Sex and the City, Friends, Seinfeld, Entourage… some of the best TV shows of all time are about groups of friends who are so close they’re basically family. It’s no wonder most of us grow up assuming that when we’re in our twenties or thirties, we’ll have our own tight-knit group of buds. So, what happens when you hit that age and you don’t have a close group who practically live at your place and frequently raid your fridge? Perhaps you have one really close bestie or a smattering of friends across different groups – but no ‘tribe’ per se.
Of course, there’s no right or wrong way to do friendship. But the great thing about having a squad is the mix of different personalities it brings. With just one BFF, you can’t expect them to be whatever you need at any given time. But in a group situation, everyone brings something different to the table. You may have the ‘mum’ who dishes out tough love when you’re thinking about texting that guy …. the hilarious one who cheers you up when you’re feeling down… the good-time-gal who’s a blast to go out with and so on.
The difference between a group and a tribe is that the latter is filled with people who just get you. Not only do they make you laugh so hard you cry, they inspire you and lift you up – not tear you down. The good news is, even if you don’t already have a tribe (or your current group leaves you feeling a bit “blah”) it’s not too late to find one. Sure, it’s easier to meet people when you’re at school and are pretty much given a ready-made group of buddies. But you can still meet like-minded pals as an adult, as long as you’re willing to venture a little outside your comfort zone. Here’s how.
1. Join groups
Okay, so you’re unlikely to meet any life-long friends sitting behind a computer or scrolling through Facebook. But there are plenty of awesome online communities that hold regular meet-ups for likeminded chicks. If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, you’ll love the hilariously titled Likeminded B*tches Drinking Wine group. Got a serious case of wanderlust? Check out the international Girls LOVE Travel page. Looking for a group of workout buddies to keep you accountable? The ever-growing Commitribe may be your jam. No matter where you live or what you’re into, there’s something for everyone and it might just lead to an amazing friendship, IRL.
2. Take a class
Maybe you’ve already got an awesome group of mates, but they just don’t share your fascination with coding or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. No problem — why not head to a class alone? It’ll actually make you more likely to strike up a conversation with someone new if you don’t have a buddy there. Taking a class in something interested is a great opportunity to expand not only your skill set, but your tribe, too! It’s really easy to break the ice in a class environment because you already know that you have at least one thing in common with everybody here.
3. Attend a dinner party
Ever heard of a stranger dinner party? It’s where, as the name suggests, a bunch of people who don’t know each other meet for a meal – either at someone’s home or a restaurant. Now, for the average introvert (like myself) the idea of this is utterly terrifying. But hear us out. Many of companies that run these events, like Stranger Danger Dinners in Perth, actually have a vague run sheet of activities. While this is normally ditched once the convo begins to flow, it’s a good fall-back for if there’s any awkward silences. Obviously, in this type of situation there’s no guarantee the strangers will share similar interests to you. But it’s a great way to meet people you otherwise wouldn’t cross paths with, in a relaxed setting.
Want to meet people that you have more than just a shared love of coffee in common with? Volunteering is a great option. Think about the issues that really get you fired up– chances are there are people in your area who share this passion. Whether you get involved in your local council clean up or volunteer at a homeless shelter, not only will you be giving back to your community, but you’ll probably meet some pretty amazing people along the way. Don’t know where to start? Go Volunteer is a great resource that suggests volunteering opportunities based on the issues you’re interested in.
5. Say “yes”
If you’re keen to find your tribe, you’re going to have to become a bit of a “yes” woman. However, this doesn’t mean you have to agree to every single invitation that comes your way, even when you don’t want to. That’s a surefire path to burnout and here at Sporteluxe, we’re all about self-love and taking care of your own mental wellbeing. However, it pays to keep an open mind and an eye out for opportunities to meet new people. So, if a girl from your bootcamp invites you out with other people from the gym and you’re excited to go (but are just scared it will be awkward), it’s usually worth taking the risk!