The Fitting In Method

I am pretty sure others may do the same methods of fitting in as myself, but they seem quite systematic. It’s like I have a check list in my mind and I check each one-off as I go. It started from grade school on, with every passing year and situation I would get better and faster. I would observe my situation, study people, see which people would be a good fit, watch those I should stay away from, decide who I liked and who I did not, begin to take on the identity I thought I should have. My methods were not always successful since I am not the greatest at reading people. I have observed that other people seem to be able to do this within seconds while I can take months. I usually based my decisions on people’s idiosyncrasies. At school, in some cases I was just a body, trying not to be seen. I just wanted the class to be over because I felt like I was closed in and suffocating, I skipped those classes often.

Other classes I felt fine after a while of observing.

When I started work I transferred to different stores quite a bit, every transfer I took several months to observe and get a groove. After a while, usually after people started asking me questions because I was alone reading, my personality would come out in bits. I still took on an identity, that was usually more of my goofy side so that I had control over what people laughed at. I am quite silly but as much as I am silly, I am serious. Sometimes my silliness is the only thing that saves me from being consumed in my thoughts. I realized from an early age that people do not like to talk about serious things. I found that my questions would get me in a load of trouble.

I especially found this with guys as I got older.

The way around that was to become their friends. I like guys as friends they make more sense a lot of the times to me but I am still a girl and would get confused by them often. I got confused by our relationships and what they meant, so did they. I have had very limited girl friends because I didn’t understand what they were doing half the time. They assumed that I knew and would misunderstand me quite often, they would think that I was being “catty” or even that I was trying to steal their man. The truth is I was able to talk their boyfriends much easier because there was no threat, since there was no relationship and I was usually more interested in what the guy was talking about. I can see now where that would make a person misread my motives.

Part of me trying to fit in involved me gathering information.

I consume information with my special interests and I consume information about people. Sometimes people are my special interests, it can be triggered by fears or confusion. Two of those would be my fixation on serial killers and TV evangelists. I can tell you virtually anything about any serial killer and TV evangelist. Odd? I know. Creepy? Maybe.

Please don’t be afraid, it is my way of trying to understand. :-)

When I let people in my life, I tend to fixate on them. I am much better at not doing this now, though I confess I might do it on occasion.(Especially when I am going through one of my loops.) I can seem very possessive and obsessive, I can see where I was a great deal with relationships. However, it wasn’t because I wanted to control them, I wanted to control me, my thoughts, my life. I studied my friends and I wanted them with me all the time. I needed them to be with me. If they changed in the slightest I was thrown and would get angry or hurt.

It is very hard to explain without sounding like a stalker.

There is no good way to describe what I am talking about because even though I wanted to be with them, I also wanted to be alone. I did the same thing in relationships with boyfriends and husbands. I needed to be around them all the time to study them but at a distance. It’s strange. I became who I thought they wanted. But normally the more I studied them the more I realized I couldn’t stand them because of their true character or that I could never fully be what they wanted. When I would realize this I would get hurt. It seemed that if I were to show any real part of me, I would be rejected. Maybe that was the fear talking. In one relationship I felt exposed completely without even saying anything and I felt rejected. Maybe that was the problem, I couldn’t get my words out.

I often felt that I shouldn’t act too smart.

Or I had to try to do everything to be pretty enough or fun enough to keep them. I would listen and watch how they responded to other girls and if they complemented or said something good about them I automatically thought that if I didn’t have the same things or look the same way that I wasn’t good enough. It is a strange situation because I wasn’t (not) really an insecure person and I was (am) quite independent but I would try so hard to keep them that I became insecure. In any kind of relationship, I found myself doing this.

I took on so many roles trying to be the “everything girl” with friends and male relationships.

It was too hard to keep up and I would have meltdowns/shutdowns. Usually cycling into a depression or a new fixation. I found a way to help my depression by submerging myself in my beliefs, mainly through prayer and listening to this new music to me, worship music. Since I was such a music lover I found ways to focus all of this energy into listening to worship music.

I felt that it made me feel happy and joyful.

But when I became a Christian, I ended up putting all of these rules on myself about what a Christian was supposed to look like and how I should live. I got rid of everything resembling my past life, in some cases that was good. I got confused though, it was hard for me to live the words the Christian environment was preaching, possibly how I interpreted the preachings. I naturally think people are good and I naturally thought that the teachings of Jesus were of acceptance. I was not hearing the same message and I thought that I was wrong. My feelings were founded on all of the past mistakes I had made with trusting the wrong people.

Continued in the next post to come Fitting In Not So Much.




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6 thoughts on “The Fitting In Method

  1. Alienhippy

    Hello my friend,
    I nearly wet myself when I read…Please don’t be afraid, it is my way of trying to understand. :-)
    You’re so funny Angel…giggle.
    If you change the “serial killers and TV evangelists” to “Tropical fish and Time travel” you more or less have my life too.
    I was doing the noddy dog all through your post.
    It’s great to not feel alone innit.
    Love you loads.
    Lisa. xxx :)

  2. Eliana

    AH- What’s the noddy dog? Does that mean nodding along in agreement as you read? I’ve never heard the term.

    It’s been interesting what you say and I’ve read other things about Aspergers and stalkerish behavior. I’ve never had a problem w/coming across as stalkerish because my tendency when I don’t understand someone is to pull back because I’ve always had this knowing about myself that my intentions could be misinterpreted or come on too strong. I definitely feel I read people well enough to know if I can trust them generally and if I would mesh well w/them or not but, just because they’re generally good people doesn’t mean I would get along well w/them and that there wouldn’t be great difficulties in interacting w/them. There are people I admire but, don’t really mesh well with and those tend to be the people I pull away from because I think I come across as low self esteem and I’m definitely not or maybe clingy or gushy on them when I just might think highly of them. If they,re insecure they don’t take my compliments well. It’s not like they say anything it’s just I can tell something is weird for them and I sense it and then I want to mention it somehow and that just makes it weirder for them. I’m just such a clear the air type person to make sure what I said was interpreted the way I meant it and somehow that is way too forward for most people. They seem to think I have other intentions whereas my intentions aren’t complicated and innocent. So, then w/all those dynamics I think I end up coming across as negative or a downer because I try to balance the extreme positive feelings I feel but don’t want to come across creepy so I end up feeling sad around them and don’t really compliment them too much. I don’t know if any of this makes sense.

  3. Angel Post author

    Hi Lisa,

    I SOL’d when I read your comment.

    Why can’t I be obsessed with tropical fish and time travel? That sounds way better than mine. :-) Those two fixations have settled a bit but if you get me going, oh, goodness I can’t stop!

    What a comfort to have someone know what I am talking about here. I just posted the second half of the story. These were hard to write but I found a lot of release and healing getting them out there.

    Love to you too!

  4. Angel Post author

    Hi Eliana,

    When I read about that stalkerish behavior I cannot tell you how revealed I was! That was one thing that made me feel like I may have mental problems, I didn’t want to be obsessive but I couldn’t stop it. I explain why I was in the second post, writing it out helped me to see that I wasn’t really insane I had reasons for my madness. :-)

    I really wish I had that ability to just pull back but I go the opposite and want to know why. It would be much easier for me if I could let the “why” go.

    I know what you mean about admiring people, I used to admire people and my interactions were read wrong. Now I have kind of lost that, I just don’t respond to the same way. It’s hard to explain. I have noticed that too when people are insecure they cannot handle compliments or they think that I want compliments in return. I don’t compliments make me uncomfortable not because of insecurity but because I do not know how to respond. Especially when it is for something that I have not put a lot of effort into.

    Yes, people do not like us to be forward! Oh, my that is when I have been called rude or they tried to convince nothing was wrong, when clearly you can feel it. I wonder if their misreading has a lot to do with mannerisms, facial expressions, words we use and how we use them? I am sure they do but I wonder if anyone would ever take the time to explain it. I find it very beneficial when David says “You are acting angry” and I am not angry at all so I have him tell me what I am doing to make him think that. I guess most people do not want to do that though. :-/ I am going off on a tangent better stop while I am ahead.

    All that you said makes a lot of sense! :-)

  5. Diane

    Reading your posts starts me thinking and usually prompts me to look back at some aspect of my life in a way I hadn’t thought of before. I think the way “fitting in” ended up working for me as a teenager was that I learned to find somebody I liked and focused on fitting with them. I tended to not pay so much attention to the other people who were around. I think that’s still the way I find myself behaving now. It’s a security thing to have that particular person, but honestly, I have trouble processing input from too many people at once, anyway. Even with my kids, I’m very comfortable one on one, but I get really flustered when two or three want to talk to me or need something at the same time.

    I had a best friend starting in junior high school who oddly enough genuinely liked me just as I was, partly because I wasn’t like everybody else. The security of being around her allowed me to “hang out” around other people who normally would have made me too uncomfortable to function on my own. I got to be “social” that way, and got to practice how to be with different people.

    I think now as an adult I do OK when my husband is with me, or when I have my kids focus on, but I get lost and very self-conscious just on my own. Because I’ve structured my life in a way that supports what makes me more comfortable, it takes me by surprise realizing just how stressed I can be when there are other adults around me who just want to have what I’m sure seems to them like perfectly normal casual conversation. And there I am, completely out of practice at something I was never good at to begin with and with no way to explain.

  6. Angel Post author

    Hi Diane,

    I could have written your last paragraph. It describes exactly how I feel now. Actually all that you wrote resonated. Especially, with the kids at times. It is very hard to focus when all three are talking or requesting something. It gets very chaotic in my brain. Much like when I am out and about, when I would meet up with people I tended to gravitate to one person and had conversations with them throughout the night to handle all the social going on around me.

    I wonder how many people never even notice that we feel out of place or that we are not doing well socially? My friend at times, tells me that she doesn’t see any of what I am talking about. I then give her a list of how I feel that I failed, realizing that it is all me. Most people don’t seem to notice. Usually, because I am being very quiet or over the top talking, I guess.

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