One of the most fundamental human needs is the need to belong. Noted psychologist, Abraham Maslow, identified it as one of the five basic needs. We want to be part of a group and to feel loved and accepted by others. That is, we want to be a member of a tribe. A tribe-or a pack, clan, elected family, posse, crew, network, or true friends–is a group of people who share common interests and values and show genuine appreciation and care for each other.
Your tribe members are those people who accept you just as you are, and who want the very best for you. They make you feel understood, and they encourage you to go after your goals and pursue your dreams. Also, the members of your tribe help you to get through difficult times, and they provide you with a sense of community and support.
To paraphrase Sam Adams–from the Onion A.V. Club–, your tribe are those people you love to cruise the streets with while listening to the Ramones and playing air guitar, and who, at the same time, will come and slap you when you’re acting out of line. Your tribe is made up of ‘your people.’ Think of the six main characters in the hit series “Friends,” and how they were always there for each other.
Sir Ken Robinson–author of “The Element,” a book on how to find work that you’re passionate about–argues that your tribe is essential in helping you to find your element. Members of a tribe kick ideas around with each other and validate each other. Also, tribe members drive each other to explore the real extent of their talents. In addition, Robinson argues that when a group of people with common interests come together, a synergy is created which allows them to create something much greater than any of them could have created individually.
If you feel tribe-less, rest assured in the knowledge that your tribe is out there. In addition, if you’re already surrounded by a supportive tribe, remember that there are probably many members of your tribe that you have not met yet. Below you’ll find twelve valuable tips and insights to help you find your tribe-if you haven’t found it already–, or to help you expand your tribe-if you already have one.
Tips for Finding or Expanding Your Tribe
American journalist and writer Jane Howard is credited with the following quote: “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” Here are twelve tips for finding or expanding your tribe:
- Think of the qualities you want your tribe members to have. As an illustration, you may want each of your tribe members to have the following qualities: treats people with respect; listens but doesn’t judge; has a quirky sense of humor; is an artist; lives with passion; doesn’t sweat the small stuff; is loyal and trustworthy.
- Decide if there’s a particular type of activity that you want to engage in with your tribe, such as starting a book club, taking hiking trips, going to happy hour, or visiting museums and gallery openings.
- Listen to your inner voice and trust your instincts. When was the last time you had a gut feeling about someone? Sometimes you’ll meet someone new and you’ll feel drawn to them right away, almost as if you were old friends. Other times you’ll come across people who immediately make you want to put up your guard. Pay attention to your gut reaction to others.
- One way to find your tribe is to use Social Media to create a virtual tribe; you can then look for ways to meet in the offline world. For example, Twitter allows you to search for people who share your interests and who actively talk about these interests. Use the topics and activities that you’re interested in as key terms. You can also enter the city where you live as a key term in order to find others who share your interests and live in your area.
- Start a blog on a subject that interests you–such as breeding bull terriers, chasing UFOs, Russian 19th century novelists, and so on–and create your own community. If you can get together a group of bloggers who are like -minded and live in the same city, you can host a blog meet-up so you can all meet in person.
- Look for upcoming community events in your city that are centered around activities you enjoy.
- Search for Yahoo groups and forums which cater to a particular topic that you’re passionate about.
- If there are one or two people you already know who you would like to strengthen your friendship with, try to find a way to work together. You could plant a communal garden together, or meet once a week to complete unfinished projects–such as crafts, sewing, knitting, or woodworking– as a group. Working with others can help you strengthen your bonds with them.
- Marketing guru Seth Godin advices that you create your tribe by helping others to achieve their goals. Connect people in your social network who have common interests; give them access to information and resources that they need; and let them know that you’re available if they need help.
- Andy Paige–a stylist on TLC– explains that you need to look for your 1/3. To summarize: Andy argues that 1/3 of the people you come across will dislike you; 1/3 of the people you meet will be indifferent toward you; and 1/3 of the people you come into contact with will love you. You’re looking for that that last 1/3. Those are your people. Don’t worry about the other 2/3.
- Create rituals that you can share with your tribe, such as having regular meals together. You can also have in-jokes and slang or jargon that’s unique to your tribe. Look for ways to make your group cohere and know that it’s a group.
- Keep in mind that the people you hang out with will have a huge impact on every aspect of your life, from your level of income—several financial authors argue that your income is equal to the income of your five best friends–, to your level of happiness—studies show that happiness is contagious. In addition, we have a subconscious tendency to model the behavior of those around us. Choose your tribe wisely.
The members of your tribe are your allies on your life journey. When you’re creating or expanding your tribe, look for people who will lift you up, help you grow, recharge you, inspire you, and celebrate with you, and who are willing to lend a hand when you need it. In addition, always remember that as a tribe member you have responsibilities toward your tribe. You need to give back to the tribe and offer other tribe members your support, just as they support you. Now get out there and start creating or expanding your tribe.
This is a guest post by Marelisa of Abundance Blog at Marelisa Online.