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Do you often feel a bit out of place various spheres of life?

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  • Do you often feel a bit out of place various spheres of life?

    Background & Thought:
    Wondering if anyone else from this forum, ever gets that feeling that your mindset/behavior/wisdom/self , often feels like those around you are playing the game of life w/ a total different strategy or approach?

    Trying to keep this general.... But I know a lot of us live life differently, as our group tends to have "deferred gratification" , in one subjective form or another, in common.

    One of Many Anecdotes to explain this:
    I worked in Blue collar in my 20's and kinda fit in.... but didn't really because I was always going to school, and everyone there was super supportive and always saying, "you don't belong here kid. Get your degree and get out while you can".

    Then I follow that path, get my degree, do 4 years in white collar, and don't generally enjoy it. I'm the only guy w/ tattoo's, who speaks their mind, and am heroically awful at playing "the corporates career ladder game" , and generally speaking I did my work @ or above expectation + made tons of lasting friends there.

    Eventually I resigned that white collar corporate gig out of lack of interest, and went to a mix of White Collar (relator)/Blue collar (photogher) and still I have construction guys telling me, "I need too look less professional, because I keep scaring them that I work for OSHA, and am infact, not a contractor but management in disguise".

    *I have always gotten 2nd take looks from people I work w/ when asked how much (wife & I) stash away for 401K %'s, roth IRAs, or any other general saving investing advice. I'm sure we all are kin in that regard.

    Question:
    Do you S.A.'ers in here, ever get a similar feeling to this while navigating through the waters of your life?




    *NOTE - This is not a complaint. As I was blessed w/ a positive-Optimistic daily mindset.


  • #2
    You might be interested in personality test. Myers Briggs is a common one though there are a few others.

    On two separate occasions I've taken this test. On both occasions it's pegged me as an INTJ. Reading the description, I seem feel it matches me well. Bt then again so does my horoscope, so I wouldn't put too much faith in it but it is an indication of what type of person you are today.

    It is more interesting though reading about other people. When you come to the realization that everyone else is not just like you (yeah I know common sense right, but...). It is a powerful tool for working with others. It's not about manipulation, it's about interacting with them on their terms.

    And then there is mental health and personality disorders. I know one guy who I suspect is bi-polar. I know another guy who I believe is a narcissus. And then personally, my mother swears I am a candidate for Asperger's syndrome.

    I guess my point is, it is not that there are two groups, everyone else and you. Its that each and every person is their own group.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have felt this way too. To give a little bit of background:
      I have a master degree in physics and once graduated I lasted in Academia for about 4 yrs too before I quit and changed my whole lifestyle.
      People often wonder "if you used to a a University Lecturer in Astrophysics, why are you now freelancing?"
      Truth is, I do love the science, but I didn't enjoy the environment. I learnt what I wanted to learn with my career, now it is time to look for the next adventure.
      When I was a kid all I wanted to do was to be, literally, an adventurer who would travel around the world and learn all he could about this planet: nature and science.
      I have the background now to do my own learning at a deeper scale, and so I quit and nowadays work as a digital nomad. People just don't understand the lifestyle (and it doesn't help I am a minimalist too, I only have what fits in my car and the wife and I live on the road, crossing the continent at our leisure in our little honda).

      Yeah everyone around is playing this game with a much different set of rules (except a few ones we have met here and there). People even think we do this because we are poor (HA! no, we just don't like to spend on things we deem useless and dust-accumulators). Everyone has their own game going on and as long as you are happy with yours and you are making your own rules to be the main character of your lifestory I say: Rock ON !

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes all the time. We don't really fit in anywhere. We are pretty FIRE devotees, but that's private. But are publicly pretty unconcerned about money and I know that doesn't fit in anywhere. Leaving friends behind in academia they are like "woah". Why do phds (we've each got one) to not do what you trained to do?

        Then we moved because we wanted to get closer to families and thought good time for career changes and take a paycut. Friends where we left thought we were nuts (you don't leave a single income and go income less for a year without a plan). Literally gambling on a new career track and $. We had no idea what we would make. But then we moved to the east coast at that time our friends thought us also nuts for picking up and moving without knowing a soul. Again we moved with kids to a city we had never even visited. (yay!)

        But like I said a lot of people, not on here struggle paycheck to paycheck (even making a lot). No matter where we've lived EVERYONE has always said to us "How do you live on 1 salary? How do you make it?" We never appear to be struggling and worrying about money. When we talk about it, and it sneaks in we don't have a car payment, no credit card debt and never have, no student loans, college savings for kids, and retirement. It's astonishment. You are 1 income family? How do you travel? You can't possibly be saving money. My own family always tells me you'll never be able to retire. You are so dumb. You are going to die broke. I laugh everytime I look at our accounts. My mom shut up finally one day when i opened our brokerage account and had more than they did. She would always tell me you need to work, you have to get a paying job you will never retire. After that she never said again that I needed a job.

        When I say we are about done no one believes me. Everyone laughs and thinks I'm nuts. Now our friends laugh at us and say "I can't believe you decided to leave countryclub work for a startup for no money. You guys are nuts. I could never live on what you live on." I say it's more than we normally spend anyway but it does somewhat suck. I curb my spending a little and make a conscious effort to save. Before I just saved because we weren't big spenders for our income. Now more of my frugal muscles have to become evident.
        LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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        • #5
          Yes. Usually from a financial perspective. Friends, coworkers, family members. Some of the conversations that I end up in the middle of or overhear make me feel very out of place.
          I'm thankful for this forum where I can discuss finances with like minded people
          Brian

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          • #6
            Interesting to hear these stories that rhyme with my experiences.

            I should say 1st and foremost, I'm incredibly comfortable "not fitting in" w/ the center of the bell curve, when in most "employment settings". And the fact that we also live w/o car payment, mortgage payment, credit card payments, etc.... really does put us in a different situation than friends.

            It can be a bit uncomfortable, when I have friends (and older family) who seem genuniely interested in my advice around financial strategies for saving, investing, and even general purchase advice. And if I give them the information they seek, it's often along side the caveot that, "You {or you + your wife/husband} already earn much more than my wife and I do as far as income. So there IS a way to get where we are... etc....".

            And there is a bit of a guilty pleasure, when I look back @ our sacrifices (really didn't seem like big scarifies back when they were made) , and how they've put us in a such a comfortable financial position, w/ SOOO MUCH FREEDOM baked in.....(I would not have changed much, even if I had the opportunity).

            Being an outsider comes w/ risks and costs. I'm soo glad those risks were comfortable to me, and the costs was a pittance, compared to freedom I have over 95% of my friends who have to spend soo much more of their time, to earn enough to keep up w/ their spending. I'm very grateful for this forum, as it was a helpful crutch of comfort & information resource, to let me know all this savings & deferring gratification was wise and would pay off in spades down the line.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by amarowsky View Post
              Wondering if anyone else from this forum, ever gets that feeling that your mindset/behavior/wisdom/self , often feels like those around you are playing the game of life w/ a total different strategy or approach?
              All the time, my entire life. I've always had trouble fitting in. Financially, for sure, but other ways too.

              Most people are broke. That's the norm in this country. The majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. About half of people surveyed last year said they'd have trouble paying a $400 bill.

              I've said it before but the folks in this forum are unicorns. We're in the top 10%, many in the top 5% or less.

              It makes social interaction difficult unless you manage to befriend those rare folks who are like you.
              Steve

              * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
              * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
              * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by amarowsky View Post
                I should say 1st and foremost, I'm incredibly comfortable "not fitting in" w/ the center of the bell curve, when in most "employment settings". And the fact that we also live w/o car payment, mortgage payment, credit card payments, etc.... really does put us in a different situation than friends.
                Dave Ramsey constantly references "normal" people on his show. "Normal" is broke, as he argues.

                I'm fine with not being normal or fitting in as well

                Brian

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by bjl584 View Post

                  Dave Ramsey constantly references "normal" people on his show. "Normal" is broke, as he argues.

                  I'm fine with not being normal or fitting in as well
                  Dave also says to live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later.

                  I'm not fully onboard with all that Dave preaches and promotes but his underlying message is rock solid.
                  Steve

                  * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                  * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                  * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yes, I can identify with the OP's description. I have also experienced the duality of being a blue-collar personality in a white collar career, as well as being raised, educated, credentialed "white collar" working in a blue-collar world. In all situations it's never been prudent to discuss financial matters because the lot of people, no matter what they do for work, play their finances fast and loose. Of course there are exceptions. I've met brilliant people in simple jobs, and very dense people in extremely high paying jobs. IMO, there is no normal. Picking a good path that is a better fit with your personality, and sticking to it, matters most. ...I think. I'm 25 years into working for my own paycheck and I have yet to find any job that is a perfect fit, job duties and/or colleagues and coworkers.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It's also a struggle that my DH and i ended up in places with a lot of generational wealth. Stuff we've never had or experienced. It doesn't have to be many generations to be generational and it doesn't have to be a lot. It can be simple stuff like $10k for vacation paid for by their families. We pay for our parents instead of them paying for us. Down payment on a house, we're more likely to be buying than them giving us anything. We have given them cars over them giving us cars. We are saving for our kids college without them giving us anything. It's the expectation that your parents will pay for it.
                      LivingAlmostLarge Blog

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This has been a very interesting thread to read.

                        I think everyone feels out of place at times. The world is full of different people and better because of it. It just means we won’t relate to everyone and that’s okay.

                        I am blessed that our main group of close friends is very similar to us. I don’t feel out of place with them at all. We have A+ people in our life and am not sure how we got so lucky. Actually, when I read articles about the average millennial or American, my natural reaction is to fact check it against my own experiences and inner circle and then I have to actively remind myself that we and our friends are not average.

                        However, I do feel very out of place since moving to New York. I don’t relate to the people at all (could not be any more different) and the weather is miserable so I find no redeeming qualities. I will say it’s been a been a very humbling experience and makes me appreciate home and my friends that much more.
                        Last edited by jenn_jenn; 01-15-2022, 09:58 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Yes. I think some of it is being higher IQ, being raised in a family of frugal savers, etc. But in addition to that, my parents never gave a flip about what everyone else was doing. As a result, I often feel like I was raised on another planet or didn't get the memo about a lot of cultural things. Like the OP, I have absolutely no complaints about this. Has only made life easier/better. But even when it comes to these forums and more like minded-ish people, we clearly have our own priorities and walk to the beat of our own drum.

                          On the flip side of the coin, I have always felt very fulfilled professionally. My spouse struggles with this more (is hard to marry an extreme practical side with an extreme artistic side). So I understand it may be difficult for some to ever fit in at all. But I do think that "walking to the beat of my own drum" has helped immensely on this front too. I've always done more what I wanted to do versus what everyone else thought I should be doing. Like everything else, I don't really know what most people are talking about when it comes to work. I don't relate. But my passions translate into practical and well paying work. I've mostly worked for micro small employers (very flexible and 9-5 culture). & trust me, have gotten a lot of advice over the years that I *should* do other things career-wise. (Generally stuff that I knew would make me miserable and that I had no interest in). I guess it also helps to know yourself.

                          I can see that I fit in more with the white picket fence and the 2.0 kids and the "appropriate" job (accountant). For sure, my spouse feels moreso that he does not fit in anywhere. I can see the stark difference, and it goes all the way back to his childhood. Was more of a black sheep in his family, but I expect is some of him not really caring about what he *should* be doing and is probably why we hit it off.

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                          • #14
                            Interesting post, I feel like I'm a multiple generational outsider and probably take that on as part of my identity personally. The older I get though, the more I think I'm less outsider and more like everyone else including the feeling of being an outsider. Haha Reflecting back in the last 30 years there has been times where it's been a struggle as a single parent making the choices that I have and being so financially conservative. It's paid off but I do wonder if I delayed gratification too much now that I'm in a place where I don't have to. Perhaps retiring earlier even when there are aspects of my job that I still enjoy will be another time where I'm walking to the beat of my own drum like MonkeyMama says. I think in my later years, I'm doing more reflecting now that I have the time to really make up for the years where I was so focused on doing what I *had* to, that I don't quite know what to do with myself if I don't have the pressure to do things for others.

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                            • #15
                              Wonder if it's more of a "western influence" thing.... I spent several years working at a Japanese-American company. W/ heavy Japanese influence & mentality.

                              In Japan's greater culture (and common among many Eastern cultures) they view, what we call "Conformity" as "Harmony". Pretty understandable, as they have a saying that "the nail that sticks out get's hammered the hardest". <---- Naturally, if I kinda stick out in Western/USA Common-Culture, I'm gonna stick out like a Sore Thumb in Japanese business! (and I did, by a country mile).

                              Thankfully, I have too many old friends to count (my current watermark for "old friend" is 20+ years) and I'm blessed to have at least a dozen of these that I get to keep in touch w/ 75% of them on the weekly. (Should note, I'll be Ding'ing the big 35 within months end!)

                              Sticking out in America has it's benefits. But I try not to push my ideas on anyone, (tried in the past, and it's not an effective way if you really want to help someone). I just started leading by example, and will humbly provide anyone any information, questions, etc... when they ask "hey what do you think about selling/buying/trading, X (R.e., investing, saving, durable assets, etc....)



                              This does make me wonder, when considering my western influences..... If I would have the same "my own path" mindset had I grown up w/ Eastern influences.... Or if our type of personality (Saving Advice - Outsiders) is just given to us, right out of the box in our personalities, regardless of the external influences of our varying developments....

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