Identity and Belonging

Belonging is being seen as being able to feel accepted and welcomed for who you are. Any person can feel like they belong when they are in a particular situation, at a specific place or with a group of people. There are certain groups in our lives which we are associated with, such as social, religious and cultural groups. Belonging to any one of these groups may be either by choice or a sense of obligation. For instance, the decision to belong to a certain social group is entirely dependent on our own free will, whereas being a part of a cultural group is not necessarily something we have control over, as people are generally born into a specific culture which may be difficult to depart from.
The side effects of belonging, is being happy and being able to open up.   Sometimes this may happen to people who are with their friends, family etc.
As well as having the feeling of belonging, there is also rejection – being rejected or rejecting another. This tells us more about ourselves just as much as being accepted.
At times, when people are trying to discover themselves, they begin to feel as if they ‘need’ to belong. So they betray their personal values and become someone they’re not, just to have the feeling of having an identity. This however, only gives sense of false belonging. These situations usually happen to teenagers when they are put under pressure of others. As a teenager, they would experience conflict between their true identity and the identity they have created in their attempt to meet the expectations of the group they want to be in.