15 Surprising Reasons Being A Misfit Can Be Your Greatest Superpower

15 Surprising Reasons Being A Misfit Can Be Your Greatest Superpower

I lived the first 25 years of my life with undiagnosed Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

provided by iStock

It’s so much more than being a neat freak or wanting to color-coordinate your closet. In fact, the World Health Organization lists OCD as one of the top 10 most debilitating disorders — that’s how serious it is. Needless to say, battling this as a child without therapy or medication left me feeling like a misfit. Sure, I had friends, good friends. But on the inside, I always knew I was different, which made me overthink all relationships. Sometimes, it ruined relationships. Other times, it forced me to put up a guard so the relationship wouldn’t have a chance to even begin. Nonetheless, there are some surprising reasons why being a misfit can be your greatest superpower. I know from personal experience. Here are a few.

1. You’re aware of your shortcomings.

provided by Shutterstock

Sometimes, I was a misfit simply because I did something dumb or selfish enough to earn myself a red flag. When you’re the one on the outside, you have more opportunities for self-reflection, which allows you to recognize where you might be in the wrong. Will correcting these things make you instantly popular? Probably not. But it never hurts to be honest enough with yourself to make changes to your character.

2. You make calculated decisions about who you trust.

provided by Shutterstock

As a misfit, you don’t have tons of friends. You don’t really float from one social circle to another. This means you have more time to sit back and make calculated decisions about who you trust. Now, this isn’t an excuse to be a critic of mankind and lead “anti-friendship” marches across the country, but not fitting in means you can more easily control who fits into your life.

3. You discover how to navigate awkward social encounters.

provided by Shutterstock

Many times, misfits are misfits because they either don’t understand or don’t agree with society’s standard social standards. And honestly, that’s okay! It’s kinda boring (and can be dangerous) when everyone just goes with the crowd. But being the odd one out means you’ve had your fair share of awkward conversations, where you’ve had to explain who you’re the different one. Don’t be intimidated by this. Embrace it as a chance to understand how to handle uncomfortable communication.

4. You learn what you like about yourself.

provided by Shutterstock

If you know you’re a misfit, you’re often aware of why. This self-awareness allows you to not only take note of ways you could change (if that’s what’s right) but also ways you should stay the same. Culture makes misfits feel as though they must conform, but many times, misfits are the ones doing it right. And when they have their alone time, away from the trendy crowds, they can more easily see what they like about themselves.

5. You learn to set boundaries for yourself.

provided by Shutterstock

Misfits often get lots of flack and unwelcome pushback from others, whether steeped in jealousy or pure cruelty. This means misfits have the opportunity to set firm boundaries—and stick with them. Whether you’re a misfit or not, we can all take a lesson in what it means to define clear, healthy boundaries for ourselves and relay those expectations to others.

6. You’re not afraid of personal growth.

provided by Shutterstock

When you’re not living to impress the popular kids, which is where most misfits find themselves, you can focus on personal growth. You aren’t controlled by others, making decisions to please the masses. Don’t underestimate this gift—use it to cultivate the future you want.

7. You look to outside resources for help.

provided by Shutterstock

If you’re not exactly in the “in” crowd, you don’t mind looking to outside resources when you need help. Maybe that’s a therapist or even a doctor who can prescribe medications or holistic remedies to help you become a stronger person, mentally and physically. Perhaps you discover a mentor at the nursing home (which I recommend) or in your church. As a misfit, you don’t need Mr. Popular as your life counselor. (And, actually, no one needs Mr. Popular as their life counselor.)

8. You don’t live to please others.

provided by Shutterstock

When you aren’t living to please the boss, the overbearing in-laws, or anyone else, you aren’t weighed down by their demands. This means you can say “no” to the lunch date everyone at the office wants you to attend. This means you can politely decline your mother-in-law’s attempts to make you attend her weekly nail appointments. Other people don’t define how you spend your life.

9. You don’t get caught up in short-lived trends.

provided by Shutterstock

Some trends, no matter how horrific, are hilarious to look back on. I get a kick out of revisiting my days wearing slap bracelets, neon earrings, and bump-its in my hair. But some trends are dangerous. Seriously. Drinking Tide Pods? That one wasn’t a good idea. Mixing all sorts of drugs at parties? Yeah, that one really isn’t a good idea. When you’re a misfit, trends don’t keep your life afloat, which means you can avoid them. (Which could just save your life.)

10. You’re not a slave to social media.

provided by Shutterstock

Misfits don’t fit social media’s influencer standards. This means the need to stay trendy, make those reels, overthink hashtags, respond to every comment, etc. isn’t a thing. How refreshing would it be if we all lived this way, not letting who we are and our inherent worth be tied to like buttons and petty DMs?

11. You can relate to other misfits.

provided by Shutterstock

There’s something incredible, God-designed, about human empathy. When we can truly relate to others, and we use that empathy as a tool to catalyze change for the better, we are unstoppable. We make history. We turn the tide. Good things happen. When you’re a misfit, you can relate to other misfits and use that empathy to encourage them. What a gift!

12. Your life choices aren’t boxed in.

provided by Shutterstock

If you don’t fit in, you can’t be boxed in. If your family is jam-packed with people in the healthcare field, but the sight of blood makes you queasy, you get to pursue whatever career you want. After all, as the outsider of the family, no one is exactly expecting you to follow the leader.

13. Your unconventional ways are attractive.

provided by Shutterstock

My husband said that one of the things he found most attractive about me when we first met was that I was just “different.” He couldn’t really define the “different.” And in some ways, he labeled the “different” as quirky… “but cute.” Don’t underestimate how your unconventional ways can be attractive to someone who is tired of the same-old same-old.

14. You won’t be an overbearing parent.

provided by Shutterstock

If you’re a misfit, odds are, your parents tried to “fix” it. Whether they forced you into organizations and clubs you didn’t enjoy, made you play with friends who weren’t really friends, or manipulated your dating pool, they were overbearing. You understand what that’s like, which means you are way less likely to be that parent to your kids. And one day, they’ll thank you for it.

15. You won’t let social pressure damage you.

provided by Shutterstock

Society is made up of imperfect people trying to figure out why they’re here and what they’re meant to do. That’s some heavy stuff. So when we don’t have all the answers, we easily play along with what everyone else is doing. It’s a defense mechanism to avoid our own confusion and questions. But when you’re a misfit, you don’t need society as a Plan B. You get to blaze your own trail, regardless of what life does or doesn’t throw your way.

Enjoy this piece? Give it a like and follow Bolde on MSN for more!

Peyton Garland is a boy mama and Tennessee farmer who loves sharing her heart on OCD, postpartum life, and hope in the messy places.
close-link
close-link
close-link
close-link