We all belong to many tribes in life. Our culture and tradition, our schools, workplaces and hobbies put us in places where we can meet and build relationships with people who share our passions and interests. Whether we like it or not, we are part of many tribes, but we are not always conscious about what they mean for our lives.
What makes a tribe
Seth Godin claims that there only needs to be 2 things for a tribe to come together:
A shared idea
A way to communicate it.
Tribes used to be local, but now, thanks to technology, they are global, extremely diverse and niche. Today, we can join a tribe with millions of people who all share the same passions and values that we hold dear.
Goodtherapy.org says that being part of a tribe is good for our health and wellbeing.
“The main reason that we need tribes is because they help us live longer, get further and be happier. A powerful MRI study revealed that simply holding the hand of a loved one reduced one’s experience of pain (Carey, 2006). Tribes buffer us from the negative effects of stress. Connections heal.”
We are more autonomous than ever before — from online grocery shopping to mobile mechanics; we are becoming less reliant on our community every day. Studies have shown that this “independence” that we get through technology is driving isolation, depression, insomnia, stress and anxiety through the roof in the 21st century. So, connecting with like-minded people has become more important, today, than ever before.
Finding your tribe is a big part of having a happy and fulfilling life. To find your tribe is to find a wealth of inspiration and affirmation in yourself and your interests.
“The experience of finding your tribe is often life changing and always reaffirming that who you are, where your interests lie, are shared by some others. As much as an individual or individualist as you may be, people who are like you in some way, who share your interests and particular peculiarities, do exist, somewhere; if you keep looking, you will find your tribe.” — Isadora Alman, M.F.T.
3 ways to find your tribe and thrive in it
The thing to remember when we are looking for our tribe is that it can be a process of trial and error. We have to put ourselves out there and test the waters.
1. Show off your interests
Talk about your ‘weirdness’ and don’t act like it’s uncool. Our networks can be a powerful thing to helps us achieve the things that we desire. If your friends don’t share your passions, they still may know people or groups that do. Other great sites to search up your niche are facebook groups and meetup.com. You may find an active group that you can join today.
2. Update your skills
While you’re looking for a group to join, don’t just bide your time, work on your skills. When we get better at something we care about, it becomes way more fun and fulfilling. Plus, it sets you apart from others and lets you stand out and excel — allowing you to be a helpful and respected member of your tribe. A contentious ancient dictum called The Matthew Principle puts it like this: to those who have much, more will be given, to those who have little, more will be taken away. Our ancient ancestors realised early on that when you have more to offer, more doors will open and lead to more opportunities.
3. Give before you ask
Before you ask for something in your group, you should offer people some value first. This is called the reciprocity principle, and psychologists have determined that this is the rule that keeps communities together. When we offer value in the form of advice or contribute to a discussion with the goal of helping the other person, we are showing off our expertise and our goodwill. This helps to create positive interactions that result in positive relationships.
4. Schedule regular in-person meetups
Because we can simulate human interaction online in an on-demand and easy way, we tend to take the easy way out. There’s no substitute for real human interaction. It feeds the body, mind and soul and bolsters long-term relationships. Make it a priority to have a ‘meetup’ calendar that members of your tribe can refer to. It’s recommended to have an in-person meetup at least once per month. If your group is global, then video conference calling software like Zoom and Google Hangouts is a great way to have more personal interaction.