Everyday Life

The Need to Fit In

No matter what age we are we will always somehow find ourselves in a situation where we are trying to fit in with a group of people. Regardless of where we are we want to be excepted by people and have a sense of belonging. However, do we really have to dumb ourselves down to fit in?

Recently I read an article a friend sent me about how some companies are trying to send hidden messages through graphic t-shirts for young girls. The sayings are cute, but  behind them it suggest that girls don’t need to be smart they just need to be cute. For young girls that are impressionable and looking to fit in with their peers these messages can convey way more than just a cute saying.

I know what it’s like to be the awkward person who wants to fit in, and I had the hardest time with this in junior high and high school. There would be times in class when I would pretend I didn’t know the answer because I didn’t want to be the nerd in front of my classmates. I would hide my brilliance not only to gain acceptance from my peers, but to not stand out. One day I was talking to my grandma about school and the problems I was having and she said that I shouldn’t be ashamed of being smart and if I know something in class I should say it.

Since that day I’ve held onto her advice and have found the courage to speaking up and share who I am. No matter if it’s in a board meeting, on a date, or in a classroom no one should dumb themselves down just to please others. Many times it’s better to be an individual that goes against the pack then to be apart of the collective.

edited 6/12/2015

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11 comments
www.seoulbound87.com
www.seoulbound87.com

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 www.seoulbound87.com

don
don

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.

Sweet Nectar
Sweet Nectar

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.

Chasse
Chasse

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.

jenndiva
jenndiva

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.

Laci
Laci

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?

jenndiva
jenndiva

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.

GG
GG

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.

jenndiva
jenndiva

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.

*J
*J

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!

jenndiva
jenndiva

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!

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