Aug 23, 2023
We’re back with our “For the Love of Community and Friendship Series, and this week, we delve into an area of friendship that all of us may face, but inevitably dread. It’s that moment when you know a friendship has run its course, or perhaps has become toxic, or you’ve just drifted apart–and you don’t know how to go forward. When life changes, when we change, and a friendship no longer serves us, how do we gracefully (and honestly) communicate about it? Our guest this week, who is here to walk us through this touchy topic, is writer, former standup comedian and political consultant Erin Falconer. Erin's written a book called How to Break Up With Your Friends: Finding Meaning, Connection and Boundaries in Modern Friendships. Lest you think this is just a conversation on how to wipe your friend slate clean, stick around–you’ll hear Jen and Erin talk about how to create and maintain the healthiest friendships through all the seasons of our lives in order to avoid the painful friend breakup.
They also discuss:
Erin’s “Six Pillars of Friendship” that help us take stock of who is in our life and how we’re serving each other
What to do when we see a friendship has run its course or needs to shift or change in some way
It’s tough to grapple with the complexities of friendship breakups, but it all starts with building healthy relationships from the start.
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“There's no collectively agreed upon language out there in the zeitgeist about how to navigate conflict in [friend] relationships. There’s no blueprint for what a good one looks like, what a bad one looks like, and how to get out of good bad ones and into good ones." - Erin Falconer
“The default setting on any one relationship should be one of positivity. It's so easy to slip into negative thinking and negative conversations because they feel so good. They feel like you're seen and you're heard and done. But you have to be really careful to not lean too heavily into those things.” - Erin Falconer
“Relationships take work. To show up, you need to commit to the other person and you have to find your rhythm of what that looks like. It doesn't mean you have to be getting dinner every week, but there has to be some kind of agreed-upon level of commitment in this.” - Erin Falconer
“It is true that individuals themselves can be toxic people. That is such a small percentage of people. It is, in this case, the relationship that is toxic, and even if somebody else is behaving badly, you've allowed them to continue to show up in this way in your life. We teach people how to treat us and there's a certain degree of responsibility we need to own within these relationships because with responsibility comes freedom and power.” - Erin Falconer
“Relationships are very much a mirror to you. The more you explore these types of relationships, the more you explore yourself. To that end, understanding who is in your world is really important to understanding who you are.” - Erin Falconer
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