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Finding Your Tribe: Your True Connections Are Out There!

These days we seem to be busier than ever before. In-between climbing the corporate ladder, finding your life passion, doing your laundry and staying on top of your emails; how are you supposed to have time to develop a healthy social network? This article provides some insight into what “finding your tribe” means and how you can get started today.

Finding Your Tribe: What Does It Mean?

When we speak about a “tribe”, we’re referring to a group of people who share similar interests and offer support to one another. In the modern sense, your tribe comprises of the people you choose to connect with. This may include your family, friends or colleagues; and the list goes on. Thus, finding your tribe means finding the people you feel comfortable around, the people you can talk to about your daily triumphs and struggles. Ultimately, finding your tribe means finding a connection between yourself and the people around you (whoever they may be).

Why Do We Need Friends?

Humans need connection. It’s that simple! The drive to seek out social connections is literally hard-wired into our brains. This need for connection likely started with our ancestors, as a way to remain safe while roaming the lands or needing to withstand harsh weather conditions. Despite this fact, it has developed into something else in contemporary times.

Today, we may not depend on each other as much for basic survival, but the deep need for connection is still there. Research has shown that it is just as important as following a healthy diet and lifestyle. Nevertheless, social connection is often undervalued. Ultimately, social connection is related to increased physical and psychological well-being. In other words, it forms a vital part of living a fulfilled life. In fact, social connection can lower depression rates, improve self-esteem and even play a role in immune functioning.

So, why do we need friends? Because friends provide us with this social connection and companionship. Helping us to truly thrive in our environment and live life to the fullest.

Challenges of Finding Your Tribe in Adulthood

In preschool, sharing a toy with a fellow classmate may lead to an exciting new friendship. When you go to school, sharing a classroom with other people of your age allows for easy opportunities to make new friends. Unfortunately, in adulthood it’s not quite that simple.

As adults, we have past preconceptions and busy lifestyles that may hinder us from developing the connections we want and need. Additionally, venturing into adult life may cause us to become disconnected from previous friendships and support systems. For instance, parents and siblings. Because of the busy lifestyle that comes along with adulthood; we have less time and space in our lives to build up and maintain healthy friendships. Things like moving out, having a job, shopping and cleaning all form part of being an adult. However, there are great opportunities for finding your tribe as an adult. It may just require a little more effort from your side!

Connecting With Like-Minded People

We live in an extremely diverse world. There are endless beliefs, identities and interests with which people align themselves. This makes it both easy and difficult to find people with whom you can truly connect. Being in a social situation where you feel like nobody understands you is certainly uncomfortable. If you think about it, no-one wants to be at a party where all the conversations are about things that they’re not interested in or don’t understand. This is all linked to one relatively simple solution. You need to connect with people who are similar to you and with whom you are compatible.

Basically, to find your tribe, you need to actively seek out people who have interests and beliefs that are similar to yours. Connecting with like-minded people not only makes social situations more enjoyable for you, but for them too. Which creates a positive feedback loop all around.

It might seem tricky to find people with whom you can connect, since people don’t share everything on their first encounter with a new acquaintance or friend. However, there are some possible starting points. These could include: meeting people through existing friends or joining a group that enjoys what you do (such as a sport or hobby). Alternatively, you may choose to seek-out people who share your philosophical or religious beliefs. Whatever the case, it’s important to connect with people that you can relate to.

Knowing Who You Are Outside of a Group

Before you can connect with people (within a group), on a deeper level, you need to be confident in yourself. You need to know who you are. Outside influences may easily change your own perception of yourself, which may lead to a change in the way you behave. This, in turn, may leave you feeling inauthentic and (ironically) disconnected from the group.

Furthermore, if you do not know who you are outside of a group; you may feel like you have no individual identity. Which is not true. Therefore, finding yourself is a very important first step to take. It will allow you to be confident in your own identity, which will also attract the type of people you want to surround yourself with. Discovering yourself and partaking in self-reflection will also enable you to understand what you feel is missing. Through self-discovery, you may also start to realize which types of relationships you want to foster. In the end, this will lead to more fulfilling relationships and overall life satisfaction.

Finding Your Tribe

How Do I Find My Tribe?

Let’s cover some simple, practical pointers for finding your tribe.

Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

If you don’t risk venturing outside of your comfort zone, you’re not giving yourself an opportunity to grow and develop. So, try something new. Be adventurous! You’ll never know what you may end up enjoying unless you try it. Take risks! Sign up for something you usually wouldn’t sign up for (such as a new sport or activity) and you may just discover that you really like it. Go to a new talk, event or meeting. Even if you don’t, at least you’ve narrowed down what you don’t like!

Find a Group Online

In the world of digital communication and constant technological advancements, there are so many online groups to join. These range from local cooking groups to local bloggers, local moms, people who share similar medical conditions or mental disorders to people who are interested in charity work. The list is seemingly endless. Search online for a group, forum or website that you would be interested in joining. If you don’t know where to start, search for your interests and hobbies and find a group from there. Consider going online to start connecting with a range of different people with similar interests. What a great way to find your tribe!

Take Part in Things That Interest You

This is a relatively easy way to connect with people who share similar interests. Sign up for surfing, dancing or any other activity that interests you. It’s guaranteed that the people you meet are there for the same reason: to do what they love. This is a great way to connect with people, whilst partaking in an activity that you enjoy.

Volunteer in Your Community

Supporting a cause you care about (such as social equality or animal welfare) is a great way to meet people who have similar values to yours. This ties back into meeting like-minded people, all the while making a difference in an area that you deeply value.

Sign Up For a Class

This is a great way to not only learn something new and exciting, but also connect with people who are on a similar journey to yours. Signing up for something (such as a cooking class or learning to play a new instrument) may prove to be rewarding; both personally and socially. This setting may also make it easier to start conversations with others and set-up future opportunities to socialize.

Can I Have More Than One Tribe at a Time?

Of course! Why limited yourself to only one tribe? Many people have different tribes for different aspects of what they love and desire. One tribe may offer you comfort while another may offer some adventure. A specific tribe may offer you personal advice, while another may be more business related. You do not need to limit yourself to only one tribe. Branch out, explore and find the connections you need in all aspects of your life.

Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

As cliché as it may be, the idea that “your vibe attracts your tribe” can be quite truthful. What you project out into the world is what people will perceive and this is what they will begin to engage with. They will recognize certain aspects that they may want to connect with. So, allow yourself to be yourself. Open yourself up to the possibility of connection.

Finding your tribe may seem daunting or, perhaps, even impossible. You may feel that your busy lifestyle is always getting in the way. It’s important to remember that connecting with others is a central part of human nature. Busy schedules can be tweaked in a way that allows for this healthy connection. So don’t wait any longer, find your tribe today and start thriving instead of simply surviving!

About The Author Daniel Sher
 

Hi there, my name is Daniel. I’m a clinical psychologist, registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. My professional interests as a therapist include long-term psychodynamic work, as well as cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness-based interventions. In my practice, I work as a sex therapist with men who struggle with sexual dysfunction. I also work closely with people who have diabetes and other chronic illnesses. Finally, I have a keen interest in neuropsychology and neuropsychoanalysis. When I’m not practicing, I enjoy writing on the topic of psychology, surfing, hiking and practicing martial arts.