Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Why Don't I Fit In?

Do you ever feel as though you don't quite fit in?

I do.

And really, I guess I always have.

I've spoken plenty of times before about my experiences of bullying throughout school and I do worry a bit about sounding like a broken record by going on about these things, but the thing is - it's something that plays on my mind a lot.

I feel as though I'm replaying the same experience over and over and over again.

The places are different, the people are different, I'm older every time...but still, the experience never changes.

Primary school, secondary school, college, various workplaces over the years...always the same old story.

I'll have a couple of casual friends - people I get on with, people I chat to - but those people you see with big groups of super close friends? The ones who have funny nicknames for each other, in-jokes and treat each others parents like their own?  - I'm never one of those people.

I watch those people with envy, always wondering why I can never seem to make those sorts of connections  -  I can make small talk and chit chat,  have occasional get togethers and swap occasional texts with people but yet somehow I can never quite take a friendship any deeper than that.

All of my life, I've never had a BEST friend.

TV shows like Friends and Sex & The City drive home the message that close friendship groups are the norm - especially for women, and I'd be lying if I said that sort of life long friendship wasn't something I craved.

I've never been anybodys bridesmaid. Never been a godmother to anyones child (other than my sisters).

And deep down, I know I never will be any of those things.

Because although my Facebook list contains 300+ names, and my phone book almost as many - I'm nobodys closest friend. I'm not the person anyone thinks of for those types of honours.

And scrolling through my social media accounts, seeing all the women I know being bridesmaid for their just drives home the reminder that I don't have that.

This deep rooted feeling of loneliness and desire to belong has followed me throughout my life and even now as a blogger, it's still here.

I see groups of bloggers who've formed deep and meaningful friendships with each other...something that goes beyond the occasional facebook message - people who go on holiday together, stay at each others houses, tag each other in their blog posts, perform bridesmaid duties at each others weddings, start blog projects together.

And sure I have plenty of bloggers that I chat to often, plenty of people who tweet me or comment on my posts, plenty of blogging friends that I speak to on Facebook regularly- some who I get on really well with in fact, who are probably the closest friends I have (Fiona, Alex, Karen, Becky, Liza, Kerry and others too... I'm not disregarding your friendships at all!).

But do I have a clique? A hard and fast Girl Gang to run blog projects with, go to Center Parcs with?...Nope.

Am I the person that anybody is actively looking for at blogging events? Nope.

It feels very much like it always did for me - I've always been someone people will chat to and be friendly with, but I'm not in anybodys inner circle.

And maybe that's fine...maybe that's just who I am...but I can't help but wonder what it must be like, to be on the inside like that.

I wonder how much of this is my own doing - I've always felt as though I don't really cut the mustard in so many ways, that people can't possibly be interested in getting to know me because I'm just not cool like they are - I'm not thin and pretty like they are - I'm not funny like they are.

My funny blogs aren't funny enough to be friends with all of the hilarious bloggers I admire so much,  and my deeper posts aren't deep enough to be in with the super deep serious writers I'm in awe of. I'm not good enough at videos or thin and pretty enough to be in with the vlogging crowd,. I'm not good enough at photography to be in with the edgy Insta-photo crowd (and certainly not well dressed enough and my house is not clean enough!). I'm not edgy enough. I'm not Pinteresty enough.....I always feel as though I'm just NOT ENOUGH.

And I wonder if because of that I send out a vibe, a "Don't bother with this one" sort of vibe.

I wonder if my mental health posts and openness about anxiety make me come across like a bore...I'm not I swear, I'm actually quite funny if I do say so myself !

The truth is I don't know where I really fit.

And if I still don't know who I really am at 35, is it any wonder I've struggled to connect with people?

Sometimes I think my mind still thinks we're at school - I find myself admiring certain bloggers from a distance, thinking "I like her. She's my kind of person. I think I'd get on really well with her"...but somehow I lack the social ability to make that happen.

Because the thing is....How are you supposed to make friends as a grown up?! What's the etiquette for that?!

To be perfectly honest I feel like a right frigging weirdo for even writing this down...It's just not the done thing to admit that you're a bit of a Billy No Mates is it?!

But it is what it is. And to be honest, a Billy No Mates is exactly what I feel like I am!

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  1. Oh lovely I feel like this could be someone writing about me, I feel exactly the same! When we first got to the Boots event yesterday I text Tom to say that no one is talking to me and they all know each other and not me. Then everyone talked to me and I felt stupid lol. Every September I say this is the year to make mum friends at school, and every year I never do :(

    1. Oh no, thats awful - I hate that feeling when you feel like everyone knows each other and its just you left out. I'm glad I spoke to you though, you were so lovely to chat to! :) Everyone tells me I'll make school gate friends, I somehow doubt that will be true! xx

  2. This made me feel really sad reading this. I think it's because I felt like we spoke loads in Facebook groups and stuff and then you seemed to find hundreds of other blogging friends and I got left behind. It's such a shame as I see a lot of myself in you. I also feel like i just don't fit in. Especially in the blogging world now. Everyone has either moved on without me or quit blogging altogether. I've even thought about doing the second one myself - I'm sure no one would miss me!

    But if you ever want to chat, or try to arrange meeting for a day out or a little holiday somewhere you know you can always drop me a message. I'll always be there if you need me :)

    Lou xxx

    1. Oh Lou bless you :( I think its just because we went in different directions with our blogs that we dont tend to be at the same events or in the same threads or groups now, but that doesn't mean we shouldnt keep in touch. I'd love to meet for a day out or something! We definitely should with Tyne & Oscar being so close in age too xx

  3. I feel the same, blogging is very lonely when you don't have that clique! I just think its just for a picture. No one probably knows my blog name! lol I just do it for me and my girls for the memories. x

    1. It really can be! Thats the definitely the right reason to do it, but still it can be lonely...especially when you dont feel like you have friends outside of it either xx

  4. Let's go to CenterParcs! Haha. Seriously, you're lovely - I've only met you once and I felt like I'd known you years. I know how you feel though - I can't find where I fit either :/

    1. Ahh bless you Sara-Jayne thats so nice of you to say. I'm surprised you feel that way too though, you came across as SO friendly and just the loveliest person - you definitely made the biggest impression on me out of any blogger I've met as you were just SO friendly and nice! Sod it, we'll start our own clique! lol xxxx

  5. Oh lovely I can relate to so many of these. I've never had a best friend either, well actually Mark says he is my best friend and that makes me so happy.
    Liza Prideaux | YouTube

    1. Ahh thats lovely Liza!! Jon is the same but as bad as it sounds, its not the same lol. I cant be his bridesmaid! lol xx

  6. It's so hard to make friends as adults isn't it! Kids don't know how easy they've got it lol. I took Lily to the playground yesterday and she came back from playing and told me she had 3 new best friends! I know completely what you mean about not having an inner circle though, I'm exactly the same. I read peoples blogs and think I'd get on really well with them, but then just feel like I'd seem irritating if I approached them! x

  7. I read this post with interest, as you seem to have drawn such a crowd who love reading your blog, and, indeed, you give the impression of one who is at the centre of things, generally!

    Right... I really felt for you when I read this, and I hope the comments from online friends you know have brought you comfort. On an FB writers group, someone was asking me how on earth I managed to make friends and find readers via Twitter. I said 'Just talk to people. Like you would normally'. He didn't get it. His openings so far had been about his book.... Would you like the point of view of someone who has always had a wide circle of friends and some close, lifelong ones, and been part of many of those groups of which you speak (I'm 58 - lots of life experience going on here!)? Don't try too hard. Be generous and kind but not gushing, and never seem desperate or pushy. Ask people about themselves, rather than talk about your own stuff. Empathise (I know you do that already!!!). You're intelligent and interesting enough already - your blog is one of the few I read regularly, and I'm picky!! Be good company - which means not moaning, talking about your insecurities until you know someone well, or being negative. I read once that people can be divided into radiators and drains - enough said! Shyness is introspection - if you think about how the other person feels, rather than how you feel, in a situation, you give out the sort of vibes that draw people to you. Oh, and your weight, whatever it happens to be at the moment, is nothing to do with it! You're the only person who cares about that. Honestly!!

    I hope that helps! You seem like a person with loads to give, who would be great company. And you don't have to be a centre stage person to be included. I know you lack confidence, but you have no reason to.

  8. I really get you on this. I have never fitted in with moms! I have no mom friends. I don't fit in with blog groups, I don't fit in with playground groups, I'm a mom outcast haha!

    But as for blogging, you're one of the most influential bloggers out there! Maybe you're not meant to fit in with others, others should fit in with you. Be the leader of your own blog tribe! ��

  9. Ah Hayley, this is exactly how I've been feeling recently, which is one of the main reasons I've stepped away from my blog and youtube and social media. I realised that although I'm chatting to loads of people online and sharing my life, I don't actually have a close group of real life friends to chat with, and it was making me feel so down. I have no advice, just to say I feel the same a lot of the time! So you're definitely not alone xx

  10. I see you as somebody successful and it would never have occurred to me that you're in this position or feel this way! If it makes you feel any better I bet there are loads of us who feel like this, and it's great that you've spoken up. Especially if it encourages those of us who are shy to maybe put ourselves out there a bit more.

    I have a few close friends but they don't know each other. And I've lost some of my very closest without ever really knowing why, I guess sometimes you just drift apart. Oh, and I've never been a bridesmaid, because I don't have a sister!

  11. Honestly, I totally, totally get this! It's like you've kind of written stuff that bumbles around in my brain. I'm 33 and it's only as an adult that I've really met my "tribe" My besties have turned out to be my husband's friend's ex wife. My ex's oldest sister. And, perhaps (we're not quite there yet!) a lady from my NCT class. I've spent the majority of my life not feeling quite enough for anyone. So I hear you. Totally. Brilliant post. XxxxX

  12. As your other comments show, the vast majority of people feel like this. TV friendships aren't real, and the tweets & blog posts between BFFs are just a tiny snapshot of other people's lives: they may be secretly feeling like they don't deserve their friend, don't belong in that friendship group, don't trust their connections with other people. It's all completely normal.

    Making close friends involves opening up, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, making the effort to connect regularly: almost like starting a relationship, but without the bonus sex part. Sometimes you have to make the first move. Sometimes you have to really bloody shout "HEY I'M OVER HERE". And it won't always work, you won't always click, but what if it does...

  13. I think most people feel like this. I saw a cartoon (which I think I cut out and kept somewhere) years ago which was someone deciding whether to join the in crowd or the nerdy crowd. If they joined the in crowd there was a danger they would become the out crowd and they would miss out on getting in on the ground floor with the nerdy crowd. I think the truth is those that need large groups are too afraid of not being in a group and put up with all the tensions and irritations of being in a large group because it is the payoff. They don't have the inner strength to survive alone. Being a loner is obviously also not desirable but if you make all the first moves, invite groups of disparate loners (I did say disparate, not desperate!) around for coffee or meals you might soon find something starting but it does take a deliberate effort. You do have to go out and say I don't want to do this alone and with a little trial and error you will find other like minded people on your own wavelength and perhaps even a little less vacuous because you don't intend to be trendy, just real. And if you are too shy (?) to make the first move, evening classes are full of people keen to get out and talk to new people and you get a captive audience. Just mix up the ages a little, a few young, a few old, life can be so dull if you stick to one friend type.

  14. Never have I ever quite fitted in either... and quite frankly, brilliant! I don't want to be one of those pack animals! Then again, I am nearly 50, and have learned to embrace my "uniqueness". I guess it takes a while, but you sound like you are getting there. Yes, I would do the Center Parcs thing with all of you. Us unique types should stick together (but would we still be unique?) ��

  15. this is such an interesting and honest read, thanks! I feel like I'm almost on the opposite end. Not that I'm oh so popular, but I do have the close group of friends, a gaggle of godchildren, and a history as a bridesmaid. But, at 34, also no husband and no kids (which sometimes makes me sad in ways that seem to be quite similar to your not-fitting-in, and look at you or people like you with more than a bit of jealousy). Maybe we just can't have it all...

  16. If you were to look at my "social media life" you would think I had it sorted on the friendship front but I don't and no group of girls ever do. I feel completely the same, on the outside, not quite getting it and its been my friendships that cause me the most stress in my life not my relationship. It's been something that's on my mind a lot lately and to see another blogger highlight this post was like a reassuring hug. As much as a group might seem super tight and close don't buy into it you can be sure there is bullshit going on in the background. I love my girls but the older I get the less patience and time we seem to have for each other so I prefer to see them less regularly and then genuinely enjoy the time with them as opposed to forcing it and coming away resentful. But if s#'t ever hits the fan I know I've got them which is amazing.Hope I made some kind of sense x

  17. I think you're very brace for writing this and in all honesty I think more people feel like this then they care to admit. Parts of this felt like how I feel. I was bullied at school and I think that has mounded the way I am now. I'm new to blogging and see how everyone gets on so well and struggle to know how to even start that. There's a few that I chat to regularly now but go to an event? The thought terrifies me!
    It's because we're adults and we over think things I'm sure! X

  18. I've always felt the same. I thought I was the odd one out for feeling this way. But in reality I think that most people feel like this - at least at some point in their lives, even if not forever. In fact it's something a group of people I know through the Open University have been discussing - it turns out those of us who post regularly all feel the same way. I'm not talking one or two people, but the majority of the group.

    Don't ever feel you're alone in feeling out of place and unsure how you fit in. Social media - and in fact movies, tv series etc, all make it seem as though people all have their besties. It's a fictional construct. You and I are not the only ones who have spent our lives feeling a little awkward and not knowing how to fit in.

    I discussed this with my husband a few weeks back; I explained that I'd never felt as though I'd fitted in, that I don't know what to say or when to speak in a group situation. He said that most people felt that way and just faked it. I wasn't sure I believed him until we all started discussing it in the group.

  19. You are not alone. I feel like I could have written this, in fact I have a half written, millions of times edited version of a post very similar to this one in my drafts. You are much braver than me and have managed to be incredible and actually post it!

    Finding friends is so hard as an adult. I found it hard enough as a child! Where should these friends come from? It sometimes feels like we are supposed to pluck them out from thin air. I feel like when I do find a friend to talk to I just don't do enough to be a good friend and be there for them when they need it (that matters right?). It's such a hard and lonely place to be!

    As parents it should be something we can find, we encourage our children to do it but should we just try to follow that advice. Can it be translated into a way that is acceptable as adults? Sorry I probably haven't helped at all!


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