ending friendships

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i don’t think friendships are necessarily a forever thing. i think sometimes it’s beneficial to end them. in my twenties, i tried to stay in expired friendships where the dynamic was doing me a disservice. in this episode, i talk through two examples of when i ended “key” friendships in my life.



Jennette McCurdy

Jennette McCurdy  00:00

Hello everyone. I feel like I sound sick. I’m not sick. Anyway, I’m feeling good. Today I want to talk about friendships, more specifically ending friendships and all that comes with that.


Jennette McCurdy  00:39

I’m 31 as of this recording, and I have, I’ve had a few really close friendships in my life very, very, very close friendships. Like the inseparable you see them just about every day, you tell them everything, they tell you everything like just the really kind of enmeshed friendships, whatever, when you think like a best friend, when you’re really literally like, oh my goodness, they’re my best friend and all the hopes and dreams that you have a comment that friendship of just like being so so close and tight knit and that feeling that’s like what I what I had with a couple friends to the point was kind of you know, it was it was codependent, I would, I would say for both of them. So both of these people had actually met when I was like, very young teenager, maybe 13, 14 kind of thing, 15 at the most and the friendships lasted until my mid 20s. And then both friendships kind of dissolved in my, in my mid 20s. And both of them are sweet, lovely people. I just got to this place. So one of them was a very kind of misery loves company thing where we would complain a lot. That was kind of the basis of our friendship. And I like to think we both, you know, we definitely had a sense of humor about the things that we were experiencing. We weren’t just sitting there. Like, you know, what was me on top of what was me it was we’d complain about real time shit that was happening in our lives in a way that was that would make us both just crack up. We just laughed so hard. We laughed so hard together so often. And then I started therapy, I started therapy in my early 20s, and I started kind of learning things about myself and one of the biggest things was the many things that I wanted to change. You know, I didn’t want to be a person who complained like that. I have this role now where it’s like, I’m okay with complaining, but it has to be different things. And I was complaining about a year ago, like I have to know my life is growing and moving in a positive direction. If I’m complaining about the same things I was complaining about a year ago, holy shit, God helped me. New Year new shit. That would be odd if I made a counter that would be my, the saying on it. I, God I loved and still love this person and still hope the best for them and wish the best for them. But as I was, as I was going through therapy, I realized, okay, I want to change this about myself, I don’t want to just be complaining all the time, I want to be working toward my growth and you know, expressing gratitude and finding, finding ways I want to change. And then I started actually changing, you know, overcoming an eating disorder, and working on working on the deep emotional pain that was coming up for myself frequently. Resolving and exploring trauma, like all this stuff, it’s a lot, but what’s on the other side of it is really good. And so my life started to feel really good. And it might even, I think I I don’t know, you know, I can’t speak to this other person. But I felt a shift in their eyes and almost like a confusion at how I was enjoying my life because I didn’t have many of the things that I’d had before that people might think lead to an enjoyable life. You know, I didn’t have any money coming in. I wasn’t making. I was making zero money I had, I quit acting, and I was I was focusing solely on writing at this point. And so I was there was no, no money coming in, you know? And yet I felt happier. I wasn’t acting on TV shows, and I felt happier. I was just really, really focusing on improving my self and it was working. And there were a couple of things that this person had said offhandedly, that made me realize, oh, this person sees themselves as above me as better than me. And they view themselves as the savior, kind of the savior, the one who’s always rises above and that kind of thing, right? So that was the dynamic, recognizing that that was how they view the dynamic was devastating to me. I had always seen us as equals, as on equal playing field as mutual is kind of like in the in the boat together, dealing with all the shit together, not as like, Oh, I’m dysfunctional. I’m a mess, and they’re amazing. And I put a lot of thought into it. I thought, you know, do I, what do I how do I how do I handle this? And I didn’t confront this person. At first, what I did first was, I started expressing genuinely, if I enjoyed my day, even something as simple as that, and I could feel the kind of twitch the kind of, oh, no, she enjoyed her day. What does that mean for us? What does that mean for our dynamic, which made me think, Oh, I think this person feels safe in this dynamic, because they feel above or better than, I think this person thinks their role in my life depends on their being above or better than, because, guess what, that is kind of more comfortable, isn’t it? In some ways to be to be able to think, oh, this person really needs me, I’m needed by this person. I’m safe. So I think that’s what was going on and the first step for me was really not tag teaming on the on the complaints, appreciating what was good about life, making a point to set an example for myself, you know, this person would continue the kind of complaint pattern, and I wouldn’t engage, and I try my best not to be annoying about it, right? Because there’s always that annoying way of being like, self righteous of like, you can go ahead and complain, but I’m over here healing. You know, I wasn’t trying to correct her. I wasn’t talking in like my newly therapist voice like, nobody talks like that, come on, you’re lying. Sometimes I listen to videos on these therapy videos on YouTube and the person’s like, why don’t we start at our toes? I’m like, fuck you. What are you you’re, that’s not your real voice it’s just not, okay? It gets to me. So the friendship is it’s feeling rockier. Like there’s a tenseness. There’s a tension there in the friendship that was not there before. And I know we both feel it, you know, we’re both emotionally intelligent people. I know, we were both feeling it. And it eventually it kind of it just became time to confront it. That was the next step needed to happen. So I confronted it with this friend and I said, hey, look, I’m really trying to make my life better, I don’t want to be stuck in the in the mud and I don’t want my life to look anything like it looked in the past. And I’m working really hard and I want to be around positive influences and sometimes I just feel really negative and down after we hang out, like I feel worse. You know, I feel just kind of dragged down and depleted and drained and I’m not saying I wish I could have worded it better. I really, this was early on when I was first kind of learning about boundaries and how to navigate them and confronting people and how to own that you know, it’s just coming from from a person I was such a chronic people pleaser that like setting a boundary or confronting somebody was fucking wobbly, it felt very black and white for a long time and kind of stiff, and I think sometimes, frankly, still does. These are areas that are just, I’m not, it’s not my skill set. And so it’s still you know, it takes work to navigate them. But so I think maybe it was the wording or I don’t know, I think it was a combination of probably the way that I worded it and then just the little things that I was saying that this person got like very upset with me, and kind of lashed out, I guess, I don’t know how else to say it. And also this was over it was either like text or email. It wasn’t even because I you know, it was too of course scared to do it face to face, which I wish I had but we had these kind of email exchanges and I’d also said something about wishes maybe, I don’t know, maybe this is where I want too far, but I expressed how much I would have I would like them to or I wish they would also kind of see the positive in their life and see all the things that they had going for them and and I wish that they would change in certain ways, and I felt like we were growing in different directions, and I was trying to change and they were not.


Jennette McCurdy  10:15

Right, that’s like, that’s not the best word that’s I could have done better. But I was honest, at least, you know, like, that is how I felt, I got to own it. That is how I felt I said that. And then this person got pretty angry with me. And that was kind of the end of our friendship. And it wasn’t like, it wasn’t crazy, dramatic, you know, because probably because we weren’t face to face, no chill drinks were thrown in the other person’s face, nothing, nothing like that, we just kind of stopped talking after that.


Jennette McCurdy  11:02

The other friendship. First off, I didn’t feel authentic in anymore. And I don’t know, if I ever felt authentic in it. Like, whenever we would hang out, it felt like a million miles a minute. Just energy, energy, energy, energy energy, which I think was kind of my way of covering up or attempting cover up at an actual deep sadness that I needed to really touch base with, to kind of understand and move on from also, drinking, there was a lot of drinking involved, I drink way too much when I was in my early 20s, and I am embarrassed of who I was when I drank that much. So this this person and I were so close and then as I started drinking last as I started going to therapy, as I started really getting my bearings on myself, and figuring out who I am, you know, and what my core is and wants genuinely, I just felt less, less drawn to this person and if anything, kind of nervous or like a dread before seeing them. Like I stopped hanging out because I didn’t want to go out drinking, you know, I mean, I stay in light a candle and journal or, or I’d be working on my eating disorder. Like I really was spending so much time in solitude to work on myself that I just socializing. And certainly in that capacity of just like getting wasted with somebody that was not going to happen. I was not interested. And what I realized is I like I don’t even think for this friendship, specifically, it had to be something like drinking or not drinking that drove us apart. I think you know, it’s really important to me in my in my friendships that I feel challenged that I feel that the person is honest, or at least trying to be honest with themselves. I wouldn’t be doing this podcast, like I wouldn’t be living my life, the way that I live my life. If I didn’t believe that, you know, I think genuinely touching base with the ugly parts. Yeah, can be scary. But there’s so it’s so exciting. And this person was just not willing to do that, so that’s why I moved on from them. And there were feelings of loss, there were feelings of mourning involved. But I’ve got to tell you guys, I felt better. You know, changing as a person takes a lot of work. And I had to be able to not have people in my life who saw me as this stuck, unhealthy version of myself. I had to outgrow that I had to shed that skin. And for me shedding that skin looked like letting go of people who could only see me in that skin. You know, big red flag and moving on from friendships. When people say God, you’ve changed and they sound sad. That means God, you’re not who I need you to be, so I feel better about myself. Like you want the friends who are like, God, you’ve changed. I’m really happy to see you sticking up for yourself. I’m really happy to see you changing the ways that you are, oh, I’m really happy to see you setting a boundary here or doing saying what you need, you know, that’s a big one. Friendships can go through bumps and waves and I get all that. But if you’ve moved on from a friendship, mentally internally or you need to move on. I really, really really encourage it. I think there’s so much growth to that. I think it can be a really good thing for both of you. I think there’s so much fear around letting go. I know I had it I clung to those friendships for years past what I should have, I have been having that itch of like, this isn’t lining up. This isn’t right, for years, and I just tried to push it down and say, oh, well, but I’ve known this person for so long. Oh, but they’re my best friend. Oh, but we do everything together. Oh, how am I going to fill my time? Guess what you’ll find ways. It’s not worth it, I don’t believe it’s worth it to hold on to outdated expired friendships that don’t make you feel good. I think it’s worth it to move on from them and the more that I’ve peeled off those onion layers to figure out who I truly am. The more that my life puts me in line with people who are in line with that. This has been my TED talk. No, I think that’s it for now. I just really wanted to talk about this because I think I believe it’s important. It’s something that’s been really helpful for me and just something I’m kind of thinking about a lot. Alright, that’s it for now. I’m actually gonna go meet a friend for lunch today. All right, bye.


Jennette McCurdy  16:01

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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