Emotions And Feelings (Cont.12)

9. When searching for connection (can cause concerns about belonging, fitting in, connection, insecurity, invisibility, loneliness)

    a) belonging is the feeling of being accepted, included, respected, contributing, etc; humans are social species and cannot survive without one another

"...We have to belong to ourselves as much as we need to belong to others. Any belonging that asks us to betray yourselves is not true belonging. True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn't require you to change who you are:it requires you to be who you are..."
Brené Brown, 2021

There is a spiritual disconnect, ie diminishing sense of shared humanity, with the 'us vs them' cultures; there is a need for

"...a deeper sense of belonging and connection to a larger humanity gives people more freedom to express their individuality without fear of jeopardising belonging..."
Brené Brown, 2021

It's more than the number of friends you have, it's the quality of the friendships; is linked with diversity, equity, inclusion, etc

Belonging uncertainty is the term used to describe questioning one's social belongingness; this can be high in members of marginalised groups and can have a negative impact on motivation and achievement.

    b) fitting in is part of the need to belong; fitting in can sometimes mean making compromises and this can jeopardise your authenticity and sacrificing who you are.

    c) connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; derive sustenance and strength from the relationship; while disconnection leads to social isolation, loneliness and the feeling of powerlessness; disconnection frequently occurs in unequal power structures; disconnection can be shown by social rejection, social exclusion, social isolation, etc and has a similar feeling to physical pain

"...from an evolutionary perspective connection was about survival: today it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives...... people who have strong connections with others are happier, healthier and better able to cope with the stresses of everyday life..."
Brené Brown, 2021

    d) insecurity manifests as self-doubt or lack of confidence

There are 3 types of insecurity

        i) domain-specific insecurity like food insecurity, financial insecurity, lack of physical safety; to combat this, you need access and resources

        ii) relationship or interpersonal insecurity is lacking a supportive and trusting relationship makes you feel uncertain about being loved, trusted, protected and valued

        iii) general or personal insecurity occurs when you are overly critical of your weaknesses, like body image, work performance, etc; the opposite is self-security, ie being open and having non-judgmental acceptance of your own weaknesses

"...we can have higher self-esteem but still be insecure if we're overly critical of our imperfections. Because our self-esteem is an assessment of who we are and what we have accomplished compared to our values and our goals, even with high self-esteem we can feel insecure if we are self-critical..."
Brené Brown, 2021

Self-security is positively correlated with self-compassion and negatively correlated with shame-proneness, neuroticism, fear of negative evaluations, self-aggrandisement and relationship conflict; if you are more secure, you are more willing to be vulnerable with others and have more healthy relationships

    e) invisibility is a function of disconnection and dehumanisation (it occurs where an individual or group's humanity are unacknowledged, ignored, and/or diminished in value or importance); linked  with stigma and stereotypes that can result in discrimination, not getting proper  performance credit, limited cultural representation, etc; not recognised as an individual but only as a symbol of a group

However, you are all here to be seen, known, loved, etc invisibility can be a very painful human experience; different types of invisibility

        i) interpersonal invisibility

        ii) group invisibility

        ii) representational invisibility

"...when a group is invisible, instead of being actively discriminated against and targeted with negative prejudices...... members of a group are ignored and overlooked..."
Brené Brown, 2021

Some examples include being passed over for promotion and recognition, not being seen as a viable friend, romantic partner, teammate, etc

    f) loneliness is perceived social isolation; linked with disconnection; lack of sense of true belonging; an absence of meaningful social relationships; different from being alone

"...to grow into an adulthood for a social species, including humans, is not to become autonomous and solitary, it is to become the one upon whom others can depend. Whether we know it or not, our brain and biology have been shaped to favour this outcome.....As members of social species we don't derive strength from our rugged individualism, rather from our collective ability to plan, communicate, and work together..."
John Cacioppo as quoted by Brené Brown, 2021

As humans you prefer interdependence over independence.

Your brain responds to loneliness like when we feel hungry, thirsty, pain, etc, ie loneliness informs you that you need social connection; loneliness has a greater negative impact on health and mortality than air pollution, obesity, excessive alcohol drinking, etc; loneliness increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression, anxiety, work performance; it limits creativity and impairs executive functions like reasoning and decision-making.


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