At least once in their lives, everyone has felt like they didn't belong. For many, this period was during high school, a time where the popular kids reigned and seemed to go out of their way to make sure you knew that you didn't fit in. But what about after your teenage years? These Redditors share their stories.
u/Jetmo7 asked: What the worst "I don't fit in here" experience you've ever had?
The bar is the best place to go after that.
Went on the company ski trip which sounds posher than it actually is and we have to pay for it out of our wages.
Had to sit on a dinner table with the heads of the company and some other high up people from different companies and the stuff they were talking about in terms of leisure activities were well out of my league. When you try to join the conversation and you get a patronising smile from one of them who doesn't engage you conversation has a strange effect on you.
Finished my dinner and f**ked off to the bar.
A School of Rock.Giphy
Wanted to learn to play guitar - found out about a class for beginner sessions for adults. Call up, they say yeah come along we have a mixed group and we will see you in the morn. Great.
Turn up to this little church like building and head in. Guy says 'you must be (me - 27-28 at time), take a seat and we will get going in a min'. Please note I'm first to arrive and the seats were tiny but I didn't think anything of it at the time - just assumed it was what was available.
Next min a group of small children rush in and take their places (about 5-6 years old) with their guitars.
Teacher starts taking the lesson, I'm obv feeling awkward as I'm like Tom Hanks in Big and wanting to get out as soon as poss but too polite to just get up and walk out.
Teacher then announces that we will be getting up on stage at the end to show 'what we've learned' please note all these little s**ts are 10x better than me but I'm committed now and maybe it won't be so bad....
...Until the door opens and all of the parents walk in to watch the 'show'.
So there I was - sitting on a little chair with my knees higher than my head strumming along to some tune I couldn't play surrounded by 5-6 year old and parents looking at me with that face you know wants to laugh.
The worst kind of office job.
I once interviewed for a job and was taken around the office to meet everyone and see how things worked, but it was one of those types of places where they do morning cheers, everyone is ultra peppy and cutthroat (it was a sales job with competitive "territories"), and the energy was just too much.
As an introverted, laid-back and uncompetitive worker, I 100% did not belong in that environment.
Teenagers are a-holes everywhere.Giphy
I'm expat Dutch. Meaning I was born there, and have a passport.
Moving to the Netherlands as a teenager for the first time did not go well
Teenagers are a**holes, but even more so if you are any kind of foreign. And don't speak the language perfectly.
I just dropped everything to pursue a career in art. It's been my dream to open up a shop and to just make things and paint. I've been drawing all of my life and I'm honestly not bad. A few weeks ago, I joined a local artists collective. The first meeting we were showing our art, and my heart dropped. Everyone had these gallery level social justice pieces and there I was with my greeting card and wedding art.
I've always struggled with confidence and imposter syndrome, but that hit me hard just how out of my league this group was. I'm staying in it because I think it will challenge me to expand and grow, but damn do I feel incompetent every time I see them.
Recently moved to China due to work. China is fine and all, food is exceptionally nice, and the general cost of living is significantly lower.
Although I do speak some Mandarin and am somewhat familiar with China due to my mother being Chinese, I do often feel the differences, like how alien this culture here is to me. It a very odd feeling, seeing all these people that look the same as me, yet completely different.
A friend invited me to a party at his friend's place. Everyone was dressed in animal masks (not as in furries, this was like, black tie formal but with people wearing realistic giraffe masks). My friend seemed confused that I was dressed normally. I do not speak to him anymore.
I still don't know what the deal with that place was.
My first holiday in foster care was Christmas 2010. I was 14 years old; a freshman in high school. I missed my family and I didn't know anyone there except my foster parents. I felt completely like an alien amongst 50 people. I was young, scared, and alone.
I went on my phone and my foster mom raised her voice and told me to get off. That made me snap and I started tearing up so I went outside in the cold to cry by myself so I wouldn't make a scene.
I cried behind a car in the dark in the snow that fell a few days prior.
This old man comes outside and calmly talks to me. He tells me that he used to be in foster care too. I don't remember what he said exactly, but he made me laugh and feel a little better.
That old man turned out to be who I would call Grandpa Earnie a few years down the road. He passed away a couple springs ago. He always made sure everyone felt welcomed and always would break tension/silence with a joke that made everyone laugh.
He went through his own hell growing up and he did his best to make sure no one else had to.
That's one way to meet people.
In 2007 I went to what I thought was my first AA meeting. It was being held at a church, and when I walked in to where the meeting was supposed to take place there was 5-6 other men sitting down. I took a seat, and after a couple of moments pass, the meeting starts.
If my memory is correct, I was asked to introduce myself, So I said, "My name is **** ********* and I'm an alcoholic." After a few moments, one of the men let me know that I was at a Sex Addicts Anonymous meeting. I apologized and left.
Felt really weird about it at the time, but now I just laugh about it.
Sounds a little shady...Giphy
I went to a "wellness and success" seminar. It included a lot of very emotional "experiences" that we had to sign a waiver to not talk about. So I'm not going to talk about that...
But everyone there was like some kind of General Manager, small business owner, or published author.
And there I was as a entry level food service clerk (aka, sandwich artist.)
The worst feeling.
I was hanging out with 20 of my friends in a bar and I realized they weren't really my friends. Just people I hanged out with. No one really made a genuine effort to talk to me. It made me really sad. I stopped talking to them and have a smaller group of friends that I get along with and I feel they actually care about me.
I don't fit in, anywhere, and haven't for a long time. I'm the extra friend invited to hang out on the edge of close-knit friend groups, because I make everyone laugh and have had a lot of unique life experiences that people ask me to tell them about or show them photos from places I've traveled, but they always keep me at a distance.
I used to have close friends and often hosted get-togethers everyone came to and enjoyed, but as we've gotten older they've all started families, and can't make time for that anymore, so the friendships grow distant and fizzle out. When people stop coming, you just stop asking. I'm the only one who hasn't met someone to start a family with, I'm in my late 30s now, and I don't know how or where to meet new people.
I used to feel like I fit in everywhere, but social interactions all feel surreal and fake to me now. After a disproportionate series of traumatic experiences losing close family members and friends to war, accidents, suicide, and aging, I've found I'm unable to develop trust or confide in anyone. It feels like they just pity me. Concerts/games/large crowds are out of the question due to anxiety.
It may not come across this way, but I'm not depressed, or suicidal. I honestly don't see any evidence to believe there is any bigger purpose or meaning to life, but for some reason I still enjoy being alive, and experiencing every moment, good or bad. I do get lonely, though, even with pets.
Think of that awkward feeling of social embarrassment when you make a faux pas that goes away when you finally get to leave the situation, and then imagine having to hold on to it because it never goes away. That's what it feels like.
I got an office job earlier this year which I've since moved on from. Everyone there was nice, but... 95% of the people I worked with owned a house. A few had kids. Two or three owned, raced, or bet on horses. Most of my hobbies are media based, so films, writing, TV and video games. The only movies they talked about in my 3-4 months there were the remake of Dumbo and the latest Marvel movie. Oh, and then Game of Thrones. No books. No games. Not even games middle aged women play, like Farmville or Candy Crush! I don't find chatting about selling your house for an hour and a half very exciting.
And then, as a lesbian who's only been in one relationship (which has very few problems), nothing made me wanting to roll my eyes more than every time these women started talking about how boring and useless their boyfriends/husbands were. Yes, tell me all about how the grown man you live with can barely cook his own food and gets pissed at you when you have an opinion. Yes, I wanna know all about your past history of boyfriend drama involving every single man who has come into your life and quickly disappointed you. Sorry y'all settled I guess? What you want me to say? Maybe times are just tough for southern gals who only watch Game of Thrones and whose idea of a good time is betting on a horse now and again.
These gals would chat chat chat with each other all day without having a single interesting thing come out of their mouths. Meanwhile, they almost never talked to me. When I DID try and start a conversation topic, hoping they'd ask me more about it, they'd maybe offer a little acknowledgment then start talking about something totally unrelated and boring to me, like beach homes in Florida or something. Yawn.
Early this year, I was supposed to go to a weekend event with a friend. The friend ended up bailing on me without notifying me first, so I was forced to room with 3 people, who were all friends, who I didn't know. That's not where it gets bad, because we were able to sort of bond over a mutual love of sports.
The issue was that I didn't know anyone at the event, and the people at the event were not open to making new friends. This all kind of culminated in me being ditched at a club, and being forced to walk back to my hotel in the cold, alone at 3 in the morning. I've never felt as alone as I did for that entire weekend, and I was so glad when it was over.