Feeling like I dont fit in

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    • #52321

      Everyone at my job recently went out and I seen the pics on facebook. All the sudden I was in tears because I always feel like I dont fit in. I feel like I have to try really hard for people to even notice me. Plus most people tell me they never know if I am joking or not…I am a smartass. I am a nice/good person,so I dont understand why people dont like me..I also think I am too old to feel like this. Being a nurse is hard enough and fitting in just makes it even harder.
      Any advice?

    • #52326
      Miss. Conduct

      Hi Jess!
      First, I’d like to share with you my absolute and complete LOVE for Nurses ♡

      Now on to your questions about work. I have a few questions; How old are you? How many years of experience do you have in the field?

      Once you reply, I promise I will get right back to you!
      (I’ve turned notifications on)


      • #52472

        M.C Thank you I love what I do very much.
        I am 35 years old. I have 4 years as a nurse and 11 as a CNA.
        Kevinsuperspacey I was thinking about organizing a bowling and or paint night. I thought maybe this would help.
        Anomalocaria ok, I realize that we are not exactly normal but neither are other people. I have taken care of so many people….everyone has problems some just hide it better than others. I usually am the type of person that never asks for help even when I should. I would do anything for anyone even if I dont like you. I have a filter at work…which is the only place I have one. But I do apologize alot for interupting people etc. I do not ask anyone for accommadations ever. But I like people and I dont want to isolate my self. I have friends that love me and think I am great. I just wish some of them were at my job.
        My friends except me just the way I am thabkfully. But I also tell them to tell me if they feel like I am not in the moment with them etc

    • #52329

      Hi Jess

      I’m not a nurse but I do work in a hospital (Tele Tech). Feeling left out, especially around the people you spend time with almost every day, sucks – I’ve been there.

      Are there any staff events you can go to? I don’t know about outpatient places, but most hospitals I’ve worked at have always had charity walks, blood drives, holiday parties, ect. Also there are some events we need volunteers to help run (job fairs, free BP checks at community events, hospital tours for new grads/new employees). Those can be pretty fun too. Who knows? Maybe connecting with your coworkers outside their normal roles will help open a door.

      If your facility doesn’t have anything like that at the moment, you could talk to HR and help organize something or just invite people out on your own too.

    • #52459

      I’ve never fit in either, and I know it’s because ADD makes socializing with normal people almost impossible. Some time ago, though, I realized that I basically have a choice. ADD is MY problem, not other people’s. I can’t expect others to constantly accommodate or make excuses for me. I know what socially acceptable behavior is, and I know that some of it is difficult and exhausting for someone with ADD, so my choice is, I can stay very alert to my own behavior, or I can decide not to socialize. So, in professional settings I constantly monitor. Am I talking too much? Getting stuck on one track? Interrupting other people? Tuning out and looking bored when others are speaking> All of these behaviors are perceived by “normal” people as rude, and they’re right, whether I intended them that way or not. The fact that I have ADD doesn’t give me a pass on basic courtesy. In professional settings, it’s worth the extra effort to me, to be seen as competent and professional. But outside of professional settings it’s not worth the energy that constant monitoring takes, so I don’t socialize. It really helped my frustration level when I began taking that approach. But I also get that it’s a “tough love” approach that not everyone is going to be comfortable with. I just figure I have the right to apply tough love techniques to myself and it works for me 🙂

    • #52480
      Gary Walsh

      My worst times were Christmas at the office. No-one ever asked me to any functions and so when work finished early December 24, I used to retreat to the public library and read one of my favourite reference books – trains at war. One year I actually went to the movies alone then went home. Although it was supposed to be a festive joyous time, it was the same as any other day for me and I would wander home alone whenever. I am a teetotaller, I never knew any funny stories, and my network of work contacts after 20 years was zero. I got used to it, but it still hurt.

    • #52484

      I know what that feels like too.
      My grandma passed away and that besides my child was the last of my living family, so holidays are not a great time foe me either

      • #52538

        I used to be upset by always being alone on Christmas & other holidays, despite having family in my small town. But now I look forward to those days, because everyone else is busy with family and friends and I know there will be no demands on my time and attention. My “ritual” for Christmas is to go out and wander with a camera in search of wildlife (I can spend all morning photographing a muskrat if I want to, and not even feel guilty!), and then go home and warm up and watch movies with my cat on my lap, a very rare luxury for me, and far better than having to dress up and be social with people. Just took me a little while to realize it.

    • #52511
      Penny Williams

      Hi Jess!

      I feel for you. I have social anxiety and realized as an adult that I was never included because everyone thought I was stuck up, when I was really shy and afraid to talk to them first. All I wanted was to be accepted and included.

      What if you find friends in situations other than work, and don’t worry about the other nurses? The suggestion of company functions could be good. But I’m thinking you get involved in a hobby or area of passion and then it will be easier to relate to and engage with others, because you have more in common.

      Here are a couple helpful articles on social struggles when you’re an adult with ADHD:

      Finding New Friends

      Why Can’t We Be Friends?

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #53615

      I literally just went through this last Fiday night. My friends posted a picture of all of them holding paintings they had just created at a painting party. I cried. I wrote “what about me”? The response was short, “this was last minute”… It really hurts to not feel included. I don’t have a best friend, most of my friends are really just acquaintances. I feel pretty alone on the weekends. At work, I have a boss who hates me. She hangs out with all her favorites outside of the office, but me. At Christmas she invited her favorites to her house to bake cookies. I happened to see it on their calendars. I’ve created some of this isolation because I have boundaries with coworkers and really don’t want to hang out with them after hours. I’m with them 40 hours a week. I could make an effort to make a close friend. Sometimes I just need down time after work and I find people exhausting.

    • #54053

      Amen to all posters. It really does stink, when you see pictures of a work event with you neither being in the picture or the person behind the lens. Even listening to a conversation between colleagues over an event.

      When you do have the chance to interact, you don’t know whether they are being genuine or going to look at you like you’re handicapped. Otherwise they get annoyed at you for trying to get involved in the conversation. Just because you need to fill that need to be accepted…

      Tragically, when it does go south. You find yourself in a meeting room with your manager giving you a written warning for offending someone because you said or posted something out of humour that pokes fun at your own character traits. Great! You got yourself into trouble while making yourself look like a tool in front of your colleagues whom you just want to be involved with… I sometimes wonder if the world has an OCD towards uniformity.

    • #54385

      Honestly, I have always felt the same way. I’m a teacher, another female-dominated profession, and I often don’t feel like I fit in. In my situation, my colleagues are all great and friendly toward me and I to them, but the trouble is that I personally have social anxiety due to my ADHD that makes it hard for me to get to know them more. When I was a kid, I was bullied all through elementary and middle school. In high school, my peers isolated me because I was the “oddball,” and really, I isolated myself because of the pain from being bullied my entire life and from low self esteem from it.

      I wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until two years ago this month, and while it was a relief to know that my shortcomings weren’t *entirely* my fault, I also knew that for me personally, it would always be a contributing factor as to why I don’t and won’t ever have many friends. That being said, in some ways, I kind of prefer not having many friends. People are exhausting, and while it’s fun to socialize, I can only handle being around one or two people at a time. Large groups of people make me nervous and self-conscious, and I just don’t have the mental energy to continually monitor and analyze everything I say and do around people.

      I, too, have seen some of my close friends have outings, and sometimes it does bother me that I wasn’t invited, especially since most of my friends are now aware I have ADHD and my social ungraces aren’t entirely my fault. I think in your case, if you want to get to know your colleagues, why not try putting yourself out there and maybe start by offering one colleague you know you get along with an outing to lunch or coffee. Try having an outing with one or two people at a time in a calm setting that isn’t as likely to excite your ADHD and give them a chance to get to know you better and see your good qualities.

      As far as people saying they don’t know if you’re joking or not, ADHD affects the way we socialize, and we don’t pick up on social cues like a neurotypical person. You might want to simply offer an apology if you have done anything to offend them, that it wasn’t your intention, and that you’re working on your social game. I have a friend of mine who is an aircraft mechanic with ADHD (don’t worry, he’s a GREAT mechanic and pilot), and he gets told the very same thing. He is kind of a smart ass, but he’s also funny as hell. He usually will come out and say, “I’m just joking” if he really is joking.

    • #54519
      Uncle Dharma

      “I sometimes wonder if the world has an OCD towards uniformity.”
      I think many societies and social groups do have this.

      Years ago, I worked in a government job where they introduced flexhours. You could work a standard day, but start when you like between 8 and 9:30.
      I started between 9 and 9:30. Almost everyone started at 8am and went home as soon as they could.
      I didn’t count, but I reckon that at least one person a week would comment as they were leaving “Been a naughty boy and have to stay back”.
      Someone complained that I just could not be working enough hours, but after the manager checked, he realised that I was actually working an extra day every fortnight. I was told to take a day off as i had earned it.
      What really annoyed everyone was when I got a professional job that I enjoyed, and just walked out. The rest of them just stayed there, unhappy but conforming to … ? I don’t know what, but something.

    • #55225

      I’m feeling you. I worked with 1st responders for over 25 years and believed that I never fit in. A few things that I came to realize which helped.
      1. There WERE times when I really connected to someone. That is harder to remember

      2. Perhaps you are not supposed to fit in. Maybe you are meant to be set apart

      3. You have meaningful relationships outside of work. If you keep that in mind, it will be enough.

      4. The pain you are experiencing now will one day help someone who is not as strong as you are.

      Embrace who you are and trust in your destiny


    • #55239
      Uncle Dharma

      Maybe you really are special.
      And not just one of the sheep following the leader. Why fit in with a mob of sheep?

      These days, I find that several people look up to me as someone who has their own act together.
      I am independent, creative, eccentric, and think for myself.
      It helps that I am now retired so I do not have to work, and do not have to be anything really, so I can be myself.

      Independent of the crowd and of the latest trend. I do my own thing in my own way with confidence.
      As you may expect, this clashes with people who love being ‘the boss’, just for the joy of being the boss. Apparently, my words say “Yes”, and my eyes say “you are a jerk”.

      You can do this. Embrace who you are, enjoy your differences, make the most of your talents, and leave the mob in your wake.

      It took me quite a long time to get here, especially with a mother who has undiagnosed ADD + anxiety + depression. Luckily, my father was independent, intelligent, and came to his own conclusions.

      This is not just me blowing my own trumpet, I have discussed this with a close friend who is a clinical psychologist with years of experience. Hanging out with a psychologist means that you are being observed and diagnosed often.

      Best of luck, and hugs

    • #62247

      oh yep. you’re totally not alone. First! Thanks for your work! Nurses are superstars in my opinion.
      I no longer work in a salaried team role, but for many years of my undiagnosed life I did, and could never understand why people left me out of discussions, then when I’d try to join in they’d look at me as if I was a leper. my most recent full time office job – the boss would sit around and play computer games and get paid almost 100K per year, and if she just got back from vacation time she’d hold court with her favourites in an open plan office and talk about her exploits while away.
      I couldn’t believe my ears. I realized I didn’t WANT to fit in with that kind of person…one who has no kind of work ethic and not a thing in common with me. Yes, there were others in the office I wanted to be friends with but it never eventuated…felt like a puppy. I often just wanted someone to like me and pat me on the head…instead I developed a taste for the fundraiser chocolates in every corner of the office and managed to put on 30 kg (60 or 70 pounds?) in the 7 years I worked there. So wretchedly unhappy, bored (I worked as a trainer/educator for people in a large company), lonely, frustrated, stuck. Honestly, I was so hurt by the rejection that I got SO bent out of shape. AND I learned after leaving that I couldn’t get another job anywhere because my boss would describe my ADD behaviour to the people using her as a referee…so I couldn’t get out, and I was stuck working there trying to pay off the house and live up to my responsibilities.
      2 years after leaving that job I now am a full time parent, part time musician and working on the new kids’ music workshop that I’m starting in my local area. If I’m going to be a grown up looking person with a kid’s sense of fun and musicality, I might as well make money out of it. People pay me to sing, play guitar and teach kids to sing and play percussion instruments. Eventually, I might even make a profit. Here’s hoping. If anything, being diagnosed and medicated helps me understand myself a whole lot better, but also it makes me dig my heels in when people ask me to be something I’m not. I’m not lazy. I’m hardworking, not perfect, but a good parent and a caring partner and friend. Good luck Nursey Jess

    • #70909

      I’m a doctor. And I truly love and appreciate what nurses do. It really isn’t a vocation for everyone.

      Not being able to fit in still bothers me, but this has only made me learn to value the few people who I can truly be myself around. Ironically this hardly includes anyone I’ve worked with in a clinical setting.

    • #116194

      Hello I know I am chiming into this conversation late but I just wanted to add my experience as well. I am in a completely different job field working in the library system but I experience the same feelings as you do Jess. I have been here for 2 years and yet I feel like I don’t fit in. I go above and beyond my job and make no complaints, I always ask how everyone is doing, how their weekend was and such. But I just don’t seem to have a place in the little group here. I have tried sharing many of their interests and have even used my hobby of crochet to make gifts. Even though I feel like I am trying to buy friendship. In moments when I see groups hanging out here and chatting or laughing about something I myself feel like crying because I feel left out. It puts me in a depressed mood because I begin questioning what is wrong with me and why I do not fit in.

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