As a multipotentialite, the whole “fitting in” thing can be a little tricky, not just in regard to career, but in your social life as well.
A few months ago, I was hanging out with a friend. We were sitting on her front lawn chatting, and she started telling me about how she felt like she didn’t totally fit in with her friends from Swing Dancing class because they were ALL ABOUT swing dancing. At the same time, she didn’t really feel like she fit in with her Kung Fu friends, because they were extremely serious about Kung Fu.
This was something she’d always struggled with. She would meet a lot of great people through her various activities, but she wouldn’t feel like she completely fit in with any one group.
Tight-knit groups or random friends?
Human beings crave belonging and community. We adopt identities and associate with particular subcultures to give us a sense of significance.
Listening to my friend talk, I realized that this is an issue I’ve dealt with as well. I’ve never really had one group or “posse.” Growing up, I was friends with people who could be described as “nerds,” “art kids,” “popular kids,” “stoners,” and everything in between.
Even now, when I throw a party, the people who turn up are an eclectic mix of random friends that I have accrued throughout my various paths and pursuits. I often get comments like, “you have interesting friends!” (In a good way.)
And it’s true. I do have interesting friends. In fact, I have the greatest friends. They’re very different from one another, but each of them is special, and allows me to express a different side of my personality.
Instead of worrying that I’m not a part of a group or subculture, I feel like I’ve gone through life, hand-picking the best of the best in each area I’ve explored.
How to handle this predicament?
First, stop viewing it as a predicament. Approach your social life the way you approach your interests: embrace the diversity and be proud of it. Don’t apologize for not fitting in with any one group.
Here are a few other ideas:
- Hang out with one group for as long as you like, and then float over to another group, and so on. Enjoy how each type of person brings out a different side of your personality, and don’t worry too much about what other people think. Just have fun.
- One-on-one hangouts can help lessen the pressure to “fit in.” They can also allow you to connect on a deeper level.
- Pay attention and look out for the other multipotentialites as you go about your activities. They’re out there.
- Be the connector and form your own group of multipods, based not on a shared interest but on a shared curiosity about the world and desire to live a plural life.
Aren’t multipotentialites a group?
I recognize that there’s something ironic about this whole discussion. I obviously identify as a multipotentialite now. Isn’t that a group?
Yes, and in a way, I think starting Puttylike was an attempt to create that group that I never felt like I had.
But this group is different. It’s inclusive and accepting. It says nothing of WHAT you’re into, only that you’re into many things. What those things are, who knows. It’s an identity based on diversity, so it doesn’t feel limiting to me, the way that other labels have.
I’m really curious about this though. Do most multipotentialites have an eclectic mix of friends?
There may be multipotentialites with a core group of friends (maybe you’re one of them), but I’d beg to wager that these groups are likely composed of other multipotentialites who have glorious contradictions and eclectic backgrounds. Possibly the group formed around one common interest initially, but then you found that you all had a number of other passions and could connect on that level too.
Are you part of a tight-knit group, or do you pick up random friends here and there, as you go about your various pursuits?
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