Why You Feel Like You Don't Belong (2023)


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Have you ever felt like you don't belong? I don't think I've ever experienced that feeling as intensely as I did when moved back from the US to Sweden. I knew I had to deal with it, so I did, and I learned a lot. In today's video, I share part of my experience on that.

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#SonyA7III #belonging #livingabroad
Feeling like you don't belong, how to deal with feeling like you don't belong, feeling lost, feeling confused, how to belong, why you don't belong, why you feel like you don't belong, living abroad, travelling abroad, Los Angeles, Stockholm, exchange student.


Surrounding ourselves with different kinds of people helps us figure out who we are and who we’re not;, where we fit and where we do not fit in what we value in other people and what we do not value.

Those things are important to understand about ourselves, because as human beings, we need to feel a sense of belonging, to feel like.

We can relate to and understand other people, and that they can understand us back—it’s, deeply rooted in us.


What, if you end up feeling like you? Don’t belong anywhere? What, if you’re at a place that you don’t want to be, but you don’t know where else to go? In 2018.

It was time for me to move back to Sweden after having lived in the US for two years., Two years that somehow felt like a lifetime of experiences and lessons.

But when I landed in Stockholm and got off the plane, I didn’t feel like home.

At all.

I met with old friends.

I went to all the usual spots—but.

It felt different There was a feeling of disconnect.

And I, remember thinking What.

If I don’t belong here, anymore? And, if I don’t, then where do I belong? Although, we’re all in different boats, carrying different luggage, heading in different directions, we do have something in common:.

We all want to feel like we belong.

We need to feel like we belong.

Somewhere., Anywhere., And yet.

The feeling of not belonging is one of the most universal of all human experiences.

And, often times.

We become so desperate to belong that we try to mold ourselves into what we think society or friends or family, expects of us.

We force ourselves to become someone we’re not.

We do things we don’t want to do.

We go places we don’t want to go.

We, hang out with people.

We don’t want to hang out.


We lose ourselves, all in the hopes of finding our place in this world.

I spent the first few days back in Stockholm, trying to figure out what was wrong.

What was it that had changed? And, so I started thinking Perhaps.

It was my style, and I just needed to donate some old clothes and get a few new items.

So, I did that.


It was my room that no longer represented who I was.

So, I ended up.

Turning my room into a project.

I got rid of some items that I felt were only taking up space and I got some artwork and plants instead, which was nice and brought me a temporary feeling of joy, but it wasn’t, enough., Perhaps I, just didn’t belong in Sweden anymore.

But for that one, unlike clothes and decorations, I couldn’t really find out, at least not yet.

I came across a quote by Brené Brown that goes “Because.

True belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world.

Our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”.

I started thinking about two things: First.

Can you really present your authentic self unless you know yourself? Perhaps? That was the reason.

So many people felt like no one understood them—because.

They didn’t really understand themselves.

And second.

How often are we doing that is expected of us, versus doing what we actually want to be doing? Here’s? Why that matters.

We are heavily influenced by our environment.

Everything from the way we think to the way we behave and feel.

If you’re, choosing your environment based on what you want.

You are likely to end up at a place where you are going to feel a sense of belonging.

Either with the people or just with the surroundings.

On, the other hand.

If you choose your environment based on what you think is expected of you, you are likely to end up at a place where you don't feel like you, belong.

Not, with the people and not with the surroundings.

Think of your job, your education, your group of friends, your family.

Think, of how you spend your days and your weekends.

And ask yourself.

How much time are you spending doing what you actually want to be doing? And? How much time are you spending doing? What is expected of you? I decided to focus on those two things.

Getting to know myself better and embracing my own path, not someone else's., So I started with asking myself questions about my fears, and insecurities, loves, hopes and dreams.


Some questions were left unanswered.

I sought them out in books and through experiences, through trying new things and exploring new topics.


As for embracing my own path, I stopped trying to mold myself into someone.

I was not.

I wasn’t, going to throw a big dinner party for my birthday, because that was expected, because that’s what you’re supposed to do on your birthday.

I wanted to cook and play boardgames.

So that’s what I was going to do.

As time.

Passed, I eventually started to feel closer to home.

But, even when I felt so close, I couldn’t help but wonder.


If no matter how at home, I felt in Sweden, I just wouldn’t feel complete, because I wasn’t, where I was actually supposed to be? I, knew I had to find out.

So I went back., To, Los, Angeles.

And, it was wonderful., It was home.

But, so was Sweden.

I felt equally complete being in LA, as I did being in Stockholm.

I had thought that being there would be the last piece of the puzzle.

Well, as it turned out, LA wasn’t.

The answer.

The answer was that feeling at home isn’t exactly about where, in the world you are, it’s about realizing that home is a person., It’s, you., No matter where in the world.

And, no matter how cheesy that sounds.

The difficult part is figuring out who you is.

And realizing.

That was the last piece of the puzzle.

The feeling of belonging is similar to the feeling of love.

it’s, something we’re always searching for.


We find it early in life and it lasts forever.

Perhaps we find it and lose it again, soon.

Perhaps we lose it over and over again.


We haven’t even found it yet once yet.

And, that’s just the circle of life.

What’s important is to never stop looking.

Now, I would love to hear from you.


You ever felt like you don’t belong? What.

Did you do? If you enjoyed this video, feel free to give it a thumbs.


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It’s, a great community of people from all over the world.

Just check the description box on how.

Thank you for watching, I’ll, see you in the comment.



What causes feelings of not belonging? ›

Filidor reiterates that experiences like trauma, dysfunctional childhood, and unhealthy relationships can lead to a feeling of not belonging.

Is it normal to feel like you don t belong? ›

Feeling like you belong isn't a privilege — everyone fits in somewhere. If you constantly think, “I feel like I don't belong,” and struggle to connect with others, you're not alone. But identifying the source of your isolation and taking steps to find your people is worth the investment.

What is it called when you feel you don't belong? ›

Estrangement is the feeling that you don't belong, especially when you're surrounded by other people. If you've ever had to sit by yourself in a school cafeteria, you know what estrangement feels like. Right in the middle of the word estrangement is strange, and it provides a great clue about how to use the word.

Why do I feel like an outsider? ›

Probably the most common reason for feeling like an outsider is low self-esteem, which is often paired with an inferiority complex. If you are convinced that you are not good enough, it is a sure road to feeling unwelcome, left out, and rejected by other people even when it's not true.

How can I improve my sense of belonging? ›

Creating a sense of belonging in the workplace
  1. Ensure leaders avoid favoritism. ...
  2. Employees feel involved in business decisions. ...
  3. Provide equal and transparent access to information. ...
  4. Fair promotion practices. ...
  5. Recognizing employees for their hard work. ...
  6. Make employees feel welcome. ...
  7. Embrace the whole human being.
Jun 14, 2022

Why do I feel abandoned? ›

Abandonment issues stem from a fear of loneliness, which can be a phobia or a form of anxiety. These issues can affect your relationships and often stem from a childhood loss. Other factors that turn loss into abandonment issues include environmental and medical factors, genetics, and brain chemistry.

Why do I feel unloved when I'm not? ›

What Causes the Belief of Being Unlovable? The reason why someone feels that they are unlovable can stem from several things. They can be memories of the past, a chronic mental illness, or something as simple as self-esteem.

Why can't I relate to anyone? ›

Negative social experiences and overreliance on social media can make it more difficult to feel emotionally linked to other people. Sometimes a lack of connection might be related to the presence of a mental health condition such as anxiety or depression.

What is it called when you feel disconnected from yourself? ›

Many people experience symptoms of a depersonalization/derealization disorder during their life. You may feel disconnected from yourself or your surroundings.

Why do introverts feel like outsiders? ›

Introverts may feel like outsiders because it's the initial phase of forming a relationship (becoming an insider) that is the most tiring. Finding common ground with others, especially multiple others, can take a lot of probing small talk, which is exhausting and often anxiety-inducing for introverts.

What makes a person an outcast? ›

An outcast is someone who is rejected or cast out, as from home or from society or in some way excluded, looked down upon, or ignored. In common English speech, an outcast may be anyone who does not fit in with normal society, which can contribute to a sense of isolation.

Why am I always on the outside looking in? ›

Depersonalization-derealization disorder occurs when you persistently or repeatedly have the feeling that you're observing yourself from outside your body or you have a sense that things around you aren't real, or both.

What are the 5 pillars of belonging? ›

David Bator, Director of the Achievers Workforce Institute, shares why companies need to care about fostering belonging and how to bring 5 identified pillars—welcomed, known, included, supported and connected—to life within your organization.

What are the key behaviors that reduce belonging? ›

In turn, distrust, competition, envy and lack of appreciation were mentioned to prevent sense of belonging among colleagues.

What does a sense of belonging do for a person? ›

A sense of belonging is crucial to our life satisfaction, happiness, mental and physical health and even longevity. It gives us a sense of purpose and meaning. Research has shown that loss of belonging has been associated with stress, illness and decreased wellbeing and depression.

Why do I feel rejected and abandoned? ›

Fear of abandonment can come from an anxious attachment style or early childhood trauma. It is also a feature of some mental health conditions, such as borderline personality disorder (BPD).

How do I stop feeling emotionally abandoned? ›

How to cope internally with emotional abandonment
  1. Engage in something deeply relaxing. Creating inner calm can help you feel better, which you can do with relatively simple practices. ...
  2. Practice self-compassion. ...
  3. Ask someone else to meet your needs. ...
  4. Explore unhealthy patterns. ...
  5. Assess the future of your relationship.
Oct 14, 2021

What are the signs of abandonment issues? ›

Signs And Symptoms of Abandonment Issues
  • Insecurity or anxiety in relationships.
  • Feelings of worthlessness.
  • Excessively neediness or clinginess.
  • Difficulty trusting others.
  • Withdrawing socially.
  • Engaging in self-destructive behaviors.
  • Wanting to control others.
Mar 13, 2023

How do I stop feeling lonely and unloved? ›

How to Deal with Loneliness: 5 Ways to Stop Feeling Lonely
  1. Acknowledge Your Feelings of Loneliness. ...
  2. Know When to Engage or Disengage From the Online World. ...
  3. Find a Volunteer Opportunity as a Way to Feel Less Lonely. ...
  4. Join a Group or Club to Overcome Loneliness With In-Person Connections. ...
  5. Practice Self-Care.

What is the unloved daughter syndrome? ›

If your daughter feels unloved, she may suffer from several emotional problems. Symptoms can include depression, anxiety, self-harm, and more. These feelings are often the result of the way her parents treated her during her childhood.

Why do I feel like I need love? ›

The need for affection solidifies our desire to know we are compatible with another human being, even if the relationship is on the friendship or familial level. It creates a sense of harmony in a relationship, especially when it is an intimate one, according to about.com.

Why I can't make close friends? ›

A very common reason for this difficulty is that many people experience some degree of anxiety when meeting new people. This anxiety stems from a fear of being rejected or judged by others.

Why don't I relate well with people? ›

You can struggle to relate to others if you focus on your differences instead of the things you have in common. It is often more about how you understand other people's experiences than whether you share them. Relating can also be hard after extreme experiences that change how you view the world.

Why can't I make friends? ›

A few common issues that make it hard to find friends include shyness, social anxiety, complaining a lot, and expecting too much from new acquaintances. If you're not sure why you struggle to make friends, ask someone you trust for their perspective. Make sure you're prepared to hear the answer, though.

Why do I feel so distant from everyone? ›

Mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and mood disorders can cause social withdrawal and isolation. Socialising can feel like a chore when you're struggling with your mental health, and it can be hard to be truly present with others when your mind feels messy.

How do I reconnect with myself? ›

11 Steps To Reconnect When You Feel Disconnected
  1. Let yourself feel. This may seem like an unnecessary thing to do, but it's so important in reconnecting with yourself. ...
  2. Breathe and meditate. ...
  3. Date yourself. ...
  4. Create art. ...
  5. Open up to someone. ...
  6. Reflect. ...
  7. Make a list of goals. ...
  8. Enjoy the simple things.

Can depression make you feel disconnected from your body? ›

Depression can make you feel disconnected in many ways, in mind, body, and soul. Many of the symptoms of depression show a pattern of losing connection with oneself and others. A bout of depression can result in detachment from one's physical experience just as much as it can cause isolation from others.

How do you know if you're an outsider? ›

6 signs you're an outsider (and how to make it work for you)
  • Sensitivity as a very young child. ...
  • Family stress (divorce etc) as a child. ...
  • Feeling misunderstood (perhaps later borns or youngest in year) ...
  • Dislike of authority. ...
  • Distorted empathy (rooting for bad guy)‎ ...
  • Identity issues in adolescence.
Apr 7, 2015

What does it mean if you are an outsider? ›

1. : a person who does not belong to a particular group. 2. chiefly British : a contender not expected to win.

How do I stop feeling like a social outcast? ›

Spend time with friends who make you feel good about yourself. Participate in clubs, sports, or other activities that you enjoy to build self-confidence, distract you from your negative feelings, and help you to build positive friendships. Focus on the positive things in your life, and talk to someone about them.

What are the effects of being an outsider? ›

Being an “outsider” provides you with a perspective others don't have. It allows you to challenge the status quo, and identify new opportunities.

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