UPDATE: I used the word tribe in this post unthinkingly. I do not believe it is appropriate to use.
Some thoughts by friends recently have made me think about all the articles that advise you to “find your tribe”. It’s almost like there’s no tomorrow if you don’t have your tribe around you, right this very moment.
Being a person who has always felt niche-less and has worked (and lived) in a lot of different places, I don’t have trouble meeting new people, but I don’t feel like I have a tribe.
Maybe for me, my years of training in participant observation allows me to just learn or choose what I see as most valuable from people (or groups) and ignore the rest?
Now, this is different from using people. It’s an active choice to take in only what motivates you.
I’m currently reading Quiet by Susan Cain and that has me thinking that this tribelessness and selective friendship way of being is something that just suits introverts. Which makes sense in the reverse too – of course it would be extroverts that want or need a tribe around them, it’s how they replenish themselves.
Have you found your tribe? What do you think about the need to have people like you?
Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.
23 Replies to “Living A Tribeless Life”
I think Susan Cain might be right – maybe tribes are just for extroverts… Introverts don’t need/want to be part of a tribe… I know I don’t! 🙂
I was kind of paraphrasing her – I’m only part way through & that’s just how I’ve put it together in my head. You know, I never actually stopped to think if I *want* to be part of one.
What a refreshing perspective. I feel like I have a tribe, but it developed organically. It wasn’t pursued nor did I try to get myself to fit into one. My experience is quite similar to yours. My work is interdisciplinary, I work and live between various countries, ‘home’ is where my husband, shoes and art are so finding a tribe is difficult. Instead I feel like I float effortlessly between groups and tribes and that suits me. Though I wonder if in a few years I might crave a little more stability and if then the idea of having a tribe is going to matter more and will it then be too late to try to find one?
I would hope it’s never really too late to have one, because we all grow and change throughout life. What suits us at one point may not at another point.
I am not an introvert, but a pretty quiet person. I have a couple of small tribes which suits me. I like your introvert and extrovert concept though.
It’s an interesting way to think about it. No idea if it holds up under research though 🙂
Hmm… fascinating topic. I recall a phase where I truly believe I needed a tribe, and what I really craved was understanding. But later I discovered that I like variety too much, and this flusters those who are closest to me, and the tribe becomes another source of misunderstanding.
I believe I’m part introvert, part extrovert, so perhaps as you’ve described, I’m drawn to needing ‘the tribe’ for certain phases of my life, but not others. And yes, the idea that you have to ‘find your tribe’ and be with like-minded people can be very restrictive.
I think I’m in the middle too – an ambivert. I differ from introverts in many ways, but relate a lot more to them than extroverts.
I think finding a tribe has become a pressure of a globally connected world and particularly blogging that can leave us feeling left out. I know like-minded people and I call them friends. I don’t need to be someone’s guru (ie I have a tribe) and I don’t want to follow a guru – I want to find like-minded and caring people in the different aspects of my life and I want to be that person to other people.
I think that’s such a balanced and sensible way to approach this. And I like your point about friends vs tribes!
I think it depends on the things that you like to do socially. If you are happy to meet up one on one all of the time, then tribes wouldn’t really work for you. I tend to compartmentalise my friendship groups and then feel weird when they all come together for something mutual like a party for myself or Dyl. So I’m not really sure if I fit into the needing tribes group or not.
I think more of us are in the middle than experts think.
I am tribeless, and mostly, am ok with that. I have friends, but like Tegan said, there all fairly compartmentalised. I thought that was just how people did stuff?
I wonder how age plays into this – if tribes are a high school leftover type of thing – that feeling that we need our group. Then as we get older, we just take people for who they are.
Bloggers are my tribe I think. Not that I get to see many of them in real life very often! I love the concept of finding your tribe. Mr 20 has always been a bit of a loner/introvert and has recently found his tribe online, linking up with other movie cinemaquette (statue) collectors, and we had a great bonding moment because I explained about tribes to him and we both understood the buzz it can be!
PS forgot to say, visiting from #teamIBOT today x
I’ve never felt so accepted and among friends as when I stumbled onto the Aussie blogging communities! All the years I spent writing random websites on my own before that…
I have no idea. Truly. LOL.
Probably not something that has struck you as necessary or important then! 🙂
I would like to have more of a tribe but rarely truly fit into any particular groups. I think a support network is so important though. Sometimes I don’t think you realise you have a tribe until you need to call on them.
I think it’s a bit like Kathy said above – sometimes we call them friends 🙂
I must say I’ve found my tribe online through blogging but in terms of every day life, I haven’t really had a tribe and it’s not because an introvert. I’ve just found that I’m the type of person who isn’t friends with many, but closer to one or two people who I really connect with. Is that considered at tribe?
I don’t think there’s a real size requirement for a tribe.