Why do we try to be like others?

The feeling inside us to be like others is instilled from a very early stage of our lives because of the society we live in. When we are little, playing in the park in the playground, we first begin to notice the differences between ourselves and other children, and we start to mirror the behavior of a dominant group in order to be accepted by them. This mimicry continues into school, high school, and all the way into adulthood, when we unintentionally or unconsciously try to be like others.

Some of us, however, are unable or unwilling to sandpaper ourselves down in order to fit within society’s expectations. The more I delve into this, the more I believe there is a little unbelonging in all of us. We spend our lives attempting to disguise it, but if you scratch the surface of yourself, you will find that it is who you are and what makes you, you. I have always tried to fit in with the people around me at school, even if it didn’t bring me any joy. After a while, I realised I am my own kind of person, and will never be them. The right people who appreciate the true me have always found a way to be in my life.

Perhaps it would be empowering to embrace our differences, rather than fear them. Instead of living our lives in monochrome, it may be more fulfilling to search for the variance and colours, and we can then allow ourselves to be accepted for who we truly are – not for the fragments of our characters we allow people to see. The view from this side can turn out to be the most interesting we ever imagined, and we could very well discover that unbelonging is actually a belonging all of its own.

Feeling accepted means you are part of something, you belong, you have a tribe – and oh that feels good! On the other hand, when we’re not liked, it’s rejection, exclusion, we feel different and weird – and that feels… not too great! However, the less you try to be like others, the happier you will be with yourself. After a while, all the fitting in gets simply exhausting. You find beauty in being yourself. So, why try to fit in when you were born to stand out? Embrace your individuality and take pride in who you are.

⁃ SaaniaSparkle 🧚🏻‍♀️

90 thoughts on “Why do we try to be like others?

  1. Agreed, Saania. Others have commented, you reveal a maturity and a profound understanding of our culture, and my regard joins theirs. This is one case in which “the crowd” isn’t wrong, no?

    In fact, for a moment, allow me to speak for the impulse to fit in, as people rarely do so, really. After all, there are good – and yes, valid – reasons people act the way they do. Forming a coherent unit unifies our efforts and often (though certainly not always!) allows us to accomplish more good than we would’ve otherwise.

    That said, I always have been on the outside. Certainly less so as an adult, when people tend to accept differences more readily, but still, the “in” group always eludes. I flatter myself that this is because I’m special, but really, is it? Could be, I’m just…odd.

    There you have it, the two competing urges that animate all humans – to fit in, and to be an individual. Negotiating this terrain is challenging, and difficult. Yes, but above all, it’s interesting too. Thanks for the thoughtful introduction, Saania!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Unbelonging… I like that term. There are many things that may make us feel uncomfortable through our unbelonging. When we are young we want to belong here or there, and not doing so makes us sad. But remember that it feels GREAT to un-belong to groups we don;t like. I am very happy to un-belong to a group if they are mean or arrogant. That goes against how I think people should behave, what we call ethics and morals. So if you find yourself sad that you don’t belong, that is natural and OK. be happy that you don’t WANT to belong to many groups.

    Plus, you are a teenager. All of us older people who were teenagers like you felt the same way. Not belonging is how a teenager learns many great lessons in life, so if you want to belong and don’t there is something good to be learned from it. ALL of the greatest scientists, musicians, philosophers, mathematicians and so on didn’t belong at one time or another… especially when they were teenagers. As long as you don’t un-belong from what is good and wise in life you will be fine… 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Being yourself is the easiest thing to do which leads to self happiness which should always be the primary.
    Great post Saaniya. Always love the way you express.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Love this. Unfortunately too many people ‘sandpapering’ in order to fit in and miserable inside. I’m still learning to be myself after years of trying to fit in and being what was expected of me.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Have you ever read “Braving the Wild” by Brene Brown? She differentiates between “fitting in” and “belonging.” When we try to “fit in,” we try to be like everyone else. When we “belong,” we are free to be ourselves, even if we aren’t exactly like everyone else. Fitting in is a misguided attempt to belong.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. I want to live my life in bright splashy colors! I love colors, big splashy flowers, and sometimes skimpy tops, even if I am not a skinny sweet young thing. I want to dance, and sing songs and laugh till I can’t anymore, then I hope everyone else dances and sings!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Thank you for visiting my site and it has led me here! I’m glad to know your site…I also enjoy philosophy, psychology, and how to be true to myself.
    Have a wonderful weekend and happy writing. Looking forward to reading more of your posts. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wow , this was great . I literally felt I was like this once but I used to understand sometimes and stop it by myself before I fit in. I could stop before it move on. Enjoyed reading this. It was wonderful. The best line: The less you try to be like others, the happier you will be with yourself. This means alot. Well written 👍👏

    Liked by 3 people

  9. The ultimate happiness from inside is when we live the life the way we love to be and more importantly the way we wish to get accepted while doing so. Enjoy life and have great time.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. It is sometimes just an innocent phase when children emulate others then they grow out of it.

    Some children are not given sufficient attention, guidance and encouragement from their parents because even some parents aren’t secure enough within themselves, or are followers of the crowd too.

    I am someone who was always very unique and unafraid to be myself especially when I began to fully discover myself at age fifteen.

    I had a strong mother who I could always go to and she never criticized my unconventional ways of thinking and behaving instead she was proud of me and encouraged me to be who I was.

    Some people called me strange others called me ahead of my time. A lot of people liked me some people did not like me and caused problems. I did not care one way or another.

    There were a lot of people who were very jealous of my character. And, jealousy will cause people to compare themselves and to compete with another. These jealous people wanted to be like me, hated me for not being anything like them and doing the same things that they were doing, and for not getting caught up in the same things that they were doing.

    People get intimidated when one goes against what is so-called normal and they want to destroy you. I am a fighter so I defeated them within that situation (it is a long and interesting true story).

    There are others who want to be like others out of admiration which is harmless but that should just give them inspiration to self improve on whatever it is they feel they are lacking or are unsatisfied with by digging into themself to bring out their own individual capability and beauty.

    It takes courage, strength, and confidence to genuinely be oneself and one has to be prepared to deal with the unnecessary nonsense from certain others who lack particular knowledge in human distinction within a world that caters to what is  familiar.

    I think what helped me is that I really never cared what anyone thought and was not afraid of confrontation, and I always stood up for myself regardless of the consequences, and I always spoke the truth and spoke my mind.

    I, of course, have been called crazy by ignorant folk, but that is their problem none mine. Their thoughts, actions, or words will never stop me from loving myself, will never stop me from doing whatever it is that I want to do, and most of all it will never stop me from being me.

    People will try to change or manipulate people to fit into their category or into what they want them to be in order to control them or to feel equal to them.

    The problem lies within oneself. Many people reflect their own insecurities onto others and respond negatively. They assume everyone is aligned to their way of thought and emotion when everyone is not.

    Some people only hang around and are only used to a certain type of crowd within their circle and cannot relate to others who are diverse.

    Everyone is not on the level and when they also lack self-esteem they lack reasonable judgment and open- mindedness.

    To each his or her own, however, I welcome others to be who they authentically are and to not be persuaded by what is common if common is not who they truly are.

    Sorry for the novel. When we are writing it is different from talking, hearing one another’s voice, then being able to answer each others questions then explain further in detail so we can get a better understanding, or clarity.

    Through writing limited words, we may not all get the full spectrum of what one is expressing and things get misinterpreted or one may not fully get their message across.

    I just wanted to elaborate a little on different other aspects of the situation in regard to your topic.

    Great post by the way. You’ve touched on a valuable subject.

    Have a blessed day.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Credo che il confronto con gli altri sia essenziale per due motivi: capire quanto può essere utile assorbire da altri possibilità di cui noi siamo carenti, affermare noi stessi se riteniamo che il nostro io è ciò che veramente desideriamo.
    Quello in cui credo è che non mi piace emulare o voler uguagliare gli altri a tutti i costi.
    Preferisco sicuramente migliorarmi ase incontro positività, completarmi in alcune carenze, ma assomigliare agli altri no. La propria individualità va preservata, soprattutto in questo periodo storico dove l’emulazione è largamente “propagandata” soprattutto dai media (tramite pubblicità, talk shw..) e dai social…

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Loved your post Saania, you share some very important observations. We need to be able to accept peoples different-ness, the uniqueness they bring into the world and for which they were created, and it takes grace and love to embrace each person and appreciate them in their own quirkiness. Very well written for a 17 year old, and very insightful counselling material. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Bonjour

    La douceur de vivre c’est :
    C’est un café avec une amie, un baiser volé, un message inattendu
    C’est le regard amical d’un passant
    C’est répondre au téléphone et entendre avec surprise la voix de ceux que nous aimons
    C’est une bouffée d’air frais après une journée enfermée dans une pièce
    C’est un sourire
    C’est une promenade au soleil après des semaines de pluie
    C’est un nouveau parfum
    C’est le sourire d’un enfant
    C’est une confidence entre sœurs et frères
    C’est d’entendre la voix de ses enfants
    C’est notre chanson préférée à la radio
    C’est une émotion soudaine
    C’est la pleine lune
    C’est un câlin affectueux.
    Mon Amie Ami passe une agréable semaine avec tes proches et ceux t’entourent
    Bisous D’amitié BERNARD

    Liked by 2 people

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