Mental Health Mondays: Feeling Like an Outsider? How to Be Accepted Even Though You’re Different.

by Mona Lazar

How I learned to live according to my own rules, with people who have the same values and ideals.

No one ever said that life would be easy. Actually, I bet your parents told you life is hard. They lived in a different time when people’s view on reality was not influenced by a trend of never-ending motivational speakers telling them life is what you make of it and a positive perspective will help you in all areas of your existence.

So they told it as they felt it. And at least in part, they weren’t wrong.

Life can be downright difficult at times. Especially when you don’t feel like you fit in anywhere.

I know I’ve had that feeling for most of my life:

I’m an introvert in a world of extroverts.

I’m direct, while others sugarcoat every word.

What is fun for others is boring for me and the other way around.

Etc. etc. etc.

My list is huge. And with every line on it, I get further and further from satisfying a basic human need: belonging.

The need to belong is ingrained in us all. Our animal brain demands that we belong to a tribe where we would be protected from the hostile environment.

We are a feeble species. Weak hairless body, thin arms, eyes that can’t see in the dark, noses that can’t even smell your teenage kids’ bs.

Food chain wise, our bodies are useless.

What we do have is our big brains, protected by a skull that can be cracked open so easily. That’s why our big brains say: belong!

The need for belonging is a need for safety and being so ancient, it’s part of our DNA by now. Therefore, impossible to shake.

If you put it into words, it sounds like:

‘I’m not like them.’

‘We like different things.’

‘I don’t like them and they don’t like me.’

“I am different, I feel differently, I am alone.”

‘We’ll never get along.’

‘I am special.’

‘I’m better than them.’

‘I’m worse than them.’

‘I’m probably an alien dropped in this world by mistake.’ (my personal favorite)

However, when I did a little research I discovered that this world is full of aliens dropped into enemy territory unarmed.

Millions of people around the world feel the same way. Lost. Different. Misfits. Outsiders.

I know some of you want to stay that way. Fitting in might involve being like the rest and that’s a tough price to pay. Actually, you’d rather pay the price of loneliness.

But what if I were to tell you that you don’t have to be like everybody else to fit in?

There are other ways.

There are things that you can do to be accepted, even though you’re not like them.

Consider a different perspective on acceptance.

You already know that not everybody is going to accept you. And you don’t need everybody, either! Are you running for president? No. So you don’t need or even want everybody to like you. If you don’t need the votes, why put up the fake smile?

All you need is to find your tribe. Not everybody is different from you, that would be impossible. You just need to find the ones who are similar. They’re out there. Start looking. You’ll find them getting bored at parties, spending their weekends writing instead of laughing with their friends, saving injured birds from an incoming car, etc. They’re all around, but silent and discreet, just like you.

And just like you, they’re wondering what they’re doing in this hostile world.

Reach out a friendly hand, they’re waiting for you.

Accept yourself for who you are.

I know you hear it a lot, so it may seem like an obvious step, but it’s one that a lot of people don’t take. Some try to change themselves to fit in with the rest of the world, and that just doesn’t work. You can fake it for a little while, but eventually they’re going to know.

Some don’t try to fit in, but they still don’t accept themselves!

Acceptance is key. You don’t have to love yourself, like a lot of delusional life coaches say. It’s impossible! You can’t force love for yourself just like you can’t force it for a certain person. But you can learn acceptance of those parts of you that you wish were different.

Once you do that, others will also accept you. They will be able to tell from the spring in your step, your relaxed shoulders, a subtle smile that you’re not even aware of. You won’t be able to see it, but they will be able to feel it.

Don’t ask for unconditional love.

Be aware that unconditional love doesn’t exist. Not on earth, anyway. And it’s just natural. If you expect people to 100% accept you exactly as you are, you are in for a bitter surprise. They won’t. You don’t accept anyone exactly as they are either.

This kind of attitude is that of a child expecting unconditional love from their parents. And it’s the only situation where you can encounter that kind of love.

Be confident in who you are and what you have to offer the world, but know that not everything you have to give is something that everybody wants to receive. We all have needs and wants and if one of yours is to space out while someone is telling you their darkest secrets, don’t expect them to stick around for long.

People will try to mold you to fit their shape, but you are the only one who can define yourself and everything around you. You can live according to your rules, with people who have the same values and ideals as you. In the end, being accepted is the result of accepting: yourself as you are and the world as it is.

 Feeling Like an Outsider? How to Be Accepted Even Though You’re Different | Better Humans 

Photo:  Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash 

#bpd, #Anxiety, #Borderline, #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder, #HelpfulHints, #Inspirational, #Love, #MentalHealth, #MessageOfTheDay, #Positivity, #Relationships, #Work

Published by VintageDava

Follow me on Twitter at #Davagirl

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: