STILL TRIPN – David

Episode 15 – FIND YOUR TRIBE

The carpool mom texted me from carpool the other day. The boys were in the back of the minivan, talking about how much their parents yell at them and embarrass them in front of their friends. She said she heard Liam pipe in, “The good thing about my parents is that they don’t yell at me and they don’t embarrass me in front of my friends. But they make it twice as bad after my friends leave!”

Parenting 101.

I think I have it down.

The podcast I want to share today, Still Trip’n, was sent to me by a fellow parent, and a long time friend. The whole podcast is staged more for teenagers and young adults. The host, Dave, likes to think of himself as “Cool Uncle Dave”. And Uncle Dave has some really really good advice, actually.

Let’s get into today’s pick. Dave wrote this episode after talking to a teenage girl who wanted a new group of friends.

“She was loosing these friends that she’d grown up with, her entire life, for various reasons. She was feeling disconnected. She was feeling that she was at a point in her life that the only way she was going to be happy was if she could get these friends to like her. But every times that she did all the things that she thought would get them to like her again or to text her back, it never worked.”

Sure, I felt that way as a teenager, a time or two (or three). If she hasn’t already, Ella will go through this, too. She will! Why do we go through this?! As teenagers? As adults?

Why? Because, remember, everything is rigged in our favor. There is somewhere better we can be! There is someONE better we can be!

Here we go:

“Human beings originally started out in hunter/gatherer tribes. And they found out really quickly, if they’re in a group of people, they’re able to survive a whole lot easier out in the wild. Well, as a teenager, if you’re with a group of people it seems like you’re safer and it is easier for you to survive school – out in the wild – than it’d be if you were by yourself.”

It’s in our biology: we want to be in a group. There is literally strength in numbers – then and now. As hunters/gatherers, as teenagers. As adults in a business office, as stay-at-home moms. Whatever. We need each other. We want to be in a group.

Sometimes to be accepted in a group, we behave in a certain way, in hopes that the group will welcome us. But sometimes, even if we are behaving the “right” way, if there is someone in the group who rejects us or there is drama, we find ourselves out of a group.

Or maybe you are unhappy with your friend group, maybe you are currently in a friend group that is unhealthy – some friends are toxic.

Maybe you’ve simply decided to move on.

“(I told her), You may have to do something that sounds so absurd. You (may) have to make your own friend group. (I told her) you’re going to need to create your own tribe. She had never even considered it.”

Create your own tribe? What?

It takes a little time. But it is very realistic. Dave proposed five steps for this teenager, and any teenager ready to take this into their own hands. Ready?

  1. Go to school, make a list of all the people that you see on a day to day basis that you have had a good experience with in the past – a good conversation, or some kind of positive interaction. When you see this person, put this person’s name down on your list.
  2. Look at the list. What do you know about each one of the individuals. Who are their friend groups. Or are they in a weird place, too. Whittle down the list to people you actually think you might want to be friends with someday.
  3. Make some sort of attempt to reach out to them or to connect with them. Give them a compliment or in some other way reach out: “I see you. I acknowledge you.” Make a statement to these people. Understand and be willing to accept what they offer you in return – positive, negative, or apathetic. For the girl Dave was working with, 70% of the people she made a statement to responded positively.
  4. What is something that all these people might have in common? Think. Write it down.
  5. Invite 4-5 people to a get together at a public place, using what you know about their commonalities. When the girl did this, when she got her 4-5 people together, she did one thing and one thing only. She made it a point to introduce everyone to one another: “Hey, this is my friend, so and so.” She was the one degree of separation.

“It only takes one person to connect many people.”