It is no question that humans are social creatures created to exist with human support. While some may prefer more of it and others less, the ideas of community and family are pervasive throughout cultures and societies worldwide.
However, as humans moved away from a tribal society and blood-family ties strained, the idea of a “family of choice” became more popular. How does someone know who to choose for this carefully selected unit? It can be hard to differentiate and know sometimes where the community starts, the family begins, and where they overlap.
Here are some essential things to consider when actively working to build your community and family of choice, no matter your life stage!
Similarity of Values
A value difference is among the most common things that split blood-family ties. Recent political activity over the past five years has highlighted that for many individuals, leading to permanent to semi-permanent rifts in these connections.
Unsurprisingly, finding individuals with which core issues align is vital when considering a tight-knit community unit. It is essential, however, to look beyond surface-level agreement and explore more fundamental matters like beliefs around morality, integrity, safety, freedom, and other things.
Finding people who will state they value honesty and follow through on it in action is a crucial need when looking at building your people group. This goes beyond though just being truthful about events. An integral part is the ability, to be honest in the middle of difficult conversations. Having tough conversations is necessary to build a long-term relationship, and honesty is fundamental in this process. Will they call you out if they see you making a wrong choice? Approach you kindly to say they are struggling with something you are doing? Can you trust them to show up in the way they said they were going to? These are vital questions when looking to build your family in this way.
This is a fundamental part, especially if you have kids who will be around your chosen community. Having consistent people in their life who will show up maturely is essential for their development and attachment. While some relationship changes are expected, the more consistent adults are in their life, the more children will learn trust and openness and build those fundamental relationships.
It is not only children that need these relationships. Adults do too. Having a community you can rely on to show up in the best way possible, that you can trust will be there when needed, is an important part when creating a solid group connection.
Side note, it can be tempting to find people who can fit into every area of your life and relate in every way, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Often our community can be pulled together by individuals that relate to certain parts and not others. The important part is finding someone who fits these traits discussed here and who can show up for you in the way you need and deserve.