Sunday, March 18, 2018

Two Kinds of Support

© Robin Edmundson, 'Ironwood tree under snow', photo.

Hello my lovely friends!  We've been talking about the people who are in your tribe.  How have you been doing with that?   Are you finding wonderful people to add to your tribe?   Have you been able to release people who are no longer supportive of you?  Remember: tribes are dynamic.  It's OK if there's some coming and going.  You are changing.   Your needs are changing.

There are two very important types of tribal support that you're going to need as you make changes in your life. 

The first type of support is validation.  You need someone who is very supportive of where you are right now.  Someone who validates your feelings, understands where you're coming from and who steps up to defend you from the villains in your life.  This kind of person helps you feel safe where you are.

The second type of support is reality check.  You need someone to call you on your bullshit. Someone who doesn't accept your excuses and who doesn't let you off the hook.  They help you accept responsibility for your life and remind you that you have the power to make the changes you need to make.  They are the ones who help you think and act differently. They make great accountability partners.

Sometimes you can find both kinds of support in a single friend [Keep that person, but be clear on what kind of support you need when and be able to communicate it.  They can't read your mind.] 

Most of the time you'll need to identify different members of your tribe for different roles.  When you need validation, you can talk to Ann or Zoe.  When you need strategy, you can talk to Betty or Yvette.

Get support in a helpful order.  In general, when things get scary or dramatic, you're going to need validation first.  You want enough validation to feel safe, loved and capable but you don't want to wallow. When you feel safe, move to  reality checking, accepting responsibility and making changes.
Who in your tribe helps you feel validated?    Who in your tribe gives great reality checks?  I would love to hear about the people in your life who have helped you in these ways.  Please leave a comment and tell me about them.


  1. Good article Robin! I have a friend/mentor named Susan, who I can always count on to give me honest critiques, helpful suggestions, and encouragement.

    1. That is so important for an artist! and for anyone who wants to grow, actually.

  2. I find honest feedback one of the rarest and most treasured things I receive from true friends. With life changes, I find some of these friends are just phone friends due to geographic relocation with careers and family changes. When I worked for a bank in St. Louis, MO in the 90s, I never dreamed that 2 former co-workers and myself would drive hundreds of miles to celebrate 20 years of friendship!


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