The need to belong drives us to join with others, a powerful survival strategy that humans and other critters have employed with great success. For humans belonging comes in many forms whether it is being a supporter of a sports team, a political faction, a cult or any kind of family.
And there are layers of belonging, family, friends, work environment or place. We can walk away from our favorite football team to our friends and family, people we belong with, and perhaps we only love our football team because our family loves that team. And we may adopt specific kinds of behaviors and beliefs (religion is the easy one here but who we hate/love is another, think of being a fan of... ) to belong in different situations.
A lot of people have great families to which they belong and are accepted as who they are - although it could be disastrous if they belong to a family that is toxic. Where they potentially twist themselves into psychological knots to belong to a toxic family, relationship or cult, and some cults can be truly evil.
We've heard of cults that murder and we know about Jonestown and the Manson family. It'd be easy to blame the individuals for murdering others, but the reality is people really just want to BELONG. People want to please others so they too can belong and will go along with the delusions of a charismatic leader, such as murder, suicide, refusing to wear a face mask or injecting themselves with bleach.
However, if an individual comes from a great family who sees them as who they are and accepts them for who they are then it probably sets them up for a healthy life with healthy relationships. Or does it? There is a lot of people going along with the insanity of the charismatic Trump and presumably not all of them came from a toxic home.
Relationships can be fraught with problems, relationships people should leave but they are concerned with worrying where do they belong if they are no longer part of it. Relationships where neither the abuser or the abused can leave. The relationship persists as is, with no hope of it ever being fixed.
How many persona do you adopt in the many situations you exist in every day and what is it you are doing to belong in that situation? What causes you to belong? Because the context of belonging will define you.
I wonder whether there is mob mentality at work that interrupts the individuals ability to mentally step back and say - loneliness is better (than whatever it is) than belonging (in this situation). Because loneliness can come rushing in to fill the void of not belonging. Or perhaps it's facing the loneliness that comes with not belonging, of being forced out because they weren't considered worthy to belong that makes people truly free.