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Your Personal Friendship Tribe: How to Build One

This article aims to help you improve your emotional well-being, eliminate spiritual disharmony, and heal your mind, body, and spirit.

Supportive friends can be your best tribe.

Supportive friends can be your best tribe.

What Is a Personal Friendship Tribe?

Although the general definition of a tribe is a group of people with a common ancestry, we can use the term to describe a planned social group of friends with similar interests and values.

  • It’s your social support system that keeps you motivated to achieve your goals.
  • It’s your anchor that helps keep you mentally and emotionally grounded.
  • It creates an atmosphere that encourages everyone with challenging endeavors.
  • It provides the peacefulness of sharing experiences with others that respect your company.
  • Its purpose is to have people involved in a joint effort to achieve happiness and success.

What to Look for in a Tribe

It’s crucial to spend your time wisely—avoiding people who don’t match your values.

When looking for people to be part of your tribe, consider integrity, accountability, and loyalty as their most important attributes. These people can offer advice or give their opinion when needed most.

Emotional stability leads to happiness, and when you are with people who are on the same page, you feel grounded. You’ll have a sense of belonging. That works when you don’t feel swayed by someone else’s perception of you.1

How to Find and Create Your Tribe

I learned several crucial steps to find your tribe from an article by Vernice Armour, a professional leadership coach to Fortune 500 executives and entrepreneurs. The following is my takeaway from her article that I felt the strongest about.2

  1. You want to spend time with intelligent people who can carry on meaningful conversations.
  2. Make an effort to always stay in touch with good friends with whom you resonate. Keep them in your tribe. They are the ones that are important to you.
  3. Recognize your needs and the needs of those in your tribe. You want to be sure there is a common desire aligned with like-minded intentions.
  4. Include friends who appreciate mutual respect with a willingness for open and honest communication.
  5. Organize favored activities to share with one another.
  6. Appreciate the connection you have with those whose friendships develop naturally. I think that’s crucial for emotional well-being.
  7. Never hesitate to introduce new friends to the tribe when you know they will fit in.

How a Tribe Can Provide Guidance and Encouragement

When you run into challenging situations that need a secure approach to solve problems, it helps when you have someone to turn to for guidance. Sharing thoughts and discussing personal concerns can provide meaningful direction.

We sometimes can’t think things through ourselves because we have too many issues that keep us from recognizing what we need to do. For example, denial and fear can cause us to select the wrong path and waste time with poor choices.

In that case, we might run in all directions trying to find a foothold or figure out what we need to do. As a result, we lose the ability to grip onto our planned goals and stay focused. Have you ever noticed yourself in that condition?

Success is more achievable when we can collaborate with others. It helps to have someone to talk to when we need to make well-thought-out decisions or when we are feeling down.

Sometimes we need encouragement from others to give us the strength to move ahead with challenging endeavors. When you get that from a support group, it helps with achieving success.

Alternatives to a Personal Tribe

Support From Family Members

Some people say they turn to family for support, usually when they have nowhere else to turn. When one has close family members, they can receive love and understanding from those who know them best.

Family members guide most of us because they have always been there, although that’s not true for everyone.

  • What if you don’t have a close family?
  • What if you have a dysfunctional family?

If that’s the case, where are you getting your energy to survive, guide you, and help make decisions?

Not everyone has the advantage of love and understanding from their family. Without that, they are on their own to deal with life’s issues and decision-making.

If you feel alone with no one to turn to, you can find local groups with an online search that are organized for many specific needs.

The Comfort of Support in a Relationship

Nothing can come any closer to the contentment we have in our lives when we are with someone who we feel comfortable with, someone we know we can share our innermost feelings and private thoughts.

Therefore, a partner or spouse could be all one needs to confide in when needing personal guidance with making decisions.

Most relationships that endure are those with partners that provide emotional support for one another. That represents more than 90% of long-term relationships.3

Keep a Close Circle of Friends

Everyone seeks happiness, and it helps to be part of a group. The crucial thing to understand is the difference between your personal tribe and your circle of friends that merely provides a satisfying distraction.

You’ll find it a powerful force to have a connection with like-minded people who share your values and views. Consider this your tribe, and nurture them once you have organized such a group.

I have friends who don’t fit this picture. I don’t envision them having any integrity, and I can’t count on them. They are good people, but they are broken in some way. I respect them for what they are, but I know I cannot consider them part of my tribe.

You probably have friends like that too, and that’s okay. But be careful about considering them for anything crucial in your life. Their lack of loyalty and accountability will disturb you.4

When you have close friends who you know are kind and respectful, it’s nice to enjoy their company and share activities. They may not be the best resource for advice, but they could provide something of value that you would not want to dismiss.

Engage with them on a one-on-one basis. Stay in contact with phone calls and email, and share words of appreciation when you exchange ideas.

The Takeaway

Life is too precious to have to struggle with it alone. Especially when anything can suddenly derail you, emotionally or professionally.

That’s why it’s essential to ensure you have the support of people you trust and can turn to when you need to hear someone else’s opinion on how to move forward.

When you have a trusted and respected personal tribe, you'll always have a place to turn to when you feel the need for support.

References

  1. Bess O’Connor. (July 12, 2022). “8 Easy Practices That Will Help You Be Emotionally Stable” – Pucker Mob
  2. Vernice Armour. (May 10, 2018). “How to find your tribe in 10 simple steps” – The Ladders
  3. Elias Aractingi. (August 19, 2015). “There Are 6 Types of Relationships: Which One Is Yours?” – ThoughtCatalog.com
  4. Natha Jay. (n.d.). “Loyalty & Accountability” - Retrieved May 23, 2021 from WalkinginBothWorlds.com

© 2021 Glenn Stok

Comments

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on May 26, 2021:

You really got the point of having a tribe, Audrey. Thanks for your comment. When I first discovered the concept, I studied it in detail and found it to be a great way to consider true friends who share common values.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on May 25, 2021:

I really like the idea of having a "tribe." There are times when I feel the need for a supportive shoulder. This article is absolutely full of support and understanding. Wonderful!

Thank you so much, Glenn.

Audrey

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on May 24, 2021:

McKenna, your experience shows that we learn who our true friends are in times of need. I’m glad you found a spiritual path to compensate for the difficult time.

McKenna Meyers on May 24, 2021:

Glenn, this is an especially valuable article during May, mental health month. While people count their Facebook "friends" in the hundreds, we need just 1 or 2 folks who are really there for us: showing up in-person, being there during challenging times, and offering compassionate listening. When I was younger, I thought that I had my tribe. It was only when my son got diagnosed with autism that I realized they were friends of little consequence. It was painful, but I had to rebuild and focus of those who were positive, urged me to take care of myself, and encouraged my spiritual journey.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 24, 2021:

This is an interesting article, Glen. I am blessed to have a very supportive family, and I have a church group. I have another girlfriend also and we go to DAR meetings together. You are certainly right about the benefits of an anchor.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on May 23, 2021:

I understand your viewpoint Brenda. A lot of people feel the way you do. I wrote an entire article a few years ago on the issue you mentioned. Whatever method that works for you is best as long as it leads to success. Thanks for your input

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on May 23, 2021:

John, thanks for checking out this article and confirming the need for a tribe support group as an anchor in life.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 23, 2021:

Glenn

I often don't turn to others for support.

I do sometimes check out support groups online, but I know the ultimate choice is mine.

I don't like including people close to me because I may not take their advice & each of us is different.

There are those I mention things to about my health, etc...but I usually don't want to know their advice.

This is a good article though and I can see how it can benefit alot of people.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 23, 2021:

A very useful article Glenn. We all need an anchor or tribe/support group to help us get through the difficult things in life. Thanks for sharing.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on May 23, 2021:

Kathleen, Thanks for your kind words. Your comment helps me know I'm doing the right thing.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on May 23, 2021:

Umesh Chandra Bhatt - What you describe could often be a struggle that one needs to deal with, and you are right that one's family can help them follow the right path.

Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on May 23, 2021:

Glenn, glad to see a familiar face and an example of productive writing. I'm not on HP often any more, but it's great to see you are still turning out thoughtful articles.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on May 23, 2021:

Most of the people have it as one has a big psychological feeling that in time of adversary or problem some of them will advise and help. I think that itself is a big support. Living in isolation required much courage and self confidence. That is why people living in joint families are so happy, cheerful, and of course at the same time careless also!