Jimmy's blog

Cross tribe mentality

June 5th, 2020

Humans naturally form tribes. I reckon it’s encoded in our lizard brain algorithms. Whether it’s seeking comfort, security, or status we naturally entrench in our narrow group and distrust outsiders. I consider myself lucky to have lived in different parts of the world to observe different tribes, but have never fancied myself as fully part of one. For better or worse, I seemingly feel like I don’t belong to a particular tribe, and the tribe seeking algorithm may not be as strong with me.

In friendships, I naturally gravitate to folk that are different from me rather than the same. I like to explore diverging viewpoints rather than finding the conventional common ground. I find myself looking at a group as an admiring outsider, become good at the virtues that the group holds important, and become accepted within the new tribe. Then as soon as I’m comfortable I become unhappy with myself to have become so entrenched and narrow minded that I’ve allowed myself to be surrounded only with like-minded folk before I eject myself and repeat this painful cycle all over again.

We are becoming more and more divided as a species right at a time when we are facing challenges that require global cooperation. Please distrust your inner tribe seeking algorithm, reach across to a different group, and challenge the norms and assumptions that your group holds. It may be a little painful but it also adds more color to your life.

Further reading:
[1] Third Culture Kids: for kids growing up in multiple cultures
[2] Cross Team Collaboration Cheat Sheet: for startups when you get beyond 20 employees and find yourself in the zone of multiple teams
[3] Team of Teams: what we can learn from empowering cross disciplinary local teams in the war in Afghanistan
[4] The Problem of Imagining the Real: anthropological view on our instincts on seeing

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