Is It More Valuable to Fit or to Embrace Your Differences?

  • Reading time:11 mins read
young man and woman with plaid shirts on

Are you different? We’re all different. We have all learned how to conform to normalcy. And, that honestly doesn’t come naturally to many of us. Growing up and being different, means that we all have tried to fit into certain groups and cultures to make us feel accepted. However, learning to accept being different doesn’t always come easy for many of us because it looks and feels different for all of us. We just have to decide is it more valuable to fit in or learn to embrace our differences.

Consequently, there are mornings you wake up and think that it may be better if it could just fit in and just be like everyone else. It just seems easier to avoid the disparity to gain some sense of ‘belonging’. Whatever belonging means… Then, you ask yourself – “Belonging to what?” Belonging to a mundane, close-minded, innovative-less, in-the-box-thinking kind of people.

For those reasons, you snap out of it. And, decide you’ll stay the course with what makes you happiest. Your different-ness is who you are.

Since the being of preschool and beyond, we have been taught that our culture, values, and beliefs shape who we are.

That may be true, and many still believe it.

What Shaped Your Different-ness?

However, I believe that’s until we decide what is best for us. Over time, we practice our association with groups, cultures, values, and beliefs. Once we’ve found that comfort, that becomes our normal. Next, we strive for others to embrace our different-ness.  

In the past, being normal, or fitting into certain groups was too difficult and risky. Besides, no one has been born with the abilities to meet the world’s expectation of “normal,” so we spend our days conforming to a checklist or explaining ourselves over-and-over in hopes others will eventually be able to make sense of our differences. 

Secondly, we have found ourselves connecting to groups and people that didn’t have a clue about what we were talking about. So, in short, to pass the time you change the subject to find something a little more neutral for you to talk about. The change of subject was the best thing to do to keep you both sane for a while. If not, it was going to be a long night of explaining and frustration. 

groups of people talking and standing around

Besides, no one has been born with the abilities to meet the world’s expectation of “normalcy,” so we spent our days conforming to a checklist or explaining ourselves over-and-over in hopes others would be able to make sense of our differences.

Apart from this, it seems easier to self-isolate because it’s annoying to start the process of explanation every day. 

Unlike many, I made the decisions to become a vegetarian years ago. Oh Boy! You see where I’m going with this already. There were times I went to lunch with a small group of people. During my lunch break, of course, I ordered something that looked different from others–no meat. It was such a shock for the group. So, I could enjoy my meal because I spent my time explaining my vegetarian-ness. To say the least, I was downright frustrated.

I spent an hour merely talking about subliminally “Why I chose to be different.”

Obviously, We Are Not Communicating

This is only one example. My vegetarian-ness had become the focus of the conversations around the lunch table, making me feel a bit weird because I didn’t eat like everyone else. And, the more I explained myself, the less I had in common with other people supposedly around the table. 

Another reason my different-ness has made so many people uncomfortable, I made a choice about being a Christianity. I wanted to streamline the people I would be “hanging out” with, that are like-minded in their Christian beliefs. And, I no longer wanted to hang out with people who were doing unhealthy things to their bodies and taking mind-altering drugs or consuming high levels of alcohol to help them cope with their different-ness.

After all, I don’t think they’re bad people, but it’s not impressive for me a Christian to have conversations or furthermore to be in midst of those individuals talking out of their minds, usually, about things they have no business talking about. 

That’s a whole other different discussion within itself.

In conclusion, despite the hassles and the isolation many of us have to face because of our different-ness, I’m sure you would agree with me, the isolation and your different-ness has been the best decision you could have made for your own sanity. 

It was for me…

It’s so refreshing not going to a restaurant and sitting for long hours trying to explain my reasons for being who I am. And, afterward, feeling more drained, and regretting I ever accepted the invitation in the first place.  

Lastly, I hope you’ve embraced your different-ness. No! You’re not weird. No! There’s nothing wrong with you. You are DNA-ed like everyone else. Yes! You hurt. Yes! You get angry. Yes! You get frustrated. But, you’re the happiest being who you desire to be, and fortunately, that doesn’t look like everyone else. 

And, that’s okay. 

But those doggone differences are bound to show up every time you socialize. It’s inevitable. 


Now, let me give you some tips to help you work through your different-ness. 

4 Reasons to Embrace Being Different

Embrace You.

This is hard to do because no one else in the room shares your differences. And, they shouldn’t because being different is who you are. You’re daring to live your own life, on your terms of what’s normalcy. Don’t look back. Don’t regret not fitting. You’ve just decided to be a little more interesting. Hug those differences and be grateful for them. 

Connect with friends who understand you

There are people who will embrace your differences and think you’re pretty awesome to be around. As they believe you are pretty awesome to be around, I’m sure the feelings are going to be mutual because of their different-ness. Don’t be shy. Put yourself out there and dare to be amazing that’s how you’ll connect to others that are open-minded and accepting. 

Allow your different-ness to work for you.

Also, being different means you stand out, even when you try to hide it. That’s a good thing. It means you don’t fit into the status quo, and you’re able to explore new territory. Your different-ness will give you the opportunity to learn more about people as they learn more about you. These are huge advantages to living the life you desire to live. 

Feel comfortable being alone.

Many times people struggle being in the room with themselves. Take the opportunity to find out more about your likes and dislikes. Also, talk to yourself, you’ll find that you’re the greatest company or friend that you will find. Be the life of your own party. Enjoy the things that you like to do. And, finally, don’t think of the time alone as “lonely.” Think of it as spending time with your best self. There’s no other person on the face of the earth like you. 

Be encouraged. Embracing your different-ness is not going to happen overnight, nor is it easy. But, you should be determined; it’s the only way you want to live.

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