Unlocking Authentic Friendships and Self-Discovery: A Deep Dive into Relationship Dynamics

In this episode of the “Crying in My Cheesecake” podcast, host Danielle explores the dynamics of friendships and the different types of friends we encounter in life. She begins by discussing her own struggles with friendships and how they’ve evolved over time, including her daughter’s similar tendencies. Danielle emphasizes the importance of self-awareness and self-discovery in improving friendships and relationships.

She identifies three types of friends:

  1. The Enabler: This friend tends to be a perpetual cheerleader, avoiding critique and enabling negative patterns. They often keep you stuck in your current situation.
  2. The Attention Seeker: This friend seeks attention and validation due to underlying self-worth issues. They may overcommit and take on others’ burdens as their own, often sacrificing their own well-being.
  3. The True Friend: This friend understands you for who you are, challenges you, and allows you to be your authentic self. They prioritize accountability and growth.

Danielle encourages listeners to seek help, outsource support, and define their priorities in order to become the third type of friend – a true friend. She also highlights the importance of deepening one’s relationship with God for self-awareness and fulfillment.

The episode serves as a reminder that our emotional well-being and relationships can impact our physical health, emphasizing the connection between emotions, stress, and blood sugar levels. Danielle invites listeners to engage with her on Instagram and share their insights and experiences related to friendship and personal growth.

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Transcription

Welcome to the crying in my cheesecake podcast, where we are in pursuit of living life abundantly, not held back by our body size or symptoms, nor are we held back by our hurts habits or other obstacles in life. Learn the secrets to crush it in your health, wellness, relationships, and spiritual life. I am Danielle, your host and practitioner.

And in this episode, we are going to talk about all the ways that we show up for our friends and people in our life. Are you ready for this? Um, I apologize in advance. I am actually currently doing a parasite cleanse and the weather decided to change drastically here in the Midwest. So my sinuses are a wreck.

So please bear with me as I don’t have my normal voice. Maybe it’s a blessing. Maybe it’ll be easier to listen to. Who knows? But I am so glad that you are here. Uh, this episode was actually born out of me learning some more self awareness. And I love that I can come here and talk to you and share with you the things that I learn and get to say, look, look, look what I’ve learned.

And so that you don’t have to go through the same issues that I have. And, or maybe you are. And you just need to be heard and validated and understood and maybe it’s just this place where you’re like, Oh my gosh, she gets it. Um, I don’t ever want to be not relatable because we are all more alike than we are different, no matter what this current cultural climate says.

So. You see I struggle with friendships. I really always have and you know raising kids you kind of like look at them You’re like, oh my gosh, they should be doing this and this and this and then I realized oh my gosh My daughter specifically is it’s kind of antisocial like she’ll go and hang out with people and whatnot But she just doesn’t have a desire to be around people and I didn’t either until I hit middle school And it wasn’t and it was because I grew up in a small town I’ll talk about this here in just a minute, but I grew up in a small town and there were two elementary schools and my elementary school was the smallest of both of them.

And there were literally very, very few people in my classes. And when we went to middle school, both elementary schools combined, and then we had more, my, my class was one of the highest graduating classes in a long time. And I graduated with 96 people, 96 people. I think there were a hundred, like we started out with like a hundred and something, like a hundred and.

21, maybe 109, something like that, um, but it was very small. And so when I see my daughter struggling with friendships too, like, it’s not that she struggles with friendships. She just doesn’t really have a desire to hang out with other people. And I didn’t either. And even to this day, I struggle with it.

Um, and it’s not because I struggle making friends. No, I can, I make friends. I have friends. Like it’s not that problem. I struggle with actually having the desire to go and do things. It’s again, it’s not that I don’t like people and it’s not like they don’t like having fun. It’s not that at all. It’s that I’ve only ever had a select handful of people that actually were what I’d like to call real friends.

Looking back and realizing Why there are some people I’m drawn to like just I needed to for my own self I’m in this place where God has me slowing down I’m in a season of slowing down and if you’re on Instagram following me, you’re probably like, oh my gosh, she’s not slowing down Friends it is a process.

It is a process But looking back I or I needed to take a look back and realize, you know Why are there certain people that I’m drawn to and some people I’m not? Like what is, what is it that I actually need out of, out of friendships? And so I needed to quit putting this label on me that I’m terrible at friendships, I’m a bad friend, I needed to get that label off of me.

So I had to sit down and look back and just like really decide. I’m like, okay, why are there some people that I’m drawn to? Specifically, why am I drawn to older, There are people older than me, wiser than me, and here’s the big one. People that don’t placate me, the people that hold my feet to the fire, people that lead me to Jesus in all things, people that pray for me when I don’t even know I need the prayers.

You see, these people allow me to be my whole self around them. Not just the parts, not just the, the spiritual part at church, not just the wife part in the wife group, or not just a mom, like. That was something too, like I, I am a mom. I’m a mom of three beautiful blessings and two that went to heaven to be with Jesus before me.

And. I, I identify as a mom, but that’s not who I am because all of those things can be taken from me. The wife label, the mom label, that can all be taken from me. Who am I? And I want to be more than just mom, more than just wife, more than, I want to be the person that God has called me to be. So these people that allow me to be my whole self around them, bring my whole self, not just the parts, is who I’m drawn to.

I didn’t know. that that was actually a thing. And like, this is why I’m on the self discovery here because I didn’t know this was a thing because growing up, I was raised in a family that outward appearances were God, the lowercase g, God, that that’s what we worshipped. We worshipped how people perceived us.

I had to, it was, it was unspoken for a while, but then like as I look back it was actually spoken, that I needed to have my hair done and my makeup on before I left the house, unless I was headed to like a ball practice, you know, like practice or something like that. I learned inadvertently that I needed to have pieces of me hidden.

I needed to shrink myself and I needed to keep myself in this lower place and just accept who I Accept the people that I was around like that was all that was it That was just the only way to live making friends with those that I was around because of proximity I was friends because of proximity but that’s really hard for a gal like me who seeks the older the wiser and the specific types of people When I grew up in a small town, and when I say a small town, I want to tell you that my church right now, my current church, here has more members than my hometown has inhabitants.

So, literally, small town, small town. I learned such a narrow way of living. And I’ll be the first to tell you, I was so judgmental. I was rude. I appeared that I had a pedestal that I would harp from, I would stand on and harp from because that’s how I learned to navigate waters. I regularly used very high vocabulary which would separate me from others.

I had dreams that were so big that no one understood them, no one around me understood them. I saw things that others didn’t, opportunities called and I wanted them. So I left. I left town and never came back except to visit or when I was needed by my family. Then I realized it didn’t matter how far away from that small town I was.

But people are still people. The same types of things that I was struggling with with friendships growing up in that small community. Those things were happening around me in the big city. And I, if I can be honest here, I was very frustrated and upset. I isolated from people and it truly wasn’t until this, literally this, this past week that I realized what was, what was causing me to be so frustrated with relationships.

And I’m not talking to my spouse. I’m not talking to my children. I’m talking about relationships with others. And it’s, what’s frustrating or what is frustrating to me is learned behaviors from their own issues. Now let me explain. There are three different types of friends out there and I bet that we can all find ourselves in each of these.

At some point in our life, or maybe it’s to get through, maybe it is to get through, um, some other relationships that we have to be part of. Um, but let me explain here what I’ve, what I’ve learned. And what I’ve learned from my frustration, so let me back up real quick. When I get frustrated, when I get angry, when I get this place where I just want to like isolate and pull away, I know that that is my sign that there is actually something much deeper underneath that is causing me to feel that way.

You see anger, um, frustration, and some others are top level, surface level emotions, and it’s actually underneath, like a couple of layers underneath, that there is a root of those higher level emotions. And for me, a big emotion for me is disappointment. Disappointment is a very… Um, like very, uh, deep level emotion that we have that we may not realize that we feel that way.

But for me, it comes out in frustration and anger. So this first type of person, which again, I said that all of us probably fall in all of these categories, these three categories of friendships, um, at some point in our lives and maybe for longer than we wish that, or maybe we are still here. And so this first type of person is called the enabler.

This first friend is an enabler. This person is a perpetual cheerleader. How many times do we get praised for being the cheerleader? Like, oh my, well not me because I’m a terrible cheerleader. Oh my gosh. Um, but this person is a perpetual cheerleader. The one who has nothing critical to say. They don’t challenge you.

And when you ask for critique on, um, Hey, how does this look? They literally have nothing to say other than, This is great, this is perfect, it’s all positives. And this may sound like a people pleaser, because they are, but they’re scared to lose you. So they enable you. They don’t want to come at you with anything that’s negative because they’re afraid.

And so these enablers, like in friendships, do things like edify everything you’re feeling. They don’t challenge you to think, well, your emotions are indicators, not dictators. So what’s, what are you actually feeling? They don’t allow you to do that. They don’t challenge you. They allow you to vent or complain all the time without taking action, without changing, without making changes and like They keep you there meaning they enable you to stay in this perpetual cycle of the same thing day after day after day or season After season or year after year, and if you’re struggling with your spouse For example, and the friend allows you to just keep complaining and doing nothing and it no inward assessment or no inward a growth Then this is not a friendship.

This is an enable ship another example is when you’re trying to eat better or exercise and your enable ship says Oh, that’s okay. You have worked so hard. You deserve this treat. Or, oh my gosh, you have had such a busy day. I understand. You do need a break from that exercise. This person doesn’t want to see you get better.

Now, it’s not on purpose. Like, I really don’t think that these people do this on purpose. That they really do want, what they think is best for you. So it’s not coming from this place of, I am going to harm you. I’m going to do any of that. It is their own learned behavior. And like I said, most of us have done this many years of our lives or have gotten through relationships like this.

But these people, this enableship, once you write where you are, because they understand you and they can still fit in and be needed by you. Enablers used to get under my skin and I literally had no reason, no idea why. I didn’t realize that they were enablers. I didn’t realize it because I was one of them too.

And they were the ones holding me back, keeping a thumb on me. I started to get bitter, so when you start to feel bitter toward a relationship, it’s a red flag. When you get angry, when you get frustrated, it’s a red flag. It’s a red flag that something is wrong in that relationship. And then I realized in this enableship with these friends that I realized that they needed to be or needed me to be someone that they understood and they needed to be needed.

We shouldn’t have to shape shift to be understood by anyone. We should continue to grow, learn, and be better along the way. And you know, this is something in church we talk about as like, it’s called sanctification. It’s knowing that there’s nothing that we can do to save ourselves, but the deeper relationship with Jesus, the more involved we let him be and guide our lives, the more we grow in wisdom and sanctification, just like he, just like him.

Our goal is to be and live out life just like him. He was our perfect example here. Because Jesus doesn’t put a thumb on us. In fact, He continues to propel us forward. We are meant to be held down. So like the title of this episode, are you this friend? How do you know if you are the enableship friend?

Here are just a few things to think about. Number one, do you want the best for everyone else? But you only find yourself in a place where you’re depressed, anxious and maybe have one specific friendship with someone else who has a very similar issue as you like, let’s say, a poor marriage. You both share the commonality of a poor marriage, so you feel safe venting about it all the time.

When you’re venting and not taking action to get therapy, take care of yourself and you’re literally where you were last year at this time and see it getting worse and worse, you might be an enabler. Two, do you have a short term, a short attention span, or do you struggle with going deeper with your friendships?

Can you hold them accountable, give them critique? Can you challenge them? If not, you might be an enabler. Does your self care, your nutrition, fitness, mental health therapy, relationships, social life, doctor’s appointments, suffer when you have a busy season or in a bad place? You might be an enabler. Do you lose yourself in other people’s lives?

Even your children’s. Do you live vicariously through and like have like this excessive pride that you must show off and talk about. I don’t mean show off as like Oh my gosh, I mean showing off as in like Oh my gosh, look at what so and so did. Oh my gosh, look at what my kid did. Like all of that. Do you feel Those things you have to lose yourself in those, you might be an enabler.

Do you avoid talking or doing the deeper work because you’re too busy? You might be an enabler. So, that is one, and remember I said, we’re all probably one of these things in one time of our lives or for a longer period of time, and maybe it is circumstantial, maybe you accidentally found yourself in this place.

There is a way out, and I’ve got you. Just keep listening. The next type of friend is the person who needs attention. The attention seeker. This is the person who isn’t seen, known, heard, validated, or loved well at home. Um, this could be from childhood and then of course you marry like we know we marry into our trauma.

So we marry our trauma and so that could be from our childhood. It could be what’s going on right now. But This person struggles with the need for attention because she or he has no self worth or independence. And we cannot be independent if we are not secure with ourselves. We cannot be secure within ourselves if we don’t have deep relationships that are going to hold us accountable, put our feet to the fire, challenge us to do better.

This relationship has a great heart as well. So let me, like, let it be understood that this person does have a great heart as well. So, but it may be hard to see this. The attention seeker looks like living vicariously through kids, friends, family members. Over committing to things that are not theirs.

Takes on someone else’s burden as their own. Literally, self sacrificing so much that it’s sacrificing their own health, their own well being, their own families, their own relationships, their own jobs, their own everything. Takes on someone else’s burdens as their own, putting all the things aside, sacrificing time and money as well to take care of others for long periods, even when you’re not super close with that person.

Sending a ton of pictures to friends. Posting a ton of pictures, posting things that have nothing to do with you, but everybody else. You may be a people pleaser. So my question is, are you this type of friend? And I want you to hear my heart. I’m not condemning you. No, this is not the place for that. This is not the place to feel any kind of shame, guilt.

I think we’ve been taught to feel shame or guilt over our character flaws. and that’s not what this is. That’s not what, what I’m doing here. Because there is a, this is where change happens. Change happens when we recognize and are open to new self-awareness things, it’s when we cannot identify as, oh my gosh, I’m this, I must be bad, or, oh my gosh, I’m this, I must be a terrible friend.

Listen in closely. That is not what this is. I need to help you rewire, if that is you, I need to help you rewire this thought. You, your character flaw does not define you because we can fix those things. Once we have reached awareness. And this podcast, my Instagram community, my Wilderness of Wellness membership, and within my holistic health practice, it is a safe place for you to go.

Because I am that third type of friend for you. The one that encourages you to be honest with yourself and honest with me. And yes, I just said that. If you are here in this community, you’re listening to this in your ears. My terrible voice today and all. If you are here, you are part of my community. And I care for you deeply.

I care for you so much that I want you to be honest with yourself. Because once we’re honest with ourselves, we can say, Oh my gosh, I do have too much weight on my body. Oh my gosh, that migraine that Danielle keeps talking about on our podcasts, on Instagram and emails, that might actually be a blood sugar problem.

I do need help because when we are honest with ourselves, we can ask for help and be honest with me, someone else, preferably me because I care so deeply about you because you belong here. And you are so valuable my friend, valuable to the ones under your roof, the ones that love you, the ones that, that are part of your family, share your DNA, ones that are your chosen family, all of the people around you.

And most importantly, you are so valuable to God that 98. 5 degree blood was shed on a cross for you. So I want you to come to a space where you do not identify as your character flaw. , good or bad, but did you identify as someone who has value so that you can be honest with yourself and honest with me?

So this third type of friend, let’s go a little bit deeper. This third type of friend is the one who gets to know you. The real you, the whole you. Even the piece that you think will scare people away, not the partial you, the third type of friend understands you to be you and is completely separate of you.

Their identity is completely separate of you. They understand that you live your own life and you are not each other’s responsibility. The feelings you have are not the same feelings I have in the same moment. So when I’m talking to you, your feelings, I will validate those, but I’m not going to take them on myself because those are yours, not mine.

That was your experience. And while I may have similar feelings as you, Your burdens are not mine. Your burdens are yours to acknowledge and say, I’m going to be honest with myself and say, Yep, this is a burden. And then it is your step to get help, right? Those burdens are not mine. I have, I have plenty of my own.

I don’t need to, I don’t need to share. Unless, unless y’all want some. I don’t, I think we all have plenty. But the safety within this relationship is where you feel home. In this third type of relationship, there’s safety. You’d feel comfortable in your sweatpants around this person. In fact, you could even take your Spanx off and let those jelly rolls fall.

I’m talking about that kind of friendship. The other night I told my husband that 2023 has been about me finding my people. It’s been five years since we left Indianapolis and moved to Southwest Ohio. And I know if you’re familiar, and even if you’re not, it’s only two hours away. It’s two hours East and it’s two hours from the people I knew and the roots I had built.

I haven’t had quote unquote my people since I’ve moved here. And when I say my people, I’m talking about the ones that allow me to be me, know me well enough to know when I’m going too far off on the deep end and can reel me back in. They keep me in line with my goals. 2023, I joined a high level mastermind of women who had similar goals in life as me, and they were all business women, all business owners.

And I get to see them here actually in person in a couple of weeks, um, actually, I think when this goes live, it’ll be one week. Um, from the day that this airs that I will be on the plane flying to Australia to go see these ladies. I have one woman who just willingly opened up her time to pick me up at the airport.

I have another gal meeting me for brunch on that first day i’m there so i’m going to be greeted by people who get me. They get that I might be nervous. They get that i’m going to a new country that i’ve not been to before and they want to hang out and take me around sydney to see the sights. And I think about that too.

I’m like, you know, friendships don’t have to be with proximity. Think about when we grew up, all of our friends were in school with us in our classes with us. True friendships don’t. Aren’t always just because of proximity. Now don’t, don’t mishear this, that we shouldn’t be friends and serve our community in proximity around us.

That’s not what I’m saying. I’m talking about this third type of friendship that is going to be the type of people that really go to bat for you. I now, this year, have finally found some people. I think I’ve allowed myself to lean into it

and these people. I use the, I’m going to say the word support, but that’s not what I actually mean because, okay, hold on for a second. While when I think of the word support, I think of that cheerleader enabler. I don’t think of support, um, that I’ve now learned that I need. The one who will question me, the one who will, who will say, does that line up with where God would have you?

The one who says, when was the last time you asked God about fill in the blank. You get what I’m saying? This third type of person doesn’t send photos out of the need for attention. Instead, they send photos for you to witness an experience that they’ve had. And it isn’t a ton. It’s not bombarded. They don’t need to be talked to every day.

They need you to answer when you get a chance and have the energy to do so. The third type of friend loves you enough to speak truth to you and are also working on themselves. They’re also moving themselves forward in their own priorities. So how do you become this third type of friend? If you find yourself in the enabler or the people pleaser, or you have in the past, how do you become that third friend?

The first thing you do is you get help. You outsource support that a friend or spouse should not be giving you. A friend and a spouse should not have the responsibility of being your therapist. That’s not their responsibility. They should not be giving you nutrition advice, or health care advice, or what have you, parenting advice.

You outsource those things so that your friendships can be focused on what is actually important right now. Keeping you accountable, keeping you headed the way you want to go. Which leads me into number two. You live out your priorities. You have to actually know what your priorities are first though. In fact, I’m creating a new mini course for Inside My Wilderness of Wellness for my members that will be live January 1st and it’s, it’s about my process.

My process that works and is effective in so many of my one to one clients. I’m putting it in my membership because it is so life changing. It changes and transforms how you live your life and get your needs fulfilled. When you go through my process of figuring out your priorities. So that mini course will be in my membership January 1st for my members and I’m so excited about it because Just that in and of itself could be its own thing because it’s it’s going to if you can get that part figured out Everything else will be challenging but not as challenging.

It won’t swallow you whole But you live out your priorities is how you become that third friend. And the third thing you do is you get right with Jesus And that’s how I’m going to say it because it isn’t God who’s not right. It’s us. And if you’re someone who says, and I’m going to kindly lovingly say this friend, if you’re someone who says, well, the universe blah, it must’ve been the universe’s thing.

The universe is a creation. It is not the creator. Why would you worship the creation and not the creator who literally is bias at all times. We are the ones who fell wayside. We are the ones that are the problem, not God. We are also his creation. We should not worship other people, other people’s opinions, expectations, anything else.

It should all fall in line under God. And when we get right with God, we understand that. And he’ll always pull you back. Just like he does me. Yesterday at our church service, our pastor likened the word of God, you know, scripture, the Bible as the place where God can breathe into us because scripture is God breathe.

He used the analogy of. And he was visiting his youngest grandbaby in Florida. He said that, you know, um, the little baby like snuggled his head up into his, into his neck. And we all know what that feels like. It just feels so comfy, cozy. And the baby gets so comfortable there. And, and, you know, he’s like, I could feel his breath on my, on my neck when he was breathing.

And then he said before too long, he realized that the rhythmic breathing of himself helped put that baby to sleep. And it’s, imagine falling into the safety and security of God’s rhythmic word, just like that. Why don’t we see, or why we don’t is because of us, why we don’t see that it’s because of us.

It’s not him. It’s our pride or arrogance or fear, not his. And the thing is, when we allow God to fulfill us in all the other areas, our friendships can be ones that go deeper to the deep places. And I’m not going to get into that. And not feel like we have to put, get all of our needs met by other people.

I just said that. Friendships are usually tough. Because we are trying to get our needs met. The only God can. The only we can. Or the places that should have been outsourced. We’re trying to get our needs met by our friends. And our community. And that’s probably not the best case. So after all that I’ve shared.

My own personal revelations here. I get to share this with you, with my community here on, on this podcast. I would seriously love for you to find me on Instagram and send me a DM. Tell me that you listened to this episode and what you got out of it. And if you’re brave enough, tell me which type of friend you are and how you plan to move forward into that deeper growth for yourself.

Because my friends, this episode is all about blood sugar. You may not realize it, but this episode, the stress of friendships, the insecurities we have, the concerns, the anger, the feelings, the emotions, all the stuff that we feel all affects our blood sugar. And it creates inflammation in our bodies. It creates a whole host of other issues and health things down the line.

So I do want to hear from you, friend. Until next time.

Thanks for listening to this episode of the cry to my cheesecake podcast. I hope it encourages you to make the next best step for your health. Take a look at the show notes for more information or other links I mentioned in the episode. And if you got to this point, please consider rating this podcast at five stars and leaving a review by doing so you help others just like you find our little community here.

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hey, i’m Danielle

I love Jesus. I love my family. And I get joy from having a front row view of people growing toward their goals because of what I’ve taught.

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