I asked you guys what you wanted to hear in an episode and the overwhelming response surrounded friendships—how to have them, how to keep them, how to cultivate authentic ones. And so, I’m highlighting four of my own friendships and how I’ve loved my friends in different seasons of life. Real authentic friendship is a choice. It’s a hard choice, but it’s so, so rewarding.
In This Episode Allie Discusses:
Authenticity in friendships
How to be friends with your polar opposite
How to be friends with your competition
How to be friends when you’re each in different seasons of life
Letting go of a “seasonal” friendship
Action steps for staying connected with your friends
Making friends as an introvert
Mentioned in this Episode:
Allie’s Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)
Mother Like A Boss Podcast Episode: How to Find Your Mom Circle When You’ve Moved Away
I want to help you cultivate stronger female friendships in your life, so I created two videos and a small workbook with prompts that you can get completely FREE!
Whether you have existing friendships or you want to cultivate new ones, don’t miss this. Having a group of women to do life with changes everything. It’s so important and I want that for you.
Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
Hey guys. I am so looking forward to talking about this with you! This episode I did not expect. When I was surveying you guys about what you wanted me to talk about this month in February, I was struggling with the whole ‘love month’ thing. I didn’t really want to do relationship/spouse/ partner/marriage love. It’s so overdone. I really don’t love talking about marriage. It’s just not my favorite thing. Brian and I have done it a few times to answer specific questions and to bring help where we feel like, “Yeah, we can really help here”. And we did record an episode for this month, but I didn’t want to do the whole ‘have a good marriage thing.’ I wanted to spread love and light, but I wanted it to be different.
So, I asked you guys what you wanted in this episode, this topic on friends and friendship was overwhelmingly the most requested thing. And what that tells me is that we are craving authentic connection in this very superficial, very online world. And I think that’s amazing.
I think that when women band together, amazing things happen. But I think there’s a lot of limiting beliefs and cliches around women being friends. I think there’s a lot of fakeness in women friendships and it’s just the killer of authenticity.
That’s a very obvious statement, but when you really think about it, when you put on that mask and you show up as not your real, authentic self, it’s impossible to have a real connection with another person.
My friend, Melissa Kamara Wilkins, wrote a book called Permission Granted, and you’ll hear from her in a few weeks here on the show. But she told me, “If we’re just both showing up with our masks on, then we can’t really connect. It’s more like masks bumping up against each other. You can’t really see my face, feel who I actually am, understand me, and decide if you agree with me, like me, or want to be around me. And the fear of that possibility of rejection is what keeps us keeping our mask on.”
I also think that the expectations in society keep us with our mask on. I think, for me, the definition of that mask is the editing of yourself that you do when you go into a certain room, scenario, or group of people. Think about at church if you’re a church-goer or if you’ve ever been a church-goer. When you go to church, there’s often this vocal cadence that people talk in. There’s often this peppiness, this chipperness, this overly-happy-perfectness way that people talk, act and greet you with. And then they are a totally different way when you run into them at a bar or a restaurant on date night. That is the mask—that fakeness that ‘I’m not really being myself and I’m saying that I’m good and I’m fine when I’m actually doing terribly and I’m struggling with depression.”
What would happen if we took the masks off and showed up as our real selves? I’ll go deeper into that with Melissa when you listen to our conversation about her book and everything that she teaches with that. It’s amazing and I highly recommend that book. I will link to in it show notes for you. But I think that you’re craving authentic friendships and a big part of that is being your real self. And that’s a separate issue.
Let’s talk about this. I want to talk about how I have loved my friends in different seasons, in moving across the country several times, in being really busy and having a business, and being a mother of four kids and living this big, full life.
Where do friends land? How have I cultivated authentic friendships and relationships that have been long lasting, or not, and why were they not? And is that okay? Let’s just dive into friendship.
And guys, please, if you have any further questions about this or if I left something unanswered, if you think that you have a good idea on this topic for a follow-up episode, please reach out to me. We keep notes of all of these things and I will do it if either a lot of people are asking about it or I see a question and I’m like, “Oh yeah, that’s so good. I resonate with that and I have something to share about this.” We’ll make it happen. I want to hear from you.
So, I want to discuss three friendships that I’ve poured into, that I can dissect for this episode. And I don’t want you to think that I’m making this episode about me or it’s going to be super boring and I’m just talking about my own life. I’m giving these three examples that I’ve chosen out of a lot of friendships that have come and gone and still exist in my life.
I chose these three friendships in particular…actually there’s four of them. There’s four of them that I want to talk about because I think you’ll relate to them. And I wanted to just talk about it in this way.
So, the first friend that I want to dive into is Jules. She is my best friend. Juliet has been there for me for over 20 years, over 25 years I think. Gosh, we met when I was seven and she was five and we have been inseparable ever since. Even when we have been separated by an entire country between us. We have opposite lives. I am the loud one, the opinionated one.
I am the wild one. The ambitious one. Juliet is the gracious, centered, quiet, calm one, and she is a stay at home mom. She has two daughters. One is currently being adopted. She is so patient and has such strength, such quiet, calm, confident, strength. She’s an internal processor. I’m an external processor.
We are opposites in every way. And we would both agree, I think, that we have grown apart in our lives but stayed together. And what I mean by that is we are on such different paths, it really doesn’t make any sense on paper why we would still be connected and why we would still talk almost every day…definitely every week…and why we would stay connected because our lives are so different.
Things that have happened in our lives and to us have been so opposite. There’s some things that I have gotten into, or begun to believe, or read about, or dove into that she has not, or she wouldn’t do, or she wouldn’t agree with. And we have stayed good friends and I think that is a choice.
We have each made a deliberate choice to not let go of each other. If you follow me on Instagram, you might’ve seen last year I went and took my whole family and we stayed in Florida for a month because that’s where Juliet lives. And I posted about this. Our friendship is a love story. The good love stories that end well, they are choices. That love is a choice. Just like I am choosing to be married to my husband. Every day I choose him, I choose to love him. I choose to love Jules. I choose to be her friend, to show up for her.
Through long distance moves, all this distance, and different marriages. Not that we’ve had different marriages ourselves, but our marriages are each to different people, obviously, and different types of men in different circumstances. They are in the Coast Guard and we own our own business. I had my kids way earlier than she did. Bella is 10 and Juliet’s oldest is 3, just turned 3. So, our lives are very different. We made a choice to show up for each other in the various seasons that each other has gone through.
Juliet went through a horrible thing where her son was murdered. I flew out there for her, went and stayed with her in that mess. I got them food and made sure I was at least offering them food, even though they didn’t want to eat. I helped take care of their daughter and distract her as they worked things out, grieved and dealt with it. I was there for her.
We go out there and visit whenever we can. We’re always planning when the next time is we’re going to see each other.
When I am struggling, Juliet shows up for me. Even if her life is unraveling in some other way, if she knows that I’m having a hard time, she will remember that I was going through something and check in on me, or she’ll follow up a few days after we talk, or I vent, or I open up about something that hurt my feelings or that’s hard for me right now or whatever. She’ll check up on me and say, “Hey, how are you doing with this issue that we talked about last week?”
We remember each other and we show up for each other in the ways that the other can’t in that moment. She is the one that helps hold my arms up when I want to get tired, but I need to keep them up. She comes and supports me. I’ve done that for her too because we made a choice.
We never really had a conversation like, “Hey, I’m making a choice to love you even though it feels like we’re growing apart.” When the growing apart kind of happened, we both contributed to like, “Hey, how are you? I really miss you. What’s going on with you? Here’s what’s been going on with me lately.” And that was saying that we’re making this choice without saying it.
Ladies, we have got to continue the conversation about friendship. I have been so shocked by how many of you have struggled with this area of life, with how isolated you feel, how hurt you’ve been without saying anything, anything to the other person. How you’ve accidentally hurt another friend just by being a mom, focusing on your family and kind of forgetting and neglecting the friendships in your life. And this is so normal.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. I am really passionate about this. Relationships with other women, women supporting women, and women connecting with other women is so important. We need each other. And while our families need to be our first priority and our main mission field, that does not negate the importance of friendships with other women in our lives.
So whether you have existing friendships or you want to cultivate new friendships…maybe there’s a neighbor that you’ve been interested in and you’ve been having quick conversations with her, but it hasn’t gone to the next level where you are going to coffee together, hanging out together, or going to the park with the kids together, and you want to do that, but you feel awkward initiating that, I want to help you cultivate stronger female friendships in your life.
I really spent a good amount of time on this issue and what I did was I created basically a course, a mini course for this issue. There’s a workbook that you can work through with prompts and lessons in it. There’s also videos, there’s two videos, and then two separate sections of a workbook for existing friendships and new friendships. This is super, super helpful. I’m really happy with this and proud of it.
Basically, it’s everything that you’re going to need to cultivate a positive, hopefully lasting friendship with other women so that you have your circle of women to support you. Go to alliecasazza.com/lovingyourfriends and you can get that PDF and the videos. Sign up for that and get the help that you need.
This is really specific. I’m giving you examples of what to text, examples of what to say. I really try to do the thinking for you when I give you action steps to remove all the hurdles I possibly can for you and help equip you to go and make these changes in your life.
What would be different for you in your life right now if you felt that you had a solid band of women to support you? To talk with you? To hang out with? To come around you and do life with you? That changes everything. It’s so important. It’s not extra. It’s so important.
alliecasazza.com/lovingyourfriends. Go get into that and let me help you.
Another friendship that I have had in my life that I want to bring up is Kendra. You guys might already know Kendra. She runs Mother Like A Boss. We’ve done episodes together before. We have the Kinda Super Helpful segment here in The Purpose Show together. We have a business together. We have courses together.
Kendra is basically competition and when we met I made a choice to reach out to her and say, “No,” to competition and, “Yes,” to collaboration, “Yes,” to lifting each other up.
We have conversations sometimes that I feel like if somebody was listening in, they would not believe what we’re saying to each other. She will literally have a business idea or something happening that she didn’t know that I was also doing and I will just listen to her, support her, tell her what a great idea it is, and give her my best ideas for making that idea even better. Unabashedly just sharing.
I believe that generosity begets generosity, especially in friendship. And Kendra does the same thing for me. She’ll tell me all the time, “Oh my gosh, I am so proud of you for coming up with this idea! I also kind of hate you for it because it wasn’t mine, but this is amazing! I can’t believe you. You’re insane. You’re amazing. You’re so smart.” She will say these things to me all the time.
We do that for each other. And through what would have normally been competition, we have built a very solid bond. Her family came out here to California on their winter break to spend time with my family. We did winter break vacation together in San Diego and this is not the first time we’ve done that. We show up for each other.
In our specific friendship, it’s just a little bit easier for Kendra to come over my way because she’s got less kids. They’re a little older. She lives in frigid New York and I live in sunny San Diego, so she tends to come my way. But I show up for her when she’s here. I make space for her. I cancel everything and I go and stay in the hotel with her. I’m just there with her and she is there with me. She flew all the way across the country to invest in our friendship, and to do business, life, and love together. We talk about our marriages and we build each other up. We talk about our parenting and we build each other up.
What could have been competition turned to nothing. And pretending we don’t remember the other exists has turned into a very solid, beautiful friendship and a constant chronic collaboration between friends.
Another friend that I want to bring up is less of a, “Oh this is amazing and I want to talk about it.”
The next two friendships I want to talk about, I’m bringing fake names into it because I would just want to be real with you guys and show friendship looks different for different people and different friends.
So, the other friend I want to talk about is Tina. (That’s a made up name; couldn’t think of anything else.) Tina and I have been friends and been in each other’s lives for a lot of years, since grade school. The thing about me and Tina is that our seasons never, ever line up—like getting married, having kids, all the things in life that we have gone through, they’ve never been at the same time at all, but we still check in maybe once every few months. We show up for each other and just say, “Hi, and good job in what you’ve accomplished since the last time we talked,” and “Hey, I’m sorry you’re going through that. I’m going to be praying for you. Here’s what I found when I went through that…” and just kind of texting. It’s a text friendship.
We’ve tried several times to get together in person. It just never really works out. And that’s okay. I don’t feel that there’s any animosity between us because of that, at least I definitely don’t have any. I don’t feel that she does either from the way she talks to me when we’re texting.
But it’s just like we used to hang out every single day. We used to hang out all the time and do everything together. I would talk to her every day and see her in person almost every day. And then our seasons just kept not lining up. We moved on and did life. We were in each other’s weddings. Now it’s just sort of ‘here.’
And I think that sometimes these changes, these ebbs and flows in friendships, they just need to be okay. It doesn’t necessarily need to mean anything bad that it’s not the same as it used to be.
And on that note, another friend that I had for years (we’ll call her Anna), she was my friend, very closely, for a season. And that’s okay. And when that wraps up, I think it needs to be okay. I feel like it’s so unrealistic and full of pressure to expect that every friendship in your life will last forever and when it fizzles out and falls to the wayside, it’s like a bad thing. I think that is a limiting belief and I think it’s kind of damaging because then you’re going to be sad all the time.
I think that it’s okay if you’re just friends for a little bit. Maybe you needed each other in that specific season of your lives and then it’s over and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean that you’re not grateful for each other. It doesn’t mean that you don’t still care about each other and check in every now and then, and that you’re not crazy grateful for her. It just means that season is over. And as long as it kind of happened on both sides and you’re not being a jerk, it’s okay that it didn’t last forever.
What I’m trying to say is that different people will mean different things to you and different friendships will have different lengths of time and that’s natural. It’s okay. But when it comes to how to maintain friendships during busy seasons, having little kids and going through a lot of time together, having distance between you and all of that, I want to encourage you…it’s a choice.
Continuing to love somebody and be in their life is a choice. And sometimes you just know that you’re okay to not make that choice. And that is okay. You have permission to not continue a friendship, to not be as close as you once were—if that is what feels peaceful to you and you feel okay to let it go. That’s just because relationships like that have ebbs and flows. Okay, it ebbed and it flowed and it’s kind of coming to an end, and that’s okay.
But when you don’t feel like that and you feel like, “No, I want this person in my life. This is my sister, my soul sister. I need her. I want her in my life.” Then you show up.
Action steps. Here we go. Send a voice text to check in and share what’s new with you. I do this with Jules all the time. I’ll just be driving, she’ll cross my mind, and I’ll open up my texts before I drive. And as I’m driving I’m holding my finger down, recording while I watch the road. (Don’t freak out on me. I’m not texting and driving. I’m talking while driving. It’s fine.) And I’ll just say, “Hey, I am driving to Pilates and you crossed my mind. I just wanted to check in with you and see how your adoption is going. Over here, there’s nothing much new.” And I’ll tell her just whatever the business update is, whatever the family update is, something funny that Bella said or something like that and just say, “I love you. I’m here if you want to talk today.” And she’ll usually respond the same day, maybe the next day, and we connect that way. That’s good. That’s okay. That’s not inauthentic just because technology is involved.
Another way to stay connected to people that you lost touch with is scroll to the bottom of your text message history and check in with the person or people at the end of that. Do you wish you hadn’t lost touch? Do you wish it hadn’t been that long? Touch base again. Just say, “Hey, it’s been way too long. How are you? How’s your family? How’s your daughter doing with that thing? How’s that business of yours going?” Check in. Be the awkward one to bring things up and say, “Hi.”
When your friend can’t get together very often or she lives far from you, make a FaceTime date. Set a time where it’s good for both of you and you can sit in your closet or something away from your family and just spend 30 minutes talking with her face-to-face. It’s okay that it’s digital. It’s a gift. It doesn’t mean it’s inauthentic, lame, or not the same.
Get on the phone while you’re at the grocery store and go get your tampons and your water bottles while you connect with your friend. Send them a handwritten note or a card. This is so underestimated and it’s so special nowadays. I do this all the time and people love it. They feel really special because they know it takes a little bit of extra time than sending a text and it’s really meaningful. Sometimes we’ll stick an Uber eats gift card in there, a Starbucks gift card, or just the note itself and nothing in it at all.
One time I sent a pressed flower in the card because my friend was really missing California and we have amazing wild flowers here where I live and I pressed one of the wild flowers in the card and sent it to her.
Just little things, just thinking, showing up. Friendships are love stories. Show up like that. Show up in that way.
I also think that it’s really important to invest. I am always telling women this about investing in courses or buying books, investing in learning how to leave a better legacy behind, live a better life, live more intentionally and purposefully.
When you invest your money and your time in something, you’re showing that it matters to you the most. This goes for friendships too. Invest. How can you invest your time and money in these people? Fly out to them and show up for them. Make a trip to them. Spend a few hundred dollars and go for two days, one night, just to see your friend and have dinner with her a couple times.
Invest your time with making the FaceTime date and making it happen. Don’t cancel, don’t back out. Show up.
What you invest in, you show that matters the most to you. That really matters. Everyone can be talk. Very few people are actually full of action.
I also just want to say we got a lot of questions about making friends as an introvert and I actually have an episode that I did, coincidentally on Kendra’s podcast, Mother Like A Boss. I’m going to link to that in the show notes of this episode because I know that’s a really common question that we got and I haven’t necessarily talked about it here on The Purpose Show. I talked about finding your circle of friends when you’re an introvert and you don’t have one, or you moved away from them. Whether you moved or not, you just need to make friends.
Go and listen to that episode because I shared a lot in that, and lots of very practical action steps. So I’ll link to that in the show notes. alliecasazza.com/shownotes/140. That will take you there.
I hope this encouraged you. I want you guys to show up. Who do you want to not break up with? Sometimes breakups are okay, but who do you not want to break up with? Reach out, show up.
I hope this encourages you to love your friends a little bit better today.
This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.
Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.
I am always rooting for you, friend! See ya next time!