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prolificus's avatar

How have you dealt with the feeling of not "fitting in" with a group or organization with which you continued to remain affiliated?

Asked by prolificus (6583points) March 30th, 2010

For me, the organization I have often felt ambivalence towards because of not feeling like I “fit in,” has been the church. When I was in the midst of processing personal beliefs and figuring out my identity, I had a hellish time feeling like I belonged with the “normal church crowd” (e.g. middle class, mostly married with kids). Almost always I felt out of place.

Later in life I have been a part of different churches that have reflected my beliefs and lifestyle, yet, there are times I continue to feel like it doesn’t fit. Perhaps a simple solution would be to not attend church altogether, but I believe it is important for me personally to be a part of a faith community.

I continue to deal with this experience by going through seasons of solitude without cutting off my relationship with the church.

There are other groups and organizations in which I have experienced ambivalence. This is just an example.

Without this turning into a debate about religion, I’d like to discuss the experience continuing to remain affiliated with a group or organization in spite of feeling out of place. What has been your experience and how have you dealt with it?

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14 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

I once spent a few months working and socialising in a business and community where I was the only Caucasian. The rest were Pacific Islanders. I was made very welcome, but I never quite fitted and I was always very aware of that. Later I found that I fitted very well – once I had left and then returned a few months on. It was quite strange.

Coloma's avatar

Yes. It’s called society! lol

Blackberry's avatar

I have not really dealt with it yet, I just seclude myself and find someone else that is like me outside the group, or find someone in the group in my same position. Being a nice guy that is not macho at all and is in the military….I know what you mean. I feel like I’m in highschool still. This is why I have educated civilian friends.

wonderingwhy's avatar

We can only be ourselves, it is for others to accept us as we are not for us to conform to their expectations. That attitude can be costly in many ways but I’ve found it to be most fulfilling in life. Many times socially and professionally and throughout my travels I’ve found myself not “fitting in” with particular groups, I find I just don’t care. If I adapt to the customs of others I do so to experience it or out of respect for them, not to fit in.

Cruiser's avatar

I fit in where ever I go! People can’t help but like me! ;)

CaptainHarley's avatar

I try to not go where I’m not wanted.

CMaz's avatar

I like the BDSM lifestyle, for many reasons then just whips, chains and hand grenades.

I find little pleasure in Munches, BDSM clubs and socializing with the natives. I find most of the people weak and insecure.
Too man broken toys and individuals that cant be honest with themselves.

prolificus's avatar

@ChazMaz – are you serious?! please say you’re not serious!

CMaz's avatar


liminal's avatar

I struggle with feeling a misfit in my relationship with churches also, even here on fluther I can struggle with this. Deciding it wasn’t worth living with such tension was the entire reason I abandoned facebook, much to the chagrin of friends and family.

I don’t feel as if others keep me from fitting in, it feels more like I choose not to fit. I am an on the fringes sort of person. I don’t shape into categories and generalizations very well and my life is filled with paradox. I sometimes choose to live in such tension with certain organizations or people because I would be one lonely and isolated person if I didn’t.

escapedone7's avatar

I don’t fit in here. I am here anyway. Hi!

syzygy2600's avatar

I’ve never really felt like I fit in anywhere. I know this is not healthy so I try my best to get over it.

Berserker's avatar

Other goths don’t seem to want me around, and as such, I’m on my own. I’ve never felt that I had to fit anywhere, despite the solitude it might cause, or the questions you ask yourself. You quickly come to not care, even if the worth of other people’s expectations of you is rendered worthless through your own convicted apprehension towards them for not accepting you.
By that if I use the Goth community as an example, a lot of them are some of the most biased, closed minded and cruel people I know. That’s not what I thought Goth was all about when I ventured into the culture.

But since I never really stuck around where it didn’t seem I was wanted, I guess I don’t know.
That’s not to say I don’t fit in anywhere or that I don’t get along with anyone, but when I do, I don’t notice ’‘fitting in’’ much since there’s no ’‘problem’’ to be noticing. :/

If I use school as an example, especially high school which I dropped out of I just went because I had no choice…being from a low class neighbourhood and attending a middle class school inevitably made me not fit in, but how I dealt with it is prolly not the best advice especially since it led to me dropping out in the stead of doing drugs and getting drunk. still, good times lulz

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