Have you walked up to a person, tried to flirt and then realized he/she was a bit awkward? Have you ever came across a person who does not interact much at all at gatherings, says “hi” and just stands around watching others interact? This person may have recently joined your friends circle or may be a friend’s significant other. Have you tried to start a conversation with this person and somehow managed to not hit it off because the topic was supposed to be something fun and generic but eventually escalated into an intense issue which you would prefer not to discuss in a fun environment? Have you asked yourself why the person even came through to the party if he/she was not going to socialize? Did you question whether the person likes your friend circle or not and if that was the reason why things seem a bit cold?
If you already recognize this person in your life, great! If you are that person, fabulous!! Because guess what? I am that person.
Yes. I am a self proclaimed misfit and a pretty one at that. I am the person who goes to social events and does little socializing, the person who turns the simplest topics into something that’s cultural or news related, someone who does not know the ABCs of flirting, and someone who does most of the watching and listening. Sometimes I feel like I just don’t “fit in”.
Growing up, a typical week for me consisted of going to school, coming back home, and going to church on the weekend. No hanging out with friends, no trips to the mall, no pizza or ice cream outings. Just school, home, church, and repeat. Any social interaction I had was at school, church, and at the grocery store. So probably why as an adult I don’t see why now I need to go out of my way to socialize?
Although I had a fairly sheltered life, in college I was involved in three different student organizations. Being in a leadership role means interacting with your peers, event planning and coordinating, and overseeing operations to make sure everything is going as planned. So no, my almost anti-social childhood did not affect my “people” skills. I am not fully an intovert, because I do enjoy going out to social events. Neither am I an extrovert – obviously.
Being a misfit seems like an inconvenient personality trait to have, doesn’t it? Well, initially when you began venturing into the social world, you may have found it odd how other people were able to carry conversations for hours and have a good time. If you were “pretty”, you are automatically defaulted into this socialize-able category which makes it a harder hit when someone realizes you are not what they thought you were. Sometimes you could not help but ask yourself “Why am I so weird?” However, through my years in college and several social events, I saw the positive side of this quality of mine. Yes, I called it quality instead of a trait.. and I have four reasons why you should be proud and continue to embrace it.
1. Living on your own terms
You do not seek approval of anyone other than your family. You go out when you like, socialize with the people you choose, and do what you want to do. No small talk, you answer questions the way it needs to be answered and continue conversations if you want to.. Or else you gladly move on. You would not have to worry about preparing that awkward speech you have to give a person about how you are not interested, you are not single, things are complicated..etc. You wouldn’t even have to worry about being hit on by friends of friends since word goes around and by now even though everyone may not know your name but it is very likely they know the kind of person you are. Remember, it’s a small world and people talk! But that’s okay! You are doing you and being you. You are real.
2. Independent decision-making
Since you’ve been your best friend all your life, you’ve developed the ability of making your own decisions. You may ask others for their two cents, but what they think matters less. You jump into what you feel is right and most of the time, your decisions have gotten you the best results. This ability to listen and only depend on your beliefs is a strength the average person may be lacking.
3. Surviving without the social scene
You enjoy going out, but you also enjoy staying in. Not being invited to social events feels like a vacation handed to your where you get to spend more quality time with yourself. From time to time you may question why your are home and not enjoying the social world, but then you look around, smile and tell yourself “This is my world”. You do not feel imprisoned or threatened of losing popularity during the non-social days because as simple as it is, it not a big deal. You are absolutely secure about your social relationships and the relationships you and your friends share, and probably have other more productive things keeping you occupied.. like Netflix. Hey, a girl needs her OITNB fix.
4. You are unique
If you are the misfit, chances are that is because you are different. You’re not interested in their type of fun, or clothes, or just attitude towards other people or life in general. It could be several things or just one that sets you apart. I say be glad you have an identity! You should rather want to be a one man/woman show than a groupie. It showcases confidence and strength in yourself that many people who hangout in herds don’t have.
To sum it up, being a pretty misfit is a cross bread between an introvert and an highly self-sufficient person. Unfortunately, you may come off as bitter, rude or uptight to those who are social beings. You may be the kind of person someone would have to approach to get to know rather than the other way around. You may not be the one to initiate conversations or friendships and that is absolutely fine. Hence, you may be single for a long time before you find someone. Over time people who truly care will get to see the person you really are and they are the ones you will begin forming long lasting relationships with. Aren’t they the kind of folks you would want to hit the social scene with anyway?
So be proud and embrace who you are 🙂
Stay beautiful from within..
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