Lemanada. Hello, everyone. I feel like I sound sick. I'm not sick. Anyway, I'm feeling good. Today, I want to talk about friendships, more specifically ending friendships and all that comes with that.
31 as of this recording, and I have... I've had a few really close friendships in my life, very, very, very close friendships. The Inseparable, you see them just about every day. You tell them everything. They tell you everything. Like just the really enmeshed friendships. When you think of a best friend when you're really little and you're like, Oh, my goodness, they're my best friend, and all the hopes and dreams that you have that come with that friendship of just being so close and tighten it and that feeling, that's like what I had with a couple friends to the point where it was codependent, I would say, for both of them. So both of these people had actually met when I was very young teenager, maybe 13, 14 thing, 15 at the most. And the friendships lasted until my mid-20s. Then both friendships dissolved in my mid-20s. And both of them are sweet, lovely people. I just got to this place. So one of them was a very misery loves company thing where we would complain a lot. That was the basis of our friendship. And I like to think we definitely had a sense of humor about the things that we were experiencing.
We weren't just sitting there like, woe is me on top of what was me? We'd complain about real-time shit that was happening in our lives in a way that would make us both just crack up. We'd just laugh so hard. We laughed so hard together so often. And then I started therapy. I started therapy in my early 20s.
Started learning things about myself. And one of the biggest things was the many things that I wanted to change. I didn't want to be a person who complained like that. I have this role now where it's like I'm okay with complaining, but it has to be different than I was complaining about a year ago. I have to know my life is growing and moving in a positive direction. If I'm complaining about the same things I was complaining about a year ago, holy shit. God, help me. New year, new shit. If I made a calendar, that would be the saying on it. God, I loved and still love this person and still hope the best for them and wish the best for them. But as I was going through therapy, I realized, Okay, I want to change this about myself. I don't want to just be complaining all the time. I want to be working toward my growth and expressing gratitude and finding ways I want to change. And then I started actually changing, overcoming an eating disorder and working on the deep emotional pain that was coming up for me so frequently, resolving and exploring trauma, like all this stuff.
It's a lot, but what's on the other side of it is really good. And so my life started to feel really good.
I think it.
Might even... I don't know. I can't speak to this other person, but I felt a shift in their eyes and almost like a confusion at how I was enjoying my life because I didn't have many of the things that I'd had before that people might think lead to an enjoyable life. I didn't have any money coming in. I was making zero money. I had quit acting and I was focusing solely on writing at this point, and so there was no money coming in. Yet I felt happier. I wasn't acting on TV shows and I felt happier. I was just really, really focusing on improving myself and it was working. And there were a couple of things that this person had said offhandedly that made me realize, Oh, this person sees themselves as above me, as better than me.
They view themselves as the savior, the savior, the one who's always rises above and that thing. So that was the dynamic. Recognizing that that was how they view the dynamic was devastating to me. I had always seen us as equals, as on equal playing field, as mutual, as like in the boat together, dealing with all the shit together, not as like, Oh, I'm dysfunctional. I'm a mess. And they're amazing.
Put a lot of thought into it. I thought, How do I handle this?
I didn't confront this person at first. What I did first was I started expressing genuinely, if I enjoyed my day, even, something as simple as that. And I could feel the twitch, the, Oh, no, she enjoyed her day. What does that mean for us? What does that mean for our dynamic? Which made me think, Oh, I think this person feels safe in this dynamic because they feel above or better than. I think this person thinks their role in my life depends on their being above or better than. Because guess what? That is more comfortable, isn't it? In some ways to be able to think, Oh, this person really needs me. I'm needed by this person. I'm safe. I think that's what was going on. And the first step for me was really not tag teaming on the complaints, appreciating what was good about life, making a point to set an example for myself. This person would continue the complaint pattern, and I wouldn't engage.
Try my best not to be annoying about it, because there's always that annoying way of being self-righteous of like, You can go ahead and complain, but I'm over here healing. I wasn't trying to correct her. I wasn't talking in like my newly therapized voice. Nobody talks like that. Come on, you're lying. Sometimes I listen to these therapy videos on YouTube and the person's like, Why don't we start at our toes? I'm like, Fuck you. What are you... That's not your real voice. It's just not. Okay. Oof. It gets to me. The friendship is feeling rockier. There's a tenseness, there's a tension there in the friendship that was not there before. I know we both feel it. We're both emotionally intelligent people. I know we were both feeling it.
Eventually, it just became time to confront it. That was the next step that needed to happen. I confronted it with this friend and I said, Hey, look, I'm really trying to make my life better. I don't want to be stuck in the mud and I don't want my life to look anything like it looked in the past. I'm working really hard and I want to be around positive influences and sometimes I just feel really negative and down after we hang out. I feel worse. I feel just dragged down and depleted and drained. And I'm not saying I could have worded it better. This was early on when I was first learning about boundaries and how to navigate them and confronting people and how to own that. This is coming from a person. I was such a chronic people pleaser that setting a boundary or confronting somebody was fucking wobbly. It felt very black and white for a long time and stiff, and I think sometimes, frankly, it still does. These are areas that are just not... It's not my skill set, and so it still takes work to navigate them. But so I think maybe it was the wording or I don't know, I think it was a combination of probably the way that I worded it and then just the literal things that I was saying that this person got very upset with me and lasheded out, I guess.
I don't know how else to say it. And also this was over, it was either like text or email. It wasn't even because I was too, of course, scared to do it face to face, which I wish I had. But we had these email.
I'd also said something about, which is I don't know, maybe this is where I'd want too far, but I had expressed how much I would like them to or I wish they would also see the positive in their life and see all the things that they had going for them. And I wish that they would change in certain ways. And I felt like we were growing in different directions and I was trying to change and they were not. That's not the best wording. I could have done better. But I was honest, at least. That is how I felt. I got to own it. That is how I felt I said that. And then this person got pretty angry with me. And that was the end of our friendship. And it wasn't like it wasn't crazy dramatic because probably because we weren't face-to-face. No drinks were thrown in the other person's face, nothing like that. We just stopped talking after that.
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Other friendship? First off, I didn't feel authentic in anymore, and I don't know if I'd ever felt authentic in it. Whenever we would hang out, it felt like a million miles a minute. Just energy, energy, energy, energy, energy, energy. Which I think was my way of covering up or attempting to cover up an actual deep sadness that I needed to really touch base with to understand and move on from. Also drinking. There was a lot of drinking involved. I drank way too much when I was in my early 20s, and I am embarrassed of who I was when I drank that much. This person and I were so close. Then as I started drinking less, as I started going to therapy, as I started really getting my bearings on myself and figuring out who I am and what my core is and wants genuinely, I just felt less drawn to this person. And if anything, nervous or like a dread before seeing them. I stopped hanging out because I didn't want to go out drinking. You know what I mean? I'd stay in light a candle in a journal or I'd be working on my eating disorder.
I really was spending so much time and solitude to work on myself that I just... Socializing and certainly in that capacity of just socializing. And certainly in that capacity of just like getting wasted with somebody that was not going to happen. I was not interested.
I realized is, I don't even think for this friendship specifically, it had to be something like drinking or not drinking that draw us apart. I think it's really important to me in my friendships that I feel challenged, that I feel that the person is honest or at least trying to be honest with themselves. I wouldn't be doing this podcast. I wouldn't be living my life the way that I live my life if I didn't believe that. I think genuinely touching base with those ugly parts, yeah, it can be scary, but it's so exciting.
Person was just not willing to do that. So that's why I moved on from them. There were feelings of loss. There were feelings of mourning involved. But I've got to tell you guys, I felt better. Changing as a person takes a lot of work. I had to be able to not have people in my life who saw me as this stuck, unhealthy version of myself. I had to outgrow that I had to shed that skin. And for me, shedding that skin looked like letting go of people who could only see me in that skin. You know a big red flag in moving on from friendships when people say, God, you've changed, and they sound sad, that means, God, you're not who I need you to be so I feel better about myself. You want the friends who are like, God, you've changed. I'm really happy to see you sticking up for yourself. Oh, I'm really happy to see you changing the ways that you are. Oh, I'm really happy to see you setting a boundary here or saying what you need. That's a big one. Friendships can go through bumps and waves, and I get all of that.
But if you've moved on from a friendship mentally, internally, or you need to move on, I really, really, really encourage it. I think there's so much growth to that. Them. I think it can be a really good thing for both of you. I think there's so much fear around letting go. I know I had it. I clung to those friendships for years past what I should have. I had been having that itch of like, This isn't lining up. This isn't right for years. And I just try to push it down and say, Oh, well, but I've known this person for so long. Oh, but they're my best friend. Oh, but we do everything together. Oh, how am I going to fill my time? Guess what? You'll find ways. It's not worth it. I don't believe it's worth it to hold on to outdated, expired friendships that don't make you feel good. I think it's worth it to move on from them. And the more that I've peeled off those onion layers to figure out who I truly am, the more that my life puts me in line with people who are in line with that.
This has been my Ted talk. I think that's it for now. I just really wanted to talk about this because I think I believe it's important and it's something that's been really helpful for me and just something I'm thinking about a lot. All right, that's it for now. I'm actually going to go meet a friend for lunch today. All right, bye.
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Janette McCurdy, the creator, executive producer, and host of Hard Feelings. It's produced by Lemonata Media in coordination with Happy Rage Productions. Our production team is Keegan Zemma, Aria Brochi, and Brian Castillo. Music is by Hannah Brown. Steve Nelson is Lemonata's Vice President of Weekly Content. Rachel Neel is Lemonata's Senior Director of New Content. Executive producers are Stefani Widdles-Wax, Jessica Cordova-Kramer, and me. Listen ad-free on Amazon.
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