CBaS friend breakups cover art

In this episode, Dr. Hannah Korrel and I explore the beautiful elements of friendship and what makes friend breakups challenging.

hannah korrel with brain image on poster in background

Dr. Hannah Korrel is both a Clinical Neuropsychologist and Registered Psychologist. She holds a Masters in Clinical Neuropsychology and PhD in neuroscience from the University of Melbourne.

Dr. Hannah completed over a decade of study to become qualified in conditions of the brain and psychology of relationships. She currently works as a senior clinical neuropsychologist for inpatients in hospital settings, and runs a private neuropsychology practice in Sydney.

We recorded this episode on May 31, 2022.

Breaking up with a friend is not something that you do in the heat of the moment. It’s something that there’s been a lot of moves to try to correct the friendship ahead of time and communicate the issues well before the breakup occurs.

Your Challenge Invitation

Pause for a few minutes. Take stock of who is in your life, and what is the joy they bring you. Think of your close friends. What are the special aspects of your relationship? What do you really love about them? How have they helped you when you needed it?

Then, spend a few more minutes practicing some gratitude for those feelings. Really feel that sense of appreciation in your heart and feel it bubbling up inside you. If you want, you can put your hand on your heart as you think about it. Feel that sense of warmth and that gratitude growing in your heart. Just allow that.

As you go into your next interactions during the day, carry the feeling of gratitude with you and let it fuel you. Use your feelings of gratitude to fuel the next interaction to be the best quality friend that you can be to that person, and also the best quality friends you can be to yourself.

This exercise is a way to appreciate the happy and positive aspects of friendship. Reflecting on how grateful we are can be a really, really healthy and positive psychological thing for us to practice. You can do this activity as often as you like.

Contact and follow Hannah on her book site, her psychology site, Facebook or Instagram.

You can connect with Damianne on the Changes BIG and small website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube. You’re also invited to join the Changes BIG and small Facebook community.

Good friends are really worth their weight in gold for our mental health.

Similar Episodes

Timeline of the Chat

00:50 – How to Break Up with Friends
03:22 – Finding out when a relationship is harmful
05:50 – Defining and Examining Friendship
07:17 – Friendship breakups is an area that needs more attention
09:31 – How the fear of being alone keeps people stuck in relationships
10:43 – How do you break up in a way that’s respectful
11:15 – The strain and unreasonable demands we place on friendship
12:56 – Boundary setting in friendship and what keeps us tied to toxic friends
19:06 – What is the Dunbar number
22:44 – We all use social media differently for engaging with friends
25:10 – The changing nature of friendship and deciding where to spend your energy
29:36 – Friendship Invitation/Challenge

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The people who tend to attract toxic people are those people who may not have the assertiveness skills to be able to say when a behavior wasn’t appropriate.

It’s normal for any relationship for you to make mistakes sometimes.

Transcript of the Episode

[00:50] How to Break Up with Friends

I first came across your site in learning about relationships, researching relationships because of your book, How to Break up With Friends. Why did you write this book? Well, first of all, you released this book in 2020, is that right? 

[01:05] Hannah Korrel: Yeah. That’s exactly right. So it’s been about, uh, what’s that two years now, nearly, 18 months. So it was a little while, but, I think, really it came from two places. The first place was I’m a neuropsychologist. I did neuroscience for my PhD. So I love the science of why our body reacts in certain ways, like fight and flight responses, learned trauma responses, and what happens to our body when we’re exposed to repeated toxic influences again and again, and again. I find that really fascinating.

 And I often do groups and classes here at the hospital where I work and people usually find that really fascinating and it helps them understand themselves a bit better. So I wanted to, to write that down, you know, what was the, the neuroscience of why your body is responding to these toxic influences and why it’s so hard to get away from them, to validate that side of things. But I guess that the second reason is obviously like I’m, I’m also a human being and I’ve been there and I’ve experienced it. And I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone on this planet who hasn’t had an issue with, you know, friendships in the past. So I think it’s just such a common, common thing.

And ever since I wrote the book, I’ve had so many people sliding into my DMS on Instagram and sending me messages to say, oh my gosh, you know, I, I had this issue as well, and I didn’t realize it was so common. I thought it was just me. I thought there must be something wrong with me, but in actual fact, it’s a very, very common issue that we don’t really talk about very often

[02:37] Damianne President: Yeah, it’s much more common to talk about breakups in intimate relationships, in romantic relationships. With friends, usually you kind of just ghost, but maybe not with that intention of ghosting as in a romantic relationship, but your drift apart is often what people say, or you lost touch, or that kind of thing.

And I find that when that happens, even though you may think it was it’s okay that we’re not close friends anymore, it’s okay that we have kind of ended our close friendship, you may still wonder, at least I still wonder, with some people, should I reach out again, like we didn’t officially break up or close our friendship, so it leaves a bit of a limbo. 

[03:22] Finding out when a relationship is harmful

[03:22] Damianne President: I imagine that with relationships that are dysfunctional, where you’re actually getting hurt by somebody, that’s a reason to break up officially, but there are lots of other cases where breakups might happen not because you really hate the person or because they really did something terrible to you, but your life circumstances might have So, how do you know when to break up with a friend? Oh, what should you before breaking up?

[03:51] Hannah Korrel: Yeah, it’s such a huge topic and you’ve just tapped into so many different elements there with that comment, like it’s so true. We do have a different perspective when it comes to friendships compared to relationship with family or with partners. We tend to have a lot more, I suppose, longevity and almost like obligation to try to see things out with a partner. The boundaries are a lot clearer in a relationship with a partner. We know when a partner is perhaps doing the wrong thing by us. We’ve got really new terms now. Gaslighting is a new term. Manipulation is a reasonably new term as well. Before those words existed, it was really hard to define when something was inappropriate in relationship.

In this 21st century, we’ve gotten so much better at highlighting and red flagging when something’s not okay in a domestic relationship; we’ve gotten a lot better at doing that. What way yet to do and what we still need to have a friendship revolution on is the way that we understand friendships and those less defined relationships.

When you’re boyfriend or girlfriend, it’s very clear with boyfriend and girlfriend and there are reasonable expectations about the way we behave in a relationship. We have intimacy, we see each other, we sleep over, we might move in together. When we’re married, that’s a clearly defined role as well.

But in friendships, it can be really unique. We have different types of friendships. Some friends you might say once every six months, but it feels like you’ve just seen them yesterday and other friendships, you might say them every second day and they like a member of your family, and some friendships might replenish you and some friendships might suck you dry, absolutely suck to dry.

So there’s all sorts of different elements to friendship. And I think it can be really hard for people to know when to set some boundaries and practice assertiveness and know when to play it cool.  

[05:50] Defining and Examining Friendship

[05:50] Hannah Korrel: Because I think friendship is fundamentally intertwined with concepts like popularity and self-esteem. Because what is friendship? Friendship, in our understanding of the concept, it’s coolness, it’s popularity, it’s how many people do you know. It’s who are you connected to? And to be a likable person is synonymous with being cool. And cool is all about being, you know, nonchalant, to cool to care, cool as a cucumber, don’t rock the boat, easy going, chilled. She’s really chilled, you know. And the person who’s not cool is the person who is high maintenance, who complaints, who is buzzkill.

So all of those concepts of, you know, highlighting when you’re upset, or saying when something hurts your feelings, or saying when something wasn’t okay, it was inappropriate, they kind of fly in the face with this idea of the easygoing nature of friendship, which is a bit of a misconception that’s supposed to be super, super easy, and we shouldn’t have to ever tell somebody when they’re out of line; it should just come naturally. And if we do need to say something was out of line, then that might make us a buzzkill and we can never have a be a buzzkill cause that means we’re not cool. So I think, I think all of these complex interactions make it difficult for people to navigate what is friendship and how can I tell someone when I’m unhappy in a friendship? 

[07:17] Friendship breakups is an area that needs more attention

[07:17] Damianne President: So what usually leads people to the point of breakup, of officially saying, okay, I need to have a friendship breakup. 

[07:25] Hannah Korrel: Well, I mean, I think that’s a great question because what I’ve seen, um, Damianne, and you might find this as well is what you mentioned before about ghosting being a big issue. I don’t know that people really do have proper breakups with friendship. I think it’s sort of that last wall to fall when it comes with understanding relationships.

We’ve got really good at understanding mental health. It’s okay to not be okay. We’re tackling domestic violence and relationship issues. We’re tackling stereotypes. We’re tackling all of these prejudice to different parts of the community and different community members. And friendship is kind of like this last little milestone that we need to work on, which is how do we actually respect ourselves and assert our boundaries.

And it’s really easy to just go to just ghost people because it’s awkward and uncomfortable, and people feel like if I set my boundaries and if I communicate, that might make things uncomfortable. So I’d rather just pretend it’s not happening. And then if I can’t pretend anymore, because I’m so upset, I’ll just go to the person and disappear out of their lives.

And it’s turned into a bit of a socially acceptable thing. It’s not socially acceptable, but it happens. We have no shows. People who don’t show up to the party, and people who ghosts us. And we have terms like social loafing. I talk about this in the book, these new terms we’ve had to come up with to deal with people who are just not operating correctly in friendships. Social loafing is where you assume that the person won’t notice that you haven’t replied to their email or replied to their RSVP or showing up to your party because there are all the people in the party and they won’t noticing you not there. So I think it’s been really tricky for people to navigate.

How do I orchestrate the end of a relationship in a way that is respectful, respects me and doesn’t hurt someone. Cause it makes me feel icky you know, breakups my festival icky. We don’t want to do them. We want to avoid them at all costs. That’s why we end up staying with that terrible boyfriend that we were with, you know, most of our twenties and we’re like why did I stay with that Because it feels icky. It doesn’t feel nice to end the relationship with someone. We get a bit scared. 

[09:31] How the fear of being alone keeps people stuck in relationships

[09:31] Hannah Korrel: One of the things I talk about in the book is this fear of being alone and this fear of having no friends and this fear of, you know, just being by ourselves, and worry what does that mean about and what could it indicate about me? 

So this fear of being alone is keeping us tied to very toxic people. And in fact, when you’re tied to that toxic person, you tend to feel alone because they’re not very nice to you, usually. So, you know, I think we’re oscillating kind of between staying with someone who might be mean or a bully to us, and thinking back to, well, the only thing I feel empowered to do is to just ghost see that person, because I don’t want to address it head on. And the people who tend to attract toxic people are those people who may not have the assertiveness skills to be able to say when a behavior wasn’t appropriate, and say when you did that, when you called me that name, when you treated me in that way, it made me feel bad. And I don’t want you to do that to me again. This is getting to the heart of it, really, which is when you get to a point that you need to break up with a friend, how do you do it in a way which is respectful and, you know, you can literally write a book on the topic and why I did, like, we really go into detail in the book how do we do this?  

[10:43] How do you break up in a way that’s respectful

[10:43] Hannah Korrel: But I think at the end of the day, the really quick answer is don’t do anything in the heat of the moment, and prior preparation. Breaking up with a friend is not something that you do in the heat of the moment. It’s something that there’s been a lot of moves to try to correct the friendship ahead of time and communicate the issues well before the breakup occurs. And I think that’s something that people perhaps don’t realize is part of a breakup, all the steps that came before the breakup, where you attempted to rectify the situation.

[11:15] The strain and unreasonable demands we place on friendship

[11:15] Damianne President: I think we can draw parallels also with romantic relationships where you don’t just disappear. You don’t just disappear overnight. You would try to talk things out at least in a functioning, committed relationship. There are people who leave without raising issues, but at least in a better functioning, closer relationship, you will try to talk things out, you would raise the concerns that you have. And I find that those are actually the types of behaviors that help build stronger, closer friendships, when you could bring up issues that you’re not comfortable with or have those difficult conversations. If it’s all just surface level and everybody’s just happy, then I would kind of question how close is the friendship anyway.

[11:59] Hannah Korrel: That’s such a good reflection. I think we kind of live in this, like Walt Disney, you know, aspiration land where we have this idea that everything needs to be perfect, and for something to work we’ve got to feel it and you will intuitively know, and you know, when I’m in love, I’m in love. And when they’re a good friendship, they’ll just know intuitively that I’m not okay, and they’ll get it. But actually everyone’s imperfect and I know for myself, I’ve definitely made mistakes. I’ve put my foot in it with friendships where I’ve dropped the ball. And I know great friends who have also done the same thing where they might’ve had an accident. It’s because we’re imperfect people and we make mistakes.

It’s normal for any relationship for you to make mistakes sometimes, to really put your foot in your mouth and do or say something that hurts the friendship, your friend. And that’s part of growing. As you say, in relationships, it’s the same; we need that opportunity to sort of talk about those issues.

[12:56] Boundary setting in friendship and what keeps us tied to toxic friends

[12:56] Hannah Korrel: Boundary setting is two parts. It’s one telling the friend, hey, this is a trigger for me. This is something that hurts me. This is where I’m letting you know the turd is, so please, please don’t step in it. And then the second part of boundary setting is if your friend does in fact go and step right in that turd and that triggers you and hurt you, being able to remind them, you know, I’ve told you this was a sensitivity for me. You’ve just done that thing that’s triggered me. Why did you do that, and can you please not do it again? And if they continue to do it, that’s when we need to ask ourselves, why am I staying in this relationship? And I talk a lot in the book about what might keep us tied to toxic friends and all the different mentalities that might keep us tied to toxic friends.

 Some of that is looking inward within ourselves to find out what is it about me that’s making me stay with this person and be so afraid that there are no other friends out there I’m going to make, that I’m going to stay with this person who might bully me or be passive aggressive to me, or hurt me, or leave me. Basically, every time I see them, I walk away from the interaction feeling worse than before I went into the interaction. That’s a relationship that is sucking your energy. 

Energy is our most precious commodity. You’ve got time and energy, so where you spend your time and what you put your energy into, you’re never going to get that back again. Once that minute is passed, once that percentage of energy’s expended, that means that minute or that percentage of energy is taking away from something else, something else you could have put it into. 

As we get older, we tend to get a little bit better at choosing where we’re going to put our time and our energy, because we realize how precious it is. Now, repeatedly putting your time and energy into a relationship that you know is hurting you, and you know that person maybe doesn’t have that respect for you or kindness towards you, that’s when we need to turn within and ask us, what’s going on inside me that I’m continuing to do this. And sometimes those questions can only be answered through some really deep soul searching and some looking inwards and talking about these issues with somebody who is a professional, like a psychologist, not a toxic friend, but talking it through with a psychologist. And that might be a good option for some people. And I do discuss that in the book.

[15:20] Damianne President: Yeah. And I think another complicating factor is that sometimes there are groups of friends. Then, that gets complicated in terms of how do you break up with one person the group? I’ve had this? Living in Japan, there was a group of friends that I hung out with and then I don’t know what happened. I still don’t know what happened because we never talked about it, but this person stopped coming to activities with two of us, but would still see a third person 

[15:50] Hannah Korrel: Yeah. 

[15:50] Damianne President: And years later, maybe four or five years later, they sent the Facebook friend requests to me after not having talk to me for, you know, like six years or whatever, since that break happened. And it wasn’t a close enough friendship to really expand the energy as you were talking about to be like, okay, let me dig into this and see if it’s a friendship that I want to invest time and energy in again. Sometimes you’re not close enough for you to want to revisit something and repair it. But I think the question that I want to ask is with this whole concept of friendship and breaking up, how does social media and the concept of friending, unfollowing and all of that play in. 

[16:38] Hannah Korrel: That’s a really good question because social media definitely, you know, they say we check our phone anywhere between 50 times a day to 3000 times a day, so our phones are really connected to us, almost attached to our hands these days. And for a lot of people, it’s the first thing you check in the morning. And the last thing you check at night.

 I know it’s all about Instagram and TikTok now, but when I was growing up, it was a lot about Facebook and how many friends you had on Facebook and how many likes you had on your status or on your photo, and how many people you had RSVP-ing to your party and how many people attended your party. And nowadays, it’s a lot of, you know, Instagram moments, which is like my birthday in front of a balloon Garland with my monogrammed cupcakes, and my gender reveal party and all of these moments that have become like milestone moments, you know, when I turned 21, when I turned 30. Those things used to be in and of themselves a fun thing, but now there’s a big part of the editing of that and how it gets put on social media to look a certain way. The photography’s perfect and the outfit’s perfect, and the behind the scenes are perfect, and there’s so much pressure to have it look just so. It’s just so popular for people to really make a bit of a show of the way that they’re celebrating milestones in their life, which is beautiful, but a double edge sword.

And what I mean by that is, in one way it’s beautiful to protect precious moments, but in another way, there’s so much pressure on individuals to demonstrate their popularity, demonstrate their coolness and demonstrate the love and attention that was showered and lavished upon them on those special days. And if you’re somebody who perhaps didn’t grow up in the same city for childhood to adulthood, or all of your friends moved cities and have carried on their life elsewhere, or perhaps you’ve got a very small group of friends and your social network is a lot smaller, you know, the pressure of having oodles and oodles of people in your photos and attend to parties and comment on your photos can, can make people feel that they have to have this huge network of friends, and that maybe there’s something wrong with me if I don’t have that. In actual fact, the science of friendship and the sociological studies into friendship put forward that it’s actually very healthy and very normal for us to have a very small group of friends. 

[19:06] What is the Dunbar number

[19:06] Hannah Korrel: Some scientists have come up with what we call the, the Dunbar number, which is the number of friends that your brain is biologically hardwired to be able to handle, how many really, really close friendships who brings biologically hardwired to handle. Do you want to know the number of how many friends your brain is biologically hardwired to him? 

[19:26] Damianne President: People who have been listening to the podcast will be familiar with it. But if somebody is new to this episode, then that might be new to them. And people are often surprised with how small it is. 

[19:38] Hannah Korrel: Yeah, it’s five, it’s five, really, really intimate relationships, really intimate. And that includes family. That includes partners. That includes children. And if you think about it kind of makes sense, like, I don’t know at you, but how much time have you gotten a day. There’s seven days in a week. How many days of that way are you able to go and have a dinner and a movie with a friend? Maybe one of the days, if you’re lucky, maybe one day in the fortnight, if you’re lucky. We don’t often have oodles and oodles of time to devote to the energy required to have a really, really intimate BFF, with hundreds of people, right?

Your brain probably can’t keep up with that many intimate relationships as well. You know, you’ve got your partner, maybe you’ve got your kids, maybe your parents or sibling, and those are the people you really talking to every single day. So it takes up cognitive real estate to have those precious relationships and those deep relationships. And that’s what makes them special because I do take many, many, many, many hours to develop and lots of time together.

Unless you’re maybe living on a dorm in a university, you might not have the time to dedicate to making oodles and oodles of friends. So when you look on social media and you see people who have orchestrated their photos to look like they do have oodles and oodles of friends, it can make us feel invalidated. It can make us feel by comparison there might be something wrong with us. 

Instead of looking at photos where we have a person who’s got a hundred people who’ve come to the potty, we need people to be validated by the hundred people. Who went to the party who then had their own birthday and only a few people came and normalizing that that’s okay, and that’s not weird. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It doesn’t mean that you’re not a likable and valuable person. It can sometimes just be a by-product of circumstance in your life, like moving, the stage of life that you’re at, or the fact that maybe some of your friends are really, really close and the richness and quality of those friendships is so deep that you have a special bond with fewer people, but the quality of that bond is far greater than the bond that you would have if you diluted it across 30 different people. So it’s valuing things that can be different to what popular social media tells us we should value. And sometimes we need a reality check, of the scientists to come in and say, Hey, that’s not actually real portrayal of what your brain can do. 

[22:05] Damianne President: Yeah. On social media, we often use the terms or they, the social media platforms themselves, use the terms friend or unfriend, but I think that’s a very loose use of the word friend. And I would say those are more connections, which if we go back to the Dunbar number, It says that you can have 150 connections. So you can have your network with that number of people. And those are people who may wish you well, but those are not necessarily the people you’re going to call when you need someone to stick around because you’re sick or when you just got really great news and you want to share it with somebody. 

[22:44] We all use social media differently for engaging with friends

[22:44] Damianne President: I don’t want to be too judgy, but if you’re going to social media first to share your good news, I would be curious if you have those close friendships that will be around when you need help. 

[22:56] Hannah Korrel: Hm, you know, different strokes for different folks. We will have our ways of portraying things. And I think it’s a really lovely avenue for the really visual people. Some people are really verbal. Some people are really numeric or mathematical. Some people are kinesthetic. Some people are really spiritual. 

Some people are really visual and it’s a really great medium for that visual stimuli into your eyeballs. You can really feast your eyes on some lovely photos and beautiful way of sharing your news. But I think validating that there are different times in your life where you’re going to have lots of friends, maybe when you’re younger and maybe not so many friends when you’re going through different times like when you’ve had the first child, maybe when you’re starting a business, when you studying really, really hard, when you’re going through the ebbs and flows of life.

We call it like a didactic shift, didactic, meaning that you shift in and out of having similar interests with your friends. Maybe when you’re in uni, you both have very similar interests and you both had time for daiquiris at the pool hall. But then as you moved into, you know, one person going towards having a family and another person moving towards traveling around the country or around the world, there’s that shift, which is not necessarily reflective of either person being not good enough, but just that you were different places in your life and that you might come back together one day and your worlds might come close and orbit close together again one day. And that that’s okay as well. 

I think, if anything, perhaps the book is a touching base into, you know, what can we offer to make sure that we’re very good friends, and what the tennets of a good friendship is, but then also validating that maybe your experience of friendship on this planet, in this period, while your feet are on this continent, in this planet, it might be an experience that ebbs and flows, that has highs and lows and has beautiful moments, and has really tough moments that teach you how to appreciate all of the different aspects and angles, and shades of light and dark that a true friendship offers when you find it. That’s kind of a beautiful thing.  

[25:10] The changing nature of friendship and deciding where to spend your energy

[25:10] Damianne President: I had a friend that I knew from university and I moved overseas. For years, every time I would go back to Canada in the summer, I would call her up and we would meet for a coffee, or she would invite me over. And I remember one year she said, Well, don’t feel like it’s necessary for you to call me every time you’re in town, like you don’t have to call me when you’re in town. And I remember being very hurt by this. And at the same time, I also appreciated the clarity that she gave in this, because when we talk now about time, I also wondered then and I still wanted to now, like maybe part of that was her being considerate. We were always spending a lot of time trying to figure out when we can meet, how we can meet. There was always a lot of negotiations. 

And then recently, this year, she’s reached out again. She’s about to retire and she has been reading some of my stuff online and she said, do you want to have a Zoom call and check in and chat? When you talk about things going full circle, and when we think about the number of close relationships we can maintain, I think that yes, there will be grief and there will be maybe some sadness in a friendship, but then there’s also a recognition that people may be different places in their lives, and you may be different places in your life. And I think, for me, that’s also been a challenge.

I would probably keep some sort of contact with almost everybody that I’ve crossed paths with, but that’s not necessarily a healthy way of going around it either. 

[26:49] Hannah Korrel: Yeah, it’s so tricky. And, you know, you’re touching on a another beautiful point there. If you’ve got an iPhone, you might sometimes see that right at the top of the iPhone, you can see the battery at the top, and it sometimes tells you the percentage you got left on your battery.

And in psychology, sometimes I like to talk about the cognitive reserve you have and the energy you have, and the percentage points that you give out, sort of like on your phone, you might play candy crush for 15 minutes and it drains battery 5%, but it was worth it because you got to chill out or relax, or maybe it wasn’t worth it because you got a lot of blue light in your face right before you were supposed to be going to bed. 

We’re giving percentages of our energy to different people and sometimes, it depends on you and your own underlying beliefs of where you want to give that energy. And maybe for you, it’s barely a percentage point to be able to quickly send an email, quickly do a phone call, quickly write a text to touch base with that person when you think of them, they’re on your mind, and you want to let them know, you’re in my heart, I’m thinking of you and I hope you’re doing well. And that’s no skin off my back. It’s water off a duck’s back and it doesn’t cost me anything. Maybe it replenishes me a little bit. And for others, it might be a sense of obligation that keeps them tied, feeling like a chore of constantly distributing my energy and giving a bit here and a bit here and a bit here and a bit here.

We end up feeling like, you know, that drain ed battery on our phone when we finally get home at the end of the day. We’re rocking at home and we get to, you know, maybe you’ve got family, dinner, kids, whatever, and it’s 11 o’clock at night by the time you finally sit down and have some alone time with yourself and you can take care of yourself and we stay up late and we revenge procrastinate, stay up late so we can spend a bit of time just by ourselves. And obviously we pay for that the next day, but it was the only time you had for yourself.

I guess some parts of mental health is just stepping back from those little moments and reassessing where am I spending my energy? Where is my precious percentage points going? And is there a way that I can consider redistributing those? Is it costing me more in the long run? And you know, how precious is that little 5% here and 5% here, 5% here. Because if it’s just one person, that might be fine. But if it’s 15 people, 15 times a day, that might actually be draining you and sometimes it’s worth just checking in, you know, how much are you really running yourself into the ground or burning yourself out by doing that? 

[29:24] Damianne President: The thread that keeps coming up that you keep alluding to also is that self-awareness and that looking inward, and also knowing what you need. And I think that brings in concepts of self care as well.  

[29:36] Invitation/Challenge

[29:36] Damianne President: I know you have activities in the book and people can buy it what wherever books are sold. That’s How to Break up With Friends

Do you have an invitation that you would like to share with listeners of something they could do in their lives related to friendship? 

[29:53] Hannah Korrel: Ah, great question. An invitation of what you can do. Let’s see.

I think taking stock for a moment, taking stock of who is in my life, and what is the joy that they bring me, what is the special aspects of what they bring me? Then spend a little bit of time practicing some gratitude for those feelings.

Just taking a moment to think of a few of your close friends. Maybe it’s your girlfriend, maybe it’s your mate down the road. Just take a minute to think about what do they bring to me? What is it that I really love about them? How would they help me in that time that I needed them, and taking a moment to really feel that sense of appreciation in your heart and feel it bubbling up inside you.

 As an exercise, you can put your hand on your heart if you want, as you think about it. And you can feel that sense of warm and that gratitude growing in your heart. Just allow that for a second. Just allow that feeling to fuel you in that next interaction you have with your friends, whether it’s that person or a different person. Use that gratitude to fuel the next interaction to be the best quality friend that you can be to that person, and also the best quality friends you can be to yourself. Can you use that to fuel yourself and take care of yourself and the people that you love around you? And I think that’s probably a beautiful way to remember the really happy and positive aspects of friendship and which can sometimes get lost in chats like this, that good friends are really worth their weight in gold for our mental health. So sometimes ending on a place that we reflect on how grateful we are, can be a really, really healthy and positive psychological thing for us to practice.  


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I'm a curious problem solver.

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