According to the Maslow's Hierarchy Theory, everybody has Social Needs; where everybody seeks companionship, love, affection, friendship, to be accepted by the society, kith and kin around. One major aspect of this need is the "need to fit in".
To fit in to the group you are sitting in, to fit in with the thought process, to fit in with outing preferences, food habits, music choices and other minor things that make an outing, an event, a party worth attending. In the absence of finding the self a fit to the group, the individual tends to shirk away. It causes irritation and frustration and at times the person choses to go into his/her own shell permanently. Upon frequent interactions with groups that do not value you, psychological damage is huge if the person is not mentally very strong.
Example - a group of late twenties people who are football enthusiasts to an extent that they literally live football with every breath that they breathe. It is kind of obvious that when they meet, they will talk about football. Nothing wrong in it. But then this one person who is a non football person will feel left out.
Same is the case with smokers and non smokers. I have really come across this statement - "You don't smoke what should we do. You don't really gel with us. And we can't stop smoking just because you don't."
It was shocking for me to witness that people can force you to start with a deathly bad habit rather than giving up their own. Probably to be a part of a group is why they started smoking at the first place. You never know!
A try at being a fit in any group is not the part of the outsider or the person who is already a misfit alone, it is an equal responsibility of the people who are a part of the cult, the group having common interests. An individual might not be able to do something at the very first meeting. It has been observed that if the misfit person tries to bring about a change in the discussion topics within the group, he/she is avoided for future gatherings or even if the group starts a topic(going out of their comfort zone), it might fade away soon.
A shoutout to all the misfits of any group:
1. Find a group or a gathering where you belong (Sometimes just this one person to hang out with is more than sufficient).
2. If you have been forced into a group once in a while, try being a part with a smile on your face or nodding your way through the entire meeting.
3. Do not expect people to talk your words, after all you are not doing the same to them. Pick a corner that's away from naked eye and indulge in activities which show you are super busy or are enjoying the ambience there.
4. If possible find a common topic which the group is ready to talk about. (I tell you from experience, this can be really tricky; and if there are people who know each other since ages, you might never succeed.) Nonetheless, give your best try once or twice and don't get disheartened if you do not achieve this goal.
5. Finally, avoid such gatherings as far as possible. They just suck out the best from you and leave you with negativity towards the people (no matter how good a relation you might have had with them).
Contrarily, you might be lucky enough to be accepted fondly in the group and would be invited every time this particular group meets. If this happens, consider yourself SUPER LUCKY that people are giving some value to you.
I wish each one of you find a group where you belong and that accepts you as you are and that you cross through the "Social Needs" phase of the hierarchy pretty soon and with success.
Happy Fitting In!