In the blogosphere and business world, you will see countless mentions of “building your tribe”. It is great advice- everyone needs a support system- but often it seems it is applied to an online network or following. There is nothing wrong with that but we don’t live a virtual or compartmentalized life. We live in a tangible world and everything we do is just part of the whole of who we are.
Support systems are important to our success, our emotional and mental well being, our health, and our relationships. In general, they help us thrive.
So how do we go about building a tribe in real life- People we actually interact with off the grid?
Start With Who’s Already in Your Life
Starting with the tribe members who are there for the wide scope of your life, you can take a look around and can probably identify the people who are already supporting you. They’ve been there to encourage, problem solve, and have your back in both the high and low moments of your life. That is an important clue right there. It is always comforting to have someone who has your back in a crisis but are those same people cheering you on to success when life is going well?
It’s those people you want to keep.
In your examination you will also find those who are not so supportive. This is where you need to consider editing. By editing, I am not just talking about distancing yourself from those who are negatively affecting you but also in the people you put your energy and faith in.
Every single person in your social circle or sphere of influence can impact your life. Your backbone of support should be built by people who have proven themselves. The people who fail to live up to their word will most likely repeat that. So pay attention to the weight with which you consider their words.
Office politics and “frienemies” offer a plethora of examples of those within your circles that you have to determine who will help you and who can potentially harm you or even simply suck the energy out of you. It is important to identify those people and proceed with caution. Even though you may be required to interact with them on a regular basis, you can regulate the amount of mental energy you put toward them.
Leave Your House
Shut off your screens. Leave your house. Participate in something. Start small if you have to. Find something you like to do and go out there and interact. There is a whole world out there not dependent on wi-fi.
Live Your Life
As you are living it learn to say hello.
Speaking as an introvert, finding new tribe members can seem daunting. Talking to any one can be daunting.
The word “networking” can be polarizing. However, over the years I realized that this is just a matter of saying ‘hello’ to other people. ‘Hello’ can start a conversation. Conversations can illuminate commonalities. Commonalities can start relationships.
Extroverts do this naturally. The benefits for introverts is that simply saying hello is a natural invitation to extroverts. They love that they talk and you listen. It is a win/win for everyone involved so don’t be afraid.
Let people know what you are doing and you will be surprised that the 7 degrees of separation theory is almost all too real. Someone may know someone who knows someone and may be happy to make an introduction. People usually love to help other people. They just have to know what you need first.
Be Helpful to Someone Else
Building your tribe does not mean it is all about you. Go out there and help someone. Serve someone else’s needs. Be a blessing to someone else first.
Building a tribe means building relationships. It does not mean being a mooch.
Online Tribes are Not Bad
They serve a purpose, they can be their own kind of blessing but they cannot replace human, face to face interaction. They augment them.
The Best Part of Real Life Tribes
The best part of building a tribe in real life, it takes far less “likes” than the online tribe.
Go forth and find your people!
How do you build your tribe in real life?
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