finding your tribe
Friendship and relationships are really important. We all implicitly know this, but the way modern life has been constructed has arguably made it more difficult. If not difficult, then at least it has changed the rules of the game.
I’ve already written about friendship - which you should read (mostly summarised points from Robin Dunbar’s recent book). A few salient reminders and additional points for myself.
You are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with
This is a well known aphorism at this point. But it’s becoming more apparent that you need fewer high quality relationships rather than more. As a young 20 something, you have high optionality. You can ostensibly choose to spend time with anyone. It’s one of the easier times in your life to have a social network. But what is more important is the crowd you surround yourself with because it ultimately shapes who you become. Choose carefully.
Be like family to your friends, a friend to strangers, and a stranger to your enemies.
Be more open and polarising. Speak your mind. It’s how you find people who you deeply resonate with. Everyone is interesting. They have a unique perspective on the world shaped by their experiences, surroundings and influences. Similarly, you are also interesting. Share your worldview.
‘Friendships are born, not necessarily made’ - you just have to find the right people with whom friendship is frictionless.
Most of the times, friendships are not made, but instead are pre-built. The foundation of a shared worldview already exist. You might disagree on many topics, but the shared common values are there. You know when you meet them.
Your 20’s are an exploration phase. It’s about finding the people who you choose to spend time with, and going all in. Friends are the family you choose.
Open your door
Be the initiator. No-one wants to ‘ask’ to hangout, but everyone appreciates it when someone does. You can’t force people to open their door, but you can always leave yours open.
Practicalities : Where and how do you make friends?
- Repeated unplanned interaction
- Setting that encourages vulnerability/ Shared activity
As an adult, basically you find friends by:
- Connecting with old friends
- Joining clubs/activities where you show up regularly
The proximity aspect is often overlooked. The main predictor of whether a relationship thrives is the amount of time you invest in it. It becomes way easier when the person is within 30 minutes.
A part of the human condition revolves around the struggle to take what’s in one head and put it in another. In other words unmisinterpreted communication. All loneliness stems from unshared subjective experience. The ultimate goal is to have our subjective reality validated through the language of love or the language of science or the language of our tribe.
That’s a note I found from a few years ago that I wrote.
To future me : I highly recommend re-reading Dunbar’s book. The nature of friendships changes as you grow older, but at the moment, seek the few quality relationships where it feels easy, and open your door.