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I am a localization manager/translator and intercultural consultant living in Berlin (Germany), passionate about languages, cultures, diversity management, body art, dancing, self-empowerment, coaching, effective communication and, last but not least, vegan gluten-free food and good movies.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Useful questions to ask yourself, while looking for your tribe (of amazing, like-minded and nourishing people)

The people you spend your time with can make you or break you, they say.
It can sound a little bit too extreme, and yet it is true, to some extent.
So many studies (and plenty of examples and famous and less famous biographies from the past) show that the environment that surrounds us has a massive impact on the kind of life we are going to live and on the kind of individuals we are about to become.

We tend to become like the people we spend our time with. We become similar to them, we share habits and ideas with them, we let them influence and motivate us and we have an impact on their life.
Things can be terrific, like it's exemplified through the following quote:

In fact, no matter what you do for a living, your role is fundamentally about the same thing: improving your own life and livelihood and those of others, even if indirectly or in the smallest of ways.
Ted Leonhardt

[Circe, the Enchantress from the suite 
Women of Myth and Legend (1911) by Edmund Dulac, 
illustration for a poem by Andrew Dumas]

And yet, things can also go south, like every person that has experienced a toxic relationship of any kind can confirm.

People can hurt you, let you down, patronize you, clip your wings and infect you with their negativity. Even worse, you can cripple yourself, consciously or unconsciously, and lower your standards, your expectations, and your growth chances, just because you want to fit in and to be "like everybody else" around you.

There are no right people and wrong people.
However, it is pivotal to attract in your life the people that are right for you and to limit the influence of the people that are wrong for you.

We all want to be seen, accepted, understood, loved and respected.
We all want to belong. We want to feel that we are part of something and that we are not marginalized or ignored. We want to feel that we are not alone. 

In order to not feel alone, it may happen that we compromise on what is really meaningful to us and we welcome in our life people we should actually stay away from, for so many different reasons.

[Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories 
of the Wild Woman Archetype (1992) by Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs
has been a New York Times best-seller for years in a row.
Somehow, we all run with the wolves
Image: ©Dimitra Milan]

It’s tempting to run with a herd. Even on the most important issues of the day, we often adopt the views of our friends, families, and colleagues. On some level, this makes sense: it is easier to fall in line with what your family and friends think than to find new family and friends! But running with the herd means we are quick to embrace the status quo, slow to change our minds, and happy to delegate our thinking.
Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain 
by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

We, as human beings, are social creatures. We all need each other. We all need a herd to be part of, what Seth Godin calls a tribe.
Just, I think that now, more than ever, each of us should choose wisely the herd we want to run with. It will determine where are we going to go, how, while living which kind of life, and if we will thrive and reach our full potential or not.

If you're ready for us, we're ready for you.
Seth Godin

How can you recognize the people you should go for?
Here a couple of questions that can help you to understand if, in the long run, and while investing your precious and priceless time, you want to interact with those people in the first place.

When you enter a room, when you visit a place for the first time, when you join a new group, how do people around you react and treat you?
How do they welcome you, take care of you, make you feel at ease, if at all?
How do these people make you feel, at least most of the time?
How does your energy level change, when you are together with them? And afterwards?
What kind of thoughts and ideas do you have, while talking to them?

Tags: Sense of belonging, Finding your tribe, Relationships, Quotes

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