• Monique Harding

Core Desire Series - No.3 The Desire to Belong

Belongingness or our need to belong refers to the hardwired desire human possesses to seek out long-lasting, stable relationships with others. It is what drives us to participate in activities, join groups and community events.

The ‘belonging’ exists under two conditions;

1. People need to have positive and pleasant not negative interactions with others 2. It cannot be random but take place as part of stable, lasting relationships in which people care about each other’s long-term wellbeing. It is believed that the need to belong has an evolutionary story to it. In order to reproduce and survive it was essential that social bonds were developed.

This need has an incredibly powerful influence on our lives. It has been found to be positively correlated with our perceived meaningfulness of life. However, it can also lead us to staying in unhealthy relationships or experiencing anxiety, depression and loneliness when our social attachments are lost.

Questions for self-growth; [?] What are some of the groups that you belong to? [?] How is the way that you represent yourself in those groups different and/or similar? [?] Where do you feel most yourself? In whose presence? In what context? [?] What is it about those people that make you comfortable to be your most authentic self? [?] How do you know what if a version of you is authentic or not? What signs does your thoughts or body give you to indicate this?

Belongingness has been well researched in the field of social psychology. Check out some of the related journals for further reading.

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