6 Reasons Why You Feel Like You Don’t Belong Anywhere

‘Why don’t I belong?’ Sometimes we go through moments in our lives where we don’t fit in with a certain group or place.

For some of us, we might feel like we don’t belong anywhere most of the time.

AURORA (1)

AURORA AKSNES (1) | The Forum, Melbourne, Australia 2019

Either way when we don’t belong often that means we feel different. The feeling of not fitting in comes in different forms. For instance, we don’t get along with family and never seem to say much around our parents or siblings. Can’t identify with ‘where you are from’ or our heritage. Don’t get the latest trends or TV series everyone is so into.

In other words, our tastes, preferences, background, experiences and opinions could be very different from those around us.

Throughout my life I’ve felt like I never fit in on countless occasions. Never felt like I fit in at school as the bookish nerd who loved the library. Never felt a part of the writing classes I took at university to be a comedic journalist. Never felt welcomed as an introverted wearing bright colours standing alone in the corner at a party.

When you feel you don’t belong, why would that be? Why would you find it hard to relate to anything? Perhaps you don’t belong because of how others perceive you, and also because of the way you are.

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AURORA (2)

Why you don’t fit in

1. Differences in cultural background

Today it’s a privilege to live in a multicultural world where there is a diverse mix of cultures, traditions, celebrations and beliefs. We can all learn from differences. The sad thing is not everyone is accepting of diversity and racism is very real. Racism, and poking fun at cultural nuances, makes many of us feel on the sidelines.

As an Asian Australian, my whole life I’ve straddled between being Chinese and being Australian. One day I might be more stereotypical Chinese and another day have a more Western mindset.

For instance, I could feel too Asian for wanting to share food in a restaurant when my white friends insist on having individual dishes to themselves. Too Asian for living with the Chinese-Malaysian folks when my white Australian friends moved out at 18 and wondered why I haven’t. Too Asian and clueless walking down the street as someone yells, ‘Go back to where you came from!’ in your face. Or ‘Ni hao’.

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AURORA (3)

Too Australian to be Chinese when I don’t speak Chinese fluently and my Chinese-speaking relatives call me ‘that white girl’. Too Australian when I rather be alone relaxing than spending time with family and being called out by them for being selfish – facing racism within one’s own race and not fitting in ‘at home’.

Often ignorance and a lack of education is to blame for discrimination and making you feeling an outcast. That said, sometimes no matter how much you try to explain the nuances of your background, others simply might not get it or dismiss it – too foreign and unbelievable to them and they have a right to believe what they want to believe.

Or perhaps you’re too stubborn to assimilate and be open-minded about walking into another culture. You might stubbornly stand by your cultural values, wanting to preserve your heritage and feeling you have the right to be who you are. For Asian Australians and third culture kids, these conflicting worlds are what makes us wonder what it’s like to be fully a part of a culture.

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AURORA (4)

2. Clash of personalities

Hard working vs party person. Shy vs social butterfly. Extrovert vs introvert. You might be the odd personality among a group of people. Others all might fit a certain character but you aren’t that type.

The world is arguably an extroverted one: if you want to get ahead at school or work, you have to network, speak out and put ourselves in the spotlight. Having fun is typically associated with socialising, traveling and painting the town red. I don’t relate to extroverted kinds. I could spend a whole month at home not talking to anyone in person or online, busying myself with my imagination and writing. In fact, in the past that was how I enjoyed my annual leave from work.

Turning down late night rendezvous invites is nothing new to me. Standing quietly in the corner with a glass of water surrounded by drunks at parties is also nothing new. Finishing things way before the deadline at work, yes that’s me.

It’s hard to change the way you are. As someone once said, changing your personality is kind of like building a new house. Studies have shown while your personality traits can change, they don’t change overnight. Different personalities come with steadfast individual quirks, quirks which can make each other frustrated, anxious, upset and left out. Some of us simply don’t gel with each other.

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AURORA (5)

3. Different lifestyles

Single mingle vs settling down, routine homebody vs traveling nomad, vegan vs raw diet are just a few contrasting lifestyles. Different points in life speak of different wants and needs, expectations, priorities, schedules and interests. It can be hard understanding and relating to how someone lives their life – different things are important to each other.

These lifestyles are normally the ones accepted: climbing the corporate ladder. Going after that next big job to afford a luxurious life. Living each week hoping it’ll be Friday. Living the white picket fence life.

The things I stand for makes me feel on the outside at times: it’s okay to be a struggling artist living pay check to pay check or living in a van. It’s okay to be any part of the LGBTQI+ spectrum while not shooting down other faiths. It’s okay to be polygamous or living a life like Artemis. How it’s okay to have ten kids or absolutely none at all.

I’ve never pushed my life choices onto others. Don’t want to make others feel guilty of the lifestyle they choose; we find middle ground and are great friends. But as time goes on, your lifestyle might make it hard to stay in touch and old friendships become no friendships, and you wonder where you belong.

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AURORA (6)

4. Mental illness

Not everyone will relate to living with mental illness. There are different forms of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, dementia, obsessive compulsive disorder and other conditions. Going through mental illness can be a dark time with conflicting voices in your head; you feel hopeless and so find it hard to make connections.

Similarly trauma, stressed out times, chronic illness and chronic pain can also make you feel on the sidelines and want to retreat. You might feel left out as you can’t go about an ordinary life, can’t live without pain of some sort.

At the height of my anxiety and chronic pain issues, I didn’t want to answer questions about if I was okay, let alone think about these issues. Keeping quiet and isolating was my way of coping. Also, mental illness is a taboo topic and often dismissed as weakness in Chinese cultures, all the more reason for feeling on the sidelines.

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AURORA (7)

5. Lack of listening

People can talk, but that doesn’t mean they’ll listen. When someone doesn’t listen, it could be a one-sided conversation: one person’s thoughts dominate, your opinions not acknowledged. When your voice isn’t heard, it can feel like you don’t exist, except maybe as a dumping ground for someone else’s emotions. When no one listens, you feel like you’re not understood and not worthy of being appreciated.

Sometimes others don’t listen because they are intent on sticking with their mindsets. Or they could be quick to judge and talk over you. Maybe you are guilty of this too. Everyone wants to offer their opinion, everyone wants to help by offering suggestions to make things better, but sometimes it’s best to listen.

By listening, we learn what makes others tick. A study on psychology suggests feeling someone’s emotions comes from listening to their voices instead of reading facial expressions. Never the chatty one in a conversation, I like to listen. I’m quieter than most and sometimes people around me chat on and on about their thoughts and lives…at times not getting to the point. I might get to know them better…but they might not get to know me better.

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AURORA (12)

6. Reluctant to change

Change is a constant in life. People switch jobs, travel, move away, get married, pass away and acquire new interests. Places where we once were get shut down and rebuilt.

Sometimes old habits die hard because some of us like routine for the sense of security it brings, and we resist adapting to what comes our way. When you get stuck in routine, you get stuck with people and stuck in ways that don’t serve us anymore. Life moves on and you wonder why you feel left out.

*  *  *

When you feel you don’t belong, these feelings can be all too familiar: loneliness, abandonment, alienated, confusion, sadness, resentment and misunderstood. You might even feel the world exists perfectly fine without you. There could come a point where you’ll question your place in the world, your purpose and even the meaning of life.

When you don’t  belong again and again, you learn to live with being a misfit. You find ways to cope with being the odd one out. You set no expectations to make solid friendships or relationships when hanging out with others. You take up quiet hobbies at home like writing and crafting. You talk to your cats for company. You get used to never agreeing with others, accepting how others live their lives and go down your own path.

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AURORA (9)

Not fitting in isn’t all a bad thing. You could love being the odd one out, being proud of your unique personality and glad you aren’t another wallflower. Maybe because you’re so different, you embrace that, see the world in a different way and your life is much more exciting because of that. Maybe you like spending time with yourself so not being the popular one is something you don’t mind. Most importantly by spending time with yourself, you learn what you actually like and what truly matters to you, and who really has got your back.

Being a misfit has taught me how to be self-sufficient, independent and never to rely on anyone. It has taught me how to travel alone, be the realistic one in relationships, buy a half a million dollar house on a single income, eat alone at a restaurant knowing that’s normal and how time buys friends. In short, being a misfit can teach us important life skills.

We all want to belong, even the most introverted among us. Psychologists Roy Baymeiser and Mark Leary studied this phenomenon in their paper The Need To Belong, suggesting we all have the ‘need to belong’ is a fundamental human motivation; close relationships boost immune systems and when we feel close to each other their personalities rub off us. In his book The Painted Mind, behavioural science researcher Alfonso Troisi mentions humans evolve in groups that depend on close connections in order for survival. In short, we can’t help but want to belong to somewhere, someone.

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AURORA (10)

While I’ve never had a problem being left out of things, it’s always nice to be a part of something. Nice and peaceful to walk down the street and not get yelled at for nothing. Nice to spend time with introverts whom don’t spend every second talking to you. Nice to hang out with others living a similar lifestyle so you don’t have to explain yourself. Nice to talk and be with someone who is just like you because they understand you.

At the end of the day, feeling a sense of belonging first starts with accepting yourself in your own skin. Accept yourself for who you are, be comfortable with who you are, own your life.

Are there moments when you don’t belong?

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147 thoughts on “6 Reasons Why You Feel Like You Don’t Belong Anywhere

  1. Thanks, Mabel. Another thought-provoking post. I feel like we could be peas in a pod.
    I share your feelings about being Asian Australian and for me, because I identify as being a Queenslander first and foremost (while acknowledging my Australian citizenship by birth), I feel further ostracised because I live in another place.
    I love the single life of solitude. I’m not sure what it would be like without social media though. I think before social media, I would spend much of my time listening to talkback radio and possibly be calling in to state an opinion.
    I’m much happier being at home alone focussing on my cooking, eating, photography, and blogging rather than spending time in crowded places with people.
    The conundrum of sometimes being too Asian and too Australian is very real and I feel for you.

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  2. Great post, Mabel. You unpacked so much here, and I’m proud that you spoke about it, and shared more personal thoughts. I know this isn’t always easy to do, but I think when we talk about ‘not feeling like we fit in’ or ‘mental illness’ and even ‘being independent’, it’s still important to get our voice out, whether it be through art, songwriting, or blogging!

    So for me, that’s number one. Finding ways to make connections because we are hardwired to be social creatures, that’s how we survived out in the bush, and how we pretty much make do today. It’s biological, evolutionary, and necessary! Which reminds me of something you said about the world being pretty much extroverted. I think this was the way it was, but with the advent of smart phones and ‘social media’, I’m not sure if that’s true anymore.

    Someone could be a boss on IG, but not necessarily a warm outgoing personality in ‘real life’. I think there’s a shift, working form home, everything’s done online, etc. But I don’t know, it’s just a hunch, and it’s hard to say as we all can define ‘extrovert’ and ‘success’ differently, but I understand what you meant.

    But when it comes to fitting in, I think something that we need to keep in mind is people change, and we’re a work in progress. Most of us, go through phases, change jobs, relationships, circle of friends, homes throughout our lifetime, and as a result, our focus’, values, and even personalities might go through some shifts and adjustments.

    I look back at times in my life where it felt like I was stuck, stagnant, forever single, whatever, and those years were not as long as I made them out to be. I also think we have to decide what’s important. I feel like I’ve been going though a ‘toxic friendship dump’ lately. It’s a little scary, like will I ever have close friends again? I think that’s part of the reason why I started a newsletter (that need to connect, no matter how much I love to read at home :P).

    I also tell myself, there are times in my life to do ‘deep work’ and other times to be more social. I’m in the former phase 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Lani. It did seem like a lot of unpacking and it’s a pretty long post lol. So true we should still get our voice out even when we don’t belong. Sometimes it’s not about needing to be heard, but it’s about expressing that voice so we can see or hear it. And maybe at some point someone will come along, see it and think about it.

      It is interesting how you ask just how social we are these days with social media everywhere. Maybe ‘social’ these days takes on a different, more casual form. A social could be catching up for a meal where half the time where we are looking at out phones. Whether or not we make more or stronger connections this way that’s also another good question to ask. I think there’s no replacing face to face and feeling each other’s emotions this way.

      I do wonder how the online IG personalities I follow are like in real life. Sometimes I do think they are as outgoing as they seem, other times I think otherwise…you can never really tell.

      ‘I also think we have to decide what’s important. So agree since we have many more responsibilities as life goes on, and we only have so much time. It doesn’t sound easy culling toxic friendships, but I guess reminding yourself they don’t serve you anymore might help 🙂

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  3. So many ways of not belonging. I fit into mainstream culture in the U.S. because I’m white. I didn’t fit in because I wasn’t Christian. I didn’t always fit in in the classroom or a conference room because I wouldn’t just hush and let the men talk. And like you, I’m the sober person at all the parties and sometimes I’m sure that’s the reason my husband married me–so he’d always have a designated driver.

    I didn’t fit in at home because I was the “artistic” one who didn’t become a doctor, lawyer, naval officer, etc.

    But eventually, I created/ found communities where I do feel I belong. They have their ups and downs, but I’ll take them over everything that came before.

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    • That’s right. Stand up for what you believe in and put your voice out there…even if it annoys others. You do you, and my hat goes off to anyone who chooses to live their life on their own terms.

      It’s funny how we find communities where we least expect it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 1. I think you and I have discussed this before, I can relate to you here though perhaps in different circumstances. You already know how I call myself a banana, I don’t find the term offensive at all but rather a humorous and succinct way to describe myself. I feel so foreign to most Chinese-Chinese culture that I’m deeply uncomfortable when pushed into some situations where Chinese-Chinese folks dominate. But at the same time I’m not that enthusiastic about some Caucasian stereotypes like going to watch ‘footy’ or having a drink at the pub (perhaps also relating to your second point). I wonder if some Hong Kongers also feel this way, trapped between their Chinese heritage and HK’s British legacy. I’m sure this also applies to Indigenous Australians: for many their language and culture are lost, yet they are still largely rejected by ‘whitefella’ folks – in their own land. I definitely feel a bit of the ‘third culture’ aspect, coming back from the Pilbara (just returned to Sydney this week).

    2. Typo: ‘…building a new *house*’? I used to engage with people primarily on-line day after day, night after night with like-minded folks. But that insular lifestyle also has its issues so I don’t do it any more (at leat not as much). It is hard for me to push myself into ‘meat-space’, when I do it’s usually all right, but it just takes some effort. Having just spent over a week living in community I’m glad to have my personal space back… but at the same time I also miss the fun that community brought (even though I needed some quiet time to myself every now and then).

    3. ‘I’ve never pushed my life choices onto others.’ I read an article recently about PM Morrison being uncharacteristically open about his Christian faith (for a PM), in contrast to political convention that says you shouldn’t be too public about your personal beliefs lest you alienate some of your constituents. People don’t realise that to have integrity the public life should be a reflection of the private but our individualistic Western society doesn’t often think that way (thinking about the recent fuss over British PM contender Boris Johnson’s personal life, for example). Christians can often be viewed as being pushy with their beliefs – but when you know you have the best thing in the universe wouldn’t you want to share it with others too? That aside, they are also often seen as being legalistic, telling people not to do this thing or that – and they can feel like not ‘belonging’ as a result of secular rejection. Really, the aim is to show people Jesus first – the cessation of certain lifestyles and habits comes afterwards, when a believer understands that some things are wrong and harmful, and this can often be a life-long process. We like to say at my church ‘it’s okay to not be okay’ and also that ‘God loves you as you are (and loves you too much to leave you as you are)’.

    (PS ‘Climbing the corporate ladder’: while away in WA, a friend was telling me he quit his previous job for not ‘belonging’. Basically he wasn’t being an arsehole to his subordinates so that made him not belong…)

    5. I’ve definitely been on the receiving end of this one, especially when sharing Jesus. I wonder if those who call others close-minded are not perhaps close-minded themselves…? I thank you again for your willingness to listen/read.

    6. The older we get, the harder it is to change, even if it’s truly for the better.

    Just remember: ‘you’re unique… just like everyone else!’ 😉

    I see the ‘need to belong’ as the inherent desire each of us has for relationship, built-in by the one who is himself a relational being. ‘Made in the image of God’ is not said without reason. 😉

    So much for keeping this brief…

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    • I do remember when you mentioned you felt you are a banana, Simon. It is quite a humorous term if we are okay with that identity. In some ways I feel I am a banana too. Indigenous Australians do indeed racism and exclusion til this very day. For many of us, we feel caught in the middle between two cultures and while there has been discussion on fostering inclusitivity, sometimes you just don’t belong because we experience such contrasting facets of life.

      Thanks for you eagle eye and that was indeed a typo. It should be house. Sounds like you had a good time doing what you do over there in the Pilbara. Spending time with a community that shares the same interests and vision is usually a time well spent. As you mentioned, it is fun. There’s always much laughter and the readiness of everyone to help you when you need it.

      It is true that the current Prime Minister of Australia is openly outspoken about his Christian faith. Nothing wrong with that at all. I think people want to relate to personality and gravitate towards honest personal details that speak to them. Interesting to hear you say Christians can be pushy about their beliefs. I’ve encountered some Christians like that towards me, and we aren’t that close friends. I’ve also made some Christian friends who respect my beliefs and don’t force their thoughts on me, and we are great friends. Whether you belong or not can depend very much on living with each other’s differences, and also acknowledge these differences and be willing to listen to these differences.

      Sometimes refusing a change could be a sign of strength. Don’t change because we want our way and deep down we feel the best. However I think it’s a fine line between not wanting to change and being stubborn.

      Oh yes, each of us are unique…just like everyone else. That makes each of us special 😀 Thanks for stopping by, Simon.

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      • While I recognise that there are many different sub-groups between the two, the racism may well go both ways between Indigenous and whitefella Australians. I think some of that may come from Indigenous Aussies not feeling like they ‘belong’ in their own country. But something that struck me anew this year was the story of how the local chaplain came to make himself belong to the community – as a whitefella he took the initial scorn and hate and cold stares and hostility, even though it hurt him terribly. Even the local Indigenous pastor told him that he should not have to accept the things people did to him – even the children/teenagers. But he continued to take it because he could not in good conscious assert his ‘rights’ because he felt it would undermine his message of Jesus’ love, he would just become another whitefella asserting his dominance over Indigenous people. Instead (and this is the bit I find remarkable) he chose to follow Jesus’ commands to ‘love your neighbour, love your enemy’, and while it took several years, he eventually gained the people’s trust to the point that now that he has to leave (due to health and family reasons) there seems to be genuine mourning for his departure within the community, from both Indigenous and whitefellas, believers and non-believers. He truly belonged to that community even though he practically shouldn’t have, and we are only able to join in each year because of that commitment.

        I think I miscommunicated. We actually have very little in common with the community we were in. In reality, we wouldn’t really belong in that community and they would not belong in ours – but for the fact that we have a shared love of Jesus. Even within us folks from Sydney, we had such a wide variety of skills, temperaments, personalities, and cultures. But that is part of what amazes me – we are so different (other than our shared love for Jesus) but we worked well as a team, and we had the privilege to love and care for and walk alongside our Indigenous neighbours in WA. So in that sense ‘we belonged’.

        I think I was trying to communicate that some Christians can appear pushy – some intentionally so even if well-meaning, others unintentionally or because they are misunderstood. The world-view between one who loves Jesus and one who does not can sometimes be so different that even when talking about the same thing, there is a completely different, even contrary, understanding. Even Jesus said that since the world hates him, they will hate Christians also. I see that as true today, and part of why Christians don’t really ‘belong’.

        Sometimes when faced with a challenge, I wonder to myself if I am sticking to a choice or belief because it is genuinely the right or best thing, or if because I am just being stubborn. It takes a tremendous strength of character and humility to admit one is wrong if the latter, and I can’t say I am able to do that very often. Many things that I take from Jesus’ teachings I will not compromise on. But in other areas, social media for example, remaining steadfast means that I cannot ‘belong’.

        I was joking about being unique. But that uniqueness we all share does indeed mean we are all special. Keep on being special, it’s what keeps me coming back here. 😉

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        • That is a story of strength you shared there about the white Aussie living in a place where everyone is so different from him. Indigeneous Australians do have it hard, and they have every right to stand up to their rights and what belongs to them. Sometimes two different groups may never see eye to eye because of such cultural sensitivities at the fore. But sometimes, just sometimes, if you stick around long enough and you show others that you believe the same thing, maybe they will come around. Credit for the guy for sticking it out and feeling at home in a place where he felt he was meant to be.

          It is interesting to hear you share this story and you mentioning how little you ave in common with the community you live in, but still share a common faith and get along because of it. I guess if you have something in common, there will be some form of understanding between the both of you – and the more you focus on what you have in common, the more you come to realise the similarities between each other.

          You are right in that some Christians appear pushy, having had some Christians come up to me and their faith is all they want to talk about, or they try to weave it into every conversation. I’ve met some Christians who are really lovely people, but then I notice them telling me no to join this church and that, and then I wonder why would they say that and why they’d judge.

          A choice can be a belief, and a belief can be a choice, or both. The world is such a strange place with many different characters…and I guess finding our tribe can be hard, but our tribe is out there somewhere. We are all special and so are you, Simon. Thank you for reading 🙂

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          • Indigenous nations are all different, of course, but for the ones I’ve been around it’s less about ‘rights’ (it’s quite a whitefella way of thinking, actually) and more about having the respect of non-Indigenous to walk alongside them in life, both at a societal level (more than just ‘recognition’ but a treaty, for example) and a personal level (in many towns Indigenous and whitefellas just don’t mix – out fear, hate, etc). It takes a lot of love to break through that fear.

            ‘their faith is all they want to talk about’ – is that a dig at me as well? 😉 My point was that despite, in a worldly sense, not belonging to each other we have the common grace of Jesus to bind us, it goes deeper than blood or a mere ‘social club’, we ‘do life’ together. For many, including myself, there’s a constant tension between a desire to share the greatest news of life and being wise, compassionate, and sensitive as to how we do that. I can’t speak for your friends but maybe they have the boldness to speak but perhaps lack the love or compassion for you to go beyond rejection. I’m reminded of a friend meeting face-to-face with a Pakistani Christian doctor who was abducted by the Taliban (this wasn’t long after 11 September): he thought he was going to die, but still had the desire to share Jesus with his captors. When you know you have the best thing, sometimes you can’t help but share even when it might not make sense to. That’s something that the world often doesn’t understand.

            Indeed, if everyone was the same it’d be pretty boring. Thanks for making me feel like I can belong among your readers.

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            • Respect might seem an easy thing to do when it reality it is not, and instead often earned. Respect is something many of us need to work on here in Australia, especially among the Indigeneous community and non-Indigeneous, among non-Western migrants and white Australians.

              I think we all know here you share your opinion and faith in a level-headed manner. Not like you are telling us to think like you, but telling us this is a worldview out there 🙂 Things we might desire to share may be sensitive and not everyone will agree, and might even vehemently oppose. The Pakistani Cristian doctor you know was very brave to share in those circumstances. We all probably share what we share because that makes us comfortable and most self-assured – and that’s what we want others to feel as well – and belong among one another.

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              • Someone has to start the process, and I don’t think that’s one we can do by ourselves. But when we step out in selfless love, that’s when life works. 😀

                Thanks again for your understanding. It’s always refreshing to be welcomed with good conversation instead of close-minded hostility.

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  5. This post addresses some key issues of modern era and you have presented a balanced view of why we feel uprooted. Since this world became more connected, people have been drifting apart, taking pride in being different. Cultural backgrounds do set us apart from others, our values are so deeply ingrained in us that we find it hard to part with them. We may be speaking the same language but the way we say our words reminds us that we are different.
    I agree with you Mabel, personality changes don’t show overnight and you have to make a conscious effort to blend in the kind of people you interact with. Sense of belongingness is a state of mind though we feel more comfortable when we are surrounded by people of same origin, background and ethnicity.
    It’s okay being a misfit dear friend; we just have to find our own ways of living. Nicely concluded!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your kind words, Balroop. You nailed it on the head when you said the more connected we are, the more we drift apart. While we may ‘talk’ and catch up more over social media, I think many of us fail to understand each other emotionally.

      It can be hard to blend in no matter how hard you try. Sometimes we just gel with a certain group of people because they just us, we get them – an essential part of how a connection is sustained.

      So true it is okay to be a misfit. Hope you are doing well 🙂

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  6. Such a well thought out post Mabel. I move a lot, so I often feel like the odd one out in that way. But on the other hand, I can’t really imagine living in one place for years, so that’s just how it goes.
    It’s nice to see you in this space again and I hope all is well,
    Cheers, Amy

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  7. Only you can write such a meaningful post with balanced views. I feel humans have always faced the problem of being judged when they don’t share something in common. This can be because of race, opinion, culture, and habits.
    Accepting others choices is the only way to move forward. Unfortunately, human history is marked with clashes often because of ego. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post, as always, Mabel.

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  8. There is so much pain and sadness for people who don’t feel like they fit in. Teens especially seem prone to these feelings and mental illness develops, or they might use self medication with drugs as a way to escape thinking like this. Introverts definitely have a harder time in this world, but know that in my blogging world, whatever your persuasion you belong.

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  9. Super interesting post on a fascinating topic. I think most of us have experienced this feeling at one time or another… Although the older I get, the less it seems to impact me, especially living in Asia where I obviously “don’t fit” and yet I feel as though I DO.

    As a child I did not fit in with my sisters and often not at school so I totally get where you are coming from. Your post is very thoughtful and “thorough” and addresses many interesting angles. And I agree with you that there are a lot of “benefits” that come with feeling as though one doesn’t fit in, no matter what environment we may be talking about. It’s a lot like the expression “making lemonade out of lemons” I think…

    Peta

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    • Sounds like the older you get, the more experiences you have and the more you feel yourself. Sometimes a place just speaks to you and you just feel like you belong.

      ‘Making lemonade out of lemons’ is a good way to approach life. As the odd one out among your sisters and schools, seemed like you made the most of what you had. Take care and safe travels, Peta 🙂

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  10. Hi Mabel. Thank you for such a deeply reflective, personal and honest post. You have written about a variety of situations in which one can feel uncomfortable. I think the feeling we don’t belong is common to many and I think it is probably more true of introspective people, those with highly developed intrapersonal intelligence. Some people live deeply within the psyche while others live more on the surface. I think it is harder for those who think deeply to find others with whom they can connect, but when they do, the sense of belonging, of finding one’s place, one’s ‘home’, is almost a magical blissful experience. I have to say that it is one thing I enjoy about blogging. It is easier to find people online with whom to find a connection than in a city full of people. While you may have additional situations with which to contend, the sense of being a misfit and needing to belong, is probably more common than many acknowledge.

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    • Thank you for your lovely comment, Norah. You make a very good point when you say some people live deeply within the psyche. These people are usually the more reflective and observant ones. As someone who likes to think a lot, that can wear me down if I do it too much, and so have the desire to retreat.

      So nice to hear you enjoy blogging. Blogging is amazing, and the community we got here is amazing. We got all different kinds of personalities here, and funny how we feel like we belong here.

      Like you, I also feel that being a misfit is more common than we think. I think quite a few of us feel we’ll be a misfit even more by speaking out. The more we speak up and share ourselves, the more we get the chance to make deep connections as we gravitate towards honesty.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think that’s true, what you say at the close of your comment, Mabel. The more we open ourselves up to others, the more we’ll realise that we have much in common through which we can make connections. Perceived differences are often only that – perceptions as opposed to realities. Perhaps that’s why we feel a sense of community with our blogging pals. We are more willing to open up behind a screen (a computer screen, even).

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  11. This is such an interesting topic and one I think we could all relate to at various times of our lives. As a teenager, I struggled with feeling as though I didn’t belong. I suppose that’s one of the benefits of growing older, eventually you find your little space in the world and you become content.

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    • Yes, growing older the more I’ve felt I found my place in this world and comfortable with myself. Sounds like you are very content with where you are now and your writing, Jill 🙂

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  12. Wow! Mabel, this is an excellent post and study into not belonging… it must have been an emotional journey for you. The reason for feeling that one does not belong are endless and you list in depth six here. Ultimately the way to start to feel to belong is, as you write, by accepting oneself. Also, I’ve found over the years that I’ve tried to feel a sense of belonging with the wrong (for me) group and it is very much a matter of finding ones own ‘tribe’. You write with clarity about the dichotomy you experience in life with your ‘dual’ life. To a much smaller extent I still at times feel an outsider … in the U.K. and then back in Sweden! It’s seems to be a battle one can never win, rather surround oneself with people who notice neither and rather sees the whole person! 😀❤️

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  13. I really enjoyed reading this post.
    We no longer need to live in multicultural areas to experience the different cultures in our world. The internet and social media can also bombard us with these differences as well. Now, what should be an interesting opportunity to learn a new culture often becomes something disturbing and possibly disturbing; alienating some.

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  14. So true. All of it. People who don’t listen and people who get stuck in old ways are the ones who drag me down the most. I don’t need to fit in, but should I try to fit in those are the people who get in my way the most often.

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  15. Gosh, I clicked on the update email I received for your latest article, Mabel, and I’m so delighted with the information you’ve shared. Your ability to look at a topic from so many different aspects, and to illustrate with specific examples, makes a terrific read.

    I have not thought about so many ways of why it feels like one does not belong. I have recently been realizing that I have, at times, assumed others were excluding me, so I would exclude them first so as not to be hurt; but then (with a therapist’s help), it came to me that I might have been misinterpreting the others’ cues and jumped to a defensive position, preemptorially, to protect myself. It was very strange to be out on my block when some neighbors started talking to each other, who seem fast friends, and with this new attitude of trying NOT to feel excluded automatically, I gradually became part of their conversation and realized, yes, they are better friends with each other than with me, but that I could still allow myself to have a connection to the conversation even though I’m not BFFs with them. It was strangely liberating. Hah!

    But that was not a situation where someone was yelling – or whispering – racist comments at me. For sure those aggressive or overt attacks are real.

    I really liked your illuminating of the “slices” of ourselves where we feel not-this or not-that, because we are only partly one thing and partly another. I think this is true for me in terms of introversion-extraversion. I can be talkative, warm, and friendly with people, but I need time to recharge away from social demands. So, in the presence of extraverts I can feel shy or ultra-introverted, and in the presence of introverts sometimes I feel too talkative. Either way you feel like you don’t quite fit.

    What I love is those people who will allow you to feel welcomed despite how you are, even if you are different. It takes a lot of security and self-confidence not to try to make someone else fit into your mode of thinking or feeling. I like to think I try to do this with people I meet, even those in service roles, like the janitor or the counter-person at the coffee bar. But one does not always have the grace at a particular moment to extend that courtesy, especially if one is feeling excluded or shut out. Right?

    “Not fitting in isn’t all a bad thing. You could love being the odd one out, being proud of your unique personality and glad you aren’t another wallflower”

    ^^^^^ I love this! Thank you, Mabel! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • RE: “even those in service roles, like the janitor or the counter-person at the coffee bar.”

      Yes. Always express gratitude sincerely. A well placed “Thank You” will not require any more embellishment, and it elevates both the server and customer.
      This will make both parties feel that they “belong” in that moment.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for clicking through and your kind words, Theresa. And thanks for your honest and personal reflections. You bring up a wonderful point there: excluding others first in order for you to protect yourself. That can be a good thing as we could potentially avoid meeting some very nasty people. On the other hand we could be jumping to conclusion about others. Either way is not wrong but could impact on how we meet people and the relationships we keep. It takes time to be a part of other’s conversations. You might not want to butt in if they are talking about something personal, or if you don’t know them too well.

      Good to hear you are comfortable being sociable around people you know and if you’ve had your time away. But yeah, sometimes you’ll still won’t be able to fit in – it takes two to tango in a conversation so if you feel like you’re getting along with someone, they might actually think otherwise.

      Agree that we usually don’t feel up to pleasantries if we feel excluded. At the places I’ve worked, my workmates and I see each other as individuals. Being in a higher position doesn’t necessarily mean you exclude others of a lesser-paying position at work. We work in the same area and while we each have different job titles, we all are simply utilising different skills to achieve common goals at work. I do like to make it a point to say ‘Thank you’ to the cleaners at work if I happen to pass them.

      Have a good day, Theresa. Thank you for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. A really powerful post my friend – so many different reasons why we might not feel we belong and in so many different chapters of our lives (school, the workplace etc). I’ve always felt like an outsider but I definitely feel like I belong in the family I created and the friends I have made like you ❤️

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  17. We do feel out of place at different times of life. I’d say just let it sit for awhile and feel comfortable to make the next step.

    As for feeling Asian-Canadian vs. something else. My response to others: Tough bananas to you.

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      • I see it most likely as an advantage : helps stretch the brain naturally, more creative avenues, better empathy, etc. I also can’t claim I straddle between 2 cultures…not really since I was born in CAnada and have now lost a lot of Chinese speaking fluency. I think the disconnect is really more about being a non-white person at times and some people making wrong assumptions too quickly. To me, that definitely is not straddling 2 cultures. There are MANY recent immigrants from mainland China who are clueless about the history of Chinese-Canadians and how they have contributed to building (literally) to Canada. So I see them as not knowing and sometimes, even downright snobbish..

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        • That is so true. When we don’t fit in, we observe differences more and think a little deeper. Funny how people can make assumptions quickly – some are afraid of the unfamiliar. You bring up a good point saying how some migrants are clueless about history around them, and continue to stick in cliques. Perhaps to assimilate in a certain country, we might need to get comfortable first.

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  18. Like Peta and some others, I think we all go through phases of feeling we don’t fit in. Sometimes it feels debilitating, and sometimes it is actually a relief and an “out!” Still, I do not make light of your points, and I have to admit that as a white American, I have never had to experience any major forms of cultural or racial or ethnic exclusion. (Although as an admirer of all forms of cultural expression, I have occasionally found myself in VERY non-white environments in which I could get a glimpse of what it’s like to be in the minority.) My experiences with not fitting in have been more social in nature, but again as Peta notes, a lot of this feeling of awkwardness or discomfort seems to dissipate with age. So hang in there!

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    • Yeah, we all go through phases where we don’t fit in. There are so many kinds of non-belonging, Traveling is usually where we feel this, and from the sounds of it you have experienced that on the road. – or at least get a filling of what’s it like to be someone else who has it hard. From experience I feel as we age, the more we are thankful for what and who we’ve got, and we make the most of what we have 🙂

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  19. Mabel I admire your honesty about your feelings and the challenges you face. I think I have mentioned before that as I have aged I feel more comfortable in my own skin. Although I am an extrovert I often have felt that I don’t fit the normal. Taking up rock climbing as a mother of young children decades ago comes to mind as an example. Something I loved but not exactly what other mothers picking up their kids from school thought of us appropriate.

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    • Hehe, you are an extrovert, Sue 😀 Taking up rock climbing isn’t what everyone does, and you were probably seen as the daring cool mom back then. I’m sure others were jealous of you 😀 So agree as we age we become more comfortable in our own skin – we learn to value what and who we’ve got and the time that we have 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Excellent post. Some of the comments could be another post as well. Change is difficult but necessary in life. I experienced a cultural shock and a reverse cultural shock as a student at the University of Heidelberg in Germany and each time I traveled to another country. As a Fulbright Exchange Teacher, I not only experienced a cultural shock but a shock with vastly different teaching styles the teachers in Germany had. I was taught to be flexible and allow others to simply “do their thing” and live and let live. Each time I returned from abroad, it was another cultural shock with life styles, food and languages. Initially it was tiring to hear German 24/7 until my brain accepted it as a natural way of life. Coming back to the US, I must have had some odd facial expressions because my brain wanted German, but I now had to listen to American English 24/7. Accepting yourself and others, helps you to adjust. Living in two or more worlds makes one resilient and flexible. Thank you for this insightful post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Mary. Also thanks for looking at the other comments. Agree some could be posts in their own right, and so well articulated.

      Culture shock and reverse culture shock can make you see the world so differently, In your case, it sounded like you had to trust in your teaching style you were unfamiliar with and hope your skills could apply it. And I am sure you made it work and your students must have also learnt a lot from you and your background 🙂 Hopefully it didn’t take too long for you to adjust back to the States when you returned from Germany.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I am one of those who usually feel out of place. I know that most of your points apply to me. Some I can do something about. Others I just have to live with the way they are. Such is life.

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    • I like your approach, Glynis. Sometimes you try to fit in, other times you go with the flow and be who you are. You can’t change everything, so sometimes best to just let things be.

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  22. I always learn something new from your insight Mabel. Thank you for creating space in your posts to discover deeper meaning to a question. I love the description of racism as ‘poking fun at cultural nuances’ because on the surface these behaviours can seem innocuous, however it is a form of prejudice at a difference. Wishing you an amazing Summer. Lita

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    • Thank you so much, Lita. So kind of you. In some situations, poking fun at cultural nuances can be done in good faith if everyone is on the same page. Other times and for most times, this isn’t the case. For most part, we should be wary of making fun of each other especially if we don’t know each other well. It’s winter here in Australia now. Wishing it was summer and wishing your summer is a good one 😀

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  23. Mabel, it’s like you read my journal. I was just telling someone that I often feel like I’m on a different planet. I love fantasy books. But I’m around many people (friends, family, acquaintances) who hate fantasy. I’m also the only writer in my family. So I’m often looked at as if I don’t belong. Because in some ways I don’t. I often live in my own fantasy worlds. That’s not to say that I lack an awareness of what’s going on. But I’m so tired of the diatribes and negativity on social media. And people wonder why I love fantasy books.

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    • What a coincidence you were telling someone you feel like you are on a different planet. Maybe Henry has something to do with it…after all, he is a special kind of Yeti… Oh hello Henry.

      Good on you for loving fantasy books and liking what you like. You might not belong, but you doing you that is something to be admired over and over again.

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  24. Yes, of course! I’m much easier in my own company than anybody else’s. I don’t make any demands on me to be someone I’m not, and my expectations and desires don’t necessarily seem reasonable to others. But still, it’s nice to be wanted, Mabel 🙂 🙂

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  25. This post is so very touching. I’ve had a few chapters in my life of ‘not belonging’. Try and try, I did, but it made no difference. I guess I wasn’t with my tribe…these peeps didn’t have the same priorities as I. It can be very painful to be among a crowd and yet feel so lonely. Your words really touched me, Mabel. This: “These lifestyles are normally the ones accepted: climbing the corporate ladder. Going after that next big job to afford a luxurious life. Living each week hoping it’ll be Friday. Living the white picket fence life.” SO TRUE.
    Good for you for grasping your uniqueness and making the most of it. It can’t be easy to feel torn between two cultures. My heart goes out to you. Sending love to you and thank you for writing such an honest and heart felt post.

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    • Thank you for your kind words, Lisa. Really appreciate it and I am touched. It did sound like you tried very hard to find a sense of belonging during many times in your life. Your words reminded me of the idea that you can be a in a roomful of people yet feel so lonely. We might try to fit in, but in the end we end up feeling lonier and losing our sense of self in the process.

      So perhaps it is best to just be who you are. Hope you are who you are and your tribe loves you for that 🙂

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  26. Always something thoughtful from you Mabel! Long ago as I was telling a good friend how uncomfortable I was in a large group or party I was advised that the easiest way to get along with others is to ask the about themselves and show a true interest in the answer. It became the best advice I ever received. I think every one of us feels like an outsider now and then. It becomes easier to assimilate when we remember that no matter how it seems, that’s the real truth!

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    • Thanks, Tina. That is good advice from your friend. By asking about others and taking an interest in them, it makes them feel important and wanted. Also I think sharing your life with them honestly helps fosters connections. The truth is, we all want to belong and honesty helps us trust one another 🙂

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  27. Very balanced and good post, Mabel. I spent most of my life feeling like I didn’t belong, for all sorts of reasons, including cultural and also stuff to do with my health issues, but these days I mostly don’t care if I do or I don’t. One area in which I do feel I belong – and is why I returned to it after a break of a few years – is blogging, because there’s such a great community here and whatever any of us have to talk about, there is always someone to ‘listen’ and also offer their own opinions. You’re part of that and I’m glad of it. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Val. Sorry to hear you feel on the edges for most part. But so lovely to hear you have found a community in blogging. It’s such an amazing community we have here, sharing so many different things from colouring images like you, writing, books, travel and so much more. I’m also glad you are a part of this community 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  28. You hit the nail, Mabel..I have felt of not belonging ever since I came to America. I have no history here, nor longtime friends, I eat different food and I am culturally different, I don’t watch the same movies as everybody else, and I don’t follow the sports typical of the country. Yet, I function well, have a business, make new friends that always teach me different ways of seeing things and somehow the country contributed to my growth, or let’s say to my change. It is the story of every emigrant. 😀

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    • It must be so hard for you when you came to America, from not knowing anyone to eating food you didn’t eat before. Over time and today, you have come so far. It takes time to learn what’s around you and feel at home. Good on you for persisting with your business and hope you are feeling a part of a community there 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Hi Mabel, It been awhile. I would say that this was me when I first started college. Not fitting in and feeling left out. It forced me to find who I was, a misfit, just like what you said. From there it was going out to social clubs dancing that other didn’t find interesting, but to me was my way of socializing and having a good time. Yes there are still moment I feel left out, but I now know to stay away from those. Example if it just going to be people drinking beer, I stay away from those situation.

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    • It has been a while, Mikey. Thank you so much for stopping by. Good to hear that you know what you like and aren’t afraid to avoid some situations if it doesn’t suit you. When you feel left out, you can always go home and have a lovely party for yourself. Your party, you call the shots 😀

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  30. I’ve felt that I didn’t fit in sometimes before. Specially when I was younger, in Spain, and I was the only one not interested in drinking and dancing in clubs. I’ve definitely never been the star of the party but I’ve been lucky enough to always have some close friends.
    I don’t remember feeling sad about not fitting in (maybe I thought I was just better than the other people, hahaha).
    Now I know I will never fit in in China because of my face and I will always be treated as a foreigner even if I spend the rest of my life here, but what can I do… I just don’t sweat it.

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    • Haha, I never imagined you were a drinking and dancing kind! Maybe some people in China assume just because you are a Westerner, you must have been a wild one at some point 😀 And if you tell them no, maybe even all the more you won’t fit in and have a god laugh 😀

      Sometimes watching your friends being the star of the party is the most fun lol. The funny things and all the falling over that happens when out partying lol.

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  31. A balanced and wisely written post, as always, Mabel. you are so good at nuances and seeing things from many angles.
    I know we all feel we don’t belong – sometimes. Often. Always. Eternally…And often as very young or teenagers. I can see many reasons, but one of the biggest is how our modern society treats us humans. Internet. Industri. Business. Money. Looks. I could go on forever. I have always felt I did not belong – until I had my children. I never went to parties, did not like big crowds, never went to festivals. If there were specific seats, like in concert halls or cinemas – I went. And I have stayed a chair person – not a sofa person. Also a constant feel of disgust for humans, the way we lie, our greediness, selfishness, cruelty…As a young girl I wished I could just wipe us all out and let nature rule the planet. Paradise. But Nature is cruel. If you don’t belong or fit in – you will soon be dead. Picked on and destroyed by the others.
    So, for me, having children taught me to love life and understand people in another way. I also realized, as I grew older, that the best thing with this society is the fact that, if you are not too poor, you have a great opportunity to live your life as an outsider, minding your own business, not having to fit in or belong all the time.
    Caring is a good word. And Listening to others. Trying to be interested and trying to help others grow.. For me, having children saved my life and kept me sane. Others might have other solutions. And remember – we are all born alone.

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    • You are very kind, Leya. Thank you, and thank you for your reflection. It is grear that you do you, always being youself even when you did not belong. No one should make excuses for who they are, no matter how similar or different we are to those around us. Interesting to hear you were a chair person and not a sofa person and saw a lot of negativity in the world when you were younger. At some point I think all of us feel like the world is working against us and we have no purpose to live for. It is great when your children came along you saw another perspective and gave you another outlook on life. It is something to care for someone, and for them to love you in return.

      I like how you infer that we should be proud of living a life minding our own business and not worrying about fitting in. I like that. Not much point in worrying something over you can’t change. At the end of the day, we all need to take care of ourselves physically and mentally and it starts with accepting ourselves for who we are.

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  32. Thank you for yet another great article, Mabel! First of all, my apologies for not swinging by often. Life kinda took first preference for a while, aha.

    As a fellow introvert, there are moments when I feel that I don’t belong – be it in the workforce or in the course of my studies. “Turning down late night rendezvous invites is nothing new to me. Standing quietly in the corner with a glass of water surrounded by drunks at parties is also nothing new. Finishing things way before the deadline at work, yes that’s me” – I relate well to this too. I’m not keen to attend any parties or events that require me to be outside late at night. And I’m more than willing to sacrifice lunch hour interactions with colleagues to complete tasks.

    “When you feel you don’t belong, these feelings can be all too familiar: loneliness, abandonment, alienated, confusion, sadness, resentment and misunderstood. You might even feel the world exists perfectly fine without you. There could come a point where you’ll question your place in the world, your purpose and even the meaning of life.” – Again, I also relate to this – although I’ve to add that chances of slipping through the cracks are higher when one doesn’t feel like he or she belongs in the community or in the world. =(

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    • It’s alright, Ciana. Life is life and we have to go live life 🙂 It sounds like we have similarities in our personalities. It is very hardworking of you to want to work through your lunch break and get work done! Hopefully you do take enough of a break to rest and recharge and continue the rest of the day. Sometimes when I work through a lunch break I find the second half of the day drags and it just feels like I am operating non-stop.

      That is interesting to hear you say people who don’t belong slip through the cracks more easily, and something I agree with. People who feel like they don’t belong might not have people looking out for them, or at least feel they don’t have someone to turn to. When they have problems they might not turn to anyone and bottle up their issues. Not a healthy way to live :/

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  33. another good post, Mabel! while it is good to be wanted it is important to be true to oneself. the world is wide enough that one can find a place where he can love and be loved, inspire and be inspired. one should not be stuck feeling unwanted or isolated or misfit. it is your responsibility to find your niche and exercise balance and respect which are keys to freedom and joy. i feel very comfortable where i am and i feel very blessed.

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    • Very well said, Lola. It is very important to be true to oneself, and that is our responsibility indeed. It is our choice to be who we are and love ourselves – and then that community where you belong will come. Good on you for feeling comfortable where you are. You’re lucky to have what you have 🙂

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  34. Mabel, this is wonderful information you shared. No doubt there are all types of prejudices in the world, unfortunately. I see some of your challenges through your words and I’m sure it discourages you many times. You know what? Each of us has certain unique qualities that make us who we are. God didn’t create us as robots but as individuals He loves to the last degree. I believe you make a profound impact for good with those around you and your family. Keep being yourself and work toward helping others understand. Yes, education is key and people don’t know what they don’t know. May God bless you richly.

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  35. This is quite a deep and far reaching post, some of it personal. I’m glad you have the confidence and belief in yourself to speak out about this.

    I think we all feel like we don’t belong at times, mostly because of how others perceive or react to us. This can come from family, friends, society and even governments. Prejudices/snobbery/hatred/etc are strong negative influences on our lives. I don’t think this is a problem that will ever disappear. We each need to find our own inner strength to respond to it, and sadly many don’t. Great topic, Mabel.

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  36. Mabel, your photography is absolutely stunning! My hat is off to you! Taking pictures in the dark with a huge contrast between extremely bright lights and focusing on the one person you want to come in clearly is an art. I so enjoyed viewing each and every picture you included in this post. What camera did you use? If not your iPhone, what settings did you use? I’m very curious how you photographed these outstanding images.

    And how you meticulously describe why one is a misfit, boggles my mind. The way you think, so orderly and so in detail, shows me just what a deep thinker you are. To be a misfit is not a bad thing, yet how lonely at times it is. We who don’t seem to fit in can choose to learn how to carve a very unique path, one that others have not. We don’t follow the groove, nor the trends, nor the fads, but we do walk to our own beat. I don’t have to combat the cultural biases you do, and my heart really goes out to you. To be yelled at for nothing is deplorable, just because you look Asian. Honestly!

    I applaud you how you brought to light so many factors of why a person doesn’t feel like he or she fits in. It takes a strong person to move forward with courage and determination in order to find the right group that he or she does feel comfortable around (I’ve yet to find that in real life) and to set sight on exactly where to go in life itself. My best advice is to keep following your heart. And you do not have to explain yourself to anyone! You are you! If someone refuses to accept you for you, that is NOT your problem.

    Really enjoyed this post. It must have taken you a long time to put it all together. Another applause! You are so talented and so unique, dear friend. Your intelligence shines through each and every word. You are such a fine example to all of those who do allow others to lead them around by their nose. You go, and don’t stop until every dream of yours comes true!! (((HUGS)))!!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

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    • Thank you for the kind words all round, Amy. Concert photography is challenging. As you know, shooting in low light is challenging and combined with bright lights going on and off, getting a good photo is hard. I was using my Canon Mark ii point and shoot in manual mode; aperture wide open, fast shutter speed and I do remembering switching the ISO between 800 and 1200. I do think your images of wildlife have more clarity than mine, and I found there was quite some grain in these photos. But I was there to enjoy the show so it’s all good 🙂

      You are spot on. Being a misfit is not a bad thing at all. We march to our own beat, we create our own show, we come and go as we please. No one to tell us who to be and bring us down. While you don’t have to combat cultural biases I do know from reading your blog, you have been misunderstood by family and friends – and have come out on the better side. My hat is off to you for sticking to being who you are and being a strong woman wielding a camera.

      You keep following your heart and doing what you do, Amy. You are gifted at your art, and keep leading the way by being who you are and doing what you every single day ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Shooting at night with a high ISO will create noise in your images, Mabel. I really didn’t see noise in yours, however, and the clarity plus the balance between dark and light I thought were phenomenal! If you were shooting in manual you had to have had to take the “light meter reading” in a place to attain the pictures you did. I really applaud you because I really know the “thought” that goes into photography like that.

        I’ve grown into a person that now I only know how to be myself. For too many years I was lost attempting to be what others wanted me to be. Not any more. I see that in you as well! You’ve got the advantage over me years wise so again I applaud you. It took me much longer to find ME and stick with ME. (smile)

        You just keep following your heart too. As I told someone recently I still don’t know where I am going and a “road map” would be nice. But in following my heart the path seems to unfold all by itself. 😉

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  37. A very thoughtful and thought-provoking post you’ve written, Mabel. I think we all feel left out from time to time. I was the only brown child in my Catholic grammar school of 16 kids. It was difficult seeing everyone with blond straight hair and pale skin be chosen for games or friendship. I learned quickly to be happy with me and anyone who wanted to know me would be better for doing so.
    We all want to feel accepted. Sometimes, we just have to accept we are who we are and everyone else will have to adjust or stay away.
    Have a super weekend … hugs to you
    Isadora 😎

    Like

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