Feeling accepted, feeling understood, feeling at home. When we talk about finding our tribe, it’s this important sense of belonging that makes the task such an important one for so many of us. While there’s no way of magically summoning these types of friendships into our life, there are things we can do to encourage them.
Be open to change
It’s a part of life that we will outgrow both experiences and people along the way. Hanging on to friendships that are no longer right for you out of misplaced guilt only holds you back. As we grow, we change, and so it’s perfectly natural that some of the friendships you made in high school, or your 20’s, might no longer align with the person you are today. If you want to feel truly connected to those around you, allowing people to leave your life is just as important as letting new people in.
Be what you hope to attract
One of the best things about finding your tribe in your 30’s is that you’re more likely to have a sense of who you are by then. At this age we’ve often worked out what’s important to us, what we want in life and importantly what we don’t want. Like attracts like, and so one of the best ways to call like-minded people into your life is by being unashamedly and transparently yourself. To be fully accepted for who we are, we must be prepared to show ourselves to the world, without the fear of not “fitting in”.
Don’t be afraid to treat friendships like you would dating, and shop around. When you grab a cup of coffee with a guy, you go to get to know him better, but that doesn’t mean you have to marry him. Be open to meeting new and interesting types of people while holding back judgement, but remember you’re in no way obligated. If you’re looking for the group of queens who are going to have your back, don’t settle for less.
Just like in business, sometimes you've got to do a bit of networking. Shared interests are a great foundation for friendships, so consider joining groups, clubs or organizations where you are more likely to meet like-minded people. While a shared passion isn’t a guarantee you’re going to get along, it’s certainly a good place to start.
Whether you’re more calm and introverted or the exuberant extrovert, making new friends can always be daunting. Make the effort to connect again with people who you get a good feeling about. Suggest a lunch date, invite them to your pilates class, add them to your business group, in short, don’t be shy and let them know that they interest you.
Real friendships take genuine time to build, and if you haven’t found your tribe by now it doesn’t mean that you won't find them. We all feel disconnected at some time or another, this can even become a catalyst to help us to reach out and form closer, authentic bonds. Be patient and plant seeds, but also give them time to grow.