Human Desire to "fit in"
Just for the Sake of Belonging
Two common ways of handling a situation are either to do so
according to one¹s own personal needs and desires with no specific
regard to other people, or one can base a decision on how it will be
viewed by others. The vast majority of people fall on the side of
being worried about what others are saying and thinking. Both good and
bad can come from living this way, but it has seemed to remain
constant throughout history. People have a natural desire to belong,
and to fit in with a certain group. No matter what group an individual
chooses, that individual almost always is forced sacrifice a part of
them self in order to seem more a part of things. People in this world
seem to need companionship and are often too weak to stand alone. As a
result, they stand together in what ever group they are best suited
It is a point of interest to many of the people who have stopped to
think about this fact. The idea that people live according to how
others will perceive then has been established as the rule, not the
exception. The real question now lies in the reasons for this way of
life. It was hypothesized by C.S. Lewis that this desire to belong
and to fit in is a natural human characteristic. He believed that
people have an instinctive drive to belong, in the same sort of way
species reproduce. It is possible that his theory of instinctive
necessity is accurate, and humans are as a whole are week and scared
when they are faced with solitude.
The old adage ³there is safety in numbers² is appropriate in this
topic. Often in this world terrible things happen because people group
up and commit unspeakable acts, then take shelter in the numbers of
those involved. The Annual Freaknik ³celebration² is the perfect
example. Thousands of individuals crowd the streets of Atlanta and
pillage the city for a weekend, all the while they show no respect
for the laws or the residents of the city. This can be directly
related to the issue of people doing things to be a part of the group.
If these people were asked individually why they did these terrible
things, for the most part they would respond by saying ³everyone else
is doing it²². This could be translated to ³I am just trying to be a
part of things². In this particular example those involved sacrifice
any sense of morals or upbringing that they might have had.
³Everybody is doing it². This sentence has ruined thousands of lives.
It could could be the worst four word combination in the English
language. People have been convinced to begin drug use, drunk driving,
cliff jumping, and countless other unwise activities. The reason
behind this is clear, the human necessity to fit in and to seem cool
is often to strong to compete with. A person could have the world and
all of its riches, but with out someone to share it with, that person
would be totally alone.
People need each other. This is a fact of the world, and it will
This need is a natural desire that is found every where in every
person with very few exceptions. It is true that trouble can brew and
awful things can happen because of these groups, but the advantages
associated far out weigh the costs. These groups that people form
between themselves often serve as shelter for the lonely, for this
reason it is natural for people to go far out their way if necessary
to belong a particular crowd. As a result the opinion of others is
crucial part of life.