Trying to Fit in is the Opposite of Belonging!

Being part of a group was essential to our survival. Historically, if you were rejected from your tribe, you simply wouldn’t survive. This makes us sensitive to rejection and feelings of loneliness, and when we experience it, it can lead to adverse physical and psychological consequences. So, being part of something bigger, being accepted, and having a sense of belonging is integral to our well-being.


Trying to fit in means molding ourselves into fitting in with a group or another person. This means we are changing parts of ourselves to be liked or not to cause difficulties in the collective. Fitting in then becomes something we do to belong; we want to feel a sense of belonging. The problem with it is that the opposite will happen.


Even if those people love you at that very moment, you won’t feel their love, as they love the pretended version of you, NOT the TRUE you! If you want to have a true sense of belonging, be part of a group, or be liked by a person, allow them to see and get to know the REAL YOU so they can love YOU for who YOU truly are.


It takes courage to stick to who you are; it might even mean that sometimes you must be strong enough to stand alone. You might realize a particular group or individual does not value your authentic self, or your opinions are frowned upon.


Obviously, it is sometimes necessary to be adaptable. For our safety, it might sometimes be the wisest thing not to speak up or show parts of ourselves that aren’t accepted by all. It then becomes about recognizing that those people may not be your people. They might not be the best fit for you. You might not feel free or safe to be who you truly are. However, when it is safe to do so, you might recognize that to be true to yourself, you may need to make the difficult decision and choose to break away and find another group or place where you can belong.


Often, people keep knocking on the same door, expecting a different answer. You might see individuals trying to repair friendships with old mates repeatedly or going back to mend relationships with family members by continuing to try to make them see things differently, hoping to rekindle their relationship or for it to be better and different this time. Often, they get disappointed over and over again. Sometimes, it is about realizing that the closed door is the answer. They show you who they are and who they want to be. Rather than changing them, accept them just like you want them to accept you. It would help if you LET THEM BE. Recognize that if they want to, they will. You do not need to beg for time and attention from people who genuinely value you or want to be there for you.


To accept them for their authentic self, you might change your behaviors to deal with them accordingly. You might visit them less or choose not to engage in specific conversations after deciding to stay in contact with them.


Remember, though, whenever one door closes, a tiny window opens. So instead of focusing on the closed door, which takes much energy, try to find this little window. The window might be a life lesson. Maybe you now recognize that you need to change your ways. It could be an opportunity for growth or to do things differently, or it might mean changing directions altogether and finding other people you belong to.


Having the strength to stand alone means you need to accept and love who you are and stand behind that. Loud and proud. Advocate for yourself and find the people who love and admire you for you.


Relationships with others show you who you are and who you are not. They reflect a mirror back at us. We can grow from this. We can decide to change if we need to and value and agree with the feedback we receive or choose not to take it on and be grateful for the learning opportunity. Therefore, every relationship is valuable, even those that aren’t right for us.


An excellent way to recognize whether you are trying to fit in or truly belong is when your energy gets drained around those individuals. It means you are giving your power away. You are doing things you do not want to or saying something you do not mean. You might catch yourself feeling heavy, anxious, and drained. Whereas when you are around people where you can be true to yourself, you will feel in control, and this is energy gaining, uplifting, and you feel a sense of being alive. You do not have to be the best you. You can just be you!


Examples of ‘trying to fit in’ behaviors are things like:

  • Saying yes when you really should say no
  • Not saying what you think or feel because of fear of rejection
  • Not speaking up when things aren’t right
  • Agreeing to what they say even if you do not
  • Pretending to be interested
  • Pretending to be interesting


Being true to yourself and not giving your power away will show whether people value YOU for YOU. People who see your beauty and love you for who you are will stay around, even if you say no or have different interests, likes, or dislikes.


The thing is, you are who you are. Stay true to yourself. If someone loves you in that moment, where you are your true you, they love you for YOU. That is belonging; that is real love. You do not need to fit in; you belong just as you are.




“Always stay true to yourself.
If you can’t be WHO you are WHERE you are,
change WHERE you are, not WHO you are.”

-Desiree Spierings-

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