Back in March, I wrote a blog called Whose Your Tribe? (It's a great read if you haven't seen it already.) It encouraged readers to reflect and identify the friends that make up their inner circle, aka tribe. Below is an excerpt.
So who is in YOUR tribe? Who lifts you up? Who makes you laugh? Who will listen when you need it the most? Who supports you with your decisions and life's choices? Your tribe doesn't have to be large. Even if you have ONE person in your tribe that is worth more than you can ever imagine.
What this blog didn't cover was "what if you really DON'T have a tribe". What if you don't have friends that will come at a moments notice, who will cry with you, laugh with you, support you, forgive you, and will be honest with you even if it hurts?
Do you know most adults struggle to build and maintain close friendships? Do you know that this lack is more prevalent in women than men? Sounds surprising right? Well think about it. Women spend most of their adult lives juggling way too many responsibilities including but not limited to raising their children, working a full-time job, chauffeuring kids to activities, doing laundry, volunteering, cooking, and cleaning house. With a full schedule there is little or no time left for their own self care. Finding, building and maintaining close friendships is part of self-care. In this modern age, lack of time for self-care, has really become an epidemic.
Remember a TRIBE is a close knit team of friends (2-5) that see or talk with each other almost everyday. They are there for each other through the good, the bad and ugly. They are your cheerleaders, therapists, mentors, fixers, comedians and sometimes a source of tissues.
Humans are not meant to be alone, they need people.
Friendship is not about whom you've known the longest. It's about who came and never left your side.
How and where do I find My People?
To find our people, we have to make the time and the effort. And we may even have to operate outside of our comfort zone. But make sure you find the people who have similar interests and who are committed to working at a friendship.
Where do you find your people? Look around you. In most cases we are surrounded by people everyday! Look at ALL the possibilities; coworkers, parents of your child's friends, neighbors, members of your church, and even the lady who works the register at your local grocery store (who you see weekly or daily). Start interacting with others. Give everyone a chance. Identify the one or ones you think may fit into your tribe.
If you honestly feel you have no connection with anyone in your sphere think outside the box. Go outside your comfort zone. Join a formal or informal group, volunteer, or just get outside in a park and walk. You never know who you may run into that will strike up a conversation. You just have to get out of the house and mingle.
After being cooped up due to the pandemic it is time to get out and bring some life back into friendships, to your tribe.
Do you remember when you were a little kid? It was so easy to make friends back then. Most kids had no fear. We would just walk up to another child and say 'do you want to play"? Sometimes it was even 'do you want to be my friend'? Kids don't have all the baggage we have now as adults. We worry about what others think of us, kids don't. We worry about being rejected, kids don't. We worry about being left behind, kids don't.
We need to get out of our comfort zone and start trying.
Say hi to that neighbor, invite them over for coffee or dinner
Ask a coworker if they want to go shopping or do a lunchtime walk
Join a class (exercise, hobby or activity) and engage with your classmates
We need to get out of our day-to-day focus on getting tasks done and get OUT and interact.
Why you may ask? Because healthy friendships are known to improve our mental and physical well being. Being alone is not. So I challenge you to spread your wings and find the one who will be your friend. and part of your tribe.