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i_wanna_blue
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23 Nov 2015, 4:04 pm

Do any of you feel that not fitting in, and feeling very much disconnected from a larger group inhibits your ability to socialize? Somehow I've always felt like I don't belong, like I never fit in, and this makes me reluctant to form part of something bigger than just myself. But there's also a longing to make the connections which make one feel incorporated into some type of bigger picture, instead of feeling like an alien that's resigned to wander by itself. So it causes these mixed feelings within. When you're on your own you want to belong with others, but when you're with others you feel you're too strange and better off on your own. Can anyone relate?



Hyperborean
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23 Nov 2015, 4:09 pm

Yes, I relate to everything you say here.



neilson_wheels
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23 Nov 2015, 4:17 pm

Yes too, we are very much a social animal after all.

I have spent some time over the weekend with nice, smart, capable people. I feel totally deflated.



Amity
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23 Nov 2015, 4:19 pm

Yes, I want to fit in and have that sense of belonging, but, I don't fit in. Many of the times in the past that I believed I fitted in, were either because of the kindness of others, or ended terribly. The only times I ever fitted in was with other non typical people, even that had a shelf life.



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23 Nov 2015, 9:14 pm

Oftentimes, yes. I remain optimistic that somewhere out there is the perfect group of weirdos...



Aprilviolets
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23 Nov 2015, 9:50 pm

yes I felt that I have never fitted in, I see other people with a huge network of friends and I feel that there's something wrong with me as I never could be like that.
I tried clubs and all it did was make me feel worse than ever.

Wrong Planet is the only place I feel I can fit in as there's a lot of people that feel the same as me.
It's a pity we couldn't all get together.



i_wanna_blue
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24 Nov 2015, 5:42 am

Thanks for the replies everyone. At least I know I'm not alone. It would be nice if us atypical/weirdos could find solace in one another. It must be one of the worst feeling there is - to feel alone in a crowd.



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24 Nov 2015, 7:07 am

The number one reason why I am quiet in group siuations. I am not shy, but quiet purely out of choice.

I don't fit in/relate with people.

My last year of high school this year I was lucky enough to fit in with the extremely diverse, ultra arty kid weirdo geek crowd, but still felt like an outsider.

This was a diverse group with a gay guy, an asexual female a bisexual male, musicians, artists, writers, dancers, fashion-lovers, anime loving, video game loving, diverse mix of all kinds of crazy and the only reason I even partly 'fitted' in was because I was unique in a group based on uniqueness - otherwise I still didn't feel like I fit in.

The only time I can ever 'fit in' or feel any sense of comfort/ease is when I am with only one or two friends, and things are one-on-one.

I have a new question: Does anyone else, as aspies, sometimes feel like the most NORMAL person you know? It's ironic but I often don't feel I fit in because I'm too realistic, logical, normal and down-to-earth, compared to my odd family and friends.

For me this is actually a big reason I also can't fit-in - I feel to average/normal.



C2V
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24 Nov 2015, 7:47 am

Someone asked me this recently in a group, about where I belonged. I responded that I don't experience this, it is just information and carries no emotional weight. Because I don't fit in even with others who by description may be similar to myself. Sometimes I'd like to, to experience what it is like not to be outside, but keep in mind this is often a double-edged sword. In instances where others have perceived me belonging it has often not been long before this "belonging" becomes just another way to manipulate me into doing something I'm not comfortable doing, to "help your people," or "educate people about others like you." The group-think creeps in, and they start encroaching on you insisting you have "responsibilities" to the group to which you apparently belong.


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24 Nov 2015, 8:05 am

Story of my life: I was always branded as shy but it's more to the fact I have never been able to find 'my people'. I know nerdy guys into games, I hung around with the gothic guys a bit in school but I find all the 'weird' people are way too weird for me. I feel as though I am caught in the middle: a geeky athlete who can't relate to anyone most days.

I agree with the person who says they are too normal: my relatives consist of a severe manic depressive, a narcissist, a severely depressed person who slowly committed suicide, a pedophile, and someone is too weird for any labels. I was always the black sleep of the family and I can see why. I found my greatest acceptance amongst children and seniors ironically enough but I would like some friends, especially ones my own age!



i_wanna_blue
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24 Nov 2015, 11:07 am

Outrider wrote:
I have a new question: Does anyone else, as aspies, sometimes feel like the most NORMAL person you know? It's ironic but I often don't feel I fit in because I'm too realistic, logical, normal and down-to-earth, compared to my odd family and friends.

For me this is actually a big reason I also can't fit-in - I feel to average/normal.


That's an interesting point. Is normal, the new abnormal? I suppose it does make sense. For me though what I regard as normal seems abnormal, when I compare myself to most others. So, I think keeping quiet and speaking only when I'm spoken to as normal, but then people sometimes show discontent with that, and praise the outspoken ones, then you assume you're indeed the abnormal one. In a way your natural state seems incompatible with what seems prevalent around you. I suppose if everyone around you is abnormal, then even being normal will make you stand out. Either way for me, I've always felt disconnected from the most prevalent group behaviours.



em_tsuj
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27 Nov 2015, 4:07 pm

I find feeling like I belong comes from a combination of being around people who think and feel like I do AND finding acceptance and tolerance for my idiosyncrasies. I am fortunate to has a couple of groups of people that I belong to. That chronic sense of not belonging is toxic. I've felt it most of my life because I grew up in a place that hated so many aspects of me: race, gender, intelligence, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, etc. I had to move out of there and find people who are more tolerant. As unique as I am, I think if I can find belonging, others can too.

Something I have to do though is make an effort to be open to the idea that people (even though they are very different from me) can accept me as I am. I carry that chronic sense of isolation with me and must constantly watch out for my tendency to find ways that I don't belong.

If I feel I don't belong, I act very aloof, separating myself from the group, thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.



i_wanna_blue
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28 Nov 2015, 11:23 am

em_tsuj wrote:
If I feel I don't belong, I act very aloof, separating myself from the group, thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.


So true.

I think I've figured out why I tend to feel so alien and almost never conform to the prevalent group dynamic. I have a really strong sense of shame and of course very low self esteem. Trying to fit in with others who actually feel good about themselves and don't possess this inherent sense of shame is basically impossible, I think. I did feel a bit more comfortable when I joined a group therapy session since others there had self esteem issues as well. When I'm around naturally carefree, confident people I feel completely alien which of course only adds to feeling low.

I suppose my only real chance of connecting with people now is with others of low confidence. Obviously though people like this are reluctant to make connections, so it seems I'm stuck.



LogicOrNot
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28 Nov 2015, 11:33 am

Yes, I have felt this way for much of my life. There was a period of time when I was younger when I did have a fairly large circle of friends that accepted me for me, including all of my quirks and differences. Then there was a fairly long period when I felt I had no group at all. Now, I find more belonging through my work than anything else. I find myself surrounded by people who are similarly passionate about the same kinds of things I am passionate about.

I also relate to the what C2V said about about the double-edged sword of fitting in. I feel that being part of a group constrains my mind. I like to be able to entertain different ways of thinking and different ways of looking at things. I also feel reluctant to commit the amount of mental energy taken up by maintaining my membership in the group. It feels to me that I get more back when I put energy into some activity that feels productive and interesting. I feel like I will eventually be able to give back to society through my work. In that way I feel a part of something greater.



Purrbaby
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29 Nov 2015, 4:20 am

yes I_wanna_blue I could have written your opening post word for word :(
I try to console myself with literature and the search for meaning.
They are a handy distraction if nothing else...

I think I'm destined to forever wander the planet alone (metaphorically) and I'm trying to be ok with that.
Mostly I am but sometimes it can get me down. Life can be a struggle but I believe that is true for everyone. Everyone
has their own struggles, I just need to accept that being alone and not belonging is mine.
There have always been loners in the human race. It's part of the human condition.

I do often wonder if my feeling of being alone is all in my head. I have a husband, three kids, a part time job, a friend (!), and am on fairly good terms with my extended family. Surely that's belonging?? But still I feel alone. <I did not write that to boast or be insensitive - because I know not everyone has that many connections, but it was just to illustrate the feeling of being alone that is always with me, despite my actual circumstances. Is the feeling of never belonging related to the feeling of never being satisfied? because I know I have a rather bad case of that one too...>

Anyways I_wanna_blue, looks like you fit right in here with us :lol: so that's something ...



nerdygirl
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29 Nov 2015, 5:53 am

I have been a part of various groups in the past.

I do OK in some groups, but I don't "fit". I'm still different, even if I get along with the people.
To an extent, I think this is true for everyone. We are, after all, individuals. There's always going to be a line between a person and a group. Perhaps Aspies feel the space differently or maybe it seems more pronounced?

Most of the times I have not been liked, it has been because I refuse to go along with the "group."
I'm not talking about a specific organization, but just a group of people (sometimes people I know personally, sometimes it could be a larger ideological group that many people I know are part of.)
There's something about the way the group thinks that I cannot subscribe to, so people get mad.
I'm a bit of a renegade.

I've been in situations where two opposing groups both wanted me on their side of a conflict.
Why? Because I'm smart and logical (it does come in handy sometimes.)
Each group knew I could make a good argument for their side.
But I saw that both groups had both valid and invalid points, so I refused to join either.
The result was that everyone on both sides got mad at me because I wouldn't join their side.

I do best in situations where I'm just accepted for being different.
I don't have to feel the "same" as other people.
Just being liked/accepted is enough.
I don't even care if people think I'm weird or strange as long as I'm treated nicely.
My "group" in high school was like this. We were the non-clique clique
If someone didn't fit in any of the cliques, they could find a place with us.

I still feel the need for deeper connection with people, but I don't look for that in groups.
I have to find that with individuals.