Here’s a term with a lot of versatility. To “vibe” could mean a lot of different things, and it’s generally dependent on the tone and context to figure out exactly what this phrase means. If you’re looking to decipher exactly what someone means when they say they’re vibing, look no further than this page.
We will go in depth into the different meanings, origin, and usage of “vibing”.
The Meaning of Vibing
Vibing can either be a noun, such as “the vibes” that a person or place gives off, or a verb, such as the expression that someone is “just vibing”. But what does this mean?
Well, to begin with, the term could mean that you had a good feeling with the place or person that you were interacting with. If you’re “vibing” with someone, it means that you’re connecting and on the same wavelength or frequency as the other person.
You can also be “vibing” with a place if you feel as though the aura it’s giving off matches the energy that you try to connect with.
There’s nothing to suggest that vibing is something that can only be done under the influence, it’s not a synonym for “high”, it simply means that you are connected with your surroundings and feel one with it or them.
It stems from the idea that everything gives off “vibes”. Some people will give off bad vibes, or nice vibes, or any other kind of vibes. Whatever they make you feel is generally the “vibes” that they’re giving off – these don’t necessarily have to stem from anything in particular, it’s kind of an intuition thing.
However, there is a new meaning that I have seen being used with increasing frequency, and that is the use of “vibing” to mean space out or “just getting by”. You might hear the phrase “no thoughts, just vibes”. This could mean that the person isn’t particularly engaged with what’s going on, or that they’re having a difficult time and aren’t able to process it, so, instead of dealing with issues they have no control over, they’re simply “vibing”.
Examples of “Vibing”
Like I said, there are a few different ways to use “vibes” or “vibing”, so here are just a few examples:
“Woah, is it just me or are the vibes really weird in this place?”
“We really hit it off, we were vibing all night”
“I can’t explain it, I just don’t like his vibes”
Person One: Hey, are you okay?
Person Two: Oh yeah, just vibing, you know?
Other Ways To Say “Vibing”
If you want examples of other ways to say similar things without actually saying “vibing”, then you could say that you’re “on the same wavelength” with someone or that you’re connecting.
If you’re talking about a place, you could always say “feel”, as in “I don’t like the feel of this place”. Or the energy – this is something that is sometimes interchangeable with the noun form of “vibe”. If someone or something’s energy is off, so are their vibes.
If someone says that they’re “just vibing” with more negative connotations, an alternative to this could be that they’re “just coasting by” or even just “chilling”, depending on the context.
Origins of “Vibing”
Though it sounds like it’s new modern slang, the expression “vibing” actually goes all the way back to the hippies in the 60s. People within the hippie movement might use the word to describe being “in tune with the vibration of the universe”, or how they might take drugs to tune into the vibe of the music they were listening to.
This phrasing was on the back burner for a long time but has come back in full force over the last 5 years or so, with things being described as having all sorts of vibes. For example, you might see the phrase “book vibes only” which means that this person connects and feels in tune with other people who are literary, and only wants to engage with these sorts of people.
There are hoodies that say “Christmas vibes” for the holidays, or “Thick thighs and spooky vibes”, basically anything you can think of probably has a “vibes” tee and a dedicated Reddit page.
Why a random 60s slang term suddenly had a boom in popular parlance we might never know, but there’s no denying how influential the term has certainly become. It’s impossible to move around the internet without coming across the phrase at least a dozen times, but hopefully the next time you see it you will be able to understand what they’re actually talking about.