How To Build Your Tribe – Finding ‘Your People’

Build Your Tribe

This is a guest post by Marelisa of Abundance Blog at Marelisa Online.

One of the most fundamental human needs is the need to belong.  Noted psychologist, Abraham Maslow, identified it as one of the five basic needs.  We want to be part of a group and to feel loved and accepted by others.  That is, we want to be a member of a tribe.  A tribe-or a pack, clan, elected family, posse, crew, network, or true friends–is a group of people who share common interests and values and show genuine appreciation and care for each other.

Your tribe members are those people who accept you just as you are, and who want the very best for you.  They make you feel understood, and they encourage you to go after your goals and pursue your dreams.  Also, the members of your tribe help you to get through difficult times, and they provide you with a sense of community and support.

To paraphrase Sam Adams–from the Onion A.V. Club–, your tribe are those people you love to cruise the streets with while listening to the Ramones and playing air guitar, and who, at the same time, will come and slap you when you’re acting out of line.  Your tribe is made up of ‘your people.’  Think of the six main characters in the hit series “Friends,” and how they were always there for each other.

Sir Ken Robinson–author of “The Element,” a book on how to find work that you’re passionate about–argues that your tribe is essential in helping you to find your element.  Members of a tribe kick ideas around with each other and validate each other.  Also, tribe members drive each other to explore the real extent of their talents.  In addition, Robinson argues that when a group of people with common interests come together, a synergy is created which allows them to create something much greater than any of them could have created individually.

If you feel tribe-less, rest assured in the knowledge that your tribe is out there.  In addition, if you’re already surrounded by a supportive tribe, remember that there are probably many members of your tribe that you have not met yet.  Below you’ll find twelve valuable tips and insights to help you find your tribe-if you haven’t found it already–, or to help you expand your tribe-if you already have one.

Twelve Tips for Finding or Expanding Your Tribe

American journalist and writer Jane Howard is credited with the following quote: “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.  Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”  Here are twelve tips for finding or expanding your tribe:

  1. Think of the qualities you want your tribe members to have.  As an illustration, you may want each of your tribe members to have the following qualities: treats people with respect; listens but doesn’t judge; has a quirky sense of humor; is an artist; lives with passion; doesn’t sweat the small stuff; is loyal and trustworthy.
  2. Decide if there’s a particular type of activity that you want to engage in with your tribe, such as starting a book club, taking hiking trips, going to happy hour, or visiting museums and gallery openings.
  3. Listen to your inner voice and trust your instincts.  When was the last time you had a gut feeling about someone?  Sometimes you’ll meet someone new and you’ll feel drawn to them right away, almost as if you were old friends.  Other times you’ll come across people who immediately make you want to put up your guard.  Pay attention to your gut reaction to others.
  4. One way to find your tribe is to use Social Media to create a virtual tribe; you can then look for ways to meet in the offline world.  For example, Twitter allows you to search for people who share your interests and who actively talk about these interests.  Use the topics and activities that you’re interested in as key terms.  You can also enter the city where you live as a key term in order to find others who share your interests and live in your area.
  5. Start a blog on a subject that interests you–such as breeding bull terriers, chasing UFOs, Russian 19th century novelists, and so on–and create your own community.  If you can get together a group of bloggers who are like -minded and live in the same city, you can host a blog meet-up so you can all meet in person.
  6. Look for upcoming community events in your city that are centered around activities you enjoy.
  7. Search for Yahoo groups and forums which cater to a particular topic that you’re passionate about.
  8. If there are one or two people you already know who you would like to strengthen your friendship with, try to find a way to work together.  You could plant a communal garden together, or meet once a week to complete unfinished projects–such as crafts, sewing, knitting, or woodworking– as a group.  Working with others can help you strengthen your bonds with them.
  9. Marketing guru Seth Godin advices that you create your tribe by helping others to achieve their goals.  Connect people in your social network who have common interests; give them access to information and resources that they need; and let them know that you’re available if they need help.
  10. Andy Paige–a stylist on TLC– explains that you need to look for your 1/3.  To summarize: Andy argues that 1/3 of the people you come across will dislike you; 1/3 of the people you meet will be indifferent toward you; and 1/3 of the people you come into contact with will love you.  You’re looking for that that last 1/3.  Those are your people.  Don’t worry about the other 2/3.
  11. Create rituals that you can share with your tribe, such as having regular meals together.  You can also have in-jokes and slang or jargon that’s unique to your tribe.  Look for ways to make your group cohere and know that it’s a group.
  12. Keep in mind that the people you hang out with will have a huge impact on every aspect of your life, from your level of income—several financial authors argue that your income is equal to the income of your five best friends–, to your level of happiness—studies show that happiness is contagious.  In addition, we have a subconscious tendency to model the behavior of those around us.  Choose your tribe wisely.


The members of your tribe are your allies on your life journey.  When you’re creating or expanding your tribe, look for people who will lift you up, help you grow, recharge you, inspire you, and celebrate with you, and who are willing to lend a hand when you need it.  In addition, always remember that as a tribe member you have responsibilities toward your tribe.  You need to give back to the tribe and offer other tribe members your support, just as they support you.  Now get out there and start creating or expanding your tribe.

Marelisa Fábrega blogs about creativity, productivity, and simply getting the most out of life over at Abundance Blog at Marelisa Online.  Marelisa is the author of the eBooks How to Be More Creative – A Handbook for Alchemists,  and How To Live Your Best Life – The Essential Guide for Creating and Achieving Your Life List.

Photo by: Frabuleuse


  1. says

    I love this post!! I am all about “building tribes”, now that I have a little more time, I’m hoping to find more “tribes people”.

  2. says

    In recent years, I’ve been meeting most of my new friends through the kids’ school. I find that it’s fairly easy to know when there’s chemistry – either you have that immediate connection, or you don’t.

  3. says

    Hi Farouk: There’s nothing quite like friends who understand you.

    Hi Eden: Thank you. Have fun adding to your tribe. :-)

    Hi Margo: I like it too: There’s no sense wasting your efforts on the 2/3 that you simply don’t connect with, when you have all those people in the 1/3 waiting for you. :-)

    Hi Vered: It is about chemistry. All of the people who have gone on to become great friends are people I liked since the moment I met them.

  4. says

    I’m really loving the idea of concentrating on the 1/3 of people that love you. Such a simple concept, and yet – all too often overlooked.

  5. says


    What a great post. I wished I had known about my tribe years before I did. It makes such a difference when we find people like just like us.
    I wasted to much time thinking I was an odd ball.
    Bloggers make a wonderful virtual tribe. They are out there being supportive and understanding just exactly what you are feeling.

  6. says

    Wow, thanks a lot. I keep being reminded this week to do this! Specifically for men to start groups (like mastermind groups) to talk about goals, personal issues, global problems and how to deal with them.

    Definitely creating rituals would be helpful, and gaining members through a blog that brings together like-minded people (create a forum with a specific culture?) thank you so much for all the advice!

  7. says

    Hi Lance: And the concept applies to everything, even blogging. There are some people who will love your blog, and there are people who just won’t. Concentrate on writing content for those who do love it.

    Hi Marion: Sometimes the people who surround us are not our tribe. That’s one of the great things about the Internet: it doesn’t matter where you live, you can go online and connect with people who have your same interests and just “get” you.

    Hi Graeme: While I was writing this post I kept thinking of the theme song for the TV series “Cheers”: we all want to go “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”. Best of luck with your mastermind group.

  8. says

    Hi Marelisa,

    I really like this post, probably because it’s I’m a firm believer in the concept of life is about people.

    Love, Wealth, Having purpose.. all of life’s essentials has a rely strongly with the relationships we build throughout our life time.

    When I think of a great crew, I think of the characters on the hit tv show, “Friends.”

    No ones the same person, everyone is different in their own way. Which is exactly how I like to have my friends, unique as a snowflake :)

    I enjoyed this post, cheers!

  9. says

    This enlightening post came at exactly the right time for me!

    I have just joined the A-List Bloggers Club, on the advice of a blogging friend and mentor, to learn, and connect with fellow bloggers. Anyone out there a member?

    Now I shall explore the Social Media route to find like – minded local bloggers.

    Thanks for this excellent post!

  10. says

    Loved your post
    What really stood out for me was number 9 create your tribe by helping others to achieve their goals, as it reasonates with me especially with the training I provide.
    Thanks for bringing to my awareness of modern day tribes :-)

  11. says

    I’ll keep my eye on the last 2/3rds. Association does breed similarities. This is why i do my best to socialize with people of a unique kind. People who care less about what other think and more about there dreams and aspirations. People who will do anything to achieve their goals and understand the Law of attraction is not just the gene to success. But action is the course to create this. People need to know success is about you and the relationship between your customers and the product your producing.

    This is why you, need to understand the only reason your not successful is because of your inability to see past the past and create the present moment success you desire. For cities are built in a day. But can be built within a few years as long as your steady.

  12. says

    We all want to be liked and surrounded by cool people who are leading awesome lives. The idea is to be that linchpin in the middle who attracts the same kind of people into your lives so that you all benefit from each other. The internet is so huge that having a diverse group of interractions and finding really cool people who are inspirational and who are leading meaningful lives is easier than it’s ever been. These are some awesome tips for expanding your network. I dislike the word tribe and prefer to think of it as networking and having a great group of friends.

  13. says

    Great book by Seth Godin on Tribes! We need you to lead. :-)

    Another important element to the Tribe is your Mastermind Group. This is the inner circle to the group you are leading. Just as you illustrated, it makes the process of leading a large group of people, tribe, when you have like minded people in your inner circle to assist you along the way.

    Great post!

  14. says

    This is great, I think you’ve outlined many important things to look for in your tribe. I still have my doubts about the law of attraction though, I find that many of my friends have separate interests but we get along just fine.
    You reminded me of how I need to keep looking out for new people; I tend to be mediocre at that mainly due to discouraging experiences with people that I don’t click with. Thanks! :)

  15. says

    What a lovely post. I’ve believed for a long time that humanity is kind of like a pie in analogy — and there’s a certain piece of the pie where we particularly fit in and where our ribe exists.
    Amazing isn’t how when we meet one of the “precious one-thrid) something is exchanged or felt in the heart that turns a sense of connection full on. Often you don’t need to say very much at all.
    Thanks Marelisa. Would like to get to know you a bit better across this ocean of the internet.

  16. says

    I love the use of the term “tribes” — it really connotates so much more meaning and an understanding that the people closest to you are your soul mates for life.

  17. says

    In my retirement years, when I seldom leave home to associate with people, who unfortunately for me are too busy with their own jobs, I as a blogger have started to join a tribe of fellow bloggers in the personal development niche.

    I network with them by participating in their blogs as commenter (like this). Already, I have a small circle, who likewise comment on my blog posts. I never have realized how enjoyable it is to have friends in my area of interest.

    I just would like to mention that I like Seth Godin’s idea of helping others in your tribe achieve their goals. Nice way of being a member of the tribe. I am sure they will appreciate such a member.

    Andy Paige’s idea is new to me. It is a useful idea for guiding me choose the tribe I will be in. If we have the same interest, how can they dislike me?

  18. Patti Mason says

    Great posts from all of you! I have a question and hope that someone has an answer. How to find a “tribe” when: a) I work all day Tues.-Sun. b) I have a husband and family (dinner, laundry, etc.) and c) just trying to find time for myself, let alone a tribe!

  19. says

    This is why I love the internet – It’s not easy to find like minded people at work or in the neighborhood. Online, they’re everywhere and they’re publishing their thoughts and feelings…makes it easy to find those like you!

  20. says

    The link for this article just came across my twitter and I’m surprised I haven’t seen this article before!

    We tried every angle to create a tribe, or as we call it “a village”. Living away from my home city afforded me loads of opportunities to forge a great village quickly. People were very open to a new person knowing I had no one.

    It was when I moved back home years later that everything changed and for some reason, everyone I met was too busy or their “inn” was too full for new kin. Having kids reinforced the need to have some semblance of a supportive family around for us to rely on and for us to offer support to as well.

    We started our site (it’s free and we are not selling anything) for this very reason, to help people find a place to connect who don’t know where to start. As it’s not funded, it’s a work in progress but we’d love to have you pop by and see if our core values align with yours ♥

    If this comment is considered spammy or not ok with you, please feel free to delete it Marc & Angel, we won’t be offended :)

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