Build A Tribe Part 2. How
One of the saddest aspects of modern life is the isolation it creates. In Build A Tribe Part 1. I discussed how science has shown that strong social bonds have great benefits for those lucky enough to have them, to belong to a tribe. Now lets discuss some ways to actually build a tribe in this modern world.
1. Where to find tribe members: The less effort it takes for people to meet somewhere the more likely they'll actual attend a group event so start looking around your area. Go to the same bar or park on the same day every week and become a regular. Attend events at bookstores, garden centers, church, or anywhere else that appeals to you and so people like you. Sit in your driveway reading a book and nod to the neighbors. Just being seen, with a smile on your face, over and over again in the same place is a great start!
2. Break the ice: This is always the hardest for people to do. No one wants to come across as not normal even though the modern normal is killing us. It's easiest to break the ice with coworkers or neighbors because you can use the Ben Franklin trick. Many, many years before modern phycology confirmed it, he knew that asking a person for a small favor made them feel better towards you. These seems a bit backwards, that a person should feel nicer towards you if you do them a favor but that's not the case. Cause and effect in the human brain gets easily confused and so it's been shown that the thought process in this situation is "The reason I helped this person is because I like them." So ask a neighbor or coworker if you can borrow simple object like a stapler or a bit of tape. Something as simple as that begins the rewiring process in their brain to like you!
3. Have fun: Send out invitations to a poker night, movie night, game night, group picnics, or the like at least once a month. Go out for "first day buffet" or "mid-month Mexican food" with people. If possible weekly or even daily card games at work over the lunch hour are fantastic. Building some sort of tradition increases the bonding between tribe member. A chant, a prayer, a secret handshake, a special toast...these rituals unify and strengthen the tribe giving everyone a sense of belonging.
4. Diversify: The greater the number of generations involved the healthier the tribe will be for everyone. The knowledge of the younger will help the older understand the latest technology and fads. The wisdom of the older will help the younger deal with the timeless problems we all end up facing.
These may seem like "easier to say than to do" types of activities but if you're trying to add ancestral ways to you your life this one will likely have the greatest positive effect. Your brain wants to be part of a tribe!