Nonprofit Radio for October 24, 2022: Make Friends

 

Dr. Marisa G. FrancoMake Friends

Dr. Marisa G. Franco helps you start and grow friendships, so you can enjoy rich, valuable, fun friendships now and throughout your life. She’s a psychologist, professor and author of the book, “Platonic,” a New York Times bestseller.

 

 

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[00:01:56.93] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh I’m glad you’re with me. I’d get slapped with a diagnosis of de extroversion if I saw that you missed this week’s show make friends. Dr marisa G franco helps you start and grow friendships so you can enjoy rich, valuable fun friendships now and throughout your life she’s a psychologist professor and author of the book. Platonic a new york times bestseller tony steak to planned giving accelerator. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C. O. And by fourth dimension technologies I. T. Infra in a box. The affordable tech solution for nonprofits. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant four D. Just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper. It’s a genuine pleasure to welcome my guest an enlightening psychologist, international speaker and new york times best selling author. Dr marisa G franco is known for digesting and communicating science in ways that resonate deeply enough with people to change their lives. She’s a professor at the University of Maryland and authored the new york times bestseller platonic how the science of attachment can help you make and keep friends. She writes about friendship for psychology today and has been a featured connection expert from major publications like the new york times, the telegraph and vice. She speaks on belonging at corporations, government agencies, nonprofits and universities today. She belongs on nonprofit radio she’s on instagram at d r marissa g franco and at D. R. Marissa G franco dot com. Welcome Marissa,

[00:02:27.00] spk_1:
thank you so much for having me. tony I love your energy.

[00:02:30.36] spk_0:
Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to have you. You get me excited to talk about friendship and you’re coming off. You just told me before we got started. You’re coming off a ted talk?

[00:02:42.03] spk_1:
Yes. Ted talk

[00:02:44.55] spk_0:
That is wonderful. Congratulations. Thank

[00:02:47.13] spk_1:
you so much.

[00:02:59.64] spk_0:
Pleasure. Look forward to seeing it. Friendship, Marissa unfortunately declining in the United States. What’s happening?

[00:03:48.48] spk_1:
Wow, that’s a great question. You know, it’s, it’s been declining since like the 1950s unfortunately. And um, there’s this really good book bowling alone and he analyzes all the factors that kind of started this decline in what he calls civic engagement, like engagement in our communities. He says it started with the television basically that before then leisure was something you did publicly, you did it with other people right? But with the creation of the television, you spent leisure at home and not only that watching tv triggers lethargy. So even if you want to get out and call someone, you’re like less likely to do it right. And then I think as we’ve continued technology like 2012 loneliness really began to spike. What happened in 2012 was the rise of the smartphone And it’s not that we can’t use technology to connect with people. We absolutely can. It’s just that the way that technology is now developed. It’s developed in a way to keep us kind of scrolling on our phones not engaging with other people, right in ways that continue to foster loneliness. So I think there’s also analysis that found that like in 35 out of 37 countries, kids in school were significantly more lonely than they were a decade ago.

[00:04:43.78] spk_0:
Mm So these uh, these technologies tv was tv was wonderful. Um, I think the belief was that I was gonna kill movie theaters, which obviously didn’t happen. Uh, Netflix was supposed to do that too and it didn’t um, blockbuster before netflix was supposed to. But so the technologies, um, you know, in some respect, especially the phone and social, the social networks, uh, that’s a lot of the promise was that it would bring us together and I know you’re saying it can, but we need to be intentional about our technology use

[00:04:55.72] spk_1:
exactly what I’m saying.

[00:04:58.12] spk_0:
Okay. And we’ll get a chance to talk, we’ll talk more about, uh, we have the whole hour together so we don’t pack it all into the first five minutes. Um, well let’s a little motivation for folks that might not recognize what what the value is of having rich fun friendships.

[00:05:50.23] spk_1:
Yeah, So we absolutely don’t recognize the value. Um, in fact there was a study that found that when people predicted how they’d feel, talking to a stranger, they, they thought they’d feel a lot more, a lot better just like being on their own and not talking to anyone that was their prediction, but the study actually found that people after they had talked to a stranger increased their amount of positive feelings and joy and more so they felt better than those who were just kind of sitting alone. And so we underestimate just how much connection will bring to our lives. But The researcher, the research finds that for example, loneliness is akin to smoking 15 cigarettes a day and its impact on our bodies.

[00:05:59.76] spk_0:
That, yep,

[00:06:01.66] spk_1:
yep, it’s that bad.

[00:06:03.58] spk_0:
15, 15.

[00:06:28.89] spk_1:
Yeah, it has a greater impact on our on how long we live in our diet or how much we exercise, so it really destroys us. Um loneliness, it’s it’s a chronic stress experience because when you’re lonely you think other people are rejecting you and you’re looking out for all these signs that people are rejecting you and your body is basically undergoing chronic stress when we’re lonely. Um so it’s really bad for us. And you know, friendship connection really helps. Like just like we need water, just like we need food to function. Well, we absolutely need connection.

[00:06:42.69] spk_0:
What do these connections do for us physiologically? That that bring down our, it sounds like raging cortisol and adrenaline if you’re if you’re lonely.

[00:07:43.62] spk_1:
Yeah, so when we are connected we release a hormone called oxytocin and oxytocin is considered a hormone that does double duty, it’s also looked at as the fountain of youth in addition to like the hormone of connection. So it both keeps you young and it keeps you connected because not only when we feel connected we release this hormone but also that you know, oxytocin actually makes us more friendly people that have higher rates of oxytocin, they’re more trusting of others more generous towards others. So it’s funny. It’s just sort of like, oh, the hardest time to make friends is when you’re lonely because of how it affects your brain and how you think about things. The easiest time to make friends is when you’re connected because it makes you friendlier and warmer and more open towards others. So kind of like our brains like sabotaging us a little bit right? Like when we really need the connection the most our brain is like actually we’re going to see everyone is very scary and weary right now and sources of threat.

[00:08:03.10] spk_0:
Okay, but we can we can overcome this. Uh and I think this is where the science of attachment comes in. So can you guess this is this is your work around the science of attachment.

[00:09:44.60] spk_1:
So as I was writing my book, I found something in the research that basically our personalities are fundamentally a reflection of our experiences of connection or lack thereof. Whether we are warm, friendly, trusting, cynical aggressive, right? These are all predicted by how you’ve connected in the past, but not only that those people that have those healthier connections. They develop an internal set of beliefs that fosters continued healthy connection. Right? So it’s like the rich get richer is kind of what we’re saying here. Um these people are what’s called securely attached. They had healthy relationships which makes them go into new relationships, assuming people like them, assuming people are their side assuming they can trust people, assuming they can be vulnerable to people, assuming people will be there when they need right? All of these assumptions really help them create connection. Whereas those people that have had difficult connections in the past, they tend to be insecurely attached. They can either be anxious, which means they go into relationships very scared that people are going to abandon them, which makes them see see rejection when it’s not there, get closed off and shut down or very angry at other people which then makes them um reject people, right? They don’t even realize that when we get really afraid of rejection, we reject people or they can be avoided only attached, which means because people have broken their trust in the past, they go into relationships with no effort, they kind of just withdraw. They’re not really trying at all. They’re very afraid of intimacy, right? And these set of beliefs that insecurely attached people will hold onto that people are going to betray me betray my trust or people are going to abandon me. They tend to become self fulfilling prophecies. They tend to become confirmation bias is where we all look out for signs that those things are true and ignore all the signs. To the contrary.

[00:11:31.17] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. Their newsletter this week. Their newsletter is on message hits the importance of gathering different perspectives as you are preparing your communications. They proposed a water bottle image for a national advertising campaign for their community foundation clients nationwide. And that water bottle image didn’t feel too good to the folks in flint michigan and Jackson Mississippi turned to hadn’t thought of those, you know, those possibilities, those opinions until they did testing on their proposed images. Now of course they will develop something new. You can get their insightful newsletter on message at turn hyphen too dot C. O. Turn to communications. Your story is their mission now back to make friends. Marissa, do these have implications? It’s sounds like for for uh Children who grow up in not necessarily single parent homes, but because because single parent homes can be nurturing, but but grow up in homes where there’s uh I don’t know, I don’t know how to characterize, but like early divorce, a lot of abandonment do do kids. Kids must carry this then to their with them through the rest of their lives without some kind of intervention.

[00:12:54.10] spk_1:
Yeah. So absolutely. You know, going through a divorce as a predictor of insecure attachment. And we see that these anxiously attached people, the parents aren’t mean, but they’re just not prioritizing their kids. They’re like prioritizing themselves more. And so the kid feels like I need to like fight to earn your love. Right? Then that’s the sense that they go into in all relationships. Like I’m not inherently worthy. And if I’m not trying to prove myself all the time, people are going to leave me and then the avoidant lea attached people. And again, there’s a genetic component because some people may be like, my kid came out anxious. Um, but yeah, there’s also a genetic component that sort of intersects with the environment here. But um, and then people that are avoiding li attached, they kind of grew up with emotional neglect, like their parents fed them their parents gave them shelter but did not respond to their emotions and told them don’t cry, handle that on your own. People it on that, you know, put your emotions away, suppress your emotions, right? That’s the message that they got. And that’s why they feel like if I’m ever vulnerable people are gonna harm me or minimize me or I can’t like quite trust People with that level of vulnerability. And it’s shocking. There’s a study that basically found that our attachment as infants predicts how many inflammation related illnesses that we have like diabetes heart issues at age 32 and anxiously attached people I think were seven times more likely to have the inflammation-related issues. And avoiding the attached three times more likely than secure people.

[00:13:19.63] spk_0:
Holy cow from infancy,

[00:13:22.90] spk_1:
infancy. Yeah.

[00:13:34.21] spk_0:
Okay. Um, and and the first set of folks that you you you described, you know, if they’re they’re constantly reaching out and trying to be friends. I mean that’s gonna that’s gonna put people off, isn’t it? If you’re if you’re trying so hard, doesn’t that become apparent and a put off?

[00:13:49.33] spk_1:
Yeah, I would say it’s not the trying, it’s the pressure, like anxiously attached people.

[00:13:56.02] spk_0:
Yeah,

[00:14:51.26] spk_1:
exactly. Like if someone pulls away from them, they double down there like you’re trying to take your space. I need to get you to like me, like they tend to try to create friendships with people that aren’t interested in them because again, that’s what they learned about love. Like you have to demand it and when it’s freely earned, you can’t quite trust it. Right? So the so I think I describe anxiously attached people when it comes to friendship as high effort, low reward. They put a lot of effort into creating their friendships they do initiate with other people, they try to maintain their friendships. But their fundamental problem is they are they feel so rejected and abandoned that they tend to see that when it’s not there and they tend to reject people back. You know, try to get revenge on people. They tend to not be good at letting people have their own lives and their own needs because it’s like you need to do all these things to show me that I’m worthy. So when you need space, right? When you need a little bit of distance, when you’re not able to hang out this one time, right? That’s triggering my worthiness ruin. Instead of me being able to see that you’re a separate person with your own needs and you’re not necessarily rejecting me. So that is, that’s their big struggle when it comes to

[00:15:08.92] spk_0:
friendship. Those are the anxiously attached,

[00:15:11.27] spk_1:
Those are the anxiously,

[00:15:12.35] spk_0:
anxiously attached and avoidant lee connected.

[00:15:24.33] spk_1:
Um, well, there’s the, yeah, it’s interesting, anxiously attached avoidant lee connected. Um, what do you mean by avoiding the connected?

[00:15:26.19] spk_0:
I thought that was with, I was just trying to summarize the two phrases to monikers that you put on folks actually attached and avoiding maybe I got

[00:15:38.43] spk_1:
attached

[00:15:52.13] spk_0:
attached. Okay, so let’s try to uh, I’d like to apply the, this your work, the science of attachment to uh, to, to making friends in in new jobs. We we know about the great resignation. Lots of people moving. Certainly impacting small and midsize nonprofits. Our listeners. If we’re in a new job understanding it may very well be hybrid. What, what, what applies, what, how can we help ourselves to build these platonic friendships? Platonic relationships.

[00:17:51.90] spk_1:
First of all, I just want to emphasize just how important it is to make friends at work. Um, when people rate how meaningful their job is one of the biggest predictors, even more so than like salary flexibility. Um all these objective measures of work is how connected they feel like that’s like the biggest predictor of how meaningful people find their work. And there’s like studies that look at data from like all these different countries and have people rate out of these 12 domains which winter the most important to you in the workplace and resoundingly across all the countries, people say having good relationships with other people. So it’s critical. I mean, you know, lonely employees, they’re more likely to miss work, their performance suffers less engaged, less likely to be retained, right? Like for us to be happy at work, we need to feel connected, right? It’s it’s no, it’s not just and I’ve been through this as myself, as a professor at an institution who was like, I love the work that I’m doing but I don’t feel like I belong here and I feel really isolated and I left right, even though I love the work because that connection is just such an important resource. And you know, there’s research that finds that when we estimate how steep a hill is when we’re with a friend, we see it as less steep, which suggest when we face challenges and we’re connected, like challenges at the workplace. They feel less challenging to us. Other research that finds that when you have a break to have a conversation with another person and you come back and you you fill out like a test similar to like an IQ test your score is actually higher because you took that time to converse with another person. So

[00:17:57.11] spk_0:
remarkable outcomes.

[00:17:59.96] spk_1:
Yeah, exactly.

[00:18:01.62] spk_0:
Yeah.

[00:18:54.77] spk_1:
So impactful. So so what that means is like relationships don’t get in the way of work, they’re part of what we need to facilitate it. And for us to be performing at our best, we need to feel connected. Um And so if you want to make friends at work, I think it’s similar, similar tips that I share. Um for outside of work, which is assumed people like you um because according to research on something called the acceptance prophecy, when people, when people are told that you’re going to go into a group and be liked even though this is a lie, they become friendlier, warmer more open. So it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy right? So assume that your co workers want to hang out with you and want to get to know you want to hear from you right? Of course if they if they say no or they’re disinterested then move along but make that you’re starting assumption right? And then you have to initiate

[00:18:56.30] spk_0:
because we underestimate that we

[00:18:58.51] spk_1:
underestimate yep

[00:18:59.87] spk_0:
underestimate people’s other people’s esteem for us.

[00:19:17.86] spk_1:
We do, it’s called the liking gap when strangers interact and estimate how like they are by the other person, they underestimate how like they are and not only that the more self critical people were the greater this underestimation so people like us more than we think

[00:19:20.89] spk_0:
like you people

[00:19:22.32] spk_1:
like you

[00:19:23.75] spk_0:
Smalley you know al Franken on saturday night live.

[00:19:27.52] spk_1:
Yeah

[00:19:28.54] spk_0:
dammit people I’m a good person and people like me or something like that.

[00:19:46.54] spk_1:
People like you. Yeah. Yeah and then you have to initiate, you have to say like hey do you want to get lunch sometime or hey do you wanna have coffee sometime? I totally love to get to know you more right. I don’t know why we think these things come off as weird. That’s

[00:19:46.91] spk_0:
the hard step taking that taking that affirmative step to say let’s move it to the next level

[00:19:53.81] spk_1:
which is not that

[00:20:50.23] spk_0:
big A. Level. It’s just like chatting in the office versus having lunch. It’s time for a break. 4th dimension technologies I. T. Infra in a box the I. T. Buffet it’s the holistic I. T. Services solution where you choose the buffet items that fit your budget or your I. T. Appetite as it were like help desk, security assessment planning and budgeting. Moving to the cloud and there’s more, take what you want from the buffet line. Leave the rest behind fourth dimension technologies, tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant four D. Just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper let’s return to make friends. Why do we feel that That’s so that’s such the hard step to take

[00:20:54.71] spk_1:
after

[00:20:56.22] spk_0:
The five minute conversation that that went you know went smoothly and fun.

[00:21:20.30] spk_1:
Yeah. I think our fear of rejection is one of the biggest barriers to making friends, but our brains have a negativity bias which means that when we predict how our behaviors come off, our predictions tend to be inaccurate and more cynical than the truth, right? Like I already told you about the like and gap, but that is a finding that is across the board. There’s so many studies that find that people are perceiving us more positively than we tend to assume, right. And so if we can just remind ourselves of this like people like you, they’re less likely to reject you than you think it gets a little bit easier to reach out to people and say yeah, I’d love to connect

[00:21:45.42] spk_0:
sometime and I don’t know I am I am I oversimplifying if I say that uh people are over thinking like should I take the next step? Should I, should I say let’s have lunch or should get together after work? I mean are we are we doing that or am I am I oversimplifying if I am saying you know you don’t know what you’re talking about?

[00:23:07.61] spk_1:
No, I think so. I mean I think if you think it do it right, if you think, should we have lunch just ask let’s have lunch right? It’s you know, you don’t have to go back and forth with it if you’re rejected. Also like that’s okay. Like for there’s a study that had people basically read stories about people transitioning to college where people kind of said at first it was difficult making friends, but eventually I found my people right? And then to share their own story of like, oh, I was rejected along the way. But eventually I found my people so and that that fosters greater belonging when we are able to see rejection as part of the trajectory to belonging, right? Like if you want to belong, you put yourself out there, you’re taking a risk. Some people will reject you. Some people won’t, the rejection is not assigned to crawl back into your cave and carl black and tortoiseshell and never try again. It’s a sign that you’re doing everything right and that you’re on the path and this is a part of the path to connection is rejection, right? So I think that helps to remember that. And I like to tell people like if you’ve reached out to someone, you’ve succeeded because you can’t control their outcome and you can’t judge yourself by an outcome you cannot control. So if you did successfully what was within your control, which is reaching out to someone like you’ve already succeeded, no matter what they say.

[00:23:38.39] spk_0:
Now we’re getting into the realm of like, value yourself. You know? Think, think well of yourself people uh the the uh keep in mind the liking gap, you know, but it’s not a reflection on you. It’s they they it’s a reflection on them or maybe they really are busy for lunch already.

[00:24:03.58] spk_1:
Exactly, yeah, don’t take it so personally, I promise it’s not as personal as you think and the more you take it personally, there’s a theory called hypervigilance for social threat hypothesis, which is really clunky, but it’s just the meaning of it. Is that the more that we assume we’re going to be rejected, the poorer our relationships will be because when we assume we are going to be rejected, we engage in antisocial behaviors, right? I’m not going to reach out to you, I’m not going to try to connect with you. I’m not gonna be vulnerable with you. I’m not going to show affection towards you, right? Because I’m assuming that I’m going to be rejected.

[00:24:18.74] spk_0:
Thank you for defining that too, because we have drug in jail on non I’d hate to I hate to have thrown you in drug in jail, but you you defined you defined it.

[00:24:28.11] spk_1:
Okay.

[00:24:36.88] spk_0:
Um so is there anything else about new employee, new workplace, uh that advice that you have?

[00:24:40.15] spk_1:
Yeah,

[00:24:41.23] spk_0:
or hybrid, maybe hybrid advice with, you know, I’m not gonna get to see these people live for several weeks.

[00:24:56.46] spk_1:
Yeah, yeah, I think setting up a regular time to me is a really good idea because you’re not going to just kind of bump into each other, like asking people are you open to just like a weekly catch up or a bi weekly catch up. Right? And the other thing is when you do catch up, like stop talking about work, Like if you there’s a study that found that the more time you spend with your colleagues, the less close you feel and that is really weird, right? Because

[00:25:14.01] spk_0:
the more time the more time you spend with your work colleagues, the less connected you

[00:25:20.28] spk_1:
feel. Exactly. Yeah.

[00:25:22.38] spk_0:
How can that be?

[00:25:40.93] spk_1:
So my theory is that you know, typically we spend time together at foster’s connection but at work we spend time together and we’re only showing this work side of ourselves. So it’s like you only know me as like an employee, you only know my ability to fill out this data sheet and that’s all we’re talking about. So I think it’s really important if you want to make connections at work, like stop talking about work, tell them about who you are. I think some people think it’s like risky, but like there’s so many things you can share about who you are that are not risk, like what are your hobbies interests? Like what is your community, like outside of work, where have you lived before? What are you learning? What media are you engaging in recently?

[00:26:39.04] spk_0:
All these things that you can ask people about when you’re first meeting them, you know maybe maybe not in a work setting, but something social. I mean people have people want to tell their stories, you know, where like you said, where have you lived? What have you done? Uh are you married, you have a partner, you have Children. Where is your family? Do you know all that, all that stuff? Um Yes. Um what about uh new town if you’re in a if you’ve relocated recently, special advice for uh for a new new new place to live or someone who’s maybe uh I don’t know how many listeners this applies to, but a nomad perhaps on the road a lot.

[00:27:56.16] spk_1:
Yeah, yeah. So, um, I think people move to a new town and they’re like, I hope to make friends and I want to tell you do not assume it’s going to happen organically, just don’t like friendship in adulthood, it doesn’t happen organically. Um people that think it does are actually lonely or five years later, according to one study. Whereas people that see it as happening based on effort or less lonely five years later. So my suggestion for you is thinking about something that you’re interested in and pursue it in community with other people. Right? So, I love learning different languages. I can take my spanish class, you could do your hiking class, your improv class, your meditation class, your, you know, whatever it is that you like, your class at the university. I think a lot of retired folks to do things like that, right? Because when you and then you’re you’re setting yourself up to see someone in a way that’s repeated over time and that does two things for you. First of all, when you see someone in a repeated way over time, we have an unconscious tendency to like them more. It’s called the mere exposure effect. So

[00:27:57.41] spk_0:
mirror

[00:29:06.61] spk_1:
Mirror. Yeah, mere exposure effect, yep. And so when researchers planted women in a psychology lecture, they found that, um, students liked the woman who showed up for the most classes, 20% more than the student, the woman that didn’t show up for any, they don’t remember any of these women. Um, but we also find something called like the anticipation of liking effect, which is the, the effect that when we think we’re going to see people again, we report liking them more. Then when we’re not sure we’re going to see someone again. So if I just show up to this lecture and this happy hour, it’s a one off event. I’m not capitalizing on those powerful forces of connection versus when I’m joining something that’s repeated over time, people tend to be more invested in each other, they come to like each other more. I think another implication of mere exposure effect because when I was in college, I like joined a club to make friends and in the first club, I didn’t feel like anyone reached out to me and I didn’t really connect with anyone and then I quit. But the implications of mere exposure effect is like you are going to feel uncomfortable at that first meeting. You’re gonna feel weary. You’re gonna feel like I don’t trust anyone, right? That is part of the process new, your exposure effect has not set in yet, right? It’s going to take a little bit of time before you feel comfortable and they feel comfortable around you. Um,

[00:29:18.96] spk_0:
that’s what you say, you’re, you’re doing the right things,

[00:29:48.91] spk_1:
you’re doing the right things. It may feel, you may feel uncomfortable along the way, but that doesn’t mean that you’re doing anything wrong. But the other tip that I share, because this was my other issue, I show up at this club and I wait for people to talk to me, right? And I don’t really try to introduce myself to anyone and I’m engaging in something called covert avoidance, which is when you show up physically, but check out mentally you’re on your phone, you’re in the corner, you may be talking to the host, the bar bartender, right? You’re watching the television, right? But to overcome covert avoidance, it’s not just about showing up. You have to engage with people when you get there, right? You have to say, hey, my name is Marissa, it’s so good to meet you. Like tell me more about your experience with this club, right? That’s that’s the sort of thing that really fosters the connection.

[00:31:37.05] spk_0:
It’s time for Tony’s take two planned giving accelerator. I’m just planting some seeds here. The next accelerator class is going to be starting in March and I really won’t be promoting it until january, february. Well in january and february. Starting in january, I’ll have some info then. So just like I said, planting seeds if launching and planned, giving fundraising program is something you want to do at your nonprofit or if you’re interested in it for professional development purposes, your own skill building plan giving accelerator, I’ll be able to help you in, uh, for either of those use cases. That’s it. That’s Tony’s take two, two. We’ve got boo koo, but loads more time for make friends with Marisa Franco. This has a lot of residents for are a lot of our listeners who are professional fundraisers and so they’re, they’re, they’re naturally drawn to folks, uh, and relationships. Hopefully otherwise I think they’re in the wrong profession. They’re not, if they’re not naturally inclined to like people, but, but this is all that valuable reminders. I’m, as you’re speaking, I’m thinking of myself in a charity event, you know, a cocktail party or a dinner or something. Yeah. And, and there are the folks who are right talking to the host, talking, talking to your fellow coworkers. You’re supposed to be supposed to be talking to the donors and potential donors to the organization, not huddled with your coworkers for half the time.

[00:32:29.71] spk_1:
I wanted to just touch on that tony because everything that I’m saying about making friends applies to networking like networking to me is making friends with people. Um And when people go into a networking event, one study found that they spend so much more time interacting with people they already know when 95% of people that go went to this networking event reported wanting to meet new people. So literally everybody is there to meet you but everybody is afraid and we think if they’re not engaging with me they don’t want to meet me. But no they’re not engaging with you because they’re afraid just like you are right. And so you know I met this woman, she’s really good at making friends and her secret. Was that she her mom had always told her everybody wants to be your friend, they’re just waiting for you to initiate.

[00:32:59.75] spk_0:
I love that. In one of your new york times interviews I saw a comment that was a little disturbing, but I’m glad I saw it because I would not have thought of it. The guy said this doesn’t apply to men may be fine for women but this doesn’t apply to men can you? And I was first I thought it was unfortunate then I thought some in cell sitting in his mom’s basement or something. Uh tuna helper uh scrolling four chan So can we help this, Can we help this person can reassure us that it doesn’t matter. You haven’t said anything about gender. I brought it up. Can we can we reassure folks that it applies for everybody?

[00:33:32.75] spk_1:
We can we can engage in the complexities of gender, which is that this person is right. It is harder for men. Um we know from the research that men are half as likely to be vulnerable with their friends, half as likely to share affection towards their friends. What men are up against is something called homo hysteria, which is men’s fear of being perceived as gay. So a lot of the behaviors that foster yeah,

[00:33:57.98] spk_0:
hysteria,

[00:33:59.10] spk_1:
hysteria,

[00:33:59.95] spk_0:
afraid of being perceived as gay,

[00:34:45.59] spk_1:
yep, yep. And it’s like it can be very deep rooted and very unconscious, but you know, why are some men so afraid to say I love you to a friend, right? Or you know to even like have any sort of touch with a friend a hug with a friend. Right? And and I think that’s you know, this homo hysteria makes men feel like I can’t um I like I I can’t reach out to a guy. I can’t ask him to just hang out. We have to do it around an activity, right? And this home hysteria makes it so that I think it’s harder for men to find other men that are ready to be in deep relationships with them. That being said. I still think all my tips apply. I think they I still think all the tips apply. What I do think is that men who are specifically seeking friendships with other men. They might have to go through more of a sifting process, right? I told you rejection is part of the experience, right? Men just might have to meet a larger pool of men to find men that are ready for the deep intimacies of friendship, who aren’t as haunted by homo hysteria.

[00:35:10.79] spk_0:
And what about cross gender friends? Uh male and female? Is that that make it harder to I’m engaging in deep stereotypes here. Is it harder for men to to be friends with women? And this comes from when Harry met sally? You know, what what what what are the dynamics there?

[00:36:26.07] spk_1:
The dynamics are that men very much benefit from being friends with women. Like the research is mixed on whether men feel closer to their women friends or their men friends, whereas women in general report that the women in their life are the closest friends that they have. So so men and also men that are friends with women actually experience more intimacy in their friendships than men that are just friends with men. So, so I think men feel safer around women in some ways to get really vulnerable in a way that they don’t always feel around other men. So these cross gender friendships really give something to men in particular and obviously, you know, everybody gets the sort of new perspective that they might be looking for from someone of a different gender, which both genders report appreciating about these cross gender friendships. We also know though that these cross gender friendships tend to be more fragile, they’re more likely to end. And there can be, you know, people can feel threatened, right if you get into a romantic relationship or you have a spouse and oh you’re making friends with someone of a different gender. And what does that mean for our relationship? Right. And so I think some of those assumptions are part of the reason why it can be harder to make those friendships.

[00:36:44.49] spk_0:
That was uh what you just mentioned was the cause of my uh my a divorce once.

[00:36:52.25] spk_1:
Yeah.

[00:36:54.09] spk_0:
Yeah. I my first wife refused to allow me to um have lunch with female colleagues

[00:37:03.93] spk_1:
at

[00:37:14.46] spk_0:
work at work. Um and then um then she she she thought I had had a lunch and devolved from there. But that was a deep, I mean to me it was an insecurity that you know, lunches with colleagues were were prohibited. Yeah.

[00:37:25.26] spk_1:
Can I speak to that tony because I think you’re raising a really important

[00:37:28.50] spk_0:
point.

[00:37:45.23] spk_1:
We sometimes really perceive friendship as antagonistic to romantic love, right? Like if you’re hanging out with your friends, you’re not hanging out with me. Like I only want you or I only want you to hang out with me, I won’t be the only woman in your life, right? But in fact people that have friends are a lot better spouses because if I make a friend according to the research, not only am I less depressed, my spouse becomes less depressed because

[00:37:56.00] spk_0:
like

[00:38:32.02] spk_1:
yeah, your own happiness in a relationship is going to impact your spouse’s. So anything that makes you happy is going to make your relationship happier, right? And and there’s other studies that find that when you get into conflict, your release of the stress hormone cortisol after the conflict is like dis regulated off, it’s off, it’s wacky. But when you have quality connection outside the marriage, that’s not true, your stress hormone release is still typical. And studies also find that for women that have particularly close friendship tend to have more close friendships when they go through difficulties in their marriage, they’re more resilient to them because they’re centering themselves emotionally and re engaging in this relationship from a centered place because they have someone else that they could also talk to about the issue. So, so I don’t think I wish that we didn’t see these two things as antagonistic because in fact they’re synergistic like your spouse making friends is going to make for a better marriage, a better relationship with you and

[00:38:53.77] spk_0:
you

[00:38:54.45] spk_1:
and happier you and happier spouse both things All

[00:39:04.79] spk_0:
right. Um you you encourage folks to share that with with their friends how they feel that they that they like their friends that they’re thinking about their friends. Why why is that so important?

[00:39:34.90] spk_1:
Yeah. So I think sometimes we have this misconception that oh, vulnerability burdens people, right? But in fact the research is sort of like clear that the more you disclose intimately about yourself, the closer that people feel to you, the more that they like you, right? It’s and the more that they disclose back. So it becomes again this sort of positive reinforcing cycle and fundamentally, you know, having someone to confide and being vulnerable with someone is really important for our mental health and well being. There is a study that looked at 106 factors that influence our depressive symptoms. Do you know what the number one preventer was?

[00:39:56.81] spk_0:
Vulnerability?

[00:39:59.39] spk_1:
Yeah, it was. And then having someone to confide in that was the number one, number one preventer of depression. Um and so

[00:40:07.59] spk_0:
100 and 600 and

[00:40:13.50] spk_1:
606. That’s the most powerful one. Yeah. So we need it for ourselves. We need it for our relationships like we need that vulnerability. Otherwise you’re going to feel like I’m friends with them but they don’t really know me. And I don’t actually feel that close to them.

[00:40:44.42] spk_0:
Listeners are gonna know may even predict what I’m about to say about vulnerability and leadership that I’ve I’ve I’ve always subscribed That vulnerability is a is a wonderful characteristic uh feature of of of leadership that you can open up vulnerability about, you know, not necessarily about your personal life but about uh you know that that you don’t have all the answers that the organization isn’t where we want it to be, but here’s how we can get it there vulnerability. Can are you able to speak to vulnerability in leadership and how that’s perceived by the people who work for that person?

[00:41:26.73] spk_1:
Yeah, I haven’t read extensively on this, but I know it does contribute to positive outcomes at work and I also know that as a leader, what you do disproportionately sets the culture and the tone of the place, right? So if you’re able to be vulnerable, you literally create an entire culture of people being vulnerable where now colleagues feel like, okay this is a norm. Like leaders are creating the norms. And so the people that are all working under you are all going to feel like, oh now I can be more vulnerable with other people and I can share more and obviously that’s going to help them create those workplace connections with their colleagues that we just talked about is so meaningful.

[00:41:46.37] spk_0:
So that that can absolutely trickle down

[00:41:50.27] spk_1:
from from from

[00:41:51.28] spk_0:
leadership.

[00:41:51.97] spk_1:
Whatever you do as a leader trickles down so choose wisely.

[00:41:56.89] spk_0:
Um I’ve been firing a lot of stuff at you, Marissa, what what would you like to talk about?

[00:42:01.68] spk_1:
Yeah, I’m wondering what has you interested in this topic?

[00:43:55.63] spk_0:
Uh Okay thank you. I’m I’m the connector among friends. Um Hi going back to high school, I’m 60 I still have deep friends friendship from high school um from college law school, the Air Force jobs I’ve been in like I leave a job, but I still stay in touch with the friends. I still, because I didn’t like the job. It’s not that I didn’t like the people. So I tend to be the ones my fraternity. I’m the one who organizes the, uh, the annual reunion around the spring carnival at the college. Um, I’m a connector. You know, I’m the one even even through and I don’t have, I don’t have Children. I’m married but don’t have Children. So even through the ages where, uh, my friends were, uh, saddled, had the responsibilities of Children, put it trying to put it as politely as possible saddled or burdened with parenthood. You know, we had the responsibility of childhood. So, you know, they couldn’t get away on a, on a reunion weekend, you know, but you, you wait out, you know, stay in touch and do what you can call instead of meeting, maybe, Uh, quick meeting instead of dinner meetings. You know, things like that. And then through the decades, uh, you wait 16 or 17 years and then the Children don’t want to be around because the parents are now humiliation and embarrassment. So if you wait out your friends, they’ll come back to you and then all of a sudden they can come back to the reunions and they can meet you for a weekend and a dinner because their Children don’t want to be seen anywhere near them. You wait it out, your your, your your you’re friends with, Children will come back. Um, so yeah, so yes, I saw you in the times. And the idea of deep friendships, relationships going back to high school, uh, resonates with me. I’m the connector.

[00:44:08.91] spk_1:
So you’re the one that will reach out and initiate and put in the effort. It sounds like,

[00:44:30.99] spk_0:
yeah, I keep the email lists for a bunch of, a bunch of different categories of friends. I forgot to mention Boy Scouts. My Boy Scout camp fellow coworkers and Boy scouts. Uh, yeah, I’ve got a bunch of email lists. I’m the one who initiates, but you know, it’s, it’s to me, I’m doing it for selfish reasons because it feels so good.

[00:44:36.59] spk_1:
It’s

[00:45:24.38] spk_0:
the, it’s the, it’s the cortisol regulation you talked about. I don’t know if dopamine is firing. Um, the oxytocin that you mentioned. You know, people thank me, but I’d say I do it for selfish reasons because it feels good to get to see 20 friends together for a reunion weekend and laughing like they can’t laugh in front of their families or their coworkers, because you know, we have bonds and we saw each other when we were stupid in college or in high school that that transcend these bonds, transcend all our other relationships. And so the persona is the personas are dropped, the facades are down and everybody’s just back slapping and laughing and enjoying each other’s company that we’ve known each other for 45 years in some cases.

[00:45:44.24] spk_1:
And I also hear that because I know sometimes people are like the one to reach out and the one to organize and they can feel a little bit resentful. Like people aren’t reaching out to me. But it sounds like maybe part of the reason why that works for you is because you’re able to be like, well, this is a joy for me. It isn’t, you know, the task to be the one that reaches out all the time. Or or do you sometimes feel resentful if people aren’t as intentional as you are?

[00:46:07.33] spk_0:
I used to. But that was that was probably 10 or 15 years ago or so. And I just got over it. A lot of it was because folks had Children. So, you know, so they weren’t as available. Um, but I, yeah, I got over it. I don’t You know, if people don’t respond to the, well, it’s not that nobody responds, but for the folks who don’t respond to the let’s get together over the reunion weekend at college. You know, they have their own things going on. That’s okay. You know? Uh, let’s let’s focus on the 25 who will, who will come.

[00:46:22.32] spk_1:
Yeah, it seems like you learn to not take things personally and that really helped you with your friendships.

[00:46:27.36] spk_0:
Yeah, enormously that

[00:46:29.15] spk_1:
security. That’s the secure attachment. We’ve been talking about.

[00:46:32.64] spk_0:
Okay, great. I’m talking to a psychologist. I’m doing my therapy. I’m doing my therapy and public here.

[00:46:40.41] spk_1:
I want to have my podcast. I love asking questions. I love turning the tables and hearing from people and we all have so much wisdom inside of us. You

[00:47:12.68] spk_0:
know I appreciate it. And obviously I had a story to tell why this all this your work resonates with me because I believe in deep rich friendships. You know the jokes that only we get You know that only we know because it goes back 30 years or something. You know those types of things that those inside things you know that it all it all resonates my synesthesia is kicking in because I’m getting goose bumps as I’m talking to you. Um You have a quiz we should encourage folks to take your quiz at. Uh D. R. Marissa. And by the way marissa is one S. D. R. Marissa G franco dot com. You want to acquaint folks with your quiz on on your site?

[00:47:35.11] spk_1:
Yeah so at dr marisa G franco dot com you can take a quiz. It assesses your strengths and weaknesses as a friend and also gives you some suggestions for how to improve as a friend if that’s what you’re looking for and you can reach out there. I do for any speaking engagements on connection and belonging

[00:48:13.70] spk_0:
you say dr marisa DeFranco people will spell out doctor. Okay well it’s the lawyer it’s the Air Force I guess. D. R. Marissa. however you want to do it just doctor is D. R. D. R. Marissa. Dr marisa DeFranco dot com. Um But what else anything else from from the book or from from your research, science of attachment or anything else you wanna you wanna talk about? You graciously turned to me. That was very

[00:48:15.58] spk_1:
thoughtful. You

[00:48:16.92] spk_0:
are very generous and thoughtful

[00:48:18.03] spk_1:
that way. What

[00:48:19.16] spk_0:
would you like to talk about that we didn’t cover?

[00:48:22.55] spk_1:
Well I think you know my niece read my book and one of her takeaways was that for friendship to happen someone has to be brave so be brave.

[00:48:35.03] spk_0:
Okay would you like to leave it there? I

[00:48:53.41] spk_1:
would like to leave it there and of course my book you know I appreciate if you read it I think you’ll really like it. It’s called Platonic how the science of attachment can help you make and keep friends. It’s a new york times bestseller. Or you can find me on for more tips outside of this. You can find me on instagram at D. R. DR D. R marissa G franco as well and hopefully we can connect more. But tony thank you so much. This was really pleasure and I really did enjoy hearing some of your insights especially because you know I’m a little younger than you so I’m like what is the future hold for me and friendship So it’s just it’s really helpful to hear your your wisdom.

[00:49:13.10] spk_0:
Oh thank you very much. I guess I guess I would summarize with wait out your friends,

[00:49:19.71] spk_1:
wait

[00:49:20.07] spk_0:
out your your weight out, you’re married, you’re married friends, they will come back to

[00:49:24.97] spk_1:
you. Uh

[00:49:26.49] spk_0:
and uh and Marisa’s book is at uh is that dr marisa DeFranco dot com? So that’s where you can find her book, platonic, Thank you, Marissa, real joy. I got more goose bumps. Thank you so much. Thank

[00:49:40.35] spk_1:
you.

[00:50:41.75] spk_0:
Don’t leave yet. I have to have to say goodbye to everybody. It’s time for um sorry, it’s time for me to tell you that next week what what next week’s show is gonna be ordinarily I would, but I’m working on it, I’m working on, I won’t let you down again. I mean, not that I have, I’m saying again that I won’t let you down. Not like I let you down in the past and now I won’t do it again. That’s not what I meant. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. And by fourth dimension technologies I tion for in a box, the affordable tech solution for nonprofits. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant four D. Just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper. Our creative producer is claire Meyerhoff shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and his music is by scott Stein. Thank you for that. Affirmation, Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit, radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%, go out and be great.

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