There are two types of people in this world. First ones are those who go in any set of people and instantly become a part of them like they have known each other for years. Then there are those who spend almost their whole life trying to fit in. Many of us have faced problems while trying to fit in a new group of people. It can be after changing a school, relocating in to a new city or getting in a new workplace. Human nature is such that it thrives for company of its own kind. People want to be surrounded by other people whom they call their friends. But how much is the needful when you want to be a part of something? Do you need to change yourself for it? Or just a change in attitude and outlook will be plenty?
Molding yourself and presenting to the world a personality, who is quite different from the real you just so that people will like you and will want to hang out with you, is what you can call fitting in. To a lot of people this seems like a way to go but it can be totally soul sucking since it involves a lot of pretending and faking. And why do you need to spend too much energy to fit in when you can truly belong?
Belonging is a lot more different thing than a mere fitting in. While you try to belong somewhere you don’t really try, you just be yourself. Your mentality, beliefs, likes-dislikes, passions, dreams and everything else shall be entirely unaltered in front of other people.
A few years ago while promoting from 10th grade to 11th grade, my two best friends moved to a different school and I was in a class with entirely new bunch of people and no best friends around. The thought of spending the next two years with new people was a little uncomfortable and I was pretty sure that my senior years are going to suck. And losing all hope of making new friends I stopped trying fitting in and instead did my own thing. Surprisingly in a matter of a week I was surrounded by some totally amazing people I would have never thought about. Maybe not trying too much helped in actually belonging to a group.
A need for mimicking something you are not arises when one gets a feeling of not being enough. Not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough or not friendly enough, these are a few notions which bother many. While entering a new set of people every one fears judgement and perceptions. And in order to have those perceptions in our favor we imitate. This can be one concomitant of trying to fit in which is definitely not recommended.
Let’s consider this. Your circle of colleagues have decided to go to a nearby bar after a Friday shift and you are not really into drinking or fascinated with dark smokey places. But saying ‘No’ can offend them or make you look like a dull introvert person. In such a situation saying ‘Yes’ just because you want be a part of the circle and fit in isn’t fair to you. Instead you can opt to fit out and tell them that you don’t enjoy going to bars and prefer to go home. This might seem like a demur to the social protocol but it will help other people in knowing the real you and accepting you the way you are. And this acceptance will lead you to true belonging.
To a lot of people the thought of never being able to fit in is frightening. But what really happens when you are never able to fit in? Well, a far as I know, the world won’t end. And in reality our world is full of weird and strange misfits. Even if you are too geeky or way too cool, you are never alone. And if your current group of friends doesn’t get you as much as you want them to or cannot welcome you whole-heartedly the way you are then maybe they don’t fit in to be with you. You can always expand your connections and find people who not only accept you for being you but also celebrate your individuality.
For not feeling the need of masquerading or desperately trying to fit in one has to be comfortable and confident with its own self. Believe in their true passions and dreams and learn to keep their own feelings way above what others will think about them. For one can never please everybody. There are always going to be many people who will dislike you for no reason. But the secret of happiness and belonging lies in concentrating over those who do like you. And being open to friendships and new people can totally help. Send out positive energy and accept others the way they are and you will be seeing a bundle of positive energy coming back at you and find people with whom you do not need to pretend or be like them but you can just be yourself and still truly belong.