Teens are social creatures. Even the “outcasts” among us tend to find at least one friend to hang with, because we all NEED to be with other people, at least part of the time. Its in our DNA. However, sometimes we feel the need to change ourselves to fit in with the rest of the people in our social groups. Is it worth it? Does fitting in make us happy?
Dr. Jesse Viner of Yellowbrick rehabilitation center surveyed 2,000 Americans to find out how a sense of community affects us all. Here are highlights, and you can click here to read the full research https://www.yellowbrickprogram.com/blog/fitting-in#more-798:
- The #1 reason for being part of a crowd you don’t identify with is convenience.
- Only 62% of adults feel that they are part of a community and only 15% of us end up in the same crowd as adults as we were in high school and college
- Adults who turn to the internet to find a sense of community are happier than those who do not!
- Respondents said that when they were in high school, 68 percent felt that their community represented them well and 56 percent said that their community was important to their overall happiness.
- As adults, survey respondents overwhelmingly said their community represented their identity (93 percent) and 70 percent said their community was important to their overall happiness. So if you don’t feel you fit in now don’t worry about it…it gets much better when you get older!
So what’s the takeaway?
Yes, fitting in to SOME kind of group makes us happy, and we will naturally try to do this all of our lives. It’s harder during younger years, but gets easier as we get older.
While we are in high school, we don’t have to be part of the super-popular group, like jocks and cheerleaders, but its important for each of us to find our tribe where we fit in somehow. This tribe will definitely change as we get older, and that’s okay!