Do You Belong?

Do you belong
I have a fair share of goofy friends. One such friend recently asked me this question: “Do you belong?”

He then went on to say that he didn’t feel as though he belonged in this world. He wasn’t happy about it. The surprising part for me was when he said, “The reason I asked you is because you act as if you belong”. (Nah…, sometimes even for me, it seems like the earth is a very weird place!)

What followed was one of those special conversations when you explore something that you may not have previously verbalized. It is one of those delicious topics, mostly under the surface that makes all the difference in the world as to how we are, what we do and how we do it!

What comes to mind when you think of the topic, BELONG?
Trying to fit in, gain acceptance, seek approval, wanting to be liked and be a part of the “gang”.
We all want it, in varying degrees; from different people.

In school,
You don’t dress like them. You don’t like the same music they do, the same shows, and you certainly can’t relate to them on any other issue….

At a party,
You don't want to be the only person standing in the corner with a drink in your hand and a sad expression on your face….

Have you ever experienced the feeling of being left out in the cold, of wanting to belong but watching from the sidelines?

Are you the type of person who does NOT want to belong?

  • Maybe you find it restrictive to be a part of a group.
  • Maybe you want to be an individual.
  • Maybe you resist being pigeon-holed by a label.
  • Maybe you don’t know how to belong.
  • Maybe you feel content just being you.

Harsh Truths On Wanting To Belong

1. The process of belonging to something should not always involve people and groups. You must belong to your own principles and dreams before all.

2. Don’t live your life through your friends. Live it through your backbone! At the end of the day, it’s not usually about who you are with; it's about just who you are. (Don’t misunderstand, we need friends in our lives. The context here is “losing yourself” to have friends.)

3. Not being able to relate to the people who “everyone likes” (supposedly) can make you wonder why exactly it is that you don’t fit in!

4. People who can’t accept you will do so out of their own emotional needs. It is THEIR problem and not a measure of your self-worth.

5. If you feel good about the fact that you are who you are, your awesomeness will eventually be clear to everyone around you.

For those people who can't accept me, my response is, this is the only person I know how to be, and I've worked too hard to give that up for anybody.

When have you experienced a sense of “not” belonging?
Did you feel like you needed to buy your way in? Or have you just walked away from it all?

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36 comments:

positively present said...

What a great post on the topic of belonging? I think this is something most people think about (whether they realize it or not) and you've done such a great job of addressing the topic here. Thanks for this great post!

psychologyofsuccess said...

Great questions! As a child I was part of an Army family. I also served for a few years as a young adult. It was not until I was in my late 20s that I realized that I was good at gaining admittance to groups and blending in with the crowd but I very rarely established deep relationships.

Sometimes we would move and I wouldn't even say goodbye. I used it as a coping mechanism to avoid sad departures. Now, I know that it was wrong but once I recognized it I was able to address it.

Shamelle said...

@positively present: true, its a topic that's rarely talked about. I wouldn't have written about it myself if not for the conversation I had with my friend.

@psychologyofsuccess: sometimes, its less painful to not get too attached. Again, one needs to way the pros and cons..

Peter Mis said...

This is my first read of your site and I'm glad I found it. It's amazing how much of ourselves we're willing to compromise for the sake of belonging. I'm thrilled that you're championing this position...that you already are good enough and that you need not compromise who you are because who you are is already awesome. This is an important post...OK if I pass this on?

Shamelle said...

@Peter: A warm welcome to EnhanceLife! Hope you continue to visit and contribute to the discussions.
Sure, feel free to pass it on.. :-0)

Chris Edgar | Purpose Power Coaching said...

Thanks for this post. One thing I find is that, when I'm getting the sense that I "don't belong," it's actually a physical sensation in the body -- maybe a sense of hollowness in my stomach, for instance. Focusing on that sensation can actually help it to dissipate, I've found.

Carla | Green and Chic said...

I dont think there was ever a time in my life where I belonged. And now, as an adult (30) I have come to terms with it and embraced my differences.

Sara said...

Shamelle,

This is my first visit to your site and you wrote about a tough subject for me. I often feel I don't belong, especially in group situations.

I usually have an inner talk with myself to remind me that this feeling of not belonging is an echo of my past; not part of my present. This will often help me. Intesting post. Thanks:~)

Omar said...

It's one of the worst feelings. I try to engage with people, but, if it doesn't work I'll stay to myself or talk with people outside the group.

ayo olaniyan said...

Hello Shamelle,
I found out your blog on motivate thyself. I loved this post. I have always emphasized on being ones' self but in a positive manner though(I always add that clause lol!!!). I will bookmark this site and subscribe to it.

Have a lovely dayo

Anonymous said...

I have found one of the worst places where I have never belonged both as a child and a parent is the school playground. I always went in smiling, but that has long since faded away, now it's head down and do the twice daily chore.

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