I never felt I fit in
and I always wondered why…
I related less to others
than I related to the sky.
Do you have trouble fitting in?
It can be hard to fit in with others or to become part of a group. Everyone has a different personality and perspective to share with those around them. Unfortunately, many people tend to refrain from sharing their perspectives and opinions if they don’t align with the group. We do it in an attempt to fit in.
But many people simply can’t bear to do that; maybe we shouldn’t. Instead, maybe we should surround ourselves with people who accept who we are, differences and all. Maybe we should spend most of our time in an environment that doesn’t force us to be someone we’re not. Otherwise, we’re going to have to work on our confidence to free our inner-voices from oppression.
Self-Monitoring to Fit In
Self-monitoring is the extent to which we monitor and change our behavior to fit in with those around us. Author, Susan Cain, talks about this phenomenon in her New York Times Bestseller, Quiet.
Is It Ok to Self-Monitor to Fit In?
In Quiet, Cain discusses whether self-monitoring is necessary or morally incorrect. She says that high self-monitors tend to change their opinions, ideas, body language, and personalities to fit in with their peers most often.
Low self-monitors, on the other hand, do very little to change their personalities in social situations. They are who they are, unapologetically. Of course, there is a spectrum from low to high.
If I asked you whether it was better to be a high or low self-monitor, you’d probably say low. It’s better to be yourself all of the time than to have to fake it. Right?
Cain thinks so. She doesn’t think it is healthy to self-monitor solely to fit in with the crowd. In contrast, she does believe it’s ok to practice self-monitoring to a certain extent, in some situations.
- It’s ok to force yourself to be confident and courageous when you’re normally fearful and insecure.
- It’s ok to hold back your opinions or thoughts in certain situations so you don’t hurt yourself or someone else.
For the most part, though, it’s not ok. For instance:
- It’s not ok to change who you are in every situation.
- It’s not ok to love yourself so little that you’re constantly trying to be someone else.
- It’s not ok to hold back your opinions and feelings simply because you don’t think you’re good enough.
Although it’s not ok, many of us do it. I admit I have done this many times without even realizing it until afterward. Then I’m usually stuck wondering why I acted the way I did. “That wasn’t me,” I’ll say to myself. How can we stop this nonsense?
Self-love – Fighting the Urge to Fit In
Don’t feel like you always have to fit in. We are all different in so many ways. That’s the beauty of humanity. If you don’t fit in with one crowd, you will surely fit in with another.
If instead, you want to fight the urge to fit in, you need to become more aware of your actions compared to our inner voice. The next time you realize you’re self-monitoring to fit in, ask yourself why. Maybe it’s necessary to achieve some sort of goal. But if you simply don’t feel comfortable being who you are, or you feel you will be judged for who you are, you’ll need to make a decision. Do you need to:
- work hard to become more aware of your insecurities and be you more often
- or, change your environment; look for a job, spouse, group of friends, etc. you feel more relatable to
- or both!
It’s difficult to overcome insecurities or change your surroundings to suit your needs. Ultimately, though, these are acts of self-love. If you love yourself, you should be willing to do the work. You should do whatever it takes to prove to yourself that you’re good enough. Self-love is not easy, but it is necessary to live a more fulfilling life. Good luck out there. 🙂