I just don't feel like I ever fit in

I am so sick of feeling like the odd person out ALL the time. Ever since I was little I just never felt like I fit in and always felt like the odd man/woman out. If there is a group of any kind; from bible study groups to 12 step groups I have attended to dinner parties at a friends house I always feel like the odd person out. I never feel like I belong or am included no matter how hard I try. It's so frustrating because I have been going to Al-Anon for 5 years now to deal with my AA husband and I STILL feel left out and out of place in the meetings. Some people that have said hi to me 5 years ago when I started don't even look at me when I come in the room. What did I do to them? Nothing! If I am sitting in a meeting in progress and someone comes in late if there is a chair right next to me or one across the room they will pick the chair across the room. I am a reasonably attractive woman (who showers regularly) and "think" I look approachable but could I really be giving off such a bad vibe than no one even wants to sit next to me? I try to say hi and include myself but it's so painful and frustrating to feel left out.

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Jan 22, 2024
Fitting In
by: Catherine

16 is a tough age. I didn't have many friends at 16 either.

Was there anything in particular that happened 3 years ago?

Are there things that you love to do? Or are curious about exploring more? Maybe that's the place to start. Just start doing the things you really like to do and which fascinate you. Then you'll start to find others who like those things too.

You just need to find your group. There's nothing wrong with you. There really isn't. You just haven't found your people yet.

What kind of people would you like to hang out with? What kind of activities would they do?

Also, there's a lot to be learned from learning to love your own company. Truly learning who you are and why you act and react the way you are is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. Also, being able to let go of all the beliefs / labels that aren't you.

Lying about yourself isn't the way to go. It's soul destroying in the end. You need to be able to be your true self and let your true self shine. If those around you don't like it, that's their issue. You have bigger places to go. Don't ever let anyone dim your light.

Jan 22, 2024
I don’t fit in too
by: Anonymous

I’m 16 and I’ve been experiencing this from past 3 years. I don’t feel like I fit in too. I was the gifted kid when I was really young.i was also really extroverted and loved to talk. I was popular. But now I just feel like I’m not liked by other people if I don’t lie about myself. I don’t fit in anywhere too. I don’t relate to anyone now almost.whenever I socialise and talk to people, my heart starts to pound so fast.i don’t have no friends anymore.even with the people I love, I feel I’m being misunderstood. That’s it

May 18, 2023
by: Anonymous

I feel the same way. I sometimes think too much about either the way I look, or the way I talk or the way I act around other people. And sometimes I just think I’m maybe either too awkward or too extra. I sometimes think to myself, what if I disappear? Would the people around me go about their day, or will they care? Will they finally have some peace without me, or will they miss me? I sometimes also think, what if they just didn’t like me at the start? What if they just pretended to like me and went along with everything? What if I’m ugly and they think I’ll just always be an outsider? What if no one will love me? What if I’ll never find the one because of my looks? What if, what if, what if. That’s what I always would say to myself and just start talking to myself. I truly do want to disappear from this world and never return ever again…

Jul 10, 2021
Peace to you
by: Sometimes Okay

I think I understand where you are coming from.
Hate to bring you down but I am almost 60 and I am still troubled by the fact that others are not always interested in me. I don't like it but to some degree it's true. Maybe there is a way to get beyond this characteristic. Maybe there's not and maybe I just get better with time.
It's unfortunate but suffering is an inescapable aspect our lives.
Even with medication and years of counseling I struggle and suffer. But there is joy, contentment, and belonging if but for moments.

Jun 25, 2020
by: Anonymous

The majority of people don't become friends with kindness, they like laughter.

I imagine most of the people here believe if you're a good person who looks after others you'll be liked, while I just don't think this is true.

The best thing you can do is stop caring. The thoughts are in a loop and aren't productive, so snap the loop. You'll be free, happier, and more likely to draw people in.

Dec 06, 2017
Maybe I'm a nred?
by: Nicole

Just discussing This with a friend recently. She said were are nerds. Probably true. I always have my nose in a book or am researching some new topic no cares about except me. That's a big part of it...no one I know thinks like me. I struggle to relate in interests or deep concerns. So when I am with my friends, we usually just talk about normal middle age lady stuff, when I long for deeper more intense discussions. Even my husband can't keep up, so I just stopped trying. We only really talk about his boring man stuff...ugh...my daughters are pretty versatile in conversation but that only goes so far. It is t church too. Every one seems so "gung ho" & excited about stuff...except for me...why is that? Btw, all my friends are at my church. I also see things diffently. I see potential problems before they happen, no one listens to me, and then the thing happens & I try not to say "told ya so". This is especially at church & with friends...no one wants to listen...so I have resolved to sit back & observe.

Jul 28, 2017
I'm right there with you
by: Anonymous

I'm reasonably but not threateningly attractive, nicely dressed, and friendly. I'm not boring-looking, I have a number of differing interests to talk about--in theory there's something for everybody. I had a difficult childhood socially, but I've done a lot of work to overcome my past and genuinely make an effort to be friendly, inclusive, and genuine with people. I'm told I'm funny and that people like my style.

But still, people never seem to want to be around me. I don't understand it. The other day I was waiting in line at a small local curio shop behind a young woman whom the owner (a woman in her late 40s) didn't know, and they were having lively conversation about the restaurant nearby that the young woman worked at and other details about her life. I have no idea how they got into this conversation as complete strangers, but the young woman was even complaining about how mean her customers are to her, and the owner was SO engaged and laughing! Then when the young woman left and it was my turn to check out, the owner changed her demeanor completely. I swear it almost felt like she was eyeing me with suspicion like I was going to steal from her or something, even though I was standing at the register to pay, I've shopped there many times before, am dressed professionally, and have obviously never done anything suspicious. I even tried to make conversation with her -- not just for the sake of making conversation, but to ask about a certain product I like that is sometimes out of stock, because I genuinely wanted to know if it was really popular and what other similar things people seemed to like. She gave me the shortest, curtest answers she possibly could. I felt like she couldn't wait to get me out of her sight.

I don't understand it! I have a few good friends and I'm very lucky for that, but it feels like everywhere I go is that curio shop. I feel like I look and act more or less similar to most other people, but for some reason people do not react well to me. I've often wondered if it's pheromones or something I'll never be able to understand.

Jul 19, 2017
I agree
by: Anonymous

I don't want to say I know how you feel but I will say that I too have never really fit in. I was always the odd one out in school and the vast majority of the time I'm still the odd one out concerning family stuff. I don't know what the solution for us is but I wanted you to know that you're not alone. It's hard to always be the one who is different and although I've learned to not let it get to me most of the time, sometimes it still does. Maybe we can both gain strength knowing we are not the only ones who feel this way. Much love to you, stay strong, maybe someday we'll find our place.

Apr 26, 2017
by: blessed

Sometimes the one place in which we expect to feel accepted, appreciated, like we are a part of, that we long; is the place where we gather with others to worship. This comes easy for most. For me, wow, it’s like sending a man to the moon!

I really do sincerely try but I still remain feeling like a 'visitor' rather than a part of the family of God. I am part of His family, maybe just not a part of the 'Church Family'.

I go to church alone because I am the only Christian in my home. This in itself makes it difficult but I don’t let it stop me. However being there alone on my own can really hurt at times even though I've done it this way for twenty years. It’s very sad and though I try hard each time to just block out everything else and focus on God, eventually the pang of 'aloneness' comes back to the surface.

I KNOW that I am a child of God but I long to feel like I belong while here on earth. Don't think there is anything wrong with that.

Sometime, just sometimes it’s easier to find a friend in the world than in the Body of Christ. On one of the most recent occasions I felt a knot in my stomach even before getting to church because I knew that it being a special service on that day, everyone would be there with someone. Every year I keep praying and hoping it would change for me but it hasn’t just yet.

So I got there, I kept praying to the Lord ‘Lord please help me not to feel alone, help to handle this without falling apart on the inside".

Well at the end of the service, everyone as usual was huddling and greeting someone.(If you are asking why I don’t be the one to mingle, believe me I try) . I kept my eyes closed thinking God if I opened my eyes, I would burst into tears…Well, I had to eventually leave so had to open my eyes!.. I left with a broken heart. I cried all the way home unable to brings words out of my mouth to the Lord.

I won’t apologize for how I feel. I am only human and though I agree the root of the problem is within myself and not anyone else, it is a real battle and I just thought that being in church would help in some way to bring healing. There is a difference between being in church and being A PART of church. Tough difference I would say.

I remember on my very first day of high school, I was so nervous because I didn’t know anyone. But once I got there, I realized hey, everyone here is new! So we were all in the same place! On the other hand, today, joining an existing group of people, being the new one, could be hard at first, but it should eventually become easier…..For me, this hasn’t happened and I still feel like the ‘new’ person, hard to fit in, to connect to belong. Maybe some day??? Maybe when some more years have passed and I have been there for a long time, maybe then I’d become part of the family???? I sure hope so.

Until then, I am so thankful that God has opened wide His arms and accepted me. He hides me in His embrace because He alone understands my struggle. The good news is that throughout this, God is changing me, helping me, healing me and it is also strengthening my relationship with Him. I would like to believe that someday I would get to that place where I am fully content with God as my everything, but somehow I just don't think God made us to be alone while on earth.

I recently found out how many Christians go through this same struggle and oh how sad it is. But I am also relieved to know it isn't just me.

Everyone's got their groups and cliques, and for now God's got me!

Feb 16, 2017
Am I The Problem
by: AS18

I have always fitted in when I was young, whether that was school, college or home life. However, I have recently started a new job and I just don't fit in with the rest of the team. I am kind, approachable and open for a chat. I ask questions to them but they tend to give me a closed response. During breaks and lunch they go into their own friendship groups and ignore me. Sometimes they see me alone but don't ask me to join them. Couple of weeks in I was reduced to tears after work because I feel so excluded. It has come to a point where I do not even try anymore.
Thanks for listening.

Aug 22, 2016
Complex PTSD
by: Catherine

A book you might find interesting is Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving: A GUIDE AND MAP FOR RECOVERING FROM CHILDHOOD TRAUMA by Pete Walker.

I found this one really helpful in explaining why I felt like I didn't fit in anywhere. Once I had a greater understanding about it, a lot of the feelings went away. So, definitely worth taking a look just in case it can help you too.

You can have a look at the excerpt on Amazon and see if it feels like it might be a helpful resource before you even buy it.


Aug 22, 2016
I'm so alone
by: Anonymous

I typed in "why don't i fit in" and I could not believe some of the things that everyone was saying. It was like someone was explaining my life. NEVER have i EVER felt like I fit in not ANYWHERE. The one that got me was the man who feels that even the cashiers look at him in a mean way. I have women do that to me even in church orrr woman who said that there would be a chair RIGHT NEXT TO HER and late comers will walk in and I will see them look at my chair and go around the table to sit on the other side. Well I have to admit. I'm 47 and yes after all these years, I must say that I am MAD. I'm mad at the world not excluding myself. I'm at the point where I don't want to go anywhere. I have no idea what to say to people anymore so I just say nothing and walk around with a broken heart. I'm so tired of trying to figure it out. Even when I do meet a friend... we don't stay friends. I feel so alone and everywhere I go I feel like everyone knows it. I will pray for each and every one of you... I promise. I have also had people ignore me, look at me like I was not even in the conversation. I'm at the point where I'm paralyzed so that when I do talk to people and they ask me even something as simple as how old my kids are... I can't remember! I have done that very thing with a whole table full of people. It's getting to the point that I even feel like I hate my husband because he is starting to see and I fear he will see that I don't fit in either. He has actually turned his back on me at a business function and left me out of the whole circle. I tapped his back but he didn't even turn around. People on both sides could see that I was just standing there. I have had him tell me that this kind of thing happens to me because people are jealous also but I also see woman who are beautiful and have lots of friends. I know it's ME, It cant be everyone else. Thanks for letting me get this off of my chest:/

Feb 12, 2016
Don't fit in
by: Anonymous

You just explain how I have been feeling my entire life. It's almost like I'm either invisible or a better description would be I'm the walking dead. I want to say that it's nice to know there are other people that are experiencing this but on the other hand I don't wish this pain on anyone. We need to start a misfits club. Maybe will be understood. I wish the very best for you.

Jun 29, 2015
i know how you all feel
by: emotional

I always feel like I'm not connected with
The others I want to feel connected
With them but I try and try to fi
But my body judges me to not fit in

Dec 17, 2014
Always alone
by: Anonymous

It feels good to know I'm not the only person who goes through this. I have never felt like I fit in, pretty much anywhere. Growing up, I hardly had any friends. Now as an adult, who is 30, I still don't have any friends. I've gone to the same church for 10 years and don't have a single friend. At work, I'm not acknowledged by my co workers. I come into work every morning to no one even so much as saying good morning to me, and I work directly beside them. I am purposely excluded from any and all conversation that takes place, despite my ongoing attempts to join in the conversation. I'm a very pleasant, nice, and fairly attractive woman. My husband says that people treat me like that because they are jelous, but I know that's not true Bc there are plenty of attractive and well liked people out there. There is something about me people are just not comfortable with, and it drives me nuts not knowing what it is. I'm a Christian and pray about this issue in my life a lot. I would love to meet others who experience the same pain I'm feeling.

Dec 08, 2014
when will I fit in
by: Anonymous

I am reading so many stories on here that are so similar to my own experiences. I have never fitted in to any group, feel like the odd one out in a group of people. I've never had a best friend or a group of close friends. I have always felt like.I am oon q different wavelength to everyone else and I can never get tuned in. I went through a stage of being okay with how awkward I am, I could even laugh about it but recently it has been getting me down, I have been questioning myself again, wondering what it is about me that I makes me so isolated. Is there anyone else that feels so out of sync with the people around them??

Nov 30, 2014
lets make friends
by: Jay

I have the same issues with fitting in with others. Maybe on this site we can keep in contact with each other starting a friend group where we have good positive conversation, and have each others back. Like really grow a bond with each other. We are all on here for a reason.

Nov 25, 2014
by: Anonymous

I work in a busy department store. My coworkers are talkative and friendly with each other. But I am ostracized by them,the odd one out. I have tried conversing with them but the usual response to my conversation is "yeah" or "whatever" sometimes when I say hello to them they do not respond. Sometimes I feel like I should apologize for coming to work. I try to be nice.

Oct 15, 2014
Why worry about fitting in?
by: Jim In Florida

Why feel the need to "fit in"? Just be yourself and realize that you are a unique individual with a style all your own. There is such an emphasis on being part of a group and I never understood that concept...essentially, you are seeking to be classified, and in doing so you've conceded some of your individuality. Just be content with your own self and realize that most people want to be in a group merely for the sake of appearances (and to hide their own insecurities). Just because you are alone does not mean you are lonely, it means that you are content with your own company. I saw a comic strip in the 10/12/14 newspaper and it was priceless. The link is below:

Sep 27, 2014
feel on my own
by: Anonymous

Looking at all other comments it seems im not the only one who does not fir in. Even when im with people i feel lonely. Wonder if i will ever belong anywhere. Felt like this from being 5 years old. Over 50 and nothing changes not much of a future to look forward to.

Jun 27, 2014
on my own
by: Anonymous

Is there a place where like minded people who don't fit in meet up in Warrington cheshire

Apr 27, 2014
Fitting In
by: Pat

There's an intersting thing that happens when people "try" to fit in. When you are new to a group and you "try" too hard to fit in, people in the group, or office, sense this "need" on some instinctive level and they are not drawn toward it. People in general are attracted to independent people who don't need or care about fitting in. Once you can get yourself to the point where you don't care about fitting in, you would be surprised to see that people start approaching you, inviting you to group events, asking for your opinion. The hard part is learning to not care anymore, which means eliminating the "need" to fit in, and learning to enjoy your own company above all others. Then, they will come to you and you may decide that you don't even want to be part of that "group" :)

Apr 26, 2014
not fitting in
by: Anonymous

I really relate to what is being said I think I am a nice person but I just don't seem to fit in people don't like me I try to ignore it but it is hard I feel invisible. I am pleasant to everybody and try really hard to be nice but it just doesn't work its been like this all my life so i know it's my fault.maybe I just march to a different drummer.

Sep 23, 2013
Left Out
by: Anonymous

I know how you feel. I love people and are really interested in them, but I find that they seem to not include me. I really feel like an outsider most of the time. As a result I find I am constantly doing things by myself. I often feel like my comments are not taken seriously. It's frustrating, and I don't know what to do about it. The more it goes on, the more I find myself pulling away from people and my self-worth going down.

May 31, 2013
Not Fitting In
by: Another Loner

I don't fit in with most groups. I get along with people, but I think that they often don't feel comfortable around me. I like to talk about meaningful things in life, and most people don't, so its pretty isolating. I'm also very curious about people, what motivates them, and I think this makes them uncomfortable, that I'm looking and observing too much, and too closely. So many people don't want other people to truly know them, just the surface stuff.

I have learned that there will be only a small number of people who really appreciate what I have to offer and are not afraid to relate on a deeper level. I have learned about my own special talents and now devote them to jobs that require those talents, putting my passion into things that I believe make a real difference in the lives of others. I now accept that I make some people uncomfortable, just by being who I am. I watch for that rare person who loves to talk about ideas, just to learn more about ourselves and each other.

What we all need to learn is to accept ourselves, appreciate our own specialness, surround ourselves with people who "get us", and stop letting everyone else make us feel like there is something really wrong with us.

There is nothing wrong with you except that you haven't met anyone yet who "gets" who you are and values you. Keep watching for those people; you will meet a few of them in your lifetime and the experience will reassure you that you are perfectly fine, just the way you are.

Jan 16, 2013
I feel the same way!
by: Anonymous

I too have felt like I didn't belong when I was growing up and it p***s me off when a teacher is teaching a subject and I'm the only one who doesn't get it. I swear there's a conspiracy against me. Sometimes I just want disappear...

I really despise people too. I know I'm a good decent human being but I hear a holes/bullies/b****s insulting me when they don't think I'm listening just to amuse theirselves and others. I usually dont retaliate because I try to be a nice guy. I'm getting sick of waiting on karma or god to punish them as I hardly see any justice.

I also feel the same way when sitting at disccusions

I really shouldn't care but it annoys the f*** out of me when I sit somewhere an every douchebag of a person chooses sits away for me or moves. I shower regularly too and am decent looking but these c***s make me feel like I'm a monster in human skin. I hate people and they make me hate myself

Jan 15, 2013
me to
by: bronagh

i know how u feel cause my girls in my family all girly girl like barbie and all and boys in my family all into boy stuff like normal but me iam a girl and i love doctor who like all fiction werid stuff my sis all think iam werid liking that i just love all werid stuff but i tottaly love dr who and i dont like wearing dresses and suff ewww and my mum say iam a wee bit werid too and my friends all talk about discos and stuff and iam like umm hahhahaha searsly realy u talking about ill rather talk about boy stuff lol and my friends are all haha ur werid so werid i stay in my room for ages so i know how u fell

Nov 16, 2012
Left out and doesn't fit in
by: Anonymous

Most days at school I feel sad and I get bullied about having pimples but it's not my fault that I have bad skin at the moment, I know I'm only a teenager but I feel like everyone hates me and I just go And hide away because I feel to ashamed of myself and that no one likes me, My culture is half white, half Maori but I'm really white, and I feel to white to fit in with most kids, I don't really know what to do anymore :(

Nov 02, 2012
I feel the same too
by: Anonymous

Yea I can relate to a lot of these posts. I think that my mind is just way different -- the happiest people seem to be average intelligence and interested in just every day things - they are able to talk about events and are not interested in deep philosophical or psychological discussions. The best way I have found to fit is ask questions especially how it relates to the other person. People love talking about themselves and they really aren't interested in you or really anyone else it is all about them. Once you figure that out ( I realize it is like faking it) it becomes easier to do because you get good at it and get positive feed back that you are on the right track. You have to hold back on inserting yourself - eventually it will drive you nuts how you can't get people to shut up anymore - now all you have to do is talk about yourself and they will get bored and uninterested. It's sad to see this really but both sides of this work very well. I know I will get knocked for this but truly if you have a really high IQ above 130 you are not able to relate as easily as people at 100 or so. Truly to be happy is to be average. If you are really gifted its like you are not on the same level - it's really sad - if you can find others with your interests or intellect perhaps scientists, etc. your world will open up because you will find a more common level of understanding. It is just harder you will have a tendency to make people feel stupid if you are not careful and you have to be very careful - people are not stupid and can sense that you are possibly smarter than they are - that scares people. The hardest thing I have found is as my husband tells me " you make people feel incompetent". Jeepers so I have to let them be wrong even if it is work I am paying for - otherwise he says I piss them off - he says to choose and live with it - so I tread carefully and pick my battles. People do not like feeling stupid

Oct 17, 2012
I never feel as if I fit in
by: Anonymous

I'm a teacher and have been teaching for awhile. I communicate well with my students and have been praised as a teacher. Starting conversations with co workers or even with the public is very hard. It is so hard for me to make new friends. I don't trust people. Counseling is great ,but I'm still anxious and feel weird when trying to communicate with others. My husband has no problem talking to anyone. He can strike up a conversation with any stranger and call anyone his friend. I wish I didn't feel like this.

Apr 24, 2012
Such a weird turn....
by: Late comer

I stumbled upon this site after a random googling. I remember a time when I was in early elementary school...asking my parents if I was adopted (in spite of the fact that I am a visually genetic 50/50 split of them). At that time I recall my feelings being that I simply did not match or mesh with anyone around me - I felt like an alien. Great importance was had in my mind on knowing where I came from, and why I felt the way I did. I also recall with great detail (not too long after above inquiry) asking my parents if I was of a different nationality than they or my brother.

Fast forward thirty years. I still feel the same about my daily life. No matter how much I have ever participated, interacted, or founded any type of social activity I am still in the same spot and having the same alien feelings.

My experiences in life have been what some would call full and well-rounded. I have been part of many groups, squads, functions, lectures, classes, and gatherings. I have never avoided them, but when I know that my attendance is expected where people will be gathered, no matter what the circumstance, I have always had an extreme amount of dread towards it.

If given a choice in any of these matters, getting together with X number of people I truly like/love to do X or no, I would rather stay home.

My coworkers and colleagues seem to all have the same reaction to me. Always very positive.My daily life is the normal grind. With my naturally bubbly demeanor, people are willing to get along with me easily, and quite a few request my attention during times when they need social direction, somewhere to vent, or what I would consider therapy of sorts (just talking it out). Over the years I have accepted the fact that people are drawn to me as much as I have my personality. Fighting what nature seems to have already laid out did not work for me very well, so I have accepted those things, and go on about my business.

Noticing that this site has laid dormant for quite some time, I have a small hope that someone may see this post and feel that they aren't alone. If you have anything that is close and have any better coping mechanisms other than "just getting through", please let me know.

I thank you in advance. If you feel that you have half a thread in common with me, please respond with any tips or information. There is nothing more horrid in this world than feeling like you are alone, it can happen even when you are surrounded by those you love, and that love you.
It's such an uncomfortable position. Pardon the long post, but that is the short version for how I feel. All I would like is to recline in a chair one day and truly mean it.

Feb 29, 2012
Do you feel this way to
by: Anonymous

Some of my nice friends say I'm popular and that sometimes makes me feel better but then there will be mean kids or bullies who without saying bully me like for example today a person who I hate and she hates me back said I like yor pants and she was with her friend and her friend came up to me later and said that she just said that and didn't mean it and then said that she actually hated them I don't know what to do or say also when I get nervous I stumble upon words I don't know what to do HELP AND PLEASE REPLY

Oct 21, 2011
Left out all of the time
by: Anonymous

I go to work everyday being left out and ignored. I talk to my coworkers and it is like I am not even there. I come up with smart suggestions and they are ignored every time. Why is it that I get treated this way. I want to quit but don't have any other job to go to. I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels this way.

Oct 05, 2010
by: Anonymous

for the last week,I havnt got dressed,I have come to the point where I have had enough of hurtful situations.I can't see the blessings out there,can only see the blessings here at home.
I am snappy and tearful.I have an mri scan coming up,I am going by myself,my partner has to stay with the animals and kiddies,there's no one close to help us,no one to help with the kids.
both sides our parents were mean and put us both down.we are now at a point where we have had enough.
I homeschool the kids,I am turning inwards more and more each day.
the things that used to sooth me,chocolate,take away etc etc,no longer helps.
all I wanna do is stay in do nothing,but curl up and wish I was being held.
I know I will come through this,as I have before but,well,just needed to share.

Sep 09, 2010
Try speaking first
by: Catherine

Hi Anonymous,

The next time you're about to pay for an item, before she/he can say anything to you, look the cashier in the eye and say, "Hi, how are you?" or "Hi, looks like you're really busy today." Say it in a genuine, friendly way. Smile a genuine smile. Be happy to see this person who is about to serve you. And, then let me know what the reaction was.

My guess is that for whatever reason, when people first see you, they get the impression that you're angry. Whether you are or not, that's what they're picking up from you. So, when the person is about to serve you, you look angry and they don't know if you're angry about waiting in line or what. But, they think you're going to yell at them or complain to them. So, they're instantly on the defensive. Same when you're with your wife. You look angry so the person doesn't know if they've done something to upset you. If they say something to you, are you going to be nasty to them? That's what they're afraid of. So, if you speak first in a friendly way, you totally dispel the impression that you're angry. They'll know that you're not.

You may have gotten to the point where you assume the cashier is going to be rude to you so you give off a very defensive, angry vibe before they even serve you. And, that's what they'll be picking up on.

It'll also be much more difficult for someone to respond negatively to you if you're being friendly first. Think about how you feel when someone is genuinely happy to see you. Doesn't it make you feel good? That's what you need to be doing to those people you meet along the way. Brighten their day in just some small way. You'll probably be amazed at the difference in response that you get just by doing something simple like that. You'll make them feel like they're finally appreciated by at least one of the hundreds of people they have to serve every day.

But, mostly, my guess is that they think you're angry so you need to let them know you're not right away. By being silent and not saying anything probably actually contributes to the impression that you're angry and about to snap at them. So, say hello, be friendly and I bet you'll find that people respond to you completely differently. Let them know you're happy to see them.

Sep 09, 2010
Walked on.
by: Anonymous

I never fit in anywhere. It doesn't matter whether its at work, church, or family gatherings.
Even when I'm in public or going to buy something the cashiers are always frowning at me & biligerent with me. The prior or next customer they will smile & be happy with. Sometimes people will even take a pot shot at me to put me down so they can have everyone laugh at me. I never reply back or am rude. I don't do anything to hurt people at all. In fact I'm pretty quiet & humble almost all the time. When I do speak up it's well are you getting angry? It's like they want to provoke me to anger just so they can embaress me even more. I'am a very patient fellow. Even when I'm with my wife they will talk directly with my wife & won't even acknowledge that I'm even there at all. Even to the point they will look rudely at me as though whatever you are going to say it's meaningless or like why are you even here. People will ask me who are these people you say socially outcast you? I try to explain what they are doing but they don't believe me or get it because they never have experienced it. People will say its all my own perception of the situation or you need more confidence. Or its you need to be more social. Hmmmm, lets see here how can I feel secure being trashed on or embaressed, but not yet speak up? Or better yet be social when they try to cut me off or walk on me. Sometimes I think the only way is to just disappear from society & hide into the mountians for the rest of my life. Sound like I'm being negative but at after 37 years of this it's getting really old.

Aug 09, 2010
Fitting in
by: Shawn

There seems to be something you are giving off to people that they are not taking you seriously. It seems like they probably sense your insecurity and that can make people uncomfortable. You need to start pretending you are a very confident person (think of it like an acting exercise). After a while you will notice that you will gain a greater sense of confidence and people in your office will surely give you more respect. I really hope you can achieve this goal, you will be much happier and start to gain a sense of acceptance and an improved social life will follow. Good luck and be patient because it will take time.

Best, Shawn

Aug 06, 2010
I feel so alone
by: Anonymous

I have been feeling like an outsider for a very long time. I am not the most socialble person and I find it hard to strike up conversation with my co workers. When I am at work no one seems to talk to me, they dont include me in there coversations, and When I try to join in people just talk over me like I am not even there. Its not a good feelling at all. I dont have any friends at all, so I am always alone. Its really difficult for me.

Apr 08, 2010
RE: Thanks
by: Anonymous

Holy Mother, this site is wonderful. I had to Google 'Why Don't I Fit In' tonight, and after reading a bunch of articles here - I felt that they were written just for me. Great advice for me to start living by. Thank You!

Mar 30, 2010
by: Anonymous

Hey Shawn,

Sounds like you need organizational or time management help more than assertiveness.

Check out some teacher planning sites and see if they have some ideas that could help you. Like this one: http://www.brighthub.com/education/k-12/articles/5490.aspx Set up your own spreadsheets and then after your class, jot down what you taught that day. Then, you'll know exactly what you taught the previous time you were there. If you follow the spreadsheet suggestion in the above link, you'll also have planned what you're going to teach each time you go as well so you can prepare for your lessons before you even get there.

You'll feel so much more confident about yourself because you're in control and you're not flying by the seat of your pants anymore.

Mar 28, 2010
Problems with Assertiveness
by: Shawn

I have major problems with being assertive. I always ask questions to people about possible choices I need to make (even some of the most trivial ones)before taking the step to make the choice; sometimes the choice does not ever get made, and I end up just procrastinating.

I work as a teacher and this effects my work life as well because I have difficulty planning lessons. I usually will be "flying by the seat of my pants" each day with little or no plans available. Furthermore, I work with many classes as a traveling teacher with three schools so because of my lack of planning or choices with lessons I end up forgetting what I have taught to the classes I work with and do not remember if I taught them a concept or not. I find it so hard to move forward sometimes, my lack of assertiveness definitely gets in the way of my day to day life.

Any advice would be very much appreciated..

Feb 13, 2010
trying hard
by: Latasha Hall

Hi, My Name is Latasha Hall, I Having issues with this one sport, and well I keep getting stressed out about not trying to well with something that been in Bowling, I know I want to get better at my hand movements, instead of getting mad or trying not to give up. How do I get better at bowling without giving up or Try my best to get even high in my Score? I really am given it 100% percent, nothing works for me. I really do good with singing in church, but bowling is my Problem. How do I Can better at bowling when I'm not mad or negative?

Sep 28, 2009
Why don't I fit in?
by: Catherine, www.Life-With-Confidence.com


I can totally understand what you're saying and how painful and frustrating it is. I went through the same thing for the longest time.

There's actually a number of different ways of thinking about this issue so I've put together some thoughts on this page:

Why Don't I Fit In?

It was too much information to fit in these comment fields. So, have a look and if you have any questions or want to go through it in more detail, just let me know.

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