Trying to fit in
This blog post is just a friendly reminder for me and perhaps also for you, that trying to fit in, by becoming what you are not, is a sure way to depression and unhappiness.
I spent all my life trying to fit in, in every aspect I could imagine of. I tried to be someone and something that wasn’t me just so I could survive and be accepted in the community.
I tried to fit in schools I had been attending to, I tried to fit in workplaces I had worked, I tried to fit in friendships and relationships I had ever been. It all came down to one reason: I was afraid, that if I did not conform to their expectations, they wouldn’t like me. I would end up being alone, being bullied, and being useless.
It was a scary world, and a scary thought.
The result was the opposite of what I had been expecting. I thought, if I fit in perfectly in the community, they would accept me and that would make me happy.
How I was wrong. I was not happier or even happy at all by doing this. Sure, the community accepted me and I could live in it just fine. It was just that, there was something missing, a hole in my heart and feeling. It was like living in a golden cage: it was all beautiful from the outside, but I was hurting inside.
I did not speak up my mind and say what I wanted to say, afraid that it might be something people did not want to hear; I did not do what I wanted to do, afraid that it might hurt someone’s feeling; I had to keep my big dreams inside, afraid that it would make me look silly and stupid; stuff like that. It was killing me.
For this reason, I quit fitting in. It took me years to really give up trying and start living my own life on my own terms. You should do the same, too, if you haven’t done so.
Like everything else, it is easier said than done. But the only way to be happy is to be yourself. It makes sense. You are your own person. Trying to be someone else is like trying to transform white gold to diamond. They may look the same from a distance, but they are not. A very white and shiny gold is still gold. It is against the nature and you don’t want to fight the nature.
So the easiest and best way is to be you. If they don’t like you because you are being you, it is a relationship not worth pursuing, anyway.
How can one be oneself, you ask. I’m not here to teach you lessons nor I know the answers exactly. But here are a few tips you should consider, from my own experience.
The first one is to not let someone intimidate you, or feel intimidated by someone. It is very important, otherwise the next few tips will be difficult to conduct. Your parents, partner, boss, teachers, friends play important roles in your life, but do not let them tell you what to do. It has to be OK to disagree with them. Find ways how to disagree with them without hassle or hard feelings. Only you know how.
The second one is speak up your mind. If something bothers you or at least you’ve got something to say, then say it, and make sure everyone intended hear you. If you are afraid that it could backfire you, just avoid the conversation or the group altogether.
Then, have a dream (or dreams), as in things you want to accomplish. The bigger the better, and do something to achieve them. Please don’t confuse dreams and wishful thinking. Wishful thinking is something that you’d like to have or achieve, but you don’t do anything about it. Dream is something you are working on.
These are not the only steps. There are countless other ways to be yourself. Feel free to do other ways that work for you.
If you are persistent in doing so, people will respect you, and some cases even admire you, that you do what you do. If you are admired, you don’t have to fit in. You are not the one who has to make adjustment, but they!