For years, I always had a ton of friends who I would party, hang out, exercise with, etc. At the time, I assumed that these would be “forever friends” who I would always stay connected with, but around my 30th birthday I started realizing who was really that kind of friend and who wasn’t. Some of these “forever friends” would flake on plans, didn’t return my calls, were selfish and dramatic, not supportive of my personal goals and dreams, and sometimes treated me like crap. I began evaluated all of my friendship and what was important to me in the long run; it definitely wasn’t having someone to party with because I rarely drink now or having someone complain to me about their petty drama. A couple of months before I turned 30, I started seriously talking about moving back to Los Angeles from Ohio and I noticed then which friends were genuinely excited for me, the ones who could careless, and others who were too consumed in their own lives to support me. Once I weeded out the true and tried friend, I knew I had a tribe of incredible friends! Having that successful tribe of people who motivates me, pushes me to be the best, supports me, and shows me love has made my transition back to LA so much easier!
Now, I know it took me 30 years to find my fabulous tribe, but I know a good amount of friends and family who are still trying to figure it out. Of course, this isn’t an overnight or easy process, but there were a few things that helped me that I think would be of value to anyone evaluating their friendship or even relationships.
One of the first things I did was make a list of qualities I valued in any kind of relationship. It was interesting when I started to put the list together because some things were easy to put down (supportive, loyal, and genuine), but I noticed that some of the values that I had learned early in life from my parent popped up (spiritual beliefs, family oriented, and goal-oriented). I wanted to make sure that the people who I wanted to be in my tribe had similar or the same values in a similar order of rank. After I made my list, I started thinking of the pro and cons of each of the friendships I had. Was this an awesome friend because she kept me accountable when it came to working out, but would flake on me when we would make plans? Did I love this friend’s sense of humor, but had doubts of her loyalty when I wasn’t around her? I wanted to make sure that the pros clearly outweighed the cons, but this step was a quick way to weed some friends out purely because the cons were too large to go unnoticed. Talking to my friends after I compared the pros and cons was an important part in this process for me because I was literally moving cross-country for the second time. It wasn’t a heavy conversation, but I wanted to gauge the person reaction; I needed to make sure they were willing to make the effort to be supportive and loyal. I didn’t expect to have daily phone conversations or large amounts of text messages with them, but if I was willing to do the work, I wanted to get that feeling from my friends as well. The support and love that I got from those conversations really solidified the relationships!
Over the last year, I have seen the women and men in my tribe grow as adults and be successful in their own rights with me being a big cheerleader for them. I’ve gotten the same wonderful feeling back as I started a new job, began dating, purchased my first car, and really, just got my life together! My tribe has my back through the good, bad, and even complicated times and I know that this process of building a successful tribe has made me a better more supportive friend!
I hope that this little post sparks a thought in your mind about your friendships and relationships. Your tribe is the family that you get to choose, so it’s super important that the right people make it in! What kind of things do you value in your tribe and how do you weed out those “forever friends” if you need to? Leave your advice below because I’d love to hear from you!