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Need for Belonging

The desire to belong sometimes dominates whole phases of growing-up, from kindergarten to school, to clubs and famous cliques. To feel connected to others, to share and implement ideas, to help and be helped, to do something together, to celebrate, to dance, to vouch for each other, all this is an expression of feeling a sense of belonging and it is part of the regulation of self-esteem. But who is free from experiences of standing to one side, being excluded or feeling that they don’t know how to join in, from excelling too much and then being excluded, from feeling impotence when exposed to nasty gossip and not being able to bridge differences? Belonging is a fragile happening which can only be partly influenced. Apart from the competence to master the challenges mentioned above, you also need humility to hold yourself back and patience to wait your turn. You must be able to be happy with others and to find an echo in them and you must be able to explore and process feelings such as envy, shame and jealousy. Thus, there is much to do in times of ever-present team work, projects, staff turnover and mobility, where you have to be able to cope permanently or at least temporarily with people you have not been able to choose. This is an occasion for counselling that pays off.