Dear Dr. Norquist:
I am a 28 year-old with a situation that probably many women experience. I am single and would really like to find the right man. I go to the bars on the weekends, like everyone else, but it’s always such a dissatisfying and uncomfortable experience. I’ve always been a little shy, and I don’t really know how to fit in. I’ve never felt like I fit in – always I’ve felt different. This makes for a lonely life. What can I do to fit in better, and be more comfortable around others? Of course, I’d also like to ask you how to find the man who is right for me – but I know that’s something you can’t really answer.
Dr. Norquist responds:
Trying to “fit in” with others is not the approach that will get you what you want. What you need to focus on, is “fitting in” with yourself. The more you are at ease with yourself, the more you will be at ease with others, and the more others will be at ease with you. When you are at ease yourself, you do not need others to see you, or react to you in a certain way. When you are at ease with yourself, you are more in tune with your similarities with others, your common humanness and imperfections. From this place, you can experience humor more easily, and take life more lightheartedly. In this place, it’s easy to be accepting of others because you are accepting of yourself. Others are drawn to this.
So – don’t try to fit in with others. Instead, focus on knowing and accepting yourself. This will ready you for establishing the right relationship when the opportunity arises. It will also help you to be more open to it so it won’t pass you by. Learn to shine your own light through being yourself, and you will be surprised how comfortable you feel around others, and how you no longer focus on feeling different.
(Dr. Sallie Norquist is a licensed psychologist (NJ #2371) in private practice and is director of Chaitanya Counseling Services, a center for upliftment and enlivenment, in Hoboken.) Dr. Norquist and the staff of Chaitanya invite you to write them at Chaitanya Counseling Services, 51 Newark St., Suite 202, Hoboken, NJ 07030 or www.chaitanyacounseling.com or by e-mail at email@example.com, or by fax at (201) 656-4700. Questions can address various topics, including relationships, life’s stresses, difficulties, mysteries and dilemmas, as well as questions related to managing stress or alternative ways of understanding health-related concerns.Ó 2017 Chaitanya Counseling Services