A sense of belonging makes people act differently in different groups. The sense of belonging is accompanied by a sense of being which in turn helps them in understanding their role within a group. If you look at work people perform better if they have a sense of belonging with the workplace and others there. In social circles people contribute better and positively to the relationships if they fit in well. If the sense of belonging is not there, people would start acting different and this affects their performance at work, society and their relationships with coworkers and friends.
Is it possible to generate a sense of belonging in oneself and in others? In others it is much easy, just accept them wholeheartedly. But if you are in a situation where you don’t know if you are accepted yet, how do you create a sense of belonging. This can be tough and the best way I can think of is by reaching out to others. Finding common grounds can take time, but if you try you can always find common grounds to connect and that would be the best way for you to start generating a sense of belonging.
One core aspect to this is spread yourself in a varied set of interests so that you feel at home at many places. You can always pick the guy who does not belong in a group, just by watching him closely. It is not tough to learn more and be involved in more; you will like things when you learn more about. I have been in groups as a core member and I have been thrown out of some because I never fit in, never was able to generate a sense of belonging myself I guess. That too is part of life.
When you are born you don’t belong anywhere, it is the life you lead that makes you belong to places. People change companies, change friend circles, change social circles and even family dynamics change and you remain in one and fall out of another because you lose your sense of belonging or others lose that connection with you. To be included you need to be inclusive and to be inclusive you need to be open.