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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I was younger, I have always had this feeling there is this handbook I have never gotten that explains how to be, how to laugh, what to wear, how to stand by yourself in the hallway. Everyone else looked so natural like they practiced together and knew what to do, like how they pushed the hair out of their face. My experience was pretty much the opposite, I was conscious about how I sat, how I smiled and when I was alone with another person, I had no idea what to do or what to say, I can just feel myself panic, it sucked. I’d like to imagine what people were like when I wasn’t around, they would compare notes to how I didn’t fit in, or even worse, they wouldn’t even notice, so I tried to pick up the patterns, I wore what they wore, and said what they said, overtime it sort of worked in a way, I made a version of myself that fit in. As I grew older, the patterns kept changing and it took so much effort to keep changing and keep learning them. I still had the problem that I started out with, being terrified of the moment when the tricks stopped working. I think it took me too long to learn something, that even though there is a thing called “fitting in”, that it’s something you can learn and practice, those pages are so thin compared to who you are, that the way to become natural like I wanted to be so badly is by forgetting what you want to be to other people. And if there is a handbook, you probably get to write it yourself. (This has been my life.)


Do any of you have trouble "fitting in" or finding this lost handbook or writing your own handbook?
 

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I don't fit in completely and basically don't feel the need to fit completely. Screw people for wanting me to be a clone of themselves or even worse, some society stereotype. Trying too hard to fit in would stress me out and i'm certain i'd be a lot less happy than i am now if i would try to adapt to everyone (and these preferences differ per person). I'm not in the acting business so i don't like pretending to be what deep down isn't me. Be flexible enough to make changes that have practical benefit, but always stay true to yourself.

The rest of the people i deal with regularly in my life don't fit in completely either (it's all relative), over time we get used to and accept eachother as we are, and that works pretty good, at least so far.
 

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I know what you mean. I'm sure that was more or less the feeling of everyone who weren't socially "popular" when they were kids.
But my experience was slightly different. I think that at some deep level I was blaming others. Kids saw that I was different, and well, you know how it goes. With time I learned that it was my social incompetence and my inability to understand the importance of social rituals. This so called "guide" was naturally created and spread among those who were socially active and since I was always so reserved, I could never get my hands on it. I never really tried to fit it though. I have been always acting myself, and was naturally able to better fit in with time due to personal growth.
 

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Why do you need to fit in? Are you being drafted by some secret organisation that's judging how well you can hide?

But really, what is the end goal of fitting in? Social acceptance?
 

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I think I felt a little like that when I was younger (child and teen). Then, I realized I like my genuine self and I found people that fit me instead of me trying to fit into them. And that worked out quite nicely because it's nice to be appreciated for who you are. And once I found that, I kind of just don't give a crap if there's a person here or there doesn't like me. Yeah, sometimes I still have awkward moments but *shrug* it's true to who I am and that's a part of me. So I don't worry about it at all.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've discovered that no matter how long you be yourself and enjoy being yourself, you still can't get friends; just because you want to be friends with somebody, or anybody, they still do not want to be friends with you. Anytime I have hit it off with somebody and worked towards a friendship, I was always acted like somebody else, like an extrovert. I have to pretend to be somebody else just to fit in even as an adult. I find people say "be yourself" because they think you are lying when you are really just trying to fit in. I have still never found anybody accepting and understanding in life. I guess I'm just an anomaly.
 

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I've never met an INTJ who gave two d**ns about fitting in. This is new to me! Interesting! (Maybe you are slightly INFJ?)

you might not have met enough intj's yet.
@MarioAndLuigi: i remember that feeling. it's excruciating. i don't think i ever thought so far as a handbook, which would have made it seem at least possible i might find it and read it some day. but i do remember a lot of admiration and wistfulness about all the people who did seem just so effortless.

here's what i figured out though. i read like a maniac for most of my life, and somewhere along the way it finally dawned on me that everyone in every book i'd ever read was interesting enough to devote a book to because they were 'different'. the world admires difference and kind of envies it, was what i realised. they don't understand how much effort and difficulty there is in being inherently different, of course.

another thing that helped was realising, also somewhere-along-the-way, that whether other people admit it or not there probably really wasn't too much i'd ever experienced that they hadn't felt their own selves. i just felt like it showed more in me, and/or felt like it showed less in them. even more likely is that they do feel the same stuff, they just seem to have some kind of filter that lets them forget it or not fully notice it even while they're living through it.

it's a bit of a leap of faith to believe that, i know. but i started getting a little more out and loud and proud about my own versions of this hidden side of the human experience, partly just to see what would happen. 30 years later, i'm still finding it to be pretty much true that there isn't much you can name that other people won't recognise, whether they're prepared to admit it or not. and they tend to become just a little impressed that someone else is 'brave' or whatever enough to name it, so if you want to feel validated that's a nice little bonus effect :tongue:.

i also remember pretty clearly telling myself, somewhere in my early 20's 'geeze, get over yourself. people don't even notice your little gaffes and faux pas because frankly, you're just not important enough for them to notice them, or remember them once you've walked out of the room.' i think we put a hell of a searchlight on our own selves, sometimes, which is way more attention than other people devote to us. realizing that you're insignificant is actually a pretty good liberator from tyrannical self-consciousness.

and finally, friendship grows at the pace that it grows. i'm sorry to tell you that. it's not easily force-able, and to me anyway, it seems to be one of those things that happen best while you're busy thinking about something else.
 

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I've never met an INTJ who gave two d**ns about fitting in. This is new to me! Interesting! (Maybe you are slightly INFJ?)
There is no MBTI category for not giving a crap about society. I think that everyone wondered how would it be to fit in, even if it's in a "the grass looks greener over the other side of the fence" kind of way, and even the most introverted of introverts can feel lonely.

Also don't forget that INTJ's F function is tertiary AND introverted, so even if they feel comfortable enough with it, chances are they won't spill the beans so easily.
 

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Yes, and to have friends.
I think the first thing you need to realize is that there is no such thing as social acceptance. On a good day you might get ~33% of most people to truly agree with you on your personal values, but anything more than that is impossible, even for those popular people you see socializing effortlessly.

This is so because people are different. Some people believe in one thing and others believe in the opposite. It's impossible to believe in both. That already brings maximum possible social acceptance down to 50% and there's more than one thing that society in general is divided on. Trying to achieve more than 33% social acceptance is a lost cause.

You might ask how people are "accepted" by more than one third of the people in your group. Note that I wrote "truly agree" earlier. It's possible to "superficially agree" with someone's values. If a person with a perceived low acceptance cannot find another person to share things with, they might be tempted to hide their values and take on the values of the people they find admirable. As you've found out, it doesn't work. All that happens is you put on a mask and you still feel uncomfortable around people. I wish I could tell you exactly how many people tend toward this, but it's difficult to pinpoint. What I can tell you is that most of the popular peoples' friends are people like that: the people who can set aside their values for greater social acceptance.

So how can you make friends without being socially accepted or compromising the integrity of your values? There are different ways to go about this, but my preferred method was making friends with other "unaccepted" people. You already have common ground. All you need to do is start a conversation about the weird things popular people do.

"Have you ever noticed that most people buy clothes based on aesthetics instead of practicality?"
"Do people actually buy those candy bars by the registers in supermarkets?"
"Famous people aren't even that interesting. Why are they famous?"


You might not make five acquaintances a day looking for people who share your values, but you might make a friend you can act like yourself around. I think finding one person who agrees with you on important things is better than knowing ten people you can pretend to agree with.

I've never met an INTJ who gave two d**ns about fitting in. This is new to me! Interesting! (Maybe you are slightly INFJ?)
You found an INTJ who can give one full d**n about fitting in? I can't even give half a d**n.
 

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It never really occurred to me to try to fit in. I never tried to not fit in either. As a younger child, I was teased for having a speech impediment. I figured that was why I wasn't part of a larger group and left it at that. After we moved, it was because everyone else already had their friend groups at that point. It didn't often bother me because all the other girls wanted to talk about was boys, hair, clothes, etc and I had no interest in that. Loneliness did strike a few time towards the end of high school, but then in college I found people that I fit with and made friends with them.

Now my question is Why do people who (I can't find another way to say this, sorry) aren't all there seem to be drawn to me? Is my half attention and occasional attempts to explain things so that they can understand more/better than they get from others? If so humanity stinks because I'm not good at it but they keep coming back.
 

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I felt that way in highschool... but I don't really care any more. The only time it seems to matter is at work like I don't know how to play the game which can really cause problems. People tend to make work life difficult if you are not like them and you just don't give a damn. I will just fake it until my abilities are so superior that it doesn't matter that I won't play the damn game.
 

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What is the main goal of trying(desperately) to fit in really?

I think, its when you're so insecure that you think no one would love you for who you truly are, but you really yearn to be loved so you fake it, and end up thinking you are natural this way, which is when you become totally numb and you think if you drop the act you would have nothing. This type of people, I conclude, can never truly be happy, because deep down they know and think that what people love about them is that act that they are putting up. They can never drop the act, they would always be too afraid to know the truth so they just keep on going, blindly. When you are so afraid of rejection and social disapproval, you just want to prove that you can do it as well, you want to be recognized, you want attention, you are afraid of losing, of being left out and left behind.

This all screams a lack of unconditional love really, or love of any sort. Maybe they want others to recognize their true selves as well, and tell them its okay to just be themselves, but then everyone is this way, its an endless cycle. Insecurities, insecurities everywhere, we are all broken in our own way, but this is what makes us humans. We are merely humans.

Sorry for ranting, I got carried away. We should start a thread for insecurities.
 

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I never have and probably never will feel any pressing need to "fit in". Mainly because I never could be bothered by it. Some would say that I've always been too lazy to put any effort in. Plus I have a bit of a superiority complex...
 

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Nah, there are personality types that are drawn to us just by us being us. Personally, I've found most (not all) of my relationships in life follow true to socionics concept of quadras. Our "quadra" being composed of us, Entp, Isfp and Esfj. I am and always have been an Entp magnet, at least those of the opposite sex. My first love was an Isfp and my wife is an Esfj. Current close friends are: (2)Esfj, Enfp, Entp, Estp and lastly I've become good friends with an Istj. Be yourself. Only advice is it's good to learn to simply smile more often,
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What is the main goal of trying(desperately) to fit in really?

I think, its when you're so insecure that you think no one would love you for who you truly are, but you really yearn to be loved so you fake it, and end up thinking you are natural this way, which is when you become totally numb and you think if you drop the act you would have nothing. This type of people, I conclude, can never truly be happy, because deep down they know and think that what people love about them is that act that they are putting up. They can never drop the act, they would always be too afraid to know the truth so they just keep on going, blindly. When you are so afraid of rejection and social disapproval, you just want to prove that you can do it as well, you want to be recognized, you want attention, you are afraid of losing, of being left out and left behind.

This all screams a lack of unconditional love really, or love of any sort. Maybe they want others to recognize their true selves as well, and tell them its okay to just be themselves, but then everyone is this way, its an endless cycle. Insecurities, insecurities everywhere, we are all broken in our own way, but this is what makes us humans. We are merely humans.

Sorry for ranting, I got carried away. We should start a thread for insecurities.

The way I act in college is different from how I act during recreation. I am very serious about learning in college, and once it's over for the day, before sunset, I'm out high-fiving other joggers in the city and just having fun to break loose and relieve stress. Smiling helps and the world looks like a nicer place to be a part of. My university is a depressing place to be, so I have to do this for myself and for exercise. In college, nobody ever wants to talk to me, but when I'm off-campus, I have found that people are more drawn to me; I like it; I smile and they smile, I chat with them, they chat with me (these are women). No INTJ should be stuck just being scientists in a lab like the stereotypes say, we need and deserve some outlet to just let it all out, anything that we have bottled up should come out. If people did not do this, I'm sure the suicide rate would be much higher in my city. I'm finally starting to fit in, in my own introverted way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It never really occurred to me to try to fit in. I never tried to not fit in either. As a younger child, I was teased for having a speech impediment. I figured that was why I wasn't part of a larger group and left it at that. After we moved, it was because everyone else already had their friend groups at that point. It didn't often bother me because all the other girls wanted to talk about was boys, hair, clothes, etc and I had no interest in that. Loneliness did strike a few time towards the end of high school, but then in college I found people that I fit with and made friends with them.

Now my question is Why do people who (I can't find another way to say this, sorry) aren't all there seem to be drawn to me? Is my half attention and occasional attempts to explain things so that they can understand more/better than they get from others? If so humanity stinks because I'm not good at it but they keep coming back.

I did not start talking until I was 4 years old and I had a speech therapist throughout elementary school. I never fit in because I got pulled out of class for an extra dose of language class. I was also always teased in public school. College is really no better because everybody else belongs to a clique. I'm the only one who is not a part of a clique and I still don't fit in to any of these cliques. That's probably why I can only approach another person to form a convo who is sitting alone like myself. Logic dictates: if they are sitting alone, they are already a little bit like me; this makes them approachable for me to hopefully make a friend.
 
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