For as long as I can remember, I have always felt like an outsider. One of those sad little wall-flower people, looking in through the window at the cool kids, hanging out, laughing and sharing inside jokes. It’s a cold and lonely place to be.

I remember being on the outside during high school. I was friends with some of the “in-crowd” but never fully accepted. Same thing happened in college. Again, at my jobs.

And OMG, don’t even get me started on the book clubs I have tried!

The common denominator in all of these situations? Me.

Maybe my insecurities have stopped me. Maybe my shyness. Maybe my self-esteem (or lack thereof).

But I know I have something to contribute. I *know* I do. I’m smart. I’m funny. I’m creative. And yet, I still hover around the edges, hoping someone will smile or say hi or take me under their wing, and help me be more comfortable. Am I just having flashbacks to the mean girls in high school?

I recently joined a group, ever the optimist. They have been together for a good amount of time and are well established with each other. I joined because I support what they do for the community and people in need. But at times, I feel like I’m stepping into a rushing crowd with no idea what’s going on. So I either get out-of-the-way or I get trampled. And, there I am, on the sidelines again.

How do I get over this? Give me some tips, please! I have been thinking about leaving the group already (it’s been a few months now). They will go on and continue to do good things. And I will feel like I have failed. Again.

So I ask you: Does it ever get easier to fit in with an established group?

 

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