A Little Beta Fish in a Big Alpha Pond. How Well Do You Go With the Flow of Yours?

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seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
14,333
4,174
113
#1
Hi Everyone,

One of my own personal struggles is depression, and after many years of God's direction, prayer, and self-analysis, I came to discern that a big part of my depression was the life-changing realizationthat I was A Little Beta Fish living in a Big Alpha Pond.

For most of my life, the people closest to me all had immensely strong work ethics and life goals. It was not enough to just have a full-time job -- they also ran their own full-time businesses on the side, as well as having families. None of them are materialistic or showy people at all -- I remember the days when one was driving a car with the bumper held on with nothing but zip ties, because at the time, that's what she could afford.

But as I grew up and away from the environment in which I'd been raised, I couldn't figure out why I always felt like a chicken with its head cut off that was running inside a hamster wheel. I almost always felt hopeless, exhausted, and like I was going to collapse any minute. My inner circle always pushed me to be like them -- even though I always worked, they believed that good stewardship of God-given talents meant working towards the highest position possible or owning the company.

After many years of trying to live up to those standards, I finally had to start telling them, "God didn't make me that way." I am not an alpha. I definitely believe in giving one's all, but I just don't have the ambition or capacity to do all the things those around me were doing, nor can I pay the prices they found themselves paying (i.e., missing their kids' childhoods.) Rather, I enjoy doing my best for a strong, responsible, morally respectable leader, and that's just how I felt God made me to be.

I started to figure this out the year I went from working 2 jobs and going to grad school full-time to eventually working just ONE full-time job. I felt so much better! It was the first time in my life I'd ever concentrated on just one thing, as I had always worked one or more jobs along with school. I told my parents, "I feel like I've just retired!!!" even when I got down to "just" 42 or so hours a week.

And I've been trying to work on what and how much God wants me to take on without burning myself out ever since.

How about you? This example uses alpha and beta personality traits as an illustration, but this thread is really about finding out who we are in Christ, even if it means we're different from everyone around us, and how we go about being whom God has called us to be.

What has your journey been like?

* Do you consider yourself as blending in well/fitting in with your family, friends, and church? Why or why not?

* If you see yourself as being different from the people around you, how has it affected your life? Are you able to be yourself in peace, or is it a constant uphill battle? Do you feel you're always looking for a place to "fit in"?

* What advice would you give to others who are trying to survive around people who are constantly pushing them to be something they know they are not?

Swim on, everyone.

Swim on.

Our Fisherman is still leading us, even if His guidance leads us upstream -- or towards a different pond.
 

melita916

Senior Member
Aug 12, 2011
10,298
2,546
113
#2
i always felt a little different from those around me. part of me didn't feel feminine enough (because i don't like the typical girly things). then i didn't feel Mexican enough (because i'm not interested the typical Mexican things). fortunately, my family never pressured me to be any specific thing. my parents are highly involved in their local fellowship, but they never said to me i need to participate or get involved in ministry. i remember one older person ask me when i'm gonna start preaching (since my parents preach). they asked as if it was something hereditary. my parents always told me "don't do anything ministry wise until the Lord tells you... not other people."

anywho.. wait.. what are we talking about again? hehe.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
20,634
6,604
113
#3
beta..isnt that an old name for a type of video cassette??

lol

well, Im a second daughter so Ive always felt a bit beta myself. I dont beta myself up for it.
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
4,265
2,292
113
#4
I've always been different, but long ago I came to a few conclusions about that:

1) In the long run it's going to be much less stress and strain to be me than to try to be someone else and then keep having to be that someone else to keep my friends and then wonder if they'd really like me if I dared actually be the real me (if I could even remember how to do that at that point)

2) God didn't break the mold when he made me; he just didn't bother using the mold at all.

3) Maybe just maybe, the reason I don't fit in so well on earth is that I'm being shaped to fit well in heaven when I get there (I like to think this, not sure how true of me it is anymore, but I still hope so).
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
22,181
6,837
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#5
In His time
In His time
He makes all things beautiful
In His time

Lord please show me every day
As You're teaching me Your way
That You do just what You say
In Your time

Lord my life to You I bring
May each song I have to sing
Be to You a lovely thing
In Your time

Dandelions are only weeds when somebody doesn't want them in his yard. Any other time they are beautiful flowers, and tasty when fried.

Just because somebody thinks you're a weed doesn't mean you are. It just means you don't fit with that person's idea of what you should be... and what does that person know?
 

17Bees

Senior Member
Oct 14, 2016
1,277
750
113
#6
When I was little I would just wander off by myself. Happened all the time and on a couple of occasions my dad sent the police out after me. I couldn't tell you where I went, but I was usually alone. I grew up in a more rural area so it was't like I was in much danger. But that has translated into still being relatively alone. I work alone. I rarely go to corporate, or even see or talk to anyone. I work alone on side work. I'm sometimes in a tractor for 10 hours by myself. I don't have a clue whether I'm beta or not! I guess I'm alpha. Of 1. So I guess I'd have to be beta too. But I like my boss OK. Why thank you beta boy. Don't call me boy.
 

JustEli

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2018
1,374
983
113
48
#7
Years ago, while snowboarding with my buddies, I would try to emulate their styles. Finally I just relaxed
and figured out how to rip my own style. I did better, and had more "fun". smile face
 

JustEli

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2018
1,374
983
113
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#8
only 42 hrs............ hahahahaha!
 

Lighthearted

Senior Member
Oct 17, 2016
1,781
833
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#9
Keep things simple and follow God's lead.
Disclaimer: Easier said than done.
 

G00WZ

Senior Member
May 16, 2014
1,305
443
83
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#10
Dunno, i don't try to blend into groups of people but i do know how to relate to a lot of people individually very easily.
I always just lived however i wanted regardless of consequences. As a kid i would get punished a lot for saying what i thought or for just being flat out defiant.
The thing about me is i have always had the status of loner, so i have no issues with just kickin it by myself. I used to be that one kid on the playground who would be in the sandbox by himself having the time of his life making sand castles. Some days i would goof around with the other kids on the playground, but i never just felt like i had to pick a group and stick to them. Some days i would mess around with the kids who usually occupied the slide, other times i would goof around with the "cool kids" who would be by the monkey bars. I can mingle, so that mindset carried over into high school and into adulthood. I usually just drift around, do what i want, go where i want to go with no chains or restrictions, and because of this i have a lot of interesting friends.

I know im different, but i know that we have a lot more in common with people than we think when we stop thinking that we are so unique and different from each other. I just talk to people and joke around the same way i would with myself regardless of their status, of how high or low they think themselves to be.

I used to try to fit in but it's kind of pointless. I have way too many aspects to myself to be labeled and put into a specific category, so instead i choose to drift around freely. There is much freedom in not being boxed into "fitting in".

I don't have any advice but i do have a question for someone that would try to fit in. " what are you going to gain from fitting in?"
and " what are you going give up?"... Choose wisely i guess if you think it's worth it.
 

JustEli

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2018
1,374
983
113
48
#11
Dunno, i don't try to blend into groups of people but i do know how to relate to a lot of people individually very easily.
I always just lived however i wanted regardless of consequences. As a kid i would get punished a lot for saying what i thought or for just being flat out defiant.
The thing about me is i have always had the status of loner, so i have no issues with just kickin it by myself. I used to be that one kid on the playground who would be in the sandbox by himself having the time of his life making sand castles. Some days i would goof around with the other kids on the playground, but i never just felt like i had to pick a group and stick to them. Some days i would mess around with the kids who usually occupied the slide, other times i would goof around with the "cool kids" who would be by the monkey bars. I can mingle, so that mindset carried over into high school and into adulthood. I usually just drift around, do what i want, go where i want to go with no chains or restrictions, and because of this i have a lot of interesting friends.

I know im different, but i know that we have a lot more in common with people than we think when we stop thinking that we are so unique and different from each other. I just talk to people and joke around the same way i would with myself regardless of their status, of how high or low they think themselves to be.

I used to try to fit in but it's kind of pointless. I have way too many aspects to myself to be labeled and put into a specific category, so instead i choose to drift around freely. There is much freedom in not being boxed into "fitting in".

I don't have any advice but i do have a question for someone that would try to fit in. " what are you going to gain from fitting in?"
and " what are you going give up?"... Choose wisely i guess if you think it's worth it.


Excellent post! I must admit, I just read words that seemed to describe much of my childhood.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
20,634
6,604
113
#12
seoul have you ever read...
The life changing magic of tidying up

I read 3 of Marie Kondos books but still cant fold my clothes neatly into squares and chuck them on top of the dresser.
It seems a but impossible for me to get on top of laundry I only fold them and put them away after Ive hung them out and washed them. But Im sure it would just magically change my life if I always folded my clothes all the time.

If anyone actually does this please let me know.
 

JustEli

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2018
1,374
983
113
48
#13
seoul have you ever read...
The life changing magic of tidying up

I read 3 of Marie Kondos books but still cant fold my clothes neatly into squares and chuck them on top of the dresser.
It seems a but impossible for me to get on top of laundry I only fold them and put them away after Ive hung them out and washed them. But Im sure it would just magically change my life if I always folded my clothes all the time.

If anyone actually does this please let me know.

I usually leave mine in the dryer till I wear em:cool:
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
22,181
6,837
113
#14
I know, right? We put them back in the dryer to dewrinkle them. Why bother taking them out in the first place?
 

JustEli

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2018
1,374
983
113
48
#15
I know, right? We put them back in the dryer to dewrinkle them. Why bother taking them out in the first place?
See here people? A true genius. I may be biased. But you just cant argue the well made point, that Lynx has made.
 

Fundamental

Active member
Aug 10, 2020
540
226
43
#16
* What advice would you give to others who are trying to survive around people who are constantly pushing them to be something they know they are not?

Swim on, everyone.

Swim on.
Well, swimming against the stream makes you stronger in your survival. Going with the flow is easy and should normally give you a more easy life. But that’s not who you are.

I can relate to much what you are trying to say. I need the stress, I need people looking down at me.
If I did not have them in the past, who would I be today?

If you know what you are not, have you found in yourself what you are or want to become? Some day you’ll probably thank them. I learned the most from my “enemies”. Love them :)
 

laughingheart

Senior Member
Sep 21, 2016
1,709
1,668
113
#17
Kim you are an amazing woman. You are intelligent, curious, caring and gifted. When you come from a driven family/culture it is sometimes difficult for them to see your true value when it isn't in a specific box, musician, athlete, doctor, lawyer, financial guru etc. The sort of giftings you have, empathy, philosophy, a thinker, is not necessarily understood. You are so insightful and speak deeply into subjects. You are wonderful. Are you a beta? I don't know. Alphas don't figure out the details of their big ideas, and betas make things flow. Alphas are incomplete and rely on the betas but I think you are more.
When I've tried to explain myself, I don't think I'm an A type or B type. I don't think outside the box. I am generally unaware that there is a box. I'm a deeply visual thinker and see ideas as something to explore. I'm a creative and can be intuitive (though I can also have moments of being completely oblivious, lol). I did not fit in at all in my family. I couldn't explain myself but I knew I didn't want the 60 hour a week, world burner lifestyle. I needed to follow my calling. I was always aware of God's presence in my life. That alone made me different, even with some of the people at church. I can only answer to needing to follow my faith life. It is who I am and a lot of other things in life, material things, don't interest me. We are all made for God's purposes. Why we are different than the people close to us, especially family, I don't know. Feeling alone or separate can hurt but if you fight against who you are called to be you will not find rest. I have no idea what tomorrow holds but for now I'm writing, painting, grateful and trying to do it all with a sense of humour. I realize that it doesn't matter if I understand, it just matters that I obey. Hugs.
 
S

Susanna

Guest
#18
I’m a C type. That’s for Crazy. I think I’m some kind of super weird sociopath as well. That makes me an S type too.

I didn’t do the girly stuff either when I was younger, but I do now, and I sorta regret that I then found it to be boring just because my dad wasn’t into such stuff lol. I really wanted to be like my dad. Which btw makes me a D type.

Now, at an advanced age lol, I have decided to live like a decent lady should. So now I’m planning on a desk job (I already have one), and will never, ever, be wearing a uniform again, which makes me an anti U type.

People better get used to seeing me strolling down the street, having a hard time adjusting to heels and a dress, on my way to my office. That makes me an O type.

My old boss said I’ll be back in a uniform before the end of this year. Well, he’s dead wrong. Which makes HIM a W type.

I don’t know if I responded correctly to this thread, but at least I tried.

😁😁😁
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
22,181
6,837
113
#19
I think I'm an Omega type.

From Quora (with all the questionable quality control of a Quora post)
Equally adept at leading and following, with a preference of being on their own. They will follow but will never truly be subservient (they only follow the alpha as long as they perceive the alphas goals being one with their own), they can be highly effective leaders but take no enjoyment from it (compared to the alpha who thrives on it). Julius Caeser was the definition of an Alpha, Marc Antony a beta, Brutus an omega. Brutus followed Caesar loyally until his conscience persuaded him to lead an assassination (Shakespiere’s version of events). This may cast omegas in a traitorous light, but it was Brutus’ belief in the Roman Republic that caused him to act. Or take the Lord of the Rings fellowship. Gandalf, Boromir, and Frodo are all alphas. Aragorn, however, is what one would call a virtuous omega. At times he follows others, sometimes others follow him, but at the heart of it he is his own man doing what he feels must be done. Darth Vader on the other hand would be an excellent example of a selfish omega. He never truly had an allegiance to anyone but himself, and had no qualms of murdering his leaders or his followers.
That seems to fit me. I can lead, follow or be on my own, but I don't have a preference for anything except being on my own because then I know things are done the way I like them done.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
20,634
6,604
113
#20
susanna you got the right idea.
I wouldnt restrict myself to just one or two letters of the alphabet.
I would go for all 26.

Where's all the J types anyway? J for Jesus.
Although when He said I am the alpha and omega, I thought, hold on, we dont even have that letter omega in English. Or does the greek alphabet only go from a to o?