The need to belong, also often referred to as belongingness, is the human emotional need to affiliate with and be accepted by members of a group. Whether it is family, friends, co-workers, a religion, or something else, people tend to have an 'inherent' desire to belong and be an important part of something greater than themselves. This implies a relationship that is greater than simple acquaintance or familiarity. The need to belong is the need to give and receive attention to and from others.
Belonging is a strong and inevitable feeling that exists in human nature. To belong or not to belong can occur due to choices of one's self, or the choices of others. Not everyone has the same life and interests, hence not everyone belongs to the same thing or person. Without belonging, one cannot identify themselves as clearly, thus having difficulties communicating with and relating to their surroundings.
In a reent study by Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary, they argue that belongingness is such a fundamental human motivation that we feel severe consequences of not belonging. If it wasn’t so fundamental, then lack of belonging wouldn’t have such dire consequences on us. This desire is so universal that the need to belong is found across all professions, cultures and different types of people.
The need to belong involves more than simply being acquainted with other people. It is instead centered on gaining acceptance, attention, and support from members of the group as well as providing the same attention to other members.
How the Need to Belong Influences Behavior.
In social psychology, the need to belong is an intrinsic motivation to affiliate with others and be socially accepted. This need plays a role in a number of social phenomena such as self-presentation and social comparison. This need to belong to a group can also lead to changes in behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes as people strive to conform to the standards and norms of the group.
So what inspires people to seek out specific groups?
In many cases, the need to belong to certain social or professional groups results from sharing some point of commonality.
In other instances, factors such as shared goals, socioeconomic status, religious beliefs, political beliefs, and pop culture interests can lead individuals to seek out groups that share these interests.
Why the Need to Belong Is an Important Motivator.
Our need to belong is what drives us to seek out stable, long-lasting relationships with other people. It also motivates us to participate in social activities such as clubs, sports teams, religious groups, and community organizations.
By belonging to a group, we feel as if we are a part of something bigger and more important than ourselves.
This need to belong is especially evident in the workplace.
Research says a strong sense of belonging is good. It’s not just good for an association’s bank account; but belonging is good for members too. Eric Barker (a writer who pieces together research about how to be awesome at life) reported on a few interesting studies that make a case for belonging. “We need a community to feel good. And community is something we sorely lack in the modern world,” he says. Community involvement links to happier, more empathetic, healthier, and more resilient people.
Associations can be professional communities. Professional associations are true professional communities where members can feel a strong sense of belonging.
The Canadian Customer Service Association can help you succeed professionally, but membership could also be good for your health and well-being. Membership helps you achieve a strong sense of belonging and the goal of the Canadian Customer Service Association is to enhance this feeling in all members.