We’ve all heard of the saying, “Your vibe attracts your tribe,” but the reality is the relationship works both ways. Your tribe affects your vibe. Hopefully you are one of the lucky ones who’s surrounded by super supportive friends and family members who cheer you on and whom you can always call on when you’re going through the changes and challenges of life.

The people we surround ourselves with can have a significant impact, not only on the way we behave but also influence the way we think and our mental health. The more supported we feel by our closest friends and family, the more manageable those challenging times of stress, anxiety and sadness can be. It’s about quality over quantity, and cultivating meaningful relationships where you feel understood, accepted and feeling free to be vulnerable is essential. Having amazing friends won’t make you immune to life’s ups and downs, but it certainly makes the ride a little less bumpy!

taking priority over our desire to belong. It’s one thing to be accepted by others on the basis of following trends, and another to be loved and accepted for just being your authentic self – that’s true belonging and the foundation for building quality and long lasting relationships.

When you look at social media and our cravings for likes, followers, and need for external validation, it’s easy to feel disconnected and alone, even when some people might have hundreds, if not thousands of followers. Social media is an amazing way to spread our messages, evoke change, and even begin building an online community of like-minded people but it can never be a substitute for one on one relationships or offer us the same level of support and comfort that we can find in our friends and family.

Here are 5 ways to help you attract the right kind of people and find your tribe:

1. Quality over quantity: A social circle can look different to everyone and it all comes down to quality over quantity. Having three very special friends can be just as impactful as having a large group of forty!

2. Embrace changing dynamics: As we get older, our values and interests change and so too will our social circle. Choosing to spend time with people becomes dependent on a lot of different factors that we never considered when we were just little kids running around in the playground or swapping our juice boxes for packets of chips in the corridors – if you were anything like me!

3. Get clear on your core values:For a friendship to work during our adolescent years and later in adult life, we need to be sure that our core values align and that a connection goes beyond the once-simplistic childhood friendship criteria. You don’t need to have exactly the same interests, but what’s at the core does matter.

4. Vulnerability is key: If you want to form meaningful connections, it’s important you open yourself up and allow yourself to be vulnerable. People want to see the real you. When you show them your authentic self and allow them to see you in your highs and lows, it not only gives them permission to be themselves around you, but it also gives them an opportunity to rise up and offer their support! Also, we can’t read minds and while some friends are more intuitive than others, it’s important you feel safe to speak up and ask for help.

5. Focus on the good: Direct your attention and energy towards the relationships where you feel appreciated. Which coffee catch ups do you regularly leave feeling drained and which ones invigorate you? The less energy you put into maintaining relationships that no longer serve you, the better! Allow yourself to gravitate towards the people who make you feel good and add value to your life. This also sends a message into the atmosphere that you know your worth and you are making a conscious decision to invite more positive relationships into your life.

If you look at your past and present relationships, you’ll likely notice that sometimes we grow together and other times we grow apart.

What’s important is that we are conscious of the people we invite into our lives and make sure that it’s a reciprocal relationship where we both care for and support each other. When you get clear on the kind of relationships you are deserving of, you begin to attract the right kind of people into your life.

Jessica Holsman (Study With Jess)