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.