The find-my-tribe trend has claimed its position in the modern world with millenials baptising the meaning of the word as having just a common mindset instead of also having a demographic, religious or societal connection.
The overwhelming online content on quizzes, tips and tricks on ‘how to find your tribe’ is a response to the popularity of the subject. But what does your tribe actually look like and is it good for you to belong in one?
A loose millenial tribe definition, is that the members have common beliefs and very similar (if not identical) goals. Along with those, there are some strings and rules attached which are not usually visible to outsiders.
In any human network however big or small, formal or informal, we reap the benefits of the connection in exchange for compliance with the rules of the relationship.
Friends coming together to solve a problem
Another important aspect is that a tribe can be a mix of family, friends, spouse(s), even acquaintances. It can also consist of just one of these categories or even be an online tribe.
For example, if you can’t relate to anyone from your real life, you might find that you ‘belong’ with a group of people that have a common interest with you, but with which you can only connect online due to some kind of restriction (ex. geographical).
Firstly, I need to point out that placing yourself in a (millenial) tribe helps support specific dreams and goals, but it can also bring the opposite result.
If the tribe actively opposes a dream/goal/activity then it’s very likely that the group consensus will be the winner. Why? Well, those are your people. They know you best and want the best for you. Right? You believe that they are correct in thinking the way that they do.
It’s very common for the human brain to lean into what feels safe, comfortable and familiar instead of breaking the mold.
Since a tribe tends to circle around similar activities and ideas, another reason why it could hinder your dreams is never being exposed to opportunities outside that spectrum.
Consider this: your tribe’s main theme is being a military/pragmatic type of person, but you are (also) secretly interested in fine art photography. You might find that they are open to lightweight art related activities like cinema, theatre and concerts, but are not in the slightest interested in joining you at an exhibition of noir photography at an indie gallery. If you do everything with your tribe, how likely would it be for you to go alone?
So this will require you to be more determined to chase your dream outside the group and even risk being socially rejected at some point, for following a different path. This is the reason that most people stay within the safety of their circle.
Belong in the wrong group and be sad OR the right one and be happy?
To me, the key here is to belong in a diverse tribe of pragmatic, artistic and conformists. But also rebels that live conventional and also unpredictable lives! I’m stretching this, but you get my point.
As a serial learner, I’m on a quest that involves my constant development on several levels. And so, being surrounded by inspiring and diverse types of people is invaluable to my quest. If I could belong to a tribe called quest for self-actualization and have people join in, I would! 💛
However, in reality, we are all raised in a specific country that carries a specific identity and traits that come along with that.
At school, we enter a tribe of friends which usually form our personal beliefs. Most of us never even really take a moment to stop and question them. We carry these throughout our life even though we never actually chose them.
However restrictive a tribe can be, it’s not a bad situation to be in if you have a strong sense of identity, values and goals.
Remember that according to *Maslow, the need to belong is the strongest for humans, after basic needs like food, sleep and shelter.
Separating your tribe into common mindset people, family, interesting coworkers, college friends, having-fun friends, learner-friends etc, is probably the healthiest way to go by this. The trap is thinking that you need to have one tribe or two.
Find what activities make you happy and then look for people that have similar interests. They will form your tribes because you can understand eachother to a certain extent, due to having the same passion. If the interest fades away then that’s a good sign that you have outgrown the subject that connects you. Stay current to who you are evolving into and don’t hang on to anything that is holding you back or blocking your development.
If people from ‘past tribes’ are not an obstacle, then it means that they are focused on their own path and that you NEED to keep them in your life.