Yes, we should all accept our uniqueness, cherish our weirdness, ignore everyone else’s opinions and go down our own particular path.  I’m all for it.  But we’re not islands.  Most of us are not meant to be lone explorers venturing to parts unknown only to be heard from every 2-5 years.  We’re social beings and having social interactions is healthy and necessary for us.  Fitting in is something we instinctively seek out because of our social nature.  We want to valued, to have a role, be part of the pecking order because in that is safety and security.  (Putting things lightly, generally, and causing large groups of scientists to shriek in despair at my over simplifications.)

So then there are almost always misfits.  Those that don’t fit in.  So many, at this point in time, that the misfits are banding together into groups and creating their own societies which have misfits that don’t fit in.  Oh, the irony.  Each of us at some point in time has felt like a misfit.  We are part of a group for one reason or another and we want to fit in, whether that’s good or bad for us, and yet we don’t.  For most of us things shift and we find a place or way that we do fit in and we form a life that has, hopefully, mostly positive interactions and that is healthy and supportive for us.  We find our “family,” our niche, we create a life for ourselves with people who are like us and like us.

But how to go about that?  What I have found is the issue isn’t How but Why.  Why do you not fit in?  Most people either decide or are told that they don’t fit in because something is wrong with them.  They suffer from Ugly Duckling syndrome.   They are situated in a group of ducks, trying to be duck-like, they fail at it, and assume that they are, therefore, a failed duck.  When in actuality they are a swan (or a unicorn or a dragon or a faery or a princess or a fairy princess or a prince coming to rescue the princess… please keep the dragon and the prince at opposite ends of the room…)  Once the why becomes clear then the how becomes more clear as well.  If you’re a swan and you’re not enjoying hanging out with the ducks, they are probably right.  You are a failed duck.  That’s not so bad when you put it in context.  Stop trying to be a duck and start exploring what it is to be a swan.

If you start acting like a swan you may notice other’s acting swan-like.  They may actually notice you.  And gradually or less than gradually you realize a wedge of swans has formed around you.  You fit.  So please do ask the question, Why don’t I fit in?  Just don’t make the assumption that something is wrong with you because you don’t.  Assume that something is right and go from there.