People who never fit in growing up usually display these 9 behaviors later in life

Lucas Graham by Lucas Graham | June 4, 2024, 9:47 am

Growing up, some people never really find their “tribe”. They feel like outsiders, never quite fitting in with the rest.

But that feeling of being an outsider can shape your behaviour in adult life. It can mould you into a person that is unique and different, in both good ways and bad.

Ever wondered if these individuals exhibit certain common behaviours later in life? Well, they often do.

This article will dive into the 9 behaviours usually displayed by people who never fit in during their growing up years. Brace yourself, it might just be a revelation!

1) They often embrace solitude

Growing up on the outskirts of social circles can breed a certain comfort in being alone. But far from being a negative, this solitude can actually cultivate a strong sense of independence and self-reliance.

These individuals have often had to navigate life mostly on their own, which has taught them to appreciate their own company.

You’ll often find them engaging in solo activities, pursuing personal passions, or simply relishing quiet moments of reflection.

It’s not that they can’t or don’t enjoy social interactions, but their default mode tends to lean towards solitude. And they’ve not just accepted it, but embraced it wholeheartedly.

2) They’re unusually empathetic

Speaking from my own experience, I’ve noticed that those of us who never quite felt like we fit in during our formative years often develop a strong sense of empathy.

Maybe it’s because we know what it’s like to feel like an outsider, to be misunderstood or overlooked. 

I can still vividly recall my time as the new kid in high school, struggling to find my place. It was a tough and lonely period, but it taught me the importance of compassion and understanding.

As an adult, this has translated into a deep empathy for others. I often find myself drawn to those who seem a bit out of their element or uneasy in social settings—maybe because I see a bit of my younger self in them.

This heightened empathy can be one of the most beautiful outcomes of not quite fitting in. It allows us to form meaningful connections with others in a profound way.

3) They’re often highly creative

Creativity often blossoms in those who felt like they didn’t quite belong during childhood.

Maybe it’s because they spent so much time dreaming up different worlds and realities, giving them a fresh perspective that ignites their creative spark.

In my work as a relationship coach, I’ve noticed that many imaginative souls felt like outsiders during their formative years.

This sense of not quite fitting in spurred them to explore their own passions and hobbies, which eventually flourished into impressive creative talents.

Whether it’s expressed through art, writing, music, or simply innovative ideas, these individuals often have a natural gift for approaching things from a distinct angle, making them invaluable contributors to any creative endeavor.

4) They value deep relationships

People who didn’t quite fit in during their formative years often show a distinct appreciation for deep and meaningful relationships.

Having possibly experienced shallow or superficial connections in the past, they tend to prioritize friendships that are genuine and profound. Quality matters more to them than quantity when it comes to relationships.

You won’t typically find them surrounded by a large group of acquaintances. Instead, they tend to gravitate towards a select few friends with whom they share deep emotional connections.  

This yearning for depth often translates into them being loyal, compassionate, and supportive friends who take their relationships seriously.

5) They’re self-aware

Growing up feeling like they didn’t quite fit in often leads people to develop a strong sense of self-awareness. They spend a lot of time reflecting on their own thoughts and feelings.

This introspection teaches them to really dig deep and understand themselves— their strengths, weaknesses, and what makes them unique.

This self-awareness makes them more tuned in to their surroundings and the feelings of those around them. But it also gives them the confidence to be authentic and true to themselves.

In the end, this understanding of themselves builds a solid foundation of self-confidence and resilience.

6) They have a strong desire to make a difference

When you’ve spent your life feeling like you never quite belonged, there’s often this fiery urge to spark change. It’s a deep longing to make a real difference.

People who grew up feeling sidelined are often determined to leave a lasting impact—to ensure their existence means something more than just going through the motions.

Their unique experiences and perspectives often shape them into compassionate leaders, outside-the-box thinkers, and fierce advocates.

Everything they do is fueled by a core mission—to build a world where everyone feels like they’re truly part of something.

7) They’re resilient

Life wasn’t always smooth sailing for those of us who felt like misfits in our younger years.

But every hurdle we cleared, every tough spot we navigated, made us stronger. I can vividly remember moments when I felt utterly alone, facing challenges that seemed insurmountable.

Yet, with every stumble, I found the strength to get back up. Every setback taught me resilience, every rejection added to my courage.

That resilience is something many of us carry into adulthood. We know life can throw some curveballs, but we also know we’re tough cookies. We stare challenges down and figure out how to overcome them.

This resilience often shapes us into determined adults who refuse to let obstacles or setbacks hold us back. We’ve weathered storms before, and we’ll do it again.

8) They’re independent thinkers

Independent thinking is a trait you often see in folks who felt a bit like outsiders growing up. They’ve had to forge their own path and make their own choices from a young age.

These individuals aren’t afraid to challenge the norm, question popular beliefs, or swim against the current. They hold their own beliefs and aren’t easily swayed by what everyone else is doing.

Their knack for independent thinking often makes them great problem-solvers and creative minds. They see things from their own angle, which can lead to fresh perspectives and new approaches.

This ability to think independently sets them apart in all sorts of fields and careers. They bring a breath of fresh air and innovative ideas wherever they go.

9) They’re authentic

Above all, those who never quite fit in while growing up are often incredibly authentic.

They’ve spent their lives marching to the beat of their own drum, being true to themselves without any pretense. They don’t feel the need to conform or pretend to be someone they’re not. 

These individuals are genuine through and through. They’re unafraid to show the world exactly who they are, flaws and all.

And in a world where so many people wear masks, their authenticity is like a breath of fresh air.

Embrace the unconventional: Shaping extraordinary lives from unique journeys

The journey of those who never quite fit in growing up can be a rollercoaster of challenges and ups and downs. But it’s precisely this journey that often molds them into extraordinary individuals.

Through their experiences, they develop strengths like resilience, empathy, creativity, and authenticity. These qualities not only make them stand out but also empower them to make meaningful contributions to society.

Often finding themselves in uncharted territory, they forge their own paths, discover new perspectives, and ultimately enrich our world with their unique outlooks.

Let’s take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate these individuals. Their journey may have been rocky, but it’s their unique experiences that have shaped them into the remarkable people they are today.