The Bidirectional Relationship of Meaning and Belonging

  • Tyler F. Stillman
  • Nathaniel M. Lambert


People who have warm and rewarding interpersonal relationships experience more meaning in life. Conversely, people who have experienced social rejection find life less meaningful than other people. Hence, social relationships are an important source of meaning in life. However, the central thesis of this chapter is that meaning in life not only follows from having rewarding interpersonal bonds, finding meaning in life actually aids in the formation of interpersonal bonds. In short, our assertion is that the presence of interpersonal relationships increases the belief that life is meaningful, and the belief that life is meaningful aids in formation of new relationships. Hence, the relationship between meaning and belonging is bidirectional.


Interpersonal Relationship Social Exclusion Social Rejection Study Partner Experimental Rejection 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Marketing and ManagementSouthern Utah UniversityCedar CityUSA
  2. 2.School of Family LifeBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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