This week, our host Jamie Yuenger is speaking solo about a topic that is close to her heart: friend break-ups. She invites you to be in touch with her about your own experience.
“Friend break-ups” is not even a phrase we really use in our society. We’re talking about when you break up with a friend, when you say goodbye, when you intentionally stop the relationship. We are so used to reading and talking about romantic break-ups, obsessing over romantic break-ups, but women rarely talk about breaking-up or breaking contact with a friend. And yet, it happens. And it’s a big deal. There are so many factors to friendship break-ups. It is such an important topic to touch on. So today, we are inviting you - all the listeners of this show – to be the collective experts on this topic. Jamie will invite you throughout this episode to be in touch about your experience with friend break-ups. You can leave her a voice memo. In the end, we will create a future episode from select voice memos we get from you.
LEAVE US A VOICE MEMO
Help other women find us. Rate us on the Apple podcast app or on our website.
GET YOUR FREE COFFEE MUG
Become a patron of the podcast before March 1st, and we will send you an exclusive coffee mug as a thank you gift. See blog for images. Pledge any amount to get behind-the-scenes extras, discounts on merchandise and patron-only gifts. Become a patron today.
JOIN OUR WALL OF FLAME
Help us improve women's well-being through the power of story. Pledge $600 or more here and your name, bio and portrait will be added to our virtual monument: The Wall of Flame!
LETTER WRITING CHALLENGE
We invite you to join our letter writing challenge! Our guest Brinda wrote a letter to her kids. You can write your letter to anyone you love: your kids, your spouse, your lover, your best friend, or your great aunt -- whoever it is you’d like to (re)connect with. See our Blog.
SOCIALS & WEB
Sign Up for our Newsletter!
Produced by Jamie Yuenger and Piet Hurkmans.
Our show’s musical intro and outro is taken from the track “Thursday” by the independent artist Nick Takénobu Ogawa. You can listen and support his music on bandcamp here.
Other music in this episode is by Blue Dot Sessions
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Jamie: Hi everybody, it's Jamie. This is If You Knew Me, a show about women's inner lives. Most weeks we share one powerful story from an individual woman about an experience that she felt deeply but rarely shares even with her closest friends. Other weeks, I invite experts onto the show to discuss timely topics that are relevant to women's lives.
This week I was inspired to do something all together, different. I'm gonna be speaking solo, so it's just me, about a topic that is really close to my heart, and I'm gonna be inviting you to be in touch with me about your own experience with it.
The topic is friend breakups, which is not even a phrase that we really use in our society. I'm talking about when you break up with a friend, a platonic friend, when you say goodbye, when you intentionally stop the relationship and you cease being in contact with that friend. . We are so used to reading and talking about romantic breakups, obsessing over romantic breakups, but women rarely talk about breaking up or breaking contact with a friend, and yet it happens and it's a big deal.
There are so many factors to friendship breakups. I think it is such an important topic to touch on. So I wanted to do this special episode. , and actually I think that we, meaning you and me, you being the listener, all of us listening to this show, that we are the collective experts on this topic. So I'm gonna be inviting you throughout this episode to be in touch with me by leaving me a voice memo.
I'll be asking you questions, things to think about, and I hope you'll respond by going to our website and leaving me a voice. , it's really easy. and in the end, we're just gonna basically create a future episode from select voice memos that we get from all of you.
But before I dive in, um, I just wanna remind you that Piet and I have a goal of reaching 200 show supporters, by the end of this year, 2023, I would love for you to become one of those first 200. We are running a special giveaway right now through the end of February. If you become a patron of the podcast before March 1st, we will send you our first edition. If You Knew Me coffee mug, you can't buy it yet. You can't get it in the other way.
The only way to get it is to become a patron of the show. There's a photo of the mug up on our Instagram and our blog, and also up on Patreon. So just check it out and if you sign up before March 1st, we will send you a mug. There's a link in the show notes.
Okay, so let's get into this Friend Breakups.
Well, I will tell you before I start that I'm a little under the weather, so this might be what you hear in my voice. but here I am. I think it's important and very worth mentioning at the top of this, that, female friendships.
are so important. The friendship that starts the whole thing of the breakup that is so important. Women, I don't know. We often invest a lot of time and energy and care into our female friendships. Not to say that our friendships with men are not valuable. I'm just saying that female friendships are a thing.
We talk, we get together, we text, we cry, we laugh, we show up for each other. And generally speaking, we know this from research that women have more friends on average than men do, and we keep our friendships longer generally. So friendship in and of itself is a big thing in the life of most women. And so it makes sense that the loss of a friendship is also a big thing.
Um, gonna share a few of my personal experiences throughout this episode, and I'm using my experiences with friendships and friendships breakups as examples, in the hope that they can be touchpoints for emotions that so many of us have had and experiences that many of us have gone through.
I had these feelings in isolation. I felt very lonely, very troubled, and I hope that in sharing these, we can connect and process some of this stuff. And also it might help jog your own memories and feelings of experiences you've had.
So the first experience I had with a friend breakup, an official friend breakup was in 2014.
I got this job working on a documentary film with a documentary filmmaker and there was one other, woman working for that filmmaker and that other woman. and I slowly became friends and after a while of working for this other filmmaker, I had a dream of starting my own business. . And so I started working on that and after a while I asked this friend that I had made if she wanted to join me in doing the
So I started this business and after a while she joined me and we started building the business together and we became really close after a time.
We lived just one block away from each other, so we would walk an hour to work together. and then work together and then we would walk an hour home talking the whole time.
We also hung out on the weekends. to be honest, I had never had a friend like that in my entire life. I didn't have friends like that in high school. So this friendship became just really special to me. We knew so much about each other. There was almost like a sister, like intimacy that we had with one another.
We talked about our bodies, our insecurities, our dreams, like just really everything. And then after about four years, she told me that she wanted to shift some of the focus of our business to do something else, something related, but something different. And I didn't wanna do that other thing. I didn't wanna incorporate that other thing into the business.
it didn't feel like it was, resonant with, my original vision. So it started to create this rub between us. It was sort of like, what's gonna come first here, the business or a friendship. And without going into all the juicy details, I could not figure out how to keep the friendship and the business, or the version of the business that I had originally created Intact.
So we broke up as business partners. I bought her out of the business and in the process we broke up our friendship and it was so painful to this day, I'm not sure if I've actually ever experienced something else like that. It's really hard to compare different pains that we can feel in this, lifetime, but it was an immense feeling of loss for me.
She was my best friend. she was also my business partner. She was my creative partner, and I just felt so unbelievably bad because I felt like I was putting something ahead of our friendship. , you know, in a word that was me. I was putting myself my dream, the vision I had for the business ahead of our friendship.
So I felt responsible for this breakup, and yet I somehow knew that that was the right decision for me.
So, as you can imagine, as a result, it caused all kinds of awkwardness. We had so many mutual friends. at one point a mutual friend of ours invited us both to her wedding. You know, these kinds of things were coming up and apart from the social aspects of it all, I felt so much grief.
I mean, I think it really took me a few years to move through that grief, and I didn't even feel like I could be sad because I had been the decision maker. . I had been the one to say that I was choosing the business over our friendship, quote unquote, and that's how it was framed. So I didn't feel like I could really express how sad I was.
So this is the first theme here where I'd really love your thoughts on this topic of grief. Grieving the end of a friend. , I'd really love if you would leave me a voice memo. It's really simple to do this, all you have to do is go to our website. Just go to, ifyouknewme.show, not .com, dot show. And you can do it on your phone, your laptop, your desktop.
Just go to ifyouknewme.show. And then the bottom right hand corner is this little purple button and it says send us a voice memo. So just click on that little purple button and you can directly start recording a 90 second recording. And if you get cut off, you can just send another one.
So, here's my first set of questions.
Have you ever felt grief over the end of a friendship? And if so, what happened? How did it feel? What form did it take for you? Could you acknowledge the grief? Could you talk about it? Or did you sort of hide it? . So I really would love if you would tell me about any feelings of grief or sadness that you felt over a friendship breakup.
We're gonna choose select recordings and possibly include them in a future episode. So feel free to leave your name and your city where you're from, and then whatever you're gonna share, or you can just leave it anonymously.
Okay, so to continue with the story, it's now been nine years since I broke up with that friend.
And I can see in hindsight that it's really okay that we broke up, as friends and as business partners, but namely here as friends. I've done interest net searches as most of us have done on people that we're trying to find information out. So I can see based on, you know, googling her, that she's doing what she always wanted to do, what she was always meant to do.
And I can see that I'm on my path. We both moved out of New York City to very different places in the world. We both have new partners and I just checked and we have 108 mutual connections on LinkedIn . So in some very real sense we're still connected. but I think we parted ways because we probably needed to do that for our own growth.
And it took me a really long time to see that and for that to come into focus. And now when I see her, You know, obviously this is again based on the internet, but whatever, I can see that she's happy. I can see that she is flourishing and it makes me really happy to see that.
So, you know, this story, quote unquote, ends well. But you know, there's the other thing of friendships being toxic. . You know, sometimes friendships that we start, we start them for the wrong reasons, right? the reasons maybe weren't wrong per se, but they were very circumstantial. Sometimes you're in a bad place, in a bad circumstance, or you know, you sort of become quote unquote friends with someone in that environment, in that moment in your life.
So you move to a new town and they're these people that you meet and somehow you're sort of drawn to them because they're in the same mental space or emotional state, and you're basically kind of bound by your circumstances or your trauma, or your shared confusion or your shared issue, but then you, or one of you, you or the other person starts to change.
starts to move, starts to grow, and then you don't really need that friend anymore or want that friend anymore, and you see that the friendship is not healthy for you or it's not what you need in order to grow. So I've definitely experienced this, and I've found this really difficult because the braver you , the one that is expanding, still wants to be friends with someone who was kind enough to befriend you.
Or at least that's how it's felt for me. So sometimes you stay for that reason, but then you're annoyed or resentful, and this is like just no good. Right.
The other thing that can happen is when you are growing. Or you are changing or you've made a decision that your friends can't roll with, then you don't necessarily choose to be out of relationship with those friends, but they choose to not be in relationship with you anymore. I had this experience, in a big way when I met Piet, my husband, it.
An incredibly exciting time because I had met him and I was ready to move into another life, another experience, but I was also leaving the marriage that I was in without going into huge details here, and a lot of the friends who I had could not. see that path that I was on, and I had no great way of explaining it to them either.
I just knew that the choices I was making were good for me and good for my growth, but they made other people in my life deeply uncomfortable, and several of those friends just dropped me. Just some of them just stopped talking to me and didn't explain. Others of them went into great detail about why they could not be friends with me anymore, and I made a really distinct choice at that moment in my life to.
move towards what I thought and felt was good for my own growth. and that included entering into a relationship with Piet, which, you know, led to a million other things, which I didn't know at the time, but I was going off of my intuition. And so, you know, certainly this third player, quote unquote, which oftentimes can be a, a romantic partner entering in the mix creates a lot of upheaval in our friendships.
Jamie: And so either you can want to get away from someone else who not a good match, or other people don't wanna be in relationship with you, and what happens then?
So I would love to hear from you, I kind of brought up very personal experiences here, but I'm curious what your experience has been.
What is this sort of jogging your memory about? Have you found yourself outgrowing a friendship or have you been growing and other friends cannot grow with you or stay with you? maybe your friend has outgrown you and you're the one being left behind. what's happened in your life. I'm really curious and I'm counting on hearing from you, so don't be shy.
I would really appreciate you leaving a voice memo. So again, you just go to our website, ifyouknewme. show, and then in the bottom there's a little purple button that says 'Leave a voice memo' . by the way, you can leave more than one.
So we're building this collection of shared experiences together as show listeners, as the community of this, show, and I would love for you to add to it.
So again, I'm curious, have you experienced outgrowing a friendship and what happened?
Another theme that I see that comes into play when we talk about friendship and also how it can relate to personal growth is jealousy. people typically feel jealous when they perceive. You know, a relationship in their life is being threatened by a third party. So our friend gets a new boyfriend or a new girlfriend, this romantic partner.
is supplanting us or we feel that they are supplanting us and then we feel jealous? Or a friend is, you know, given a bright new opportunity, a new job, or her book gets published or, you know, whatever it is, and we feel jealous. or, you know, the other way around. A friend is jealous of us for something that we are now, able to experience, or enjoy.
And the question is this, is that jealous? it so strong that it breaks up the friendship?
And I can tell you, and this is really hard for me to share, I was curious if I was like gonna be able to share this, but I'm gonna do it. I have one friend, a current friend, an active friend in my life, and I really struggle to not be jealous of her.
She has a lot of things that I desire for myself, things that I don't feel I have or I don't have, at least I don't have them currently.
to give you some, just like very clear. picture of what this is like. I just think she's so beautiful and she used to like have a, career with beauty and she's, you know, been doted on for that and she has all of these gorgeous professional photos taken of her and I'm like, wow, okay. You know, in a world where women are just adored for their beauty, she's got that going on.
Right. Which is so fantastic.
She also has had this career doing something that is meaningful and that she has been successful with, and also has gotten, a fair amount of pay and money for and is just like, oh my gosh. How does she have all those connections? How does she do all of that stuff?
How does she, build that personal brand and all that mumbo jumbo. those things have pulled up immense feelings of jealousy for me, and I've really watched myself think and feel. And even occasionally, and I am shameful to say this, sometimes behave towards her in ways that are not friendly, not kind, not loving, not because.
I'm not happy for her, but because I wish I had those things and that gets in the way of the friendship. And I have, you know, as I've become more conscious of it, like started to investigate for myself and look at for myself, what is the jealousy that I have towards her communicating to me about what I desire.
which is more informative than staying in the place of just being jealous of her.
And the thing is, I wanna keep the friendship and I can see that if I didn't look at that, the friendship would break up over it. So I'm really curious about you and your experience with this. do you have any wisdom on this?
What has been your experience around jealousy , what have you uncovered and unearthed for yourself about what you wanted and what you were jealous of, and if that really, needed to break up the friendship or if it taught you something, what's your advice? have you ever felt like you were left as a friend because someone was jealous of you and your accomplishments, or your growth, or your change or what you had then they couldn't have, they couldn't be happy for you?
What have you experienced there?
so I would love to hear from you on that.
One week ago or so, I posted about the topic of friend breakups on my Instagram stories, and I loved one comment that I got. It really spoke to me. The person said, quote "you can love and miss someone and still be better without them."
"You can love and miss someone and still be better without them" .
So we often hear this about romantic relationships, you know, like, ah, you know, sure miss him, but you're so much better without that guy. Or, you know, go ahead and miss her, but she was no good for you. But we don't really say this about friendships. Why? I guess because we don't really talk about friendship breakups, but somehow we don't go into the depths of the experience about this.
We also don't say this much about family relationships when we break contact with, a family member, like a mom or a dad. But that is another episode altogether. Still interesting. But I think here about, friend breakups, it can be so true that we can continue to love someone and miss someone and still be better in our current life without them.
I would love to hear from you on that. Are you sort of past the grief or the trouble of a friend breakup, and you're at the point where you realize and you can feel and you can speak to being better without being in relationship with that person. What has happened in your life? What do you feel? What are you able to do?
what Is there more space for? How have you transformed as a person not being in direct relationship with someone who you held dearly? At an earlier point in your life.
Jamie: So again, you just go to, ifyouknewme.Show and click the voice memo button in the bottom corner, the purple button, and leave a voice memo.
And then what I'm gonna do is collect all of these and we will build another episode as a sort of echo, as a response to all of this, um, that you have shared.
thanks so much for listening to this week's special episode. again, I will be delighted to hear from you. It'll only take a minute to leave a voice memo, and I cannot wait to hear what you all have to say.
Two last notes. We are still running our February letter writing challenge.
You can take part in the challenge. You just write one letter to someone who you love. Your letter can be short, it can be long, and once you've written it, take a photo of some part of the letter or the envelope or you writing letter and post the image on Instagram or Facebook. Include the # Brinda, b r i n d a, #brindaletterchallenge, and tag us too.
And you can read a bit more about the letter writing challenge in the show notes and also on our blog.
Last but not least, I wanna thank our League of Women. These are the women leaders who help us expand and elevate this podcast. Our league members include Fredda Herz Brown, Carrie Ahern, Christine Shook, Sister Monica Clare, Dawn Roode, Elizabeth Doerr, Kara Pass, and Karen McNeill.
This podcast is produced by me, Jamie Yuenger, and my husband Piet Hurkmans. Thanks so much for listening to If You Knew Me, we'll be back with you next week.