“Those deeply enmeshed in a close knit group may never become aware of the fact that their lives do not actually depend on what happens within the group but on forces far beyond their perception”- Rose Coser, Sociologist

Urban tribe

For the longest time, the need to find a urban tribe has been one of the greatest for young and emerging adults, myself included but what if, maybe just maybe, it isn’t as important as it is and is overrated. How could that be you might ask, your urban tribe are your people. They are the ones we hang out with, complain about life with, the ones we went to school with and maybe even grew up with. But also,they are also the ones most like us, likely to have similar views and ideologies about life. Research shows that similarity does breed attraction and we tend to build relationships with like minded people. In essence, the urban tribe becomes a very homogenous group, an ingrown cluster which runs the risk of being shut out from outside influence.

“Most twentysomethings yearn for a feeling of community, and they cling to their strong ties to feel more connected, ironically, being enmeshed with a group can actually enhance feelings of alienation, because we- and our tribe become insular and detached”- Meg Jay

Weak ties

Weak ties are the people we’ve met before, maybe even only once, and do not currently know very well. These are your acquaintances, that your friend’s cousin you met at their house or your sister’s coworker you met at their work party. They are the ones you know but not very well and maybe that is why their strength lies. The weak ties are far away from us enough to be different enough, to have fresh ideas, to have diverse connections, to have newer opportunities. So maybe it’s time to get out of your bubble and draw on the strength of your weak ties, time to put yourself out there and interact with people in different spaces. Say yes to your weak ties and give them the opportunity to say yes to you.

“Make yourself interesting. Make yourself relevant. Do your homework so you know precisely what you want or need. Then, respectfully ask for it.Some weak ties will say no. More than you think will say yes”- Meg Jay

Lesson adapted from my current read, “The Defining Decade: Why your twenties matter and how to make the most of them now by Meg Jay, PhD. Totally recommend for all my twentysomethings out there! Get it here, if you’re in the US, you can also get a used one for cheap here

Read more about this from the author here

Any thoughts on all this? Comment below, let’s chat!

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Comments to: Urban tribe and weak ties
  • December 28, 2021

    Awesome and eyes opening, Ade!
    I guess there is need for me to strengthen important weak ties than ever. Though cautiously.
    I guess not all weak ties are needed but getting most important and value-adding ones who’d add to my life while I do the same is very important, because an average of the people around me can determine my output.
    Thank you, Ade.

  • December 28, 2021

    I guess you’ll likely be rejected by lots of weak ties before finding one that is willing to bond. It’s just like bonding in chemistry. But then, we find some of the most beautiful friendships in the most unusual places.

    • December 28, 2021

      Right and we’ll never know until we try. Thank you for reading!

  • December 28, 2021

    A very rarely spoken topic.
    Glad to have read through.
    Na to go examine the ties I have already o.
    Weldone dearie.


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