I feel like an outsider
Have you ever felt lost, lonely and isolated around groups of people your own age? Do you consistently find yourself dwelling on your frustrations and anxiety over how difficult it is to find common ground or break the ice with fellow students at school? If school life is the only life you know, then you know how hard it is for you in this environment to reach out and make new friends.
I remember what this situation was like at school. It was easy to make friends between my kindergarten years to my third year in primary school, but into my fourth year, the school environment seemed to change. Not only did I experience my friendships drift away, but new students came onto the scene and they formed cliques or groups.
You would have one or two groups of 8-10 students kicking a soccer ball around, others playing cricket or basketball. When I tried to join, I was told to “Get lost!” Worst of all, when it came time to play in P.E. House sports, all the popular kids were chosen to play and the less popular kids were left on the sideline, never getting a look in. It hurt me to realise that I was one of the less popular kids. This setup, with no teacher intervention, stunted my fitness and self-esteem further.
On top of this, I was verbally & physically bullied which shut me down from taking any further interest in the lives of my fellow students. I liken this scenario to having the wind sucked out of my sails and being stuck in an ocean of isolation within sight of islands full of people all having a great time.
I put up with this for approximately four years before I snapped. Something had to be done. I wasn’t built to live an isolated life but here I was, suffering a silent, isolated, social death. I had to make a choice, find new friends or live a long and painful isolation at school. So how did I get around this problem?
Firstly, I determined that I had to make an effort to change my belief system that I couldn’t have any friends. I had to break what felt to me was a curse.
Secondly, with the help of my Dad, I took up clay target shooting which allowed me to mingle with an older generation of men and women who knew nothing of my social standing at school. The extra benefit also meant that I could train and compete in a sport that no one could arbitrarily prevent me from enjoying.
Eight years after I broke my first clay target, I was competing in the largest non-Olympic event in the world, The Grand American World Trapshooting Championship, in Ohio. Here, thanks to the common ground I’d created at a relatively tiny gun club in Lilydale, I made new, life-long friends in another country.
The ability to recognise when you’re stuck in a situation that you cannot help, particularly when you feel like an outsider, is an opportunity for change, if you know where you really want to be and what friends you really need, or want. However, you must be prepared to do whatever has to be done to make it happen.
Maybe your situation requires you to look outside the box. If feeling like an outsider is wearing a bit thin, then action is required and a meaningful introspective study of the problem is needed. It helps if you can approach someone with experience to help you determine what to do next.
I can help you discover the environment that best suits you and put you on a path towards living your best life.
That first action step may be only a phone call away.
Contact: David Gillman - The Mindset Mechanic