If you’re reading this, chances are that you sometimes feel like an outsider. Maybe you feel like a freak, left out, not quite like the rest.
That doesn’t mean you can’t live a great and fulfilling life. Actually, not to make you feel any less special, but chances are you’re not alone in feeling like an outsider.
How to Relate to Others
I first started “going off the deep end” as some have called it, when I started eating more raw fruits and vegetables. People didn’t know how to relate to me anymore, because I didn’t fit in the usual box. I didn’t eat the standard American diet, and I seemed perfectly happy not to chow down on a steak or a hamburger.
The first thing I had to learn was how to continue relating to others. You see, in my example, food is a super important part of the social aspects of life.
I can picture cavepeople gathering around some food and telling stories as they eat. Well, maybe that’s a little idealized and they were really just hiding in the bushes eating their own little shares.
Still, these days most social get togethers involve food and if you don’t fit in, then people get confused. If you let them get confused, or you allow their confusion to get to you, you’re just creating space for your mind and their mind to judge.
Judgment and persecution occurs when your mind needs to prove that it is “right”. Have you ever seen someone start an arguement because you were different, even though no one mentioned your difference? What happened was the other person felt threatened, felt that their decisions were being put on the spot by your mere presence.
How to Disarm the Judgment Before it Happens
The way to really enjoy being different, without causing tons of uncomfortable reactions is to address the situation overtly.
If you notice that someone is eyeing your tattoos suspiciously and about to comment on your piercings… maybe it’s a good idea to mention that you enjoy creating art with your body, but that it doesn’t mean you’re any less of a great person.
In my case, I like to address people’s most insidious concern when it comes to my eating raw food: that I prefer eating raw food because it taste good and makes me feel good, but that I don’t expect them to change their eating habits.
In fact I embrace the diversity, because we’re all different and that makes things exciting.
How’s that for diffusing a situation before it gets all prickly?
So hopefully I’ve given you some food for thought, when it comes to living the life of the outsider. I suspect that more of us feel like outsiders than we’d like to admit.
It’s just a matter of embracing our differences, loving ourselves for who we are, and letting the world know that we’re okay with their differences too.
Nathalie Lussier helps men and women who know they need to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables when they don’t know how to get started, get over the cravings, and avoid family drama. She is known as the Raw Foods Witch, and you can also find her as @NathLussier on twitter.