EP2: The Secret to Making Friends When Life is Bustin’ at the Seams
Welcome back to Episode 2 of the Less Alone Podcast! We’ve got a ton of updates for you! We’ve now got a website and you can now find us everywhere on social media! Today’s big topic is: How to Make Friends. There are certain intricacies of adult friendships that can sometimes be tricky (especially compared to how easy it sometimes seemed as kids.) In this episode we dive into how different life stages truly impact the connections that we’re able to make, and keep, in the long term. We also take a look at how finding friends as an adult can often be a lot like dating… how there’s a certain chemistry involved with finding people that you just “click with”. We break down what it means to find a compatible vulnerability in the friendships you pursue and how your body language can aid — or impede — building strong connections. Finally, we end the episode with some great practical tips on how to make friends. For an incredible conversation on building connections, don’t miss out on today’s episode!
Key Points From This Episode:
- A run-through of updates and announcements
- Understanding the importance of having social ties in your life
- Dunbar’s number: a level of connection lost at the magic number of 150
- Adult friends and the impact of being in different stages of life
- Incorporating chemistry into friendship: is it like dating?
- Learning to adopt inherent worthiness
- The disappointing nature of gossiping and why you should avoid it
- Finding a compatible vulnerability within your adult friendships
- How to use the right body language for building connection
- Practical tips on how to make friends as an adult
- And much more!
Links to Things We Mention in the Episode:
- Less Alone email address email@example.com
- Instagram @LessAlonePodcast
- Twitter @LessAlonePod
- Less Alone Podcast Website LessAlonePodcast.com
- Less Alone Podcast Newsletter: Sign up HERE
- Less Alone Podcast Facebook Community Group
- Our voicemail phone #: (775) 591-8860
- Find us on Apple Podcasts, please rate, review and subscribe
- Podcast Launch Giveaway! Rate, review, and subscribe on Apple Podcasts. Send us a screenshot of your review to firstname.lastname@example.org The 1st 30 reviews will get a $5 Starbucks gift card. Please note that reviews can take up to 24 hours to appear in Apple Podcasts
- How to turn your phone screen to grayscale
- 2010 study that shows connections increase immunity
- Article talking about 50% increase in happiness because of friendships
- Social relationships and mortality risk in medical journal
- Lost Connections book
- Lost Connections quiz
- Dunbar’s Number
- Robin Dunbar
- Animal friends video
- Reddit Anthropologist focused on friendship
- Anna’s book
- Facebook post
- Four Agreements book
- The Kali Institute
- Eleanor Roosevelt
- Resting Bitch Face AKA RBF
- Erin’s pencil in the teeth Instagram pic
- Smile Therapy
- Amy Cuddy TED talk
- Smiling and sales
- How to Make Friends As An Adult
- How to Keep Making Friends as You Get Older
- Sponsor the show
- Bark Happy
- Next Door
Be sure to Rate, Review and Subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcast player!
Season 1, Episode 2: The Secret to Making Friends When Life is Bustin’ at the Seams
AMY MOORE: We are three friends exploring connection. From the coffee shop to the podcast studio. I’m Amy.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: I’m Anna.
ERIN LINEHAN: I’m Erin.
AMY MOORE: All right, welcome back everybody to kick off our episode today. We’re going to start off with Anna with the correction for last last episode.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: All right, so I totally butchered the Lost Connections’ authors name. I called him “Joe Han” and it’s actually “Yo Han”. So I needed to correct that.
ERIN LINEHAN: Well done. Well done.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Sorry Johann! I’m really sorry about that.
AMY MOORE: Alright, and then just right off the bat a few announcements. Our email is up and running. So make sure —
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Big day. It’s exciting!
AMY MOORE: Feel free to reach out at email@example.com. We would love to hear from you. We also have Instagram @LessAlonePodcast, Twitter @LessAlonePod. We have a website now, LessAlonePodcast.com.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: We’ve got a lot going on.
AMY MOORE: Yes, we do.
ERIN LINEHAN: Well done!
ANNA NEWELL JONES: This is Announcement Corner.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yes.
ERIN LINEHAN: Yes.
AMY MOORE: So again, find more information on the website. We also have a phone number. So in case email isn’t your thing, you can do a phone call.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah.
AMY MOORE: Voicemail.
ERIN LINEHAN: Leave a message, ask questions, say something about the podcast. (And, you might be featured on a future episode)
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, leave a message. Tell us what’s going on.
AMY MOORE: Yup. That number is (775) 591-8860 and then also of course, find us on iTunes/Apple Podcasts. Find us everywhere, subscribe and share.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Please, and thank you.
AMY MOORE: Anna, you want to talk a little bit about that giveaway?
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah. So today is our Big Launch! We are doing two episodes today. So episode one and episode two. This episode will be released on the same day and we’re giving away some Starbucks gift cards. So for the first 30 people to that rate and review our podcasts on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, go ahead and do a screenshot and then send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and the first 30 people will get a Starbucks gift card. So, definitely get in on that.
AMY MOORE: Absolutely. All right, and then that’s it for Announcement Corner, right?
ERIN LINEHAN: Announcement Corner. We just coined that right now.
AMY MOORE: Done.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Announcement Corner.
AMY MOORE: We got it. So, the next thing is, you know, we had left our last episode talking about a couple tasks or to dos (that’s in my world) and otherwise, just things to work on. And so I thought we all thought it’d be good to start off with that.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Do we want a refresher of what that was?
AMY MOORE: Take it away, Anna.
ERIN LINEHAN: Go ahead!
ANNA NEWELL JONES: So the assignment you two gave yourselves, was —
ERIN LINEHAN: I just copied Amy.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: — was the three questions, right? So the new people that you meet, or was it new people or just people in general?
AMY MOORE: Just people.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Just people in general to ask three questions, like three follow up questions. And so how did that go for you?
ERIN LINEHAN: Mostly it went well. However, sometimes people do not appreciate the follow up questions and so I really am just being curious about what about the other person and following up and asking questions. And so sometimes that can come off as too intense and like I’m being too invasive. But really I’ve just, I don’t have an agenda. I think sometimes when you ask lots of questions it disarms people. If you ask someone how, “How are you doing?” Then it’s just kind of like a “hello”. Right? And if you follow up with more questions people are either like, “Oh, this feels really good,” or like, “You need to get out of my space.”
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah. So, like, how did you know people felt uncomfortable?
ERIN LINEHAN: You can tell by body language, we’ll get into that later in the episode. Or you can also tell because they, it can be a one-sided conversation.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh okay. Like one word answers?
ERIN LINEHAN: Yes.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh okay.
ERIN LINEHAN: Yeah. So —
AMY MOORE: Yeah, definitely tone and body language are huge in that task.
ERIN LINEHAN: Yes. The arms cross back up.
AMY MOORE: Stop asking questions.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Slowly walking away…
ERIN LINEHAN: I’m done thank you. Okay, I have to go to the bathroom.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: “Welcome to my interrogation…”
ERIN LINEHAN: But, I just want to know more about you.
AMY MOORE: So overall, would you say it went well or not?
ERIN LINEHAN: No, I think it’s great cause I think it’s a bridge to connection and I really like that. I think that if I’m asking and I, my intention is pure — is the only word I can think of, then that’s not really on me. That’s on the other person.
AMY MOORE: Yeah, I have a specific example of my one of my daughters mom’s friends that I really tried this. We were at the class that they take together and it went really well and by the end of the class, which just happened, we were able just to kind of continuing conversation lightly each week we saw each other. But it would not have progressed as far as it did if we didn’t ask more than just the usual. You know, because there are definitely some other parents in the class that, you know, one question was asked and just the engagement wasn’t there. So, it was really nice cause by the end of the class, you know, my daughter’s got a new little friend for a play date. And that wouldn’t have happened if I wouldn’t have been consciously continuing to ask her questions just to learn about who she is and her family.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Was this over like a period of like an hour or was it pretty quick?
AMY MOORE: Yeah, so the class that they were in it was like an hour and a half long gardening class and this girl’s mom and I just sat a few chairs away from each other and we just started talking and she’s a great, you know? It’s just one of those things where again, it just clicked. But if I didn’t ask the questions to find out more about her, then wouldn’t have that connection.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: So did she start backing away at all? Did you have that experience?
ERIN LINEHAN: Maybe that’s just me, right?
AMY MOORE: No, we were both, I mean it was definitely like, you know, I would — I had my notebook or my phone. There was always kind of a little bit of a buffer. Yeah. Yeah.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, that’s kind of nice. That’s a good tip.
AMY MOORE: Yeah. So if it did get uncomfortable, I could just turn to the notebook, or the phone, or you know. Yeah. But yeah, it worked.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: That’s cool.
AMY MOORE: It worked. What were your tasks, Anna?
ANNA NEWELL JONES: So mine was the screen time. So gosh, the biggest thing I did get my usage down on the screen time thing, which is pretty good. But the biggest thing that I did was I switched to grayscale.
AMY MOORE: Yes! It works so well.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: It’s horrible, really.
ERIN LINEHAN: It works well if you — yeah, that’s — That is,
ANNA NEWELL JONES: I did it for 24 hours and I was like, “Ugh, this is horrible.” But I was like, “I’m going to try it.” Yeah. You basically turn all the colors off on your phone. You can Google how to do it. Anyone listening. But it makes it so it’s not fun to look at your phone.
AMY MOORE: Oh.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah. But it’s like I just kept telling myself like, “Why in the world am I,” —
AMY MOORE: Black and white, it’s so old school TV.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, it’s so bad. So I’m like, “Why in the world am I suffering through this?” And I was like, “Oh I said I do it for 24 hours.” So my usage was down significantly because of that. And then also I just ended up removing, yeah, it’s like —
AMY MOORE: Erin has her phone out and she is very excited about this option showing us the gray scale.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: It’s horrible, but effective.
ERIN LINEHAN: Effective. Yes.
AMY MOORE: Horrible, but effective. So was your test, what did you have success?
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, I would say it was successful, but it’s super like irritating and then also I found just deleting the troublesome apps like Reddit or Facebook or whatever it is, just deleted the app. So I found success with that.
AMY MOORE: Wait, you deleted the Facebook app from your phone?
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yes.
ERIN LINEHAN: That’s a big deal for you.
AMY MOORE: Wow, Anna.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, I know, right?
AMY MOORE: You took this task seriously.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh yeah. I take all tasks seriously. All the things.
ERIN LINEHAN: She does, as evidenced by every social media platform.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, so I don’t give me a challenge I’m going to take that challenge. But yeah, I would say it was successful.
MY MOORE: I can’t wait to see what happens this week.
ERIN LINEHAN: I know, right?
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Don’t dare me to do anything, because I’ll do it.
AMY MOORE: All right, well on that note, everybody we are — we’re moving to our main topic today. Are we ready for this?
ERIN LINEHAN: I think we’re ready.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah.
AMY MOORE: Today the big topic is to discuss making friends as adults.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: This is a big one.
AMY MOORE: This is a big one. We are adults and we friends. How’d that happen? All right, Anna, you found some interesting little — you want to go for it?
ANNA NEWELL JONES: I found some interesting things about why we need people and friends in her life. So basically in a nutshell, you will die without connections to others.
AMY MOORE: Oh boy.
ERIN LINEHAN: You’ve got to expand on that.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: I keep having these like horribles things. The orphans last time. Like, okay really I’m not that grim, I promise. Okay. But so according to —
AMY MOORE: Extreme maybe. Grim, no.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh yeah.
ERIN LINEHAN: She’s all in.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Extreme, yes. Grim, not so much. Okay. So according to a 2010 report in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, having social ties can boost your immune system and help you live longer, a more fulfilling life. It can also decrease the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure as well as reduce the impact of stress and chronic pain. And then there’s another article I found an Inc.com that says there’s a definite path to making real, not just professional or social media friends, increasing your number of friends or correlates to high a higher subjective wellbeing. In fact, doubling your number of friends is like increasing your income by 50% in terms of how happy will feel. So that’s pretty humongous.
ERIN LINEHAN: That’s super interesting.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: And then I found this really interesting medical journal all about social relationships and mortality risk and this is pretty controversial, I found as I was reading about it. But social isolation is pretty bad for human health and past study showed that people with fewer social relationships die earlier on average than those with more social relationships. So they are, let’s see right up there, comparable with well established risk factors for mortalities such as smoking and alcohol consumption and exceed the influence of other risk factors such as physical inactivity and obesity.
So huge, huge, huge, some huge reasons about why we need others in our lives and why friendships are so important. And you know, we kind of want to establish like why connections and friendships are so important as we dive into this topic. And I think those are some pretty compelling facts.
AMY MOORE: It does lend me to question or wonder though, like is it about the quality of them or the number of them? These examples are, are definitely compelling. You know, as far as like, there’s clearly an importance to having friends or social social connections and social relationships just for basic human health it sounds like.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, for sure. Yeah. That kind of brings us to like the next topic. How many friends do we really need? Yeah, so I’m actually Johann Hari [inaudible]. He’s back with his — I was doing more research on him and what he’s all about in his book Lost Connections and he actually has a quiz on his website, which is fascinating. And he says that loneliness and depression and anxiety, there’s a link between that and close friendships. In one study, scientific study asked Americans for decades how many close friends they have, who they can call on in a crisis. And when they began the study, most the most common answer was five people. And the most common answer now is none.
ERIN LINEHAN: Which is crazy.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: So nuts, right? And so sad. Yeah, we’re like literally crying. We’re like, “This is horrible.” Western culture is the loneliest society ever and there’s a strong evidence that loneliness increases depression. So I’m curious like how many friends do you two have and like how many friends do you have and what do you think is like a good number?
ERIN LINEHAN: I think that’s kind of hard to that or hard to answer. Okay. I think I have a couple of friends from each section of your life. So from childhood, I have a couple of friends from high school. I have a couple of friends from college, I have a couple of friends. I worked at this camp and Estes Park. And I have several friends from there. Yeah. And I think it’s every section of life, but I also keep in touch with them.
AMY MOORE: You know, I gotta just say like going through a crisis at the moment. You know, I think for me like I’ve had, there are five, six, seven, probably five or six people that like I call and they are ready. They like pick up the phone, they’re offering whatever I need, you know? And it’s almost like I start feeling overwhelmed going to more than that, you know? But also just really feeling safe with that kind of basket, you know, of people can fall into people.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah. And I think that it’s great that you actually are able to ask for and accept help. Like that’s so huge because a lot of people don’t do that.
AMY MOORE: I think if I didn’t do that right now with what’s going on, I feel like I, I am being carried right now.
ERIN LINEHAN: You know, without sounding cheesy, like that’s what friends are for. Yeah. That is that when we can be there for each other when, yeah. When things get hard, when things are good. But like when we’re in crisis, yeah. The people that you can really like fall into. Some people overuse that, “the your friends or your chosen family” but I also think that that there is a lot of truth to that. Like people that you choose to have in your tribe is, that’s a big deal. And when those people can show up for us, any kind of old stuff that we have I think begins to heal because those people are able to help with and to be cared for in that way. I mean, like the whole thing of “it takes a village to raise people”. We just don’t have that anymore. And so it sounds like you’re creating your village to help you through this, or you have created that. And so I just think that it’s super important.
AMY MOORE: Yeah. And that’s just so sad that so many people say zero. Yeah. I mean I think about like —
ERIN LINEHAN: And how hard life would be, oh my gosh. If you had no one who you felt like you could turn to. Right, right.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, for sure. So I actually, I kind of wrote down a quick list too to see how many I had as far as like close people and it was like seven-ish just to kind of get an idea of like how many are there, just kind of thinking about this topic and stuff.
But yeah, it’s really interesting. Have either of you heard of Dunbar’s Number?
ERIN LINEHAN: No.
AMY MOORE: No.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: So I was doing a lot of research on this. There is this evolutionary anthropologist named Robin Dunbar and apparently he’s dubbed this thing called Dunbar’s number is 148 is a magical number, oftentimes rounded up to 150 and it’s attributed to this guy Robin Dunbar who has stated that 150 people is a point beyond which members of any social group lose their ability to function effectively in social situations.
AMY MOORE: Actually, I have heard about this.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah. So he is said that this group of 150 people is made up of five intimate friends. So, that’s interesting and then 15 good friends, which include the five intimate friends and then 50 friends, which include the five intimate and 15 good friends and then 150 acquaintances.
ERIN LINEHAN: I was watching a video and doing research for this. And so they had it on animals that can make friends. They had primates and elephants, and, ooh, I dunno what else is on there. But they showed that even animals have their immediate friends and different circles which was fascinating.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Wow, that’s amazing. Yeah, that it’s so basic like evolutionary.
ERIN LINEHAN: Yes, biologically-wired that way that we need people.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: And I found this other guy, this anthropologist on Reddit actually who’s focused on friendship and he had some really interesting things to say about Dunbar’s number and that there was a question of like, “okay, I have 500 Facebook friends but I feel so lonely. What am I doing wrong?” (The anthropologist says) “The problem is that you probably have made up for your loneliness by adding more friends rather than having deeper friendships.” And so how vulnerable have you been with those friends? So that goes back to what we were just talking about with you, Amy. I think you have a real gift of being able to feel safe enough to be vulnerable in this crisis situation, which allows us to wrap you up and be there for you.
ERIN LINEHAN: And it’s a gift for the other people too because people just want to be able to help. And so when the person that is in crisis can lean into the others, then it’s like, that’s also giving and receiving thing on both ends.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: People love to help and yeah, it’s definitely a gift. And I noticed when I actually, when I had my son, I was given the tip of “accept help”.
AMY MOORE: Yes, I remember that too from with my kids.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, one thing that I had people actually say was, “I’m so glad that you let me help.” And so people, they were like, “What can we do?” And I was like, “You can bring food over.” And they were like, “Thank you for saying that.” We had our whole fridge full because of the generosity of people just wanting to help. And like they felt so good being able to help and then obviously it felt good for us to be able to eat. But to be able to just say, “I need help right now and this is not working right now. I need you guys to help me out.” Like, it just works for everyone if you’re just honest and vulnerable and not trying to act like you got it all together I guess.
And then do you mind if I ask Erin about like how does being honest and vulnerable from like a therapist’s point of view? You’re the resident expert on all things relationships. How does that, like when we’re able to show up and be honest and vulnerable, how does that aid in connection?
ERIN LINEHAN: Well because I think, Brené Brown talks about this. I’m trying, I was thinking about that as you were talking and she said that your ability to ask for help if you’re always offering to help but you can never ask for help then you are always coming from a place of judgment when you’re offering help because it’s like you are good enough to give help. But it’s not okay for you to receive.
And so underneath all of that, then there’s judgment like ladled with it.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, I would never guess that.
ERIN LINEHAN: Yes, and so I thought that this is super fascinating.
AMY MOORE: Because like it’s assumed that you’re only kind of able to give it, but you’d never ask. Like in a, I don’t know with like with kind of an attitude? Or, just the judgment is the —
ERIN LINEHAN: Like if you’re too like, “I can give you help, but if I asked to receive then something must be wrong with me,” and if I think it’s something is wrong with me asking for help, then underneath the surface then something is wrong with you because you are asking for help.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, I would never, have articulated or thought that I guess. Huh?
ERIN LINEHAN: Do you think that’s true?
AMY MOORE: Yes. I mean, I feel like that’s the whole thing with basic connection as an adult where as an adult, especially, if you’re not able to ask for help, I mean that just makes you more human. You know, when you’re able to ask for help or when you’re able to be vulnerable and be like, “I can’t do this,” you know, like, “And I need the help and then your friends are there or you know, whomever family or whatever that they want to help. People in general, I feel like if you have a basic connection with someone that you click, they want to help you, you know? Yeah. And, it’s a give and take you there. I mean, you know, I want to help you guys me. You guys want to help me. It just is, it’s a give and take and so I can, I can totally see how that is. That is true. You know?
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, for sure. I’ve never thought about it.
ERIN LINEHAN: She’s thinking now.
AMY MOORE: She’s thinking!
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh crap, am I letting people be there for me? I mean I did with my son’s birth, but other than that, I’m like, I guess I do. Yeah. I call Erin with questions. “Erin, help me with this!” Yes. Okay.
AMY MOORE: I know that there was something, I’m having a — I was just looking at my journal because I know I had written a note in there somewhere about something related to business and the, that there’s a cap point at which companies —
ANNA NEWELL JONES: It’s 150 hundred.
AMY MOORE: It’s Dunbar’s number, right? Like that’s the same study.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yup, it’s exactly the same. Yeah.
ERIN LINEHAN: Well say more about that number.
AMY MOORE: I don’t know enough to talk very deeply about this. But it was, it’s my understanding that there’s this magic number 150 that once you pass 150, there’s a level of connection that’s lost and in that lost connection is also a loss of effectiveness. And so in the workplace and professionally it’s, you know, if you think about how businesses might be structured, like big ones and the groupings that they have, there’s something about the 150 that makes it kind of your critical cutoff.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, I did find that number when I was doing the research or the Dunbar’s number and with business places there’s the recommendation of once you hit 150 for the business start another branch so you’re able to have better connections I guess.
AMY MOORE: Yeah, yeah. So you can be efficient and effective. Makes Sense. What else we have here, ladies?
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Okay, so should we talk about the stages of life?
ERIN LINEHAN: We should talk about the stages of life.
AMY MOORE: Yes, Erin, take it away! Stages of life.
ERIN LINEHAN: I think that there’s something to be said about adult friendships and stages of life. So if you hung out with people in your 20s and then some people got married and some people then had kids and some people stay single, I think then it’s finding the deeper thing to connect about. Because sometimes stages of life, just because of how busy people are, I think that they get pulled away and then, if a relationship isn’t necessarily strong or things just shift and change then, it’s adult friendships can change in that way and that it can be an okay thing and sometimes it can be really painful for one part or the other and it has nothing to do with that person necessarily or it could. It could just be the stages of life that people are in.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, for sure.
AMY MOORE: What did you find when, Erin, like when you got married, did you find — did you see a shift or did you notice anything like that?
ERIN LINEHAN: Well when I got married, because my husband has a daughter, and so that was immediately going into — well I guess that happened before we got married, but immediately functioning as a step parent was a big learning curve for me. Because to be going from a single life and kind of I can live by the seat of my pants and then I’m coupled in a relationship and I had been single for awhile. And then to have someone that has a kid on top of that, then it’s, I think it’s just hard to adjust and figure out timing and then — because I used to hang out with my friends all the time and then there was less for that. So then it’s just figuring it out more than anything. But there was definitely a learning curve to it.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, for sure.
ERIN LINEHAN: Not good or bad just is, you know?
AMY MOORE: Right. Yeah. Right, right, right. I remember that too. I mean I remember, you know, getting married and then like everybody around me was also getting married. So it was just kind of, it felt very much like the trend, you know? And then it was just kind of like what you said, you know, people who didn’t. I did just kind of see them less or whatever. And then with kids and there are a few, you know, a few that really have a, like some of my really close friend, you know, isn’t in like no kids and not married but she’ll like sweep, you know, she just — there hasn’t been any connection lost. But I would say in general that they’re, the stages do kind of walk through life with people in similar stages and then those bonds because again it’s like you’re, you’ve got all that conversation topics. You know, I mean it’s like —
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, that’s a good point.
AMY MOORE: There’s just more to talk about if you’re in a similar stage, I feel.
ERIN LINEHAN: And I think schedule wise. Because we were even talking about, when we were having coffee and for this podcast is that we had the ability to meet during the day because of our schedules and the work life that we have outside of this. And so it’s just, I think that has a big thing to do with adult friendships as when you can make time for each other or how things — because during the day then it’s great and then it’s part of the work. Right?
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, for sure.
AMY MOORE: Right.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: I noticed I didn’t notice it as big of a shift when I got married as I did when I had my son. So like all of a sudden like I went from working in like a traditional job to, “Okay, I’m going to work for myself. I’m actually going to do this.” Right. You know, I got my book deal soon after that and I found myself so isolated and so lonely and so like, what the hell did I get myself into? Here I had thought I wanted to be a stay at home mom and then I found myself answering emails and feeling like, “Oh gosh, I’m feeling more like myself.” I remember at one point walking around the park and looking for other women like that looked like they had little babies with them and like this one lady in particular, I like kind of walked super fast to catch up to her and just started talking to her. I’m like, “Can I walk with you?”
ERIN LINEHAN: Was she receptive?
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, she was. She was totally receptive, but I was just like, “I haven’t really talked to anybody in a week. Oh my gosh.” You know? And then like —
AMY MOORE: That’s a hard time with the new baby.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: It was so hard. But like —
ERIN LINEHAN: But, was she feeling similar?
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, it was like we didn’t ultimately end up becoming besties or anything, but it was a nice for that day, you know? But it was just like, man just remembering how lonely that felt and just like, “Where is everybody? Like I need that connection.”
ERIN LINEHAN: I think that sometimes that stuff that, that different life spaces can be painful for people because like if someone is single and they are in a group of people that are all married and then they go to another wedding and, of course they want to be happy for that person that’s getting married. But then it’s super painful for that person, when they don’t have someone and that’s what they want. Or like there’s a lot of people in my life that are having issues with fertility or with children and then for those people to be around little babies or people that have kids like that is super painful. And so then it’s holding space for both people and then understanding and I think that’s just the life stage that people are at. And to be aware of that. Because I think it’s real easy to get in your own track of like, “This is just what it is, “and stepping outside to see someone else’s experience.
AMY MOORE: I think too, when I had my kids, I was really into their schedule so much so that I completely changed my schedule and I was really into like, bedtimes and all that stuff. And so just naturally my life really changed because all of a sudden these kids were going to bed at 7:00 PM, you know? And I’m home, you know like 7:00 PM Monday through Sunday there. So I feel like just that alone, it was a, it was a real like black and white change for me, like pretty dramatic, you know, where I wasn’t going out.
ERIN LINEHAN: Right, right. Done and done.
AMY MOORE: Yeah, yeah, exactly. So we’ve got stages of life and we’ve got chemistry.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: I’ve heard like that a lot of making friends is that, it’s kind of like dating. Just with, like I mentioned in the last episode that I asked on my Facebook profile, like, “Do find it hard to make friends?” and like a lot of people were like, “Yes, for sure.” And then some people said it was a lot like dating and like they just didn’t want to put that energy into that. I don’t know, I haven’t necessarily found that to be my experience, but I thought it was interesting that people compared it to dating and you know, but I definitely do think that friendships have a lot to do with like chemistry. Like, like there’s no way I’d probably do the 6:00 AM coffee with other, you know, people I didn’t like totally click with because it would be like, “Oh, I’m not enjoying it that much to forgo sleep.”
AMY MOORE: It’s interesting to think about how immediate that decision was though, to make 6:00 AM coffee work. And I feel like that does speak to just kind of chemistry, you know, where it was like, I mean I vividly remember like talking to you, Erin, one night, you know? And it was like, “Well I do this 6:00 AM coffee, you can come if you want or whatever.” And it was just like, “Yeah.” And then, and then it just happened.
ERIN LINEHAN: And going into that then, because you two had been hanging out and then I was like, “Well I like them, and so I want to go.” And then something it just set in, right or it just felt right. And then it clicked and so then I kept coming.
AMY MOORE: Yeah. So I think that’s real. I think that’s, I think that’s legit. And I also feel like it’s something we had talked about a little bit, maybe last episode about how like sometimes if it doesn’t click it’s okay. Like that’s doesn’t mean anything. I mean, you know, like it doesn’t mean someone’s a bad person or not.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: It’s just like, it’s seriously just like, “Well, we just don’t click” —
AMY MOORE: It’s like keep trying with other people, which in a lot of ways is, I suppose it’s like dating, right? Like, you can’t, if it’s what you want, if you want connection with people, you can’t stop trying.
ERIN LINEHAN: I think people get really hung up on that.
AMY MOORE: I do too.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: I think people take everything too personally, and it’s like, I’ve been just trying to live my life of like, this has absolutely nothing to do with me. And it’s like helped so much. Like that, it’s the book, Four Agreements. Yes. It’s called the Four Agreements and there’s one of the agreements is, “It has nothing to do with you. Don’t take things personally.” It’s so good because it’s like — and ever since I read that I’ve been like, “Oh yeah, this has nothing to do with me” And it’s just so like, freeing.
AMY MOORE: Or like what other people think is none of your business. I mean it’s like that same thing, right? It’s like, I dunno. I guess when I’m in a good place, you know, I mean that’s, that’s always easier said than done, but it does make sense. You know? And, and I think too, like it will alleviate some pressure if you don’t have the pressure of like you want them to like you —
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Well and this sounds just like sales too because it’s like — and Amy, you have a history of doing sales too. It’s like if you’re so desperate to get the sale, like people can feel that. But if you’re like, “I’m good. I’m doing my thing and if you buy it and you like it, that’s great. If not, that’s fine too.”
AMY MOORE: But it’s also just like value. From a selling perspective it’s like, “Listen, here’s what, here’s the product I have. You will find this either valuable or you will not. You’ll find this to be beneficial for your business or you will not and like, we’re fine either way, we’re moving on to the next one.”
ANNA NEWELL JONES: And it’s like having a confidence about yourself and your vibe and just saying like, “You know what? I’m good either way.” Like, I would love to be friends with you but if you’re not feeling it or whatever. Like in the dating world, like oh, you’re not into me? Whatever that got more to do with you than me. You know?
ERIN LINEHAN: Like we opened a business and we were marketing and since I’m a therapist —
ANNA NEWELL JONES: The Kali Institute
ERIN LINEHAN: — Yes. And we, marketing was for me, like not a product. It’s like how I — it took us a while to work through that because it’s like, “Oh, you’re marketing yourself and I’m the product?” and so, and then we’re doing other things now. But that took a lot of work because then it’s like, well, the right people, the right clients will come to me and not everybody is the right client for me. And so really like then settling that in and believing that is has made all the difference in the world.
AMY MOORE: Because it’s personal I feel like. You know, like selling a product is one thing. There’s not as much of a personal attachment, but like when you’re the product as a person, that takes work.
ERIN LINEHAN: It is hard work, but it’s the same thing. It’s the same thing as if this is not the right product or I’m the not the right person for you, then the right people will, trusting that the right people will come to me, and making that switch was tough.
AMY MOORE: I think I’m thinking about a breakup, you know, you apply that concept to a breakup or separation and it’s like, “God, I wish I could just be that kind of emotionally detached,” or you know like, “Okay this is not working anymore or whatever,” you know. But when it’s so personal it’s just, and I mean maybe that’s harder, you know, because you have a history and all of that. Maybe it’s a different topic I guess. You know, like when you think about it in terms of like you’ve had this relationship or you’ve had a client forever or maybe you have purchased a product for a long time and then all of a sudden that switches, if you can lovingly kind of be like, “Okay, this is not, you know, this product,” —
ERIN LINEHAN: Or, it used to be the right fit for me and now it’s not the right fit for me.
AMY MOORE: Right, right, right, right.
ERIN LINEHAN: Where like client-wise, if I’m working with someone for a really long time and we’ve gotten to a certain place and then they find this other treatment, they’re like, “Oh I need to do that…” Then, go do that. Because if that’s the thing that you intuitively feel like you need, then please do that.
AMY MOORE: But I do feel like what you said about just trusting that it’s like you have to be, I mean and Anna you said like the security too. I think it’s like trusting and security, you know like those two things to be able to be in a position where it’s like, “Hey, we click, great. Hey we don’t click great.”
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Well there’s a certain confidence that you have to have and secureness in yourself and your situation of like, “I know that I’m inherently wonderful. The services I offer or the friendship that I offer is great. I’m a great person. I know that deep down.” And, if they don’t see that value, then that’s on them.
ERIN LINEHAN: And it’s interesting because of the inherent worthiness piece. I think a lot of people, I mean especially in my line of work, struggle with inherent worthiness and trying to explain it to people. But then if you look at a baby and then you’re just like, “Oh of course they’re inherently worthy! They don’t have to do anything.” But then when do people lose that? Not everyone loses that, but a lot of people lose that. The worthiness that the baby has, everyone has that. But you’re right that it takes a certain level of confidence to be able to —
ANNA NEWELL JONES: And maturity I think to a level of like doing work on yourself.
AMY MOORE: So here’s a great quote. “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds, discuss events, small minds discuss people.” — Eleanor Roosevelt. Erin, take it away.
ERIN LINEHAN: So I love that quote because particularly with the two of these people, Amy and Anna, because the reason I was a drawn into and connected and feel like our friendship clicked is because we were able to just discuss ideas and things that we were stoked about and there was almost this unspoken rule that we didn’t talk about other people, which was a relief for me because I feel like sometimes in other female relationships that I’ve had, there is this underlying, like we’re going to start talking about people and it makes me squirm on the inside because gossiping is not my thing. I think there’s a difference between venting and gossiping when you need to talk through something that you’re struggling with. But, so those are some of the things that I loved about our friendship from the beginning and that we still have that now.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah. Yeah. We just don’t gossip and it, I think that is what aids in making it feel like a safe space for us to like open up and be vulnerable is because we know no one’s going to be out talking to who knows who about all of our business. It’s like we just don’t do that.
AMY MOORE: Right, right, right. Because if someone is gossiping with you, then they’re probably gossiping about you to someone else. So then it’s like, “That’s not a great way to build a connection, people.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: So, have you been in a situation either of you where someone is gossiping and like how do you get out of that? Like if you don’t want to have those kinds of interactions with people, do you actively say, “Hey, I’m not into gossiping, I don’t want to do that”? Or do you just not interact with that person anymore? Or like, not tell them any juicy things?
ERIN LINEHAN: I haven’t had that in a while, but I would, I think that now I have enough like internal umph that I would be like, “eh, that just doesn’t feel very good.”
AMY MOORE: Yeah. I know. I’ve tried like in the past, just try to divert, you know, like, “Okay, that’s their thing.” Or I think you can gracefully disengage or gracefully redirect conversation without being like, “hold up. I don’t do gossip.” That would be awkward.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: I think that’s why most people would probably not do that… because of the fear of being like, “Oh this is going to be so awkward.” You know? I don’t know. I think it’s also in some ways it might be a red flag. I mean, I was, I remember a situation where it was like, people I wasn’t super close with, it was like a kind of a business thing and they were kind of talking about someone else and it was like they kept ragging on this person and it was just so uncomfortable. And it was like, “How do we get out of the situation?” It wasn’t — the people I was with, we weren’t in engaging in it and later it got brought up of like, “That was so uncomfortable.”
But we ended up leaving and then I found that I started distancing myself from that group because I was like, “This does not feel safe and I don’t want to be a part of a group that does that because that doesn’t align with my core values of integrity and all of that,” you know? And it’s like, I guess it comes back to like knowing who you are and — oh, that’s what it was. How you said —
AMY MOORE: What?
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Knowing who you are. Like now with your relationships, it’s like you know who you are. So it’s like the quantity doesn’t matter as much as like quality. (referring to Episode 1)
AMY MOORE: So another thing that we had talked about, which I guess is just in general level of vulnerability, right?
ERIN LINEHAN: Which we talked a lot a lot about today.
AMY MOORE: Is there anything else, I guess, that we should —
ERIN LINEHAN: With adult friendships, I think that our level of vulnerability or your level individually of vulnerability that you can drop into has a lot to do with how much personal work you’ve done, and internal processing and all of that kind of stuff. Yeah. Because my level, I’ve done a lot of work and so have you two so the level that you can drop into it’s like underneath the surface, but it might be different than someone else’s. And so that forges connection but some people might find it really uncomfortable. Like, “Hey, why are we talking about this?” But I’m not talking about anything that’s super personal to me that I haven’t processed through. But I might appear as if I’m really open and being very vulnerable, which I am because I have processed through my stuff. So I think that there’s a difference and I think that with adult friendships, the level that you can drop to has to be compatible in a lot of ways.
AMY MOORE: Yes. Right, because if someone’s looking for, you know, kind of an easy conversation —
ERIN LINEHAN: Don’t talk to me.
AMY MOORE: Anna and I know that to be true.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Well and it’s funny because we do talk about such like deeper level things it’s like when I’m in other situations I’m like, “Well gosh, I don’t really want to talk about the weather. Like can we talk about feelings? How are you really feeling?”
AMY MOORE: What’s really happening with you?
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Like, let’s really talk.
AMY MOORE: Or like, let’s just dive right into your business strategy. There’s not a lot of —
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Let’s get to the meat!
AMY MOORE: Exactly, exactly. Let’s get to the meat.
ERIN LINEHAN: Because the shallow conversations I almost, I mean it’s fine, but I — I almost loathe them.
AMY MOORE: But I also feel like for some people that may be how they connect is just like, they want shallow, and I mean shallow is such a judgemental word. Right? But it’s like, yeah, maybe they are just, they want it to be light. I think there’s value there too where like people, they want to stay light and easy and like that’s how they connect with people. And so I think that’s great. And then it makes sense that for them to feel connection they have to find someone. Like you just said, you know that their level is compatible. So, —
ERIN LINEHAN: Well I don’t think that it’s necessarily… it’s not a bad thing. Not in a judgmental way. Like if that’s where people are comfortable, great.
AMY MOORE: Yes. Then just find a matching level.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah. Level matching.
ERIN LINEHAN: What would you take away from today? Level matching!
AMY MOORE: All right, so the other thing we talked about is like just in general, good old body language and you know, there’s that thing, the old Resting Bitch Face.
How’s that word for connection?
ANNA NEWELL JONES: I love that you said that in your like perfect radio voice, Resting Bitch Face coming in sounding great. Yeah. So it’s like this whole idea of showing up and being like open to connection and like, I know for myself, like a lot of times I find myself working in a coffee shop and it’s like when I’m working it’s like shut down mode. I’m not making eye contact, I’m not going to be smiling. I don’t want to be starting any conversations. Don’t bug me. I’m going to put in my earphones and make sure we don’t have any connection.
AMY MOORE: I do that on airplanes all the time.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: But it’s like, then there’s the stark contrast of like when I’m in an open space and like wanting to connect, it’s like okay, you know, no crossed arms and no earbuds and obviously like smiling and just kind of like being warm and making eye contact and stuff and repeating someone’s name.
ERIN LINEHAN: But Resting Bitch Face, some people can’t help that. Right? Yeah, that’s true. But because I have, someone told me, “This is just my face.” Oh, okay. Yeah. Well.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: And then also, I mean if you are wanting to like make connections with people, just realizing like, “Oh man, I do have this RBF thing happening. Maybe I should work on how my resting bitch face rests.”
AMY MOORE: So we talked about how I was in sales and there was one job I had, it was an inside sales position and we would have a mirror on our desk in our cube and when we picked up the phone to dial potential clients, customers, whatever, we had to look at ourselves in the mirror and know and it was the train. We were trained on this, all the stuff. But the idea is is that if you pick up that phone and you’re smiling, smile and dial, right. That’s the whole thing because it’s true is your voice changes, your whole affect changes and it’s real. Yeah.
ERIN LINEHAN: If you take — I don’t know if this, what the research is on this, but if you take a pencil and put it in your mouth and hold it, I just put a pencil in my mouth, but it makes a, the corners of your mouth go up and if you hold it, I think two minutes changes what’s happening in your body.
AMY MOORE: Oh, whoa. That’s a good tip. Also just faking the smile. Like, oh my God, I like that tip. Pen is going in the mouth.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: I need to take a picture of you doing that and I’m going to put it on our Instagram.
AMY MOORE: Yes. What was it for two minutes?
ANNA NEWELL JONES: You know, I’ve done this before speaking gigs and stuff… like standing like a power stance with like your arms on your hips and like —
ERIN LINEHAN: Yeah, the Amy Cuddy TED Talk.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh, is that what she says? Oh.
ERIN LINEHAN: And this will —
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Okay, good. I didn’t know where I got that from. I’m glad you said that. And then in the mirror, like I always find myself, I’d tell myself, “Not only CAN I do this, I WILL do this.” I just repeat it over and over, “Not only CAN I do this, I WILL do this.” It’s like I bring out my inner Hulk (Hogan.)
ERIN LINEHAN: The sweetest person ever, you should see her face right now.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: I’m going to do this! I’m going to nail it!
AMY MOORE: That’s a good little mantra though, Anna.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Mantras are my thing.
AMY MOORE: Yeah, I feel like that’s another thing though that I’ll have to look up the training of who we did the mirrors stuff with and put that on the website.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, we’ll link to all of these resources and stuff.
AMY MOORE: Well, those are great tips and I think we’ve got a couple other tips that we found from, we’ve got a few here from the New Yorker and a few from Business Insider, and then Anna’s got some personal tips.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Oh and you guys do too… not just me. Okay really quick, I have to say one thing that my, I was telling my husband what this episode is going to be about, like how to make friends and he’s like, “Oh, I know exactly how to make friends.” I was like, “Well tell me!” Because he’s an introverted guy. He’s not like Mr. Charismatic or whatever. And I’m like, “So what’s the secret mister?” He goes, “mustache, baby, puppy. He’s like you’ve got one of those, you’re golden.” And then, he dared me to a friend making contest, which I did not take them up on. He’s like, “I bet you I go out there. I could make way more friends than you and like one afternoon or 20 minutes.” I’m like, “What?”
Maybe I should take him up on that.
ERIN LINEHAN: Just so you can research for the show.
AMY MOORE: That’ll also be funny if we opened that up to the audience. Like does anyone have any like good, like what are the, what do you think are like the key things and test your theory and let us know.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah. That’s good. Yeah. Tell us on that voicemail or in the group. But I think your husband should be participating in this, so he’s got to test his theory and let us know. Yeah. Speaking of the number, the number is (775) 591-8860. So get your pen, bookmark this or just look on the website. You can call it. Get the number there too if you don’t your pen handy. Okay. So do we want to talk about the practical tips on how to make friends as an adult?
AMY MOORE: Yeah, let’s just run through them just in case people find them to be healthy. Know, healthy, helpful works. So the first one, this is from the New Yorker, How to Make Friends As An Adult. Start with proximity. Reach out to neighbors.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah and then befriend to colleague or someone who works in the same building as you.
ERIN LINEHAN: Well, the neighbor thing… I’m going to say real quick is that we had new neighbors that moved in next door and —
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, do people even do that anymore?
ERIN LINEHAN: No, they came over and introduced themselves and we had them over for pumpkin pie at one point they came over to a watch some the Super Bowl maybe. Then you build a relationship and I was like, “Oh this feels like when I was a kid.”
AMY MOORE: We have amazing neighbors where we live now and where we lived before and it’s a huge difference.
ERIN LINEHAN: Yeah, it makes a big difference.
AMY MOORE: It really does.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Actually, we do have — we have really great neighbors too actually.
ERIN LINEHAN: I think that helps with connection on a 150 outer level.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: My little son will knock on our neighbor’s door and just just to chat with Miss Gail. It’s so sweet.
ERIN LINEHAN: Oh, that’s so sweet.
AMY MOORE: All right, so we also have, “Visit a nearby library. Strike up a conversation with other bookish people. Ask,” —
ERIN LINEHAN: So when we were going over this in the beginning and I was like, “I would never go to a library and strike up a conversation. I would never do that.”
AMY MOORE: I got to say something. So the newsletters, there are a lot of opportunities in local resource, like the botanic gardens they have all these classes, yoga.
ERIN LINEHAN: Right, you’re searching for a book, someone bookish. Like, “Oh yeah, we’re both looking up something about —”
AMY MOORE: Okay, how about this? At the library there are book clubs. You could check them out. Next one, join a sports league. There are all levels of time commitments, talents, and teams for athletic adults.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Another one is converse with people in exercise classes and at the gym.
ERIN LINEHAN: Bible Studies, Church groups, community playgrounds for mothers of young children, arts, crafts classes, hiking, walking, bird watching groups are additional avenues down which friendship may be procured.
AMY MOORE: And then the Business Insider has got a few more. One is, “Just be a regular, some ideas, coffee shops, a dance class trivia or open mic night at a local brewery as a volunteer.”
ERIN LINEHAN: I do think that’s true because even at the coffee shop that we go to, yeah we have conversations with them ‘cause they’re like, “What are you doing in here? Every time like, “What are you doing?”
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, we got a free croissant last week, remember?
AMY MOORE: Oh that’s right.
ERIN LINEHAN: Too ugly to sell.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: We’re like, “We’ll take all your ugly croissants, please and thank you.”
AMY MOORE: Bottom line, keep showing up. Commit to any new activity for at least a few months. Conventional wisdom holds that six to eight conversations beyond, “Hey, how’s it going?” Are necessary for people before people consider us a friend said Business insider, be bold. Be the one to make eye contact, shake a hand, make an introduction and start the conversation.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, for sure. And then just a couple more tips for meeting people. Meetup groups, MeetUp.com you can find people that are interested in the same things you’re into. And there are actually a ton of apps out there right now. None of these are sponsored. If you wanted to be a sponsor, let us know. But they are BumbleBFF. Peanut is great for new moms. HeyVina.com it’s kind of like Tinder, but for women friends there are over 30 different life situations that you can find people. There’s also BarkHappy.com for pet friends and find people to do dog walks with. There’s also the Next Door app and you can find people for local events. And then there’s also Facebook for online groups. Obviously we just mentioned things for finding in person connections, but there are online groups, like the Spending Fasters group, which are a lot of our listeners are from. And then our podcast group, LessAlonePodcastGroup.com just post what you’re looking for. And if you want to do a local meetup, you can also search on Instagram for your location and what you’re interested in.
AMY MOORE: All right, so we’re going to close it out with our top takeaway until our next podcast. So yeah, that is going to be drum roll.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: All about honesty.
AMY MOORE: That’s good. Be Honest. Be Vulnerable. Yeah. Have the courage to be honest. Yeah, I like it. Yep. All right. Sounds good.
ANNA NEWELL JONES: We want to hear from you. What are your top tips for making friends? Tell us about it in the Facebook group at LessAlonePodcastGroup.com.
AMY MOORE: Thanks for listening. You can find more about this episode and a way to connect to the community at LessAlonePodcast.com and if you’d like us, don’t forget to subscribe and be sure to leave a review. It helps other people find us and could be just what they need.
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