I get a lot of requests to talk about friendship. I don’t naturally like to talk about female friendship, but I recently read a book that has really stuck with me and taken away a lot of the pressure surrounding making friends as an adult and as a mom. Let’s jump in!
In this episode Allie discusses:
The pressure to make friends
Friendship as Chemistry
Mentioned in this Episode:
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Mom life. We’re surrounded by the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. We’re supposed to get through it. Survive. Cling on by the last little thread. And at the same time, Carpe Diem—enjoy every moment because it’s going to go by so fast. The typical mom culture that sends us all kinds of mixed, typically negative messages. We shouldn’t take care of ourselves; it’s selfish. The more ragged you run yourself, the bigger your badge of honor. But also, ditch your mom bod and work out. Don’t yell. Make more money. Show up. Be better, but not at the expense of time with your kids. I am putting a hard stop to all of this. While being a mom, running a business, and whatever else you might have going on is hard, it is a lot and there’s lots of giving of yourself, the idea that motherhood means living a joyless, nonstop-hustle-with-zero-balance kind of life, where you give and give and give and never take, needs to stop.
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Hi, love! Welcome to The Purpose Show podcast. Today we’re talking about friendships.
I get what feels like a crazy amount of requests to talk about this topic. And it’s kind of funny because the topic of friendship and having other female friends is not my favorite topic. It’s not something that I would organically choose to talk about or that naturally flows out of me.
I am just kind of living my life and have stumbled through the topic of friendship in my life. And the way that that’s played out for me personally has looked different friend to friend and season to season. I am a loyal person. So I’ve had a very small select group of friends that I’ve really done life with at different periods of time in my life.
I’m also comfortable with naturally parting ways. It’s not something that wrecks me or that I feel super upset about. I don’t believe that it’s normal for every single friend to last your entire life.
I do have one lifelong friend that has been my friend since I was 7 years old, and I’m 33 now as I record this. We live in different parts of the country, but we’re still very close and talk almost every day. But I realize that’s rare and I don’t expect that out of all of my friendships.
So, I guess I just don’t feel like I am super excited to talk about friendship. I don’t think to talk about it often. And when I do get requests to talk about it, I kind of sit with it and I don’t know what to say, because I’m just a person and I’m learning.
I’ve had some really, really, really hard circumstances with friends. I’ve had some really, really great friendships. I’ve even experienced traumatic things when it comes to other girls and other women and the lack of friendship between them and me. And it’s been really hard and really ugly.
So, I don’t know, I feel like I just am with you guys in this. And I’m just feeling like I also want somebody to talk about friendship and help us out. But it’s just not been something that I’m naturally wanting to talk about.
But I have been thinking on something a lot lately. This episode is inspired by a book I read somewhat recently by Lalah Delia. Also she’s an amazing follow on Instagram and I will link to that in show notes for you guys.
But the book she wrote is called Vibrate Higher Daily. It’s really a lifestyle book, but it had a very, very short blurb on friendships. It really made me think and it really inspired me, so that’s kind of what’s behind this episode.
I read it a couple months ago and I’ve just been thinking about what she said about friendships. I thought back on my past friendships with people who I’ve just grown apart from and we’ve parted ways since.
I’ve thought back on things that have happened that were really hard or felt like a breaking up of a friendship. It wasn’t just drifting apart and it did hurt. And I’ve thought of people that I’m still friends with.
Just thinking through all of the different circumstances that have played out in my life when it comes to friendships, what I read in Vibrate Higher Daily really feels so true to me. It’s been really helping me understand, and also relieving guilt over any of the times that I feel like somebody wants to be friends with me and I am just not really feeling it. I don’t feel badly about that anymore because of what I read.
I want to share the general idea with you and walk you through this when it comes to the friendships.
Making friends as an adult is hard and weird, right? It just is. I’ve watched my kids make friends with other kids everywhere we go. And I think, “Oh, to be a child. Why is it so much harder and weirder for adults?”
Making friends as a mom is even harder and even weirder, right? Because there’s so much more at play. Not just how you get along with the other person, but how your kids get along with their kids.
How their lifestyle and your lifestyle mesh or don’t mesh. How your spouse or partner fits with their spouse or partner. There’s a lot going on, a lot at play, and a lot that could really not mix well.
I think we put pressure on ourselves to impress other people. We’re checking to see what kind of a person this is when we meet someone, measuring our own values and the way that we live up against how they’re sharing with you that they live. It’s really easy to put pressure on yourself to perform, to be interesting, to make sure they like you, to make sure that you’re getting along. There’s just pressure.
And honestly, that’s probably what makes making friends as an adult and as a mom, hard and weird like we were just saying. It’s just the pressure that’s on it. And a lot of the time we put that on ourselves.
One thing that I read in this book really helped me with letting that go. Letting go of that pressure and just relaxing about friendships as an adult in general. And the thing that I read in Vibrate Higher Daily was that friendship is just chemistry.
In chemistry we can see that certain things don’t mix well with other things. Sometimes, something can be explosive when you pair it together. Sometimes, something can be toxic when you pair it with something else.
And that same chemical that’s toxic when paired with another chemical is incredibly healing and helpful when mixed with a different chemical, right? People are the same as chemistry. And friendship is the same thing.
Certain people sometimes just don’t mix well with other people. And it’s not that there are bad people or wrong people, but removing the pressure from it and just realizing this is all just chemistry.
People impact you differently. Some people impact you in a way that doesn’t feel good to you. If the way they make you feel, the way that they affect your wellbeing, the way that they affect your soul, the way that they affect your mental health is in a way that doesn’t encourage you towards where you want to go, pull you upward or align with how you want to live, then it’s just chemistry. It’s not personal.
And seeing that it literally is all just chemistry removes the pressure. In chemistry what’s good for one chemical might be bad for another and vice versa and seeing that it’s the same with relationships—it’s not wrong or bad, it’s just not right for me—totally removes the pressure, right?
It takes the pressure off of the other person. It takes the pressure off of you. It frees you up to just feel.
Let me just feel the chemistry between us. What is it? It’s always there. It’s just sometimes it’s not what you really want to immerse yourself in. It’s not a chemical reaction between you and the other person that you want to continue to put yourself in.
Maybe the way that they think about the world feels very negative to you and that’s not something you want to be around. Okay, it’s just chemistry. It’s not personal to her. It’s not personal to you.
And if somebody is going to take that personally, that’s not on you. That’s their choice and you can’t control that, so no worries in terms of the way that you’re seeing that. It’s totally out of your control.
The chemistry is totally out of your control, so why worry? How can you make it personal when it’s literally not? And seeing it as the chemistry that it really is, seeing it for the truth of what it is, if it’s going to work or not.
I think that if women were to really stand in their own power. If they were to really step into who they are, love themselves truly, love and accept themselves as they are.
If where they’re at in their journey is completely free of judgment and they’re not looking at another person they are trying to become friends with and comparing her journey to their journey, judging themselves super hard and wrapping themselves up in this inner shame and comparison game (or the other version of that would be projecting your own inner insecurities and judgments of yourself onto the other person, and coming across as incredibly critical and judgmental).
If we could just not do those things and just stand in our own power and know confidently who we are, own that completely, and live in that place where we have a deep and complete love and acceptance of ourselves. And then, just realize that friendship is all about chemistry and we’re just seeing what the reaction is between the two of us and becoming that chemist of our own lives, things would go so much more smoothly and there’d be so much less taking it personally.
How can you take it personal when it’s not a personal issue? Own this understanding of the way that things work, like chemistry. Stop taking things so personally. Stop getting so offended at things that you see online and in the world and realize that it’s all just chemistry.
To each their own. I know who I am and I’m standing firmly in that. I deeply love and accept myself. I’m just here to see if there’s chemistry that I want to continue to immerse myself in or not.
It’s not personal. It’s truly all chemistry, and it’s all lessons that we can learn about ourselves and others. It’s just not as dramatic as we make it out to be.
There doesn’t need to be comparison. There doesn’t need to be judgment. There doesn’t need to be projecting our own inner ish onto other people. There doesn’t need to be being catty, unkind, judgmental, or even really jealous.
I personally believe jealousy is a tool we can use to figure out what it is that we think we can’t have. When someone else has it, it brings that feeling up in us (but that’s another episode).
There doesn’t need to be these negative emotions, these negative feelings, or self doubt, and all this stuff that just clouds us. That’s what makes making friends so difficult. That’s what makes it so hard.
So, when something just isn’t fitting right, and maybe it’s not even the person, maybe it’s just the wrong time in my life. Maybe I just really honestly don’t have space to love another person and bring that into my calendar and into my life. Because I do go all in. I do pour my heart and soul into my relationships.
I am fiercely loyal, but only to a select few. I’m not a crappy friend. I’d rather be a deeply loyal friend to a couple of people than have lots of friends that I can’t even remember their birthdays.
Then maybe it’s chemistry in terms of timing. It’s not even the other person. It’s just the timing and it just wasn’t meant to be.
I think if we were all truly confident in ourselves, we truly loved ourselves, and we were truly living out that confidence, then we wouldn’t be getting so offended and it wouldn’t be so dang hard. That’s something that I’ve been thinking about lately, especially in my personal life.
I’ve had a lot of friends move away. I’ve had a lot of friends go through the shifts that have occurred in my life with me and come out the other side with me.
But I’ve also had friends that started out with me and then I went through a big evolvement or a big shift in my life, they didn’t come out the other side with me and it’s all really okay. I don’t spend much time or energy thinking about it and worrying about if I did something wrong or overthinking things.
I really don’t because I’m confident in myself. I’m totally willing to apologize when I do things wrong and I do that often. I’ve apologized lots of times.
I’ve apologized in DM’s. I’ve apologized in my friendships. I apologize in my marriage and to my kids basically daily. That’s not the point. But I’m confident in who I am.
And if the chemistry just isn’t there anymore, or it never was, that’s okay. I don’t take it personally. And you shouldn’t either.
Because it’s all just happening without us. It’s just chemistry. It just is. And sometimes your energy just doesn’t work with someone else’s energy. Or the way you see the world doesn’t vibe with the way someone else sees it.
And it’s not that either one is right or wrong. It’s just different and not vibing together. It’s not personal; it’s chemistry.
I feel like we get really emotional about friendship. We want to make friends and it’s hard. It’s a strange thing to be an adult woman and have no friends and to literally be going out trying to make friends. It feels worse than dating. It’s just strange.
But when we see it as chemistry, maybe it doesn’t need to be so strange. Maybe it doesn’t need to be so heavy. Maybe it doesn’t need to be so wrapped up in all of these complicated layers we wrap it up in.
Maybe we can just stand confidently in who we are and put ourselves in situations where we’re meeting new people, starting conversations, feeling the vibes, and then not feeling so bad when you say, “Hey, I’m actually not going to be able to hang out next weekend. Thank you so much though.”
And then, just let the person decide what they want to do with you backing off because you’re not feeling it. Or be straightforward or whatever your personality is. Just be confident, be cool with yourself, love yourself and respect yourself enough to not spend time with somebody who isn’t really vibing with you. It’s not personal; it’s chemistry.
I really liked that thought. It really simplifies it. And you guys know that I like things simple.
So anyway, just something that I’ve been thinking about. Full credit to the Vibrate Higher Daily book by Lalah Delia. I hope this really helps you guys.
I know friendship can be hard and weird and I’m with you. I’m just kind of stumbling through it myself. I’ve got my old loyal friends. I’ve got friends that have left and friends that have accidentally separated from each other. And it’s all good.
We’re all just here. Some friends you separate a little from and you pick right back up where you left off the next time you talk to them. Sometimes not. And it’s all okay. It’s all good. None of it is terrible. None of it is wrong.
You’re allowed to change and evolve. And so is the other person.
I think when we just uncomplicate it and look at it for what it is—chemistry—it just really makes it lighter. And I think we all need things to be a little lighter, right?
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I am always rooting for you, friend! See you next time! I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
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