In this world run by ambition, competition and the thirst for success, it is important to surround yourself with girls and women who motivate you and encourage you to go on, as you do the same for them. You need to surround yourself with your tribe. It is difficult enough for girls and women to fight patriarchy and fight men who believe themselves to be the superior sex. Thus, it becomes imperative that we do not turn on each other as girls and women, and try to bring each other down. Instead, we need to unite in circles and grow mutually. This will lead to a faster eradication of gender inequality, and will uproot patriarchy from its core.
There are many ways through which you can find and build a group of girls or women who you give and receive support and encouragement from. Within this tribe, you can be the mentor, the student or the caretaker. You just need to pick a role, and move forward.
Going out is an important rider to finding the perfect tribe which can support and motivate you. It is important that you go to places where you are likely to find more girls and women like yourself. For example, if you love to party, go out clubbing to meet and make new friends. Or if you love to read, go to a book signing or book launch. Go to events which interest you to find girls and women you can gel easily with. The main aim is to find people who are similar to you.
If you have always wanted to learn gift-wrapping, or cooking, or a new language, take a class! When you go to a place to learn a new activity, you not only learn something which is a great way of investing within yourself, but you also meet people who have similar taste in terms of hobbies, and you can get to know them and spend time with them. You can even be a part of a book club to find a group of people with shared interests.
Share your Interests
Whenever you meet people, make sure you let them know who you are, what you like and what you don’t like. You need to reflect a part of your personality to understand whether the person in front of you shares a similar vibe or not. Make sure you listen to what their interests are too.
Whenever you are in conversation with someone you wish to be friends with, make sure you are positive. Stick to a conversation about positive things, and stay away from negative topics which can lead to a negative vibe emanating from yourself. Mention the things you strongly believe in, share funny stories and stick to having a happy-go-lucky personality. Make sure the person in front of you is also a person who believes in having a positive attitude towards life.
See How They Treat Others
When finding a group of people who you vibe with, make sure you know how they treat others. If they are saying bad things about one person behind their back, they will definitely say bad things about you behind your back to others too. If they are not respectful of their juniors, they are probably not a very nice person to hang out with. And they are definitely not someone who will be able to motivate you and guide you to being the best version of yourself. If you find someone who talks less about people and more about ideas, and has an ambitious attitude which tends to inspire you, they will turn out to be a friend you can lean on.
Be a Good Listener
Sometimes lending an ear is all one needs in order to make your tribe-mate feel better. Whether it is a work problem or relationship issue, just hear them out. Be understanding and sympathetic. It is not necessary to give your opinion or advice until asked for. Try to understand what they have been through and be encouraging. Always offer an optimistic attitude towards life. This way, your friends will do the same for you when you’re in trouble.
Set out a tribe-time
One of the key aspects of a solid bond with your tribe-members is that you need to spend time with them. It doesn’t matter if you are busy with work or family, take out time to meet your friends on a regular basis and discuss whatever is going on in life with them. Having tribe-time is a wonderful way to relax and have fun and make sure that you all are there for each other, to motivate and empower each other.
Share your successes and failures
Your tribe needs to be genuinely happy for your successes and deeply optimistic during times when you fail. It is necessary to understand that having friends that become jealous when you are successful is very heart-breaking and counter-intuitive. Friends are supposed to congratulate you when you succeed rather than becoming jealous or avoiding you. Similarly, when you fail, your tribe should treat you to some ice cream or beer, and make sure you stand up on your own two feet again. Needless to say, you are supposed to do the same for your tribe.
Give Solid Advice
Firstly, only give your advice when it is asked for. Providing your opinion when it isn’t being asked for can often lead someone astray. Then, you can offer information about options that the other person may have. List all available pathways your tribe-mate can take in times of trouble. This will help them clear their mind and look at the situation objectively. Thinking through the problem with them is the next step. Don’t impose your opinion on them directly, and don’t be persuasive about it. Helping them reach a conclusion will be much better. Once they reach a conclusion, express confidence in their judgment and support them through their journey.
In the end, be a source of constant motivation and encouragement for your tribe. Support them through their ups and their downs and expect them to do the same for you. Be there for each other, and fight patriarchy together!
Aarushi is a 19-year-old Law Student based in New Delhi, India. She is the founder of a student-led initiative for educating girls called SDG5. She is passionate about working for gender equality and for a better world.