Essay Concept Belonging

Still have no idea what a thesis statement is? Take inspiration from these sample thesis statements for belonging essays.

All of these thesis statements can be used as starting points for arguments about belonging!

Experience

  • Our life experiences teach us that when we stop trying to belong we realise that we have always belonged
  • We search for a place to belong, not realising that it is our perceptions and attitudes, not the place that allow us to belong

Notions of identity

  • When our cultural identity is marginalised, we can feel dislocated and displaced, and believe that we do not belong to our culture or the dominant culture.
  • Our search for who we are is fuelled by a need to find a place in the world where we belong
  • A sense of belonging comes from a sense of identity

Relationships

  • The need to belong to a group or a community shapes our behaviour, attitudes and actions
  • An individual has the potential to damage relationships and ensure that others do not belong
  • When humanity experiences a strong connection to a place, the notion of belonging is strengthened and enriched
  • When our relationship with a place is shaped by a narrow and biased view of the world, our notion of belonging can be questionable

Acceptance

  • The basic human need to be accepted and belong can cloud our judgments and direct our actions

Understanding

  • When we begin to understand the forces that drive us to belong, we develop empathy for others and personal insight

McPherson, D and Sherlock, J et all, 2010, Oxford HSC English, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.

Connections

  • A sense of belonging can emerge from the connections made with people, places and the larger world. It is these connections that influence where we search for meaning in our lives and ultimately, where we belong
  • We belong when we feel connected to others and the world

Inner Belonging

  • Belonging comes from within rather than without
  • An inner sense of connection leads to an external sense of belonging
  • Feeling connected to the world is an inner experience
  • The desire to belong is a driving force within us
  • A sense of belonging begins instinsically and spreads out into the world
  • We cannot belong until we understand ourselves-An inner sense of balance allows the individual to belong harmoniously in the world

 

These statements are a great starting point but in order to write a great essay you will have to learn how to research and analyse your texts effectively as well as write a good introduction, body and conclusion. The entire process is covered in our simple guidebook the Band 6 Formula.

 

Related

Having a sense of belonging is a common experience. Belonging means acceptance as a member or part. Such a simple word for huge concept. A sense of belonging is a human need, just like the need for food and shelter. Feeling that you belong  is most important in seeing value in life and in coping with intensely painful emotions. Some find belonging in a church, some with friends, some with family, and some on Twitter or other social media. Some see themselves as connected only to one or two people. Others believe and feel a connection to all people the world over, to humanity. Some struggle to find a sense of belonging and their loneliness is physically painful for them. 

Some seek belonging through excluding others. That reflects the idea that there must be those who don't belong in order for there to be those who do. Yet a single instance of being excluded can undermine self-control and well being and often creates pain and conflict.

A sense of belonging to a greater community improves your motivation, health, and happiness.  When you see your connection to others, you know that all people struggle and have difficult times. You are not alone. There is comfort in that knowledge.

Building a Sense of Belonging

To build a sense of belonging requires active effort and practice. One way to work on increasing your sense of belonging is to look for ways you are similar with others instead of focusing on ways you are different. Someone is much older than you? Maybe they have wonderful stories to tell and you love to listen to their experiences. Maybe you value making a difference and can contribute to their lives with your youthful strength. Someone has a different belief system that you? Maybe you both enjoy a good debate or you both value faith in God. Sharing your differences and still accepting the person creates peace. Acceptance does not mean agreement.

Another way to build your own sense of belonging is to work on acceptance of others. To accept others and views that are not the same as yours may require that you open your thoughts to the idea that there is value in everyone's thinking.  You can find truth in even the most difficult-to-understand even though you may not agree.  One of the best ways to communicate acceptance is through validation. Validation builds a sense of belonging and strengthens relationships. Validation is the language of acceptance. Validation is the acknowlegement that someone's internal experience is understandable and helps you stay on the same side, with a sense of belonging, even when you disagree.

Try saying yes to opportunities to be with others and then throw yourself in to whatever the activity is. Let go of your judgments. Judgments build walls. Focus on people.  At a dinner and annoyed because you don't like the food? The food is not the goal. Connecting with others is far more important than the food or the noise in the restaurant. Gained weight and don't want others to see? Stop isolating until you believe you are worthy. No one is perfect. Others have their struggles with their health too.

Watch your words and your way of thinking. Some words create separateness and others promote togetherness. Other people don't need "fixing." They have strengths and offer their own unique contributions. Think community and acceptance. 

If you are emotionally sensitive, remember that in general people suffer the same emotional pain you suffer just not as intensely (most of the time) or as quickly.  Also, there are many other emotionally sensitive people who struggle as you do. Being emotionally senstive does not mean you don't belong. Work on not blaming yourself or others.

Attributional Retrainng

Dr. Gregory Walton developed a belonging intervention he called Attributional Retraining. Through this intervention, people shift from blaming themselves for painful experiences, such as "I'm flawed," or "It's just me," to seeing that they weren't alone and that other people had experienced the same situations.

The technique is brief. It involves you seeing yourself as an expert on what you have experienced and writing about that experience to help someone else. Here is a video on how the techniques works for college students. The key is to write suggestions for other people on how to cope with something you have experienced.

If you are not a college student, the issues in the video may not seem relevant. But consider how you would use the technique. For example, what two points would you offer to others about coping with intense emotions or rejection sensitivity?  Your experiences can make a difference for others who also have intense emotions. 

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