Why do we feel like we belong in some spaces and not others?

Ever wondered why you feel out of place in some spaces over others? Maybe you thought it was just your mood at the time, the people around you, or maybe even the weather. But, what if it simply came down to the physical space you were in – the colours on the wall, the ornaments on the mantle or even the type of chair you’re sitting in.

The relationship between place and belonging is a historical one. As humans, our identities are inextricably tied to the environment and community in which we choose to operate – they can exist as a visual representation of our personalities, our heritage or values and beliefs. So, it’s no coincidence we often become so pedantic about the look and feel of our own personal spaces, like our homes.

But how can place have such an underlying influence on the way we feel? How is it that a certain colour or shape of furniture might pique our sense of belonging?

Truth be told, we are incredibly nostalgic human beings. We hold different memories from the spaces and places that have shaped us throughout our lives, and these memories consist of knowledge and feelings developed through everyday experiences within physical settings. In turn, those memories can direct the narrative for the rest of our lives. These bonds between place and identity can ultimately influence our social formations, cultural practices, and political actions.

So, the next time you feel slightly out of place or perhaps even completely at home, take a good look at your surroundings and be sure to remember them for another day

TFE Hotels is excited to be partnering with TEDxSydney to explore the relationship between belonging and place and will explore this at this year’s event. As a valued member of the TEDxSydney community they would love to hear your thoughts on what “Belonging” means to you, by completing this short survey.