When You Have Several Rare Traits And It's Harder To Find Compatible Friends

Some people have a tougher time finding friends because they're unique in several ways. There just aren't as many matches out there for them. They're not lucky like some folks, who have really common, mainstream features and can walk into most places and meet several people who are similar to them.

Someone could be unique in terms of their:

Being really unique in one or two ways may not hinder your ability to find the right friends too much, but when you're a rare bird in multiple categories, the number of people out there who are suited for you really drops. If you feel like building a social life is harder for you because you're really different, I want to validate that it may very well be true, and not all in your head.

To be more precise, having a lot of rare traits on its own doesn't automatically limit you

You should be alright if you're not that choosy about who you hang out with and are able to get along with a wide range of people. However, if you mainly want friends who are fairly similar to you that's when it gets tricky. And I think it's totally reasonable to want relationships with people who are like you, who share your views, who enjoy the same things, and who have been through similar life events and deeply get what it's like to experience them. There's a level of comfort that comes from spending time with someone who's on your wavelength, and you don't have to limit, contort, or explain yourself to get along with them.

"Harder" doesn't mean "impossible"

It is more difficult to make friends when most prospects won't be what you're looking for, but that's not to say it's a lost cause. There are more ways than ever to find and connect with people across the world. You may not have found your tribe at your job or in your town, but they're out there. Let's say your combination of traits is really rare, that only 1 in 100,000 people would fit you as a friend. That's around 80,000 individuals in the world. Even if you added a bunch more criteria to filter that down to the 1% most realistic, accessible options, that's still a more-than-adequate pool of 800 people.

When someone grows up feeling different it can be really painful. They may not have met anyone like them throughout their whole childhood, or even known any such people existed. They might have felt like they would be lonely and isolated forever. Those experiences can leave mental scars. As an adult they may have a deep emotional conviction they'll never be able to find the right friends, even though they have way more options open to them compared to when they were kids. It may take longer and require more work, but they can find the right friends, though it certainly doesn't feel that way.

Some people's belief that they're too unique to make friends aren't entirely accurate

Statistically some people do have to be the extreme outliers who only have a small number of decent matches. Others may have some mildly rare features, but they're not as distinctive as they feel they are. They may blame their uniqueness for their trouble with making friends, but other factors are getting in the way, and playing a bigger role. Like they may not be putting in enough effort to find their type of person, because they've prematurely given up.

I just went into how having emotional baggage around feeling different can create a distorted belief that it's impossible to meet anyone. It can also create an exaggerated sense of being incredibly alien and alone in the world, when you're actually only somewhat outside the norm. Like maybe you were smart, quirky, and a bit awkward, but in a way millions and millions of children were. Emotionally it may have felt like no one in the world was like you or could understand you, when in fact plenty of kids have gone through the same thing, just not many in the handful of schools you went to. I want to be clear, I'm not dismissing how awful it can be to grow up and feel like you don't belong. At the same time, what feels true emotionally and what is actually the case can differ.

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What can you do if you've got a bunch of unique traits?

I mainly wrote this article to validate that some people fall outside of several norms and will just have a harder time meeting the right friends. That said, here are some brief thoughts: