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Dear Dish-It Advice on Why It’s Okay to be Different

Apr 11, 2017

Naturally, it is not always easy to fit in or feel like you are like other people your own age. Well, it’s okay to be different. In fact, many people would say that what makes you different is what makes you beautiful and unique. Unfortunately, at these times of adolescence people may not look that deep (or beyond the surface), which can make it hard to survive the day-to-day of people. This week’s “Let's Talk About it Tuesday” discusses why it’s okay to be different, and addresses questions from kids and teens who are questioning their identity because they feel like they don’t fit in.

Let’s Take a Look at This Week’s Questions:

Question by Introvert?

People say I don't talk much (which I don't) and say that I'm peculiar and strange just because I like to read and stay indoors than to go outside and hang out with anybody. I'm like that girl who does her own thing in the back of the class.  Am I an introvert and how do I become more social? I don't really like to be by people and I like to keep to myself. Is that normal? Is it strange?

Insight/Advice:

Normal is whatever feels comfortable to you. If that’s who you are and that’s how you like to spend your time, there is nothing strange about it. Don’t question yourself and your personal longings. You are being true to yourself and that is an honorable and remarkable thing to do at this age. It’s not easy to go against the masses, but it makes you a brave individual. Don’t compare yourself to others, don’t let their opinions interfere with you being yourself. Focus on the people who get you and who bring you out of your shell—there will be people who you want to talk to, just give it time. The world wouldn’t function if everyone was an extrovert (so never consider yourself strange), plus they say the quietest people are usually the smartest. Don’t feel like just because you are quiet that you have to miss out on things that you like. Get involved where it suits you. Look into clubs and activities that compliment your hobbies and try to make friends with similar interests. The right people will come to love and respect the things that make you special so don’t feel like you need to change for anyone. As long as you are happy, that’s all that matters! 

When You Long to Be in the GroupWhen You Long to Be in the Group

Question by NerdGirl

I'm a nerd and a dork and I'm not in the popular group in our class. I always help everyone with their work but sometimes I feel the popular girls just dislike me but they always copy my work and get 100% (which they really need). I'm wondering if the fact that one of my friends is a really annoying girl that no one likes has something to do with it. I'm rarely in a bad mood and I never take it out on anyone. I go along with the popular girls' jokes etc. but it doesn't help.  I'm pretty happy as I am, and the popular girls seem to stress a lot about teachers, way more than I do.  The popular girls have up to four guys liking them, and that's something I envy them about. No guys like me.  Am I really missing that much? If so, what can I do about it?

Insight/Advice:

Firstly, why are you letting them copy your work? Do they make you do this, or do you feel obligated? Does this keep them cool with you? It sounds like the popular girls are using you. Do you really think you are missing out on people who copy off of hard-working students? They may be the popular girls now, but you’ll get your day in the sun. There will come a time when guys like you, it just might not be right now. Don’t be envious. Be confident of what your future holds. It sounds like you’ve got a good head on your shoulders and could really go far academically. You can have your dream job and your dream man, just give it time. Remember that most if not all relationships at this age end because it is soon to meet the person you are going to be with forever. Focus on school because that you can control and perhaps let the popular girls knows that they can’t just copy of you (but you are happy to help them), because what you are doing is cheating, and one day you are bound to get caught. Are they really worth getting in trouble for? Look out for yourself and good things will come. You’re smart and intelligent, but you are not a geek or a nerd. Have value in yourself, don’t put yourself down, and don’t let others put you down. You get 100% at school, you’ve got a lot of positive going on, now it's time to use it to your advantage.

When You Feel Like an OutcastWhen You Feel Like an Outcast

Question by Random Donut

Hi, I am an outcast everyone at my school has clicks you know the Nerds and Jock also popular, The hipsters and so on. I can’t fit in to save my life and I do not have friends anymore, they got accepted to the populars. Basically, I am alone I sit alone at lunch and my only friend is my mum. I tried joining clubs like I did drama. But no one liked me there. The last thing I tried was cheerleading and was awesome but they so no. The only people who talk to me is boys and its because they think I am cute. But I just want to be in a group or to have a friend that's a girl so I can actually go on my first sleepover and do girly things How do I become not an Outcast? Help please.

Advice/Insight:

Sounds you're really lonely and tired of not being included. It also sounds like you tried a few things to resolve this issues and none of them worked. You mentioned your old friends who have turned popular now, would any of them stick their neck out for you? Have you tried talking to them? It’s not easy, but you need to fight through it. Things can change at any time. You have to remain hopeful and stay open towards opportunities to meet new people. The more you embrace yourself and who you are the less you will feel like an outcast. Like even when you didn’t get into Cheerleading, you still knew you were awesome, lead with this mentality and rise up above everyone else. Focus on what you think and not on how they made you feel. Reach out to people who you think you’d get along with and continue to take new chances. Drama club and Cheerleading may not have worked out, but something will. You will find where you belong, just keep looking and try to remember that you aren’t alone. Having good family support is a huge plus, and you’re lucky to have those supports in your life because a lot of people don’t.

Question by Future biologist

First, I feel I'm ugly. I have a big nose and facial hair :(. People make fun of me. Second, no one ever understands me. Even mum. Also people say I'm silly although I'm serious. I'm tired and I am feeling like an outcast and I Won't have any luck. I feel frustrated. People never appreciate my hobbies and talents. What shall I do?

Advice/Insight: 

I know it sounds hard to grasp at this age, but it really doesn’t matter what people think. It matters what you think. It’s hard because we all want to fit in. We all want to feel the validation from others, but we have to learn to give it ourselves. Anything we experience above that is extra, and that’s what you should consider lucky. The things you get on top of the things you give yourself/the things you already have. Don’t compare yourself to others, just because a certain girl gets more attention, it does not mean she is more attractive. Everyone has their time, but we never all get it at once. At this age, we are growing into our looks and our bodies and faces are constantly changing. Don’t give up on your beauty or put yourself down. No one is going to like what they see if you don’t. There is something to admire in every person, and the right people will see it in you. They will respect your hobbies. Even if they don’t want to peruse them, they will respect them. They will love you for you and nothing more or less. I know it seems like a fantasy world, but it can happen and is more likely to happen the moment you embrace yourself and your differences. People will be attracted to your individuality because it shows that you are staying true to yourself. Give it time and hang in there, and remember the only opinion that matters is your own. 

When you Feel So AloneWhen you Feel So Alone

Afterthoughts

It can be really hard to fit in at school, especially when it seems like there are these defined groups. Be patient. This will not always be. Once you are old enough, people don’t base things off of “popular” or “cool” or “nerd.” People see each other for who they are as people and love them for their personalities. It just takes time, and no it is not easy, but you’ve got to hang in there and see how it all unfolds. If you say that your mom is your only friend, it’s not the worst case scenario. You are not alone. You still have people supporting you. Focus on those supports, the ones you know you can trust and don’t worry about anything else. Those are the relationships that matter. We always want what we can’t have, but we fail to look at what we do have. Try to find things in life to be grateful about because there are lots of options.

If you feel like you are “different” that is okay, embrace this. Do the things that make you happy and try not to care what others think. Your school doesn’t define you, you define you. The less attention you pay to everyone else, and the more attention you place upon yourself, the happier you will be. Remember, your school might make it harder to be yourself with all these different groups, but the real world is an open oyster just waiting for your eccentricity!

Interested in getting in touch with Dear Dish-It? Simply email deardish@kidzworld.com with your concern, and we will address you on “Let’s Talk about it Tuesday” if your question is suitable for our topic of conversation. Regardless, keep your eyes peeled as Dear Dish-It it is covering a lot of issues, and you never know when your question or topic of concern will be featured in an article. Please let us know if you would like your handle to be listed as anonymous and list your age in your question if you would like as that can impact advice. To learn the Do's and Don'ts of Dear Dish-It and to find out what kind of questions are appropriate, check out this article!

Have Your Say

Do you feel like you fit in? Did this advice help you?  Comment below!

 

 

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Do Your Friends Annoy You?

  • Yeah, my friends annoy me all the time.
  • Sometimes my friends can get on my nerves.
  • No, me and my friends usually get along really well.
  • I don't really have friends to annoy me.

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

Wonderfulcalico
My parents have always been aggressive and abusive and I only just noticed it a couple months ago. Over time they've gotten worse (specifically my mother). Whenever she gets mad she'll yell at us and if she gets mad enough she'll hit and push us around. Whoever we get into arguments it's always one- sided and she always wins, even if she knows she is wrong. An argument we had not to long ago was about me not taking care of myself. She looked at my hair and started to touch it and told me "Your hair isn't soft why is it so dry, it's probably because you aren't taking care of your hair." Then she goes on to tell me that she's going to cut it and all of this other stuff when she knows I'm conscious about me looking like a boy ( Used to get called a boy for having short hair). As the argument goes on, I start to tell her things that she knows she is wrong about. She proceeds to yell at me then grabs me by the face and say "If you don't lower your tone and listen to what I'm saying I'm going to knock you in the head." Then she goes on to tell me she remembers nothing I was saying and that it's a lie. She also hit me when I didn't clean the laundry room correctly and whenever she gets fed up. I'm constantly having to watch what I say and do, because I'm scared that I'm going to end up hurt. She also likes to degrade me and tell how bad I'm doing. She's said plenty of thing like when I didn't have my bed covers tucked in she yelled at me and hit me and I said "Do you expect me to just stand here and take this", and she replied saying "That's what you are supposed to do you are the child and I am the adult, you take whatever I do until I'm done." Another time is when I had my band concert and I had to pick out the right attire. When we went shopping to get the clothing I chose slacks when she liked a skirt better, we went on to fight in the store and she bought the slacks. When we got home she said to me that real girls wear skirts and dresses and boys wear slacks and pants. This hurt me because she knows I have a past with people telling me I look like a boy etc. Another time I started to sleep on the floor, because I was practicing a minimalist life. When I left my pillows on the floor she found it and questioned me on why they were there. I told her it fell of my bed when really I left it there. Later when I told my dad, he told her and she got mad because I was getting cat hair on my pillows. She then proceeded to ask why I lied and I told her sometimes lying is better then the truth (I knew she would get mad that I was sleeping on the floor so I lied) then she told me that I was never going to have a relationship, a job, or friends ( This hurt me because I don't have friends now). She's also said that I don't take care of my body because I ate two sweets in one day which lead her to banning me from Doritos and now I have to ask to get chips and any other snack. She's told me I don't take care of my teeth because I have yellow spots from using whitening toothpaste with braces on. She's told me I don't take care of my hair so I can't wash it or do any hair style or then a bun. She had lead me to starving myself (Unless she makes me eat) and cutting myself. I've just stopped caring, because what ever I do is always wrong. I never get a choice in my activities, she controls my life in fact she me just in a different body. But what is even worse is that she's turning my dad into her. Now I have a scheduled time to eat breakfast and lunch, and to go onto my electronics. I feel like I'm in a prison with my parents constantly watching over me, in fact yesterday when I was pouring my milk my mom got out a measuring cup and poured my milk into the measuring cup and said "Why isn't this a full cup" and I replied saying "Because I don't measure my milk." Then she got angry at me. There's so much I could say about her, but I'll stop. Anyways my father is always sarcastic and he doesn't realize how much it hurts me. Today I was cleaning out my bag for next school year and my dad came in and said, "Wow, you aren't even dress yet and I had to come up here to tell you how sad." Just little things like that hurt me. My little sister got mad at me last week for sitting in a certain area and she said " Why are you sitting there," and I didn't reply because I didn't want to speak to her and she then said, "Probably because you are too stupid to answer." I wanted to break down crying then and there, but I kept it in. I've limited my talking to her, because all she does is break me down. Like when there was a Proactive commercial and she said, "Ha, you need that." That hurt me because just the other my mom was telling me how I don't take care of my face and that's why I have acne. My older sister and I barely talk, because whenever I try to talk to her she's mad for what ever reason and when my parents were talking about hitting my sister she was in the corner laughing. My cat Preston is very young and I got hi,abo a year ago. I get very sad and often cry, because I've seen him turn out scared and aggressive just like me because he's been through what I have. One time he pooped in a clothes basket (It's right next to his litter box) my mom grabbed him by the neck and hit him while she smothered his face in his poop, all while yelling at him. I was going to call the Animal Protective Services, but I got too scared and I realized how lonely I would be. Please help me I'm not sure what to do anymore. Also sorry for the very long post!
reply 2 days
Error101
Error101 posted in Family Issues:
Dear Kkmr324, I hope you get to feeling better as time goes on.  It does get better but like you said you can't actually get over it.  Losing someone to cancer is awful and I have never lost a friend and I hope I never will and I am so sorry that you did, but I have lost family to cancer and it is horrible.  I hope your okay. :(
reply 4 days
Kkrmr324
Kkrmr324 posted in Family Issues:
A few months ago,my friend Kendall died of cancer. It was really hard to "get over it"; because really you dont just get over it. One thing i did was find a bunch of pictures of me and Kendall and remembered all the fun we had together. And it helped! I still miss her, but good friends and family helped with that.
reply 6 days
Kkrmr324
Kkrmr324 posted in Family Issues:
A few months ago,my friend Kendall died of cancer. It was really hard to "get over it"; because really you dont just get over it. One thing i did was find a bunch of pictures of me and Kendall and remembered all the fun we had together. And it helped! I still miss her, but good friends and family helped with that.
reply 6 days
Tennis123
why are you allowing that to control your happiness? why can't you have true happiness instead of chasing some dream for momentary satisfaction? You're 12. This is when your core beliefs, values, and outlooks on life start. Don't mess it up choosing to be sad over something like that.
reply 7 days