Do You Long to Belong?

Do You Long to Belong?: As a career therapist, I have sat with clients of all ages who have expressed feeling like an outsider who doesn't quite fit in, a square peg in a round hole, so different from others that they may have come from another planet. Some are adults, some children and teens and what they have in common is a longing to belong. This sense of feeling like an 'other' may have emerged from their family of origin, where they may have grown up as the only artist among athletes, the only introvert among social butterflies, or the only mechanic among PhDs. Being in lock step may have superseded unique talents. And, once they enter school, the expectation to conform may seem overwhelming. During sessions, some have shared a belief that other people have it all together. I laugh with them and relate a story from my own adolescence. Although I had friends in the various social circles (athletes, cheerleaders, student council, drama club, musicians, chess club -- the only group I didn't hang with

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