Some call it a squad, some call them “their girls”, and others are just happy with simply having a bestie, but there is a concept of friendship that strives to break superficial molds and cultivate genuine lifelong bonds: a tribe.
What is a Tribe?
The definition of a tribe in the friendship sense can vary. You can define it in the most literal sense or modernize it. Your tribe is a group of friends in which you have a genuine, supportive and deep connection with. They are the people that love and see you as the individual you are. Your tribe creates an environment you can grow in, encourage growth in others, and freely exhibit self-love. Their support and friendship go beyond simply having someone to go out with on the weekends. We all have friendships we may have developed in childhood, college or the workplace that work superficially, but become uncomfortable in the wake of deeper situations. In these friendships, you enjoy hanging out, but at times it can take a lot of convincing to get you out of bed. With a tribe, these interactions come naturally and feel more like an act of nourishment that will lead to your flourish. Members of your tribe assist you on your deepest journeys in life such as spiritual or self-discovery journeys, but they’re also there for the lighter moments as well. Yes, you can go on a revitalizing hike with the same ladies you spent Friday night binge watching Netflix too. As a group, the tribe offers this same love and support to each member and creates a sense of empowerment for the group as a whole as well as each individual. For women, a tribe closely mimics sisterhood, but with a heavier emphasis on empowerment, spirituality, and personal development. Your tribe is invested in you because they genuinely want to see you live a fulfilling life that is true to you.
What Are The Benefits of Having a Tribe?
Stable, Available, and Dependable Friendships
Have you ever experienced a situation where you need a group of people to show up or support you and you’re stuck trying to piece together some of the friends you have? Having a group of stable, available, and dependable friends you can call on is invaluable, especially when you’re facing situations like that. Your tribe can be there for you when you’re hosting your first business event or when you need some cheering up after surgery. Even in the lightest situations, you should never have to question that you’ll have someone there for you.
Helps Reduce Stress
A study by UCLA researchers revealed that women handle stress by going into “tend and befriend” mode. The tend action results in the protection of their young while the befriend action results in seeking contact from other women. According to the study, going into “tend and befriend” mode releases even more of the stress-fighting oxytocin hormone and can help us calm down. The reduction of stress benefits our overall health and plays a key role in living a long, healthy life.
Provides a Healthy Dose of Intimacy
Another health-related benefit? The intimacy involved in tribe friendships can help you fight illness, loneliness, aging, and slow recovery. That’s right, one of the secrets to a healthy life has been under your nose and in your text messages this whole time. As humans, we crave intimacy that expands beyond significant other relationships. A Harvard study revealed that people who enjoy frequent time with their closest friends outlive more reclusive people by an average of two and a half years. Your tribe can even help reduce the likelihood of getting a cold and promote brain health as we age.
Faith and Belief In Each Other
Having a tribe of people that appreciate you as an individual and believe in you is so helpful when we encounter moments where we lose faith in ourselves. There are times where we stop seeing the spark in ourselves and lose faith in our dreams, your tribe can help you through this by reminding you of the beautiful things you’ve forgotten about yourself. This ability comes from the deeper connection and understanding tribe friendships promotes. Your tribe knows your favorite ice cream and your monthly affirmations. They know you sleep in until 11 on Saturdays and they know the anxieties that keep you up at night. They know you, love you, and believe in you even when you don’t.
Tips to Help You Find Your Tribe
In order to find a group of great group of women who love and support you and your aspirations in life, you must know yourself. You may not know what kinds of friends you need until you feeling understand what you need to live the life you desire. Maybe you struggle with productivity and are in need of friends that will help motivate and encourage you throughout the day. Or maybe you’re embarking on a journey within and are looking for others who are doing the same. We’ve all been in friendships that we eventually realize do not align with our true self. You can avoid continuously getting into these friendships by prioritizing knowing yourself before forming bonds on a whim.
Do The Things You Love
When you’re out doing things you love, you’re more likely to meet like-minded people. Take a chance and go out to that poetry slam you’ve to been thinking about. Or go to that blogger networking event you’ve been skipping for months. These opportunities present a great chance to meet potential tribe members.
Search Online Communities You Already Love
For me, Black Girl in Om is a great online community to conversate with other women about holistic wellness. Having conversations with other women in this community and others could lead to genuine friendships and a potential tribe. Please remember it is always important to practice safety when meeting people online in real life. Check out this article for safety tips.
Let Them Come to You
It's widely believed that the best things come to you while you’re out living your best life. The same thing goes when you’re searching for meaningful friendships. Avoid forcing this at all cost and only make moves when it feels natural. If you’re at your weekly yoga class and a mundane conversation with a stranger turns into a deep conversation, see where the relationship could take you. The best friendships may be the ones you don’t even see coming.
Finding your tribe may not be something that happens quickly, but the benefits of it justify the long journey. There is so much power in seeing women come together to support and encourage personal growth within each other. Maybe you already have a tribe? If so leave us a comment below telling us why you love your tribe and how you found them.