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“I don’t fit in:” Bob’s Advice to “Outsider”


I’m 10 and I feel like I don’t belong. The kids in school don’t see things the same way that I do. I have some friends, but I am different from them. I like my bigger family, but I’m not really close to any of them. Most of my grandparents live far away. None of my cousins are very close in age. My family loves me, but sometimes I wonder if I’m adopted. I don’t fit in anywhere. Am I normal?

– Outsider


It is nice to hear from you. Thank you for sharing, because you know what? I think a lot of kids, and even a lot of adults, feel like you do at times in their lives.

I have met and talked with a lot of people in my life. And I’ve read a lot too – and I have come across a lot people who feel like you. I believe it is part of the human condition to feel like what you described. Many people feel they don’t fit in. Humans are social creatures and for most of them it’s instinctive to search for a sense of belonging with other people. And if that feeling of belonging is lacking, it’s something people notice and often worry about.

Embrace your differences and be yourself! It’s okay if you see things differently from your school mates. It’s fine to be unique from your friends. Maybe that’s one of the things they like about you.

If everyone had the same opinions and preferences, what a boring world this would be. That’s what I think. Also, I think that even the most centered, most accepted, most “normal” people sometimes feel like they don’t fit in or they are imposters.

More on the Feeling of “I Don’t Fit In”

Jack Nollan has some great thoughts on the feeling of not belonging, such as, “You must be willing to put yourself out there if you want to accomplish anything, whether that is making new friends, finding acceptance, learning something new, or developing a career.” Okay, so the career part is something you don’t need to think about for a quite a while. But you can make decisions to reach out and do the things that interest you along with people who are also interested in some of the same things. That is a great place to start, with common interests.

If you want to read more about this “outsider” feeling that other people have as well, here’s a link to Jack Nollan’s full article which talks about eight reasons for feeling like you don’t belong.

In short, my answer to your question is, in my Bob Cat opinion, yes, you seem like a normal human kid to me!


-Bob Cat

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Jenifer Tull-Gauger Kyoshi

Children's picture book author/illustrator. Traditional karate teacher and practitioner. Loves drawing and all kinds of art. Also into animals, plants and Mother Nature.

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