Yes, I guess you could say I am a loner, but I feel more lonely in a crowed room
with boring people than I feel on my own. – Henry Rollins
According to just about everyone, you are supposed to “discover your tribe”.
Oh, that coveted tribe! That sacred group who will naturally “get you” and vibe with your very “essence.” They will “protect” you and explore life’s adventures with you and feed you with their own fingers and…I’ll stop.
My mockery betrays me. (In fact, it even smells a little like resentment.)
However, the truth is this: I’ve discovered that I’m a little bit “wolf pack of one”.
I haven’t found a tribe.
I have also discovered, that I don’t want one.
We are offered contradictory messages 1) Being deeply connected to a like-minded group is the Holy Grail of belonging. 2) only inside that safety, are we then praised for being courageous, independent and self reliant.
If however, you are someone who actually prefers to walk alone (as I am) and find yourself outside of a group (yet, self reliant) — you might be looked at skeptically. In fact, you may be told that you just haven’t found that tribe yet. It may also be decided that you haven’t experienced the real joy of life.
Worse yet, potentially viewed as an unapproachable loaner.
My own intense reaction to the idea of “tribe” seeking, is actually a little laughable. For years, I’ve tricked myself into thinking I was experiencing profound feelings of loss and loneliness because of my “non-tribe” status. I’ve always felt like an outlier, alone in a crowded room.
I have also discovered that tribe after tribe, didn’t fit my vibe. The notion of becoming “tribal” actually made me feel strangled, forced and confined.
I found myself trying to back away.
Not sure if you prefer to be tribe-less? Here are a few things I joyfully observed about myself, being the lone wolf.
Perhaps you’ll relate:
- Groups fail to energize you. You might hang out with a group and don’t feel like you have anything to contribute to the conversation. It just doesn’t interest you all that much.
- The topics don’t fit. In many groups, you find the things you want to talk about are things that pretty much no one else wants to talk about. (Frankly, you are a little relieved, because they wouldn’t do your awesome topic any justice.)
- You avoid the hootenanny. You don’t want to go to Wanderlust with a bus full of people — or discover sand in crevices it should never be in — at the Burning Man festival. (Moreover, another Young Living Oil party and drink wine on a Wednesday night.)
- “Give me space” is your mantra. You actually love Young Living Oils (I do!,) but you would rather shop online from the privacy of your own home.
- Just no. Shopping with another person makes you itch.
- You are not often a “regular”. You walk into a yoga class and everyone stops talking and turns to stare. “Who is that?!” someone asks and everyone shrugs.
- Your need for contact is “Camel-like”. You intensely enjoy a few really great people and every time you see them you think “I love being with him/her” — even if you don’t see them again for months.
- You don’t drink the Kool Aid. When people start a conversation and it starts to go a little (or a lot) like “group think” you want to bolt.
- You are content with doing your own thing. You genuinely do not feel a bit jealous when you see group photos of everyone’s fabulous tribes having great fun posted just about everywhere.
- You totally, genuinely, love being alone.
For all the tribal folks reading this, please know that tribes are great if that is what you are seeking.
But, not everyone requires one.
If you are like me, try not to automatically feel you are less of a full spirit or missing out of something “sacred”. Finding a tribe may be important to many people. However, that doesn’t mean you are one of them.
Keep doing what makes you feel energized and whole.
Be that wolf pack of one.
As for myself, truth be told — my tribe consists of my son, my daughter and my husband.
Because you know what?
They totally “get” me.
Allison McClintick is a seasoned coach & speaker — specializing in influence and consciousness development. She’s a Mom of 2 (20 years & 6 years), a ridiculously talented house painter, lover of quantum physics and is currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology. To balance all that life, work and play — she’s attempting to “think” more effectively with practiced meditation. She’ll keep us updated.
Live.Work.Think.Play shares observations concerning a wide array of topics from running a company — to the fragrance. It is designed to share lessons learned from a variety of perspectives.