(Reading time: 5 minutes, 1100 words)
The following is a list of reflections on what I think it means to be a misfit. It is in no way comprehensive, nor do all misfits embody all of these traits. If anything, it should be apparent that the nature of misfitism is a spectrum, and one that we all fall on somewhere. To some degree, we're all social misfits, vying for acceptance, and in some ways loathing that our sense of self is informed by each other.
But here we are.
Perhaps a greater understanding of what it means to be a misfit will help us better understand what it means to be human.
Note: Although I use the masculine pronoun "he," misfitism is impartial to gender, age, or race.
- Misfits mostly only become close friends with other misfits.
- Misfits occasionally make it into popular social circles or groups, but it doesn’t last because the misfit will either change or lose interest in the group.
- Because of the preceding two points, the misfit will have very few lifelong friendships. Because the misfit’s closest friends are also misfits, they will inevitably go their separate ways. The friends who aren’t misfits themselves are ultimately abandoned, though not deliberately.
- The misfit is a social wanderer. He makes friends, sure. But he loses or disregards them, and wanders on.
- The most elementary component of misfitism is the state of being lost.
- A misfit thinks he is lost with the world, but in truth he is lost with herself because of the world.
- The misfit wants to fit, to have a social place or purpose, but he also hates this desire because it necessitates dishonesty. Above all, the misfit wants to be true to herself. As such, he rejects the superficial behaviors surrounding social interaction. Her desire for social integration and personal congruence create internal conflict. The misfit is perpetually conflicted.
- The misfit can seem angry, but in fact this anger is misdirected hopelessness – hopelessness at ever finding the perfection that should exist in the world.
- The misfit often rebels against social norms and traditions. Most of this rebellion is carried out unconsciously. Often the misfit dislikes his own impulse to rebel because he sees it as illogical and recognizes that such a response grants power to external stimuli.
- The misfit wholly wants internal locus of control but he sees the universe as probabilistically deterministic, which, if true, renders her will insignificant. Again, the result is internal conflict.
- The misfit does not think that convention should be upheld for the sake of order. Rather, order is the counterpart to chaos, both of which should be embraced and explored.
- A misfit has either high intelligence or high sensitivity, often both. So, though he is keenly aware of the impracticality of her actions, her allegiance to her sense of self causes her to live primarily intuitively, often disregarding her affinity for reason.
- Because of the misfit’s delicate sensibility, the world seems harsh and abrasive, causing him to seek solace. Accordingly, the misfit finds beauty where there isn’t much noise or gathering, for example, in the dark, the chaotic, or malfeasant.
- A misfit is first tormented by being alone, and then must be alone. he first desires to fit socially, but after occasion affords this, he finds that he prefers solitude.
- Relatively speaking, a misfit is fearless. Because he has little to lose socially, he has little to fear. Though this fearlessness is only realized through acknowledging how often he is afraid.
- A misfit is always on the search – he is experimental. Experience, by his standards, is the source of knowledge, the acquiring of which is his greatest pleasure. Except love. Real love is better. But it is so rare a thing in his eyes that he seeks that which is more plentiful until love finds him.
- A misfit is not afraid to die, for he has either wanted to die on several occasions, or has nearly died through his willingness to experiment. Regardless, fear of death is irrational from his perspective.
- If the misfit were to find a social group that indefinitely embraced him, in time he would feel misplaced. A misfit is at home in being alone, because that is his essence. The social acceptance he seeks, if granted, results in boredom. Internal conflict is in some sense necessary for him to feel alive.
- The misfit has a sense of calling. Others have this too, though love of pleasure and giving too much attention to social noise prevents them from ever finding it. The misfit, though, goes looking. Her search for this calling gives others the impression that he is odd, unusual. When he finds it and lives it he will still be seen as odd, for neither money nor relational love will be her primary motive in life.
- A misfit knows social suffering. Social suffering is comprised of being alone, though others are present. At first, this might give rise to forms of hatred, directed randomly. Later, it gives rise to compassion, though the misfit struggles with the practical application.
- Being a misfit is both burdensome and elevating to the misfit.
- Because of the apparent meaninglessness of life, a misfit must create meaning and purpose. This is typically achieved in fleeting moments through some type of creative work that never ceases.
- The misfit learns early on that satiation is a myth, so he looks to the internal realm to find solace.
- A misfit cannot be identified by stereotypical notions of hairstyle, choice in music, or style of clothing. Misfits are found in every social class and in every subgroup. They might be identified by their social oddity within their accepted social groups, but not by their oddness with society at large. By popular society's standards, a misfit is odd for sure. But what really sets them apart is that they have trouble fitting in even where they are accepted.
- A misfit recognizes that the reason he is so, is because of his judgments of himself, and not necessarily because of how others judge him. But many of his judgments are made as though he was looking through the eye of another. He imagines what others think, and he hates this inclination within himself.
- It’s not that the misfit doesn’t fit, it’s that he doesn’t fit well. So he never achieves a sense of social permanence. What the misfit lacks that his fellow humans have is a sense of belonging. In the end, he belongs only to himself. His willingness to embrace this only renders him more socially odd.