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I can't decide whether my inability to fit in is due to bp or just being a strange person. It gets in the way to always disagree or see things differently than everyone else. Before DX I used to think this was an advantage because my work was always original, but corporate culture does not embrace individuality. I have trouble working in groups that I can't seize because I can't buy into their boring lateral view of everything. Does everyone experience this with bp? Is this a me thing, or clinical? If clinical then what to do?

Thanks in advance for any advice/thoughts

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It is likely your personality and not anything to do with bipolar disorder. Trust me, it is just as easy to not fit in with other people with bipolar as with undiagnosed people.

Forced interaction might help. Eventually you may reach the conclusion that we are all people and not THAT different overall. Or, not.

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It doesn't have to be bipolar: it crops up with a variety of conditions and personality types

(do you know how you come out on Myers-Briggs?)

Groups, societies, large firms etc. generally don't like outsiders: people making waves, disturbing the "groupthink", or even just looking or talking differently.

As someone with Asperger's I've concluded it's a matter of picking your battles,

and deciding when it's easier and better to at least appear to conform, just for a smooother ride or to get things done without rubbing people up the wrong way,

and when to say to hell with the "standard" way of doing things and be true to oneself.

William Hazlitt had it right as far as I am concerned, but note his *two* strategies...

"Mankind are a herd of knaves and fools. It is necessary to join the crowd, or get out of their way, in order not to be trampled to death by them."

It's trying to join them while still being different that gets the negative attention.

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Ditto. Stronger aspects of your personality may become amplified when you are actively cycling, but it sounds more or less like you are a round peg in the corporate world of square holes. As Silver would say: Adopt. Adapt. Improve. (Gotta ask her if the was from the Optimists/Kiwanis (or some other entity) or was that from the Monty Python sketch?)

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I think that in the bipolar workbook there is a chart listing what is your bipolar and what is your personality, clearly differentiating the two. It sucks feeling like you can't fit in and it's not something that's easy to change. I don't have any advice but I know how you feel...it took me finding different friends and different fields of work (when I work) to finally feel like i fit in.

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I have a lot of difficulty at work as well. It isn't that I don't appreciate my team or want to be a part of it, but I get picked on a lot, and beaten down. I tend to bounce happily into work, I adore my job, I love people, love helping out. All that love first thing in the morning annoys my fellow team members... eeep. ;)

I'm working with my t-doc on learning how to read social cues, how to interact gently and not overwhelm, how not to disrupt the peacefully quiet corporate world. I'll havew to let you know how it goes.

Good luck to you with your own struggles, I know how difficult things at work can be.

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I find it so hard to separate that stuff - what is a symptom of my condition and what is general laziness, stubbornness or attitude; what to forgive myself for and what to kick myself in the butt about and sort out.

With my submissive personality, I tend to "fit in" most of the time, although I do have a markedly different viewpoint, it's all accepted as valuable, and then some days I'll just freak everyone out unexpectedly!

I'm lucky to have a very understanding team, but the wider organisation have differing views on me - c'est la vie!

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It sounds more like a personality thing than a bipolar thing, but that might depend on how depressed you are. Depression tends to breed negativity. This, I would think, would be more along the lines of how pointless something is than one of challenging because there's "a better way."

FWIW, somethings that can be effective at tempering a contrary view.... Don't loose sight of the bigger reason for participation. At work, that's usually to get a pay check. On projects, it can be to steer the overall direction of the project with individual elements being not so important. All this is along the lines of picking your battles. Another important factor is whether you've developed solid relationships such that when you raise an issue it is considered important and one worth acting on. If you raise issues on everything, then people tend to just see you as negative and ignore your comments. Again, it's picking battles, but also recognizing the importance of relationships and sometimes alliances. You don't often make those if you are always finding fault. Oh, and, recognizing that there are many ways to do the same thing. Your way is one, but not the only one and perhaps not one that achieves the end any more effectively. Sometimes it's best to just wait and see. And last, everyone needs to be appreciated and have their stuff valued and occasionally put first. That goes for you but it goes for others, too. I imagine this is not news, but I rattled it off just because it's stuff I've sometimes struggled with.

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I can't decide whether my inability to fit in is due to bp or just being a strange person. It gets in the way to always disagree or see things differently than everyone else. Before DX I used to think this was an advantage because my work was always original, but corporate culture does not embrace individuality. I have trouble working in groups that I can't seize because I can't buy into their boring lateral view of everything. Does everyone experience this with bp? Is this a me thing, or clinical? If clinical then what to do?

Thanks in advance for any advice/thoughts

BP or a strange person? To me that's the same thing, ;). In my experience, personality is merely "enhanced" (heheh) by BP wiring. I had an agent once who told me I never fit into the corporate world because I was a writer, and as a breed we just don't roll that way. My wife thinks it's just how writer's roll (have a gazillion short lived jobs and mini-careers until they find their voice and then use all the foregoing as fuel for their written works). My Mom is convinced I'm just batshit (in a loveable way now that I'm 3000 miles from her) and that's why I "could never hold a job" and my Dad (loveable asshole that he is) says it's because I "rejected [jeezis]." My corporate successful exec VP brother used to say it's because I lacked appropriate social schmoozer skills (which is still true to some extent) and says it's because "Dude, it's how every goddamned writer or creative person is in this biz." I'm inclined to think they all are right (except my dad, because jeebus is batshit as far as I'm concerned... people make spirit shit up, so own that and be content wit-it). I know lots of people in my situation and career and I'm not at all unique in this work-world kind of way.

I worked in creative "teams" when I had to (vid games mostly). I can do that for a project but then I have to "recover" from all that other people energy that saps the life from me (in a fun and groovy way but still). I'm pretty much a self-driven person/worker anyway and I'm too much of a creative control freak to tolerate other people's shit.

I'm only saying all that because I can't tell anyone else what to do. Hopefully if I share what I did/do/do-do, then you might grab something useful from it, or flush it as needed. mileage, and all that shit.

Most BP wireds I know have difficulty working in the box. Every Lakota I know says, "nothing good comes in a box"...

But I know people do manage it somehow and some are even good at it. With BP its like anything we do, we have to curb the excesses: we don't need to hunker down or jump the crevasse in response to every single stimulus. We have meds to help trim and level us so we can figure out WTF stimuli are worth hunkering or jumping a little over. That's when it gets turned into an advantage, kinda (we see real badshit coming before the normals ever will and we know from badshit more than they do anyway--if we can get good and IDing the difference, we have an edge they don't :)).

When I read "boring lateral view" I hear "2D POV" because we BOPs generally have a 3D POV and a broadband one at that. "Normals" have 2D narrow band. period. I'm not saying one's superior or whatever, we're just different and that ain't a bad thing (when we're not batshit, ya' KWIM). I don't know what you mean by "seize" and groups but I took that to mean working in groups can be tough for you. What's under that for you then? Investigate the hell outta that so you can find ways and tactics to maneuver and navigate what drives you buggers without getting buggered (the bad kind).

So, there, hopefully I flogged that horsey... nicely. Hang in there and figure things out... see it as a challenge to be worked, and work it. Gotta go teach a class but I wanted to get to this intriguing topic.

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I have some personal issues fitting in as well,but I find on reflection if I'm having bad week either a mixed episode,or deep depression my social interaction is rotten,basically antisocial.On the other hand if I'm hypo manic or going through a "normal stretch I'm much more adaptable to people and their personalities.During the winter I think,maybe I have a personality disorder,I don't know maybe borderline borderline in the dark and cold months,maybe crabby ass grizzly syndrome,maybe just your basic bp bullshit.I will say this just when you think you'll never figure it out BAM! your feeling better and all is forgotten,and forgiven.My pdoc told me you are you,your bp doesn't form who you are,that's always stuck with me.

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I had extreme interpersonal relationships problems in one of my jobs, so they stuck me on the front receptionist area. It wasn't too busy, thank goodness. But I found that I could react positively to a bunch of people I only saw for 10 minutes than I could people I worked with all day. The people I worked worth just rubbed me the wrong way, plus they were gossips, and I HATE gossips!

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...But I found that I could react positively to a bunch of people I only saw for 10 minutes...

Yes, it's not an absolute is it, and not even just for ten minutes...

There is the "professional" or "office" persona or face that can often be put on. To produce the "fitting-in" effect.

And reduce the draining and unpleasant consequences of not fitting-in.

But depending on how different that persona or mask is from one's real self

(especially when down, or when the "accepted norms" just seem anything from silly to immoral)

keeping that up can be draining and depressing in itself.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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