Odd Man In

Read an excerpt of Fitting In Is Overrated. Excerpt.

Rejection is painful and can lead to anger and isolation. But it can also help us discover inner strength and creative solutions that are near to our heart, according to psychologist and bestselling author Leonard Felder '75. Felder's latest book—Fitting In Is Overrated: The Survival Guide for Anyone Who Has Ever Felt Like an Outsider at Work, at School, or in Their Family—addresses anyone who's ever been a victim of group-think or peer pressure.

If you've been there, you're not alone. Ang Lee, Macy Gray, Faith Hill, Alex Haley, Yo-Yo Ma, and Oprah Winfrey have all spent time on the far side of the velvet rope. Using their stories and the stories of patients he's treated in his private practice, Felder helps readers see that being branded an outsider is not necessarily a negative thing. In fact, he writes, it may be "a strength, a gift, or a source of wisdom that can be turned into an enormous blessing for yourself and others."

Felder, the author of When Difficult Relatives Happen to Good People, has a gift for gently unwrapping painful truths and finding practical balms. Divided into chapters such as "Why It's So Uncomfortable to Stand Apart," "Finding Peace with Your Family," and "Making Your Circle the One People Want to Be In," Fitting In Is Overrated aims to help the reader avoid self-sabotage, cultivate support, get her ideas heard, and even become a mentor for others.

"For years, the Status Quo Preservers and the 'insiders by birth' have had their way, and they've made a mess of things," Felder writes. "It's time for the insightful outsiders to make the next move and start to repair the damage."

—Traci Vogel

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