In social psychology, the need to belong is linked to being socially accepted. The need for love and belonging even lie at the center of the Maslow’s Hierarchy as part of social needs. This is why many psychologists today curiously study the concept of “groups”.
All of us enjoy being a part of something – a community of people who understand us, include us, and accept us. And it’s interesting because nearly all human activities like working, playing, and learning occur in groups.
I know whenever I was a new kid at school, I loved connecting with other new kids joining in that year. At my most recent high school, we formed a lovely group sharing that one thing in common. Being a new kid can be an isolating and lonely endeavour. “Am I the only one who feels this way?” Finding myself in the company of others wrestling through pools of similar questions I remember felt extremely relieving. Groups in this sense remind us that we aren’t alone.
The WordPress community also brings together people who express emotions, have stories to tell, or insights to share. I feel motivated when I know there are others who care about my progress as a writer. Every time I publish a post, it is generally a gratifying experience because of the comments and feedback I receive that help me improve. Networking within communities hence guides us towards achieving our goals, and the more we socialise and participate in activities with others, the more we gain confidence in our abilities.
Sometimes however, we naturally become a part of certain groups. For instance, in the larger world, socially constructed identities form – race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious groups, etc. In these cases, they can often form the basis of discrimination, comparisons, and conflicts with other groups. A group that an individual identifies with becomes an in-group, and everyone outside the in-group becomes the out-group. I watched the movie “Get Out” one day which reinforces the psychological struggles of a black man, Chris, as the white family of his girlfriend forms an in-group bias.
But let’s say a football team, a baking club, a work group, a yoga class. Which such groups have you joined by choice? And in what ways have you beneﬁted from belonging to this certain social group? Let me know in the comments!
⁃ SaaniaSparkle 🧚🏻♀️