And we’re back, this time with my BFF Caitlin Hosking to talk about all things…friendship. I know this pod mainly focuses on romantic love, but it’s also so important to make sure we’re showing up in friendships and other relationships in our lives, and making sure they grow and develop as we do.
Caitlin is a shadow work coach who helps women stop sabotaging and achieve their goals.
Her goal is to put shadow work in the hands of as many women as possible because she knows it’s the key to deep self-love, self-trust and how we can achieve our goals; you can find her doing what she do either through her podcast, Shadow Work WTF? or through her business, Complete by Caitlin.
One of the reasons we think it’s so important to really make sure that apart from dating, you’re cultivating fulfilling friendships, is that if you have a support system in place you’re less likely to let desperation be your dating guide. Because you already feel seen and valued, you won’t settle for any guy purely because you’re lonely. This will also take pressure off of a budding new romance, and everyone knows pressure is *not cute* in the early stages of a relationship. Simmer down, go find a friend.
A solid friendship or 2 will also make it easier if the worst happens, and you find yourself involved with a toxic partner or worse and abusive one. So many victims cite lack of support as one of the top reasons they stay, and again, if you have a support system in place to catch you in that critical and terrifying time, you’ll be more likely to make sure and leave a potentially dangerous situation.
We saw it all the time right when hashtags were becoming a thing: #friendgoals, #relationshipgoals, usually captioning pictures of girls with their heads squished together surrounded by brunch mimosas. And while brunch is a wonderful activity to incorporate into your friendship routine, it’s not necessarily a building block to a truly “friend goal” situation.
Sorry, friend (get it), but you’re actually going to have to work at your friendships. This is not to say that being someone’s friend has the rigidness of a relationship- friendships are like, romance, lite…if that makes sense. You don’t have to have the other person check every single one of your boxes, and you can make other friends to get other needs met. It’s probably the only time you’re encouraged to go seek out different things from more than one person.
But to maintain and strengthen friendships, you both need to feel safe to talk about the hard stuff- even when that hard stuff includes each other. It’s also important to note that if you find yourself over-reacting or particularly triggered by an interaction with your friend, that it’s probably you projecting; it’s on you to control your triggers and reactions. It’s also on you to curtail acting out of bitterness or competitive jealousy.
Note, I didn’t say it’s your responsibility not to feel any type of way, but it is your job to not take out that feeling on your friend in an inappropriate way. Look, I get it, it can be hard especially if you’re not where you want to be in life right now, and your friend is off getting married or having babies or whatever else you might want to do. So tell them that. Be honest. Talk about it. Don’t call her baby ugly and pick a fight about something stupid. That’s the difference.
PSA I’ll shout from the rooftops till I die; “I’m sorry you feel that way” is not an apology. You need to make sure your friend understands that they can come to you if they have a big feeling, and know that they’ll be heard and validated. Even if you feel like you didn’t do anything, they feel like you did. And that feeling is valid whether or not you think it’s warranted. It’s how they feel. Don’t dismiss it- talk through it. Don’t be a doormat, but at the same time, try to come to an understanding and a compromise. Try and explain your side with empathy and understanding, remembering that you love this person more than you need to be right; if not, are you even actually friends?
Also try and remember that if you’re triggered by them bringing up a hard thing about you, it’s again on you to own that. None of this “OK, well I guess I’m just horrible and the worst person in the world” bullshit. They just did something super vulnerable, the last thing you should be making them do is carrying your unevolved ass through it.
If you want a real, lasting friendship, if you want #friendshipgoals, you have to earn it. You have to show up, and be the friend they need- the friend that you would want.
Thank you so much for reading! Be sure to connect with me more over on Instagram, I’d love to hear what you thought of this post and what your major takeaways were! Or head over to my website to learn more about how we can work through your relationship journey together.
And don’t forget to join my signature 12-week program, The Connected Woman, if you’re ready to go from anxious & insecure in your relationships to setting boundaries, healing yourself, and living your dream life!
Or maybe you want some one-on-one action? Try out The Intimate Woman for some private coaching realness: https://michellepanning.com/the-intimate-woman if you’re ready to go deep. Go hard. And dive into creating the life you’ve always wanted, with me by your side with calls, motivations, and most importantly, calls on your bullshit. Stop getting in your own way, and let’s do this.
See you back here in the next one!
I get it, girl. I’ve been there too. For years, I was going through the same experiences with men over and over again that left me feeling confused, anxious and pissed off.
I silenced myself in dating and relationships because I was terrified of being judged, rejected and abandoned. It all changed when I went through a break-up and thought “enough is enough. I cannot continue to repeat the same relationships with different men! Something HAS to change!”