No matter who you are, where you live, or how old you are, I will wager a guess that you’re just the same as everybody else: you want to feel a sense of belonging.
We all do. It’s what makes us human.
However, some people don’t find it all that easy to fit in. They feel like outsiders, and they struggle to find a group of people that would make them feel like they’re part of something bigger.
But if you feel like an outsider, that doesn’t mean something’s wrong with you. It just means you may have to seek your people for a little bit longer. What’s more, it most likely means you have a rare and unique personality – something you should be proud of.
And what traits define such a personality, I hear you ask?
That’s what we’re about to find out.
People who feel like outsiders usually share these 9 personality traits.
1) They are deep and critical thinkers
This trait is vital. Those who struggle to fit in tend to think deeply about things. They tend to have a very analytical mind.
And the fact that they view the world through a critical lens means that they see patterns others don’t, singling them out of the crowd.
If you spend your days pondering large societal structures, deep philosophical questions, and vast spiritual topics, there’s a high chance that small talk will bore you. As a result, you’ll find it a bit difficult to connect with people who don’t think about the universe in such depth.
It is wonderful to be a critical thinker. But it comes with its drawbacks – namely, the fact that you may feel like an outsider.
2) They have a rich imagination
Growing up, I used to feel like the odd one out quite often.
While others seemed so extroverted, so highly capable of making friends off the bat… I buried myself in fiction books and dreamed of becoming a witch, a vampire, and a dragon rider (just to name a few).
I wouldn’t trade my rich imagination for the world. It’s what paints my life colors of the rainbow. It’s what adds some flavor and magic to this world.
But unless you’re surrounded by other bookworms or artists, you may struggle to share your imagination with others, which might lead you to feel…
Yep. Like an outsider.
3) They are introverted
As you may have already guessed, people who feel like they don’t belong are often introverted. This isn’t a rule, of course, but it’s often the case.
While extroverts gain energy from social interaction, introverts recharge their batteries when they’re alone. That doesn’t necessarily make them shy, mind you – many introverts are very sociable and just need a lot of time alone after a social event to get their bearings – but the fact remains that a lot of introverts aren’t super outgoing.
They may keep to themselves and find it difficult to approach someone and befriend them, which easily makes one feel like an outsider because you simply can’t keep up with the rules of the social world you live in.
But remember that there are plenty of introverts with lots of friends out there. Sometimes, you’ve just got to step outside your comfort zone.
4) They are all about quality, not quantity
What’s more, you may not even need a lot of friends.
While many people thrive when they have a large social network, those who feel like a bit of a lone wolf prioritize the quality of their relationships above all.
You may only have two friends, but those two friends are extremely loyal, they make you feel like you can be your most authentic self, and they understand you on a deep level. And you would never trade them for thirty acquaintances.
A lone wolf’s preference for quality translates into other areas of their life, too. They can be quite picky when it comes to hobbies, passions, and career paths because they think so critically about everything that they struggle to just go with the flow.
Oh, and speaking of which…
5) They don’t just go with the flow
If everyone at school wears skinny jeans, that doesn’t mean that you’ll wear them, too.
If everyone at the workplace loves Jim, that doesn’t mean you necessarily have to fawn over him as well.
If you often feel like an outsider, it can be because you just refuse to do what everyone else does for the sake of fitting in.
You don’t want to pretend. You want to be fully yourself, and you express that – be it through your fashion choices, through your lifestyle, or through the opinions you stand up for.
And while we’re on the topic of opinions…
6) They stand up for what they believe in
…even though it’s hard. Even though all they want is to dig up a hole and hide in it because it’s them against twenty people.
But people who feel like they don’t belong are used to playing the underdog. They know that standing up for their opinion may separate them from the crowd even further, but their values are so very important to them that they would rather uphold them than fit in.
It’s actually very impressive.
As Sophie Scholl once said, “Stand up for what you believe in even if you are standing alone.”
7) They are wallflowers
A wallflower could be described as someone who feels excluded at social events – they keep to themselves, often find themselves on the outskirts of conversations, and they listen more than they speak.
But what makes wallflowers so very unique is just how great their observational skills are.
Since they aren’t concerned with stealing the spotlight for themselves or making an impression on other people, they can fully focus on analyzing the hell out of everything – including others’ personalities.
A wallflower will be able to tell who is faking confidence and who is genuinely self-assured. They will know who is in love with whom, who has just had a fight, and who is trying way too hard to impress.
In other words, wallflowers see through people. And while watching the world go by from the outskirts may feel alienating, it makes you an incredible observer.
8) They often feel misunderstood
Naturally, feeling like an outsider is often the result of feeling misunderstood.
When you try to confide in someone, they won’t relate to your experiences, making you feel even worse.
When you bring up a point that you deem very valid, others just raise their eyebrows, completely misunderstanding where you’re coming from.
It can be a very isolating experience to fight tooth and nail just to be understood so often.
On the other hand, though, this also means that you are so rare that your take on things is inherently unique, which can lead to new art, clever solutions to complex problems, and more.
9) They want to belong – they just aren’t sure how to do it
Even outsides want to fit in. We all strive to be part of something bigger. We all want to be surrounded by people who love us, accept us, and understand the darkest depths of who we are.
And even if you feel like an outsider, you can still find those people. It may take a little bit longer. You may have to work a little bit harder.
But your people are out there. So don’t give up. Be yourself, and the right friends will eventually find you.