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Helping Girls Navigate Friendships with Amy & Jess
Episode 7327th October 2022 • How Not to Screw Up Your Kids • Dr Maryhan
00:00:00 00:50:31

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Friendships can be one of the biggest challenges our girls have to navigate. It can cause so much upset and make life miserable. So, Amy and Jess wrote a book to help their daughters so they never had to struggle with friendships as they did. They hope the hard lessons they learned help smooth the road for young girls and help them walk with their heads held high, never doubting who they are, or wondering if they are enough.  Whilst the book was written for girls, the lessons and techniques are just as usual for boys. 

CLICK HERE TO BUY I'll Be There (And Let's Make Friendship Bracelets): A Girl's Guide to Making and Keeping Real-Life Friendships NOW 


Here are the highlights: 

(02:41) How the book came to be 

(05:59) The difference between boys and girls 

(10:52) Normalising vulnerability with our children 

(17:12) Mom has issues too 

(23:59) Someone is either with you or against you 

(31:45) Standing on the outside of the circle 

(37:15) Friendship shouldn’t be earned 

(42:03) Be humble 


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Hello, and welcome to the How Not To Screw Up Your Kids' Podcast. So pour yourself a cuppa, find a comfy seat, and enjoy the conversation. This is episode 73 and today's episode, Helping Girls Navigate Friendships. I will be, With the wonderful Amy and Jess now, I had so much fun recording this episode, and I do hope you'll kind of get a sense of that as we talk through.

Amy and Jess have written a book to help their daughters so that they never have to struggle with friendships the way that they did. They hope, the hard lessons they learned. Smooth the road for young girls and help them walk with their heads held high, never doubting who they are or wondering if they.

And this is such an important episode to listen to. Now the focus of the book is very much for girls, but the kind of commentary absolutely resonates for boys too. So do listen to this and it's a great way, I think, not only for our daughters. And our sons in terms of helping them navigate friendships.

But I also think it's really important for us as adults and how we navigate those difficulties with friendships. So it's a really must listen and as usual, there is a give, so I'll be sharing Amy and Jess's contact details and of course the link to buy their incredible. In my free resource library. As usual, all you need to do is head over to my free resource library, dr.

Mary, where you'll find the link to download the resource. All you need to do is pop in your email address and you'll get instant access, not only to this week's resource, but all the other free resources across all my podcast. As ever. If you enjoy this episode, I would love it if you could follow and review this podcast so that others can find us and we could spread the love.

So until next time, here's Amy and Jess.

I am super excited to welcome Amy and Jess authors of, I'll be there and Let's make Friendship bracelets. Now you guys have not been privy to the conversation I've had with Amy and Jess before we've even started recording, so I am like a school girl who is super, super excited. Welcome, Amy. Welcome Jess.

Thank you. Thank you. This is

so much hard.

Oh, this is amazing. We're talking about friendships and we're talking specifically around girls and friendships, and I have to say, That this is something that it is constantly something that is coming up. And in fact, E yesterday in my membership, I spent 30 minutes on live talking specifically around friendships between two girls.

So, Just, it's so important that we, that we are gonna have this. I guess just to give us a bit of an introduction as to how you both met and how you even got to this stage where you've written this incredible book, which by the way, you should all buy, and we will have the link in the show notes so that you can do that.

Okay. Well, so where does this wonderful little story where Jess and I actually met on the internet? Jess lives in California. I live in. We had never met in real life, but we were both writers and we were kind of in the same space. And honestly, I was just a fan of Jess. I, I liked her style and I liked what she wrote, and I just felt a, like a pool towards her.

And so I, uh, I slid into her dms. And I just sent her a message and, Hey, I love what you do. You know, I think you're so great. And the conversation just , that's pretty much what it was. And then the conversation just went for there. And then, um, so I called that like first base. So first base like was us chatting via Instagram Messenger.

And then we went to second base and we talked on the phone , and then after second. . I just had a crazy idea one day like, Hey, let's create a space where we only talk about friendship. Let's create a space where we just unleash all of it. Where we just, We don't only talk about how great friendship and how much you need it.

We talk about the bad stuff too, and we talk about how it's hard and we talk about how insecurity plays a role in all of this. And Jess is so great and she's so fun, and she is, you know, her answer to normally if you present. An opportunity to be adventurous. She's going to say yes. So she was like, Yeah, I'm in.

Let's do it. So we um, created this page called Sister I am with You. I mean, it was born in probably. 10 minutes, five minutes, 10 minutes, and then just exploded on the internet. From there, we finally met in real life and we liked each other in real life as well, which was a plus . Yeah, that's good. That's good.

And then we started working on the book for adults, which is called, I'll Be There, but I'll be wearing sweatpants and then, After that book came out and it, you know, it did pretty well then the, uh, publishers immediately presented us with, Hey, how would y'all feel about doing one for tweens? And we were just thrilled.

Thrilled because, Yes, absolutely.

Cause we like, we needed that, We needed this book when we were tweens. My daughters need this book. Like we already were, cuz when we met and we started talking, we just, we really hit it off and we went deep very quickly. And one of the. Things we're always talking about is friendship cuz it matters a whole lot to both of us.

And we just realized nobody's really talking about this. We're talking about marriage, we're talking about careers, we're talking about dating, we're talking about motherhood. But friendship is such a big deal all throughout your life. Like we all remember the ways we've been hurt by friendship, the ways friendship has meant a lot to us all through our life.

It's one of the main things of life. And no one's really talking about it.

And it's such a constancy, isn't it? They're just sort of, When I think even about my. My friends, you know, as a 53 year old, I've got my friends from school that I know from when I was 11. I've got my mum friends from when my children were younger.

I've got my entrepreneur friends, and actually this whole notion of those friendships, A, a really good friend of mine talks about her 5:00 AM friends. The, the friends that you can call at any time that you know will drop everything. And be there. And I guess what I'm interested, so one of the questions that I want to ask straight off is why do we find ourselves talking about friendships when it comes to girls?

Either I've got one of each. I've talked about friends a lot with my daughter. I haven't talked about friends anywhere near as much with my son. Why is it that it's such a big thing for girls?

Mm, that's a really good question. . I, I mean, I do feel like it's a big deal for my boys too. My therapist says something interesting to me, and I'm sure this is not across the board for every girl and every boy, but she was saying how a lot of times girls are more like face to face.

Like we wanna talk things out and connect in that way. And boys are more shoulder to shoulder, like doing something together, connecting in that way. And I thought that was really interesting cause I can relate to. With my boys and my girls. I think that the, the big need that we felt in our hearts is like in its simplest form, is that we were little girls once.

Yeah. Like that we were little girls. And friendship has been such a big deal to us our whole lives.

And I do think, I think part of that, and I could be wrong, this is just my theory, but my theory is too, is our brains have not evolved as quickly as our cultures. . Um, so our brains are kind of still stuck in this village mentality where we genuinely do live together.

These people in your village, those are your people, and they are genuinely raising your people. You're hunting together, you're gathering food together, you're washing your clothes together. Um, so the men, a lot of, I feel like back then would've been hunting and they would've been doing things. But the women would've been together in a very, very tight closeness space.

And sometimes I think our brains, our brains are still back there. Our culture's in a totally different space. And so someti, I truly believe that's where some of the disconnect comes in. But I could be wrong. That's just, that's just my theory is that we still crave that village. Let's, let's, We're just longing for


Yeah. Let's just walk long for that connection. Mm-hmm. and that simple.

Intimacy. Yeah. Let's do life together.

Together. Yeah. Yeah. And exactly. I mean, I love just the way that your therapist talks about it, about being shoulder to children, girls being face to face. And Amy, it's the same. I think it's the same thing.

I mean, my, my response to that question would be, I, I think that girls actively seek a sense of belonging and being part of something. Mm-hmm. and I, I think that's probably why we end up having those conversations much more. It matters more to. If that, that intimacy and that sharing and that being accepted, and it's not that boys don't have that, it just doesn't feature as strongly, They do it in different ways than


Yeah. Yeah, they do. I mean, I know, like, I like to talk about very deep, very real stuff with my friends and my, my husband is more like, yeah, we watched, we watched a game together, we played golf. Um, and I'm like, Well, how are his kids? And he's like, I don't know. I'm like, What? What are you talking? What'd you talk about?

What did you talk about? How is his dads pregnant? How do you not know how she is or are so rude for not asking these questions ? But we talk about different things. And so I do think sometimes if you get really, really vulnerable with a friend and you talk about intimate, intimate. You love them in a very deep way, but that also means that the potential for hurt is greater.

And um, it's not as easy as, Yeah, well we hung out and I like hanging out with 'em. Now we don't hang out anymore. No, no, no. This is deep. This is, But I knew them and I thought we were connected and now we're not. And I feel a little bit lost because of that. So I think that because our vulnerability is greater, which is such a beautiful thing, but it also means the potential to be hurt is also.

That's, and that's such, How do we, cuz that's really, you know, Bre Brown talks a lot about this idea about vulnerability and making sure that we are vulnerable to the right people. So I'm guessing it's really important that we have, hence the book. We have these conversations with our daughters young mm-hmm.

And so we can kind of share those experience. How do we begin that process if, you know, if we are new to this and we've not done this before, how do we even begin that?

I think a big, a big thing. Cause I've got daughters right in this age, in this age range that the book is for and I am winning. Let me tell you, I am doing it perfectly.

no competition. I'm

like, let's go look back at the book girls. No, just kidding. I've, I what I, my tactic and who knows if this is the right tactic, but like is to just start telling stories of my own heartbreak at their. I, It has backfired a little bit. . Cause my oldest, my oldest son is like, I'll tell him something.

He's like, Mom, you didn't have any friends in high school. . I'm like, Okay. I was being vulnerable. , you're not supposed to tell me that. That's why I have, You can't listen to my advice. Cause I had no friends . But just things like when they're starting a new school and they're don't know where to sit and they're really stressed.

At least being able to, to relate in that way. Like, yes, I, I started a new school one time and I did not know where to sit. I ended up eating my lunch in the bathroom cuz I just felt so awkward and alone. But I'm with you and I'm on your team and like, look for the girl that doesn't have anyone to sit with her.

Like you don't have to try and squeeze. The fun loud table, but look for there's other, I promise you there are other girls at your school that also feel like outsiders and like alone.

Yeah. And I think that that's that, you know, there's so much of that acknowledgement that they're not alone. Cause I think children, girls often think that they're the only one experiencing that.

That everybody else is super confident and everyone else is laughing in their love group.

They know badly. I think that's one of the biggest things I just wanna shout from the rooftops is like, it is normal to feel awkward. Mm-hmm. , when you're making new friends, it is normal to feel insecure and uncomfortable.

It does not mean something is wrong with you. You're, you're, we all feel that it's something that we kind of have to press through and be like, Okay, this is awkward. Next time it'll probably be less awkward, but just to speak, give a voice cuz I think that was a big deal for me. I just didn't know anyone else dealt.

I just thought it was a me

issue. Yeah. Yeah. And by doing that and going through it with your daughter in that way, what would you say to, because I, I, I, I say this because I know I get asked this quite a lot when I talk about talking about being nervous, you know, in terms of supporting children who are anxious, there'll be some parent, there'll be some moms that'll be thinking, Oh my gosh.

But if I share the difficulties that I had, Then that I was bullied. Am I actually gonna traumatize my child? Am I actually doing the wrong thing and should I not come across as more together? But actually you are saying that that isn't the way that we should really approach it. Well, I

think we can be wise and how much we're sharing.

Like what they're ready, ready to hear. We don't have to like, especially if we don't have healing in an area we don't. Be like, Here daughter, can you come heal me? Actually, cuz I have some major issues, . But we can like in a vague, if we're not ready to share like the whole story, we can be, we can still relate to.

Yes. I felt like an outsider. I felt really alone. I know that the people in my life that have done that for me, like I had my best friend when she, we first started being friends, she just told me everything. Like it was just like, you'd ask her how her day is and she's like, Well, it was awful. And let me tell you why I was like not used to that level of vulnerability.

But she gave me this gift that I knew she was a safe place. So when I started hitting some. Pretty intense seasons of depression and anxiety. It wasn't even a question of who I was gonna call cuz I knew she had opened herself up and so I knew that she was a safe place for me. And I, I guess that's my theory with my kids is I don't wanna, I don't wanna unload on them, but I want 'em to know that I'm a safe place and I'm not gonna be surprised at their pain or freak out about their pain cuz I have walk.

through things, and I'm a safe place to talk about it, if that makes sense.

Yeah. I think we all exhale a little bit when we talk to somebody and realize, Oh my gosh, okay. They're not perfect either. They're not perfect either. They've struggled too. I don't have to, I don't have to pretend to have it all together here, and I don't.

I exhale when I'm in that environment and imagine our kids do too. If they think that we live these perfect lives and that we had it figured out, and they think that that's their stick to measure up. Yeah. That's tough. That's, that's tough. And I, I know I don't want my kids to feel that pressure. I want them to be able to know, like, No, you can come to me.

Truly. You can come to me. And just like Jess said, I'm not gonna be surprised. I, let's approach this with grace. Let's work on this together. This is part of being human. Mm-hmm. . And the goal of humanity is not to be perfect. It's just to get a little bit better every day. It's to heal. It's to, it's to grow, It's to, to enjoy life and to do it together.

And it's gonna be a messy process, but let's, let's do it together. There's no pressure to be perfect here. And I think our daughters need to know that and I hope that they feel safe coming to us. Cause I don't, I don't, I want my daughters getting advice from me. More than I want them getting advice from whatever they're watching on tv, which is an accurate representation of friendship.

And I don't want them getting advice from their other eight year old friends who don't know who knows what they're gonna tell. I hope they come to me. I think I know. I don't know. I hope I can give them better advice than Barbie on TV or whatever.

Yeah, and I think that that's really important though, just being honest and open, because otherwise what then happens is our children ex sort of think that that then becomes the benchmark.

Of, Well, I need to be, you know, I'm clearly the only one who struggled with, with, I'm the only one who's struggling with friendships because mum never struggled with hers. I think it's that it's creating that space that they can be vulnerable and come back to us, but also knowing that this bar of perfection when it comes to friend is just not, just not there.

Nobody has it. Absolutely nobody does.

No, nobody does. Exactly. And I think what Jess said too, I really thought that was a wonderful point, Jess, when you said that you come from a place of, of being killed. Yeah. Cause I don't, I don't want my kids to ever feel like I am theirs to. That. Oh, okay. Mom's not happy.

I've gotta make her happy. Mom has issues too. . Yeah. Mom, get issues. My keto. Cause I think that creates some trauma in kids. And so, but if you can speak from a place of healed, then what your kid is gonna see is someone who's overcome. And they're gonna know. I can, I can overcome too. I can also rise, you know, I can, I can grow through this

I love that. It it, but it, it's so true, isn't it? But I, and. When it comes to friendships, a lot of the things that we talk about is this idea of confidence. I think confidence is such a key aspect. How do we, And I think there are so many adults that struggle with their confidence and we talk about how can I raise a confident, resilient child?

And actually so often we're lacking in it ourselves. So how. How do we, What sort of advice do we need to be giving to our daughters to help build their confidence when we might not always be completely there? Cuz it's, I think it's a journey. Mm-hmm. . But how do we do that?

I do genuine believe, I just talked about this this morning.

I think one of the greatest things you will ever do for your children is work on yourself. I think that's the greatest thing you'll ever do that they will ever see is a mom. Values herself and a mom who knows who her worth is. And so I think the more that we work at that in ourselves, I think they watch us and I think they see us and they, I think they grow in that.

And I do think we've gotta be careful with what we're saying around our kids. Like, I never want to talk about my body in a negative way around my kids. I never want to talk about dieting in front of my kids. I don't want to talk about anything that would make my kids think, Oh, okay, well your appearance is where you put your worth.

And I, you know, so being careful where you. , venting those frustrations to and make sure it's not around those little ears who are soaking that up. Um, and just even different things like that, like, I don't know. I think they're just watching us and they're watching how we do our friendships. They're watching how we deal with it.

They're watching how we struggle, they're watching how we succeed. Let them see those successes. Let them see that. Let them see the good times. Let them see your friends. Let them know this is how I connect with my friends, and this is such a healthy, beautiful thing that we have. You can experience this.

That's the biggest thing. I want my daughter, I want my daughter to be uns, shaken. I want, or unshakeable. Is that a word? Mm-hmm. . Yes. Yes.

We're gonna

make it a word if it's,

I want, You want her to be . I want her to know who she is in such a way that when she has a friendship fail, which she will have a friendship fail.

It doesn't rattle who she is, and I want. To have the confidence that when someone doesn't like her, which there will be someone who doesn't like her, that she still knows who she is and she still stay true and she still keeps walking on the same path, that she doesn't crumble that when she doesn't get that invitation because there will be a time when she does not get that invitation that again, She knows that her worth is not defined by that.

And I think, um, there's gotta be some line there where like, don't be shaken, know who you are, but also be willing to learn and grow because we're not perfect. And we do have areas where we, we need to take some criticism in and say, Okay, I can probably improve in that, but do it in a confident way where you own.

I, I, I don't know. I just think it's such an important thing and I think you just talk about it through their lives. I think you tell 'em, you see who they are and you like who they are and you value who they are and help 'em pay attention to the other people who see

that in them as well. Yeah. Yeah. I think that is so crucial in this idea about, about.

Taking care of ourselves and working on us. Cause we are that work in progress and children are so much more likely to do what they see than what we say. And if we are not demonstrating self love, if we're not demonstrating self worth, if we're not putting in boundaries, if we're not prioritizing good friends and modeling good friendships, then I guess it's more difficult for children, for our girls to then know what that looks like.

Yes. I

think too, I really want them to know. I, I kind of said this before, but I want them to know you don't always have to feel confident in order to make steps forward. Cuz they often with me, they're like, Mom, you just talk to everyone. You're not ever shy. But that's not true. Like I do feel nervous inside sometimes, and I do feel intimidated, but one of the biggest things I've learned is.

That's okay. That's just part of it. It's okay to go introduce myself to someone new and feel absolutely terrified. That doesn't mean that you're gonna do it wrong or that there's something wrong with you. That's part of it is going through the motions before you necessarily feel it. So, and they don't see that part of it.

They don't see, they just see moms talking to this random stranger and. Has no fear, but that just letting them know that, no, I totally wrestle with fear. I totally feel insecure sometimes, but yeah, I've learned that that's normal. There's nothing that doesn't mean I, There's something wrong with me. That's like a normal, There's like this wall of nervousness with connecting with other people, and sometimes you just gotta push through it and just ignore it.

Ignore that it's even there, and be like, Hey, I'm Jess.

You should be my friend. Yeah, no, just kidding. . But it's so true, isn't it? Because our children see it in us, but they also see it in others. They assume that what they see on the outside. Yes. They, they forget that there's this whole lot of angst and fear and scariness, but, But people are doing it.

Are doing it anyway, so, okay. I've got so many questions, so many questions, but I wanna make sure that I cover this particular one because I know I've been reading a lot. Around toxic friendships and I've been reading a lot around a rise in, and I dunno what you would categorize it as or whatever, but what I would call red friends.

So these are friendships where it's slightly under, it's not explicit bullying, it's not obvious for other people to necessarily see, but there's a lot of this sort of underhand and it. Supremely and significantly more with girls than I'm hearing at all with boys. How do we know that that's going on in the first place?

How can we pick up that? That's it. Because particularly when we're trying to encourage our girls to be confident and what do we do when we discover that that's happening with our daughter,

um, in the uk Do y'all use the term fr me? Yeah. Is that a, Okay. Okay. So that sounds kind of like a fr me someone who presents themself as a friend.

Yeah, exactly. But passive aggressively does mean they're not, They're not. Yes.

Okay. Absolutely. Um, that's

exactly what I mean. Okay. Um, I actually, I think someone is either for you or against you. They either want good for you or they wanna bring you down. Um, now I do believe there are times when everybody's gonna mess up.

There are times where we all are jealous, all of us. And there are times where we. Something comes out of our mouth and we're like, Ooh. You know, there's like, if, if we are not feeling good, there's just gonna be times where not good things come out of us. And so I think it's, it's important to teach our daughters the difference.

But what is this person's heart towards you? Is their heart mostly, mostly really cheering for you? Is their heart mostly wanting good for you and wanting to lift you up and encourage you? Or when you're around them, do you mostly feel bad? Do you mostly feel bad about. Do you mostly not like who you are, feel like you need to change when you're around them, because you should feel mostly good around your friends.

You're not gonna feel good all the time. And I do hate that. I think sometimes we have this unforgiving stance where we're like, Nope, you're bad for me one time. You're bad. And, and, and know that's not work. That's not gonna work. Everybody's gonna mess up. And we have to figure out when to give grace and when to give forgiveness.

Yeah. And when to say, You know what? I don't think this is for me. And walk away, g. . Um, but I think that is what, is, what is happening mostly. How do you mostly feel around them? How do they mostly seem to care about you? And just realizing that if it's, if, if it's mostly good, okay, then we work on this and maybe have a conversation and say, Hey, it hurts my feelings when you say things like that.

Did you not? And, and if they are willing to take that advice and, and go forward and work on it, then great. And if they're not, then you have to make a decision from there. But if they're mostly, And I actually had this conversation with my son. I actually had this same conversation with my son because I noticed when he hung out with a certain friend, he always came home and felt bad about himself.

He always came home almost in tears, and he didn't feel like that with most of his friends. He felt like this way about one specific friend. And I had to talk to him and say, Listen, I know you like. , but I don't know that he's your friend. He doesn't make you feel good about yourself, and I don't think you like yourself when you're around him.

And I don't think that's where you should be spending your time. It doesn't mean you hate him, it doesn't mean you want bad for him. It means that's just maybe not where you choose to spend your time. Um, you know, and I think kids, I remember trying to explain it to 'em. If you were going to a. . And most of the time you had fun at that park.

You would keep going back there. Right. But if you went to a park and you did not like it, you never had fun, you always got hurt there. Would you go back to that park? No. That's not where you would spend your time. Good, Amy. So kind of discussing it from that

angle. I love that. No, Amy, that's a just such a brilliant way of explaining it.

And so, Okay, so I'll add to that one. One of the things that we get, because obviously there's a difference between. a friend. Mm-hmm. a real friend. And what I hear a lot is that children seem to have lots of best friends. Oh yeah. But clearly we can't have, They can't, Not everyone could be a best friend can they?

Surely, Yeah. How do we have those, How do we teach our children the difference and who we're really best friends? I

think it, what, I really love what Amy was saying, and I think it's, I think it's a noticing. Two. Like is this, like she was saying like the, is this healthy? Is this person actually for me? Are they asking them, asking themselves, teaching them to ask themselves questions that I ask myself?

Cuz I, I'm a very positive person so I can blanket other people with my own positivity. I'm like, Oh yeah, we're really good. They love me, but then I'm like, Wait, , do they ever pursue me? Do they actually love me? I don't know, but like actually being able to look what you said this recently, Amy, is not being negative or positive, but looking at it in a realistic way.

Like okay, evaluating the friendship. And then I think something that we talk about on our page with adults is if it's not, it's okay to invest else. If this friendship is not going somewhere, if it's act, if you're always trying to earn that person's approval, if one day you're their best friend and the next day you just kind of feel like unimportant.

It's looking at that in a realistic way and then saying, Okay, having a best, a best friend is not somebody. You constantly have to earn their affection. I remember having that a lot when I was. My bet. I was like a, my best friend was the one that I was just like all out pursuing to try and basically make them my best friend.

But a real best friend is somebody who is with you and you're not trying to earn it, but teaching them to look at that and then be like, Okay, this friendship is actually not very mutual and that's okay. Maybe that friend has a ton of other friends and that's okay, but what is a friendship that is mutual that you can spend more time investing in


Yeah. And do they like you just the way you are? Do they like you just as yourself? Yes. Self-infusion. You get to be yourself. When you're around 'em. Are you, are you, are you having to be them? Are you having to kind of mold yourself into this different person? Because the phrase I use the most with my kids, not to them, but in my parenting, the phrase that I use the most to try to remind myself is love them for them.

Love them for. Um, I've got a son who is very different than I am, and there are times where there were times where we would really butt heads because I was like, I don't understand, dude, I don't understand. And finally this phrase came and like, love him for, love him for him. He is introverted. He wants to have like two friends, but he's very good and he's very loyal to those friends.

He doesn't, he's a homebody, he doesn't wanna. Push him to, And that's what we've talked about. Like, Hey, we're gonna, this year we're gonna be gracious and we're gonna push ourselves to do some things that make us uncomfortable. And there's a difference between pushing them to learn things that they're gonna need, uh, skills that they're gonna need to know in life.

But at the heart of it, love him for him. And when I loved him, for him, our relationship flourished. He flourished because he knew no one here is trying to change. I can just be myself here. And that's the same thing, like I want them to feel that in their friendships too, that you are loved for you as you are.

Exactly. In that phrase, I think you've both used it about not having to earn it. I think that is so crucial. If I'm having to earn, if I feel like I'm earning it, I'm having to earn it constantly. That's not a friendship that is a best friend.

Yeah, no. And like tip, it's like, feels like walking on a, on a tightrope.

Like if you're, like, if you're tip toeing, if you're just trying to keep your balance, that's exhausting. A best friendship should be somewhere where you just feel like you can relax. Yeah. And that rest. And just be yourself. Be easy, be silly, be everything that you are. And it's, And that's okay. That's like, that's loved and


Mm-hmm. . And that can feel really scary when a. Perception. What she thinks she's seeing is that everybody else is with someone. So for a young girl who feels that she's left out in a room full of people, mm-hmm. it, you can feel very, very isolated. What advice would you give to that young girl?

Well, this is something that I love to talk about because in my life, this is something I wish somebody would've taught me a long, long, long time ago.

They didn't. I had to learn it in my thirties. So we're gonna teach this younger generation to learn it earlier, but Jess kind of touched on it. Is to start looking on the outside of the circle. So often we live our life wanting to impress people and wanting people to accept us as a friend and wanting to be included and we strive for them and, oh, how can I make these people like me?

Where if we would pause and actually pause and go, Hang on, maybe I flip the switch. Uh, flip the. and maybe instead of looking for who will invite me, I look for someone to invite. Maybe I flip the script and instead of looking for someone I can press, I just learn to be impressed by other people. Maybe instead of trying so hard to make people like me.

I learn to like people for who they are, and I learn to accept them. And I learned that instead of forcing myself into the center of the circle. Because I think especially with young, That is what we do. We think there is one cool table. There is one spot. And if you're not at that spot, missed out. Yeah, you've missed out.

That's where you wanna be. That's the spot I, I know here, I don't know if this is how it was everywhere, but it was like when we, when you would go on a field trip, the really cool kids always sat in the back of the bus .

Oh yeah. They like totally all across

the back. Yeah. And I never belonged to back there.

Me neither. I never, I belonged. No, me either, but like, yeah, I was not cool , I was not cool. Um, but instead of trying to force your way to that back of the bus, just look and see somebody cuz there's someone else who needs a friend and instead of trying, So yes, just be a friend. Be a friend to that person.

They will probably be a good friend in. There is no cool table. There is no cool spot on the bus. There is just us living our life, being ourselves, and we can do that anywhere with people who accept us. So it's not about trying to fit into this cool crowd, it's just being yourself and fitting in where you naturally belong.

Yeah, Where you naturally feel good, where the energy is wholesome, you know, instead of that forcing, you start looking on the outside of the circle and go, Who can I be a friend? Yes. And

just go in with, Amy always talks about this, go in with compliments. What would you like to hear? Like tell our daughters, What would you love to hear?

Sit down next to one someone and say like, I love your shoes, or I love, you know. And then, And then ask questions. Get to know them. What would you like if you were feeling alone and isolated? What would you like you and you do? I guess you do feel alone and isolated, but you're giving that gift to somebody.

You would love it if somebody would sit next to you and just want to know you and want to know about your family and what you like to do for fun. I think one of the biggest things I learned in friendship and our girls can learn is that I don't have to be the most interesting person in the world for people to want to be my friends.

I need to be curious and be interested in in them, and

that's such a gift. Yeah. I found my best friend. I found my best friend that way. Yeah. Is there was the mom group and um, my sons at the time went to a school that was pretty small and so there was a mom group and I thought that I was friends with them.

And um, then I found out that no, there were girls nights and I was not invited. , there were group chats and I was not included. And I remember feeling sorry for myself for a hot minute and thinking they were. and then I realized when they're not me, that's just who they know and who they're comfortable with.

They're probably not purposely excluding me. They have no idea how I feel. They're just doing what feels natural to them and that's okay. Bitterness doesn't do us any favors. So disliking people thinking that they're mean, that just doesn't do us any favors to feel to, to think badly of other people, but to think honestly about them, the honest truth.

They didn't wanna be my friend , and so I stopped for a while. I tried. To work my way into that circle. And then I stopped and I was like, You're not gonna feel sorry for yourself anymore, but you're also not gonna try so hard to be friends with those girls, so they don't wanna be friends with you. And I asked myself, That's really good.

Who else, Who else is not on that group chat? Who else? And I realized there was a woman in town who was, she was new to town. Um, she had moved here from a few hours away and I was like, Callie, Callie's, not necessarily in on that. and Callie is one of the best friends I have. Not just my best friend. She's one of the best friends I've ever had.

And that relationship only flourished. That relationship flourished because these relationships didn't, and it gave way for something new to form. So there is a good and bad when, when one friendship doesn't work out, it means you have more water and more time to give to this space over. And that is what happens.

And so that is one of the things I'm like, Don't, don't wait until you're 30 to figure that out. Don't be 30. Like forcing your way in , like making people like you. Oh, I think I still

needed that reminder. Yeah. I think

we all do. We all need that reminder.

We get tunnel vision about who we think is like the ultimate friend.

It's kind of like having a crush on someone like a boy. Like it's like we get this tunnel vision and we just. We want attention from them specifically. So we have to take a step back, remove the tunnel vision, be like, What am I doing? Why am I pursuing this person so hard? And who else can I turn

my attention?

Yeah. Which goes back to that whole thing, Amy, you, you didn't have to, you know, you shouldn't have to earn it. Yeah. And actually, you know, and, and then, because that's what you would've had to have done. To have been part of that. Yeah. And actually by accepting that, then your eyes become open as just saying, you avoid this tunnel vision.

And then actually you see these other people who are ultimately, and she ended up being long term, so much better for you than had you managed to earn that friendship. And I also, I think you also touched upon something that, that I hear a lot is this notion that girls will say that they, they need to be friends and it's, we don't have to be friends with everybody, but we can be friendly with everybody.

And that is because thinking I know, Okay, I know. I learned this growing and, and I think it's very unhealthy. I hope we're not still telling this to our girls, but it was, if someone didn't like me, what I heard was, Oh, well, they're jealous of you. They don't like you because they're jealous. What that taught me is one that it's not just okay to not be liked, that that's not normal.

There has to be a reason why. Yeah. I learned that and I learned that too. If someone doesn't like me, boom. They're against. And we are, um, they're kind of the bad guy, and that's very unhealthy. It hint women against women from a very early age. Let's just be honest and tell our daughters, Yeah, you know what, sometimes people just don't like you, and it doesn't mean they're a bad person.

It doesn't mean they're a bad person. It doesn't mean you're a bad person. Sometimes I just don't like you. You know, it's the same thing, like, you know, uh, like tell your kids, like if you were, if you really wanna teach us a lesson, put a whole bunch of d. . Coke and Sprite and orange, orange soda or something.

I don't, You could do something healthier than that. That's not super healthy, but , I dunno. I dunno. But put it out and have them choose one and be like, Okay. Now does that mean that the coke that you didn't choose, is there something wrong with that Coke? No, it just means it wasn't your favorite. And that's okay because somebody else is gonna, Somebody else is gonna choose it.

Yeah. Somebody else is gonna like it. You can't be, everybody's orange soda and that's fine. . That's fine. And

actually it's important not to be, cuz as you grow into your identity, if you become who you really are, you're not gonna be everyone's type or flavor or person. And you're not meant to be. You're not meant to be liked by every single person.

And I think that's mind blowing. Yeah. Especially to girls. Like for some reason we. . We think we're supposed to like everyone. Mm-hmm. . And we think everybody is supposed to like us, but it's actually okay. It's actually, if you are just being yourself, it's naturally not everyone is going to enjoy you. Yeah.

And that's, and that's, that's fine. And so I think that's,

it's a

natural, very natural. I'm so sorry, I interrupted. I'm sorry.

Um, Oh God, no. No interrupt all the time.

Okay. But that's what it is. It's very, But I think it's so crucial though, isn't it? And we're not against each other, and I think that's important to teach young girls, like, because that's what we are taught.

I know. I was taught that like, Oh, if they don't like you, then they're mean. No, they're not mean. They're not mean. They're just doing what is natural to them. And, um, and not saying that girls can never be mean and that there's not a place for that, but someone not liking you doesn't make them a bad person.


Yeah, and you touched on a really important bit there, Amy, about this idea that if, if someone doesn't choose you as a friend, then, then that must mean that the, that they're your enemy by saying you know that they're jealous or, But actually it is, it's really important that we kind of instill this notion that we can be friendly to everybody, but there will be a handful of people that will really be our, our friends, because we are the right fit.

We can be vulnerable with them, we can talk to them about things, and that doesn't make that other. Unkind mean because it, I think that that just fuels this whole notion of women against women rather competition rather than this notion of collaboration and, and, and working together. But now, part of growing up, we all do it, is that we make mistakes.

Yeah. We say unkind things. We do unkind things. Okay. What would you suggest that we can do when we've messed up with a. . Be humble.

Be humble and own up to your mistakes. Apologize. Say I am just so I messed up. Own it and I am so sorry. And then I think you kind of have to release it. Yeah. And allow them to either forgive you or maybe they don't.

But our part is to. And to not shame yourself or be hard on yourself, every single one of us makes mistakes. Every single one of us is gonna screw up in a friendship period. Like no one is going to escape by being the perfect friend. It just isn't gonna happen. So don't be overly hard on yourself, but own it.

Do your

part to make it right? Yeah. I would say own it. Apologize. Yeah. Do better going forward. And whether that means, And then just like Jess said, that is so instrumental and so essential is that we learn to release it because we cannot control what that person does going forward. That person may have decided that we are not a safe space for them anymore, and they get to choose that.

They get to decide that we have to release them and let them do what is best for. . And that is so hard. That is so hard, but it's so important. So, but you do better going forward, whether it's with that person or whether it's with the next friendship. Either way, you do better because you, you can't control whether that person stays or whether that person puts you at a distance.

Um, it's their choice at that point, and they have to do, if you really love them, they, you let them do what's best. and maybe that friendship will come back around. Yeah. If you rule is the right way, that friendship that can come back around. But if you get mad at them and then if you flip it and put the blame on them and you get angry and defensive, that door is probably closed for good.

Yeah. Yeah. I love that. This idea that you do the right thing, and of course we all know that that's the right thing, but it's actually the more difficult bit, I would say is the, just the acceptance that it's then not down to you. You've done the right thing. You've apologize. You've been upfront. But if they choose that this friendship is no longer serves them mm-hmm.


we have to honor that. Uh, I had a therapist this week who really helped me cuz I, you know, , you know, I had friendship troubles. Just this, this, just this week it happens and I am very hard on myself when I make a mistake. I wanna be so nice and I wanna be so kind and I wanna make the right decision always.

And when I feel like I don't, man, I'm hard on. . And what my therapist said to me that really helped is she was like one, She was like, I'm not even sure that you made a mistake. You're being very hard on yourself for being human. It's what you're being hard on yourself for . But she's like, However, yeah. What happened at then at that moment of time is not, And what was in your heart then is not what's in your heart now.

So you live now. You live now, and you have to let that go. Don't keep that in your. Don't keep it, don't keep it in your heart. That's not where you are now. And um, that just really helped me to be able to hold my head up and go, Okay, I learned from it. I learned from it. I will mess up again. I'm gonna be, I'm gonna keep human again.

I'm gonna make a mistake. I'm gonna stumble. It doesn't mean that I'm a bad person. It, it doesn't mean that I'm a bad friend. No. It means I made a mistake. But as long as you learn from it, and again, that you, you don't want that your heart then to be your heart. , but as long as you've grown from it, no. You know you're gonna be okay.

You're gonna be okay. All of life is a learning process and those mistakes, they kind of stink, but they make us better. We walk a little, we walk a little bit straighter after we make them.

Yeah, totally. And if, if, as we're listening to this, if people are listening to this, it's this notion that actually it's a work.

You know, the work that you're doing in this book, and I'm gonna ask you for your one advice in a minute, but that actually, it starts with our. , but it's a pro, it's a, we're all a work in progress. It doesn't mean that this, these friendship things don't just turn up, you know, rear their ugly heads at some point.

We're all a work in progress because of that. So you've written that basically the book is about the advice that you wish that you had had. What's the biggest piece of advice that you hope young girls take away from this book?

That they're not. That wherever they're at in the journey, whatever if, if they're completely, you feel isolated and lonely.

If they're in a friendship and they're not sure if it's going anywhere, if they're feeling really hurt from a broken friendship, whatever it is. I want so badly for girls to know that there is women all around them, girls all around them, that are walking that same path and have gone through those same struggle.

And every single thing that they're feeling really resonates with us as a group. There's not a, there's not a person that escapes these pain points of friendship. We all feel them. I just want them to know we're in it together and nothing they're feeling is outside of the realm of belonging and normal.

And even if you don't, if they don't feel belonging right now in their world, I want them to know that they have belong. With all of us and then we're in this together.

Oh, I love that. Just I know I was crying. I was like, I'm not following that up. .

I've got nothing I nothing to add.

I want girls to know their belong I, I want them to know they belong.

I want them to know that they're okay. I want them to know that they've got a space in this world and that no matter what happens, no matter what kind of hurt or struggles that they endure, and they will, they. . I want them to know who they are. I want them to know who they are and I want them to stand on that.

And I want them to just keep going forward and to, and to keep walking and to keep pushing through it. Cuz life is, I mean, this sounds so cheesy, but it's such a gift. I mean, it's such a gift that we've been given and we, we get this life and I want them to enjoy it, and I want them to enjoy it now when they're young and I want them to enjoy.

In their twenties when they're living, you know, single life. I want 'em to enjoy it and I want them to enjoy it when they're thirties and I don't want them to waste it, wondering if they're good enough. I don't want them to waste it. And so I want them to learn that now to just live and, and enjoy life and do it together cuz it really is better that way.


Amy, Jess. Thank you. So I think we could talk for hours, but thank you so much for sharing. We will have the link to the book in the show notes. Quite genuinely, my advice to everybody is if you have daughters by the book, Because it's just, it's, it is the conversations and it guides you every single step so that you, you are doing this together and you're doing it with, with so many other mothers and daughters that are going through this.

So thank you, Amy. Thank you, Jess. Maybe we'll have you back on to give us an update or maybe the next book,

and we've loved this. Thank you. Thank you so much for having us. Thank you. But have such a good day. Thank you.