Why Do I Always Feel Like I'm Not Fitting In With Others?

Feeling like you’re not fitting in with others, can be emotionally exhausting, especially when it spreads to many spheres of your life including your work, your friends, your partner, and your family. There are many reasons why you may feel that you not fitting in with others in certain social situations or different social settings. From being in the wrong environment that really allows you to thrive, to feeling totally out of your comfort zone.

A tremendous amount of social anxiety comes from low self-esteem. Not knowing what your core limiting beliefs are can make you feel self-conscious in almost any social setting. A good social life with good friends and family members can still add a lot of social pressure for you that quite often you are just not up for. One of the most common mistakes that a person can make is not respecting their own boundaries when it comes to deciding whether or not they want to go out and be around a lot of people.

Not all people are social creatures. We are not wired the same way. You need to first know yourself well enough to say no when going out and being with new people, groups of people or going to new places, or even going out with your best friends doesn’t work for you. Your best interest comes first in most cases and goes a long way to making sure that when you are with a group of people you feel good about it.

Feeling good about yourself when you’re in any social group is always the key to having a great time and feeling like you fit in. Why? Because when you feel confident about yourself, have a good positive mindset, and know your true self, and then the opinions of others will not matter to you one bit.

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girl sitting on couch at party feeling alone and not fitting in with others

That thing that makes you “not fit in”, Be proud of it.
Nurture it. Because that’s your extra in the ordinary.
~ Myra S.


Martin Ward | July 4, 2021

A Therapist’s Perspective on feeling like we don’t fit in.

Feeling that we don’t fit in is a real challenge to our sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Isolation and feelings of loneliness are known to negatively impact our physical and mental health and wellbeing. 

As a social species, humans thrive on connection and belonging.  So, if you feel you don’t fit in, it can really impact your own self-view. 

This blog encourages a look at the bigger picture and how feeling that you don’t fit in could, in fact, be prompting you towards positive change across a range of areas, including your mindset, behavior, and beliefs. So, if you have ever felt like a square peg in a round hole, read on…

Claire Law

Why Do I Feel Like I’m Not Fitting In With Others Anywhere

We’ve all had a hard time, at one point or another, in our lives when we’ve felt like we just not fitting in with others.

Maybe we were with a group of friends or with co-workers or maybe with a group of people that we’d never met.

Human interaction can be daunting for all of us at times especially when we put ourselves in front of others when we’re going to be judged on our past work product.

Maybe when we’re making a major career change or taking a new job and you are a little uneasy about those first steps into that new world.

When you are in a crowded room full of people that seem to be enjoying themselves and having fun, but the sounds are numbed out and you feel like you’re not feeling like your fitting in, surrounded by other strange people, and you are alone in your corner you can just get up and leave!

Good people will not hold it against you if you need to take leave of yourself when it’s time for you to go, for whatever reason. The great thing about life in most situations, especially as time passes and we get a little older, we need to do things our own way.

The only way that you’re going to get to a better place and get your footing underneath you when you’re with other people and your feeling a little out of place, or they are just not a good fit for you, is to make the best decision for yourself as to what is best for you.

Should you stay or should you go? Tormenting yourself by staying when you’re just not into being somewhere with a group of people you not clicking with is simply not going to bring you the best result for you or for that matter, them.

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” 
~ Aristotle


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Know Thyself

This is a good time to get down to what the real problem or the elephant in the room that not fitting in with others really is about you. The real underlying reason why you may feel like you don’t fit in is that you are still unclear on who you are.

This lack of not really knowing yourself creates a constant lack of self-worth, low self-esteem, and confidence. Yes, it’s true, some people can go through their whole life not knowing who they really are.

If you still feel uneasy and out of place when with other people, you’ve most likely still not developed the self-esteem and the self-confidence to feel that YOU are in command of yourself or the room of people that you’re in.

You need to stop caring about what other people think of you.

Although it may sound cliché, it acts as an ‘umbrella reason’ for many other sub-reasons.

When you do not know who you are, or what you hold as core values and principles, it may be extremely confusing to be surrounded by people in an environment that makes you question whether you are at the right place.

If you don’t know where you stand, for example, in terms of your beliefs, it’s tough to fit in anywhere because no matter what happens, you do not have a moral compass to utilize to figure out how you feel about a certain situation.

For example, if you are surrounded by friends from your high school days who are all on their own journey and you aren’t sure of your own, or even of what you believe would be a great way to live.

You may feel like the way you are now has changed and you’re not fitting in with others and their views about life.

On the other hand, if you feel like you don’t fit in with your partner’s friends or family, it may have more to do with your self-conscious beliefs about how others view you.

For example, you may be worried about how they will perceive you and may have a tough time trying to let yourself let go and simply enjoy their company.

Perhaps this is something you can share with your partner and try to solve together. Building confidence and self esteem and learning to feel very comfortable in your own skin, well, there’s simply nothing like it. Confidence is personal power.

Acknowledge Your Environment

Knowing who you are, and the kind of person that you are can really help you make avoid putting yourself in the wrong environment and doing the wrong things that do not work well for you and do not allow you to thrive and be at your best.

Of course, there are times and certain situations that we get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time and have to wing it, but still, you know when to pull the rip cord and get out of there.

As human beings we like comfort and like to stay away from the “unknown”, simply as a survival mechanism, being in an environment that is not conducive to your personal development may feel like you are stuck, unable to move, or as though your legs were deep in quicksand.

When you aren’t sure of who you are, what you want, and what’s right for you, it can make it hard to feel like anyone you are part of a group that fits into this more comfortable view you have in your mind.

Similarly, if you are surrounded by an old group of close friends with completely different goals and visions, it may just be that you need to expand your circle and start surrounding yourself with like-minded people.

Otherwise, it can be tough to feel like you’re on common ground with other people, going in the same direction, and having different opinions.

As such, you feel like you don’t fit in, or like you are an outsider or an outlier.

Change is good, and being surrounded by individuals who are not in line with the vision you have for yourself may be the core reason why you do not feel like you fit in.

You see everyone walking by you in a straightforward manner, but all you want to do is turn right. Well, find the people who want to turn right with you!

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Feeling Like You’re Not Fitting In At Work

When it comes to not fitting in at work, not only is it emotionally draining, but it can make you so stressed that you feel completely burned out.

Not fitting in at work can be due to a lot of things, but often, it is because of a hostile work environment. It may be a good job and one that you truly like but the company culture does not align itself with your values.

You may have realized after not much time of being at the company that you have different values than a lot of the people you work with.

Perhaps your superiors have a different lifestyle and role with a set of values that rub you the wrong way.

During Covid-19 especially, many of us began to feel like we had to work twice as hard to prove that we were not hanging out on our couch all day. And even then, many extra hours later, we may still feel like we don’t completely fit into the team.

Perhaps you have a bad attitude at work, or perhaps you dislike your job. Or, maybe you thought you would love it but the feeling of not fitting in makes it really difficult for you to give it your 100%.

Alternatively, perhaps you do not fit in at work because you are overqualified or are too invested while other employees prefer taking it slow and simply fulfilling their job description.

Meanwhile, you like taking things head-on and like to give it your all. You propose new projects, and ideas, and have tons of problem-solving abilities.

This enthusiasm may not work with others as it showcases their lack of dedication to the job. In this case, your environment is what isn’t working for you! It’s not you, it’s where you are, who surrounds you, and the atmosphere you work in!

A similar cause for feeling this way is the imposter syndrome where you feel like you are a fraud or that you are not as competent as others think you are.

Between feeling like you need to prove yourself constantly and still feeling like you aren’t convincing enough, it may just be enough to make you feel like you don’t fit in the environment.

“Success is walking from failure to failure with enthusiasm.”
– Winston Churchill 


What To Do If You Don’t Feel Like You’re Fitting In

Knowing the root causes behind your feeling like you’re not fitting in is the key to figuring out what you can do about it.

If you feel like you don’t fit in, consider the following:

  1. Recognize how the environment around you may be affecting you. example: The type of nightclub you’re in might not be right for you.

  2. Decide it’s OK to be surrounded by like-minded people.

  3. Different people, new things, different things, and different places can be exciting. However, are they a good fit for you so you feel like your authentic self? The most unique individuals keep an open mind but decide for themselves what a bad thing is or a good thing is for themselves, not others.

  4. You may finally need a change in the group of friends you hang out with. Develop healthy relationships with people more like you.

  5. Know when outside influences or other people are pulling you in directions you would not normally choose to go in.

  6. You can simply leave a situation and environment that does not work for you as soon as you can.

  7. Accept that your work environment doesn’t fit with your personality traits. If so, you need to find a good place or company with a work ethic that connects with you and gives you a feeling of purpose.

  8. You are the only person who knows whether or not you suffer from low self-esteem, a feeling of self-consciousness, or a lack of self-worth or self-confidence. If so, you have some work to do yourself!

  9. Allow yourself to live in the present moment and engage with people of all ages so you can learn and grow as a person and not bend to the status quo. Be your own person!

  10. Go deeper into yourself and your own personal belief systems and see if these core beliefs are limiting you to the degree that you are not able to become your best self.

You have what it takes to make yourself feel like you fit in! It’s all a matter of working out what makes you feel like this and adopting a solution-minded, problem-solving mindset.

Martin (Marty) Ward

My Name is Marty Ward and I’m the creator and publisher of the 1-Vibrant-Life blog.

On March 8th, 1984, I sustained a traumatic brain injury in a car accident while I was driving to my day job.

At the time of the accident, I was having a fairly successful life as a musician in Chicago, which had included a recent appearance on Star Search 84′ with Ed McMahon and preparing to be included in the group’s major independent recording contract. 

However, after my accident, I was unable to perform or play my instrument. I was out of work and I had lost all confidence in myself and my abilities, felt lost and with no direction. 

My injury and my recovery led me down a path of self-improvement, and self-discovery which gave me my life back filled with many amazing experiences and a newfound sense of hope. Learn more about my story on the 1-vibrant-life about page. 

CBTCP Certification (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Certified Practitioner) | 10-16-2021  Certification From The Academy of Modern Applied Psychology, in The Transformative Science of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, CBT

claire Law

Claire Law is a UK-based Counsellor and Psychotherapist from Preston, Northern England. Claire became a therapist after a career of almost two decades of High School teaching experience. She’s also worked extensively in the Social Care and Charity Sectors, and as a Mental Health Advisor in Higher Education. Claire combines her current Psychotherapy practice with freelance writing on Mental Health, well-being, and Psychology topics. She has a passion for Social Justice and environmental causes.

Claire holds a degree from Nottingham University, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Leeds Trinity University College, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy from the University of Central Lancashire. She’s completed a wide range of extensive training and certifications in Domestic Abuse, Survivors of Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence, Suicide and Self-Harm, Expressive Arts Therapy, Gender Variance, Online and Telephone Counselling and Polyvagal Regulation developed by Stephen Porges, a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and “Distinguished University Scientist” at Indiana University.