Have you experienced that invigorating connection with others that makes you want to yell out “these are my people!”?
The other evening I went to a meeting with fellow therapists, who use an Emotions Focused Therapy (EFT) approach. It was an evening of collaboration, brainstorming, and discussion using a common language- all around EFT keenness! I had never met most people in the group, and yet the evening left me feeling inspired, energized, valued and connected. In other words, in a room full of strangers, I felt that I found “my people.” This is a precious and perhaps rare feeling, so it got me thinking about how these positive feelings are manifested.
So what defines “your people”? Is it similar views, ways of communicating, values, shared history…? Possibly, but I think the key here is not about specific similarities on paper, but rather about a feeling of shared contribution. There are many avenues of contribution, but the knowing that “your people” contribute to your life, and you can contribute to theirs, is powerfully connecting. It is both comforting and energizing all at once, allowing you to tap into a core sense of belonging and purposefulness that we all strive toward. You do not need to know people’s life stories, have years of shared memories or even have that much in common to tap into this feeling of connection.
At this point you may be thinking: “But Naomi, I don’t have a specific interest or niche where I can connect with people like that!” That’s OK. It may be easier to find “your people” over a shared interest, but there are more subtle and simple ways to find this feeling with others, no matter where you spend most of your time.
So how can we access this sense of mutual contribution or in other words how can we find “our people” that make us feel good!? It starts with simply noticing. In your current relationships, who do you feel comfortable around, and who do you feel less comfortable with? I challenge you to think a little bit about who fills your cup, and why. Are you valued for your strengths and accepted with your flaws, and if so what are these strengths and challenges? Have you ever experienced this kind of connection at all? On the flip side, who drains your cup and why? Are you left feeling judged, depleted, defeated with some people in your life? Why and how does this occur?
These questions are big and deep, and are meant to inspire self- curiosity/investigation, not self-judgment or anxiety. Simply noticing how you feel with different people is the first step to understanding what you need and value, which is the golden ticket for building healthy affirming relationships that meet your needs and match your values. If you haven’t found your people or person yet, know that there are always “you-people” out there. You do not need to know exactly what it is that lights you up, but you will be able to feel it. Trust those feeling and follow that light to the people made for you 🙂