How many of you have ever felt the loneliness of not fitting in? Can you define what that was like in one single word in the comment section below? Your colleagues have formed a strong bond of friendship and you are avoided in their conversations. You are not invited to functions because you are not the popular kid in town. You call or text your family or your in-laws, and they respond but you get the idea that, really, you are just in their way. You try to talk to someone who is part of a clique, and get the eyebrow raise that clearly states, “What are you doing here?”
You are not alone. The beastly face of “exclusion” can be found in so many places. It happens at some point to everyone. I know what it feels like to be in those shoes.
What should you do??
- You DO belong. Before I tell you what to do, I want to tell you what YOU, my lovely reader, are. You are a strong person. Let me assure you first, loud and clear, that you do belong. Perhaps, however, the group you are trying to fit in with, is undeserving of you. No one who thinks you are not good enough for them, is worth your time and effort. Why work so hard to get caught up in a group that is only going to exclude others in the same way that they first censored you?
- Involve yourself in a hobby you love to do and which will give you a network of support and a place to belong. Kel loved basketball, so he joined the basketball team. This team also happened to be a talented band of players who were dedicated to work together and welcomed newcomers. Terrah was “put down” verbally at her new job. No matter what she did, she was made to feel like the “stranger.” At home, she tried her hand at crafts and discovered she was talented at making gorgeously enchanting mesh wreaths. She took a few to the local craft fair and was surrounded with people who admired her work and supported her effort. Focus your effort on those who are out to support you, not those who are out to ignore you.
- Dress well and leave an impression. Nothing can make more of a statement than
someone who refuses to give in to negativity. The following is a tip from one of my best college girl friends after I was given the cold shoulder from a guy I was interested in at that time. (Turns out, this particular person just wasn’t worth it.) She had some strong words. “Tomorrow morning, I want you to wear your cutest outfit, put on all of your makeup, and greet everyone in his group with a smile and a bright “Good morning!’ By the way…if you won’t do that, I will come to your house and drag you out of bed and make sure you do!!’ Enough said.
- For every negative word you hear or think about yourself, you write down a positive word. Sometimes we are made to feel like we do not belong, simply by being ignored or left out. Other times, we are verbally given that impression. Emily was verbally put down by her sister-in-law when she visited family functions. No matter how hard she stood her ground, Jessa still found a way to snub her. Emily would leave family get-togethers with a hollow feeling of loneliness in her heart. She would be absolutely crushed and tired. One day she decided to take charge and write out a positive word to describe herself every time she felt that way. Her sister-in-law implied she was “gross” at the dinner table. Emily wrote down the word “beautiful.” She was called out for being “withdrawn” and “reserved.” Emily wrote down that she was “careful with whom she gave her friendship to.” By doing this, she was defining herself instead of allowing her sister-in-law to define her. This gave her the power back that her sister-in-law was trying to take away from her.
- Remember you are growing. No matter what stage of life, we are always growing
and discovering the beautiful work of art that we were created to be. You will learn new things about yourself every day. Sometimes “growing pains” just aren’t physical, they are mental as well. You will make it through them.
- If someone is being unnecessarily cruel and making you feel like you don’t belong, you may need to remove yourself from the situation. This is not a solution for every one. You may have a fabulous job, and one of the factors that comes with that job are a couple of coworkers who exclude you. You may attend a great school with good teachers and you may have a lot of friends, but there are some groups who make fun of you behind your back. You may have a wonderful husband, but sometimes his family is so frustrating you wish you never saw their faces again! Life will never be 100% cruelty-free. However, if you are in a life-threatening situation or a situation of danger, you do need to protect yourself. You may need to kindly tell an acquaintance that their mistreatment is unacceptable and avoid making contact with them again. That is not being rude. That is called “standing on safe ground to protect you.” Remember, part of the magic of living life to its fullest is taking care of yourself.
Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong?? Who or what was it that made you feel that way?? How did you deal with it?
Write a positive word about yourself in the comment section below. Who are you as a person?? What makes you magical?? What makes you belong?
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P.S. The girl who felt like she didn’t belong: