Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash


Being present can be challenging and you are not required to do it 24/7 and it’s unrealistic and humanly impossible to be present all the time and to require someone to do so. Giving to your people should be a bilateral relationship, that can be mutually beneficial to whoever is involved, but giving of yourself requires you to be okay with doing it, but also be okay with the fact that you may not get the same back in return.

I titled this blog post “Giving to Your People” because I realized a lot of us don’t understand what that actually means. The act of giving in my opinion is a fundamental part of human interaction and engagement. In some ways it’s almost part of our payment to live life on Earth. Last week I wrote about needing, finding and choosing your people, but this week I want to focus on giving to your people, which to me is not only being present with your peeps, but also to be able to fulfill those friendship needs.

Different people need and require different things from you and vice versa. Most of us don’t communicate exactly what we need well enough, which in actuality is really because we don’t even know what it is, we need from people. Being present can be challenging and you are not required to do it 24/7 and it’s unrealistic and humanly impossible to be present all the time and to require someone to do so. Giving to your people should be a bilateral relationship, that can be mutually beneficial to whoever is involved, but giving of yourself requires you to be okay with doing it, but also be okay with the fact that you may not get the same back in return. Yeah, that part definitely sounds janky, but it’s the truth. You have to look at it as personally pouring into someone’s overall wellness, and positive energy you’re giving out and at some point you will get back.

There are several ways that we all give to one another. It’s a little reminiscent of the very popular book by Gary Chapman, “5 Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate”. In the book Chapman describes the 5 love languages as, words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. Just like romantic partnerships, friendships and relationships in your social groups can fall into these categories. Personally, I believe that most of us like a little bit of everything and it is not a black and white thing. For example, some people in your social group might just like a simple text message, a phone call, getting dinner together, while someone else may like small gifts or sitting with them on the couch watching tv (couch-lounging is definitely showing up a lot in this series, huh?). It all depends on the person.

In all of this, it is vital to be present, but not to your detriment. I often do mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical check-ins with myself because what I realized is that if one of those four things are out-of-balance, I tend to suffer the consequences. I typically do check-ins daily and weekly, to make sure your girl is good. I am the queen of texting, “Hey guys, I’ll be offline for a couple days, to get balanced,” and I do this to be transparent but also to let my friends know that I’m okay but need to step back a little bit. You have to make sure you draw your boundaries and monitor your wellness.

As humans we desire and to some degree need validation from our loved ones in our social and familial circles. Giving to your people is a great way to show you care and also show support to your loved ones. Below are some elements of giving to your people that I believe can be helpful to the think about in order for you to be more present in your friend and social groups.


Giving to your people should not feel like a chore

When you give to your people and it feels like it’s a struggle, invokes some level of negative emotions, or you just simply don’t want to, then don’t. If it’s like pulling teeth for you to be present and give of yourself to your people, then please my friend, abort mission. The flipside to this, however, is that the more you give the more you get used to it, but also it makes you feel good.


Giving to your people should come from your heart

The act of giving should come from a place of honest and earnest human compassion, thoughtfulness and care for someone else. It makes it easier for you, when giving comes from your heart but also it connects you differently to the human experience.


Giving to your people means you give when or if you can

Sometimes you may not have anything to give, both literally and figuratively, hence why it is so important to check-in on yourself regularly. Don’t feel pressured to give and be present. I’ve had moments when I had to completely step away from my loved ones for weeks at time because I was emotionally and mentally drained from other things.  Other times I wanted so desperately to do more for them by sending a small gift of something I know they would need and like, but I didn’t have the money and had to prioritize other financial obligations.


Giving to your people is an act of selflessness

We all have had selfish moments and if you say you haven’t then you’re probably lying to yourself. Giving of yourself at any capacity should 9 out of 10 times be an act of selflessness, meaning your more concerned with the needs of other people, than your own. Selflessness increases your ability to love and show love to yourself and to people. I do believe it takes a particularly self-aware, strong, and kind person to be completely selfless, but certainly something we should all strive towards.


Giving to your people means you pay attention to their needs

Life requires and demands a lot from us on a continuous basis and sometimes you find yourself running on fumes, forgetting to take a break. That is where paying attention to the needs of your people is essential to be able to be there for them. This also means that a conversation needs to happen, asking what they need from you and what you need from them as a friend, as well.


Giving to your people should not be one sided

This is probably the one point that you were waiting to read. Yes, giving to your people should not be one sided, but sometimes it will be. There are times that someone might need you more than you need them because life has hit them so hard, that they can’t even be there for themselves properly. If your relationship is built on a solid and honest foundation, then in most cases that same friend will return the love and support to you eventually.


Giving to your people means you don’t keep track of how much you’ve given

One thing that many of us do, is we keep tabs of how much we have been there for someone else verses how much they have been there for us. This is a very human thing, but also can lead to an unhealthy level of comparison. If you get to a point that you feel you are there for someone more than they have been there for you, then most likely you might need to have a serious conversation with that person. However, when you give to others, you generally should not expect something in return because you are giving from the heart and showing that you honestly care for that person.


Giving to your people can help you with your own personal growth

Being there for people is an essential part of your personal growth because it stretches your capacity to care and love others. I believe one of the goals of this life is to be able to expand the level in which we connect with one another. This in turn can positively impact other areas of our lives, such as at work, school, and in our other relationships, making you more efficient and in-tune with those around you.


Giving to your people is a way to show that you care

A lot of people walk this planet, not knowing that someone out there actually cares about them, so for someone to show you that you matter and are loved in all your imperfect glory, is truly something beautiful.



Photo by Mohau Mannathoko on Unsplash


*Trigger Warning*: This blog post may contain triggering or sensitive material, especially during these times. Please be mindful when reading this post.


Have you ever thought about the people in your life and just felt so happy and lucky to have them around, or maybe the opposite? I definitely have, but it’s usually the former for me. The people that I’ve chosen to do life with, outside of blood relatives are a specifically curated, unique and loving bunch, that I’m rather blessed to have. Before I go any further, let me define what I mean by people. When I say people, I’m not talking about “Our People”, as in African descendent peoples, I’m talking about, Yoouuurr People. Your friends, plus your family or those who’ve become your family… your framily. Your confidants, your fellow couch loungers, your travel buddies, and whatever else you want to call them.These are not perfect relationships at all, but they are part of the intricate fabric that make up who you are. 

These are the people that you have shared some of your most intimate moments with and you’ve been there for each other in ways that even many family members have not. Although, I personally do not use this word, unless in very specific instances nor do I believe much in its usage (another story, for another day), many people call this, their tribe. If you think about the western definition of tribe, which is basically members of a community and society which can also include familial lineage, that essentially denotes a human social group that share the same culture, economic system, beliefs, language, dialect etc., then you can sort of understand why people refer to their own personal social groups as tribes.

Over the years I’ve come to cherish the community that me and my friends have built and the ones that I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of. Your people or community are an essential part of your growth and development as a person and finding and choosing your people is equally as important. Now I know it sounds a bit possessive and selfish-ish describing it as “finding” and “choosing” your people, but there is most certainly an element of being intentional about it.

The next few Well-Being blogs will be about Finding and Choosing Your People, Giving to Your People, and Losing Your People. In these very weird times we’re in, there are a few things that you can pay attention to when finding and choosing your people because we need them more than ever.


Your People can be found anywhere and in spaces you most frequent

A lot of times your people are already part of your community and the places you typically visit, but sometimes you can find your people when you randomly attend events, functions or running everyday errands. The people you naturally and organically connect with are often times the ones that you will have longer lasting relationships with.  


Your People enjoy your company and you have a good time with them

Who wants to be around people that act like they don’t even want you around? I know I sure don’t.  Your people give you good vibes, like having you around and like doing things with you, even when you all are just lounging on the couch, doing nothing.  


Your People show up and are present

Identify who has been there for you, showed up for you, and have been present. This is a really important aspect in finding your people. It is not easy to always be there for someone, it’s actually really hard to do because we are all so busy and have different daily responsibilities. However, it is always great, when people show up for you in the times you need them most or just because they were thinking about you.  


Your People wish you well and always want to see you win

Life is not easy but having a great and strong support system is vital, no matter the size. Your people want the best for you in all aspects of your life. They don’t wish you harm, but rather they want you to succeed and be the best you can possibly be. 


Your People Affirm you

They always let you know how great you are. Your people see the light in you and just how beautifully you were made, flaws and all. They see your potential  and affirm you.


Your People are concerned about your wellness and encourage and support healthy behaviors

When you’re not your normal self, your people notice. They won’t always get it right, nor is it their sole responsibility but when it comes to your wellness your people want you to live a healthy life, as much as possible. 


Your People don’t judge you and accept you as you are and where you are

They are people who you feel comfortable with sharing intimate things with and allow you to be your authentic-self. When you feel judged it can really impact your self-esteem and it becomes hard for you to share who you really are. Your People don’t want you to hide or play small.


Your People tell you the truth

They are honest, yet gentle in their truth-telling while giving you advice, their opinion and the support they give to you and your endeavors. One thing that people sometimes get wrong is that, when you tell the truth to someone it has to be told hostilely, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can communicate your thoughts and feelings without having to yell or belittle the other person. Your people will always keep it a buck with you and love on you in the process.


Your People challenge you

They are the ones that challenge you emotionally, mentally, intellectually, and also dare you to try new things. That does not mean that it’s always a mental exercise, but rather your people encourage you to see things from different perspectives and point-of-views that help you grow.