The Unstoppable Power of Belonging: Why People Will Do Anything to be Accepted

Have you ever thought about the power of belonging?

I've found that people will do almost anything to belong. To be accepted, loved, and known.

| Water always seeks its own level. Like attracts like.

The Unstoppable Power of Belonging: Why People Will Do Anything to be Accepted | Japheth Mast Blog

Think about your 5 closest friends. Do they think like you? Act like you? Maybe even look like you?

What I'm saying is that people of integrity find other people of integrity. People who gossip find other people who gossip. Poor people find other poor people.

Birds of a feather flock together, as the old adage goes.

You see, we really love our beliefs, and even cling to them. We hate being wrong about what we believe, because "it's my belief, and I'm right.” Being proven wrong might mean that there is something wrong with me.

This is of course not true, but deep down, people truly believe it.

So, we naturally push people with differing beliefs away from us. They are different from us (for better or worse), and we don't like different, because it could mean that I'm wrong. Thus, I will do anything I can to protect my precious beliefs, including shutting people who threaten my status quo out of my life.

It's a vicious form of self-sabotage.

Water always seeks its own level. Like attracts like.

Because we seek to belong and be accepted, loved, and known, we'll do anything we have to to find that. This is why you often see two very unhealthy people - emotionally, spiritually, mentally, or physically - in a relationship.

These two have found their own level, just as water always finds its’ own. The other person in the relationship doesn't threaten my status quo, my comfort level, and in fact, supports and encourages me in my unhealthy lifestyle.

It's two people going somewhere together, no matter how stupid or senseless the destination is. The sense of belonging is all that matters.

The great news is that it works exactly the same on the other end of the spectrum!

One of my favorite quotes has always been:

“You are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

This can sometimes mean being somewhat ruthless in who you allow to influence you. It's your choice. You can choose bad friends or good friends, idiots or wise men, broke or wealthy.

Love everyone, but don't give everyone a place of influence in your life.

Until you take complete responsibility and full ownership of your life and your decisions, you'll keep getting dragged down to the level of your friends.

If you want to live a life of significance, you won't do it alone. And you won't do it with people who aren't going where you want to go.

Everyone is called to greatness, but many never reach their destiny because they surround themselves with the wrong people.

The wrong people are:

  • "yes men" - those who will never say what's really on their mind and tell you when you're wrong
  • small-minded - they think small, believe small, and live small
  • fear-controlled - they never take risks, preferring to stay small because "what if" controls their life
  • complainers - they are the most negative people you can find, always whining about what's wrong in the world
  • settlers - they have chosen the easy road, settling for comfort and ease instead of forging a life worth remembering

I hope this helps you take ownership of your life and relationships. At the end of the day, you choose. You have so much more power than you know.

And sometimes the best way to love someone is to say "no."


Homework

Assess your current friend group. Are they pushing you forward or pulling you down? Are they always talking about what's wrong in the world, or are they doing something to make the world a better place? Are they taking risks and going on adventures, or are they staying small and safe in their own little world? Do you need to change something about your friend group?

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