“One of the most fundamental human needs is the need to belong.” – Abraham Maslow
Building your Tribe
Belonging, identified as one of the five basic needs we all, as humans desire. We want to be part of a group and to feel loved and accepted by others. To be a member of a tribe, a clan, a pack, elected family, posse, crew, a network of true friends. A group of people who share common interests and values, who show a genuine appreciation and care for each other.
One of the most precious gifts I have received, in my journey, is an amazing group of friends. As cliche as it sounds, friends are truly the family you choose for yourself. I’ve been very blessed with a pretty cool tribe. It has also translated to a solid support system for my children as well.
My Inner Circle ~ “My Tribe”
Members who accept you just as you are, and want the very best for you. They are the individuals in your life who not only celebrate your successes, but applaud them with a sincere enthusiasm. They encourage you to go after your goals and pursue your dreams. More importantly your tribe – your inner circle, help you to get through difficult times, providing you with a sense of community and support. They drive one another to explore the extent of their talents, creating a synergy that allows something much greater to occur – then any one of us could have accomplished, individually.
“Call it a clan, a network, a tribe – a family. But whatever you call it, whoever you are – you need one.” – Jane Howard
Listen to your inner voice and trust your instincts.
When was the last time you had a “gut feeling” about someone?
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 the five closet to you) to your level of happiness, contentment. Studies show that happiness is contagious, and we have a subconscious tendency to model our behavior of those around us.
So choose your Tribe wisely. The members of your inner circle are your allies in your life journey. Surround yourself with people who will lift you up, boost your energy reserves – inspire you.
Not everyone should have access to your inner circle.
Some relationships constantly drain your energy, in both obvious and subtle ways. There are several types of people who will exhaust you and/or deter you from your path to living a fulfilled life. You want to identify and release toxic relationships, having no intrinsic value, the question becomes, “why would you expend your energy?”
The friend or family member who simply likes to hear their own voice! Who consistently complains about what isn’t working in their life. And yet, gains their energy from complaining and dumping their frustrations and life’s disappointment on you.
The needy individual who calls to ask for your guidance, support, information, advice or whatever they need to feel better in the moment. Because of their neediness, the conversation often revolves around them, and you can almost feel the life being sucked out of you during the conversation.
“Hazardous to your Health” … The shamer cuts you off, but not before putting you down, or issuing a formal reprimand. You become the butt of their jokes, and of course “they’re always just kidding.” They often ignore boundaries and try to convince you that their criticism is for you own good, sharing honestly is indeed loving and supportive. The shamer is the kind of person who makes you question your own sanity, your own abilities. The shamer’s ploys are very subtle.
The person who discounts or challenges everything you say. Often, there is a strong need to be right and fault can usually be found in any situation. It is exhausting to have a conversation with the discounter, eventually you end up giving in and deciding to just listen.
Avoids intimacy by talking about others. The gossip gets energy from relaying stories, opinions, and the latest “scoop.” By gossiping about others, they create a lack of safety in their relationships, whether they realize it or not. After all, if they’re talkin’ about someone else, chances are they’re talkin’ about you …
Soulful connections require the investment of time and energy. Vulnerability and authenticity demands the courage to be transparent with our emotions and our thoughts. But we can only enter into that realm of our relationships to one another when a mutual respect and a shared responsibility, is present. It is there where trust is established and life long friendships, relationships become our reality – become what I know as “my Tribe”
Self-care is not selfish. In fact, taking care of ourselves must be a priority. Especially when you are recovering from trauma in your life. So, you’ll want to choose the people who you spend the most time with – those who make up your world, carefully – wisely.
It’s made all the difference in the world to me, in my road to recovery – sobriety. In my journey of loss – grieving!
“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
– Brene Brown, Gifts of Imperfection