Welcome to the friendship series. In this OPEN(HEART) episode we ask clinical psychologist Dr Tari Mack about all things friendship breakdowns.

Louise and Tari discuss why they happen, why they hurt, why they’re inevitable, how to handle them when they change or break down, how to learn from them and, ultimately, how to grow and be happier after them.

Louise Rumball also goes deeper into three of her own personal friend breakdowns:

⇢  1. Her childhood best friend & how she dreamt about her for years & what this meant;

⇢ 2. A good friend in her 20s who Louise bonded with over their equally disastrous and toxic relationships – and whose friendship then slowly broke down when they didn’t bond over that any more;

⇢ 3. Her most recent friendship breakdown – with someone who she loves and cares about but feels is incompatible with her at this point in her life.

Dr Tari and Louise also discuss:

⇢ How to self-reflect on your friendships using the Wedding Cake analogy;

⇢ How to broach a friendship that isn’t feeling good;

⇢ How to communicate with yourself and others; and

⇢ How to lean into the changes of friendships to your benefit, rather than them hurting you.

Let us know how you enjoyed the episode and be sure to share this on social media, as well as giving us a rating and review on Apple or Spotify if it resonated.

Connect with Louise on social: @iamlouiserumball

Connect with OPENHOUSE: @openhouselife

Connect with Dr Tari Mack: @drtarimack

Sign up to join the OPENHOUSE mailing list to receive first access to all workshops, courses and live events: www.thisisopenhouse.com

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Episode Transcript


The Psychology of Friendship Breakdowns

Louise Rumball: Hi everyone. And welcome back to another episode of open house with my incredible cohost, Dr. Tari Mack. Today, we are discussing something a little bit different. So if you haven’t checked into the open house podcast before, you will soon find out that we love to talk about all things; relationships, dating, marriage, human connection, and so much more.

Dr. Tari: So you brought up this idea of friendships and I was wondering if this is something that is on your mind because it’s something you’ve been through. And, you wanted to talk more about it for that reason.

Louise Rumball: Yeah, great question. I think that it’s something that I am going through right now with a friend, so I’m sure we’ll get into that. So it’s quite a sensitive topic for me, I guess, watching Euphoria, watching the breakdown of Maddie and Cassie’s friendship. It had me thinking back to times when perhaps had gone through similar things. And, what I realized is that I haven’t gone through big, bust-up, super stressful friendship breakdowns, but that I have gone through to almost like slow fade friendships.

And the first one was my childhood best friend. You know, we were inseparable. We were so close. And, then when I got a boyfriend and I met my first love, how so often is when you are younger. I think I really potentially neglected her and some of my other friends and I just spent so much time with him.

And, that was sort of the beginning of the friendship breakdown. I dreamed about her. For years and years and years afterwards. I mean, we probably stopped being friends and we have spoken since, uh, we reconnected recently, but we probably stopped talking around 10 years ago and I would say even up until this year, sometimes she appears in my dreams.

So, I think my first question for you is if people are really, really affected by the breakdown of a friendship and perhaps they feel like they’re going crazy, or perhaps they feel like they can’t be honest about what they’re going through. Actually, this can be a really, really big traumatic thing. Right?

Dr. Tari: Absolutely. I mean, relationships are the building block of our lives. And like you said, we typically talk a lot about romantic relationships on this podcast. But, friendships are so integral to our development, to our life story. And, I’m wondering too, like you said, she shows up in your dreams – sometimes that can mean that there’s unfinished business.

So you could ask yourself, is there something that I would like to say to her as we’ve talked about before, relationships are here to teach us about ourselves and the places that we need to shine light on and grow and so I’m wondering if there’s something about the way that relationship ended or the loss of that relationship that kind of triggered something in you that needs some attention.

But the fact that she keeps showing up in your dreams is really interesting. I would say there’s something there for you to pay attention to.

Louise Rumball: Upon reflection, looking back at how I was 18, 19 20. And we’ve spoken about this on lots of podcast episodes. I just didn’t have the emotional toolkits to have these awkward conversations. So much time then passes that it becomes almost too late to have the conversation.

So when I was living out in LA. I ended up becoming friends with her very, very best friends. She went to university in America. So I felt like the universe sort of brought us back together….

Dr. Tari: .. hmm

Louise Rumball: I think I sort of mentioned one or two things around, you know, our friendship meant so much to me. But, what I also realized when we reconnected was that we’re now just at such different stages of our lives. And, I think sometimes we hold out a fantasy. And, this is for relationships as well. 

And, actually, when we reconnected, it was like, okay, well you live in America, you’ve lived in America for the last decade. You have a child, you’re married, you know, things or reasons that we can’t be friends again now, but it just felt like we were at different life stages and potentially that rebuilding a friendship across transatlantic potions and borders just sort of was maybe a difficult thing to do.

It’s potentially interesting that the dreams have stopped in the last year or two. I may think that’s when I started to go to therapy and start to unpack a lot. And I think that actually, what she reflected, for me, was my family. You know she was my home at school when we were at boarding school and I would spend my, all my time with her mom and at her house.

So I think that actually. And I think this is the question I’d love to ask you is that we are often so heartbroken when a friendship or a relationship ends, but what I’ve learned is that often we’re actually grieving something even deeper than the person. And do you think that that’s fair to say that sometimes we’re grieving perhaps a much deeper sort of wound that they were feeling rather than just being a friend?

Dr. Tari: Yeah. I mean, loss is hardly ever just one dimensional, right? So, we could be grieving a time in our lives, things change, we move on. Sometimes if our friendship reflect back to us the time in our lives, where we felt a certain way, or there are parts of us that were very present. And as we grow, as we heal, or even just as time goes on, even if we’re not doing the work, things change. Change is constant.

It’s inevitable. And I think you make a really good point too that you know, friendship just like romantic relationships, not all of them are meant to last forever. Some relationships come, some friendships come to teach us things. Some friendships come to support us. And like in any relationship we don’t want to cling and grasp, we want to just let things flow and there are also different kinds of friendships. So, it sounds like your childhood friend, you guys really resonated with each other, as kids, as teenagers, adolescents, and then you both continue to grow in different ways. Now, sometimes friendships kind of ebb and flow over the course of a lifetime.

Right? So like I have friends where we were really connected at certain points. We weren’t that connected at other points. And now we’re connected again, and there’s also been friendships that I don’t have anymore. And I think it’s just important for people to understand that it’s okay if a relationship is not feeling aligned anymore, for friendship, doesn’t really resonate anymore in the same way, it’s not making you feel good that it’s okay to let go of it. It could be forever. It could be for a while. You don’t even need to decide.

Louise Rumball: I think I’ve got two things to say here. So, you mentioned that sometimes friendships are just relevant for a season, for example. And I think that’s really an important thing to discuss because there’s this assumption that friendships have to, and should be forever.

Otherwise, you failed or someone hasn’t chosen you or you’ve done something wrong. But look at how many relationships we go through in our lives, you know, to keep someone around forever as we grow and change, like really is quite a difficult thing to do. It requires a lot of commitment, flexibility, compassion from both people as we grow, you know, the second friendship that I mentioned that definitely reflected this more season mentality, which was that we were so close for maybe like two to three years, really, really, very close.

And she had a big social media presence online. So it was a very public friendship that we had, everyone was very invested in it. Everyone knew what was going on, but the reality and the behind the scenes of that friendship was that we both really, really needed each other at that point. And the reasons that that was that we had both come out of very, very abusive, toxic relationships.

And we met in another country where she had basically left hometown, so she could get away from it. And, you know, I was still with my boyfriend, but he was living in London. So we really connected over a mutual interest and we really, really needed each other at that point, because I think particularly when you’re going through something that there’s like a lot of shame around such as, you know, being in a toxic relationship, something that you know is not good for you, but you can’t leave and you’re so chemically addicted to them or whatever, you really seek solace in having someone that doesn’t judge you. So I think that we really. Did that for each other. And then actually as the season started to pass and we both started to heal from these relationships. We then actually maybe didn’t connect in the way that we used to. And I think that I also really started more on my spiritual journey.

I hadn’t started therapy at that point, but definitely on my more like self-reflective journey. And I felt. She was so beautiful and everyone just thinking she was so pretty. And I just felt like that was a mismatch in terms of like how deep we wanted to go. So I think that’s re important to understand that some of these are seasoned friendships.

And I think that I want to ask you, how do you maybe know when a friendship is potentially coming to the end of its season. Do you think that there are things that we can look out for? Do you think it’s something that becomes clear because of what I find and we’ll come to this later in the episode with the third friendship and break down, that I’ve more recently gone through is that I didn’t really realize it was happening until.

It was kind of like brought up into my face. Um, and then when I was slightly more reflective over it, I could see the thing that she hadn’t been good for a while. So do you have any tips and tricks in terms of just checking in with your friendships, seeing how they make you feel and kind of navigating why to go with them?

Dr. Tari: Yeah, absolutely. I think the first step is to check in with yourself and ask yourself, how am I feeling in this friendship, right? If a friendship is a true friendship, you can share how you feel. So you can, you could even share about if you’re having difficult feelings about the friendship. If there’s some kind of weird energy, you could bring that up and the other person is able to go there with you.

Right? If you feel like you can’t be honest in a friendship, if you feel like you can’t rely on somebody if you feel like there are expectations on you if you feel like you can’t trust the person, any of these things that make you feel restricted and not in alignment. So check in with yourself, how has the relationship feeling?

And you gotta be honest with yourself about it, first!

Louise Rumball: I love the idea of, you know, potentially having a conversation with the friend before it gets too late, because I think that in the most recent friendship challenge that I faced, you know, I didn’t check in with myself. And I knew that the friendship made me feel Ooh, here.

And may, you know, she would say things that would make me feel like I couldn’t share my truth or that I was being judged by her. And the way that I explained it to her was that I felt like our traumas clashed together, which is that she felt that, I, …. we’re so lucky in my life was so great. And almost that like, well, what have you got to move out?

Because her trauma was more severe, even though we can’t, or shouldn’t say any trauma is comparative. So I felt like I wasn’t able to share my truth. And then on the flip side, I’m a big fixer. My trauma is to overcompensate. So if there’s a problem, it is my coping mechanism to what caught up, make more money, look better, lose more weight, you know, get more control over things and her coping mechanism was just to go the other way.

So I felt like all, all trauma, so to speak just really didn’t work together. They were always triggering for the other person, because for me, she was like, well, what have you got to complain about? And then for me, I was like, well, why don’t you just do something about the situation you’re in?

And so actually what happened. Over time. They started to kind of build up, but I wasn’t consciously aware of it. So it was never like, oh, I’m trying to string her along. Like, oh, I’m keeping her around. Of course, I love her. And I care for her and I want her to be happy and healthy and well, but I just think it’s really resonated with me what you said that potentially if you check in with yourself, you can avoid a friendship breakdown before it happens.

Cause I think maybe we leave things so late and so long that then it’s like, wow, bomb explosion or it’s so fade, I just can’t reengage with this. So that’s super interesting. 

Dr. Tari: I want to say that when you’re checking in with yourself, it may be, you,
that’s creating an issue. You may be judging. You may be not fully supporting. You may feel jealousy, whatever it is. So when you have that conversation with the friend, you want to speak your truth kindly. So we always want to be kind and honest and we want to own our feelings. And our part. So we don’t point the finger and say, you’re making me feel this way, or you need to quit doing that.

So for instance, with this friend, and maybe you’ve already had this conversation, but using it as an example, you could say, I’ve been thinking about our friendship, that things aren’t feeling good, the way that they used to. And sometimes I feel like I can’t share my truth with you. I feel like you’re judging me like I’m privileged.

And also I feel like I judge you, like, I wish you would do more. And sometimes I feel like you don’t. And so I judge you for that and that obviously doesn’t work. And I just want to talk about it because I care about you. I care about this friendship. And I’m wondering if you’ve been feeling any of these things or how you’re feeling about our friendship and just open up the conversation that way.

Louise Rumball: Yeah. Yeah, and I didn’t do that. I did not do that. And I guess when it came to a hedge. Because I had an add-on that it had been gone so far that I just feel like at this point in my life, I don’t, I just don’t have the space in my life, this, a friendship with this dynamic. And that doesn’t mean that I don’t love and care about her.

And it’s not a reflection on her and who she is and what she’s gone through. It’s just that I also don’t think she understands what it’s like to run two businesses at once, have a dog, be trying to exercise, be trying to have a social life. I have very, very little amounts of free time.

And when I do, I of course want them to be filled up with things that are calming for my nervous system and are loving and really, I guess, fulfilling. And I think. I just sort of got to the point where I was like, I don’t have the bandwidth to fix this friendship right now. I mean, I literally have like four hours a week probably to socialize max.

And that is with me being exhausted by the end of filling up all four of those things. So for me, it felt like, there’s no way of fixing this. And that’s not to say that in the future, like you said, maybe we could be friends again, but it’s just like right now, I can’t commit to doing that.

And I think now where I want to go with this episode is we take things so personally. We really take things so deeply and we think it’s a personal reflection of our us, you know, or our weak spots or the things that we think are awful about ourselves, whether we’re consciously or subconsciously aware of them or not.

And I think that one thing that I’ve learned over the many, many months and almost years now that I’ve done therapy is that when we come into contact with these uncomfortable situations, we often take them so personally, straight away, our brain and body goes into rejection mode. But actually, when the time passes, we can see it for what it was, which was more of a flashlight into the parts of ourselves that maybe need some more love.

And do you think that that applies to friendships in the same way that it does with relationships?

Dr. Tari: Absolutely. Everything is happening for us, not to us. So, first of all, I want to say that as relationships change, as you change, as you feel rejection, it’s a good time to reflect on what was my part in this dynamic, what perhaps do I want to learn? So for your friend, it would be good for her to reflect on herself. Just like, it’s good for you to reflect on yourself. What have I learned? What do I need? What could I have done differently? What do I want to do differently next time? Right. And I just want to say, and I say this all the time, and I’ve probably said it in one of our episodes that any relationship romantic or otherwise is never really about the other person. Right. 

There’s so much learning and teaching and so many amazing moments that happen in relationships that relationships are really about you and your own growth and expansion and healing. So if somebody wants to move on from you, let them go. And, be open to feedback, as long as it’s somebody that has your best interest at heart, and also have boundaries, just because people give you feedback or tell you their experience of you, you also have to develop boundaries and say, okay, which part of that resonates with me?

Which do I think is true and which do I not agree? Both are important, be open to feedback, but don’t take in everything without being discerning. And the more you get to know yourself, the better able you are to do that. And friendships can be such a place of growing, such a mirror for us. And like you said, romantic relationships, how many do we go through in a lifetime for some of us a lot, and friendships will ebb and flow and come and go too. And that’s just the way of life. That’s the way it is.

Louise Rumball: I love your point about boundaries, feedback and discernment. Because as we’ve mentioned a lot, I am much better at communication and feedback and also setting boundaries than, and conflict than I ever have been before.

And I think that when I lost my, my most recent friend, it was very dysregulated. She was very upset, and I, very calmly and I think kindly, although she might not see it as that way now basically tried to explain what we spoke about earlier in this episode, around what wasn’t working for me and also what wasn’t working for her, um, that it didn’t feel good.

And that I didn’t think we should discuss it further because she was obviously getting very upset and things were starting to be said. So I felt like I communicated very, very concisely and clearly, and then I set a boundary when I said I don’t think this is working for me. And I also don’t want to discuss this further because it’s an, it’s going to turn into an absolute chaotic, you know, the old me would have just been there, hammering the keyboard.

She would’ve been hammering the keyboard and actually I could watch her getting more and more upset as the conversation went on. And you know, it got to the point where she said to me, oh, you talk the talk on social media. Like you’ve got a mental health podcast, but like, where is this in practice? Like you’re being so unkind to me.

And I just felt like that’s where the discernment comes in. I am not unkind. If anything, I am one of the most kind sensitive people that I have past me come across. If I can say that about myself and it wasn’t that I was being unkind, it was just that I set a boundary.

Dr. Tari: But, you didn’t meet her needs?

Louise Rumball: I couldn’t meet her needs in that moment or in the friendship. So I love that point on feedback. And I think setting boundaries is so difficult.

And I think that as long as we set boundaries with compassion and with kindness, not just by being an absolute, excuse my language bitch, you know, saying, I hate you and I hate everything about you. Don’t ever message me again. You know, that’s obviously a super dysregulated way to act. I think that if we can set and be proud of the boundaries that we set, then it’s a very good way for things to be dealt with.

And I have watched two of my very, very close friends who have been friends. Oh, goodness. I don’t know. Great friends for 20 years, they have had a shift in the dynamic of their friendship recently and it broke down and one of the parties was just so distraught by it. And she actually went to therapy and that’s because I said you should go to therapy.

And she actually went to see my therapist and I’m so proud of her, like watching her growth in therapy and her realizations and her awareness around how actually this friendship breakdown went so much deeper than it being about the rejection, you know, there was so much more stuff. So I think, you know, people can go to therapy to discuss friendship breakdowns as well. Right?

Dr. Tari: Absolutely. I mean, they have a huge impact on our life and we shouldn’t discount that. So absolutely. Friendships are foundational. And I, I just want to say, you know, in order for friendships to continue to feel aligned, to continue to feel good, there needs to be total acceptance on both parts that unconditional love, just like in a romantic relationship. That doesn’t mean no boundaries that you have boundaries. But for instance, you talked about, you know, you’re very busy. You don’t have a lot of free time right now. There are certain stages of our lives, where we have priorities and the people in our lives need to respect, understand and accept that and support it.

And if they can’t, that is okay. Maybe we’re not supposed to be as connected with those people at that time. It doesn’t mean anybody’s in the wrong, but when we put expectations on people, we get disappointed. Or if we feel there are expectations on us like we have to show up, we have to call this amount of time, we have to text every day. If you’re feeling that way, you need to. Get really honest with yourself and say, is this a need I want to meet? Or if you’re expecting someone else to meet these needs in this way, you need to stop. We can’t look to them to meet our needs and make us happy. We look to, of course, we want people who are respectful, accountable, honest, reliable, but my point is.

So that’s why relationships ebb and flow because seasons of our life, we have different priorities. Our life looks different and some relationships come back and some relationships don’t and it’s okay. But being true to you and being honest with yourself about what your priorities are, what you’re available for and what you’re not available for is so important.

And a lot of us have never learned how to do that. We just keep looking externally, giving, trying to meet everybody’s expectations or looking to get our needs met externally. So again, it all comes back to your own self awareness. What is my truth? What do I need? What am I missing? What am I available for?

What do I have to get? What do I not have to give?

Louise Rumball: Yeah. I love that. And I think it actually brings up an interesting point, which we never even planned to speak about, but is the concept of codependent friendships. So I think that in terms of the discussion around codependency and friendships, if someone feels like they really, really are relying potentially on a friendship, you know, needing to speak to them, needing to see them needing to run everything positive.

Is that a reflection of just really a disconnect from yourself? Or is it something that has come out of childhood, like a need for connection? I know in last week’s episode, we spoke about attachment hunger and how people are like desperate to attach to someone can not also show up, not only as avoiding red flags in relationships but also like attaching to our friends?

Dr. Tari: Absolutely. And you asked, you know, is that a disconnection from self or is it like attachment hunger? It’s all the same thing. When we attach to other people, when we depend so heavily on other people to feel okay or to know what to do, that is because we never learned how to connect with ourselves.

And most of us were never taught that we learn how to connect with ourselves. Uh, check in with ourselves. Tap into our internal world and feelings because people ask us about it. Our parents ask us regularly, how are you feeling? And their space to talk about it, and then we explore. Many of us didn’t get that opportunity.

Not because our parents were necessarily bad people because they were limited. They didn’t get that either. They didn’t know to ask those questions. So if you and everybody listening, you know, I want you all to just be really honest with yourself. Are there people in my life that I placed these expectations on or that I feel, you know, dependent on to feel okay.

And if that’s true, you could be putting a lot of pressure on a relationship and that is not sustainable.

Louise Rumball: Hmm. Yeah. And I also think here just it’s come up for me. When you said being honest with yourself is that I have had this big journey over the last year or so, which is the I okay. About to get deep here, but I felt like, you know, throughout my twenties, all I did was run a business, drive myself into the ground, party, work, exercise, you know, life was non-stop. I maintained a lot of relationships, but like I said, I really only have like four hours a week of time that I can give to social. So if you imagine how many people would potentially want to get in the. Swaps. And you’ve then got me there saying like, oh, I’d love to see you soon.

But then when it actually comes to it, like, I actually can’t see you soon. So I think that what I’ve learned is that I entertained a lot of friends and I think I let a lot of people down and not even actively more just people probably being a bit like, oh, she’s so busy. Or like, oh, she always says we’re going to hang out and we never do.

And I, that made me feel really, really uncomfortable. And I didn’t really understand like why I was doing it until I went to therapy and looked into like, oh, wow, okay. I’m really missing some human connection here. So what I’m doing is like throwing my fishing out really wide because it’s like, I know that to get human connection, I need to go out there and connect with people, but then actually to connect with people, you have to spend quality time with them.

You have to spend consistent time with them, or you have to talk to them regularly, not all the time, but you know, you have to both invest in something. And what I have found over the last year and a half is that I look at people that have like 30 friends.

And, I am like I don’t know how you do it. I just do not know how you do it now. Maybe they have more free time than me. Maybe they’re just better at not getting overwhelmed by such, such a. But what I have realized is that I really only need like three to five, really, really good friends. And I know exactly who they are.

I know that when something happens, I know who I’m going to call or who I’m going to voice note. And I know they’re going to be that for me. I know that they can help me analyze situations. Mentally and rationally because they’re intelligent, but I know that that also compassionate and that they’re fun.

So I’ve kind of found these people that take the right boxes for me. And I’m like, yeah, okay. I’ve only got 10 minutes now when I’m walking the dog, but I’m going to voice note you, aren’t going to voice note you. And what I found is that these relationships have just become deeper and deeper and deeper and, you know, Uh, three of them, these people, I only met in my, in my twenties, two of them in my late twenties.

So I think what I want to say to anyone listening as well is that I am not that girl. I am not friends with anyone from my childhood. I do not have those friendships anymore. I’m not even friends with the people that I went to school with. So. For the people that think, you know, oh, you just have to invest in these forever relationships and you have to be friends with them because you’ve always been friends with them.

I want to say that. I don’t actually think that’s true. I think it’s about identifying the people that actually fill you up and then working out how many of them you can fit into your life. So I was wondering if you had any thoughts on that in terms of like duration of friendship versus depth of friendship, et cetera, et cetera.

Dr. Tari: Yes. Oh my gosh. Yes. Where do I start? So, first of all, I think. The point you’re making is really important. I want to say that not every friendship is going to be the same. Right? I’m like you, I don’t have friends, even from high school, from childhood, really from college. And that actually says a lot about where I was then I didn’t have the ability to form deep connections with people.

So those did not endure, but now I have three really like soulmate friends. We don’t even talk that often. They don’t live in my same city, but there’s no expectations. We visit each other a couple of times a year. We text here and there, but like, it’s just like a very safe, connected relationship.

And that I have other kinds of friends that I guess would, would be more superficial. I have mom friends. I have friends that are local, that we do things with. And. I think it’s okay to have different kinds of friends, as much as your time allows. So you don’t have to have deep connections with everybody.

But the point that I want to make, which is so important that you brought up as a lot of us don’t even have that experience of deep connection. When you were talking about your life in the 20, in your twenties, it was very superficial and external. Everything you were doing outside of yourself. And a lot of people, I know myself included when I was in my twenties and early thirties, friendships were very superficial.

And so learning how to show up authentically with people that are safe. And if you don’t know which of your friends are safe to do that with, then you start practicing, like, in tiny ways. For people listening. If you’re somebody that always feels like you have to like, keep it together or present a happy face or be fun, maybe experiment with just letting people know you had a bad day or you’re not in a good mood and just see how people respond.

Because that deep connection that is the life force that we all need.

Louise Rumball: I love that so much. And I actually have, so I actually have an analogy that I think is really, really helpful here. So I call it the wedding cake analogy, which is that if you imagine a wedding cake, right, it’s got the different tiers. So I always say to people to actually actively reflect on their friendship group and work out who is in Tier 1. So who are those bridal dyes? Who can you crawl on the kitchen floor with? Who can you call up when you have really bad, really shameful, really, you know, whatever’s going on? Who do you trust implicitly? That is your Tier 1. And then who are your Tier 2? Who are the people that you can tell what’s going on?

And they can hold space for you, but maybe they can’t do it in such a way, because maybe they have. Kids or maybe, you know, whatever their limitation is at that point that can’t take them to tier one that’s okay. So they can sit in tier two and you know, maybe they’ll go up to tier one or maybe they’ll go down to Tier three.

So, you know, the wedding cake could move her up. And then in T3, You’re good time friends. Every friendship has a purpose. Now for me as a 30 something year old single woman, I need other single friends. I need people that want to go out that want a party that might be able to just hop on a plane, to go away for the weekend in a way that some of my tier 1 or tier 2 who have babies can’t do.

So your tier three, I call your good time friends. And now in an ideal world, you might be able to bump some of them up the wedding cake. Cause you might also be able to develop that deeper connection. But if you don’t that’s okay. And then Tier 4 the bottom of the wedding cake. I basically call your acquaintances.

So you know, the tons of people that you have on social media, the friends of friends, , they’re the base of the cake. And what you need to understand about tip four is to know. Overcommit the people in Tier 4, they are fine in Tier 4, you don’t need to try to Tier 3 or Tier 2 or Tier 1, you need the base of the cake.

So for me, reflecting on that wedding cake analysis is like, it’s just so good. And now actually we referenced it in our friendship group. We’ll be like, oh yeah, she’s a Tier 3 friend. And everyone’s like, oh yeah, she’s a Tier 3 friend. Like, you know, she, she was so. Actually just actively reflecting on our current friends can be really helpful.

Not only in terms of like, how does the friendship make you feel? Do you need to talk about things that maybe don’t make you feel good, but also in terms of like, where do they sit? You know, maybe they’re not a tier one friend anymore. Maybe actually they should just go down the cake for a little bit.

Dr. Tari: Yes.

And if you cannot have those difficult conversations with. They’re not tier one. And that’s what I want everybody to know. And that could be about the friendship or could be about you. So if you haven’t learned yet how to have those difficult conversations that are really awkward, that are really scary, that put you in a really vulnerable position, you’re never going to be able to deepen a friendship.

That is how we get that deep connection is we’re vulnerable. Deep connection can only happen through vulnerability. So for those listening who maybe don’t have tier one friends that they can show up and cry in the kitchen, or, you know, say something you did last week really hurt my feelings, or I’m having these difficult feelings about our friendship.

That just points to work that you need to do. And the more vulnerable, authentic, and genuine that we are, the more deeply we can connect. With friends. Anybody in our life.

Louise Rumball: Oh, I love it. So beautiful. You shared so much info today. Thank you. And I shared a lot of, um, personal stuff that hopefully not too many of the people talking about.

Well, we listening to, but you know, even if they do it’s okay, because I think we need to talk about these things more. And I think we need to, as a society, understand, like these things really, really hurt. You know, we can grieve friendships. In the ways that we can grieve relationships and even death, because some friendships and then after 20 years, it is ultimately a death.

And so I just hope that anyone going through this can understand that it’s okay to feel the way you’re feeling and please seek professional help where possible, and also surround yourself with other tier one people in your cake because there are so many people out there that love you. Do you want to be your friend and do you know, feel so aligned with you and want to continue to invest in you that sometimes we forget about the rest of the cake because you know, we’re looking at the cake that we dropped on the floor and we can’t kind of stop, stop crying about it.

Cause you know, almost a wasted piece of cake really.

Dr. Tari: Right.

Louise Rumball: But yeah. So thank you so much. Once again, this has been such a beautiful discussion. You are wonderful. Um, and I will speak to you very soon.

Dr. Tari: Bye Louise

Louise Rumball: Bye.