What does it feel like to experience belonging?

What are your surroundings when you experience belonging?
With whom?
In what context?
And what does it feel like when you experience it?


For me it feels like being with people who enjoy being around me, whom I enjoy being around. Where, even if people don’t always understand everything about me, or even agree with me, they understand that I have a right to feel what I feel, whether we agree or not, because I’m a human and they are too, so we’re all able to choose for ourselves, and we all have more in common than we have different. And where I respect them in similar ways. Where we don’t expect each other to pander to each other, but we expect kindness and decency and compromise and cooperation of each other. It feels like a place where I’m doing my best and people trust that is true, and where I know they’re doing their best too. It feels like being able to express myself and them being able to express themself, but where we also strive to be kind and loving to one another whether we agree or not, but where we don’t feel pressured to fake things in order to get along. Where I can say I disagree with you, and I respect your right to feel as you do. And they can say the same to me. Where people get another chance when they error, patience (I mean obviously there are certain legal things that have to be dealt with by the justice system, but other than that we work through things.) Where we admire and respect each other’s skills and talents, where we all feel heard. Where we have fun together. Where we can strive to compromise and where we can all distinguish between what we need and what we want, as that’s important for the ability to compromise. Where I have a good mixture of together extravert time but where I have some privacy too and people can express what they need and have that autonomy too.


That is so beautifully put @RionaAndLogan! I agree with every word 100%. It may sound utopian to some, but I actually don’t think it is at all - it seems very human to me. It’s being decent to each other through respect and genuine interest in another person’s life. Through good communication and an understanding your own boundaries (and others) well enough to express them, you can achieve so much with people. And, not everyone is perfect so the idea that you develop patience (which is a challenging skill all on it’s own), gives way for forgiveness and open conversation, rather than deceit and betrayal. I don’t even think it’s a fine line either. I think it comes quite naturally to us, and we need to be continually practicing it to improve our skills. I think the more honest with we are with ourselves with our wants and needs, the more honest we can be with others, whereby we find our community, making the feeling of belonging ever present in our daily lives.

1 Like

this reminds me of nother human, person-centered, and currently de rigor topic on the national scene: “isolation”. In that field of study/service (education, psychology, etc) something new comes up all the time, stays on top awhile/has popularity, then another comes up for the nxt lill time period. This one seems 5, 10 yrs old. I see the newspapers float it up “mericans are more isolated than ever. 3 in 7 etc, etc…” On the radio, and “National Science sez…” Asa communitarian of 50 yrs I find it interesting, as an academician, same.
Fifty yrs ago we studied it from the other direction. I say anytime speaking of humans avoid study of the ‘off’, disrupted, pathologic. All Ways look to the good… study health, what makes good, positive and straight. Here its ‘belongingness’ (mutuality, befriending, etc). Leave it to another communitarian to pick the word aahahahaa. Isolation is psychologic, oneness, pathologic. Belongings is sociological, us/we, health.

Sorry to make a meta comment when asked for personal experience of “IT”. So…

My “surroundings” are community - B it wrking grps, eating, spiritual ‘exercise’, entertaining…
“Whom?” My choir, living/home community (which is also wrkin site)
“Context?” 2/3rds of my life (‘isolation’ is by choice so a balance & not “lonely”)
“Feel?” How to describe oxytocin’s effects… (in most cases) but also periods of challenge (a business mtg where others do not agree w/my corse of action & are unwilling to labor/struggle w/me toward consensus, so varied “depending”~
Thnx 4 askin/postin

  • -Chad

I love this question! I’d like to look at it philosophically, if I might.

The feeling of belonging is opposed to the feeling of otherness. When you feel belonging, you can freely exchange the word “I” with the word “we.” You feel safe, heard, and together. You resonate.

Now, the coolest part of belonging, to me, is that that feeling of safety doesn’t just exist when I am physically next to my people. I carry my people with me wherever I go, so that when I am experiencing “otherness,” it is less uncomfortable, less frightening, and all around more exiting.

I can explore any new place or situation because I know, at the end of the day, I have a place and a people to whom I belong.

The place in my life where I have felt the most belonging is in our Renaissance faire/fantasy festival/pirate campout community. Its not an intentional community because we don’t live together (yet?) :wink: but we really have a lot of fun together. I mean we have some issues that any groups of people have, but because each event is run by a different person or group of people every one can find events where they belong and feel safe. Our local faire ecosystem is great like that, its not like some parts of the U.S. where there’s one Renaissance faire, its 8 weeks long and that’s your only option. Options make the world better. I’ve had trouble with very few people within those circles and I feel safe there to be myself. Obviously like any other community how you “show up” matters and one must choose their battles, but its the best place I have in my life for belonging and I think its like 95 percent amazing!