Since we’re rounding out the theme of relationships, I’m hopping on a minisode talking about friendships! In this episode, I go over three common friendship scenarios/challenges as well as give you possible solutions.
In this episode you’ll hear:
- A simple (but sometimes vulnerable!) thing to do to make sure your friendships stay healthy.
- What to do if you have a friend who doesn’t seem to open up as much as you do
- What to do if you have a friend that you’ve lost touch with
If you haven’t already, make sure you check out the two episodes I recently aired with friendship experts Danielle Bayard Jackson and Shasta Nelson. As I mentioned before, our friendships with women are incredibly important, sometimes we have challenges in those relationships (which is normal!), and I always want to make sure you have some solutions.
Maintaining Meaningful Friendships with Danielle Bayard Jackson
Healthy Friendships and Connection with Shasta Nelson
I Want to Thank You: How a Year of Gratitude Can Bring Joy and Meaning in a Disconnected World, Gina Hamadey
You know how I love a good personal development book, right? I’ve compiled a list of book recommendations, as mentioned in past episodes. Check out these amazing book recommendations here. Happy reading!
You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast minisode number 460.
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. Thank you for joining me with another episode of the podcast another minisode. And I am for sure committed to making this one short and sweet for you. And I wanted to do a minisode on friendships because we had two friendship experts Danielle and Shasta. I hope that you listened to those they were so important. I just I've said it once, I've said it a million times. I think when we're talking about relationships, we don't talk about friendships enough. And they make up such an integral and important part of our lives. And there's a handful of things that come up pretty regularly, when I work with clients, or even if I'm just having conversations with women when it comes to their friendships, and I wanted to touch on those in this minisode. Because I think that no matter where you are, in your friendships with women, that you can probably relate to one of these challenges one of these three challenges that I'm going to go over with you. And you have probably heard me say these before, I have definitely written about them in my books, and I think that it bears repeating over and over again because you know, a lot of times we don't get the lesson the first time or we read about it in a book, and we're like, that sounds nice. So you're gonna get the remainder. You need the reminder for me on friendships.
There are three scenarios that I'm going to go over, that I think are common, and I'm going to give you some possible solutions to them. And the first one is just really more of a more of a lesson. One of the very first things that I do when I'm taking someone privately through the Daring Way methodology is, you know, it's one of the first lessons as we talk about trust and friendships. And I ask my client, like, tell me about your friendships. Do you have a someone you consider a best friend? Tell me about your childhood friends? Do you keep in touch with any of them? Is it your neighbors? And often you know, they give me a list of anywhere between one and five or six women that kind of range on the spectrum of being close friends, maybe their coworkers, maybe they are sometimes it's their sister, etc or childhood friend and or someone that they they've been friends with since college and to varying degrees they keep in touch with these people. And what I would say nine times out of 10 depending on on the client and what where they are in their friendships. One of the assignments that I give them, if they don't do this regularly, and most of them don't, is I asked like when was the last time that you told just say, Jennifer, when was last time you told Jennifer how much she means to you? And they might say something like, oh, she knows she knows how much I love her. She knows that, you know, she's my BFF. Does she? Sure probably but I really believe that we are gratitude starved.We are acknowledgement starved, and it can go a really long way to take that moment, to take that extra step to express gratitude to them.
I met such an amazing woman at the think better Live better event that I was speaking out in Orlando several weeks ago. Gina Hamady, I think that's how you pronounce her last name, I really want to get her on the show. She wrote a book called… I have the have the name of it here. Please hold. I think it's called thank you for being a friend. No, sorry. Thank you for being a friend travelled down the road and back. No, that's not what it's called. But that would be a title for a book. Gina's book is called I Want to Thank You: and Meaning in a Disconnected World. I had such a great one on one conversation with her and basically she wrote thank you notes, gratitude letters, one a day for a year and she writes about it in this book and gives examples of what they can sound like etc and how it changed your life. That's what I encourage my clients to do and this is the challenge I'm putting out to you, dear listener. Who are the people in your life, it could be your mom, it could be, you know, one of your kids, your partner, your best friend, anyone. Anyone that cares about you, that you care about them that you have a friendship with and I invite you to express that gratitude either in person with your voice, or you can write a letter if you want, you can send a text message, you can you know, get a get a mushy Hallmark card. However you want to do it, you can send them an email. I'm not going to hold it against you, if you decide to like do it in a text, baby steps, sometimes right turtle steps. But take a moment to really sink into some vulnerability and just say, I was thinking of you today, or I was listening to something I was listening to a podcast about friendships, and I thought of you. And I wanted to take a moment to really express how much you mean to me. Or, or maybe you can be specific. I appreciate you so much for being there for me, when my mom passed away last year, or when I had a miscarriage, when I went through a divorce or whatever it was, that was difficult for you. Thank you so much for being there for me, you have no idea how much it meant to me during those times. I can just be a sentence or two. And wait for it to land. Especially if you do it in person and you're using your voice. Wait for it to land. Sometimes it's uncomfortable conversations, but it's important. It's important. Things like that are important in our friendships.
Scenario two. If you are friends with someone who, you've kind of gotten to a level in your friendship, where you're starting to share some vulnerable things about your life, you're kind of diving in a little bit and maybe sharing about some painful things that happened in a former relationship or in your current relationship or in your childhood and the friend doesn't seem to open up as much as you do. And you're wishing they would. You're wishing it was more of a reciprocal relationship, but they're kind of holding their cards close to their chest. So what do you do in those situations? I think, I can't remember which one of the friendship experts that I had on that… I think it was Danielle was talking about this. And I feel like she said something like, throw out casually, oh, well, here I am blabbing on, on and on about me. Tell me about what's going on in your life, like what’s been great, what's been hard, what's been boring, like, tell me something. What you got going on, something like that. I think I added my own flair to the end of it and have it there. But that's what I would say. There's a few options, you could do it casually like that, or depending on you and depending on the friendship, you could say something like, I love our friendship. I love the, maybe your neighbor and you've gotten a little close to. I love the walks that we take together every Saturday morning and I just want you to know that if you ever want to share something with me that's like, you know, kind of personal like, I won't tell a soul I will, you know, will hold it next to my heart with absolutely no judgment. And I just want you to know I'm here for you if you need me. So it's just it's just about kind of throwing the fishing line out there. I don't even know if that's the correct use of that metaphor. I've never been fishing. I don't have anything against it. I would go if someone invited me. I've been with people while they were fishing. Does that count as been fishing? That's my in laws. But yeah, just throw it out there. I really have enjoyed our talks and I sometimes feel like I share a little bit more and I don't I don't mean to be hogging up the conversation. So please, if there's anything that you want to share, I'm happy to hear it. So you're just you know, you're not demanding that they share with you. You're not asking specific, deep questions. You know, I often joke that when I meet people and I like them, like I want to lean in and be like, who broke your heart and what happened? Crosses some emotional boundaries there. It's only a half joke. You don't have to do that. It can be light, and you are just putting it out there that you are open to hearing their stories. That's it.
And the last scenario, what if you've had a friend that you've lost touch with. I know there's some of you listening, where this has been the case. Maybe you used to work together, maybe you went to school together, maybe we used to live near each other, and you were good friends. And then life happened. Life happened. This is especially common. When women either are full pedal to the metal in their careers, and or they have small children. Our priorities shift, and our friendships tend to be last or almost last. Self-care is kind of like towards the end of there as well. Keeping in touch with family, etc, etc. But your friendships can tend to be more of a last priority. And it's similar to the first one is, is reaching out to that person and saying what's there saying what's there as comfortably as vulnerable as you want to be? And stretch yourself a little. So it might say something like, hey, I know we haven't talked in an eternity… Because let me back up for a second, before I give you an example. Here's what nobody really likes. Have you ever had that friend who, or have you ever been that friend, because I feel like I've been both the doer and the receiver of this. You have a crisis and it's kind of an emergency and you think of your friend that you know, maybe knows the history of what has happened, or that you know, would be like the perfect person to come to, and you haven't talked to her in a while. Or maybe you feel like it hasn't really been that reciprocal, like you've kind of taken a little bit more from the friendship than she has and you want to reach out to her, but you feel really uncomfortable. So I have both been that friend and also been on the receiving end of that, and neither feels great. So I'm encouraging you to keep in touch and in addition, say what's there. That's a saying from the Coaches Training Institute, my life coaching alma mater. It's one of my favorite things, it's basically just being really honest, in the moment, like of what's happening, pointing out the elephant in the room. Not necessarily calling it out, but just pointing it out, like, Hey, I have not been in touch with you as much as I have wanted to and probably as much as I should and I'm really sorry for that and I wish that I could go back in time and change it. And if it's a crisis, maybe you go in with your with your thing and I would be so incredibly grateful if I could have an hour of your time, one evening, this week to talk through something you've always been so smart about these situations, and I would love your advice. And if I can return the favor, I'm happy to do that. And I would love to also catch up and hear what's going on for you. So me, Andrea, as someone who's been a selfish friend, especially in my 20s, it's important to also acknowledge what they might need from you.
Okay, so I kind of I kind of went through a lot there. But this is specifically for a friend that you have lost touch with and that you also want to be more in touch with. And my best friend Amy Smith, is so good about this. She puts things in her calendar, like important dates that she knows are important to her close friends. So when that day comes, it's on her calendar, and she's like, oh, I know that this is the anniversary of Andrea's dad's death and it might be a tough day for her, so I'm gonna, I'm going to send her a text in the morning and mention it, see how she is. See if there's anything I can do for her or just let her know I'm thinking of her. There is nothing wrong with putting that in your calendar. So even if you have to, every month on the 15th, put in your calendar or every quarter even, every third month, reach out to Jen, see how she's doing? Or put your I mean, you might put your friend's birthdays in your calendar too. And it's a step above that. And that's probably a whole other conversation of if they're never reciprocal, which I understand. But this is we're assuming that this is a friendship that you are invested in and that you know that it matters to reach out. And you've just decided that you're going to be the one I'm going to be the one to make an effort. She's probably just as busy as I am and dang it, I listen to Andrea's minisode I can't I can't unhear it so I'm going to be the one to put it in my calendar and shoot my friend to text and just let her know I'm thinking ever. Hey, I know that you moved last month, I hope you're all settled in and I'm thinking about you I know moves can be really stressful. Everyone loves to know that they're being thought of. That you popped into someone's head. I sidenote, I really do my best to make it a point when someone pops into my head, whether it's a friend or a former client, when they pop into my head, I reach out just to say hi, especially if it happens twice. They pop into my head kind of for no reason, more than once within like, you know, a period of time. I'm like, okay, something's going on. The universe is tapping me on the shoulder about this, so I always reach out.
Alright, my dears, I'm at the 15 minute mark, and I appreciate your time. I want you to have good friendships. I want you to have healthy friendships that nurture your soul that make you feel good, and that make you happier and healthier. Period. You deserve it. It matters. 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, everyone