How to Break Up With A Friend


Let's welcome dr charen psychologist with everyday. Psychology thank you so much for joining us to chat about friendships and breakup today. Yes yes thank you for having me. I'm so excited to be here now. I thought of this topic. Not only because it's something that i think i've struggled with and brennan has struggled with. But you also have a podcast three six and a mike and you covered this recently with a couple of other psychologists we did we. Did we actually talk about friendship. Quite a bit on our show. I was just going back in listening to some episodes in prepped for today and we had a couple of episodes around friendships around friendships as an adult. Because that's a whole nother ballgame and We think it's so important one because the three of us are actually really good friends. And so we've actually been through kind of the ups and downs. That happened with friendships but also because friendships are one of those central relationships in our lives. And we don't often talk about them. and so yeah so working with two close friends. that's really interesting. i don't i. Don't i brennan. I had worked together only very very part time. Only on this single project of the podcast but it brings up issues in the relationship Mostly my fault. I would say we. We've had our moments for sure. It's more me like let's just admit it. I freak out about things. Normally you don't freak out. But i've found just over the last six to twelve months of the pandemic and some of the added stressors. There've been moments that i think. You've at overreacted. Maybe i'm speaking to place. But i feel like you've overreacted. Is just not able for you. Because normally you're quite level headed and rational but all the other emotions that come to the surface come out in some of our discussions shaken pop bottle right now. I've been shaken pop a while. So i think we're there yet so working with friends. Has that shifted the relationship at all so there are moments of course where you know. The work blends into the friendship. But i think we're very Intentional around when we are doing work the when we're recording prepping it is specifically focused on work and then when we have our friend moments. We don't talk about the pod. We don't talk about the work together. and it doesn't help that you know. We're all psychologists so you know we. We had that added layer of being able to notice if things are spilling over or if those lines are getting blurred but there have been moments. Where if there's a little bit of a rift in the friendship it kind of spills over to you know how much patience we may have with one another on recording day or you know those types of things but we really try to catch him. Try to catch those rifts early but there have been moments where it's like wait a minute. That's that's not a podcast feeling at all. Burn ship feeling and vice versa. That that makes total sense now as a psychologist. How much do you see friendship issues. Coming up in practice with your clients like are they talking about. Their friends often are struggling with communication with friends for sure. No it's constantly it's constantly And i think because our friends like i said is one of the most central relationships that we tend to have and it's central throughout our entire lives right so even if i wasn't i always joke and say i wasn't allowed to date until i was like out of high school but i still had friends at that point right so even from our earliest relationships friendships kind of mirror throughout our lives. And so you here or i hear so. Many people coming in throughout the lifespan talking about how their friendships are either adding to or depleting or kind of taking away from their enjoyment from their day to day values and things of that nature. And so there. There's always a tinge in there of you know. What are those relationships like. What are those friendships like. And how can we continue to enhance them so that they continue to add to the life that we're building ourselves you know. We often think about with regard to intimate relationships biden. Our friendships are also shaped by our early experiences. And one thing that really strikes me. And i really want to get your take on attachment styles and how it affects friendships been. I wanted to note. And i don't know if you've observed us that so many of the friendships that are represented in popular media are not always the not. I don't wanna use the word healthy but not always necessarily what we'd like them to be. And i'm thinking about i'm just gonna describe this to people for folks who don't watch it but i'm thinking about brooklyn nine nine. We are sure that tries to take a stand on things that tries to model a variety of i think behaviors and interactions that that other shows haven't touched but the friendship between jake. Who's kind of the the star and his his best friend. Charles charles's possessive and jealous and doesn't want him having any other friends. Even the cannibal subordinate. Yes there there's an element where he worships. Jake and ray j kind of feeds into that and that's just one silly little example so if we had no that makes me think about charleston's style and you know his exactly so let's go back to attachment styles how our attachment styles that we learn in our earlier shape relationships friendships not just intimately ups. I love the the tv reference. 'cause i am always in the space of like all cash. Let's look at these dynamics here you know and people are like. Let's just watch the show. But definitely i think our attachment styles are. They play a huge role in just how we engage in relationships. Period and friendships are not exempt from that So for those who may not know fully about attachment theory basically just describes how we create bonds in our lives based on the ways. In which the bonding with carried out in our early relationships. So it's it's it's focused on bonds. It's focused on how we typically connect to others around us in those bonds in our early relationships are usually mirrored by you know what we gain from our caregivers so parents or grandparents or whomever was a caregiver you in that moment And so in our early lives we always get these messages about how safely how to safely engage with others and we also learn how to gain love from other than how to give love to others and so this often leads to how we attach it leads to how we engage with the closeness that happens in relationships and so that's kind of a a brief overview of a full attachment theory. But you know as we are going through our lives. We get so many messages Whether they be indirect or direct right so whether people are saying hey. This is how you behave in friendships. Or you see how others are behaving in friendships And so we get these messages and sometimes they leave us feeling securely attached which means that. We're often grounded in our ability to trust the closeness and the distance that will happen relationships Or we're happened in friendships. And then on the other hand we can also be left with those more. Insecure attachment switch are mostly described as like avoid attachment or dismissive attachments. And we can have more anxiety or anx around that closeness or that distance and that trust that happens in our friendships and so depending on kind of where you fall in that continuum whether those attachments can be secure. You're going to be able to or you're going to engage in different ways right so if you are developing those secure attachments you're okay with distance you're okay with talking to a friend and then maybe go in a week or so and then being able to not think. Oh my gosh. That friend has left me. I think in me. But you're secure in that closeness in that distance you are able to trust that however if you have that more anxious that more Avoid or dismissive attachment oftentimes. There's a lot of anxiety around the connection. There's a lot of anxiety around the distance so if that person isn't there isn't attending to you in a certain way there may be this thought of they've left me you know. What do i need to do to get them

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