A Sense of Belonging | Day 2 of #12DaysforGood

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Winter-Holidays-1328609560_21

-by The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation

We all know how amazing it is when we feel like we belong. Whether it’s a social group, a sports team, a neighbourhood, or a city, our sense of belonging is linked to how we feel about ourselves, and how we choose to give back.

The video below helps to explain what belonging really means, and exactly how much of an impact it has on our community.

If you really want to make an impact on belonging, you should start with the building blocks: Authentic Interactions, Feeling Welcome and Shared Experiences. But what do they really mean?

Let’s look to The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation’s Belonging Report for some answers.

Authentic interactions are all about building relationships with the people around you. They go beyond scripted phrases such as “Hello”, “How are you?” or “Nice weather today, eh?” but often begin as a result of seeing the same person on the street, at the grocery store or from your front porch. When you take the step toward authentic interaction you learn something about the person you are talking to. After an authentic interaction, you’re likely to empathize more with that person and feel a personal connection to them.

People feel welcome every time they believe they are being acknowledged and included. Making someone feel welcome in our community can be as simple as smiling at them on the street or wishing them a nice day as they leave an elevator. Both social interactions and physical environments can make you feel welcome. Feeling welcome can sometimes be a first step that leads to authentic interactions and shared purpose, but it also contributes to a sense of belonging all by itself.

Shared experiences can contribute to the sense of belonging that one feels in a group. These experiences can include common interests, goals and traits. It is not necessary for people to interact with each other in order to feel belonging because of shared experience—just knowing that you have something in common with other people can contribute to a sense of belonging.

So when you’re out this holiday season looking to do some good, will you dare to belong?

If you’d like to learn more about Belonging, check out the full report at: www.kwcf.ca and follow KWCF on Twitter through their 12 Days for Good.

Today’s featured Do Gooder is Deborah Currie, follow her thoughts and deeds on Twitter!

Authentic interactions go beyond scripted phrases, learn about who you’re talking to. << TWEET THIS

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