WHO IS IN YOUR TRIBE?
“You become the average of the five people you hang out with the most.” You have heard this expression before, right? Your mother encouraged you to “keep good company.” Our friends, co-workers, significant other, and our family do influence us in amazing ways. The company we keep can impact our attitudes, our habits, our health, our character, the quality of our other relationships, our income, our happiness and ultimately our successes in life. We have a subconscious tendency to model the behavior of those around us.
In personal training, studies show that if you want to be healthier and more active, one great strategy is to simply hang around healthy and active people. When you want to increase your wealth, be intentional to spend time people in a higher tax bracket than you. If you want to make some serious changes in your life, be with people who are already being or doing what you want to become or do in life. Their presence and influence will work magic on you.
Who makes up your tribe? Who are your top five? Do their lives reflect the kind of person you want to become in your character, actions, and outcome? Are they moving in the same direction you would like to go in life?
DESIREABLE TRIBE TRAITS:
HONESTY – In all safe and thriving relationships, honesty is a must. You need to know that the other person is telling you the truth. We all need authentic, sincere, genuine people in our lives to have thriving relationships. Without honesty, trust is not possible. Honesty is also when you fully share your true self with the other person, even when you don’t see eye-to eye on matters.
RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY – Without deep trust it is impossible to have a relationship. Being trustworthy and reliable is about having a proven track record. You know you can count on them because they have demonstrated they are reliable. They are, and will be there for you, and the feeling is mutual.
ACCEPTANCE - Yep, warts and all, true friends give you unconditional acceptance for who you truly are. At the same time, out of genuine concern for you, they are bold enough to point out the things that can hurt you. Your tribe members are those people who both: accept you just as you are, and who want the very best for you.
RESPECT – Even when you have different views, solid tribe members will always treat you and other people with respect. I do have a couple of very close friends and we couldn’t be more opposite in our views when it comes to faith, politics and certain values. Our relationship works because of a deep, genuine, and mutual respect for the other person. Despite our differences which divide so many people, we have an amazing friendship. Both of us have learned more about the other person’s worldview in the process.
LISTENER – We all have a basic need to feel heard and understood. Your close friends make you feel truly understood and they remember the experiences you have shared. They are curious about you. They inquire, ask questions, and deeply listen.
SUPPORT – Your close circle will be your greatest champions as they encourage you to go after your goals and pursue your dreams. Even if they have different values and aims in life, true friends encourage you to be your best and to live by your own integrity. You want to find people who are empathetic and can step into your shoes. You want to be able to count on your tribe for support in the storms of life.
POSITIVE VIBES – These people have an energy that is uplifting. You consistently feel better after each interaction with them. They see the positives, and potential good in what is happening in life. You in turn become more positive and energized through your interactions with them.
HEALTHY – You need your closest friends to be healthy and whole people. This is not to say that we are perfect in every way. However, your tribe members ought to have a way of handling life’s challenges in positive thriving ways. They are humble enough to acknowledge their mistakes and are the type of people who are on a path of growth.
COMMON GOAL – In developing your tribe, a common goal or shared interest is another great way of bonding. It can be in an area of fitness, faith, business, service, or learning. People bond when they are in pursuit of the same things in life. When a group of people with common interests come together, a synergy is formed that creates something greater than any one of us can do individually.
UPPING YOUR LIFE - When you have an area of life that you would like to make a significant change in, or desire to make a dynamic growth spirt or shift, it is good to consistently be around people who are already where you would like to be. These areas could include increasing your fitness, your career, your finances, or having an outstanding character.
In the same what that you want to be intentional about choosing quality people, it may be time to unsubscribe from negative and demeaning people in your life.
DOOMED TRIBAL TRAITS:
DISHONEST - Lies block intimacy in relationships, cover up the truth, and prohibit being genuine. Dishonesty shows disrespect. Lying severely damages trust. When the lies are constant and / or severe enough, the damage can be irreparable.
A relationship without trust is like a car without gas: You can stay in it all you want, but it won't go anywhere.
DISRESPECTS YOU – When others do not respect your wishes, your feelings, or your points of view, you are not in a safe relationship. Not honouring your boundaries is being disrespectful to you. You need to feel that you have the freedom to say “no” in a relationship and be at ease that the other person will honour your wishes.
Disrespect can show up in many other ways as well. It could be in cutting remarks; not acknowledging your value; or belittling you, your feelings, or achievements. Tolerating disrespect is very damaging to your self-esteem and will never produce a solid relationship.
DRAINS YOU – Stop hanging around people that cause you to feel drained after each interaction with them. Healthy people and relationships should make you feel happy and re-charged. When you feel zapped instead of invigorated that is a sign you need to have a discussion with the other person or to create some distance.
EMOTIONALLY UNSTABLE – It is very unsettling when you feel that you must walk on eggshells whenever you are around someone. When you can’t count on them to treat you in a consistent way, or if they cannot own their own feelings and actions it can become a very tense situation.
ÜBER NEGATIVE – This is a trait that will definitely wear you down. It’s difficult for anything positive to come about when the atmosphere is always negative.
POISON TONGUES – You will want to avoid people who are constantly gossiping and judgmental. Not only are these toxic habits, you can be sure that their words will one day come against you. In judgmental relationships, criticism is not intended to be helpful, but rather to belittle.
CONSISTENTLY UNRELIABLE – You learn that you can’t count of these people, so eventually you don’t. This is not a safe space to be in because you don’t know if or when they will do what they said they will.
THEY WANT YOU TO BE SOMEONE ELSE – These people are never truly accepting of the person that you are. They often want to craft you into their mold, or may be looking to you to fulfill an unmet need in their own life. When a person wants to change you, rather than embrace you, it’s time to move on.
UNEQUAL RELATIONSHIPS – These are the type of relationships where you are always giving and they are always (not just receiving but) taking. Rather than being mutually beneficial, it ends up being a one-sided relationship. Usually these are mooches who are only using people to get what they want. They are often highly manipulative people. Manipulators will do anything to win you over just so they can work you over.
VICTIMS – These people don’t take responsibility or ownership of anything. They have given up all of their power in life, due to everything and everyone else on the “outside” of themselves. This is a highly toxic mentality. Those with the victim mentality will never succeed in life. They are definitely not the type of people whom you want to emulate.
Who are your closest tribe members? Who are you attracting in your life? Notice the type of people you are magnetizing in your life. Assess yourself. How do you measure up in your relationships towards other people? Do you have desirable tribe traits? We must also BE the kind of friend and person that we want to attract.