The Need To Belong


I’ve always struggled with being accepted, growing up it meant a lot for me to be a part of a clique or a part of a formidable group of friends. I was a chubby kid with close to no self-confidence and so for me, being a part of a group meant less attention on myself and if my friends accepted me and I belonged it would make me feel safe in the group setting.

Making friends was easy because of my infectious personality, making the RIGHT friends was what I failed at dismally. I think sometimes I made friends for the sake of making them and having a group to belong to and that caught up to me.

Because of this defect of always wanting to be accepted, I struggled so much with people not liking me and talking negatively about me. Being the chubby kid really helped me cultivate my character and personality because it’s all I had, and so when someone didn’t like me it felt worse than not being pretty – it didn’t just mean “you don’t like me”, it meant “you don’t LIKE ME LIKE ME”.

It genuinely used to hurt and confuse me because I was so sure in my personality and if someone didn’t like me, it just didn’t make sense to me. You have to be sure of yourself, especially in the society we now live in – if you’re not sure about yourself, what people say will definitely affect you negatively.  It was a very unhealthy longing of acceptance and it was rooted in my own lack of self-esteem and acceptance.

I haven’t come full circle yet but I’ve come a very long way and these 2 truths have helped me:

  1. I think that we sometimes we get hurt because there is an existing wound. I mean, if I have an open wound and someone pours vinegar on it, it’s obviously going to hurt right? And a lot of the time, we are hurt by what people say about us because we don’t fully believe in the opposing opinion. If I have two and someone says I have four, will that really get to me? And realise I was always touched about my weight because I didn’t like my weight, it wasn’t even about them – it was about me and how I didn’t like and accept my body. They were only triggering a gun that I had already gun pointed at myself. It’s very easy to blame people for voicing out things that you already feel about yourself, it’s easier to be angry at them then at yourself because that’ll mean you have to take responsibility.
  2. People have the right to not like you, there I said it. Have you ever not liked someone just right off the bat? For whatever reason, maybe they make you feel insecure or maybe they possess a character trait that you don’t like. I know it’s crazy that someone can decide not to like you but it happens and life is so much easier when you accept that. Not everyone is going get your personality or receive your energy, and that’s fine. I read a quote some time ago that I can’t recall but it was something along the lines of (and don’t quote me on this one): “if someone doesn’t like me, it’s not the end of the world. But if I don’t like me, then it’s the end of all my worlds”. That really resonated with me, someone not liking me isn’t going to change a damn thing about me, what matters most is how much I like and value myself. I’m not some kind of national treasure so not everyone will like me and that is something that is not going to change the way I view myself.

What others think isn’t my responsibility because those are their thoughts, in their own heads and the only thoughts I have control over are the ones in mine.

It’s so important that we deal with ourselves patiently and learn that acceptance and belonging has nothing to do with others affirming you in their own space or in a group according to their own standards, but rather it’s more about you accepting yourself and choosing to belong in your skin according to your own standards whiles existing within a group of people.

Inspirationally Yours,

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