Find Your Tribe
I’m a big believer these days in ‘finding your tribe.’ I can’t remember where I heard the term but I really like it. I know there’s a line in Solo when Han is translating for Chewie explaining that he intends to go and find his family or tribe but Han isn’t sure which, Woody Harrelson wisely points out, “Whats the difference?”
I agree with that. The way I see it, your tribe is just as important in your life as your family. They’re an extension of that. I’m lucky enough that I would count my family as being a part of my tribe, an unwavering and integral part, but not everyone has that. The other people that make up the tribe can change over the years; everyone changes, grows and evolves… or they don’t. Depending on how their relationship with you changes with the times you may find yourself grow closer or further away from those who were once an important part of your life. And that is okay!
I’ve noticed recently something I’ve been subconsciously doing for a while now and that is only really surrounding myself with positive influences. Wait, that’s not the best way of describing it; influences with positivity. That’s more accurate.
What I mean by that is people who beyond anything else, have your best interests at heart, without any negativity or selfishness attached. Those feelings are far too prevalent in the world we live in and are inescapable in many aspects of our day to day lives, but we do not have to keep the people who breed it close to us. I’ve come to the conclusion that cutting out the negative people from your life is a very healthy thing to do.
I’m not saying go out of your way to block or ignore people, you just don’t have to make a ton of effort to keep them around. I bet if you think about it, anyone who is fitting this bill for you either is a mental or emotional leach or doesn’t ever make the effort to keep up with you and that it is always you going out of your way to maintain the friendship.
Sometimes, for various circumstances, it’s not always entirely possible to cut the dead weight out, and I don’t really have a solution for those situations, but I would like to think that if you ditch as much excess as possible dealing with the left over, unavoidable luggage might be easier.
It can be hard making the mental change in the way you think about people. I’ve had to do it recently with a number of people. People I once considered very close friends who I’ve come to see as nothing but selfish and negative influences on my life. With some distance and perspective you can start to see that maybe they’ve been that way longer than you first thought but you’ve given them a pass because, “We’ve been mates for years.”
The length of a friendship isn’t a good enough reason to keep shitty people around. It may sound a bit like I’m saying, “What have you done for me lately?” But that is not what I mean. What I’m saying is that people are always changing and maybe you both changed into people who don’t really need to be friends anymore but you were too afraid to move away from the other because of longevity.
To truly find your tribe you need to be willing to let it evolve over time as you change, your life and circumstances, thoughts and feelings change. Whether you have three people close to you or thirty, they all should be people that you know with one hundred percent certainty, would have your back, be there to pick you up and that you can completely rely on when you need it and that you would be there to do the same for them. These are the people that should be the most important in your life.
Old friendships shouldn’t be dismissed lightly though. You might not stay close, or even like those people anymore, but remember those times fondly. Cherish the memories of the fun times you had together. Don’t forget about the bad times completely either otherwise you may fall back in with negativity, but don’t dwell on the bad stuff.
Most importantly, don’t try and force the old times back into existence. As the old saying goes, ‘You can’t go home again’ so don’t try to. This will never be the same as they once were, thats just a part of life. New things are scary and not always better, but they often are. Trying to recapture what has already gone can be disruptive and destructive to what is around you now.
Arrested Development is not just an amazing hip hop band from the nineties or a fantastic comedy from the two thousands, it is a state that too many people I’ve known have gotten stuck in. It’s easier to see from the outside, and might not always be true for everyone you think it is, but it is not healthy. Not for them and not for you being around it. I’ve made the decision to separate myself from people who I feel are anything less than a positive, encouraging and happy influence on my life and I personally am a lot better off for it. It may not work for everyone, but I’d encourage you to at least give it a go and see how you feel after a just a little while. I bet it is a lot more enthused if not outright happier.