Fit in

Fit in

There is a girl who is out for searching job, as we all know most of the youth is unemployed or or they are searching for jobs. Her parents are supporting her financially as well as emotionally for the same but they had given her time of two months to find the job. As she is of marriageable age, her parents are looking for guys for her and they have now started asking her to take her time, stay back there and join a gym to reduce her weight because she is a bit fat!! It’s the demand of the parents on behalf of the society that she should reduce her weight if she wants to fit in the criteria of marriage.

All humans had feelings of willingness to belong from the times immemorial. From the days of cavemen gregariousness have helped to ensure the human survival. They learned to fit in so they wouldn’t be outcasted, which could lead them to dying without the help of their group. Feeling the need to belong is instinctual and every human experience these feelings in their life. The key is to understand about oneself and there are people who will accept and love the person for no other reason than just the way one is! No one needs to belong to Society’s Standards of normal, but it’s always nice to belong to something that one loves and respects. “Fitting in” is not same as “belonging”. Belongingness is what others think of a person, like that person for what he has done or what he looks like and they connect with that person naturally. We are not supposed to make other people like us by changing ourselves for them, rather being ‘us’ – what we are. To “fit in” we need to be more than “O.K.”, but belongingness means “It’s okay even if it’s not okay”.

Normally, to fit in we use three things:

Conformity – It means change or modification in one’s behaviour or beliefs as a result of real or imagined group pressure. The group members may use different techniques to convince outsiders to conform to the group, including praising, criticizing, bullying, or teasing.

Compliance – It refers to a change in behaviour that is requested by another person or group; the individual acted in some way because others asked him or her to do so but it was possible to refuse or decline (Breckler, Olson, and Wiggins, 2006, p. 307), and the person may not like that change privately, for example, a friend’s plea for help, sheepishly prefaced by the question “Can you do me a favour?”

Obedience – It is a form of social influence where an individual acts in response to a direct order from another individual, who is usually an authority figure. It is assumed that without such an order the person would not have acted in this way.

Actually, we all want/try to fit in by doing certain things knowingly or unknowingly:

• Everyone wants smartphone because others have

• Going for vacations under social pressure

• Buying a car because your competitors/neighbours/relatives do have

• Avoiding home-made food and unnecessarily eating out on weekends for show off

• Brand conscious for salons, parlours and clothes due to social media or company one keeps!

• Trying to make Birthday and anniversary special by spending more money

• Grand weddings and family functions

• Sending children to the so called branded schools.

Basically the package of “fitting in” snatches away everything that makes one feel his/her existence. The person starts losing his uniqueness; it’s not unusual to be judged as different. Being different is a blessing too! Uniqueness makes one aware of his/her unique tasks he/she is conferred upon by God.

Finally, fitting in may drain one’s energy (psychological and physical as well), because the efforts made to fit in are really taxing. Sometimes the efforts are for the time being but to maintain that status quo one has to keep on putting and the person may always be craving for one more compliment, one more approval, one more acknowledgment that – ‘stop that’ – no one have to prove his/her existence! Going out for a club in school, join a sports team, going to a weekly book club, figure out what one is interested in and find out there is an organization for it, if not, make one. Willingness of person to fit in will be satisfied just by meeting others who share common interests.

“Don’t change so people will like you; be yourself and the right people will love you.”

Another incidence to quote here:

I went to a Club, meeting with my friend. He introduced me to his club members. They all welcomed me warmly- that welcome was with a glass of Whisky! I refused that and they started persuading me for the same with different logics and stories but I stuck to my point. Then, one of them said that we can’t quit at all because no guest would visit our place if we don’t drink or don’t offer drink to them! So, to fit in the society they must drink and offer drinks to others.

To find true happiness we must be true to ourselves, live our own dreams, and be proud of what makes us unique instead of feeling the pressure to follow the crowd.

People spend their lives in trying to fit in. They’ve always wanted to please other people, to make their parents proud and to receive approval from anyone and everyone – their family, friends, partners, bosses, and teachers. According Nathan Dewall, a psychologist at the University of Kentucky, acceptance in romantic relationships, from friends, even from strangers is absolutely fundamental to humans. But acceptance has an evil twin: rejection. Being rejected is bad for your health. “People who feel isolated and lonely and excluded tend to have poor physical health,” DeWall says. They don’t sleep well, their immune systems sputter and they even tend to die sooner than people who are surrounded by others who care about them.

Here is another real life story of trying to “fit in” and finding oneself which beautifully inspires-

“After sixteen painful reconstructive surgeries, I decided it was time to stop trying to get back a face that never would. My face had some shape but the scars would remain forever. Every time I looked into the mirror, I winced. Not anymore. Today, the image it reflects is a more confident me. In the movies, a beautiful face emerges from a scarred face after surgery/ (ies) but in real life, every surgery leaves more scars. The face complexion changes but now I am comfortable with the way I look, but it was tough reaching this stage. Before the attack, I was beautiful. I had a future, a dream. Now I live from day to day. I have no qualms about my face. I like my face. I don’t want to look beautiful anymore”

(Shirin Juwaley, attacked with acid by her husband, by Deshpande, January 07, 2012).

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” (Eleanor Roosevelt).

“Life is not for sacrificing ourselves to please others, living their dreams at the expense of our own”.

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