Meaning: the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place, as mal-adapted to your surroundings as a seal on a beach—lumbering, clumsy, easily distracted, huddled in the company of other misfits.
Etymology: Greek; monos= solitary, alone, or unique + opsis= like, appearance
Usage in a sentence: “The feeling of monachopsis persisted. She chewed gum in an uninterested fashion, as she sat among the group of football addicts.”
You may have probably felt monachopsis if you had been enrolled into too many extra classes as a kid. Maybe you hated painting, and nothing could get you interested in the world of colours, shades, oils, and canvas. The sight of tyros working with a keen look on their face made you nauseous.
And if you were a class topper, you will clearly identify with this: Being stuck in a group for a class project, with students who have no clue about what’s going on in their academic lives. They do not know what they have to do, nor do they understand the simple instructions that you give them. You, thus, go on to explain to them the working of the sodium-bicarb-volcano experiment, and then realize that they do not even know how to write sodium bicarbonate using chemical symbols. Ugh!
Being in such groups has a harmful effect on your talents. In the first example, it’s pretty easy to see the harm caused by going to that art class. If you hadn’t joined the class, you could have had more time to pursue some other activity which fascinated you. And then, another subtle effect: You would have never developed a dislike for art. You may have learnt to appreciate it, although from a distance. In the second example, if the smart student were to be placed in a group of students having the same level of intellectual caliber, he/she could have grown and developed. Ideas would have blossomed, and they would have probably used tomato ketchup and baking soda, for a slower, and more dramatic explosion. Or they would have thought of using dry ice for a smoky effect.
That’s why they say, “Birds of the same feather flock together.”
So, which is that one place you hate going to, because you have absolutely no idea what to say and what to do? Or who is that one friend whose company always makes you scream out in boredom? Do share the experience you’ve had with this feeling of monachopsis!
Information sourced at Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows .
I read the volcano experiment ideas at Mashable