Before the coronavirus pandemic, there was the 21st-century growing epidemic of loneliness. Even with an exploding well of resources for greater connection, humans have been finding themselves growing more and more genuinely disconnected. It’s a phenomenon that truly intrigues me as I have fallen victim to bouts of loneliness during times when I was the most active online. Simply put, you are not alone. As with everything of importance in life we have to be intentional about our relationships and community if we hope to build a tribe and thrive. It will not just magically happen one day and we will probably never accidentally fall into strong and enriching relationships. So let’s talk about how we can get intentional about building our community from home.
Identifying Your Tribe
Before we discuss ways in which you can identify your tribe upon meeting them, we must first debunk a few misconceptions. Oftentimes, when someone thinks of “finding their tribe”, connecting with their people, or making new friends they assume that you know instantly whether you and another person should become friends. Some have spoken to a gut feeling or intuition however that is not always the case. If you lean on a “spark” or “recognizing instantly” that you and someone else should be friends you will cut out quite a few incredible people who can truly enrich your life. Speaking candidly, in rejecting people you do not feel automatically drawn to, you risk alienating people who represent parts of your humanity that you (at that moment) are less familiar with. Cultivating a tribe that is well rounded and truly supportive of you living your best life will require the people in it to be those you resonate with and those that challenge you to see the world in new and exciting ways.
We cannot assume two things:
- that all of the people in our tribe will “get us” in every moment
- since we now have a tribe we will never feel hurt or alone.
In a healthy and mature relationship, we must be able to push through the tension of opposite opinions and healthy conflict. We also must be able to take responsibility for our emotional reactions and feelings. We will still have moments of loneliness, hurt, and disappointment. A strong and healthy tribe will help you learn to love through conflict and live in community.
Another misconception when it comes to cultivating your tribe is that the one you create during one season of your life will serve you in all seasons of your life. As you live, learn, and grow you also change. Similar to you, your tribe will change. Friendships and relationships can be seasonal. We often trip ourselves up attempting to place permanent expectations on seasonal or temporary relationships and situations. Have the strength to move on and move forward with grace.
Now that we have talked about what you should and shouldn’t do on the journey to finding your tribe, all that is left is for you to audit what is of importance to you and seek out people who also find those same thoughts, feelings, interests, places or whatever else important too. What are you craving most in your friendships? Have you thought about what you are looking for in a relationship? Is there an area of your life do you want to grow in the most right now? The answers to each of those questions would make great starts to the search for your tribe online.
Where to Find Your Tribe Online
Our online spaces have become bubbling platforms on a mission to bridge connections; however, we often misuse them allowing comparison, jealousy, and negativity to taint our thoughts and feelings of others. Your social media should not make you sad. It is the perfect place to find and befriend people from all walks of life easily and efficiently.
If we want to build better or new tribes online we must first start with the right mindset.
Facebook Groups are one of the best ways to find your tribe online. Many groups are organized around favorite shows, films, stages of life, or inspiring people. Shaun T’s Dig Deeper Nation started during quarantine. It is a safe space for members to connect and push themselves in fitness.
Facebook Pages are another great place to find conversations and people who have similar interests. There are millions of pages and you can simply type your interest, thought, or feeling into the Facebook search bar and find a community that speaks to it.
Instagram Pages are similar to Facebook pages in that there are hundreds of millions of them that represent people, places, mindsets, interests, feelings, astrology, and more. You can search your interest or thoughts and connect with many accounts that are solely there for the conversation around that search topic. While Instagram can become very distracting it can become incredibly powerful when used intentionally.
Twitter Accounts + Threads:
Twitter has evolved beautifully over the years. It has really staked its claim in the social media circle as the place where conversations happen. No matter what it is you are searching for, there is someone in the world talking about it. You can use this to your advantage by searching for your interests or feelings, reading conversations others are having. Then follow or connect with accounts that seem to align or provide an amazing perspective for you. The best part about twitter is that it is focused on words meaning you will be pushed to have conversations.
These are just a few examples of places where you can start to find members of your tribe online. If you are nervous about connecting with people online, start with one of Shaun T’s safe spaces! The fit fam can connect, chat, and grow together in life, fitness, love, and more as a community.
Ways to Open Up to New Friends
Are you an introvert, like me? I totally feel you. It can be hard opening up, reaching out and connecting with new people when you are naturally inclined to stay to yourself. The best part about building or finding your tribe online is that you can truly go slow. Here are a few things you can do:
- Comment on the persons (whom you wish to befriend or connect with) content consistently. If there is someone that you admire or are simply inspired by or drawn to, commit to commenting on their content when they post. Make sure your comments are meaningful and engaging. Use the comments as a way for you to open up a little bit at a time while engaging with the conversation that the person’s content is starting.
- Share the persons (whom you wish to connect with) content on your platform. You can share the content published by the person you are hoping to connect with and add your notes, celebration, or perspective. Be sure to tag them so that they can see that you shared their content and what you have added to the conversation.
- Send encouraging DMs. Direct messaging can be intimidating but take you out of it. If you love what the person posts, stands for, or adds to your community simply tell them that. It will open you up to start a conversation and maybe build a digital relationship while also not putting the responsibility on you to be very vulnerable or open from the start.
I hope these tips, thoughts, and notes help you cultivate the thrive you want and need. If you have any questions or want to discuss further post a comment down below! Also, if you are reading this on your phone, screenshot and share it on IG while tagging @ShaunT. We would love to repost you and hear your thoughts!