Tag Archives: Relationships

My Inner Circle

“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 Blamer
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 Drainer
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.
The Shamer
“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 Discounter
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.
The Gossip
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

Produce your own “Entourage” …

When we are stressed, in trouble, experiencing loss, or just feeling bad, we typically turn to our support systems, for comfort, encouragement, and solace. For most, for many it proves to be invaluable in their healing process, or just make a bad day – a lot brighter.

For others that isn’t always the case and when your support system fails – what is there left for you to do, but rebuild a support system, stronger and better.

We’ve all read the infamous quote; “At some point you have to realize that some people can stay in your heart, but not in your life.

Support relationships are reciprocal. There needs to be both give and take. We all know people who are “takers” – always turning to others for support, but never willing or able to provide support for others. These imbalanced relationships can drain your own ability to be supportive, and provide little in return.

So how do you begin to build your Entourage ~

  • Adhere to the Golden Rule of building a support system. Everyone you invite into your life should make you better. Surround yourself with people who celebrate your successes, pay close attention to those who do not clap – when you win! We all have them in our world – if we were honest, tragically some are even family. The people who fill your world should support your quest and applaud your greatness even in your defeats.
  • Stock your support system with unconditional love. You need people who will be with you, no matter what. Without reservation or qualification – celebrating as if it were their own accomplishment. Truthfully, they may not always condone your missteps, your choices, or your behavior but they remain loyal and supportive. The mere presence of these people in your life builds self-confidence because you will always know that someone will support you no matter what you try. Their contribution in your life, just makes it better.
  • Our tough love supporters … these are the people who will tell you what you need to hear, even if you don’t want to hear it!!! No matter how much the truth hurts. The tough love members of your entourage are tough but fair. The encouragement may not always come neatly packaged, or presented nicely but it is the mutual respect that exist among you where you are able to trust and accept their offer of love and support.
  • Remove the “haters” and the competitors from your group! STAT … Haters are the polar opposite to those who bring unconditional love to your life. Rather than reveling in your success, haters revel in your misfortune, if they were not so dangerous, they would be pitiable people. They are miserable people who have already decided that they do not have the talent, drive or intellect to be successful. Sadly, haters have decided that their best hope for happiness is to sabotage your attempt to be great rather than stage an attempt of their own. They want as many people as possible to share in their misery. Haters are the biggest threat to your self-confidence and should be avoided at all costs. There is an old saying that states that you should “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” I believe nothing could be further from the truth. Your enemies, which may include competitors seeking exactly the same prize as you, should not be in your support system except under the rarest of circumstances. Part of the benefit of having a strong support system is the ability to expose one’s weaknesses to that supportive group of people without fear of negative consequences. As much as I believe in fellowship, cooperation and the basic goodness of mankind, I believe it would be very difficult to find the individual who, when privy to the weaknesses of the direct competition, would not use these weaknesses to his own benefit.
  • Remove enablers from your support system. Enablers are those people that tell you want you want to hear, but following their advice always seems to push you farther from your goal. Enablers are the ones that talk you into going out to party the night before a big test. They suggest that you go to the casino when you can’t afford to lose any more money. They get you to have that extra piece of cake when you are on a diet. In short, they are always talking you into putting yourself in harm’s way. In some ways, enablers are the hardest of the negative influencers to spot because their behavior sometimes looks like unconditional love. You must be extra vigilant to ensure that enablers don’t drag you into something that you know you should be avoiding.
  • Be your own Best Friend and learn to trust your own truth. Anyone who wants someone else to do well will start by putting him in the best position to succeed. Great leaders work to create an environment of those that follow what is conducive to success. Similarly, being your own best friend means positioning yourself for success as you accept the challenge of greatness. Know yourself like you wrote the manual. Use the knowledge to perform under the best circumstances possible. Find ways to use negative people as motivation, not a reason to fail.

“If someone has offended you, insulted you, or disappointed you ~ Let it Go. If you are remembering all of the ways you have been hurt or forgotten ~ Let it Go. Ask yourself, what good does it do to hold on to all of this?” – Iyanla