Ever feel like you simply do not fit in anywhere? Listen, if you don’t “fit in,” you’re probably doing the right thing. You do not have to experience life in the way you’ve been told to. Even if you are an all-time extrovert, I’ll bet there have been times when you have also felt off-kilter in social situations.

Whether we know it or not, we all feel the need to belong. After checking out your “friend’s” Instagram, you can surely feel like an outsider. Believe it or not, you just may be in the wrong crowd. Maybe he thrives on huge gatherings and supersized parties. You crave one-on-one meet ups with deep convo.

Where don’t you “fit in”? At work, school, with family or friends or even in your community? First off, if you feel the need to change who you truly are, you may never feel like you belong, because after all, that is not your true self.

Trusting people can be unnerving. I know. But in order to connect with others, we have to give them certain level of trust. Find something you have in common with her, even if it’s just loving chocolate. Hey, I just got over my addiction to chocolate, marshmallows, and nuts. I won’t lie, it was a Rocky Road. You know I try to eat healthy. But every time I try, a chocolate bar looks at me and snickers. But seriously, make an effort to try to find some similarities.

Please avoid oversharing at first. Don’t ask him overly personal questions until you solidify your relationship with him. If you respect her privacy, the friendship will unfold naturally in due time. If someone does not open up to you, do not take it personally. Some tend to be more private about their lives than others.

We all have strong views about hot topics. Tread carefully if you discuss politics or morality, please. It’s been said: What this country needs are more unemployed politicians. Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks. So, what do you do when someone in a group says something you disagree with? Remember that to disagree, you do not have to be disagreeable.

You don’t need to be identical to her to be friends. You may not have the same taste, hobbies, or even favorite sports team as him. Speaking of hobbies, one of my favorite hobbies is time travel. I do it from time to time. So, what does a lawyer wear to work? A lawsuit... Oh, I really should get a hobby...

But, truthfully, it’s not uncommon to have different interests or passions than some of your friends or loved ones. It’s alright not to have a strong position or point of view on everything.

Not into the latest “trend”?  It’s been said: “Fake is the new trend, and a lot of people seem to be in style.” With so many things coming back in style, bet you can’t wait till intelligence and morals become a trend again.

Always try to understand why people feel the way they do.  Don’t tell him that he is foul, flawed or wrong for his perspective or point of view. One generation is using walking sticks and the next is using selfie sticks? While some children retain the opinions and ways of thinking of their parents; some do not. But as they say: If you’ve never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent. You know when you tell your kids you’ll do something in a minute, what you’re really saying is: “Please forget.” Speaking of kids, two mysterious people live in my house:  Somebody and Nobody. Somebody did it and Nobody knows who.

Not all family members will be able to offer you what you need emotionally. It’s alright to stick with safe topics and veer away from the hot topic of the day with them. Sometimes you may just prefer to play a board game, go to a baseball game, or just go to the batting cage with him instead. Like they say: It aint over till the fat guy swings.

Remember that although it may appear that way, socializing does not come naturally for everyone around you. Many feel the very same feelings that you do.  Still self conscious? If you want to make a difference, you have to be willing to be a little different. Remember, sweet friends: Your uniqueness is what makes you stand out. After all, isn’t an original much more valuable than a copy?

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.