Being a floater in society is an odd thing. You know everyone but also no one at the same time. You do not have one person or group you go to for everything. Instead, you go to multiple people or groups for help/advice, but most often only on a surface level. You have so many connections with people, but most of them are not very deep connections. You're never the focal point of a group, but you're always there, just kind of floating around. You're acknowledged, but you're never the person who is the life the party. Being a floater can be hard to explain, but here are some characteristics of a floater personality.
You don't Have One go to Person
Are you not able to relate to someone when they say something like, "I go to my best friend for EVERYTHING!"
People who are floaters will not be able to relate to or understand this. We go to multiple people for things. We don't have that one go-to person who we tell everything to. It changes day-by-day. We might have a 'best friend' but we don't tell them everything. Something I don't tell my best friend, I may tell someone else instead because I'm feeling closer to that other person in the moment. We float around, which is a blessing and a curse. The good part is we can talk to multiple people and get different perspectives, which can help us see every side and solve a problem with multiple solutions at our disposal.
The bad side is we might put our trust into someone who has not proven themselves to be trustworthy. I've told some people about my personal issues the day I met them, and somehow the next person I would talk about it would already know what my issue was, and sometimes I would get judged for it. Sometimes, it flat out sucks not having one person or group.
You Try to Please Everyone
This is the one I relate to the most. When you do get super close to someone, you try way too hard to make them happy because you're so excited that you think you finally have that one person to confide in for everything! Then you screw it up somehow. It happens every single time. We enjoy making connections but have trouble taking time to make them. It's either there right away or it's not for us. If it is there right away, we think we can tell that person our deepest secrets and worries right away, and sometimes people aren't ready for that. Some people think that getting that personal with someone so quickly is not great, and as a result, they might push away, or tell us that we're not that close yet. What I hear is 'We're never going to be that close. I can't be your person.' and then I drift away, afraid to confide in that person again out of fear of upsetting them.
There is No One Place to Call Home
A big thing I have noticed that is different for me is that I don't have that one place to call home. It changes a lot. Some days, it is my actual, physical home. Other days, it might be my college a Capella group, my High School theatre group, the field where I played Little League, etc. It changes all the time. If you asked me today what home was for me, I couldn't give you an answer because I don't have one specific home. I float and feel able to call a different one home almost each day. You don't feel comfortable enough in calling just one place home. You can't choose one place to call home, and sometimes no place chooses you. Yeah, it can be a little defeating knowing that you're never going to have that one place, but it's nice knowing that sometimes you might have multiple options.
You'll Remember Our Name, but Nothing We Did
Okay, let me explain this one. So, if you meet a floater, you will remember their name, maybe. You definitely won't remember us for the cool party trick or the person who was the one making everyone laugh because that's not us. We'll greet people, and talk to them, and make a few people laugh, but we're not going to be the one person you remember meeting from the party. I don't know how many times I've heard the line "Where do I know you from Jacob?"
You'll remember meeting us because we probably talked for a minute, but we won't do anything to make ourselves stand out in a crowd, so chances are you won't remember any details about us or how we met.
Relationships are TOUGH
This isn't just romantic relationships. Any relationship is tough for us. Family relationships are always weird because growing up you're taught that your family is your rock and what you always lean on, and a floater just simply doesn't know how to rely on one group. We're our own rock and foundation. Friendships are always difficult. We don't always know how to confide in one person. Timing is not our strong suit. If we think we can get close to someone, we may out of the blue say something really personal about ourselves, hoping that we're making the right choice in who to confide in. Don't get me started on romantic relationships though because oh boy, that's rough.
Imagine being in a relationship as a floater. You're supposed to tell this other person literally everything, but you can't always do that. I'd imagine that must be annoying for a partner. As a floater, I would understand it more, but for someone who is not a floater that must be really frustrating. We also never have that one person to always hang out with, so it feels awkward just trying to hang out with mainly your significant other. When I've been in relationships, I've never seen my S/O the most out of anyone. I just couldn't do it in all honesty. It feels so weird to just have one person. It almost seems wrong sometimes.
We Fit in Everywhere, but Also Nowhere
We know so many people, but we don't know people. There are a lot of people I know on a surface level, but nothing else. I see a lot of people get greeted with a hug or that excited voice raise, but when I say hi to someone, I'll usually get a nice 'Hey bud, how's it going?'
We're always an outsider. We know we fit in with a lot of people, but we also don't approach a lot of people we know because we just know we're not extremely close to them. We know we can fit in, but we also think we barely fit in. We're never the main part of a group, so sometimes it's just hard to feel like we fit in. Being there is not an issue. We float, so we can join almost any group. In that sense, yeah we can fit in anywhere we go, but it's because we only do that; fit in. We will never stand out, so it's easy to forget about us, which is why we also never truly fit in. That sounds complicated, so let me explain it like this: You're with a group of friends, right? They're having this AMAZING party and you got invited. You get there, and through the window see everyone talking, laughing, getting greeted with hugs, etc. Then you get to the door.
You don't just open the door like everyone else because you're not that close with the person hosting. You knock on the door, and the host opens it. They might say hi, or thank you for coming or shake your hand, but it's not the same excited greeting everyone else received. You awkwardly take your coat and shoes off for a minute before someone tells you to put your shoes by the door and throw your coat on the bed or in the closet. At this point, maybe one or two people notice you and say hi. They might ask you casual questions like 'How was your day?' or 'What are you majoring in again?' but they won't stay and talk for long. You won't either. You get in and just kind of float around for a couple of hours. After an hour or two, those last few people notice you and ask the infamous question, "When did you get here?"
That's a question floaters get ALL. THE. TIME. We're used to it. That's what I mean by we fit in everywhere, but also nowhere. Sure we'll come to the party, but we won't have that one person we talk to the whole time. Not everyone will scream our name in excitement when we walk in the room. That stuff just doesn't happen for us. We're very rarely the center of attention. When we are, it's the literal five seconds of fame moment. For five seconds, you'll be the most popular person in that room. A floater can't keep that attention though. We don't know how to handle it.
Floaters are complicated people. We're like that riddle you couldn't figure out as a kid. The only difference is there's no one answer to this riddle. We constantly move around to different places and people. If you're close to a floater, consider yourself lucky. When we find someone we feel we can trust, we're loyal. We won't ditch you because we go through that feeling almost every single day. You can confide in a floater for ANYTHING. We might not tell you everything about us though. Something that happened today, I might not even tell my closest friend for another week. Some people might see being friends with a floater as difficult, but I promise you it's not.
We're not expecting you to be there for us all the time, and we won't pressure you into doing so. The bottom line about a floater is this: We're going to try and be everywhere knowing we can't. That's just how we are. We only leave when we're not feeling welcome. We're different but also proud of that. We won't have one place to go for the rest of our lives. We keep finding new places and people to go to, and that is the most beautiful thing about being a floater; We always move on and are able to find multiple things that make us happy.