As a child, you instantly recognized you didn’t fit in. Making friends was tough and you often hung out alone, even though you didn’t want to be. As you grew older, you began to realize that you stand out like the glowing full moon at the darkest hour, but deep down you wish you blended it so you could simply be accepted by others for once in your life. Being different is hard. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an upside to standing out. While it’s always wonderful to have a group of supportive friends and allies, having a distinct personality makes you special, wonderful, and dare I say memorable. In this article, we’re going to share the benefits of being different so you begin to own who you really are.
15 Benefits of Being Different When You Don’t Fit In
1. You can build a legacy
The most remarkable people in history are different. They did something extraordinary that no one else ever did. From standing up to human rights or celebrating their inner weirdness, the people you never forget have something that makes them distinct. If your whole life is spent in the mundane, doing what everyone else is doing, no one will remember you. However, if you’re constantly doing something different you’ll stand out. Whether you’re posting unique videos on social media or you’ve got a unique look that separates you from the crowd, you can build a legacy for yourself from being different. To become famous, many people often try to make themselves different to help them become well-known. You don’t need to put in as much thought or effort to do that, because you’ve got what everyone else has: a unique edge.
2. You can offer a unique perspective
Sometimes, people stand out because of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, or some other factor. It’s especially hard when what makes you different isn’t the norm or socially acceptable. However, no matter what makes you unique, you could offer a unique perspective that can be shared to others. A vegan can share their perspective on animal rights. Someone who struggles with mental health can offer empathy when another struggles with a hard time. A person who grew up in a rougher environment can share their story of overcoming obstacles. Being different simply means you know something that can help other people learn. Use your experiences to educate, help, and lift people.
3. People will still love you
Being different can make it harder to find “our people.” You may have a tougher time making friends, getting along with coworkers, or saying the right thing at the right time. While this is likely the hardest part of being different, it’s not a dead end. People who stand out may be more likely to polarize people, but there are just as many lovers and supporters as there are haters. You just need to find your people. Those who stand out might get along well with people who have similar interests, birthdays, careers, or lifestyles. Once you figure out what the group you belong to is, you’ll start looking for people who have that thing in common. You’ll find comfort knowing that you’re not alone, while feeling accepted by your group. You can fit in, you just haven’t found your group yet.
4. You stand out from the crowd
In a world of sameness, being different means you genuinely stand out. At times, being a wallflower seems to be more comfortable, or what we secretly crave. But when you realize you’re born to stand out, you realize you could lean into it. Standing out in a crowd allows you to achieve more in life. How can you land your dream job? By standing out from other applicants. What does it take to become famous? A unique angle. How can you go viral? By making something different. If you’ve got this extraordinary one-of-a-kind brain and personality that makes you think, look, and act differently, it’s time to lean into that. You never know where you’ll end up just for being different.
5. You’re honest and authentic
One of the benefits of being different is that you’re being true to yourself. When people don’t accept their uniqueness, they become inauthentic or dishonest about who they are. They may even hide their true identity and self. However, coming to terms with the fact that you’re a unique person allows you to become an honest and authentic person. And to be frank, that may be why there’s some resistance from other people. If you find yourself getting haters, it may be simply because they despise that you’re able to be your true self while they still feel the need to hide that aspect of themselves.
People who hide their true selves usually hate people who showcase their true selves because it’s a version of themselves they wish to be but aren’t ready to be yet. But stay true to your authentic self and help give people confidence as they come more out of their shells.
6. You know the boundaries
People who believe “I don’t fit in” don’t know how far the boundaries of their personality go. They often try to stay in their lane, to blend in, and do as other people do. They don’t know how far their personality can go. For example, if you’re looking to test yourself or how far you can go, you might push yourself to do activities you wouldn’t normally do. You might start taking riskier actions. A person might go skydiving despite telling themselves that they have a fear of heights. The person could complete the activity and say to themselves, “you know, I genuinely hated that activity.” But at least now they know that it’s not for them. Pushing boundaries helps you find out what you like and don’t. It’s totally okay to realize you have to set boundaries for yourself if something doesn’t jive with you.
7. You’re Brave
In a world filled with judgemental people, quick to tear people apart with a single comment, being different automatically means you’re brave. While we, too, would love to live in a world where being brave and being different didn’t go hand in hand, the reality is today they do. Standing out, putting yourself out there, and being judged for being a bit quirky isn’t an easy feat. However, your bravery gives people the belief that they could do the same thing. So don’t back down. For every person who writes a mean comment or criticizes you, there’s a person who looks at you and thinks, “I’m going to be myself today.”
8. You can speak multiple languages
While this one isn’t a guarantee for everyone, often people who think “I don’t fit in” can speak multiple languages. When we think of “normal” people we often think of people who look, talk, and act like us. If you live in South Korea, people who speak and look Korean are “normal.” Those who live in the United States, think people who speak English are “normal.” However, we’ve got a planet with a population of almost eight billion people. So, if you’re different you likely speak multiple languages. You might speak the language from your homeland while being in a country where that language isn’t the norm. Some people who are different have traveled a lot growing up so they can speak sometimes as many as five languages.
9. You’re not one dimensional
In the sea of sameness, people often expect people to fit in a box. If you have this one characteristic, then you also have these other fifteen too. Unfortunately, it’s hard to break away from bias and stereotypes. However, being different means you’re not one dimensional. You could be a Trekkie, working as a marketer, who plays violin, and loves dancing to Indian and Spanish music. You don’t need to check all the boxes of what a “normal” person does or likes just because you like one thing. Like anything you want. If your personality is a mishmash of different things, it simply means that you gave yourself permission to try more things to better understand yourself.
10. You can stand up for yourself
Instead of telling yourself, “I don’t fit in. What is wrong with me?” it’s time to realize that you’re standing up for yourself every time you celebrate being different. Showcasing your uniqueness means you value who you are and aren’t going to hide it anymore. Celebrate the fact that you’re alive and were given the opportunity to be your own person. Being yourself is a simple way to stand up for yourself every day without having to do anything extra. Don’t let people dim your shine, you’re not worthless, you’re a gem.
11. You live life on your own terms
Being different means you live life on your own terms. Of course, you still love and support other people when needed. But you beat your own drum. You don’t need to pretend to fit in to feel inner peace. Life is all about showcasing your uniqueness with the world. People deserve to know you. You bring an element into the world that people haven’t seen or experienced before. Let people hear your words, stories, and ideas. You could take people to the next level with your uniqueness. Don’t bow down to make life easier for other people but much harder for yourself. Keep being yourself, beating your own drum, and living on your terms. You know the value you bring to the table. Don’t change unless it’s a decision you’re making for your own self-growth.
12. You can be a huge success
One of the benefits of being different is that you can become a huge success. Bringing something unique to the table is what helps people and businesses thrive. Having a distinct unique element to yourself means that you stand out. And those who stand out become successful. If you’re super talented at something or have a unique look, there’s a way you could promote yourself to be successful. No matter what it is that makes you different, you can use it to catapult yourself to high levels of success. You could become a best-selling author, a famous influencer, or a supermodel for having distinct features. So embrace your uniqueness and use them to your competitive advantage.
13. You can provide empathy
Being different usually means you had a harder time in life. Standing out from the norm can make school, work, and life in general much harder. However, there’s a benefit that comes out of that hardship and it’s empathy. You likely can provide better support for those struggling with emotional pain. You’ve been there, at rock bottom, and learned how to climb yourself out of it. Those stories and experiences have shaped you so that you could help others down the road. Use your triumphs and hardships to help pull people out of their dark periods. Lift up the people who’ve been put down.
14. You’re interesting
You’re automatically an interesting person just for being different. If you don’t fit in, it’s because you have a unique angle to yourself that makes you stand out. Having conversations with you is always an unexpected experience because people never know what will come out of your mouth. It can be an enlightening experience to learn from you, hear your experiences, and grow from your stories. So speak up and speak out so that others can learn from your wild ideas.
15. You can handle stress
There’s nothing more stressful than a social situation when you’re different. Social anxiety can be particularly tough. When you don’t conform to societal roles, people will often try to make you more like them. This can add a whole lot of stress for you. You wonder why people can’t accept you for who you are. However, as life goes on, you become better at managing the stress of social situations without having to reduce who you are. While you might still experience stress (we all do) you’re better at handling it because you have so much experience at dealing with the rockiness of social settings. Use this experience to help people going through stressful situations.
If you’ve spent your whole life thinking “I don’t fit in” rejoice knowing that there are many benefits of being different that allow you to become better at providing empathy, help you succeed, and give you a whole range of wonderful aspects such as making you braver, stronger, and more honest than the norm. Okay, so you stand out a little bit, great. The world needs you to showcase that authenticity so people can come out of their shells too. In a world of billions of people, you’re a one-of-a-kind, and that’s the best thing that could ever happen. Can’t wait to hear your story.