authentic connection

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i got lunch with a new friend and it was a deeply fulfilling experience. have i finally beaten social anxiety ? or was there just something specific and special about this connection?



Jennette McCurdy

Jennette McCurdy  00:07

I’m gonna record the rest of this episode later. But I just have to capture this moment for you guys. I just left lunch with a friend And I’m buzzing, I feel so good I feel so just fulfilled and connected and every good thing and capable and confident and like, this is great, I feel amazing and I want to expand on this more in our regular setting, which is me and my PJs, which may fall on my lap. But I just felt the need to capture this moment for context, so you guys can hear it in real time. And now hopefully the sound will be better for the rest of the episode as I expand on it, that’s all.


Jennette McCurdy  01:23

All right, so for context, I recorded that intro on Tuesday, it is now Thursday. I’ve had 48 hours to process that, that lunch with my friend and it is no less fulfilling, meaningful, wonderful than it was then I still just feel so excited and giddy about everything that was I really want to talk about authentic connection because that’s something that I don’t think there is enough of, I think it’s a hard thing to come by. Maybe is that a reach, is that me trying to like shoehorn it into the premise of this podcast, I’m like hard feelings well, it’s hard to come by maybe this will fit. Anyway, I met this friend, this is a new friend. I first met this friend a year ago through a different friend and author friend who had said I want you to meet a couple author friends of mine, we can have like a cute little author dinner. I thought I love this so we all met up and it was great except for the fact that I was a fucking nervous wreck. I used to experience a ton of social anxiety. We’ll talk about that in another episode but I was I was nervous, I really wanted to impress these people I cared about what they thought I respected them. And I didn’t think I was like my best I didn’t think I shined in that environment. I felt like I couldn’t really form complete sentences, do you ever have that happen where you’re like at a social gathering, like what is coming out of my mouth, but it’s currently coming out of your mouth and you can’t stop it and then just kind of like the sentence stops, you’re like, that wasn’t an end, sweetheart, like that was you said nothing. That’s what kept happening that. Oh god, I’m just like flashing back it was horrifying. I didn’t even really like what I wore not that that matters, but actually does it matters to me, I don’t know I like to feel comfortable in what I’m wearing like to feel confident when I’m wearing I didn’t I was late, I felt kind of like a cartoon character, I don’t know what was going on. A couple of mistakes were made, but anyway, I met this friend, first thing he said to me was this like right after my book came out, he just read it and he’s like, oh my god, everybody’s talking about all the track things that have happened in your life but nobody’s talking about the most traumatic I don’t like what and he goes the fact that you lived above the Glendale Galleria. Anybody from the LA area knows this reference, if you don’t. I lived in Glendale, there’s this mall called the Glendale Galleria. Next to that mall is this place called Americana and it’s the outdoor shopping mall and it’s very like utopian Disney. You know there’s but kind of feeling with high end shopping like a Louis Vuitton. There’s like an Aritzia there’s a Nordstrom that kind of thing. And then there’s also a trolley and Frank Sinatra blaring from the speakers like the same 10 Frank Sinatra songs on rotation. That’s where I lived so you know, I’d wake up every morning to fly me to the moon, like, blasting around the speakers, it felt odd to say the least. I lived there for like a long time, way too long, several years. Anyway, it was a great joke like, instantly, I liked him a lot. And that was the one time that I that I read this friend. And I’d actually told several people since then, for whatever reason, we will go you know, I don’t know who’s the funniest person you’ve met. I don’t know why it sounds like a magazine quit like, like, I’m begging people so I’m like a magazine quiz. But that just has for some reason come up several times people asking, who’s the funniest person you’ve met? And I’ve said this person every time I’ve been asked since then I’ve said I’ve met him once but he just made me laugh so hard the entire night I was like almost spitting out my food was so funny. So recently he called me on an Instagram photo of mine and I thought, oh my God, this is my in I DM him after we want to get lunch, he said, Yeah and I was so excited, because I didn’t feel any dread. I don’t know if you feel this way, but half the time if I’m supposed to do somebody, I just feel this pit of dread like God helped me. And I’m like praying, they’re gonna cancel and was like, please, for the love of God, can you cancel so I can stay home and play Pikmin three bingo battle, please and they don’t then it’s like, it’s awful or, you know, sometimes I’ll cancel, I’m always looking for an excuse to get out of seeing people socially. Not this friend, I was so excited. I just I’m sitting up right now because like, the excitement is in my just ran through my body. So I felt excited to see him, I saw him and it was just instant chemistry. I mean, we were there. We were at the rest like we closed the restaurant, and it’s like one of those places it’s open for lunch and dinner, we closed down for lunch, they like had to kick us out. They will work we’re closing in 10 minutes we’re like, okay, got it. Also, just to be very clear. This is not romantic love that I’m talking about, I feel like up to this point it’s maybe sounded like okay, Jeanette, you’re falling in love. That’s not it, I am in a relationship and also he’s in a relationship and also also he is a gay man and I’m only saying this just because I want to be very clear that what I’m talking about is truly pure and simple authentic connection without any other elements involved.


Jennette McCurdy  08:16

I was kind of thinking like, what’s a good way of summarizing what’s at the root for me of authentic connection. And I came up with this that I still resonate with, and I kind of like, which is, you know, I wanted, I felt myself wanting to impress him. And he’s someone we’re doing that means being myself. It just makes me so happy. The idea that, like, the best way that I’m going to impress this person is by being myself. To me, I feel like that’s such a way of knowing when you’re authentically connecting with somebody, I’m not thinking, oh, I want to impress this person and here’s how I can do that by talking about this or by overlapping with them in this area, or, you know, there’s nothing contrived, there’s nothing calculated about it, there’s no trying about it. This was just eye opening for me. I just love them, you’re like, Oh, my God, a friend can be this. Like, he’s somebody who worked on himself so much, and continues to work on himself so much he’s in an ever evolving growing person. He’s, he’s smart, and thoughtful and just these kinds of qualities where I guess I’m just so used to because of my history and my past, I’m so used to like emotionally stunted, kind of, like, people saying stop things all the time, you know, interchangeable phrases. And that’s not true and in certain, like I have, I have certain relationships in my life, where that’s not the case, my relationship with my significant other being one of them, God, I should hope so, but I wish I had my people is kind of this feeling that I had throughout my 20s as many of my friendships from my teens were kind of falling away by that point and I had this longing for some kind of like, who am I going to connect with now, now that I know who I am? Who am I going to connect with? Oh, that’s, that’s what it is. It’s like, I started to figure out who I was as a person. And that meant I knew what wasn’t fitting but I didn’t have any kind of signposts, I didn’t have any reference point for what was going to fit. I didn’t know how to find it. I wanted meaningful friendships. And I just, I honestly think I just kind of lost hope or interest, maybe I just felt like, oh, maybe that’s just not a thing you have, and you’re in your late 20s, maybe, maybe it’s just work and you do the thing. That’s all that it needs to be, I’m so grateful. I’m so grateful for this three hour conversation. I’m so grateful for you know, whatever our friendship becomes, and I just wanted to share this with you guys because I think I think I think I’m learning how much you know, my body kind of knows. My body knew when I was meeting up with somebody and I would feel dread and I was like, that’s not really somebody that I kind of want to see maybe or if I’m feeling a lot of anxiety around the person. I saw this this quote so it said your nervous system will naturally feel calm around people with pure intentions and authentic energy trust it. I saw that that night after I saw this friend, and it just resonates with me so so so much. I’m gonna say one more time, your nervous system will naturally feel calm around people with pure intentions and authentic energy trust it. Well, that explains the first 25 years of my life. My nervous system didn’t feel calm one goddamn time. Okay truly, I don’t know it’s just like, realizing that my my nervous system has those answers my body has those answers, the fact that I felt so excited to see this person is so good around him and so just just beaming when I left, I took a couple of laps around the block actually, after I recorded that little intro for you guys and I just listened to some music and I just relish in that feeling of God. This is authentic connection and, and it can be lonely sometimes when you’re, you’re doing a lot of work on on on yourself and you’re trying to heal and you’re trying to grow as a person and maybe it’s just not the case for a lot of people in your life and maybe they they want to stay where they are because it’s comfortable or because they like it or because they don’t know any better or who knows their reasons. But I had so much of that in my life so, you know, I think is the thing that you don’t really think about is how lonely it can be when you’re trying to improve yourself and grow as a person, it can be really isolating, you know, trying to try to put away any friendship that’s harmful or that or your boundaries aren’t respected or that might be damaging, or that might be not even deeply damaging, just might not frankly might not fit anymore. You know, you become more authentic, you become more in touch with yourself and you realize all the things that aren’t authentic anymore and to now be at this place where I go God I’m feeling I’m feeling the the benefits of being my authentic self and I’d felt those benefits in my career. I was seeing those benefits I’ve been seeing those benefits firsthand for for a while now. But I wasn’t feeling it in my in my friendships and so feeling it now is just the most inspiring, lovely, connected experience. Oh my God, it’s like, it’s the first time it’s been two days and I’m like, oh my God, when can I text the hang out again? This was so fun, maybe we can do a double date like that kind of thing. I haven’t had that in so long usually I see somebody and you know, after you hang out, you’re supposed to like go yeah, we should do this again like that’s the socially you know, the adequate thing to do. The person will say the thing and I’ll be thinking like, we just did this. I thought the whole point I thought the whole we just got this over with what are we talking about? Let’s do this again. I’ve been dreading this for four fucking months. I’m not social you know what? I don’t even think that’s true. I just think I didn’t know the right fucking people. Oof, okay anyway, that’s all I’m feeling good. Thanks for listening, love you guys and bye.


CREDITS  16:14

There’s more Hard Feelings with Lemonada Premium subscribers get exclusive access to bonus content, and you can subscribe now in Apple podcasts. I’m Jennette McCurdy, the creator, executive producer and host of HardFeelings. It’s produced by Lemonada Media in coordination with Happy Rage productions. Our production team is Kegan Zema, Aria Bracci and Brian Castillo. Music is by Hannah’s Brown. Steve Nelson is Lemonada’s Vice President of weekly content. Rachel Neil is Lemonada Senior Director of new content. Executive Producers are Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Jessica Cordova Kramer and me. Listen ad free on Amazon music with your Prime membership.

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