These days, we are all trying to find a well-rounded group of pals that we can share our time, secrets and money with. This is easier said than done, seeing that not every person you will encounter in your life will have your best interest at heart, which is heartbreaking to say the least.
There is no step-by-step process to find your true genuine friends, so ultimately, it is up to you to find your tribe, or the people that you find click with you. Your tribe should consist of those you can easily trust, as well as those who are willing to push you and be honest with you.
Who you are attracted to and the qualities you are internally searching for within other people is subjective and unique to everyone. Similarly, you will not enjoy every one you will encounter, however, this process of encountering a variety of people will help you identify the qualities and kinds of people you are attracted to. Of course, other elements, such as the environment you grew up in, the people you were around when you grew up, and your experiences will shape your distinctive selection process.
It is not easy to find your squad, to say the least. Sometimes, even the people you think are apart of your squad, may end up not being the people you initially anticipated, making this a heart-breaking and painful process sometimes.
There is no secret to finding your squad, but keeping it real and staying true to who you are and what you believe in are definitely good strategies when you are trying to find your true group of friends. Do not try to change the person or morals that you believe in just to force a friendship, I assure you that this will not lead to a long-lasting, genuine friendship.
A healthy, long-lasting friendship means allowing your friends space to grow and experience, being attentive, being honest, being kind, admitting when you are wrong, and challenging them when you know that they can do better. Also, a healthy relationship consists of stability and consistency, and in order to keep anything, including your car running, you need to upkeep it and make sure you are taking time and care to make sure it does not die out on you. Nothing in your life will ever be perfect, including your friendships, but without any bumps on the road, how do you expect your friendship to grow, mature, and continue blossoming into a stronger bond. With that said, a “forever friend” is willing to stick through even those hard times, when nothing seems to be going your way and you just feel stuck. Despite your bad attitudes, snippy behavior, and sometimes reckless behavior, the members of your squad are willing to set that aside just to spend time with you, take care of you, and continue making memories.
Your tribe does not need to consist of the largest amount of people possible, in fact, a smaller, and tight-knit group is just as desirable. At the end of the day, the number of people you keep in your circle will not matter if you are truly content. The feeling of having a solid support system to be able to lean in trumps all feelings of wanting to have the largest social circle you can possibly acquire. This does not mean that your tribe can not or will not grow, as you continue growing, learning and living. It just means that the void of craving unnecessary attention and acceptance from others will be nonexistence, as you begin to realize that your happiness is simply not based on that.
Always remember that you, yourself are your best friend, and as a result, the company that you keep reflects the kind of person you are. Naturally, I would recommend keeping GREAT company. Ask yourself if you are truly happy with who you are, and who you are surrounding yourself with. Sometimes, as we go through the motions of life, we grow apart or slowly begin to become dissimilar to those who we have kept closely, and that is okay. It just means that you are living and growing, and when we are living and we are growing, we are allowed to grow, change, adapt, and adjust according to what we are currently dealing with and growing from. As a result, as we are growing through the processes of life, it is only natural that not every single individual we spend time with is going to be willing to stick around. Sometimes, this is just because of distance, difficult times, lack of communication or understanding, toxicity, or other simple things. This is something that you should not take personally, as most of the people we encounter will not be permanent placeholds in your life.
The important thing is to take a look around you, and appreciate those who have been supportive and endlessly loving towards you, even those who may not be your “forever” friends. As you continue living, growing, learning, and breathing, you will find your best b****es, and you will love every second of it. Try to exude your true self, engage in activities you enjoy, and value the company that you keep. As you begin your journey to exuding your genuine self and qualities, you will naturally begin attracting, or keeping, those who may share the attractive qualities that you seek in others. Do remember that not everyone in your squad has to be the same, in fact, the differences among each of your closest pals is something that you should cherish. A great squad learns from one another and helps one another grow, learn, and succeed.
If you’re a bird, they’re also birds, if you get what I am saying. Squad, squad, squad.
“How does one be vulnerable?” I constantly ask myself this question every day.
According to Dictionary.com, vulnerable means to be “susceptible to physical or emotional attack of harm. It could also mean a person “in need of special care, support, or protection because of a abuse or neglect” (Dictionary.com).
Based simply off of the definitions associated with the word, one could take away that being vulnerable means being weak, helpless, and an emotional burden.
This is not the case, however.
Being vulnerable allows those around you to truly understand you, get to know you better, and most importantly, allows more love into your life. Similarly, the more vulnerable you are with yourself and with others, the more you get to know and understand yourself.
The saying “wear your heart on your sleeve” can be directly associated with vulnerability, as those who wear their heart on their sleeve do not put up the emotional walls. These emotional walls and barriers do not allow you to be vulnerable or experience vulnerability.
Expressing yourself vulnerably allows truth and honesty to enter into your life. Truth and honesty is what our soul craves. To live a good, truthful, meaningful life, one must allow their vulnerable side to show.
It truly does not matter how many people you express your vulnerability to, as this does not dictate anything. Similarly, your intentions behind sharing your vulnerable side should always be taken accounted for. Some people only show their vulnerable side, when they need something or are in the works of manipulating someone emotionally. Sharing a part of yourself may make you susceptible to harm or attack, as people may use the information you disclosed privately as ammunition against you. Do not let that discourage you from showing what is beneath your skin.
How you choose to show it is up to yourself, but being vulnerable allows you to connect with people on a much deeper level. Levels of compassion and empathy will also increase with a more vulnerable take on life.
It is not all comfortable, however, as you may let pests into your vulnerable heart and end up getting hurt for being so honest and raw. In fact, being vulnerable at times can make you feel naked and afraid, but embracing the idea that humans as a whole need to let down their guards to find meaningfulness in their life.
When you are in touch with your vulnerable side, you feel inclined to share parts of the ugly, the raw, the happy, and the sad sides of your own life. Being vulnerable allows you to share with others things that allows others to understand why you are the person that you are today, and how you became this way. In fact, vulnerability is the only bridge to build connection with yourself and others.
There are intelligent ways of being vulnerable, as we are most vulnerable during times that we feel low, lost, and afraid. Especially when something monumental happens that changes the very circumstances of your life situation, or something or someone is taken from you, people often find themselves feeling vulnerable. Intelligent ways of being vulnerable include, disclosing information to others, crying, seeking and asking for assistance, filling your day with productive things, etc.
Actions, such as crying, yelling, screaming, or anything malicious and malignant, can be as a result of one who is going through a vulnerable time. They may feel stripped of everything, including their pride, joy, and feel as though they have nothing left.
Even when nothing bad has happened, individuals can still exude vulnerability. Vulnerability is not only shown when things are going south. Sometimes when things are going too well, we also feel vulnerable and uncomfortable.
Dr. Brené Brown says, “vulnerability is the core of shame, and fear, and our struggle for worthiness. But, it appears it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, and of love.” Of course, there are always upsides and downsides of being vulnerable, as it can be extremely uncomfortable.
It is very important for your own emotional well-being to become connected with the side of you that is not weak, but courageous. Being vulnerable shows that an individual is not only courageous, but it shows that one is aware of their current reality.
Small things, such as changing schools, graduating school, starting a new job, having a new school schedule with different classmates, moving to a new town, can force the vulnerable out of you, as these situations are morbidly uncomfortable. Things more extreme, such as death, abuse, etc. will also force the vulnerability out of you.
Allowing your vulnerable side to show may seem more frightening than the actual act of being in denial. In order to make connections, and raw, and real friendships, vulnerability is vital. At some point, after spending so many hours with a person, you show sides of yourself naturally being vulnerable, without even taking it into account.
Most often, we are completely unaware when we are being vulnerable, unless we are bawling uncontrollably. Unknowingly showing sides of yourself to others allows for an intermediate connection, as a person may disclose more vulnerable information as a result of you sharing vulnerable information. This is always a good feeling! In order to feel comfortable, both parties will feel the need to disclose more and more about their life once a sense of trust is built.
Living life vulnerably allows for more hurt, but tear down your emotional barriers and let yourself feel life, just as it is supposed to be felt. Do not be embarrassed, as there truly is nothing to be embarrassed about. Secrets do not make friends, and friends make secrets. It is very healthy to express vulnerability to those around you, as you will often feel a weight lifted off your shoulders.
Audre Lorde says, “…and that visibility that makes us most vulnerable is that which also is the source of our greatest strength.” You are no longer considered weak for being vulnerable, showing pain, etc., in fact, being vulnerable is the most empowering thing you can do for yourself.
Empower the courageous!