Fitting in, being yourself and belonging

Do you fit into society?

I don’t know about you, but I never seem to fit in.

That makes me wonder whether there is such a thing, called fitting in.

Then again, we want to connect, that makes us human.

We have the urge to belong.

However, belonging is not the same thing as fitting in.

Let’s look at this a bit closer.

When a group of people gets together, a norm gets established.

Over time this norm becomes solid – sometimes even a bit rigid.

The norm evolves from ways the people in the group relate and communicate with each other. A common language is created. A way of ‘correct’ behaviour established.

A ‘code of ethics’ gets transmitted between members of the group. Very often it’s unspoken.

Subtle, or not so subtle, responses tell you whether you are behaving right or wrong.

In indigenous cultures stories teach the correct way. In modern associations special documents spell it all out.


There are all kinds of groups – from a loose gathering of friends, to cliques, schools of thoughts, associations, and countries and races.

Some groups you have to be born into to belong.

Sometimes, and in today’s world of people moving around, more and more, various groups overlap.

You might be from a certain race or culture – and live a different country.

You might even be a mix of races.

Your work might have taken you to another country.

Boundaries of countries also have varied  – moved here and there, over time, through war and power-hungry neighbours.

When you are caught up in a situation like this it’s hard to find where you belong.

Sometimes groups in such situations bond even tighter. The code, and peer pressure gets stronger.

If you follow the norm, you’re in. If not, you’re out.


At the same time we are individuals – with our own unique purpose and needs in life.

This is very much celebrated today, particularly in western society. However, when driven too far, it leaves a deep longing inside.

The longing to belong.

So, how can we bring these seemingly contradicting tendencies together?

First of all – belong to ourselves, find a resting point inside.

Then we can open up to the people around us – and let the dance of sharing and receiving happen.

Be prepared though. You might suddenly end up in another group than you initially envisaged.

Does this resonate with you?

Then you might be interested in the ‘Belong – Longing to Be?’ program I am now offering.