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The importance of fitting into society

Updated on August 26, 2014

By Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin

What are your views on fitting in?

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“It’s better to be a misfit than a one-size fits all.” -Mandy Hale

Mandy Hale, affectionately known in social media circles as The Single Woman, knows all there is about being a misfit. She entertains everyone on the Twittersphere with her anecdotes about life and her steadfast desire to stay single.

She will find a like-minded expert in myself. Misfit is my middle name. My small-size and tendency for weight gain when I was younger made me a sore thumb. A love for literature and poetry set me apart from my largely mathematically inclined classmates.

As a typical teenager, I wanted to blend in with the crowd. My against-the-grain uniqueness made me an object of much ridicule.

These days, I would not want to change a thing. Being a freelance writer still sets me apart from others, including family members.

I happily and proudly survived being a misfit. I still am, thankfully, a key that does not fit many locks.


A misfit may have difficulties fitting in, owing to existing biases and his own tendency to go against the grain. He is a key that is hard to turn for a few reasons.

a. He defies convention.

A misfit, of course, goes against norms. You will never find him doing anything according to convention. His insistence on being different may make him a source of annoyance or at worst, an utterly disliked figure.

His tendency to bend or break rules may cause others to tug their hair in frustration.

b. His perspective differs from others.

The misfit’s constant moves against conventional flows arises because his perspectives and focus on life differ from most in his social circles.

He embraces alternative views more easily than others and dares to expose his own differences.

c. People find it hard to get used to differences.

These differences are not palatable to all. The misfit finds it hard to fit in when others find it hard to appreciate the value of the unconventional.

People always show some degree of resistance to the new and strange, including the misfit himself.

d. He looks different.

To add to his sometimes different perspectives, the misfit often looks different. His sense of fashion is his own. If the misfit is like myself, he simply does not look as tall, slim or quite simply, “normal” as others.

Again, people, by default, find differences in appearance strange.

e. He believes that he does not need friends.

A misfit is sometimes one of his own stubborn doing. He firmly believes that he can stand on his own and needs no friends.

This recalcitrant attitude jams him in any lock.

Fitting In Is Not Belonging

2. Must He Always Fit?

Fitting in is always a necessity at times, At others, it is redundant.

The misfit, like everyone else, has the right to his own ideas and passions. He realizes that there is no need to always fit in, because there will always be others who disagree with him.

He knows that if differences do not exist, there is no progress.


3. How to live life as a misfit

If you are the misfit, whether by choice or by circumstance, how do you manage life as one? The customary pitfalls and obstacles are, after all, part of the package.

a. Discover your sense of belonging.

Start by discovering your sense of belonging. Acknowledge that you belong, above others, to yourself.

Claim ownership and pride in your ideas.

b. Celebrate your differences.

That means celebrating your little quirks and habits. They are not to be condemned, but appreciated as part of what makes you YOU.

c. Bond with like-minded souls.

They may be few and far between, but there will always be like-minded people who share your thoughts. Seek them out for support.

d. Realize that you do not always have to prove yourself.

Know too that you do not always have to prove yourself to others. While giving respect to other views, live life on your own terms. You deserve it more than anyone.

e. Your own passions are important.

Lastly, realise the validity of your own passions. We are here to fulfil different purposes, and all of them contribute to the fullness of life.

The passions of everyone, including yourself as a misfit, are important.

4. Conclusion

If you are a misfit, take pride and revel in it.


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    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, we need a place to fit in at times, no matter how reserved we are. Thanks for sharing, Crisslina.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      we all need a place where to fit in, we're social human beings and we

      need others. at least, this is my conclusion - someone who used to be selfish with personal time and space

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Voted up and interesting. Enjoyed your hub. I always enjoy being different and it bothers me to no end having to fit in.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I did have a problem fitting in a group well that was a racial issue. Your suggestions are so helpful. I don't care if I fit in or not because I am fine with the way I am.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Amended, thanks for the tip! Yes, we are better people because of it!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Bill.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you, Cristina!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Nithya!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thank, Brie!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Janet!

    • Relationshipc profile image


      6 years ago

      Even though everyone seems to love the quote as is, I think the initial quote should be one-size fits all. Just thought that because it is a quote, you may want to correct it.

      That said, I agree! I have always been a misfit. I have always dressed differently than my peers and my perspectives are different. I've never felt the need to conform just so other people will like me, and I think I'm a much happier person because of it.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love the title and the spirit of this article. I love being a misfit, although it was not nearly as enjoyable when I was young.

    • CrisSp profile image


      6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      From the starting line: “It’s better to be a misfit than a one-side fits all.” -Mandy Hale to the finish line: "If you are a misfit, take pride and revel in it." --Great thinking! Interesting hub!

      Up and sharing.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 years ago from Dubai

      Interesting hub, I love the way you have started the hub with a great quote -“It’s better to be a misfit than a one-side fits all.” -Mandy Hale. Great hub!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 

      6 years ago from Manhattan

      A very well written and thoughtful article. I am the black sheep of my family so I know what it's like to be a misfit. I don't mind it so much, however, it's awfully nice to have support from other misfits. That and my faith keep me going.

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 

      6 years ago from Georgia country

      I think I have been a misfit all my life but I don't think it has to be something negative. Thank you for sharing this interesting and thought-provoking hub.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      That's why we have to learn how to appreciate others!

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Nick Deal 

      6 years ago from Earth

      I like the idea of encouraging people that already identify themselves as misfits. I always worry that when we tell people to go off and be who they are without thinking about others, that they just end up isolating themselves in the worst way possible. We're all part of the same human family, but we have our own unique characteristics and purpose.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Fitting in is important, but not always necessary.


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