As we go through this time of sheltering in place, working remotely and limited outings, our opportunities to connect becomes less frequent. The opportunity to share a brief conversation with an acquaintance at a coffee shop or experience a moment of kindness from a complete stranger are almost non-existent now. Those connections are what we as humans need for a sense of community and belonging.
Embrace your tribe. They are your people. You may have just met or you may have known them for years. Either way, they have your back no matter what.
If you could use a few extra people in your tribe, you must be open to others who may or may not have the same opinion or background as you.
Your tribe doesn't need to look like you or act like you, but they accept you where you are.
Find Your Tribe
- Make a list of the things you love to do. Then a list of things you’d like to try.
- Start with the things you love – find a Meet Up or a Facebook group that enjoys mountain biking, wine tastings, board games or whatever appeals to you.
- Don’t just sit back and watch. RSVP and show up to an event. Ask questions. Answer questions. Interact with the people around you. Whatever you do, don’t show up and not talk to a soul and then get back in your car and drive away.
- As you interact with new people, be genuine, be authentic, be yourself. They will either like you or not, but once you’ve dropped your facade, you connect on an even deeper level.
- Be present. Pay attention to what they’re saying, exchange ideas and laugh together. Put your phone down.
- Be open to all ages, life experiences and current situations. Go beyond the surface to truly connect with someone.
- Don’t take it personally if someone who you think you have a great connection with doesn’t feel the same way. It’s a little like online dating – it’s a numbers game!
Who Belongs in Your Tribe
- New friends or friends from years ago who get you.
- Friends who respect your boundaries and who have their own boundaries.
- Friends who agree or disagree with you - respectfully.
- Friends from different backgrounds of all ages and races - it's uplifting to share experiences and learn from a friend outside of your usual circles.
- Friends who live close by or far away - connecting by phone or virtually can still be a rewarding friendship.
Who Doesn’t Belong in Your Tribe
- Friends who say they want to get together and when you reach out to them, they put you off. Move on.
- Friends who say nasty things about other friends. You know they’re also talking smack about you behind your back.
- Friends who take and take and take. While you give and give and give. Just say no and move on to someone who is available for a give and take relationship.
- Friends you’ve known forever, but now it seems more about your differences, than your similarities. It’s ok to move on from high school or early adulthood friends when you feel like you no longer have anything in common.
“Friends for a reason and friends for a season.” I love this as a way to discern between friends who are part of my current tribe and friends who are part of my past. Life is about learning and growing. Your tribe should be learning and growing with you and encouraging you every step of the way.