Sunday, September 19, 2010

The desire to belong.

I completed the "Need to Belong" scale and scored a 34 on it. This means I have a stronge desire to want to be loved and to be accepted by others. Throughout my life, I have always been this way, especially when I was in highschool. I believe my brothers' popularity had an impact on me, making me want to be as liked as he is. Now that I am an adult, I do not need to have a lot of friends, but it is still very important for me to at least have acquaintances. I feel that all I need is to have a strong bond with my family and my boyfriend.

I work in a preschool as a teachers aid and I often watch children's films. Recently, I watched The Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It was an adorable movie that shows a perfect example of a child doing anything to be well liked. In the end, he realizes that all he needs is his one best friend because he liked him for who he is already.

Mark Leary is a professor at Duke University and the author of the "Need to Belong" scale. On Youtube, he discusses the difference between self compassion and having a high self esteem. Do you think the person who has the high self esteem is better off, or the person with self compassion? This insight was very moving because it shows that one should not dwell on their mistakes and feel bad about themselves because everyone does something embarressing in life. It is important to move on, own up to our mistakes, and to learn and grow as an individual.


  1. I was in the same place as you were when in my teens. There is so much pressure..."desire" to be included, accepted, and validated during those years, and we put that pressure on ourselves. I certainly would never want to revisit those days that's for sure.

    Like you, I have found that its not about the quantity...its about the quality of our relationships and I treasure the small group of friends I have today. they are loyal and loving...

    As for Self-Esteem and Self-Compassion I believe an individual should possess both, for if you are confident and satisfied with yourself you will not need constant validation from the outside world and one should never dwell on mistakes, because as you said, we've all messed up...we've all found ourselves wanting to take back something we did or something we said. Were human. Acknowledge, move on, and grow from the experience. It makes a person wiser...If they are willing to do so that is.

  2. I really thought your post was interesting. This topic brings light to many of the insecurities I had in High School with belonging. Now I don't feel it is as important as it used to be. That's why I feel very "free" when it comes to college.

    I have few very close relationships and think of others as friends/acquaintances that may not be there at the end of the day, but it doesn't bother me because I know the value of my relationships with people.

    I think self-esteem and self-compassion should be in sinc with each other. I know a lot of people with no REAL friends, just a lot of fake friends who are comfortable with that. I also know a lot of people who stick to one circle and don't allow many to come in, which is also comfortable with them. It all depends on the person.