From time to time, most people do experience the feeling of not fitting in.
If you feel that way right now, you might think you don’t belong – or you might not feel comfortable around other people.
Feeling like you can’t relate to anyone could be temporary – it can be a result of a life change, like moving to a new place or experiencing something difficult.
But it could also be caused by something deeper that needs to be addressed.
Whichever scenario you may be facing, know that a desire to belong is a part of your humanity.
Everyone feels the need to connect and relate to others – at least to some degree.
So let’s explore 8 reasons why you might feel disconnected from others.
1. Differing Worldviews And Personalities.
There are so many perspectives out there, that it’s ridiculous to imagine we would all share the same one.
Yet, you must have experienced scenarios before where others have tried to convince you to see things as they do.
It’s certainly not easy to discover your place in the world with the constant bombardment of differing opinions from the media, friends, family, and even coworkers.
A differing worldview or personality can make you feel out of place.
When someone has a different perspective than you (and doesn’t try to see your perspective), it can be hard for you to feel understood when you interact.
This can lead to feeling isolated and like you don’t belong. If you can relate, you can actively seek out others who see the world the way you do.
There are plenty of group activities and places – in-person and online – where you can meet people who will understand you better.
2. Poor Self-Expression.
Maybe the reason people don’t understand you is that you don’t give them a chance to. Sometimes when we feel like we don’t belong, it’s just easier to stay quiet.
But that doesn’t allow us to express what we’re thinking, how we’re feeling, or what we want.
When you start to communicate more clearly, you’ll notice that it can assist you in feeling more accepted and welcome.
Consider brushing up on your communication skills by contemplating what you want to say and how you want to say it.
If you find yourself struggling, the best way to improve is through practice. You can improve your communication just like any other skill.
3. Poor Listening.
If you struggle with expressing your feelings and thoughts, it might also be challenging for you to be receptive to others.
Active listening is another communication skill that will allow you to better understand other people.
When you develop this unique skill, you’ll be able to truly hear what others are saying. Often, when we ‘listen,’ we’re just waiting for our turn to talk.
Then, we impose our own thoughts, opinions, or beliefs into the conversation and take it in a new direction.
Sometimes we assume that other people think the same way we do, and we think we’re contributing in a way that makes the other person feel understood – when in reality, we’re not.
Active listening allows you to engage with someone else’s ideas from their perspective. And when you master listening, you and the other speaker will feel more understood, welcome, and valued.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
4. Change And Growth.
Sometimes we end up feeling like we don’t belong in places that used to feel like home. Usually, it’s caused by the nature of life itself: change.
People often change – for better or worse – and as the years go by, it can leave you feeling disconnected from people you used to be close to.
Change can come in many forms. People will walk their own paths, and those paths may lead away from you. -College. -Marriage. -Moving.
These things will end up giving your friends and family joy and fulfillment, but they could also cause a rift in your relationships, leaving you feeling like you don’t belong. Change is inevitable.
We can’t avoid it. So, the only thing you can do is to embrace the change and move alongside it. Allow yourself to grow instead of resisting change.
It can be difficult to accept that people in your life may not always be there – but there’s good news too.
There are plenty of people who will have an impact on your life that you haven’t even met yet. You just have to keep moving forward.
5. Stagnation And Feeling Stuck.
So many people live their lives as if they were stuck – in a place, in a job, in a relationship, or even in a state of mind. Feeling stuck or like you’re stagnating can lead to frustration, isolation, and loneliness.
If you’re someone who loves adventure, excitement, and new things, feeling bored and stuck in a tedious life will make you feel like you don’t belong.
And the truth is, you don’t belong in a life that you don’t love. You have the power to change things.
You can break out of the rut and create excitement in your life. Think about what you need in life.
Is it a career change, a new hobby, a road trip, or something else? Even something small can break up the monotony and rid you of a stuck feeling.
6. Mental Health Issues.
Did you know that one in four adults live with a diagnosable mental illness?
Sometimes poor mental health is to blame for feelings of loneliness and isolation.
You might feel like you don’t fit in because of social anxiety or depression.
To make things worse, mental illness is often misunderstood, and it could make you feel entirely alone – even in a crowd. Fortunately, there are ways to improve your mental health.
You can overcome your issues with regular therapy and self-reflection – enabling you to reduce negative feelings.
And if a health care professional recommends it, you might also benefit from medication. Persistence and intense negative feelings are not fun to live with.
Consider talking to a counselor who can help you identify the source and the solutions to your feelings.
7. Cultural Misalignment.
Sometimes people feel like they don’t belong in a certain area because the culture of the place is too different from theirs.
Emotions can run high around delicate topics where people interpret the world in very different ways.
For example, an ‘open-minded individual’ might find themselves among a closed-minded population -whether they have recently moved or outgrown their hometown.
Maybe you look, dress, talk, or act in a way that your community doesn’t openly accept. The hard part is that you can’t force them to be accepting.
If you can’t find people who accept you for who you are, a change of location might be in order.
There is no reason you should lead a miserable and unhappy life when there are places out there where you won’t be ostracized and unwelcome.
You should be who you are and feel how you feel in a place where people can accept you for that.
8. Not Seeking Or Taking Opportunities.
Many people believe that friendship and opportunity will arrive if they simply wait for it. It doesn’t really work that way…
You must actively seek out friendships and opportunities if you desire them. Whatever it is that you want out of life – you are the only one who can make it happen.
Developing a career, learning new things, finding acceptance, improving communication, making new friends – these things don’t just happen on their own or by accident.
And when an opportunity does arrive, many people overlook it.
Perhaps, there ARE people around you who do welcome you and who do accept you to the best of their ability – but YOU are the one shutting them out, and not the other way around.
It’s impossible to expect everyone to understand you or accept the way you want to live your life. And you won’t understand everyone in the world either.
But when you make an effort to bridge the gap, you’ll find that you can make connections with others who also put in the effort. You can be open and receptive to others without compromising who you are as a person.
Do you struggle with embracing what makes you unique, while also attempting to ‘fit in’? Maybe, instead of trying to fit into a mold of who you think you should be, you need to embrace who you are.
Instead of engaging in conversations that you don’t enjoy, stifling your opinions, taking part in activities that you dislike, and trying to get by without being noticed, consider all the ways you can change your attitude and behaviors to create alignment in your life and relationships.
You can, and will, feel a sense of belonging. The first step you need to take is to accept yourself – differences included.
Your life is yours to live and no one else’s, and you are the only one with the power to make your own decisions – including feeling comfortable in your own skin.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T