The need for love and belonging is the strongest of the basic psychological needs, according to William Glasser's Choice Theory. Our spouses, partners, family, and friends satisfy the need for love and belonging. So do groups, clubs, organizations, sports, and workplaces. It’s about love, relationships, giving and receiving affection, social connections, and being part of a group.
Long ago, people found out that when they banded together, belonged to a tribe or group, life was easier, more satisfying, and also safer, thereby also satisfying the need for survival. When we band together, we are cared for, feel comfortable and needed, and contribute to the good of all. We satisfy the need for love and belonging by cooperating with others.
As with all basic needs, everyone has them, but the degree or the intensity varies from person to person. In the workplace, we see those who have a lower need for love and belonging may prefer to work on their own and perhaps take their lunch out under a tree and sit alone to eat. Someone with a higher need may gather friends around a table at lunch time or suggest going out with one or more co-workers. These are the folks who might talk about their personal lives and become friends outside of work.
If you have a high level of need for love and belonging and are partnered with someone who has a much lower need, you may find yourself hanging onto your loved one to a point of annoyance to them. Since one person cannot be everything to a partner, seeking friends and groups outside the couple may be the way to get both parties’ needs met and sustain their relationship.
If we think about how our lives would be without our family and friends, we see how crucial it is to fulfill our need for love and belonging.
As a level 5, with a high need, I satisfy it by meeting up with individual friends for coffee and being involved in groups such as my writing club and the American Association of University Women (AAUW). I facilitate writing classes and attend conferences that help me personally and professionally.
What’s your level of need for love and belonging? your mate’s? your close family members’? How do you and they get this vital need satisfied? Which people or groups are instrumental in getting your requirement for love and belonging met? Working to see that each person's needs are met keeps our loved ones close.
~ xoA ~