I always see other women posting on social media about their tribes, and it makes me wonder why I don’t have one. I have friends, sure, but I don’t have a tribe. I don’t have a group of other women rallying around me in support, in good times and bad. I don’t have a ride or die crew that I can call any time, day or night, while in the midst of a total nervous breakdown. I don’t have any friends who would drop what they’re doing to come to my aid. Currently, I don’t even have any friends who live in the same state as I do. And none that have even been to my house! So, how and where these women are finding entire tribes of other women is beyond me. I can’t even find one friend that lives in my neighborhood. What’s wrong with me?
Truthfully, I don’t like to have that many friends. It’s exhausting to keep up with. Making sure you call and text them enough to keep in touch. Making sure you don’t leave anyone out of anything. Remembering everyone’s birthdays and their kids’ birthdays. Making plans, going places, doing things…it’s all too much. I would much rather be home, cuddling on the couch with my dogs and watching Bravo. I need more friends who are willing to invite me to everything, even though they know that I’m not going to come. My bestie does that. “I know you can’t/won’t/don’t want to come, but…” She knows full well that I’m not going, but she invites me anyway and she doesn’t care. I need more friends like that. If I could just clone her a few times, then I might have my tribe.
Not only is it exhausting keeping in touch with everyone, but it’s also exhausting to keep up with everyone’s problems. Believe it or not, I’m a very empathetic person. I not only listen to what my friends are going through, I feel it. It’s as if I’m going through it with them. I take on everyone else’s problems and feelings as if they are my own. And believe me, I have enough of my own problems and feelings as it is. It can be draining for me to be there for my friends, but if I’m not there for them, then I feel guilty for being a bad friend. It’s a whole thing, and I’d rather just avoid it altogether by not having that many friends. This way, I can focus solely on the few friends I do have and be the best damn friend I can possibly be.
Come to think of it, I probably don’t have any friends who would drop what they’re doing for me because I would never ask a friend to do that. I have always just dealt with my problems on my own. Don’t get me wrong, I know when to ask for help and do, but only if I feel like I really need it. I don’t want to bother anyone with my problems, probably because I feel so burdened by other people’s problems myself. I don’t want to inconvenience or burden anyone with anything that I’m capable of handling on my own. Like Larry David once said, “A friend in need is a pest.” He’s not wrong.
And tell me, where do you even find a friend that you can call any time, day or night? All of my friends have jobs. They work during the day and they sleep at night. If I called them at 11 a.m. with a life crisis, I’m sure they wouldn’t be able to answer because they’re either at work or dealing with their own life crisis (a.k.a. toddlers). If I called them at two in the morning, I’m even more sure that they wouldn’t answer. I have to be honest, I wouldn’t answer my phone at two in the morning, either. I wouldn’t even hear it because my phone is on silent all night. Plus, my house could probably burn down around me and I still don’t think I would wake up. I need friends who understand that while they are welcome to call me any time, day or night, I probably won’t answer. I am riddled with fear and social anxiety any time my phone rings anyway, especially if the person doesn’t text me first to let me know that they’re going to call. I mean, what kind of psychopath calls someone on the phone without texting them first? It’s just common courtesy, people! Also, I would never dream of calling anyone at 2 a.m. unless someone was dead or dying. That’s a totally different story.
I guess I just don’t understand how a tribe even works. I have a lot of questions. How do you start a tribe? Can you just join one? How do you know when you’re in one? Does anyone tell you? Am I in anyone’s tribe? I don’t think I am. Am I? How would I even know? Is there an initiation or something? Are there meetings? If I’m in someone else’s tribe, does that mean that they’re in mine? If two people are in someone’s tribe, does that mean that they have to be friends, too? Is that how it works? Are there rules? What if you don’t want to be in someone’s tribe anymore? How do you get out? It’s all so confusing.
Maybe having a tribe isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It definitely sounds like a lot of work. And maybe it’s not so much about me not having a tribe as it is me not wanting one. If you do have a tribe, I think that’s awesome. Good for you. But if you don’t, then don’t feel bad. You’re not the only one. There are plenty of us out there. As for me, I think I’d rather just have a good friend or two. Someone who doesn’t ask for much, but knows that I am loyal as fuck and will always be there for them, unless they invite me to a party or call me in the middle of the night. That’s just not happening.
Lauren Dykovitz lives in Florida with her husband and two black labs, Oakley and Lucy. Lauren is a writer, wife, dog mom, sister, aunt, and Alzheimer’s daughter. Aside from writing her own blog, Lauren has been a contributing writer to several other websites and blogs. Lauren also self-published her first book, “Learning to Weather the Storm: A Story of Life, Love, and Alzheimer’s.” It is available on Amazon. You can buy it here.
This post was originally published on laurendykovitz.com, here.