Transcript of Video
I’m answering a question submitted to Ask Amiee. This question came from Rivee, and Rivee says: “How do I fit in with other people?”
My answer for you, Rivee, is this… You probably are asking the wrong question. You really don’t need to fit in. In fact, as a young adult, it’s better for you to stand out than to fit in. All of the books that I’ve read about getting a job after school, and of course going through that myself, tend to point you in the direction of not blending in. I think if you talk to anybody who went through the process of having to find a career after school, you will find out that you really do want to stand out.
Now let’s get back to the initial question that you asked, though, because wanting to fit in is really code for just wanting a connection with other people. And hundreds of studies that have been done on happiness and the brain and how it acts in happiness really do show that one of the main keys to our happiness is having that connection with other people. And so that totally makes sense.
And so if what you’re looking for is connection, then there are a few easy tips I can give you. And a lot of these come from my own experience, chatting with others who have great relationships and also from books I’ve read on the subject. I’ve read a lot of books on happiness, relationships and communication. One of the best books, that has been around for a really long time and is one of the highest selling books ever, is called How To Win Friends And Influence People. I know it’s kind of a funny title, and it is kind of an old book, and probably not going to be the most fun read that you’ve ever had, but it’s got great information in it.
There are few things in there that I’ll share that really work and have been put to the test by myself and others.
- Take an interest in others. No matter who it is that you’re talking to, if you actually take an interest in them, you ask them questions about themselves and what they’re interested, and you’re a good listener, you’d be surprised how many of those people walk away from those communications thinking, “hmm, that person was really cool.” People like to talk about themselves, so if you take an interest in others, they take an interest in you. And eventually it gets reciprocated even if not that first meeting.
So taking an interest in others is one way to connect with other people.
- Another way to connect is to just be okay with who you are. So again that whole “fitting in” thing… I don’t think you should ever change yourself to fit in with others, but I think you could instead be really comfortable with who you are. I could say “be confident.” Confidence is not exactly the right term. Yes be confident in who you are, but people are so drawn to just authenticity. I think being authentic, being who you are and being okay with that, is actually more magnetic to people than any other characteristic you could try to portray without it being a 100% who you actually are.
So just be yourself and be okay with that, and people will actually like you just for that. It’s crazy how that works but it’s so true.
- The last thing I would say is… instead of finding a group and then trying to fit in with that group… it’s more effective to do the things you love and find the people who also love those same things. Then you fit in without even trying. They’re easy people to connect with when you have similar interests.
I tell people the same thing when they ask me about relationships. When they ask how to find that right person for them? I think one of the best ways to do it is to not even really look. Instead, just go out and be you. Do the things you love. If you like to play tennis or golf or you like to go to movies or book signings or one of the other million things out there… if you’re doing the things you love, you’re going to meet other people in the process of doing those things. There are so many groups you can join in a variety of interests. You can certainly find one that suits you.
When I moved to the Austin area, I joined the MeetUp group for tennis and made friends with others who also love tennis. You can find those types of things in community groups, school groups, Meetup.com groups, and more. Find other people who share similar interest. It’s funny how if you are doing the things you are already interested in, and you meet people who are also doing those things, it’s like you fit in already, without any effort.
So remember… be yourself. It’s good to stand out. You don’t have to fit in all the time. And if you’re doing things that you love, other people that are doing those same things are going to be your comrades anyway. They’re going to be people that are really easy to connect with.
If you get a chance, read the book. It really is a great book: How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie. The next time you have a question submit it to Ask Amiee. I look forward to hearing from you.
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