I hear so many people talk about how hard it is to make friends after a certain age. Whether it’s 30, 40, 50, or more, I’m calling bullshit. There are absolute, concrete ways to make really good friends, it doesn’t matter if you want one great friend, a small circle or an entire tribe. You can do this. Humans are hard-wired to be part of a pack, that’s simply who we are. Finding your tribe is not a difficult undertaking, it just requires a little footwork.
My First Tribe Experience
About 15 years ago, I started homeschooling. We are not religious, but the only groups out there, in Florida, were religion based. I tried a couple of them, but we just didn’t fit in. I homeschooled in seclusion the first year and then I got really tired of field trips that only had three people. I met another woman who was in the same boat as I was and we started a community, reaching out and finding people who were homeschooling, who weren’t very concerned about fraternizing with people who might believe differently than you do. We didn’t care what your religious background was, as long as you weren’t trying to recruit us.
This was in 2002 – I learned how to put myself out there, so to speak. I used mailing lists (Yahoo groups, remember them?), MeetUp, word of mouth, and message boards to find locals who were similarly minded. We created the first secular homeschool group in North Central Florida and it was pretty impressive. We organized field trips, play dates, co-ops, and parties and it was very successful. Our original group ran its course, but there are still offshoots of it that are active today in the area.
My Music Tribe
Next, when my daughter started to express an interest in, and a talent for, performing music, we needed to find other musicians – this was easy. My area has an embarrassment of riches in the talented musicians department. We started to go see live music, met a few people, developed friendships, started frequenting open mic nights at local, family friendly places and wound up meeting so many amazing, generous, talented people.
Which led to drum circles, festivals, even more friends, which has led to a large, diverse, and amazing “family”.
So, why am I bringing all this up? Because I want you to know that you can do the same thing. Who are you looking for? What kinds of people are you wanting to bring into your life? Pick a topic, music, cooking, physical activities, hobbies, etc. Something that you really enjoy. Then look up Meetup groups in your area, dedicated to those things, Facebook groups, Google+, any social network – google the hobby or activity with your city’s name, and don’t give up. Be safe, be cautious, don’t meet people you don’t know in private places, make sure you always have a buddy, and use your common sense.
Set an intention for who you want to meet, but then don’t go make a sandwich, get to work!
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