteem and just felt like I had so much going for me.

A little about me. I’m an introvert, and most of my family are introverts as well. I love hiking, and running. I’m not into the clubbing or bar scene that much.

Well now I’ve started a new university, and I’ve decided it’s time to make some friends. So I’ve hung out with my lab group a couple of times. They are nice and good people, but I always feel like an extra. Like I don’t belong. All they talk about is the bar and club scene, and I’ve joined them a few times, but end up feeling drained.

So I decided to get together w/ some girls from high school. They too, enjoy the clubbing and bar scene. I went with them a couple of times, but again I feel drained and like an outsider.

Lastly, I met this awesome guy who I’ve really started to like. We got coffee in a small cafe (this was perfect for me!) and got along really well. I felt like we connected, and I finally fit in with someone! He wasn’t into the normal extroverted activities and was different!! But I asked him for a second date and he never replied….

I just wish there was someone out there like me! Someone who would rather go get coffee at midnight rather than go bar hopping. Someone who could be my running buddy, or travel all over the country and hike! I feel so stupid only having my parents and siblings as friends. I love them to death but other 21 year olds have so many other friends!

Sorry this turned into more of a venting session, but I just really need some advice… Aftee hanging out with these groups of people I just end up feeling depressed. And my self esteem is suffering from it….

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25 Answers

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I always felt the same as you. My advice to you is to pursue the things that make you happy. Achieve. In the meantime, look to leaders who you admire, examine their skills with others. Then lead. I really don’t think people like you and I have much choice.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Same here, follow your own interests and everything will fall into place before you know it.

Zaku's avatar

One problem with living in an extrovert-biased community/country (the USA is) is that the expression that someone “doesn’t fit in” is generally used without saying with what group. It’s a really needlessly shaming expression, too. I suggest to try to start thinking to yourself “that group doesn’t work well for me” or just “it tires me out to be with that group” rather than “I don’t fit in”, or at least to notice that that expression adds an extra implication that there is something problematic with you.

Another problem with extrovert-biased communities is it may tend to be even harder to find the less loud people. Look for them or do things you’re interested in or look for groups that have ways to sign up. Universities tend to have many little groups organized for people to join. There are plenty of into or intro-friendly people around – just look a little more.

zenvelo's avatar

So how about getting together with a hiking group, that likes to end the day with an espresso or a healthy meal? There are lots of groups like that around.

You don;t say where you are, but look for hiking groups at meetup,com . You can also consider checking out your local Sierra Club chapter. Ours has an active “Sierra Singles” group for activities, that are mostly hikes but also kayaking and cycling. And it is not a dating group, and peopl are not all single, either.

BellaB's avatar

Terrific advice from @zenvelo .

Have you checked out local meetup groups to find people who share your interests?

Coloma's avatar

Your feelings are not uncommon and even though I am more of an extrovert, very socially at ease, I too have always felt this way to one degree or another. It is not so much that you don’t fit in, it is about finding others that mirror yourself, not completely, differences are good, but finding those that can relate to you on a level that works for you. In my case I have only had, maybe 2, friends over the years that were a great blend of intellectualism and humor, had curious personalities and loved brainstorming.

All things that turn me on. You are young, don’t give up and write off others, just stay open to meeting new people and sooner or later you will find a like minded friend. In the meanwhile, be glad that you are also comfortable with your own company, because, ultimately, we all have to be our own best friends.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I’m an extrovert too, but I often don’t feel like I fit in (look at my name!). I think it’s actually really common. We all have to find out ‘tribe’. The people we feel most comfortable with. That can take time. As @zenvelo suggested, see if there are any groups you can join that relate to things you do enjoy doing. That way at least you’ll be with people who like similar things.

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

I’m not about to tell you “how good you have it compared to the olden days”, but we introverts do have a lot more options than ever before.

I particularly like @zenvelo‘s suggestion to join I first found out about this free service about seven or eight years ago, and it has been a life-changer. (The idea of a Meetup for introverts is one that appeals to me on an ironic level, and I’ll bet that I can find one, too. I’ll look later.) Seriously, though, you can find Meetups for all kinds or general and esoteric interests, and then participate in meat-space in the ones that interest you the most. My particular favorite is a book club that I’ve participated in for about seven years now.

But you also have Fluther itself! This place is loaded with introverts (and it also helps to keep some extroverts off the streets from time to time, which is just a side benefit – those people can be so draining sometimes; they have no idea).

So I wouldn’t worry too much about a first date who flaked out and didn’t respond for a second shot. The fact that he didn’t even respond to say, “No thanks,” indicates that he wasn’t worth your time; you dodged a bullet.

negative's avatar

Honestly you should stop worrying about people and start focusing on what u do best..

longgone's avatar

There are millions of people like you out there. I promise. It can be difficult to find them, that’s true…but it is so much harder when you’re trying to fit in. That’s what I tried to do for a large part of my life. When I became confident enough to just be honest about my likes and dislikes, it was like I had raised a flag for fellow introverts. I now have a large circle of great friends. Some of them do enjoy partying once in a while, but they know I do not. That’s fine for everyone. They’re even nice enough to always make clear I’m invited.

Susan Cain has written a very good book on introverts. I bet you’d like it. It’s called “Quiet”. There’s a talk here, too.

Hang in there, be yourself, and welcome to the lagoon. Fluther is a great place for introverts.

gondwanalon's avatar

I’ve always been like you. I’m 65 years old an I still feel a little off balance when talking to people. Even ones I’ve known forever. My wife is the only person in this world that I feel absolutely at ease around. I met her from a dating club called “Great Expectations” (don’t know if it still exists). Back in the 80’s I was a member of 3 singles clubs at the same time. It was very hard at first but got easier and easier. Got stepped on and had my feelings hurt a few times but it was a lot of fun too. Also knowing that there were limitless women willing to check me out helped to keep me going until I found the right one for me. I suggest that you join a similar singles dating club where you can meet many people who are like you with similar interests.

Good health and good luck!

SmashTheState's avatar

“Solitude is a virtue for us, since it is a sublime inclination and impulse to cleanliness which shows that contact between people, ‘society’, inevitably makes things unclean. Somewhere, sometime, every community makes people – ‘base.’”Friedrich Nietzsche

As I stare down the barrel of 50, I find I am less and less inclined to suffer fools gladly. We live in a culture which has convinced itself that dishonesty, vanity, and stupidity are in fact virtues to be celebrated. The small handful of people who are actually worth associating with are smart enough to go into hiding, since the Dunning-Kruger hordes trample them under their porcine feet. My advice to you is to learn how to live in solitude. Accept that if you are a superior person you will live your life alone, and this is in fact your reward for a life of virtue.

Response moderated
negative's avatar


In solitude the lonely man is eaten up by himself, among crowds by the many.


Coloma's avatar

Solitude is painful when one is young but delightful when one is more mature. Albert Einstein.

I owe my solitude to other people. Alan watts.

If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company. Jean Paul Sartre.

janbb's avatar

I totally agree with @zenvelo‘s suggestion. When my Ex – as in husband of nearly 40 years – dumped me, I remembered hearing about and joined a walking group two days after he left. That has made all the difference to my single life. I still have my old friends but I also have lots of new friends – single people with whom to go to movies, walking, etc. From one guy friend in the group, I heard about a local band whom I now follow and have become close friends with the bass player. The great thing about joining an activity group – however you find them – is that you’re doing something you really love so it is easier to meet and talk to people. And if you don’t make super new friends, at least you’ve done something you really enjoy!

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Solitude is freedom, solitude is opportunity.


CWOTUS's avatar

Alone ≠ Lonely


janbb's avatar

I think the OP is asking more about how she can meet like-minded friends than about the virtues of solitude but perhaps she can explain further what kind of support she wants.

BellaB's avatar

@CWOTUS – there’s a silent reading group that seems tailor-made for introverts. People meet and read together – without talking. A local friend is trying to set one up.

We are part of a No Lights No Lycra group for people who like to dance, but don’t want to be part of the club scene. This is a little piece about it

MrGrimm888's avatar

Not fitting in IS fitting in.
It’s normal to be concerned about your conceived place in your known community. That’s just evolution. 3,000 years ago it was important to ‘fit in’ with a large group, or you would be ostracized. Ostracism meant you have less chance of survival. Back then…
The ‘fear’ of not fitting in was more relevant. Today. Not so much.

Honestly though, I don’t care much for a large amount of humanity. If you don’t ‘fit in,’ it might be because you’re a ‘good’ person. Not a ‘normal’ person.

Normal is boring anyway….

imrainmaker's avatar

Haha.. Normal is boring..yeah that’s kinda true…)

batman86's avatar

Have you ever tried online dating? My coworker did and he found someone who is honestly just like him. And you should never accept that you do not fit in, because we all belong somewhere in this world.

Have you tried joining any clubs? Maybe you could make a poster at school about getting a group going out for a hike.

And I’m very similar to you. I hate going to bars. They are loud and overpriced. I’m not much for going out either. A night at home on my xbox sounds way better :)

azaleaaster's avatar

I always had interests that differed from surrounding people’s. I was worrying about this for a long time. Then I realized that I was tired of being always an outsider. And I started talking about things most people liked. I stopped saying I didn’t like anything others found interesting. You shouldn’t lie that you are a fan of something that is popular in your circle but it’s useful to have one or two (funny) experiences, so you could keep a conversation going. It’s the way how you can become socialized but it’s still a question whether you will find real friends or not. Frankly speaking, in my case, this hasn’t changed me as an introvert much; I still prefer my cats to any other society but pretending involved in what happens around facilitates my interaction with people. They don’t point out I’m different anymore. And I start liking my true preferences even more. This has taught me to tolerate interests and opinions of others. Now I wouldn’t offend anyone for not sharing my point of view. I would listen to the person carefully and, maybe, start secretly admiring this individual for being creative. And I like when people inspire you for further investigations. Open books are as boring as unread ones. So I certainly would like you! You can be an iceberg that shows only its top to the world. And that part under water can hide an amazing and intriguing personality! You just need to wait for your investigator! Be patient. Keep seeking. And do your best.

CWOTUS's avatar

Looked at another way, I would recommend that you not “resign yourself to the fact” that you don’t fit in (if you really don’t), but revel in it!

I recall an old girlfriend who told me once – in so many words – “You’re strange.”

I thanked her for the compliment, and she nodded, “I knew you’d take it that way. That’s how I meant it, too.”

Maybe I should have held onto that one longer. Ah, life …

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