Tribes have existed in our society for centuries. I only came across the use of the word tribe in a more modern setting a few years ago when I began to follow Jeff Goins (Writer, Author, Podcaster).I know you’re probably asking “where have you been?!“.
Dictionary.com defines Tribe as “any aggregate of people united by ties of descent from common ancestors, common customs and traditions, adherence to some leaders etc” . A more modern definition describes tribe as “a group pf people or a community with similar values, interests“.
Tribes refer to kinship groups or human social groups. Tribes are about connection. We are born into tribes, race, religion, but as adults we get to chose the tribes we most identify with.
The need to belong, is outlined in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It is a natural want to be part of a group, to feel loved and accepted by others. Having a caring group you belong to make you more resilient when life gets tough.
Positive Health Outcomes of belonging to a Tribe
- stress reliever
- great for depression (having connectedness and social interaction)
- improves performance and motivation
- gives life more meaning
- long term well being and happiness
- provides community and expands thinking
A Harvard study examined the lives of 3000 people. They found that those who have more than one tribe of social belongingness lived 2.5 years longer than those who were tribeless. My elderly mother belongs to a daycare for the aged who are of the same ethnicity. Since she became a part of this tribe her mental health and overall well-being has improved dramatically.
Tribes can last for a long time or a short time depending on what stage of life you are at and what the purpose of the tribe is. Other tribes may establish from those existing but the original tribe may disband.
4 B’s of Belonging to a Tribe
Psychologist call it the 4 Bs of a tribe :
- Benevolence : kindness and generosity
- Belonging : member of one or more groups
- Being : self acceptance
- Believing : guiding values and ethics
A Healthy Tribe Succeeds with
- No judgement
Some of My Tribes :
- Climbing community
- Urban sketching and art : local and online
- Writing : informal and formal
- Professional/career peers
- Friends from different aspects of my life
- Book club
Who Are Your Tribes?
Write a list of the different tribes you belong to.
Is it time to revise your tribes?
Do you need to create a new list?
You probably have more tribes than you realised.
If you don’t have a tribe or are looking for new tribes, you can start your own (I did that with my book club). Meetup groups are a great place to start when looking for a tribe. Or even FaceBook groups for your various interests.