I’m mad about Maslow – the 1940’s genius psychologist Abraham Maslow, that is. Thirty years ago, my life changed significantly when I learned about his hierarchy of needs. I realized that everyone has a fundamental desire to feel connected, to be part of something like a club, family or company. Maslow said that until we feel that sense of belonging, we can’t be creative or confident.

The problem is, we never completely feel like we belong. We perpetually question our relationships, our choices and our affiliations – wondering if we fit in. We hunt for affirmation through feedback, likes, shares, and assessments. We reflect our accomplished belonging with career success and materialistic demonstration. Even if we aren’t self-centered individuals, we all seek to know we aren’t on the fringe of humanity and we yearn for signs of acceptance.

Women tend to need this more but no one is exempt. People who are belonging-deprived often bully, gossip, one up or don’t listen. They try to be the smartest person in the room and calculate their next comment so that they hoard the space rather than share it. These people seek to steal other people’s confidence to fill their own need to belong.

We can usually see this clearly. We may even self-talk that the person is pathetic and undeserving of our help. Yet we also often let our own confidence be thrown off track by this type of intimidation. We must learn how to duck and avoid it, tuck and roll.

So when you encounter the inevitable insecure individual dishing BS and displaying a clear need to “bull-long”, smile inside and know they simply have an unfulfilled Maslovian need.

Alyssa Dver
Cheif Confidence Officer

American Confidence Institute