• Özlem Özkan



We human beings want to belong; belong to a family, maybe a tribe, a partner, to a group of friends, a company, or a social club.

How do we belong? There are different ways.

  1. We are born in a certain family or adoption parents and automatically belong to them.

  2. We go to school and get part of a group.

  3. We develop an interest in some sports or get hobbies and find others who share the same interest.

Belonging has many faces. First of all, you start belonging to the group. You get used to this group and want to keep belonging. You adapt yourself to the group and work on creating synergy. Sometimes you do things outside your will because a big part of the group wants a certain way. You follow because you want to belong.

After a certain time, you might act in a certain way to get approval or prevent disapproval. Your behavior becomes merely a product of seeking approval and preventing disapproval. If this goes on for a period of time it might get easily a habit.

Here is what you could do instead. Adapt to the group, but keep being yourself. Confront difficult conversations, express what you feel in integrity, and respect at the same time others as they are. Stay open to new viewpoints that you bring in and which are brought in by others. And after a while, you will see that the group is evolved and keeps evolving.

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