Friday, May 17, 2013

Be Different: The Desire to Fit In

The Desire to Fit In

Have you ever just wanted to belong? To not feel like you're on the outside all the time? I have.  I have longed to be inside. To fit.  To walk into a room or a group of people and not feel judged or ridiculed or just... different.

There is something about that belonging... an affirmation that you're okay. That who you are is accepted and that it's okay to be you.

But, the thing with the desire to belong and to fit in is that it can manifest itself unhealthily.  When you're in a place where you don't fit in, but you have nowhere else to go, what do you do?  In my own experience, I have changed.

When I was a girl in school, my mom taught me that the best way to get good grades was to find out what your teacher wanted, and to give it to them.  Brilliant school advice and it worked. I think we also follow that advice, to our detriment, in life. We find out what it takes to be part of a group that we want to be a part of, and we become what it takes.  Even if "what it takes" isn't us.  We become something different so that we can fit.

Maybe that's saying that we like the right music, or even that we hate the right music. Maybe it's reading the right books, watching the right TV shows, wearing the right clothes. Sometimes it's acting in a certain way, associating or deliberately-not-associating with the right or wrong people. adopting the right philosophies, beliefs, and politics.  It goes on...

We tweak ourselves to fit in. But enough tweaks here and there and we are no longer us.  We become some weak caricature that remotely resembles who we used to be, but isn't real.  And when we tweak ourselves over and over, sometimes this way/sometimes that way, eventually we wake up and aren't even sure who we are and how to get back to something more authentic.

The pull to fit in is a strong one. But, the need to be authentic is even stronger.


"Be Different" Series

Friday............ The Desire to Fit In
Sunday..........  Like What You Like
Tuesday........  Making a Difference
Wednesday...  Be Amazing!

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