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Feeling Like An Outsider (19 Easy Ways To Blend In)

by Sonya Schwartz

Have you ever felt like the odd person among people you are familiar with? Do you feel like an outcast amongst family members and friends who should be people you can relate with comfortably? 

Do you develop anxiety attacks at the thought of speaking up in a place you call home? Are you afraid to ever venture out of your comfort zone and shine shamelessly? Do you feel like you’re locked in isolation even though you are present in a community of people, including your parents and siblings? 

If yes, you are not alone in your struggles. Many people like you feel like outsiders for one reason or the other. Why does anyone feel like an outsider in the first place? You could feel like a black sheep if you are an only child who grew up with no sibling to interact with at home and your friends from school never felt enough to fill that void. 

Your parents probably tried their best to make you feel included and loved but you still felt like you were still missing out on an important thing you should have. Why then does someone from a large group of people also feel like an outsider with a plethora of siblings and extended families around them. 

Feeling isolation wrap around you despite having many folks could be as a result of your personality traits or even the position you fall in the familial setup. Whatever might cause you to feel like an outsider, this article will provide ways to stop being the odd one out in most settings.

19 Ways To Stop Being The Outsider

1. Constantly remind yourself that you aren’t alone in this

Constantly remind yourself that you aren’t alone in this

When you feel like an outsider, it is easy to think you are alone in the world and that your case is one in a million. Society doesn’t make it any better because it is always moving at a fast pace and leaving so many people to catch up or be left behind.

However, you should understand that thousands and billions of people in the same shoes you now occupy and they are also looking for ways to stop feeling like outsiders. It is important that you know and accepts this fact if you will make any progress in overcoming the outsider syndrome. 

2. Start building relationships deliberately

To every poison, there is an antidote and to every problem, there is almost always a solution. The solution or antidote to feeling like the black sheep is to have active relationships that help you feel like you’re in tune with everyone else. To feel inclusive and banish feeling like an outsider, you need to build relevant relationships deliberately. 

As an outsider, you’re most likely a person with differences already and so, you’re afraid to go outside of the box more than you already are. Therefore, you must create room for other people to communicate with you without stifling your unique ability.

3. Don’t rush it

Having the resolve to leave the home of outsiders and pitch your tent with the people you’ve always wanted to relate with can come with a head rush that will chase you back into your comfort zone if you’re not careful. This is new territory for you and the way to thrive in your new decision is to start small.

Start by initiating a conversation with one friend instead of gathering a whole community. The point of putting yourself out there like everyone else is to build relationships that will last not venture into an experience that makes you feel like running for cover again.

4. Learn and practice social skills

One quick way to stop feeling like an outcast in a society is to learn the right social skills. There are so many articles you can read to get better information on how to communicate with different people in different situations. Learn social etiquette; what should you do in a gathering of four? 

What should you avoid in a larger gathering? What social norms do people accept in a formal setting and which ones will they find offensive in an informal environment? The point of learning these skills is so you can use them. As such, take some minutes each day to practice these skills till they become a part of you. 

5. Organize a small event and invite friends

Although you might find this suggestion scary, it is one way to dip your feet in the water without drowning. Again, it might appear difficult but it is doable as long as you start with a small crowd. Practicing your social skills with a small crowd will prepare you for when you have to be among a larger group of people in society. 

Organize an event around a concept you love and invite some friends and folks to join you. It’s okay if some people decline your invitation. Their busy schedule or personal beliefs are probably the reason they won’t attend.

6. Be open-minded about other people’s beliefs

One of the reasons why you feel like an outcast is because you are closed off on the belief system and principles of other people. You fail to see any connection between your thoughts and their patterns and so, you make yourself appear unapproachable. 

Being open-minded is a skill that will do you a lot of good if you want to feel more included in social activities. While people may agree that you’re brilliant, kind, and sweet, if they perceive you as being less understanding, your other fine traits won’t mean much in certain situations. 

You need to learn how to tolerate the opinions of everyone else as long as it doesn’t affect your core values. 

7. Stop hiding in the shadows and go out more

Stop hiding in the shadows and go out more

Feeling like an outcast doesn’t happen by default. It occurs as a result of established habits you inculcate over a long period. One thing you can do to gain freedom from feeling out of place is to go out more and mix with a variety of people from different backgrounds. 

The fact is, you can’t keep doing the same thing or keep hanging out with the same set of people you’re comfortable with and expect to gain inclusion in activities larger than you.

Go somewhere new. Read articles on topics you’re not familiar with. Expose your soul to a home away from home and you will feel like you’re one with the universe while your anxiety fades away. 

8. Tackle issues that naturally put you in isolation

It is easy to put a distance between the cause and effect of a thing and it is also easy to give in to your anxiety instead of tackling it head-on. Your anxiety or panic attacks don’t happen in a vacuum; they are triggered by a feeling that you don’t belong in the public.

To get over feeling like you have to keep hiding to prevent people from seeing you weak, you need to face the issues triggering your anxiety attacks and making you scurry into your dark place.

9. Pace yourself and give time for tangible progress

The moment you feel like you’re making progress, you will want to speed up and meet the world where it is currently, especially if you are a get-it-done-ASAP kind of girl. However, if you don’t pace yourself and take in each moment as it comes, you will be plunged back into anxiety and fall back into the hole of uncertainty. 

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Rather than try to meet the world at the exact pace the society sets, meet it halfway at your pace. Get help from your new friends, unburden your soul and talk to people you perceive to be sincere. The fact is if you can take your progress slow and at your sweet time, your anxiety will slowly recede too.

10. Improve the way you see and talk to yourself

As a girl-child, you probably grew up in a society that placed importance on sons over female children and that discrimination tends to add to the underlying triggers that make you feel like an outcast.

While the conversation these days is beginning to take on a new meaning and direction, every girl or woman still needs to take charge of the narrative she wants her life to take. 

What do you do to anyone who makes you feel your aspirations are less important? What do you say in a situation that makes you feel left out? You take charge and talk like you’re the master of your fate and the direction you want your life to take. 

11. Don’t seek other people’s validation all the time

If you have mastered the art of placing premium value over yourself, you will stop seeking other people’s validation every time you feel insecure. 

Being outside the circle comes with some disadvantages including feeling like an outsider but seeking other people’s validation will only confuse you and make you lose sight of what you lack versus what makes you special. 

When you search inward and get help from people who can render the right assistance, you will understand your worth without needing anyone to point it out for you.

12. Accept the difference you see in other people

Your ability to see and understand the differences between you and others will make way for understanding and acceptance in your budding relationships. Did you know it is possible to feel like a stranger to your partner? Why?

You feel you don’t know your partner or that he doesn’t understand you because both of you haven’t taken the time to understand your differences before claiming to accept each other.

13. Consider seeing a therapist

Seeing an expert who can help you with navigating and come out of your isolative experience successfully is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength over your past weaknesses. And as long as you put in the effort, you will emerge a wholesome individual from the therapy sessions.

Even while you continue with your personal efforts to put yourself out there, getting someone to guide you along the way will make your journey easier. 

14. Stay far away from people who put you down

Stay far away from people who put you down

The people you hang around with will influence your journey to inclusivity. To stop feeling lonely even when you’re around people you care about, you should be careful about who you listen to.

If you take advice from toxic people, you will build toxic relationships. If you give ears to people who limit your self-esteem through their words and actions, you will continue to hideaway. The best thing to do when toxic people surround you is to disengage yourself from them.

The fact that you want to feel aware or belong in your home doesn’t mean you should accommodate toxicity. 

15. Start writing down activities and people who make you feel included

Writing is another method of letting go of the negative notion that you are left out amid people you love. By practicing journaling or putting down your thoughts in the journey to inclusivity, you will gain freedom from the conflicting thoughts you’ve been battling with for so long.

Think about the activities you involve in that make you feel like you belong in that setting and write them down. Think about the people who go out of their way to make you feel inclusive and write down their names too. With time, you will focus more on appreciating the good companionship you have with people like your father, mother, and siblings rather than the company you lack.

16. Understand what triggers the feeling of being isolated

As you progress with resolve to be seen and heard more for the right reasons, you must know your insecurity triggers. Who or what can easily trigger the feelings of failure, incompetence, or panic in you?

Do you need to cut some ties, stop going to some places or adopt new habits? The knowledge of these triggers will help you avoid them at all costs and focus on your growth.

17. Be aware at all times to avoid misjudgment

It is difficult to be fully aware all the time but, you can train your mind and instincts to practice awareness most of the time to prevent misjudgment or being caught unawares. 

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Practicing meditation and mindfulness can help you feel grounded and more aware of things happening around you. Mindfulness will also make you sensitive to other people’s feelings, thereby, improving your relationship with them. 

18. Accept that you aren’t deformed, just different

You might have jumped to the conclusion that there is something wrong with you and that’s why you find it hard to connect with people, even the love of your life. While it isn’t normal to feel completely disconnected from people, it is also not a validation that you are deformed.

You are different, special, and introspective by nature and there’s nothing wrong with you. As such, don’t see yourself as deformed but simply different. This acceptance will make you see solutions instead of only problems.

19. See the benefits of being an outsider

You might wonder why anyone would think being an outsider is beneficial in any way but it actually is. As someone who is not always in the middle of happenings, you can see from the outside. 

You have insights that people who feel inclusive don’t have and when the opportunity to share your opinion arises and you tend to stun people with the amount of knowledge you gained just from observing.

Therefore, even while you work on becoming better at connecting with your folks, don’t discard the benefit being an outsider affords you. 

FAQs

What does it mean to feel like an outsider?

It means feeling unwanted, and unnoticed even though you are present and people can see you. Sometimes, it might be your perception based on how you feel about yourself rather than the reality. 

How do I stop feeling like an outsider?

Get yourself more involved in conversations with the people you want to be more inclusive with and offer to do things with them. By offering some things with them, you’re telling them “I’m willing to come out of my comfort zone and explore".

Why do I feel like an outsider in my own family?

Your background, personality, or a significant situation in your past might influence why you feel left out of things happening in your home. The moment you shut your feelings down you start becoming a stranger where you used to be openly accepted.

What do you do when your family excludes you?

Figure out why they feel the need to exclude you, discuss with the right people who will give you the right answers, then find your path to reconciling with them so things can go back to normal.

Is being an outsider always a negative experience?

Being left out of the loop is not always the worst thing because it might be nature’s method of saying, “you need a break" or doing you a lot of good by making you ignorant of knowledge you don’t need

The Bottom Line

Being a social or familial outcast can be painful because you’ll think life is passing you by and you’re watching the train leave without you with everyone else. However, sinking into anxiety won’t offer you the solution you need to reconnect with the world or people you love. Practicing the tips in this article will help you gain the confidence to become inclusive.

Did you find this article helpful? Please leave a comment below and also share the post.

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Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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