What are your beliefs about friendship? Do you believe that you have to be a certain way to be a good friend? It may surprise you to know that your current beliefs about friendship could be keeping you stuck in a place of loneliness and isolation.
Your beliefs about friendship impact the way you show up and the energy you have in your conversations and interactions with other people. They impact your results, how you are perceived by others, and ultimately how you feel about your friendships. Is it time to look at your beliefs?
Join me this week as I’m walking you through a step-by-step process to help you assess your existing beliefs about friendship and whether they are holding you back. I’m showing you how to swap your limiting beliefs for more empowering thoughts and how to go out and be the friend you have always wanted to have.
You’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast. I’m Dr. Jen Riday. On this episode I’ll be talking about beliefs about friendship that might be keeping you stuck in a place of loneliness and isolation. Stay tuned.
Hi, I'm Jen Riday. This podcast is for women who want to feel more vibrant, happy, aligned, and alive. You'll gain the emotional, physical, and spiritual tools you need to get your sparkle back and ensure that depression, anxiety, and struggle don't rule your life. Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women Podcast.
Hey there, my friends, I am honored that you’re spending some time with me today to learn about friendship and how our thoughts and our beliefs about friendship impact everything in terms of our results. The way we think actually does impact how we show up, how we’re perceived by others and ultimately how we feel about our friendships and about our connection. So, if you’ve been feeling lonely, isolated, misunderstood, disconnected, this episode is for you.
And if you haven’t been feeling those things I encourage you to listen because you can kind of assess where you are in terms of your thoughts about friendship, and about your friends, and the people in your life. So, as you know as I’ve shared on the Vibrant Happy Women podcast many times our thoughts determine how we feel. Now, how we feel impacts everyone around us because our brains have mirror neurons. Our mirror neurons make mood, and emotion, and feelings very contagious. This was kind of a survival mechanism that helped us in the past.
And I propose it still helps us today so we can read the emotions and the signals coming off of people’s body language. So, we can socially integrate and have the friendships, and the family, and the support systems that we need and crave. Well, the phrase goes that to have good friends you need to be a good friend. I want you to pause for a moment. We’re going to go through a step by step process. You could grab a journal if you have one nearby and think about this and write these down.
But I will share, maybe you can grab the journal later if you’re busy walking or driving and you can’t write but think about it for now, maybe journal about it later.
So, first step, what are your beliefs about friendship, about your friends? Maybe you have a belief that most people are terrible listeners, that they’re just waiting to say what’s true for them. Maybe you believe you don’t have time for friends. Maybe you believe you’re too depressed or anxious for deep and meaningful friendships. Maybe you believe you’re too tired to spend time on friendships. Now, as I speak about friendships I want you to kind of assess how this might apply with your spouse, with your kids, with your parents, siblings, other important people in your life.
These belief systems affect all our relationships. The beliefs you have about your spouse affect that relationship. The beliefs you have about kids, like my kids are whiny, my kids are toxic, whatever thoughts you have they’re going to impact those exact relationships. So, for purposes of this episode, I want to talk about friendship but believe me, you can expand this in so many ways. So, your beliefs about friendship impact the energy you have when you show up in conversation and interaction with people.
If you believe you’re truly an introvert and that people out there are sucking the life out of you, how will you show up? You’ll show up very guarded, and protective, and closed trying to preserve that precious energy. Now, this is not belittling introversion. Maybe as an introvert you know that you need to be around emotionally safe people, or a certain type of people that fill your cup rather than drain it. So, whatever you believe about friendship will be impacting how you show up.
Remember we all exhibit or project vibrations in the form of emotions. All emotions are energy. So high vibe emotions like love, happiness, excitement, enthusiasm, peace, they are great feeling to those around you when you’re feeling those because of those mirror neurons. If you consistently show up in those low vibrational states of depression, anxiety, shame, guilt, anger, those feelings also are projected when you’re around people.
So, my question is, are your beliefs about your friends, about friendship in general, about people, helping or kind of leading you to feel emotions that others might not want to be around? Something to think about. Now, all is not lost. We can start to change our beliefs. Let me be a little bit real for a minute. I have for a long time had a belief I don’t really have time for local friends. Now, one thing changed that.
Some friends invited me to play pickleball and I felt such a joy at the competition aspect of it and the social aspect of it that I realized, well, when I combine friendship with exercise I absolutely have time for friends, and I love it. Another exception is I have always had time for my Vibrant Happy Women friends. There is something special about the women at the Vibrant Happy Women retreat in Florida that I adore. I always will have time for that and for my Vibrant Happy Women friends.
So how did that make me show up though for people who weren’t playing pickleball or in the Vibrant Happy Women world? Probably I was projecting kind of an attitude of I don’t have time for you, I’m busy, I’m stressed, oh, my kids need something. And that’s probably not the kind of feeling most of us would want to be around. Okay, so start to analyze those beliefs. Of course, you can let go of those beliefs by using tools like EFT tapping to get rid of those limiting beliefs. And you can start replacing them.
So, I want you to think about for a minute, what types of people do you like to be around? You could have a don’t like and a like list. So, some of the things I wrote down on the don’t like list. People who are stressed and sighing. By the way, I’m a huge sigher, I sigh all the time. I wonder what people think of it. Do they pick up on the sighing and the stress that seems to be a part of my nervous system? This is something I have to think about. I’ve been a sigher since I was a little girl.
My body, my nervous system uses sighing and yawning to continually downregulate all of the excited emotions that are going on in there. I don’t love being around people who are sad all of the time. Of course, sad some of the time is normal, we’re humans. But if it’s all of the time and there’s not a reciprocity I would probably let go of that kind of friendship. Frowning, constantly frazzled, over-busy, needy, people who come to me constantly with needs. Again, every friend has needs but if it’s constant and there’s no reciprocity, no, not my favorite kind of friendships.
People who are not authentic, maybe divas, and that word may or may not apply but you know what authenticity is. I hope you feel that I’m authentic because it’s very important to me. People who hold grudges, no. Gossiping, no. Critical of others then I know they’re being critical of me, no thanks. And people who generally take more than they give, not interested. So that’s the negative list. What would be on your negative list? What do you dislike about some types of friendships?
Now, let’s flip it, things I love about the friends I love to be around. This list is a little longer. Higher vibe, enthusiastic, relaxed, smiling, open. I leave the interaction with my cup more full than when I began. People who listen and hold space and ask great questions, open ended questions are particularly good. Side note, a question that begins with the word ‘what’ is an open ended question. A question that begins with ‘do’ or ‘are’ is generally not. So, side note, try asking open ended questions.
And then also, like my friend Hilary, friends like this hold a space. They want to discover who you are. They see you. They’re trying to identify who is this person? How is she feeling and thinking today? There’s such a presence, and a body language, and an eye contact with friends like that, that I adore. I happen to also be that type of friend most of the time when I choose to be.
Okay, real, authentic, forgiving, high emotional intelligence. That means they take 100% responsibility for their thoughts, feelings, and results, and behavior. They own it. No one else is to blame. They don’t walk around blaming anyone else for what’s happening. They don’t blame their parents. They’re owning their life and the results they’re having. Growth minded, empowered, fun. I love inviters, people who think of things and invite me. I try to be an inviter an equal amount of time. People who are generous with their time and their resources.
People who remember my birthday, of course. Adventurous, emotionally safe people where you can be vulnerable and authentic, positive. And then people who light up when I enter the room. They’re not just thinking about their own problems. So, these lists are important because you can begin to become aware of what type of person do you like to be around. And are you being that type of person? Now, like I said before, all is not lost if you don’t have an affirmative answer to those questions.
We can change our emotions simply by changing our thoughts, our thoughts about friendship, our thoughts about people, our thoughts about how we show up in friendships and with other people. So, you can use a thought table which we talk about a lot in the Vibrant Happy Women Club. And you can analyze what am I thinking. This is where your journaling is handy. And then when you’ve kind of identified the negative or limiting beliefs you have about friendship you can start to replace them with more empowering beliefs.
Now, I’m going to read some of these that I’ve written down. I want you to notice how they feel in your body. Now, this is a higher level skill, most people have no idea how their thoughts make them feel. In fact, most people don’t even know what they’re thinking. We in the Vibrant Happy Women world are constantly working on this awareness of our thoughts because we recognize a feeling follows. When we feel good, our good and positive higher vibe feelings are contagious. People will want to be in our presence more.
So, if you start to believe beliefs, by the way a belief is just a thought that you’ve thought a lot of times. If you start to think thoughts that generate these higher vibe positive feelings of love, joy, excitement, enthusiasm, fun, happiness, contentment, people will want to be in your presence because mood is contagious. So being a good friend means you’re responsible for how you think and how you feel, especially when you’re around other people. This applies to being a wife, to being a mother, to being a daughter, a sister, a coworker, all relationships.
This is the key essentially to ending or reducing any feelings of loneliness you may have. Being the kind of friend starts with thinking the kind of thoughts that make you have emotions people want to be around. So here are some. Notice how they make you feel.
I’m a generous friend. Okay. I listen and hold space like a boss. If you could believe these about yourself, how would you feel? My cup is filled when I’m with people. I love all types of people. Being around people fills me with joy. That one’s starting to feel really true for me. I’m always real, authentic, and vulnerable, 100% for me. I take a 100% responsibility for my feelings and my outcomes in life. Interesting. There’s no needy or victim-y feeling with that one. I’m fun and adventurous. I’m an inviter. People love how I see them, I really see them and listen to them.
I adore and cherish my friends. I have a friend, Kruti. If you’re listening, Kruti, I’ve always admired how much you adore and cherish your friends. You believe that about yourself. Your behavior, your feelings, your enthusiasm to see a friend, to drive across the country to visit a friend is then projected into every situation. We all feel that because you believe that you cherish and adore your friends. Notice the belief comes first, everyone.
How about this one. People love my high vibe energy and positivity. My joy is infectious, and people love to be around me. I love people and people love me. Now, extending this, what would it look like with your spouse or kids? My kids bring me joy. My spouse makes me happy. I love creating adventures for our family. Do you see how this works?
If you start to practice thoughts that become beliefs because you practice them so often, you will start to project a different energy around people, a much different energy than if you were starting with a thought, I don’t have time for friends, or I’m too stressed, or sad, or anxious for my friends. Or I only have friends to dump and vent all of my negative emotions. I wonder why so many of us can end up feeling lonely.
Be the kind of friend you want to have and that starts with thinking the thoughts that will generate the emotions that people want to feel, be comfortable emotions. Now, one caveat, important note here, being authentic doesn’t mean you’re going to be happy all the time. Being a good friend doesn’t mean you’re always going to be high vibe. Every friendship has moments of sadness and it’s through moments of sadness, or anxiety, or stress, where you share and make yourself vulnerable that you actually form these deeper connections.
The important thing is that the percentage of time you’re doing this is not more than half the time. Life is 50/50. We have 50% happy, 50% sad, light, and dark, easy, and hard. And so, friendship can work the same way. Are you showing up as your highest vibe self for your loved ones, for your friends, for your spouse and kids, at least half of the time, bringing something to fill their cup, holding space, being present and seeing who they really are? What a gift. People adore being around that kind of energy.
And I promise as you do this, you don’t always need to be heard. The act of hearing and holding space, and being present for another person is so cup filling for me that I just save my sharing for maybe my spouse or my coach. And I don’t need to share everything with all of my friends. Doesn’t mean I don’t, but I don’t need to. I choose to, to be connected and vulnerable with them.
So, these are my thoughts. My challenge to you is to identify what you think about friendship, how it’s been making you feel. How could you raise your friendship vibe, your emotional energy by thinking new thoughts? Write down maybe 10 new thoughts and practice them every day, whenever you know you’re going to interact with friends or see someone you want to feel differently around, practice your new thoughts. I adore being around my kids. I love helping my 12 year old with homework.
They might not feel true, but I promise you can find a thought that has some truth to it, latch onto that and think the thoughts that make you feel the way you want to feel. Feel the way people want to feel around you, that will make you magnetic, will make you a force for good in the world and we need more people like that. So, I want to thank you for considering this and listening. I hope that you will go out and be the friend you’ve always wanted to have. I know that you’ll not only form amazing connections that way, but you will attract other people who are like you, like attracts like.
I love you my friends, keep up the good work. And I will see you again soon. Until then make it a vibrant and happy friendship filled week. Take care.
If you enjoy this podcast, you have to check out the Vibrant Happy Women Club. It’s my monthly group coaching program where we take all this material to the next level and to get you the results that will blow your mind. Join me in the Vibrant Happy Women Club at jenriday.com/join.