Everyday Life

What To Do When You Want To Fit In

She stood at the chalkboard looking at every student waiting for someone for a response. I looked down trying not t meet her gaze even though I knew the answer. I knew the other kids didn’t like it when I answered the questions in class, so today I was determined to be silent. Maybe if I didn’t say anything today and let them talk they would like me.

Our teacher shook her head as she turned towards the chalkboard letting us know the answer. Then I felt a pinch of disappointment inside of me for not speaking up. At the end of class my teacher announced we would have a quiz to ensure that we read our assignment. In that moment it felt like that class looked at me in disappointment like I was the reason we had a quiz.

My intentions were to simply fit in, however, I did it at the expense of who I was. I thought that by dimming my light they would be more comfortable around me. However, this wasn’t a solution to get their acceptance; they actually liked me less because they had to study for a quiz.

fit-in-quote

 

Over the years I’ve learned that the need to fit in is something that never goes away. At some level we all have that desire to connect with others, it’s a part of our nature. We just have to determine how far we are willing to go to be appreciated by others.

Desiring To Be Liked

My coworker told me that her daughter has been begging to get these graphic tees like her classmates. The problem is that the shirts are not appropriate for a 3rd grader. While she’s already an outsider for other reasons, my coworker wants her to learn that clothing isn’t going to change things.

As much as we desire to be like everyone else there is value in being different. Even though I despised being an outsider in high school I look back at those times with gratitude now. I was able to find myself during that time and become my own person instead of just like everyone else. Those times of being the odd one out helped me develop confidence in who I am.

We are all beautifully and wonderfully made, and even when others can’t see it our Father does. His word says we don’t need to seek the approval of man, but of the one who has the power of life and death. He’s shown me that I shouldn’t seek to fit into the crowd but to stand with the one he has for me.

 

Fit In for What?

One of my favorite stories comes from Daniel 3 when King Nebuchadnezzar has this created a golden idol. He wanted everyone to worship it, however, three young men would not abandon their faith to do so. They decided to stay true to their faith despite the consequences and being different.

The amazing thing about their story is that they were willing to risk it all and stand out to be true to themselves. In the same way, we have to risk standing out to show the beauty we possess within. If we don’t show who we are to others we risk the opportunity of not sharing our light to those who need it.

Standing out is bold and yes it does take bravery, but it’s better than blending in with the crowd. Don’t be like me, raise your hand and share the gift because we can all benefit from it. We were never meant to fit in because a long time ago we were set apart.

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11 Responses to “What To Do When You Want To Fit In”

  1. On September 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm *J responded with... #

    I definitely agree with you Jen. A person should never limit or hide who they are just to fit in with the people around them. We should always aim to be ourselves. If people like and accept us, good. If not, oh well. That’s life. We shouldn’t slight ourselves just to please others. We need to love ourselves and not be afraid to reveal our true selves.

    Great post!

    • On August 20, 2012 at 11:30 am jenndiva responded with... #

      Thank you! I feel that more people need to understand that we don’t need to dumb ourselves down to get others to like us. We will have the people that are meant to be in our lives by being who we are, not who they want us to be. We just need to accept that and find comfort in it.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. On September 15, 2011 at 7:55 am GG responded with... #

    I agree with you. I have two kids in elementary school and I’m constantly trying to keep them talking to me about what kinds of challenges they are facing in school. Neither of them struggle academically, but of course there are social challenges that come with being a kid and trying to “fit in”. I remind them that they only need to be themselves and not to worry about what anyone else thinks about it. I know that’s easy for me to say now, but when I was 9 I probably didn’t think it was that simple.

    • On August 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm jenndiva responded with... #

      It’s so great to hear that you are teaching your kids that now at an early age. I feel that when I was in my pre-teen and teenage years that’s when a lot of the ‘fitting in’ stuff plays a big role. It’s the time when you want to be accepted and everyone is basically following one another around. So if they are able to be leaders and create their own path now then they are off to a good start.

  3. On September 15, 2011 at 9:17 pm Laci responded with... #

    My 13 year old daughter has told me some of the things that others in her class have worn. All I can do is shake my head at the parents of these girls. Seriously, do you not even give a rats a$$ what people are thinking of your daughters?

    • On August 22, 2012 at 1:21 am jenndiva responded with... #

      You brought up a good point because so many people let their kids wear any and everything these days. I’m always surprised by the young girls and teens I see in the mall wear cut off shorts and little shirts. All I can do is wonder how they were able to walk out of the house looking that way.

      It’s just so surprising to me because I couldn’t imagine being a mom and allowing my child to do that. However, I feel that many of these trends are due to the need kids have to be accepted by others. So like GG said we have to teach kids and ourselves too that we don’t have to fit in and not worry about being liked by others.

  4. On September 19, 2011 at 11:26 am Chasse responded with... #

    Limiting ourselves is the worst thing a person could do. If that was the mindset of every individual to fit in with the crowed, we would get nothing done. People would have been to scared to oppose from the norms of society to the norms of the classroom. We would be severely handicapped and limited in technology, education, science, writing and literature. Even the artist who went in a new direction started new revolutionary era’s such as the impressionist period, or the Gothic era. One person standing tall and different may pave the road that can change thousands of lives. So never limit yourself due to pressure, or how you think others will perceive you.

    • On October 11, 2012 at 1:06 am jenndiva responded with... #

      I completely agree with you. I think that if everyone was focused on getting along with everyone else then no one would strive to reach their potential because we would be too worried about what others would think. That mentality is understandable when we’re in high school and peer pressure is a factor, but afterwards we have to grow out of that.

      One thing that took me a long time to learn is that it’s okay to be different, think different, and act different. We don’t all have to fit into one box, or a box at all. So we should want more for ourselves then what everyone else is doing or agrees with.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. On September 27, 2011 at 7:48 pm Sweet Nectar responded with... #

    I have always been the smart one, Never deemed the pretty one always known my place and tend to be anti-social fitting into my lane. I want to fit in so badly I want to be included but I am sociallty inept at times and am always thinking people are saying negative things about me. I need to release this fear and learn to be me and people will like me regardless. Often I sense people are often intimidated by my intellect and perceive me as a know-it-all. I refuse to apologize for my inquisitive and beautiful mind.

  6. On May 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm don responded with... #

    Good read. It appears to be a situation that’s passed down from generation to generation. And, as you’ve stated, it can also be somewhat of a problem for those who end up losing their own identity in the process.

    One thing that can curb such appetite is for the parent or guardian to share their own individual experiences with the child, and allow them to understand how there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being yourself.

    Eventually, children learn such lessons.

    Furthermore, who wants to spend every single day of their life trying to fit in with others? It remains in the best interest for everyone to simply be themselves.

  7. On April 27, 2014 at 6:18 pm www.seoulbound87.com responded with... #

    Jen!

    Long time, no see. And excellent writing, as always. Banding together was initially a necessity for the survival of nomads in hunter-gather societies. These groups of 10-50 individuals worked as a team to gather different foods and share them with each other. Being a stand-out usually meant starving to death. Today, the same mentality, although no longer necessary, still persists. There’s nothing wrong with succumbing to the innate human desire to want to fit in. But, it is important to insert ourselves in groups that will cultivate our mind, feed our soul, and grow our hearts.

    -smfry
    http://www.seoulbound87.com

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