Wouldn’t it be great if the people we met in our new destinations had similar interests, life experiences, time availability and a comparable lifestyle so that we could connect with them instantly? Imagine exchanging numbers with people who actually want to get to know you and engage with you at a deeper level so that you could build true friendships easily and faster. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Through the years I have learned that finding the friends and the people that you want to be in your life takes time. When a friend of mine told me some years ago “your vibe will attract your tribe” I knew what she meant, but I didn’t know exactly how it would happen. To this day, it is still something I am trying to figure out. Some times I’ve been disappointed or lonely and many other times, I have won the jackpot with the friends I’ve found. So making the right soul connection is very important when it comes to finding your tribe at your new home. One by one, you are building a solid support system.
While living in Scandinavia as a teenager, I came to understand that a big source of joy for me was establishing close social relationships, spending quality time with people, having meaningful conversations while enjoying a nice home-cooked meal or a hot cup of tea. Twenty years later, that still holds true for me.
Keeping in mind that constantly meeting people is as exciting as it is demanding, I thought I’d share my experience in finding my tribe. I must say though, I’m still working on practicing them regularly.
These are five ways I use to find my tribe:
1. Managing expectations - Life happens, people have busy schedules, some people don’t feel comfortable with reaching out to others, some didn’t feel the same connection as you did, some forgot that they met you (ouch! but true) and that’s ok. The people we meet are basically strangers, so we don’t know them yet, we don’t know what is happening in their lives and we can’t have a realistic idea of who they are based on the brief times we’ve met them. So, what I’m learning to do is expect less from what they can give in terms of their time and company so that I don’t feel disappointed. It is always a pleasant surprise when I get a text or a chat from someone that I met days or weeks before. Meanwhile, it is very important that I keep engaging in fun activities regularly because it keeps me busy and positive!
2. Reaching out to the people I have a good gut feeling about – There are people you automatically feel comfortable with: they get your jokes, they are moved by the same things as you are; they don’t judge; they listen; they ask questions; they seem genuinely interested in getting to know you. These are the potential friends you want in your tribe. If you feel you have established a connection, get their numbers, send them a text after you’ve met them, plan something fun and invest the time in having meaningful conversations with them over a cup of tea. You will soon realize that most of these people are meant to be in your life and that sometimes, they don't feel comfortable in reaching out first.
3. Following up when I have offered to do something – Making that phone call, sending a reminder, organizing an outing or contacting someone I’ve been connected with doesn’t come easily to me. In fact, I don’t feel comfortable with it because it makes me anxious. However, in my experience, it is worth giving it a try because it lets people know that I mean what I say and that I am reliable. Sometimes I don’t feel like going places or I wish I could stay at home and cancel the proposed activity, but I highly dislike people who are informal, so I try to do it in a way that is fun and convenient for everyone. It feels good in the end of the day that I did what I was supposed to do. Sometimes that is the reward.
4. Disregarding first impressions – First impressions (don’t always) count! I have been proven wrong many times over the past years about this and I have come to realize that intuition and first impressions are not always aligned. There are people who have been great mentors to me and who have taught me how to enjoy simple pleasures, or have taught be a new virtue or even a hobby. There have also been some who have taught me how I don’t want to be or act like. So, my point is that first impressions are not 100% accurate and that we should give ourselves the chance to get to know people better, spend more time with them, ask questions and then figure out if this is a good fit for who we are and our values, our interests and our soul.
5. Keeping an open mind - Are you single? Do you have kids? Are you a vegan or an omnivore? Do you work or are you currently unemployed? In my opinion, the answers to these questions shouldn’t matter all that much and here’s why: what is important is how connected we feel to them personally. Differences make us special and unique. They help us learn from each other and improve our lives by expanding our ways of thinking. There’s beauty in diversity! Another way of keeping an open mind is to allow yourself to do different things like signing up to a walking tour, toast masters or a book club. Getting out of our comfort zone can bring pleasant surprises!
Someone said the other day: “Making new friends is like dating”. She was right. Our lives and time are precious, that is why it is so important to surround ourselves with people who enhance its quality.
I hope these ideas help you find the wonderful people you deserve in your life.
What about you? How are you connecting with new people? Is there something that has worked in the past that you'd like to share? Would love to know.
Thank you for being here!