The Need To Belong

23rd January 2019 | Reading time: 4 min
By Rakesh Singh

The human connection
Source : pexels


e all are living in a world full of billions and billions of people under the same sky. And else what could be more beautiful than establishing a healthy and deeper connections with those around us? We all want to be seen, to be liked, to be heard, to be loved, to understand and to be valued. If we trace our history back in time, we would find that humans have traveled, thrived and hunted in a conjunction and for good reasons and those who were separated from their herd often tribe often faced severe consequences. Being a part of a crowd; one has a better chance of survival. We weren't taught that belonging was important for us but we were born this way.

'Belongingness' is a natural drive in humans, a sort of emotional need to be an accepted member of community or a group. Whether it is family, friends, co-workers or something else, people tend to have an 'inherent' desire to belong or to be a part of something which is greater and more important than themselves. Being connected with the community of our interest keeps us contended, happy and satisfied; and we feel sad, frustrated, or anxious when we don't.

People choose to join groups for multitude reasons. One of the greatest reason is that it keeps you even among the group because you to tend to do what others are already doing and being a fragment of your own group offers you a sort of satisfaction; or you will feel disconnected, isolated and rejected by your own people. The other important reason is somewhat related to your security and status. People feel much more secured when they are surrounded with the other people who share the same interest, beliefs and goals. It uplifts your status and connectivity.

A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don't function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.

~ Brené Brown

Social psychologists have been studying 'the need to belong' for many decades and one of the most popular studies on this subject was done by Abraham Maslow in the year 1943. He proposed that the human need to belong was one of the five basic needs for self-actualization. He placed it right after the physiological needs (like food and sleep) and safety needs in his "Hierarchy Of Needs." The hierarchy usually portrayed as a pyramid where he placed the more basic needs at the bottom and complex needs at the peak. The need for love lies at the center of the pyramid. He also believed that the need for belonging helped people to experience companionship and acceptance in family, friends or in other relationships. While some other studies suggests that the need to belong can lead to change in behavior, belief, attitude and also decreases the chance of self-harm.

In the end, the concept of belongingness boils down to one thing that without it you would no-where near as evolved as you are today.

Tagged : ThinkingPsychology

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