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Acting without a Desire for Belonging

If people are frustrated in satisfying belonging, this probably has the following effect on their actions: either they enjoy being the outsider, seek out exotic roles and see themselves in the role of an eccentric, who is provocative and puts himself forward consciously and, usually, conspicuously. Alternatively, they desperately seek membership in a community, but without any effective strategy. In doing so, they become obtrusive, interfere inappropriately, choose behaviours which are experienced by others as annoying, ill-considered or repugnant. Sometimes they then trigger sympathy, attracting people who will take them on, until the people eventually give up in exhaustion or feel exploited. Sometimes they take on tasks that nobody else wants to do, occupy unpopular roles or fight for a community-promoting matter in a way that is irksome in the community (one can imagine very unlikeable civil servants, where nobody is quite sure why they have been chosen). All of these can also be found in milder, and less conspicuous variations.

What is important for counselling, however, is to take such signals seriously and to explore them, because behind them are usually hidden strong self-doubts and devaluation.

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