• Making Friends

Feeling like a misfit with no money

Published: April 11, 2014 | By | 11 Replies Continue Reading
Sometimes just feeling like a misfit can be a deterrent to making friends



I live in a place where you are not accepted if you are not from here or don’t have a lot of money. I am a people person and have lived here for almost eleven years. In that time I have met not one friend.

I cry all the time, not out of depression but pure loneliness. What can I do? Been to churches, done everything I can think of. I am somewhat shy until you get to know me. I don’t think I can take much more being alone.

Please tell me what to do to fit in when you are a misfit.

Signed, Jenny


Hi Jenny,

Sometimes merely feeling like a misfit can stop someone from reaching out to others. In some sense, we are all misfits because we are different. Yet, there must be some part of you that can relate to some part of someone else.

Granted, some towns are friendlier than others and some people judge people by how they look, how they dress and how much money they have. And sometimes being rejected over and over can make us feel like misfits.

But if you are lonely, you need to put yourself in situations where you stand some chance of meeting people rather than wallow in being lonely. Have faith (or confidence) that you have some interests or qualities that will be attractive to someone else.

A few thoughts and I hope other readers will add some ideas in the comment section below:

  • If church isn’t the right place for you, can you volunteer helping people who are less fortunate? You may develop friendships with other helpers or with the people you are helping (who may consider you wealthy in a variety of ways.)
  • Are there new people who are moving to your community? Is there a newcomer’s group you can join to welcome others? A new neighbor you can reach out to? Is there a Meetup.com group in your zip code?
  • Are you able to get a part-time job that would put you in contact with people and help your financial situation? 
  • Is there an adult education class that interests you?
  • Can you reach out to someone in your community who might be able to give you more local advice? A pastor in your church? Someone involved in social services in your community?

If you give up, feeling like a misfit will remain a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Hope this helps a bit.

My best, Irene

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Comments (11)

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  1. Suz says:

    I also feel like I am alone. I feel like I can trust no one. I am in my 60’s and you would think I would be “over” everything that has ever happened to me. NOT so much! I was first sexually assaulted by my Uncle at the ripe old age of 5. He Moved out of state and then my Dad took over until I was 16 and I took a shot gun to him! “Accidental Discharge: because he gave a lot of money to the local youth charities and was a “Friend” of the local Authorities (Including the City Council) Nothing was done! GO FIGURE! Trust – NOT HAPPENING!

  2. Corinne Debono says:

    I live in Malta. I also had big problems in my life I didn’t know what I had to do.
    It all started in the beginning of the year, I was finding it so hard to make friends, and once I saw a group getting well together and I decided to join them. I started getting well in this group but after the Christmas holidays things started going bad. I noticed that a girl from this group did everything she could to ruin my life! She wanted to be the leader in almost everything and so she started hurting my feelings! Also the other two were leaving m out. It was like,I was the odd one out! Although I didn’t give up and so I made friends with a girl. We became so close and we loved to open our hearts and help each other,but then one day my friend started avoiding me and she didn’t even tried to talk to me. I started sending her messages and even calling her to know what was the problem . I am steel worried about our friendship and so now I am all alone!
    Please help me I don’t now what to do!

  3. caraK says:

    Jenny, have you asked yourself if having a number of “shallow” but consistent relationships would be enough to feed your need to be interacting with ppl? Or do you long for close friends? the reason I mention this to you is, any type of interaction with people is going to use up your energy. I believe you when you say you have tried everything. Did you ever ask yourself if simply being around a bunch of ppl, sharing light banter, laughs, and smiles is enough to satisfy your need for people in your life? I have a feeling that this is not enough for you, because it sounds as if you already have submerged yourself in these sorts of situations, e.g. Church, exercise classes, concerts, even shopping at the supermarket at the crowded times of day. these activities can uplift anyone who is a people person, however, you might need close friends. I certainly need close friends, even though I do find myself up lifted by being in crowded places where there are other people I can exchange simple smiles and banter with. if you need both, finding friends is the more difficult of the two. however if your transportation is limited both can be difficult. you did not mention if you had transportation limits. I think you can accomplish a lot where you live if you try one more time, possibly for a set limited time for example 1 year, to approach finding friends in an entirely different way than you have done so before. now only you know what you have tried.. may I suggest for your consideration, writing down on a piece of paper, all the methods and means you have used these 11 years to make friends with people. I am going to do this myself. it may be interesting for you to know that I do not see myself as a misfit. it is easy for me to go out among people and consider myself an equal to them, no matter who they are. the reason why I tell you this is, I am finding it a big challenge to meet good people. by good I mean people who are others-oriented, and who make giving to others the number one priority in their lives. I have met tons of selfish people, tons of takers. so I too am on a quest to meet friendly giving people in this not so friendly geographic location. I am going to make the list I suggest it to you. then I am going to make a second list that is almost opposite to what I have tried before. then I’m going to let the two lists just sit around for a few days, before I take a look at them and see if they tell me anything new. here’s another idea that I am going to try that might help you too. I picked up several tourist brochures for my area. 1 is specific to my county. I glanced through them, and was pleasantly surprised to discover there were many activities I have never tried. for example, I have been used to going to the theater in a nearby major city. now I’ve learned that there are many small theaters in my general County. I am planning to go to each one of those theaters during the upcoming months. there are also many museums in the smaller towns around here. I am going to go to each one of them too. I will try to sense weather there is a different feeling in the environment. making friends is not my only goal. I am truly interested in the theater and in museums. my new plan is just about taking different steps. I am asking myself this question as I take these new and different steps,Are they are people at these new places who would interest me? instead of asking the question,Is there anyone interested in me? no, instead of that I am asking, Is there anyone I am interested in getting to know better? thinking of yourself as a misfit maybe causing you to erroneously believe you don’t have the right to be friends with people better than you? I don’t know how you think about this, but even though I don’t feel that way about myself, for a very very long time I had forgotten the very basic rule of searching out the best of people to be friends with. now I am deliberately asking myself weather the people who I am eating or doing the best in their lives, whether these people can serve as role models to me, whether these people will be encouraging me to do my best in my life at whatever I choose to do. this is a very very different approach from ignoring what people’s true characters are like. I have tolerated many many people who are chronic complainers, who are very selfish, who have no care for my own life, and this is a far far way away from people who will inspire me!! may I please encourage you to never again believe you are a misfit. You are not a misfit. feeling like a misfit is simply a feeling. feelings are real and they can be painful. despite your feelings, the truth is that you are not a misfit. who is a misfit in our society? no one is a misfit! when you start feeling like a misfit, be prepared to tell yourself that it is just a feeling. I know that’s on the days when I feel hurt or disappointed, it is very difficult to tell myself those are just feeling not the truth. I do not speak these things lightly! there are so many famous philosophers who tell us that all or negative feelings are rooted in fear. including feelings of being a misfit! I studied studied fear online one day, and found out that the Buddhists’ solution to moments of personal fear is to pray for someone else. I am NOT a Buddhist but I found that this solution really works! maybe the next time you feel like a misfit you can rearrange your brain to pray for someone else. it is not a simplistic solution but one that is at the core of one of the most important religions of the world. most of all I wanted to suggest to you the idea of trying things out with a new view, of you that does not not say “will i fit in? Or, will they like me?”, no never that approach, but rather “do they interest me? Do they inspire me to do my best in life? Do they live an others-oriented giving life?”.

    • caraK says:

      Is it possible that you are feeling like a misfit not because of your society or friendships, but rather because you are living a life that someone else told you to live? is the work you do in life of your own choice, of a good match to who you really are? I think sometimes our brains can give us answers but we do not attend to the language our brains are using. I truly hope you are happy with your home, and your work. for example, I know I am living in an area of the world I do not like for certain reasons but I stay here because there are things about it I really truly love. also, I started off my first post to you saying that whatever way you jus to make friends, every way takes a lot of energy. so if you want good close friends, don’t waste your time on superficial relationships. and vice versa. I am so eager at this point to make close friends, that I am going to devote all my energy to that. do you believe as I do, that our views of ourselves are often unkind to ourselves? you may call yourself a misfit, even though no one in the world is a misfit. I may criticize something about myself, even though that criticism is unjustified!

      • kat83ful says:

        Hi caraK, your posts are very insightful. It sounds like you have been doing a lot of soul searching, me too. I long for a close friendship, the idea of a list & stepping out of the box is awesome. I’ve been thinking about exploring the Buddhist religion for a spiritual uplift & also meet wonderful people. Thank you for sharing!

      • Hi CaraK,

        Nice to read your post. I agreed with your idea and belief 100% and am trying to do exactly the same. I currently moved to a new town and I have to build up a circle of friends day by day. Not just anyone but good souls. Like you say, making friends takes energy and time. So I will choose the authentic good people to be around me, to be my new support system and in return, I would be a true friend to them just the same. I am positive it will happen.Thanks again.


  4. Eliza says:

    I have heard something that really resonated with me once. “If you can’t change the people around you, CHANGE the people around you”…that is, change your surroundings. 🙂 You will never be able to change short-sighted or judgmental people, so if your neighbors are ALL that way, perhaps it’s time to change your environment in order to eliminate that factor out of the equation…couple that move with joining Meetups, book clubs, volunteering in a new area. Consider and view it as an adventure! New place, new approach, new you, and new attitude! Stay positive, or try to come across very uplifting, people gravitate to smiles and positives attitudes–that is, good people generally will. Stick to your own core values though, NOBODY is worth changing who you really are. If you are active or enjoy dancing, join a gym, or go to studio where Zumba classes are offered….you can strike up a conversation with people who attend consistently–AND you will be boosting your mood–since exercise DOES release feel good chemicals 🙂

  5. tanja says:

    Irene is so right! I have often felt like a misfit. I have to get over it. It sometimes feels like an acting job when I talk to people. I have learned over time that people know when you are genuine or not. Where I live people are not super friendly either. There are tons of moms in this neighborhood and they judge on parenting skills. I do as well but I try to say that we are all just different in parenting styles etc. Of course, you have some moms that form cliques at the park and you feel you are in high school all over again. I try to pay no attention to it. I have gone to mother’s forums on the internet. From there, I have met one family and in swimming lessons for my son, I have met another family. In two years, we have two family friends with kids my sons age and that is very good, but none have been super close. I like them, but even after two years, it sometimes feels like a stranger still. But, I am happy that nothing has died down after two years like most friendships have in the past. So if remaining on a formal level keeps the friendship going longer, then I am okay with that.

    But, I wish more people would reach out as well because I have tried meet up groups but had no answers. Also, my son is in kindergarten and he has not really mentioned kids that he really really likes or wants to come over. So, I am not sure. I am not religious so for me joining church would be out. I also have a hard time finding atheist friends and that is important to me.

    • Eliza says:

      Tanja–I hear you. And I honestly believe what you describe above–to be the overall phenomena…the anti-social, media-social hungry society that people have succumbed to. They are MORE interested in texting rather than talking. When as “talking” become such a hassle?! They seem to place more importance on their “Facebook pals” – all 500+ of them, which they don’t even see–to true blue friendships – you can actually “spend time with – one on one”. There clearly is a shift of priority here – and all these technology has made us more impersonal, and closed in, and busy as hell. I know about the Meetups. It’s geared to networking, and meeting people–but not easy to “continue fostering/building that connection into a strong ongoing relationship”…it’s as if people have truly forgotten how to connect or prefer to stay anonymous, or disconnected in person, yet in touch virtually. Don’t give up, keep trying. I always say–it’s better to have 1-2 solid, good friends in the world–than 500+ fair weather friends. If you continue to make that effort, you will eventually connect with someone. I have a friend (we met when we used to work together)–she moved from Atlanta – like going on 6 years now! And she puts herself out there is friendly, etc…and she basically has said the same thing to me. People just don’t make that effort to stay in touch after an event. It’s not easy. She and I are from NY, not sure if New York is a tougher environment?

      • Susan says:

        Eliza, BRAVO! This is so very true and sad. I recently eliminated a “friend” from my life. He literally has over 1500 Facebook “friends.” Granted, he is a very social person and is involved with many activities and events. He is a ‘natural’ at attracting and interacting with younger “beautiful people.” Hanging out with him became a drag, as his cell phone was constantly ‘going off’ with calls, texts, messages. He was always on his phone. It was interfering with our friendship. When I would drop him off at home, his phone would ‘go off’ and he would answer and close the door behind him, not even looking at me and saying “good night.” I finally had enough. I do not want a “friend” like that.
        These past months have been very difficult. I know I need to improve on myself socially. My true friends are out of state. I will say one thing though, and that is, I am staying humbled and true to myself, and will not settle for less. I’m on a new journey in life, taking baby-steps. But those ‘steps’ are genuine. 🙂
        Facebook is a nice way to keep in touch with your true friends and family and share cute, inspiring, “feel good” posts. Others use it as a ‘brag-fest’ with “I have the best friends in the world”, I feel so loved by my handsome husband”, etc.
        My advice is to be good to yourself, true to yourself, and don’t worry what others think of you.

  6. Amy F says:

    Irene is so right about everyone being a misfit in her own unique way. It’s hard to see they everyone has their own struggles, when you’re feeling like the square peg among a sea of round holes.
    If you participate in activities you enjoy, whether that’s joining a book club through your library or starting your own, joining or starting a jogging group, or set design at community theater, you’ll be around others with at least some similar interests to your own.
    In my own personal experience, as I’ve gotten older I realize that I don’t have to be exactly like my friends, as long as our core values are similar.
    You might also consider professional counseling to help with your depression and confidence. The better you feel emotionally, the more emotional risks you’ll feel comfortable taking.

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