We’re talking about friendships on the show this week! We often focus on partners or familial relationships, so I knew I had to dedicate more than one episode in this series on friendships. Danielle Bayard Jackson joins me to talk about how women can create and maintain meaningful female friendships.
Danielle is a certified friendship coach and national speaker dedicated to teaching women how to create and maintain meaningful female friendships. She has been featured in NBC News for her expertise, and her advice has been quoted in several other media outlets including Psychology Today, Well + Good, The Tampa Bay Times, and Insider.
“Making friends refers to cultivating something meaningful with another person.” – Danielle Bayard Jackson
We talk about:
- Some ways a woman can create (and maintain) friendships (7:18)
- How to approach a friendship that feels one-sided when it comes to being vulnerable or trust (14:17)
- Advice for women who have been hurt before in past female friendships (24:11)
- How long does it take to make friends? (31:28)
- What Danielle would say in response to someone saying, “Women are so catty…” (38:27)
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Episode 452: Relationships series: Healthy Friendships and Connection with Shasta Nelson
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Danielle Bayard Jackson is a certified friendship coach and national speaker dedicated to teaching women how to create and maintain meaningful female friendships. She has been featured in NBC News for her expertise, and her advice has been quoted in several other media outlets including Psychology Today, Well + Good, The Tampa Bay Times, and Insider.
A former high school teacher, Danielle founded Friend Forward– a platform dedicated to teaching women how to create and sustain meaningful friendships. She uses her teaching skills as an educator to coach women through ways to navigate common friendship conflicts, outlining her framework for creating platonic intimacy through difficult conversations, and it has been shared in several women’s media outlets. Danielle shares her insight weekly on The Friend Forward Podcast, answering women’s most pressing questions about navigating conflict in female friendships. Her advice of connection, loneliness and socializing has gone viral on TikTok as her following of 176,000+ continues to grow.
Danielle is a member of the American Sociological Association, and she studies the latest research in the areas of social science to create practical ways for women to better understand each other when operating in positions of leadership, friendship, and mentorship. You can learn more about Danielle and her work by visiting www.betterfemalefriendships.com.
Andrea 00:00 So my husband Jason has a pretty hairy chest and do you remember that one Austin Powers movie where Kristen Johnson's character Ivana Humpsalot rips open his shirt and she says, ‘oh you are hairy, like animal’. I probably recite that line to my husband at least once a month. So we got the Manscaped Performance Package 4.0 and it has their Lawn Mower 4.0 trimmer Weed Whacker Your Nose Hair Trimmer, which Jason said is more gentle and trims better than any other ear and nose trimmer he's ever used before, those were his exact words, and several other amazing products. But the Lawn Mower 4.0 features a cutting-edge ceramic blade to reduce grooming accidents. This fourth-generation trimmer is waterproof and also has an LED spotlight and he said he appreciates that because the lighting in our shower isn't the greatest. Manscaped just launched their new Boxers 2.0 that are packed with features including the Jewel Pouch, which is designed to cradle his boys in their own special space. So whether he's mowing the lawn, taking out the trash or golfing in the sun, these moisture wicking boxers breathe without breaking a sweat. Quick story. So my husband used to go to the gym, or he came home one time and he told me that in the locker room there was this older gentleman that had was naked and he had leaned up against the counter and was washing his balls in the sink. So ever since then, we kind of joke about it. And I mean, maybe if this man had these boxers, he wouldn't feel the need to do that. But anyway, get 20% off and free shipping with the code Noise Manscaped.com That's 20% Off with free shipping Manscape.com and use code Noise. My husband loved it. It's a great gift for any man in your life, whether or not he's hairy like an animal.
We often use the phrase make new friends and meet new people synonymously but the two are not the same. And making friends refers to the art of cultivating something meaningful with another person.
You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast episode number 455 with guest Danielle Bayard Jackson.
Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast your guide for strategies, tools and insight to empower yourself. I'm your host Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, master resilience and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go.
Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. I am so glad that you are here. So I just got home from speaking at Marc and Angel Chernoff, they were guests on my podcast last year, they have an annual event called Think Better Live Better. And I was in my hotel room, I think it was on the second day, it’s a two day event, and I was thinking to myself, you know what? These events are food for my soul and I have missed it so much over the last couple of years. And all that to say I hope that you are getting together with people who are like minded spirits, whether it's a group of girlfriends, whether it's coworkers, happy hour, coffee, you know, coworkers that you like, hopefully, or really awesome events like that, where it's all about personal development and bettering yourselves and learning and evolving. And I don't know, there's just something incredibly powerful about being in a room with other people who have a common goal in mind. You might be on completely different parts of the path, but you're all on the same path, you're all on the same journey, and that journey is called life. So without getting too philosophical, I just hope that you have that.
Speaking of there is still a couple of days left if you listen to this podcast in real time, or live or however you say it, for earlybird pricing for the Daring Way retreat. And I hope that you are and shout out to Jackie who I ran into at the Orlando airport who was at Disney with her family and recognized me. Like I don't get recognized very often, like literally once every few years. It happens very rarely. But when I do it's always it's always super fun and Jackie, you asked me about the retreat and I would love to have you. But there's a handful of spots left and early bird pricing ends on June 10 and I would really love to have you there. If you're on the fence and you have some questions that are not answered on the info page. Scroll down to the bottom of that page, AndreaOwen.com/retreat and there's a link in there for you to book a quick call with me.
Speaking of friendships, we had Shasta Nelson on a few weeks ago and today we have another friendship expert and I just I think we can't hear enough about this from different experts and I couldn't just have one person on talking about it. And so today we have the lovely Danielle Bayard Jackson. And so for those of you who are new to her, let me tell you a little bit about her Danielle Bayard Jackson is a certified friendship coach and national speaker dedicated to teaching women how to create and maintain meaningful female friendships. She has been featured in NBC News for her expertise, and her advice has been quoted in several other media outlets including Psychology Today, Well and Good, The Tampa Bay Times, and The Insider. Danielle shares her insight weekly on the Friend Forward Podcast answering woman's most pressing questions about navigating conflict and female friendships. Her advice of connection, loneliness, and socializing has gone viral on TikTok, and her following of 176,000 plus continues to grow. So without further ado, here is Danielle.
Thank you so much for being here.
Oh, thank you for having me. I'm excited to have this conversation.
I'm excited to talk to you. We were definitely having one of those chit chats where the hour could go by and we can just be chatting about all different things that have nothing to do with recording for the audience. So we are ready to talk about friendships. And I love this topic so much, I actually have a best friend that, she came into my life in 2009. And it has been the most, probably the most, I don't have any other word for it except mature. It's like the most mature friendship with a woman that I've ever had in my life. And by mature I just mean we have both been on the personal development journey and learned how to communicate and learned how to have really difficult conversations that are honest, but loving and kind. And so I often hear, I'm so jealous of your relationship with Amy like, you know, tell us how you found each other. Tell us how you have that that friendship. And so I am so excited to have you come on to talk about this. And so let's start with, because I love science, and… Can you tell us what are some research-based ways a woman can create both create and maintain platonic relationships, their friendships?
Yeah, and I appreciate you starting with your story because, you know, when I do speak to different people who are in strong friendships, they tell me that a question that they often get is people being like, how did you form this? How do I you know…
How do you maintain it? That’s…
That's, that's how do you keep it going? Yeah. And what's funny is, you know, I'm in the middle of reading my book right now, Fighting For Our Friendships and I'm learning a lot about, you know, research-based evidence regarding the fragility of women's friendships specifically, so it's not just in our head, and I could see why they're, you know, jealous of what you've got going on and want that for themselves. You know, research tells us that, you know, it's not our income status, or marital status, that is the single greatest factor contributing to our life satisfaction and well-being, it's the quality of our relationships. So I think there's something kind of intuitive for the person who's like hungry for friendship because it's the, it's the biggest thing that's going to determine if you are satisfied with your life.
So when it comes to making friends to satisfy that need, you know, the first tip I like to give is to start with the people, you know, which I know is not like a sexy revolutionary tip, but you know, research also points to a lot of the people who become our friends serve another role beforehand. So she was your neighbor, or your stylist or your classmate, you know, and so we have to look at what we already have, and start to entertain the idea of turning these people into friends. I always say that we often use the phrase, make new friends and meet new people synonymously. But the two are not the same, and making friends refers to the art of cultivating something meaningful with another person, and who says that has to start from scratch? So can you look at the people who are already in your network and decide to be intentional about reaching out and trying to create something that's a little bit deeper.
The second tip I like to give is to make your desire known. A lot of us feel maybe a little shame or embarrassment around saying like, man, I would like some more friends. But it's like, if I could put all the women I've had sessions with in a room, I think they just be like, oh my gosh, like there are other people just like me who are hungry for connection. So can you reach out to somebody who I like to refer to as a super connector, these extroverts who like to, like, bring people together? Could you reach out to that person and say, hey, I'm trying to get more plugged in and I thought of you because you're always out and about and doing something fun with people and I just was wondering, is there anything around town you think is worth checking out? You know, the subtext there is the same. I'm saying I'd like to get connected with other people. But I'm saying anyway, that's very matter of fact, and you'd be surprised how eager people are to help you, if only you would make it known. And then the final tip I'd give is, when you show up to a place consider going more than once and when you become a regular somewhere like at a coffee shop or somewhere that you go to frequently, can you do it with consistency, because that tends to breed familiarity with the other people who are there. And that's a good foundation for creating something is just somebody who feels familiar and you see their face all the time. That's a good starting point. So those are some things that that are actionable like today, but they require a little courage and a little reframing.
Okay, I love that. It sounds so much like dating, like looking for an intimate partner. It's not all that different, is it?
I don't think so. And that's so funny. I always chuckled to myself, when I see those comments on, like my tic tock videos and things like that people like, oh, my gosh, girl, this feels like dating. And I'm like, well, kind of, and I think maybe why it surprises us is because we have all this language around friendship, like, friends forever, best friends forever. So we think that like I make this friend, and then I'm done and that's not the case. And so the idea of having to continuously make friends, start conversation, see if you like them or see if you're compatible. You know, it is having a lot of parallels to the romantic world
Okay, I'm curious what kind of advice you would give to this, because I get pushed back sometimes when, when a client might ask me, I have this acquaintance, you know, she's my neighbor, she's another mom at my kids school, and we have a lot of chemistry when we get together but we don't see each other that often and I would really like to, to get to know her better. And I don't know what to do. And I always say, you have to tell her. It's going to be uncomfortable. It's going to feel awkward. And you can even say that you can preface it and say something like, this feels really awkward like, I'm asking you on a date but I really love hanging out with you. I dig you. I think you're really cool, and I would love to go and have coffee or even have like a playdate with our kids so we can get to know each other better. What do you think? And I get like deer in the headlights.
Like, I love that you say that. I love it. That's your advice. It would be my advice too.
I’m like throwing people in the deep end like good luck with life.
Like that's a horrible idea. That's horrible. Yeah, no, it starts with, you know, kind of goes back to that theme of saying what you want. And I know it feels weird. And to your point, sometimes we can soften the awkwardness by calling it out. And I mean, who doesn't want to hear like, man, I like you. You're interesting. I want to spend time with you. I think we want to feel desired even in our platonic relationships. So starting by telling her you enjoy her company, I feel like is a is a really great place to start.
Yeah, I did this, gosh, it's been a must have been pre-COVID, but I played tennis with there was probably a group of like, 15 women and there was this one woman, her name's Shannon and she was so funny and we got along so well. We definitely had chemistry. And she sent me a text one day, it was like during the day, she's like, I know this is super last minute, but do you want to go see a movie? And I couldn't go. And because I was so happy that she reached out and asked me and I was bummed that I couldn't go I said today is it's a bad day, I've got back to back appointments but please ask me again. Or I could have said something like, do you want to do something next week? Instead of just saying no, no, thank you. Because, I mean, we're humans, you know, then she might feel like, oh, maybe she doesn't really want to hang out with me. You know, like we make up all these stories. So I made a point to say, I'm so glad that you asked. I'm so glad that you reached out. Please ask me again.
Yeah, yeah. And I love that for you too. That's really sweet and I wish more of us could do that. Sometimes we have to kind of just like flip the perspective for a second. And so a lot of us will say, well, you know, I guess they're not interested, like they haven't texted me, she hasn't reached out. I guess she's just too busy, I guess, you know, I'm more invested than she is, oh, wow, I get her message loud and clear. But if I were to ask you, okay, well, who's somebody whose company you enjoy well enough, but you haven't gotten around to it or you're a little nervous that she like, would reject you. Okay, is it possible that she could be operating under the same conditions that she's either fearful of rejection, or that she's got so much going on with the kids and she'd like to, you know, hang out with you but currently, she's struggling to just tend to the things that are the most urgent every day, you know? And so you know, it's three framing, but I love that that was something you communicated to your friend.
Well, thank you. It came with a lot of failed experiences, like well into my 40s now. What advice would you give first, because I hear this a lot too, like when someone is in a friendship, like I actually have a client right now who goes on walks like a couple times a week with her neighbor, and she says, I share things with her and tell her a little bit more vulnerable and intimate things about my life but she doesn't share anything about her. She's super private, she's super tight lipped, and it's beginning to feel one sided, and I don't know how to approach it. So how would you assume Would you just say that someone shouldn't move on or what advice do you have for that?
Yeah, so that's tricky. I just had a client with the same issue. She has a mom friend and she feels that she’s always confessing her hardships and how difficult it is, but the other woman just listens but number says, oh my gosh, me too, I struggled too. And so it doesn't feel like a rewarding friendship for her. And you know, it's a balance, there's a balance between, we definitely want to respect other people's natural pacing, for self-disclosure, and we want to be mindful. But you know, we also have a desire for reciprocity in all of its forms, especially women when it comes to sharing, because that's how we kind of measure and establish trust and closeness. So I don't want to feel like I'm out here by myself telling you all these things like, you know, I don't know you, share something about yourself.
And so, you know, sometimes there's, there's a couple things we could do. One, it can be direct, and you can say, like, you know what, here, I am rambling away and I feel like even though we walk every day, I don't know much about you. I mean, that's a way to kind of say it, but I'm not accusatory, I'm not like, gosh, I say all these things, but you don't, because who wants to respond at obligation like that. And then also, for me it this way allows her to choose what qualifies as revealing more of herself. It might be with a personal failure, it might just be with what she did that week, but letting her know, hey, I have a desire to know more about you. She might not realize that she's fallen into this listener mode and doesn't share as much. And so that's a way to invite her instead of accuse her is to express a desire. But if after making it known, you still feel like it's not enough, then find a way to maybe manage what you share so there's no resentment and feeling like I'd share more than she does. Or, you know, turn to other friends who are as open and share the same desire for you know, self disclosure.
Yeah. So it's not it's not a matter of saying like, oh, I've been talking so much, I would love to hear about all of your marriage struggles.
Exactly. Yeah, and I always say to, you know, self-disclosure, or maybe I should say, vulnerability takes more forms, you know, other than self-disclosure, but I know a lot of times when we think about vulnerability, our minds go straight to like an image of us like bawling our eyes out or telling a secret about what happened when we were 10. And I always say like, that's like a level 10. But vulnerability, the best way I've heard it described was from Dr. Marisa Franco and she said, it means you feel comfortable taking a risk being rejected. And so that doesn't necessarily have to happen with the big ones. It can happen with like, a level 1 or 2.
So an example I often give us, you know, let's say I joined a new friend group, and they say, oh, Danielle, you know, we meet for brunch every other Saturday, but you know, since you're new to the group, how about you pick out the restaurant that we go to next week. There might be a little bit of hesitation inside of me, because I'm thinking, oh, gosh, like, what if I pick something and they think it's lame, or it's like, too expensive or too cheap or whatever, but I'm just gonna go for I'm just gonna pick a place and that's where we're gonna go. There's a little vulnerability in that for me, because there's a chance they might reject what I'm offering on the table. And so as long as we look at it that way, you know, one in two vulnerabilities level 1’s, and 2’s could consist of, you know, trying something new in front of your friend, and you might look a little foolish, but you're gonna do it anyway. Or, you know, telling her that you like her, like you mentioned just a couple moments ago, that is vulnerability, because there's a chance she does not feel the same way. And so can you see the other ways that she's sharing vulnerably or doing vulnerable things that don't necessarily look like her telling you about her divorce, or her addictions, or her traumas. You know?
Okay, so you've mentioned level 1 and level 2, a couple of times, can you explain what that is? I'm making assumptions of what it is, but I would love to know exactly what it is.
Oh, yeah, just in terms of, in terms of vulnerability, and I use it kind of arbitrarily, but meaning like, you know, level 1 can be saying, man, I really enjoyed talking to you, like, we have to do this, again. That's a level 1, like, I'm not going to feel super betrayed, or devastated if she doesn't follow up on my coffee invitation, but I did put myself out there. A level 10 might be, you know, sharing a difficulty I'm having in my marriage and if she, you know, shares this with somebody else, I'm going to feel really exposed, like that might be like, a level 10. You know, level 5 might be me, saying, you know, might be me telling her, you know, something she did that made me feel some kind of way, which we don't consider vulnerability is addressing things inside of the friendship. And maybe I don't make it, you know, awkward and intense, but saying like, Listen, you know, you mentioned this the other day, and I don't know, I always get a little cringy whenever you use that word, it makes me feel some kind of way. You know, hopefully she's responding with oh, my gosh, I had no, I had no idea, that's my bad, I didn't mean it like that. But I hear you, and we move on. But even having the courage to tell a friend, hey, what you did or said, it rubbed me the wrong way, is risky, because we don't want to lose the friendship. So that's vulnerable too. And so there's kind of like the scale of like, what feels risky to you, but it's going to be different for each person. And the last thing I'll say on this is, there are often people who try to manufacture closeness with other women by sharing and that is…
I’ve done that so many times. Yeah. Gossip. I think gossip.
Oh my gosh, which research shows that we actually do feel close to people when there's something in common that we don't like, you know, so being like, oh my god, she's so annoying. Oh my God, I know she's annoying. So it works. I don't know that it's sustainable in a friendship, but it works.
And it doesn't build trust because I know if you're talking about somebody else, you're talking about me.
Exactly. Yeah, I'm like, oh, give me the T but I'm not telling you any of my business. So you know, we just have to be mindful of all those things but when we get it right, and we find a rhythm it can make for a very rewarding friendship.
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What advice do you have for women who have been hurt before specifically in their female friendships? I know a lot of women come with, the mother wound is not uncommon, but specifically in their in their friendships with women, and they come to you and they say, I just don't trust women. I have not had great experiences and I just don't think that the friendships are worth it. How do you how do you work with someone on that?
Oh, I'm so glad you brought that up. A lot of people don't bring that up. It's all like fluffy friendship stuff. But I know that there are women who, for whatever reason have almost like an aversion to female friends. But what's so funny to me is, you know, I'm a female friendship coach and those women are signing up for coaching and insight which says to me, that there's a part of us that knows even if they are the source of our pain, we know women to be the source of our joy as well. And so they have a hunger for female companionship, which always astounds me. And so you know, their experiences are totally valid. Some of them have had very traumatic things happen. And I always have two things to say to that.
The first is to look at the ways in which you anticipating rejection from another woman has affected how you show up with her. And not to gaslight and be like, oh, what's your fault? That's not what I'm saying. But if I expect these women to have an attitude, how did that affect how I walked in the room? Yeah, how did that affect whether I spoke to them or not, or if I went straight to the drinks, and kind of rolled my eyes and sat down, because I assume that, you have an issue with me, you know, So little things like that be mindful of.
And then the second thing I would say is to, is to make it known if you do start to, you know, chat with a woman, and she seems kind of cool, but you're scared that it's only a matter of time before she shows her true colors, you know, to say that to say, like, man, I enjoy hanging out with you, I gotta tell you, I haven't you know, hung out with women in a long time, because, you know, had some things go down, but I'm really enjoying you. And I don't think that puts pressure on, but again, a lot of it goes back to being able to say aloud the scary thing, but it helps to give context to other people. Like that communicates to me like, oh, okay, like, maybe I need to be more tender with her, or it's very important to her that I show up, when I say I'm going to show up, you know, so it helps for me to have that context. Maybe with another woman be canceling last minute, kind of annoying when my friends get it, but maybe for you, that's going to be a big deal. And so, you know, it gives me the information, I need to make sure that I can care for you, you know, in an appropriate way, to the right extent.
Yeah, I love all that. And I'm glad that you that you mentioned that, that a lot of people bring it up. But I don't think it's that uncommon. I've had a couple of people come to my retreats, and have said, at the very end, I mean, because it's a built in container. It's on shame work. It's the Daring Way, it's the you know, I’m trained and certified in Brené Brown's work. So we are there for a specific, like, people aren't surprised when they walk in and like everybody's being vulnerable. So it's this space that I've created, and at the end I've had, I've had a handful of women say, and I didn't know this ahead of time, they said I've always struggled in my relationships with women in this. And it's not that they're leaving with, you know, BFFs forever and ever amen. It's just that they, it's sort of a seed planted in them, that makes them feel like there are women out there, who are, you know, looking into their own evolving and wanting to have intimate, vulnerable friendships that they nurture, consciously and intentionally. So I just, it breaks my heart when I think about women in their 30s 40s 50s 60s, who had just have kind of given up. And I'm just, we're both out there saying like, don't give up. It's, it's out there, and it's, I understand that it's painful. And it's worth it.
Right. And I mean, like, look at you and I were having these conversations about women. I feel like sometimes we, I know there's a term for it, like in the psychology arena, but maybe not. I don't think it's self-fulfilling prophecy, something else, but we're, you know, if you expect it, then it happens. Maybe that is self-fulfilling prophecy, or you start to see evidence of the thing that you believe. But it's like, if I can encourage a woman who's listening who is thinking like, I don't know, I'm done with women. I mean, right here, you’re hearing a conversation take place between two women who love women who would be eager to love on you, you know, so let us be evidence of you know, the other argument that you're not entertaining the other possibility, which is, you know, it's never too late to form a bond with another woman who gets it, you know? So something to keep in mind.
Okay, kind of switching gears, and it's almost contradictory to what we were just talking about. You made a TikTok about female friendships and competition. So tell us your thoughts about what you said is covert competition and female friendships and what can we do about it? If anything?
Yeah. Oh, okay. So…
I have experience with this, and I have the same ugh. Like, I think back how I was in my 20s. And I'm like, I need to make some apology phone calls right now.
Oh my gosh, I need to do an apology tour as well. You know, when it comes to competition, it gets such a bad rap, right? Because guys, we know to be competitive but for a lot of us, we still see it as positive in that context. Oh, yeah, the competitive like they, they push back, and then they can, you know, come back together again. And there's even research that says that they reconcile more often and faster than women do, which is again, we kind of know but it's interesting to hear the research around that. But when it comes to competition, we all do it. We all do it. And from an evolutionary standpoint, you have to be competitive to maintain your resources. So it's not a bad we all do it.
But when it comes to like, a friendship and feeling like your friends competing with you, I always say you know, if it gets to a point where you know, she's trying to sabotage your success and when you share something really amazing that happened, you know, she can't bring herself to congratulate you or she finds a way to like a point out though the flaw and the thing that you're celebrating, that's one thing. But if you feel a little sense of competition, I feel like up to a small degree, that it's normal and the only reason I say that is because whenever you're in the company of other women, it makes you think about your own womanhood. Like, if I'm in the company of a bunch of women, I might think that I'm not beautiful, or question how I'm dressed or how I'm talking or, you know, my presence, because it's like a mirror. Like we are a representation of womanhood to each other and we're trying out different versions. So I might see different women, and it makes me feel some kind of way, by extension, just because I'm in proximity to my mirrors of what it's like to be a woman in this world. And so I feel like that does give us some measure of like, competing, but I feel like if it's only to the point of it's making you better. Like man, my friend, you know, finally bought that new house she's been aiming for and gosh, I, you know, I want a house like that, too. But what do I do with that feeling? does it drive me to, you know, to do whatever it takes to get more serious about homeownership, or am I chipping away at her house and when I go over for the housewarming party, I point out the fact that like, the roof is sagging, you know what I mean? Like, what does that look like?
But yeah, but if you find yourself constantly in competition with other people, I just feel like that would be exhausting. Wouldn't be when do you ever feel like, okay, I'm on top? And then also, do you want to feel like that with the people you befriend. Like, okay, who I'm better than them? I mean, like, what does that say? So I feel like that's an issue for someone. That's what I'm like, okay, you need to maybe go do some therapy work. And that's not my lane because until then, I don't know that you'd be able to even enjoy a healthy relationship with another person.
If that's the goal the whole time. Yeah. Well, this is sort of just like a logistical question that I think like people are probably curious about. How long does it take to make friends? Like what is realistic if someone say someone moves to a new city, and they do everything that you tell them to do. They join the groups and like… For instance, I was recently feeling kind of lonely in my friendships here locally and so I decided to join the PTO cuz I'm like, I know how to be around other women. So I joined these groups, and you know, go to the gym, and like all these kind of the basics. And for someone listening, who is either thinking about doing those things, or planning it or is doing it, how long should they expect it to take?
Love that question. So, you know, there's a research study out of the University of Kansas by Jeffery Hall, and he attempted to, to quantify, you know, friendship making. What is what does that look like in terms of hours. And so they found that it takes about 50, five zero hours to consider somebody a friend, 90 to consider them a close friend, and 200 to consider them a best friend. And normally this is where people kind of gasp like, wait, shut your mouth, I do not have 200 hours to you know, and I have two things to say to the aw that we're experiencing when we hear those numbers.
The first is, I hope it shows us two things. One, how intentional you need to be about spending time with other people. And a lot of us will have like a couple of coffee dates and we're like, okay, and we expect that to sustain us for like the next couple months, and it doesn't work that way. So I often make the joke, you know, I wonder if after coffee if we could see like a time counter on each other's foreheads and we're like, okay, we're at 36 hours. Do you want to see a movie next weekend, You know, I wonder how that would change things if we could see it.
But the other thing that I hope that that gives us as a takeaway is, you are going to have to be intentional about the people who you want to prioritize as like your top tier people, because time is a limited resource. And so my extroverts who want to work the room and spend time with everybody, you are going to experience plentiful friendships that have no depth, because you cannot spend 200 hours with 15 friends. And so who are those top three to five people who it really matters to you to like grow something meaningful with them, that's where you're going to need to kind of dedicate some time to maybe more than others. So you know, there are a couple of ways that that that research finding can inform how we operate in friendship, but if you do show up on time and it felt okay and then you don't make plans to hang out again, you are going to end up feeling empty again because it's like you've burned out that fuel you need more hours.
Okay. I mean, I didn't I wasn't surprised by those answers. I'm thinking about my friendship with Amy and I was like, get that sounds about right. Like it just, it just takes time. When I think back on it, it took time and it took intention. And one of the things that she did from the get go, which I think is kind of rare, and also it works and it helps just put everything out there is that when we met for the first time, it's kind of a funny story. We met at the Coaches Training Institute where the it's the school that we were trained in life coaching and when you are done with all of the weekend classes, you can come back and be an assistant to the master coaches. And so that's how we met. We both came back when we were assistants. At the end of the weekend, they do this sort of ritual where they put all the chairs in a circle and everyone goes around the room and you have like a couple of minutes to say whatever you want to say to the group. And then at the end, you say, and I am complete. And so I was first and I said all the things I was supposed to say, I was so proud of all the students there, and thank you to the leaders and blah, blah, blah. So then it's Amy's turn, and she's sitting next to me and she starts crying, and she just is very emotional, and she's talking to the whole group. And she turns to me, and she says, and you, I am so glad I met you. I've been trying to manifest friendships, and you came into… And she's like, giving me all these compliments. I was so uncomfortable, Danielle, like, I was like, what is happening. But she's very demonstrative. And I don't recommend that for everyone, unless that's your personality. But my point is, is that she told me like she could have done it privately, been like, hey, I dig you. It was this kind of grand gesture, which is so her.
But my point is, is that she laid it all out there and was like, hey, I like you and I am really trying to have more friendships in my life and if you'd like me to I would love to be your friend. And I mean, I probably wouldn't go about it the way that she did, but that was such an example of someone who just says right from the beginning, hey, I want to be your friend. But also I think was really telling that she had made it a goal in her life. She was like, I am going to make more friends like good good friends. And it's going to take some time.
Yeah, yeah. And I appreciate I know, some of us could be like, whoa, whoa, whoa, slow your roll. And I think I would have been too. You know, what I think I think a lot of us would be, which is so funny, because we're here saying, like, I'm gonna say what I want put myself out there. But if somebody does it to me, I'm like, whoa, what's, what's going on? And I think that is a paradox a lot of us live in because we think, oh, well, the person who doesn't have friends, what's wrong with them, but at the same time, like, we want friends, too, but then to say it out loud, we're like, what's what, what's wrong that you don't have them? And it's so foreign to us to declare affection early on in a platonic context. Now, romantically a guy who you're into, or a guy's like, hey, I really like you, or like, you're beautiful, we're like, oh, okay, you know. But for woman like, what? Like, what's going on? Like, does she not have friends? And it's just such an interesting way that we relate to other women platonically and then, you know, our romantic partners.
But yeah, but good for her for saying what she needs. I wonder if it's foreign to because so much of our communication as women is intuitive and it's subtext and we have a lot of ideas circulating around, like, she just gets me, we have this chemistry, it's unspoken, and it's a very romantic notion. But I think the other side of that is, you know, when somebody does say something aloud, we feel some kind of way about it, because we believe everything should just kind of be like, organic and unspoken, but then it leads to a lot of misunderstandings, right? We've seen that. It's like, well, I shouldn't have to say it, like, my friends should just know. And then the friends know. So you know, so different representing it. But I know that you know, at the end of the day, it's about compatibility and, and reciprocal interests and things like that.
Okay. I know, it's an unusual story. It is kind of funny, and she tells it a little bit differently. But I have a question for you about this one particular topic that I opened my big mouth one time where I was playing tennis with a bunch of women and someone made this comment, and I'm curious how you would respond to this. It was just some casual conversation about women or something and one of the women said, Well, you know how women are they're so catty, or we're so catty, or something like that. What would you say in response to that? I can already tell. I had a feeling you were gonna say, yeah, we are.
Oh, god, that's rough. Well, you're asking me two different questions, because you're asking me what I would say and then there's like the advice I'd give to someone.
Can you give me both if they're different? I would love to know. Like in a casual context where you're not, Danielle the friendship expert, right and you knew these women at least, you know, they weren't like your besties but you were friends with them, what I'm curious.
Oh,god, that's hard. I think I got it. Okay. Let me be honest. I'm gonna keep it real. Okay. If I were out there in that situation and whimsical, you know, women are catty, I think I probably would make a playful joke about, oh, my gosh, come on, you're perpetuating that stereotype to or something like that, where I'm doing a great job kind of, you know, playfully, to like engage in conversation, or I maybe say something like, well, not all of us are, I'm not catty or something to try to challenge your ideas or whatever.
But you know what I will say, there are a lot of reasons for these stereotypes of us being catty. Catty, things like that and you know what, I blame it on the patriarchy. And here's why. Okay, I'm learning a lot about relational aggression and both men and women do it. But it's where, you know, we covertly, maybe get back at another woman but because we are not taught conflict resolution. How to work through it. No one's teaching us that at like, eight years old, okay? It's just be nice. That's supposed to be a cover all, right? Be nice. So I don't know how to work through this with this girl, right? And because I'm supposed to be likeable, I don't want to detract from that by telling you, I have an issue with you. So I'm just gonna be like, yeah, no, no, we're good we're good. But I'm gonna go talk to other people about it. But not necessarily because I want to be sinister and shady and manipulative, but because you know, I'll get a bad rap. If I tell you to your face. I'm problematic. I'm confrontational. I'm being a biatch. You I'm saying? So we don't work out those scenarios with somebody else in a safe space. But that's I'm gossiping about her.
And so, you know, personally, I've seen the way in which society culturally is set up so that we have to go underground with our aggression and our issues, because it's not attractive or acceptable to do outwardly, the way a man would do. And then, you know, my final suspicion for that is possibly because to like, we're very relational and we, we value connection. So we don't want to really be like, oh, this is an issue, that's an issue and we want to preserve our connection. So maybe that looks like you know, suppressing how we feel. Maybe it comes out in a little passive aggressive way, or maybe we just don't invite you to the next social thing that we have, instead of tell you. And, you know, so I think there's a lot at play, but I do wish that we would maybe stop perpetuating that whole idea of like, women are so catty, as if it's something that's just inherent to being a woman,
Right. Yes, thank you for that I, you know, fist bumping over here. When it happened, I think I said something along the lines of, well, I have a different perspective on that. And, you know, I think it's a cultural stereotype that we still buy into and also, you know, we're raised differently than then boys are and I had just done some research now I forget, cuz it was a long time ago, I just did some research for my last book, where I talked about that, and how, and just even as, like you were saying, like, growing up, just the fact that little boys are encouraged to roughhouse teaches them resilience. And we don't get the same, we don't get the same lessons.
And what was interesting, too, is that I noticed this with my husband, who's, who's my second husband, but the way that men razz each other, and just shovel shit back and forth. And I asked him one time, I'm like, you guys are kind of assholes to each other, like, is this is this like a guy thing? And he's like, yeah, just is kind of what we do. And I'm like, and it doesn't bother you? And he's like, no, I think for the most part with your friends, there are some boundaries that you just, you know, like, places you just don't go. And I found that so fascinating. And I'm like, women, typically, we're not like that. And like you were saying, maybe it's because there's so much subtext. And we're like, what does she mean by that? Like?
Yeah, and also, you know, research shows that we that women value, egalitarianism in their friendships. So we are, it's almost like an unspoken rule that we're supposed to establish sameness. And so it's like, oh, my god, me too me too. So if you are roasting me playfully, then you're taking away from the fact that you and I are supposed to be the same. So if you're like, oh my gosh, girl with your chipped polish or with your, you know, scuffed up shoes, or like, you know what I'm saying? It's like, oh, okay, or you know how you can get Danielle haha, it feels like oh, yikes, because we're supposed to like I value as being the same.
But men, you know, it's about status with them and so it's almost understood that we're going to razz and who's better and who's worse, and we can be totally fine. But for women, again, since we're so appreciative of connection, it's important to us to maintain like me and you are the same. It would for some people fray that friendship to feel like she thinks she's better in any kind of way, or to playfully point out things that might be an insecurity. It's like a whole thing.
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, this even goes into a bigger conversation about internalized misogyny. And it, you know, it ties into competition and how many women are raised even in homes where they're taught to compete with each other for the attention and affection and resources of the patriarchy, usually their father. And it's just it's that's another conversation for another time.
But the last question I want to ask you, is so you're a certified friendship coach, and where would a woman be in her life where she would need a friendship coach and if you have time, like, what do you do to help them? Do you have like a, like a methodology that you take people through, or is it sort of custom based.
Yeah, appreciate you asking that. I always say I think that, you know, I always say if you overheard a woman, you know, while you're waiting for the subway or in a coffee shop, and you overheard her saying, like, yeah, I'm talking to my friendship coach tonight, you might be like, what? Like, you know, is she struggling being social? Does she know how to talk to people? Like, what does a friendship coach do? And I get that I always say, I think people would be surprised to know that maybe 75% 80% of the women I work with are high achieving charismatic life of the party women who are strategic in every other area of their lives and they approach friendship the same way. Hey, I need to know why this transpired with me and my friend, hey, I want to have a talk with my friend. But oh, I'm not sure how to say this. I want to work out some scenarios with you. They are women who approach the rest of their life in a very intentional way and they see friendship, just the same.
Women who may be moved to a new city and they're like, okay, how do I go about, you know, creating a new network here. So it's very strategic in that way. But women come to me, you know, number one issue, hands down is how to make friends and it always comes with some kind of qualifier. So how do I make friends as a new mom, as an introvert, as a military spouse, as a woman who has changed and evolved? And I want new friends who understand this new me, you know. So how do I make friends is number one. The second issue is probably something around, I feel like I initiate more than my friends or I give more than my friends get is a big one. And then the third would probably be trying to work through how to address something really tender with a friend because it's like eating you up for long enough, and you want to do something, but you don't know how.
And so those would be like the top three things. And as far as working through it, you know, I'm very quick to to explain. I am not a therapist, many women use me in a supplementary way. They already have a therapist. They come to me because they're and you know, they're ready to like take action on something. So we do talk about, you know, what happened? What's going on? What's your friendship history look like? What are your expectations? And once I understand all those things we start working toward, okay, what are some of the outcomes that you would like to have and what could you do to get there? And it's a big thing to help them understand, we're co-creating these strategies together based on your relationship with this woman, based on your personality, based on what makes you feel comfortable. I can't give a one size fits all script for all these women, they're all very different. And also, the personality of your friend might be different. You might be working with somebody who's very defensive. And so you're like, how do I address this, I know she's gonna pop off. You know, and so every woman is different. But I definitely see different themes emerge. And it's, it's a blessing to be in a space where they trust me, that's what's something that's so fragile and tender and personal for them.
Yeah, important. I love that. Thank you so much for explaining that. BetterFemaleFriendships.com. All the links will be in the show notes for sure. We’ll have you on when your book comes out. Is there any other place that you want to send people beside will have your TikTok link and your website. Anywhere else have a podcast too, right?
Yeah, the podcast is Friend Forward and that comes out every Thursday.
Nice. Awesome. Thank you so much for being here. Is there anything else that we didn't cover that you want to circle back to or do you feel complete?
No, your questions are great. And I also really appreciate that you are sharing your friendship stories, too. It just like makes it such a richer conversation. So I really appreciate that.
Well, next time I have you on we can talk about all the ways that I was a shitty friend. And then I have since got circled back I think with I think with all of them. Yeah, definitely. And that's why Facebook is so great to able to find people and like made amends where I where I needed to, and that's been you know, so healing for, at least for me, I can't speak for the other person, but they told me you know, like thank you for… And it was I think it was just probably typical young woman stuff, mistakes made that I didn't I didn't know how to be a good friend. I didn't know. No one ever taught me. It's not that I had terrible modeling of friendships. I just didn't no one teaches this really, it's except you and other people. So anyway, yeah, I have I just I also want to say I've definitely been there on the other side and had to had to clean up some messes. So thank you, everyone, for listening. I appreciate your time so much. And remember, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye for now.
Hi there, swinging back by to say one more thing. You know, I'm always giving advice over here on the show and on social media. And a couple of those things is that I'm always telling you to ask for what you want be clear about it, and also ask for help. So I am taking a dose of my own medicine and I'm going to do that right now. It would be the absolute best and mean the world to me if you reviewed and subscribed to this show, Make Some Noise Podcast on whatever podcast platform of your choice. And even more importantly, it would matter so much if you shared this show. Sharing the show is one of the few ways the podcast can grow and that also gives more women an opportunity to make some noise in their lives. You can do that by taking a screenshot when you're listening on your phone and sharing it in your Instagram or Facebook stories. If you're on Instagram you can tag me @HeyAndreaOwen and I try my best to always re share those and give you a quick thank you DM and also you can tell your friends and family about it. Tell them what you learned, tell them a really awesome guest that you found on the show that you started following. Whatever it is I appreciate so much you sharing about this show.