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5 Signs When Being In A Tribe Is More Harmful Than Blissful

Written by: Agnes Gomori, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Finding our tribe has become some sort of a movement in the last few years. This new trend led us believe that if only we find that one tribe, all of our problems go away. Just like when we find our one true love. Except that it’s never that straightforward and if anything, it can make things worse if we’re not choosing wisely.

When as small children we enter society for the very first time, leaving behind the safety of our family, our first tribe, we already have an inner desire of wanting to belong.

For many of us, the new tribe in the society is the nursery, followed by cliques made up by our school friends. By the time we reach adulthood, we are conditioned to believe that we always have to be in a tribe in order to feel accepted.

But being with the wrong group of people can make us feel misunderstood and more isolated than when we are on our own. Yet, many people stay with their tribe, even though it’s evidently bad for them. They're afraid to stand out, they don’t want to be the ‘different one’.

If your prior experience of being in a tribe was unpleasant, such as the school environment or even your first job, then you might become accustomed to think that people are bad, no matter where you go.

What is a tribe?

The most immediate tribes are your family and friends, but co-workers, sport, lifestyle or hobby groups, or even social media groups can become one of your tribes.

In an ideal world, we’d like to have all of our tribes to be balanced and supportive communities. But we have to accept that people change just like we do over the years. Our priorities change, our beliefs might change, and the things we were fiercely fighting for in our youth are no longer relevant.

Feeling disappointed is a common reaction as we feel the disconnection from the tribe, which used to be important for us. But staying loyal to your tribe only makes sense if your values are aligned with theirs.

The five people you spend most of your time with are the ones influencing your current life. Make sure you choose wisely who you spend your time with. It’s perfectly natural to grow out of a tribe, just like when you grow out of a job and you know it’s time to look for something else.

The downside of tribes

We are social beings and it’s our basic need to be in a community where we can flourish. But if you are in a tribe where you lose your confidence and don’t share common ground, you might start to think that you created the problem, or that you are the problem itself. This can create a catch-22 situation whereby you don’t want to be alone, but you know you can’t be with them either.

When something doesn’t feel right, trust your intuition and leave. You are not being rude; you are taking care of yourself. That is a huge difference. If you are people pleasing and trying to fit in just to seemingly escape loneliness, you are taking away opportunities from yourself. The opportunity to grow and to reconnect with your authentic-self. Build healthy boundaries and learn to say a polite, but firm no.

If spending time with the group is uplifting, you feel supported and can be yourself, then you’re in a good place. However, if you need to bend your true nature, then it’s definitely not the right tribe you want to be in. By being loyal to the wrong people, you create the anti-hero of your life.

5 Signs that it’s time to leave your tribe:

  • If the discussions are not constructive

This can happen where people were randomly put together, i.e., in a classroom or in an office. If your co-workers are also your great mates, you’ll likely to keep in touch even after you all moved on. But if your office life was about constantly complaining about work, then surely, it was a toxic environment and had nothing to do with camaraderie.

  • If they don’t understand who you’ve become

Investing in your self-development broadens your mindset. It allows you to notice the possibilities life has got to offer and go for it. If you’re the only one who’s ambitious in the tribe, then they might be intimidated by your energy and effort as you spread your wings. Your success reminds them of their shortcomings and they just want you to stay the same old you out of convenience.

  • If they constantly drag you down

In extreme cases, you might find yourself in a tribe which is deliberately trying to drag you down. This tribe feeds you with things to undermine your confidence, questioning your ability to succeed. They are the people who are ambitious for the wrong reasons. For instance, they want financial gains unethically. Think of toxic social media feeds implying that unless you buy their products, you won’t be happy. They’re trying to take away your power by suggesting you are not capable of manifesting.

  • If the give and take is not balanced

Like in any relationship from romantic to business, there has to be a healthy balance between give and take. One-sidedness can present itself in many forms. Maybe you feel more committed and put in more than the others. Think of an amateur writing group where the members are blocking the group’s development by being overly competitive with each other instead of giving support.

  • If you’ve outgrown them

The most common and innocent reason to leave the tribe is simply because you’ve outgrown them. Maybe you’ve known each other for a very long time, but have nothing in common anymore. Think of old school friends from decades ago with whom you lose touch when you move away. There are no hard feelings there.


It’s vital for our mental health to live in a supportive environment. For some, it means their close family, or a trusted old friend, for others, it’s their hobby group. It’s not about the number of people, but how they make you feel. We can outgrow our tribes and it’s okay to seek new ones.

It’s important to remember that being in a tribe is not just another hype. It caters to the most fundamental and ancient connection we all crave, called true belonging. Because once we know our place in this world, we feel safe and we’re able to contribute to our highest ability.

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Agnes Gomori, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Agnes Gomori is an Intuitive Life Coach and Healer. As a multi-passionate, creative Empath, Agnes is committed to helping fellow Empaths to find their true calling by applying the healing power of arts and nature, which she combines with energy healing in her therapeutic coaching sessions. Agnes has helped clients from across the globe to unlock their true potential. Her mission is to help extroverted Empaths become the empowered creators they were born to be.



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