Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a significant theory in psychology, which was postulated by the noted American psychologist Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper, “A Theory of Human Motivation.” Even after receiving criticism for being western in nature, the theory is still relevant and a significant part of management studies. In the five tiers of these needs, the third one is the social needs of belongingness and love that comes after physiological and safety needs.
Human behavior is derived by the desire of emotional relations or interpersonal relations at this level. It is a well-known fact that a human is a social animal and he/she likes to be as part of the society and shares common values and belief system with other individuals. It develops a sense of belonging in one or another way. People look for commonality that encourages them to be part of social networks, communities, informal groups, and other social areas. A strong desire for close relations and bonding make friends. As per Maslow, humans exchange love, affection and belonging to overcome loneliness, anxiety, depression, etc. One can fulfill these needs through friendship, social activities, family relations, social communities, workplace groups, etc.
A great significance of social needs of love, affection, and belongingness is sound mental health. An individual can overcome loneliness and feel more joyful. Having strong connections or bonding with others also supports in satisfying other needs.
Examples of Belongingness and Love Needs
Let’s have some real-life examples of Belongingness and Love Needs.
1. Family get-together
The family get-together plays an important role in satisfying emotional or belongingness and affection needs of us. On different occasions like birthday parties, marriages, family lunch or dinner, family tours, any misfortunes, etc. family members assemble at one place to share sorrows and happiness with each other. It helps in fulfilling the love and belongingness needs of individuals.
2. Movies & Plays
Different movies and theatre acts or plays we watch involve different characters like friends, parents, siblings, couples, etc., and are based on love, emotions. The scripts and dialogues of these movies and dramas are written especially by keeping in mind the emotional, love and sense of belonging needs of humans.
3. Attractive tour packages by travel agencies
Nowadays different travel companies or agencies like Makemytrip, Cox and Kings, Thomas Cook, Club Mahindra, Goibibo, Yatra.com, etc., offer very attractive tour packages both National and International for married couples, families, group of friends, and corporate employees. These provide discounts on overall tour package, including tickets, hotel stay, etc., so that a large number of families or couples can avail such tour packages and can spend valuable time with each other from their busy life. By doing so, these companies contribute to the love and belongingness needs of humans.
4. Theme-based events
Different food outlets and event management companies organize different events or celebrations for their customers on different occasions, like birthday parties, Valentine’s Day celebration theme, anniversary celebration themes which play a great role in affection and love needs.
5. Social networking sites
Different social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Whatsapp, Snapchat, etc. support in creating informal groups in which individuals interact with each other. Through above social networking platforms family members, friends at a distance chat with each other, share the videos and images of similar likings and thus develop a sense of belonging that motivates them to incline towards peers and to follow their recommendations. If our family members or friends share any content on social media, we would like to follow and share it with others.
6. Products and services that promote belongingness and affection
The promotional and marketing strategy of products and services of different organizations is also based on the social or belongingness needs of humans. Different companies create a feeling of social belonging with their customers to satisfy their needs of love, trust, and long-term relations. Companies market their products in such a way that customers feel like their social identity is connected with the brand. For example, have a look at the advertisements of “Cadbury” dairy milk chocolates, which emphasize sharing a great bond between family members and friends on different occasions by gifting gift packs of chocolates to dear and near ones. It helps in fulfilling love and belongingness needs.
7. Matrimonial Services
Different matrimonial sites like Shaadi.com, Jeevansathi.com, etc., play an important role in fulfilling the love and belongingness needs of people by giving them an opportunity to find their perfect partner for marriage.
8. NGOs for love and belongingness needs
Different non-government organizations (NGOs) are established in which people volunteer for extending support to needy people of society, i.e., poor people, children, old-age people, women, etc., in terms of fulfilling basic needs of food, clothing and also contributing in education, health, emotional support, etc. Volunteering is considered as a great path to look for love, affection, and belonging.
9. Social clubs and communities
Different social clubs and local communities, which organize different events, like recreational events, Marathon, Craft fairs and exhibitions, etc., also play an important role in fulfilling the belongingness needs of people up-to some extent. People having common community goals or having common interests become part of these social clubs and develop a sense of belonging with each other by getting themselves indulged in a similar type of activity and sharing their joy, experiences, trust, and care to each other.
10. Employee engagement at the workplace
In offices, various employee engagement activities are organized by the HR department to keep employees connected in informal groups. These activities include employee’s birthday celebrations, outdoor picnics, and tours for employees, organizing different team games and activities, festival celebrations, etc.
11. Religious places for social needs
A large group of people of the same community often visits different religious places like temples, gurudwaras, and churches; as they share a common belief in the same God or religion. It satisfies their social needs.