The Importance of Having a Tribe

Tribe. Think fast! What just came to mind when you read that? This is a word that is frequently used, yet it can mean something different to each of us. Merriam-Webster defines it as “a group of persons having a common character, occupation or interest.” Does that match your definition? Here at Ask Dr. Nandi, you’ll see and hear this word a lot, so it’s important that I share my definition of tribe and why it’s a crucial component to your overall health and happiness.

Your tribe is your family. Not in the traditional sense (your blood relatives may or may not be members). These are the people you love – and are loved by – the most. The ones who understand, respect and support you. Your tribe has your back. Your tribe steps up for you. You take care of each other in good times … and times of conflict.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? If being surrounded by people who do these amazing things for each other sounds a little too good, remember that the point of tribe isn’t perfection. You’ll have difficult times. You’ll encounter challenges and even test each other on occasion. But that’s ok. Because these are the people you can experience life with – real life, with all of its ups and downs – while remaining a strong, supportive unit.

That’s how I define tribe. Here’s how being part of one improves your life.

You become healthier and happier.

We often mention the importance of people being there for you when you’re down. But also important is surrounding yourself with those who celebrate your successes. Some people don’t like it when you are too successful or too happy. They might become jealous, competitive or feel that you’re surpassing them in some way. These emotions might lead them to pull away from you. Not your tribe! No one loves to see you happy and successful more than your tribe. They love it! Having that built-in cheering squad (and a group that you can cheer for) keeps depression away, improves your mindset and increases overall happiness.

You become stronger.

What you need to hear isn’t always what you want to hear. One of my favorite things about my tribe is that they tell it like it is. They want what’s best for me, and they’re not afraid to offer honest advice. Being open to these candid (and sometimes uncomfortable) discussions toughens you up. You develop a thicker skin and learn how to accept constructive feedback and use it to grow into a stronger, better version of yourself.

You might even live longer.

Did you know that people who are married or in long-term relationships live longer? You and your partner are a 2-person team. A mini-community with a strong bond. This does wonders for your physical and psychological health … and can add years to your life!

That’s tribe in a nutshell. It’s your own unique family that has your back and empowers you to become the strongest and best version of yourself. No matter what life throws your way.

Partha’s Prescriptions

  • Accept. Be open to honest and constructive feedback from your tribe. Understand that they have your best interests at heart.
  • Respect. Give as good as you get. Support and celebrate your tribe. Show your appreciation!
  • Connect. Get to know the people around you on a deeper level. It’s fun, and you might end up with a new tribe member!

The light in me honors the light in you. Namaste.
Dr. Nandi

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