Without Close and Supportive Relationships, It Is Often Hard for Us to Belong to a Group

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Without close and supportive relationships, we can often feel isolated.

The feeling of isolation can directly detach an individual from the winsome pursuit of individual identity. The absence of support from family and friends inhibits the qualities of human compassion that a person would strive to possess. Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” depicts that after psychological and safety needs are satisfied, the need for belonging must be evident in order for individual identity to be acquired. Our identity constitutes of a shifting phase of learning about self belonging, but we can only successfully obtain this through ongoing supportive relationships with others.

The relationships formed with family members primarily determine who we become. We construct our sense of self from an early age through the relationship we form with our family. From young, we are encouraged to follow our cultural and family values from our parents. We are exposed to their various ideas, characteristics and knowledge allowing us to develop important human qualities we should uphold in society. They set examples for us to follow and we subconsciously adapt to share similar lifestyles and ideals. We are taught through our family to accept roles and responsibilities while belonging to a group.

Often, individuals who are raised in these societies do not have a choice as to whom they become as a person. This can have detrimental effects to a person’s individual identity leading their innate feelings to be suppressed in order to conform to the expectations to the group they belong to. This is clearly explicated in Peter Weir’s acclaimed film Witness where Rachel, an Amish woman ultimately conforms to the expectations of others, and in doing so, forgoes her love for John Book, a city policeman. During the barn raising scene, Rachel openly defies the expectations of Eli and her community by talking to John Book more than to others; filling his glass first. She is sending a message that...
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