You’re NOT Crazy, You’re Just Dealing With a Narcissist! HANDLING Toxic People with Erin Falconer

In this enlightening episode, we welcome the insightful Erin Falconer, a psychotherapist and author who delves into the complexities of relationships and personal growth. Erin’s journey, marked by her books “How to Get Sh*t Done” and “How to Break Up with Your Friends,” brings a refreshing perspective on the often overlooked dynamics of friendships and their impact on our lives.

Erin’s fascination with relationships began as she observed the profound influence they have on our identities and societal structures. Her initial focus on female empowerment and productivity evolved into a deeper exploration of friendships, sparked by an early morning epiphany. She recounts how the idea for her book “How to Break Up with Your Friends” came to her unexpectedly, prompting her to examine her own friendships and the simmering emotions they harbored. This introspection led her to realize the untapped potential in being intentional about our social connections.

Erin highlights the importance of auditing friendships, much like we audit other aspects of our lives. She emphasizes that we live in a society obsessed with data and optimization, yet we rarely apply the same scrutiny to our relationships. By reflecting on the quality and impact of our friendships, we can identify those that drain our energy and those that enrich our lives. This awareness is crucial, especially in a world where information about everything else is meticulously tracked and analyzed.


  1. Intentional Friendships: Erin’s insights underscore the importance of being deliberate about our social connections. By choosing friends who align with our values and support our growth, we can create a network that truly nurtures us.
  2. Embracing Change: Friendships, like all relationships, evolve. Recognizing when a friendship no longer serves us and having the courage to let go is vital for our personal well-being.
  3. Inner Reflection: True growth starts with self-awareness. Understanding our own needs and boundaries is the foundation for building meaningful and healthy relationships.

One poignant moment in the conversation is when Erin discusses the concept of seasonal friendships. She explains how some relationships are meant to serve a purpose for a certain period, providing support or teaching us valuable lessons, but may naturally come to an end. This understanding helps alleviate the guilt or frustration that often accompanies the dissolution of friendships, allowing us to appreciate the positive impact they had during their time.

Erin also delves into the practical aspects of managing friendships, including setting boundaries and recognizing toxic relationships. She shares a compelling example of how small habitual behaviors, like a friend consistently canceling plans, can indicate deeper issues in the relationship. Addressing these behaviors openly and honestly can prevent the buildup of resentment and preserve the positive aspects of the connection.

In conclusion, Erin Falconer’s conversation offers profound insights into the art of maintaining healthy friendships and the importance of self-awareness in these relationships. Her perspective encourages us to approach our social connections with the same intentionality and care that we apply to other areas of our lives, fostering a more fulfilling and balanced existence.

Please enjoy my conversation with Erin Falconer.

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Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 043

Alex Ferrari 0:09
I'd like to welcome to the show Erin Falconer. How you doing Erin?

Erin Falconer 0:12
Good. Thanks for having me.

Alex Ferrari 0:13
Thank you so much for coming on the show. I'm, I'm excited to talk to you about relationships, because I think as human beings, we have a couple of those in our lives. Kind of it's built our entire identity and built Yeah, it builds our society, every day, all that kind of stuff. So I wanted to ask you, what got you interested in going down this road because you went pretty deep in your in your book?

Erin Falconer 0:37
Yeah. Well, you know, it's funny. So I, my first book was called, How to get shit done, why women need to stop doing everything so they can achieve anything, right. And that was very firmly rooted in the kind of female empowerment, female productivity space. And as I was looking to do, you know, the 2.0 of that, I went down a bunch of different kind of, ultimately dead ends, wasn't you know, that felt like a retread, or I just wasn't interested. And so I was getting pretty frustrated. And one morning, about six or seven months into this, I woke up at about 6am, half awake, half asleep. And this phrase, how to break up with your friends was just in my mind, and I was like, what, and I tried to go back to sleep, I couldn't really, you know. And so for the next couple days, it just kept kind of resurfacing resurfacing. And I like to pay attention to those things that kind of won't, you know, leave you alone. And so finally, I with great frustration, actually, I was like, God, what is this? What is this? And so I started to look at my own friendships. And what I realized kind of pretty quickly, was that I had built this built up like frustrations or irritation or angst, not necessarily like huge, huge things, but like, simmering kind of emotions. And then on some of the, on some of the friendships, and then on other friendships, I felt like, I missed the person, even though we were still like in a friendship. And I was like, What is this all about? So I started to dive deeper. And then I was like, Okay, this is crazy. This is the first time I'm ever doing this. And, you know, we are a society that is obsessed with information, right? Like, we know, every calorie, every gram of protein, we're wearing watches that tell us every step we've ever taken, you know, can't miss a midnight trip to the bathroom kind of information. You know, in terms of like, that's 12 steps, you know, that kind of thing. Marie Kondo, you know, taught us to hold up a chair and say, Does this spark joy does this sweater spectrum, and yet the friends, the people, no real process for auditing, right, just and especially friendships, these are like the category of relationships that I think we kind of just think are like, nice to have, and should kind of give, give, give, and yet, of course, any real relationship takes work, there will be conflict, you will run up against friction. And working through all of this, that stuff is where you get to the really good stuff. And so this is a really long answer to question. But I kind of had this epiphany where I was like, Well, this is not a direct line to productivity. I feel like we have this amazing untapped source of energy support, love that were kind of just dialing in. And wouldn't it be amazing to be really intentional about these groups of people, and then take that energy out into the world and how productive and happy and fulfilled we could really be and so, and so, yeah, I kind of parked there. And just kind of had an epiphany after epiphany. And by the way, I sold this title, February 23 2023 weeks before we went into quarantine, I found it was important, then, I had no idea what was about to just come when all these relationships are just pulled out from underneath us, you know, as we go into our micro bubbles and like, don't see anybody, you know, don't really talk to anybody. And so, yeah, and so yeah, that I was just fascinated that I hadn't spent a considerable amount of time in my own life thinking about these relationships and and then I, I went from there.

Alex Ferrari 4:30
So as you know, the old adage, you know, friends, people come into your life for a season a reason or life. Right and and it's so true because, you know, you look back at you know, I think truly our first real exposure to relationships and I'm not including family yet we'll get families a deep waters. That's a deep dive. We'll get to it a little bit. But just talking about friendships, the ones that we the relationships that we choose to have. Yeah, you know, high school is really just for Multiple time for, for all for all of us, we all go through it and you go back and you start analyzing and this is only after years of age, just leaving your back and you're like, how could I have been friends with that person? How, like this person was toxic to me? Or why wasn't a better friend to that person who was so kind and sweet to me, but I wasn't there. So I always find that friendships are, you know, they have to fit at the right time. Right connect at the right time. So maybe in high school, we wouldn't have been good friends. But in our 40s, we will be besties because we've had life experiences. Is that your experience as well?

Erin Falconer 5:40
Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think you know, the first, the first kind of place where we make friends, you know, is when we think talking about like elementary school, or really young, we don't really, we learn social skills, but we're kind of dropped in a very finite fixed box and say, choose, choose somebody to like and hold you back.

Alex Ferrari 6:02
There's five.

Erin Falconer 6:03
Yeah, exactly. Just don't fight with everybody. You know what I mean? Find one you don't fight with. So. So yeah, to your point. And it is High School, which is just, you know, those teen kind of late or mid mid teens, where there's so much self discovery going on these, this is the first time where I think really actively choosing who our friends are going to be. And we're maybe looking outside of just the classroom, although we'll have good friends there. But we'll choose like clubs or sports that really reflect who we are. And then we actively go there and we make connections. But part part of that process of making friends in those years is because it's such a self discovery, I often say a lot of the people you choose to be friends with in high school are actually just so you can understand what you don't want or who you are, who you aren't, right. And so it's not just necessarily who you are, but who am I not. And so as you as even though you're interacting with them, once you get into a more evolved state of you, you move out of those relationships, or if you decide not to be friends with somebody, you're not friends with that group, to your point, you actually could be friends with that person. Now, because you've evolved into the person that would actually click with with the other. So it's just such a, that the self discovery piece in your teens is the thing that's really driving everything. And these relationships, or these new relationships are informing and opening up different parts of your own self that then you take into the world. And I think that's what's so important about friendships, is that ability to tap into different parts of yourself relationally that you could not do by yourself.

Alex Ferrari 7:43
I mean, I feel like I want to get into the spiritual waters here a little bit, because I think that friendships, in general have a very deep part of our of our evolution, and choosing the right and wrong ones. They teach us certain lessons, not only about friendships, but they teach us about ourselves. And I do truly believe that certain people fall into your life to teach you certain lessons, and other ones leave. And that season reason or life is a real thing. Like, I don't know about you, I think I talked to one or two, maybe three of my high school friends, right? And a very superficial level. Once in a blue moon, it was late, maybe college friends or little bit after college. Those are I have maybe three or four that I stay connected with, right. And now friends that I make at this age, which I'm in my 40s Right, I'm really choosing. Yeah, I have a family all this kind of stuff.

Erin Falconer 8:38
Right! Yeah, yeah. And that's when it becomes like, so you start the choice process when you're, you know, 15 14 15 16 I don't think we get really, like really decisive. And you know, as you said, because it's not, it's less seasonal, until you're like your careers unlock. And if you you know, in your family is kind of unlock and then it's like now I am kind of situated I will now really kind of commit to the people that make sense in my life. But I want to back it up for a second because you even what you're talking about is a level of auditing and saying like, let me learn the lessons that 95% of people don't do. And that's kind of the that the toxic relationships, the best friends, the best friendships that somehow didn't work out. And all of that is fine. And it's great. It's actually good in a sense, because there are so many lessons there's so much more to be revealed about how you you know your own personality, how you responded behaved in these situations. But it's only good if you take the time to do analyze it right and analyze it. And I feel like so often I see in my own practice, I'm a psychotherapist where somebody will come into the office and by the way, this topic of friendship is right in with with my clients like you It's, it's unbelievable how much of this is, is brought into the, into the room. But so often the starting point is, ah, she's so toxic, he's so toxic, and I have to stop them every single time and say, I gotta be honest with you, you need to stop giving your power away and just throwing responsibility to the other person, because what is happening between you is relational, the relationship is toxic, that other the other person might behaving badly. So I don't want to minimize what the other person is doing. But you, for some reason are tolerating this, right, you keep bringing this material into me, which means you're continuing this relationship, what in you needs to keep this alive, let's look at that. And it's not about victim shaming, it's about let's get to the core of what's motivating you what's driving you what's keeping you alive in a relationship that doesn't support you, as opposed to making a better choice, right. So to just throw it off, you know, hand the responsibility off to somebody else and say, he or she is toxic, you're giving away your personal power. Because even though you know, if you take responsibility, you've got to take, you know, not necessarily some of the blame, but own some of what's going on because it is relational. It might be imperfect, but that is where your personal power lies is in the taking of the responsibility, because then you can go out and make choices as opposed to just allowing a relationship to happen to you, which is a lot of what I see when somebody is saying that some that he else is toxic, that just kind of in this relationship, allowing it to happen to them, as opposed to be active in and making different choices.

Alex Ferrari 11:41
Well, I think as you get older you I mean, I've I've been able to start figuring things out a little bit more in regards to relationships, where I when you're younger, you really don't can't identify a toxic person. Or or, or a thing that it's not even if they're toxic, because they could be the best friend to somebody else.

Erin Falconer 12:01
That's that's off and often they are, right, exactly, that's the thing,

Alex Ferrari 12:05
But when they connect with you the chemistry between the two of you energetic it's a thing and it is an energy and I'm glad you use that term energetic because when I don't know about you, I've I meet tons of people in my work. And I've and I can figure I can sense people pretty quickly now. Right! After doing 800 interviews at this point, I can figure you out pretty quickly. Just just if we're gonna if we're gonna have a good conversation, right? Sure. And I'll walk into a room sometimes and I'll meet somebody and their energy is so heavy and right just like how many times that we've heard that like I wanted to take a shower after I talked to that guy. Yeah, exactly. But that's a that's a real thing. That I didn't I got one day I went to go see Wayne Dyer speak. Okay, the late great Wayne Dyer. And I went I met I met him after backstage Yeah, and when I met him he's just like this ball of just energy you just you felt great after you spoke to him he was just so light and airy. It but it's something that you have to kind of figure out is there techniques that you can give the audience on how to figure if someone I mean obviously just listen to yourself honestly what do you think?

Erin Falconer 13:20
Yeah, well, that's that's the thing is that everybody's always like when they come in and they talk about this toxic friends, people people, they're listing off things that the other person has done. And for me, again, that's so exterior that's so outward, right for me it is the litmus test is always like, how do you feel when you leave this person? What's your energy? Are you drained? Do you feel heavy? Do you feel depressed? Do you feel bad about yourself? Check don't stop looking at what they're doing out there. How do you feel how's it sitting within you? Right? And that's the thing. It's not even about that you know, the starting point the very first chapter of the book is called you need to be your own best friend first right and this is about really assessing before you can get your crew you know your your bench starting lineup whatever the sports analogy is, you need to understand who you are, where you are, how you got here and where you want to go right and and until you have a real firm understanding of that which I personally think you can only get by quiet reflection you know, so for me that's like metal meditating, but if that's not for you, then it's finding you know, taking a 20 minute walk device free every day taking a bath device free 15 20 minutes. You gotta allow space to reduce the chaos in your mind so that calm and and self reflection can allow you know, to surface right and start being able to answer these real questions about your own self before you go out there and start then assessing relationally what's going It's just too difficult, right? So part of the thing is when you're talking about, some people don't even realize they're in a toxic relationship. Right? It's so habitual. It's just so habitual. It's been going on for so long. So that starting point of like, let's pay attention. When you get off the phone with this person. How do you feel when you leave a drinks meeting or going to see a movie with this person? What do you get in bed and you know, just to your point, like what so you've obviously been practicing this for a while you understand you're dialed in, you're tuned in. Right? And so your radar and when you practice it, right, and you just kind of get quiet when you do it day after day, and you have discipline, you commit to yourself to find that window where you can just strip it back, all of a sudden, these answers, these litmus tests, right, just start popping up. And it's not like I have to think, how do I feel? You just know, something's not sitting in me, right? Ooh, that person feels heavy, that are weighing Wow, he's really lighting something up in me. And you know, so it becomes second nature, but it's just getting people to really do those first steps of like, again, it's not about casting blame or responsibility outside, we got to start here. This is the starting point, the cornerstone of everything,

Alex Ferrari 16:17
I've found very few people that I've encountered I've encountered in my life who are toxic to everybody. Exactly. That's very few that I can even think of that are just like they're just a toxic human being. And they screw everybody they touch. Right? That's not there are certain people that that like could be a bastard to you. Right? But they are just golden with somebody else. Exactly. And I see it constantly throughout my throughout my life. But do you find that we hold on to relationships longer than we should? Partially because of nostalgia? Because we had, we had great times at one point, but it's now it's just run its course, that seasonal part of this relationship is just run its course.

Erin Falconer 17:00
Yeah, exactly. And that's what I was gonna say when you first brought up brought up the idea of this, the reason or the season is that you're absolutely right. And I totally agree with that. The problem is, is that people don't let it go after a season reason they're holding on to it. And I also hear so often like, but we've been friends forever and lengths of time is not a strong enough qualifier, to do what you need to do to commit in a way that you need to commit to somebody if we're if you're going to have a real friendship with them. Unless you and I have different definitions of what friendship are, right? They take work, as I said, they take energy, they take commitment. And so length of time, is like literally one of the lowest things that I will be looking for, right. And the thing is, when I one of the kind of big epiphanies I had when I started to dive into this was that, you know, as a therapist, there's individual therapy, couples therapy, family therapy, but nothing for friendship, and, and what that means to me is that there's no language out there for navigating conflict in these relationships. There's no kind of blueprint kind of accepted normative blueprint of how to get into a new relationship, or how to get out of an old one. So, and I'm not saying that people should go and see a friendship therapist. But what I am saying is that out there in the zeitgeist, there are not these accepted ways of behaving, right, there are not these acceptable kind of boundaries like that we just kind of innately now have kind of through osmosis societally, like we do around when we're dating somebody, or we're, you know, in a long term, committed romantic relationship or with our family. And, and so that's why I think we hold on to these things for so long, because we're just like, subconsciously, well, how would I ever get out of this? Nobody models this for me, there's no language of that. Am I being crazy? I mean, I've been friends with this person for so long. But if you put that into the context of like a romantic relationship, well, of course, it sounds preposterous, right?

Alex Ferrari 19:06
You're just staying to stay in it because I've known them for three years.

Erin Falconer 19:09
Yeah. Well, I had I was being interviewed the other day actually, by Do you know who Maria Menounos says she's got a show called the Better Together podcast and she was such a host and of like, I think like he or some Ana Maria Menounos. She's great. She's, she's wonderful. Um, so she's interviewing me. She goes, okay, okay. Aaron, Aaron. I've got the scenario. She goes, I've had a friend, I've been friends with them for a long time, good friend of mine. And she goes, this is this is true for the last over the course of like the last 18 months. We have made plans, committed plans, date, time, location, the whole thing but very exuberantly in the last 10 times in a row without without fail the night before or the morning of the friend cancels. And she goes, I kid you not she holds up the bunch because I scroll down she goes, What do I do with this? And I submarine, I got news for you, you're not in a friendship with this person, you're in some kind of weird relationship, but she has not committed to this relationship, you are not in a friendship with this person. So let me look at tell tell you another, let's look at a different way. I go, What if you were dating this person, she goes, day, after second time he cancels out. Exactly. Right. And of course, romantic relationships are obviously different than friendship. But it's just so it's like the automatic pilot that if there was this behavior, when you're dating somebody that they're out, they're not committed, this is showing me a million different bad signs don't want to be involved. But attend a friend can do it 10 times in a row. And it's like,

Alex Ferrari 20:36
Accepted, accepted. It is so weird, you're right, because you hold on, you'll put up with things from a friend that you would never put up from, from a relationship. And to be honest with you wouldn't put up with some of your family members. You know, depending on who they are. So it's really interesting. I think there's something in the zeitgeist in society that says when you make a friend, it's for life. And that you if you don't make a friend for life, and you don't hold on to him for life, it's a failure. It's a failure of some sort.

Erin Falconer 21:08
And that's not true. So for the reason or the season, right? This can be so supportive, super formative, you know, help you out of dark times, or be there when you're having major life celebrations, and really rich and really great. And then, as hopefully, we are dynamic people, individuals, and we want to continue growing and evolving, right? Without question, sometimes you're going to evolve in a different direction than other people, you're not all going to evolve in the same way, right. And so it's not even that one person's going in a worse direction, or you're going in a better direction, you're just going in a different direction. And what happens is, when we stay in these friendships, instead of the dominating kind of guiding memory, or feeling or sentiment about these relationships, being one of love and warmth and positivity, what happens is we start going in different directions, but we're holding on to the relationship, and we start to build up these resentments. And we don't exactly know how to get out of it. This is all happening subconsciously. Unfortunately, at this point, we haven't brought this to the conscious yet societally, right. So we're holding on to this, we're feeling bad, we feeling guilt, we're feeling irritated, we don't really want to hang out with them. And then all of a sudden, that starts to become the defining memories of the friendship, right, as opposed to the poster, the real rich stuff that really served both of you. And so now instead of celebrating that, right, what all you're left with is kind of this like bad taste in your mouth. until ultimately, you end up really just kind of ghosting one another, or you keep seeing each other, but it just doesn't feel it's like feeling time or some sense of obligation. And then you've really ruined the magic of what that that relationship that was only meant to be for a season or a reason was really there for.

Alex Ferrari 22:59
So how do you audit a friendship?

Erin Falconer 23:01
Well, I think the first thing you know, that you, you got to do. And I said this already is the starting places yourself. So that's you need to start there before you start auditing anything else and to just be able to get clear on, you know, the way you want to show up in life. And men make sure that different people are different relationships are supporting that. The very first so once you've done that, I'll just assume you've done that, that the first thing you need to do. And again, it's it's just like kind of a litmus test moment is just take a pen and paper and write down the people that are in your life friends, and just watch your reaction as you see their name. Come as you're writing them down, just watch that gut reaction. First, is it? Is it Yeah, you know, is it what? And I guarantee you will have one of the worst reaction, by the way, in my opinion to have is no reaction at all. Because then there's just nothing there. Right? And it's not like there's some irritation or frustration, but maybe you can get on the other side of it with work. It's just a kind of dead energy. And for me, if something is not bringing energy, it is taking energy, there is no like, neutral energy, right? And so those relationships where you really feel nothing, are the ones I'd start with and just say, Okay, what's going on here, when I write this, I just, there's crickets emotionally for me. So that's where you that's the starting point is just energetically how you without thought react to those names. And then what you got to do is, I think what's really important is and I think it's become even more important as we've gone through these times of like political turmoil and you know, just having really divisive opinions on a lot of things. It's really important to make sure that the people in your life the relationships in your life, they really kind of have very similar core values, not necessarily belief but core values. But you Want to make sure that you're not creating an echo chamber around you, right? So you want to have the people that are like you and kind of have a similar, I guess, life experience, but it's really important, I think now. And we almost have a responsibility to have people that have different life experiences and are bringing something dynamic to the table. Not only because I think it then unlocks parts of you that you could never unlock by yourself, right, or by having friends that are all very similar to you. But I think it's just kind of almost like a responsibility. And one of the very few ways we we have a chance of navigating kind of collectively as a site society, the divisiveness that's existing there to have kind of an innate understanding that you can have the same core values of somebody but have different opinions on certain things, right. And so you don't want to get into a relationship, obviously, where you have radically diametrically opposed stuff that'll be that'll be challenging, but people that have lived in different parts of the world or view people that have, you know, been grown up with different grown up maybe, you know, different, I'm just philosophically different. Right? And I

Alex Ferrari 26:11
A priest a rabbi and a monk.

Erin Falconer 26:13
Exactly, exactly, and so that's really important. And then I think you need to understand your yourself as a person and say, like, for me, like one of my kind of epiphanies I had too, is like, I recognize that I'm pretty, pretty introverted. I have some tendencies of being an extrovert in the sense that I can go out and talk to people, but it exhausts me, I like doing it but exhausting, and left to my own devices. I would just stay home every night honestly. And like, I know the feeling. Yeah, I have literally zero like no clubbing. No, not on my own volition. But what is so important is that I do have a friend or two that are like, extroverts, and they like to go out and they've always got plans and and and they convinced me once in a blue moon to go and and I gotta say, like, I'm like, Oh, God, I got out of my comfort zone. I really, you know, I had fun I just get out of my head and and you know what, now definitely, we're not we're not clubbing that you know, you know, going out to a restaurant and having some drinks.

Alex Ferrari 27:15
Can we just can we just ate right now clubbing sucks. I'm sorry.

Erin Falconer 27:19
It's so bad.

Alex Ferrari 27:19
So horrible. Only teenagers. It's horrible. You walk in you're, you're cramped up you're spending like $50 It's so loud. My ears still ring. This is like now we'd like to old farts excuse me talking about the olden days. Like you could you spend like 50 bucks to get in you pay 100 bucks for a glass of water. Like it's really the choir we hear you can't hear anybody. You can't hear anybody. Talk to anybody.

Erin Falconer 27:46
Oh, and remember back in the day now that we're reminiscing there used to be used to be able to smoke so clothes clothes you throw your clothes out.

Alex Ferrari 27:58
Oh, my God, it was so bad.

Erin Falconer 28:01
Such a bad socialize.

Alex Ferrari 28:02
It's such a horrible, horrible experience. Anyway, I'm sorry. This was just a couple of old fogies talking for a second, I'll speak for myself when I say oh, focus, you know, you look like you can go clubbing. But you know what?

Erin Falconer 28:17
No, I really can't. It was important for me to recognize that, you know, in myself that this is something that's good for me, I'm no, I'm not going to go out with these people all the time. Right? It pulls something out

Alex Ferrari 28:31
It pushes you, it pushes you to evolve a little bit out of your comfort zone. Exactly. And for and I agree with you, when I try to make new friends. I want to bring people in to my circle, I'm very picky of who I am in my circle is as you get older, you get picky. Then I wanted, like, what can they bring to me? And what can I bring to them? Right? And it's and I do think of that, like, I'm literally making a brand new friend, right? In Austin that I just met. And yeah, she has a wealth of knowledge and experiences that I don't. And we have common common values. We have common grounds. But you know, I'm bringing that person into, we're going to be bringing them into the family and talking with my wife, because I'm like, this is somebody I can actually make a long term friendship way because I can see what she can offer me and I know what I can offer her. And it just makes you know, in like my wife and I are excited about having, you know, building. Yeah, it's exciting. It's exciting to be able to do that. But as you get older you really become so much pickier about who you bring into your life. And you know, like in a perfect example, we're talking about relationships with people but we also talk about relationships with with places that we live sometimes we live in places too long that we know that LA so I just left la I love LA I will never badmouth LA was wonderful to me. was a good relationship, honestly. Yeah, she was a fantastic relationship. But at the towards the end, we're just like, why are we here?

Erin Falconer 30:08
Right! Again, like, time I don't enough

Alex Ferrari 30:11
I don't I'm we were You were comfortable. We can we can stay here indefinitely. It's not that when I financially can't, right but I want something else. And then when you pulled away from it for a minute, when we moved to Austin, we moved away. And then after you're away from the craziness for a while, we actually just went back to visit and we're just like, oh, this is so different than where we live right now. Like, our energy now is more towards that, as opposed to somebody who lives in New York loves New York loves that Energy wants to live in that craziness. Or somebody wants to move to Montana because they just want to live in Montana and have that energy, or Hawaii or sun. But even places you have relationships with and then associated cable and all that stuff as well.

Erin Falconer 30:51
Sure. Yeah. And it's just so cool to be able to again, it's about getting out of that comfort zone. And like you landed, you know, in a new city, presumably you didn't know too many people there. And and so it's a really, you're challenging yourself to say, you know, let me put myself out here, let me find new habits. Let me see how I can make some of my old habits work in this news environment. And so it's so good, I think for your energy just for your brain honest, like neurologically just firing again on a you know, on a really healthy kind of rapid fire like curiosity level, I think is really great.

Alex Ferrari 31:29
Yeah. And that's why traveling is so good. Because it changes your entire everything. You're now noticing everything where if you're right, walking down the same street that you walk down 1000 times you don't even look

Erin Falconer 31:39
Right, exactly, exactly. It's numb. It's numbness.

Alex Ferrari 31:42
Yeah, Venice. I mean, you know, when I when I live in Venice, or go down to the west side of, of out of Los Angeles. Everything's like this all the time. I used to live in the valley. This is the valley.

Erin Falconer 31:56
Right! Like, yeah, exactly. It's totally true. And and when I was, you know, I was just in Hollywood on Sunday doing doing a panel for something and I was like, Whoa, you know?

Alex Ferrari 32:09
Can we can we agree that Hollywood is I gotta say, it's horrible. It's I'm sorry, I'm so bad. It's so bad to go to Hollywood Boulevard. Everyone's like all the time. I lived there. Every time I had someone come over, they come over. Okay, can we go to Hollywood Boulevard like needle?

Erin Falconer 32:27
No, you might how? Exactly? Well, I live. I moved to LA from Canada and I moved right to both coasts. But as a Canadian from Winnipeg, which is in the middle of the country and freezing cold and very landlocked, I moved right to Venice. And then I had a couple of front Canadian girlfriends move down. And we all I somehow got talked into, I guess it was money. We were all broke. We all four of us shared an apartment in deep Hollywood in a two bedroom, right? And it was the worst. I can't even like my soul was ripped out of me. And one day, I'll never forget it.

Alex Ferrari 33:08
Were you trying to be an actress, or were never.

Erin Falconer 33:10
I was trying to be a writer. And yes, that but everybody else was trying to be an actress. It was three actors. And I was trying to be a writer. And, and one day, there was a fire alarm in the middle of the day in the building. And so everybody that lived in my building was on the, on the front, you know, in the grass in front of it, and I looked around and I was like, I gotta get out of here. I don't know what is happening. It is like a weird House of Horrors. Like every kind of I was like, I need to get back to the beach or I got to go back to Canada and I literally moved out the next day, and I've never returned since.

Alex Ferrari 33:45
Sorry for the sidetrack there just reminiscing about a horrible Hollywood, Hollywood is no offense, anyone who lives there. It's just in it's a different energy.

Erin Falconer 33:54
It's just it's just a fact.

Alex Ferrari 33:55
It's just It's Hollywood is great for other people, but not for us. It's kind of like the relationship that they loves. Just like the club. I'm sure somebody loves them. I don't. Now the question then is, well, before we get into the main topic of what your book is about, with, with with relationships are loving relationship, romantic relationships, family relationships, which are both very different, but also very intense, more intense. Well, I'd say that a friendship some friendships, or some friendships, obviously can be more intense, but loving relationships or romantic relationships are, I think a lot of the things we've discussed and friendships apply to right romantic relationships. We just don't put up with as much in romantic relationships, friendships. Now in family though, that's something I really want to dive into. It's tough because, you know, obviously there's the core mother, father, right, then there's siblings, then there, then you start widening the circle with aunts, uncles and cousins, right? depending on how close or in mesh those are sometimes cousins could be like brothers and sisters, some dads could be like a mother or father.

Erin Falconer 35:07
Yeah. And culturally

Alex Ferrari 35:08
And culture, there's a whole other thing. Yeah. For me, I've been able to, if I always said to people, like if they are toxic, or not helping me in my relation in my life, or anything, I can walk away. Right? And that's with all of my relationships.

Erin Falconer 35:26
That's right.

Alex Ferrari 35:27
Even if it's unfortunately, even if it's your parents, which I have a great relationship with my parents, but we've had conversations, we've had conversations.

Erin Falconer 35:37
And that's what that's that's the thing, again, like I think all of these relationships, all of them, there, if you're a dynamic person, and you're evolving, and you're really trying to be authentic to yourself, you're going to have friction, it doesn't matter what the relationship is, right? If it's real, you there's no way you can just agree on everything, always. Or else you guys are not evolving, right there. That's not a real dynamic relationship. So there's gonna be conflict, it's how do you navigate it? And I think and is it at a certain point? Is it worth it to keep navigating? If conflict is now habitual, then you have to decide it make a choice, right. And, and, and again, like, even though I think that the amount of effort or maybe the amount of tactics you might employ to try and resolve or work through a family contact, maybe could or should be more than like, a friendship? Yeah. So you want to make sure you want to try at least with the understanding that these are people that are your blood, you know, they brought you into the world, absolutely, there is an amazing raised you there is an innate kind of, I think, default respect, it needs to be appreciated. I agree. But then at a certain point, you have to understand that the ultimate respect has to let you lie with yourself, you have to respect yourself. And so if you have identified and you have tried to get in through many different angles, or channels, including working on yourself to try and help resolve some of these things, and nothing's working, you don't owe anybody anything. At a certain point, even if they brought you into the world, they brought you into the world so that you could be a self respecting the highest functioning person you could be. And if if that relationship with somebody in your family precludes that, then you need to make the choice of you. Right, I think and so let let that relationship with those relationships go as hard as that can be. Because what happens is when you hold on to a relationship, that's that is so meaningful, in the sense that the gravitas is just huge. And really, there's nothing higher in terms of like, the weight of these relationships. But when you do allow a really toxic relationship, a familiar with relationship to keep playing out, you're bringing that out into the rest of your world, whether you know it or not, you're bringing it into your job, you're bringing it into your, your friendships, you're bringing into your romantic relationships, there's no way to be able to separate that, right. And so you're gonna have to choose you and the rest of your world at a certain point, you just want to make sure you have tried, reasonably, all the things so that you don't get locked in a guilt complex later in life to be like, Oh, my God, I quit too early. But you again, you need to be very in touch with yourself. Because you will know when you've tried enough. If you have kind of clarity of mind, if your mind is reasonably chaos, free every single day for a short amount of time, you will understand there will you will tell you, you will inform yourself when you have done all you can and need to move on. It's again, just the case for getting rid of the chaos. Right?

Alex Ferrari 38:48
Right. It's I'll give you an example. Like with a parent, you know, generally there's generational issues, there's there's cultural issues, all sorts of different things that you will not agree with, with your parents on everything. Right? You know, they might be things will come out of their mouth that you're just like, What are you out of your mind, right? And before you get caught up in that index, in that kind of thing. That's right, that vortex of that energy. I have found at least in my world, that you got to find a common if they are not doing something to you. They're not actively attacking you. They're not actively trying to cause harm to you. Right? If they're not doing that, then you I found that you have to find some sort of common ground where you both can meet you go both live and the occasional. What that comes out out of their mouth. You just go you have to accept them for who they are and from where they're coming from. Yeah, took me a minute that took me that took me a minute to figure out once I did I felt so much happier with that relationship.

Erin Falconer 40:04
I think he you said something really important there is that it's the depersonalizing of some of this stuff, right? Like when that when parents, again, are bringing cultural or generational stuff, it's so easy to take things like personally when if you step back isn't has nothing to do with you, this has to do with where they come from, where it how they were raised, how whatever. And that doesn't mean that you necessarily endorse what they're saying. But when you're able to separate yourself from, you know, identity personalized, and you want to make sure that it isn't you right, like, because if it is a personal attack to you over and over again, then that's something totally different. You're not there to be somebody you don't charge. Right? That is a very different scenario, right? But if it is this kind of generally showing you you're kind of don't quite connect and all these things, and you have those what moments which definitely we all have, then you do then the responsibility is to find understand that they are good people, they genuinely love you. It's just we need to find the safe place to meet, where we're not both in wound up all the time. And where can we find that common ground? And and, and, and I think that that yeah, that's that's very important. It's also doable, if you make the effort, it's just I think that people get so caught up in the reactivity of everything, as opposed to like, Hold on, let me not react, let me think, let me understand that this is not about me.

Alex Ferrari 41:30
Right. And there's also the other thing that comes along with those kinds of relationships, meaning parents or close siblings or things like that is baggage years and years of baggage that you won't have to relate you won't have in a loving, romantic relationship, you won't have a friendship, but with with people who've been with you your entire life. So then there's that added in that added it part of the equation that you have to take into consideration like, am I angry right now about that? They just said something completely racist? Or am I you know, or am I angry? Because they didn't take me a little league that one time, like sure, exactly. analyze that. You have to stand back and really look at that.

Erin Falconer 42:12
Yeah, exactly. Because often the thing that is right in front of you, your reaction is just a projection about something else that you're upset about, you know what I mean? And so are your own fear? Like if they say something racist? Write less about what there's that it's about, does that make me racist? By proximity? Did I inherit that, you know, and it's again, like, it's about Hold on, that's not about you need to separate yourself, you need to be able to understand that that's not about you. And we get so caught up in like, you know, the angst of it all, that we're unable to kind of see the forest for the trees.

Alex Ferrari 42:45
Do you find that? In your experience, your life experience is as you become more comfortable in your own skin, and you really know who you are, your relationships become a lot stronger, a lot easier to deal with, because you just said something really? Like, like, if someone says something racist, and then you say, am I racist? Like that means you don't know who you are? Exactly. There's an insecurity, there's an insecurity within yourself, that you're even questioning that when if someone says something racist in front of me, I be like, That's all them. I have no idea. That's all you, brother. Thank you, do you, man, I can't, I can't. I'm not that I'm not even having a conversation with myself about this. I already know who I am. Right. But I think that's a core of a lot of our issues with relationships. It's just we're not comfortable our own skin, and then the other person.

Erin Falconer 43:37
Exactly. And then the dynamic between the two of you is infinitely more complex. When you both are operating outside of yourself. Right? Then it's just like personas competing, and it's ego, ego, ego and persona, and very hard to get grounded. Right. And so of course, that's where, you know, if you're, if you're in a grounded relationship, that's what Foster's energy builds up energy as opposed to like, sucks it out of you. Because when personas or egos are trying to relate to one another, it's just wheel spinning, right? And so that's why you find yourself often so you're tired or irritated or drained after these, uh, you know, having encounters with these people that are not again, like rooted in, in who you authentically are or who they authentically are. And it's a big problem

Alex Ferrari 44:28
Getting down do you you know, going back to the spiritual aspect of relationships, do you in your experience and with within your own practices and seeing relationships? Do you find that it is true that you that certain people are coming into your life to just teach you about who you who you are? And if you want to get into the karma and all that stuff, that's another conversation but generally speaking, like sometimes, you're I mean, obviously your parents are there to teach you a whole hell of a lot. You're there to teach your parents a whole hell of a lot. but they do teach you about humility. Yeah, but other things like that patience pay started with that. But I just found that there's certain people that come into your life at certain times in your life to teach you certain lessons and definitely the romantic world. Definitely in the in the family world, and definitely friendships, do you find that as well?

Erin Falconer 45:19
Yeah, absolutely. I almost would say that's the large proportion of why people are there, right? It is it because we're constantly pulling back the layers, pulling back the peels and peeling back the layers. And that how we do it is relationally. Right? So it's so you want to start and it's funny, because it's like, you want to start with you and a firm understanding of you. But then everything you learn from that point is relational, I think. And so being open, first of all, to the magic of who is presented to you, who comes into your life and being kind of open to that eyes open, I think is really important. And then, and then just getting really curious about the relationship. And that's about these relationships, because there's so much information there. And that's going right back to the beginning, where we started with the genesis of this book is that I feel like, collectively, we have almost zero curiosity about this, this specific group of people this relationship, the friendship was so little curiosity about why are these people here? Why did I make these choices? Why, you know, for good or bad, why? What, how am I contributing to the other person and how exciting that is? Right? So. So I do think, almost exclusively people are put in, in our sphere for us to discover and connect so that we can grow as people. And I think it's when you see like, when you're really strategic and cunning about who you want in your group like, so if you're like trying to get ahead. And of course, this happens all the time in Los Angeles, right? And that's kind of going up that's going completely against the grain of energy. It is like how is actually transactional? And so those, of course, are the relationships that are often the worst, they often take the most that from you, they, they are the least fulfilling. And so for me, like when you look at that, I think then the opposite is the ones that are just naturally energetically presented show up in your world, and that you can connect around is are the ones that are the richest and the most meaningful in the most teaching. And so yeah, I think you want to just have eyes open to it and awareness and say, Okay, how, let me kind of experience the magic of life right in the universe. And these people are here, and why am I choosing them? And let me get curious about it.

Alex Ferrari 47:48
So the question is, how do you break up with your friends?

Erin Falconer 47:53
So well, so the book, there's, there's 10 chapters, there's only one on how to break up with your friends, there's nine on the importance of relationships and how to do them better, right, but that one chapter is all it's a goodie. So, the first thing is, of course, just to do the audit and start to really understand, like, you know, historically, how did you get here what you know? And then ultimately, of course, it does just come down to energetically like, is this something that serves me or doesn't and then once you've kind of ascertained that this is not something that makes sense for me to still be in. And here's the thing about breaking up with friends is, it's like when we look at like media or movies or whatever, when we think of Friendship Breakups, I think what we think about is often it's like these big betrayals, right? Like, she's, she's, you know, she's stole my romantic partner. My best friend's wedding. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. You know, it's it's just kind of just to trivialize the the nature of these relationships also like the media, but it's so often not like death by stabbing it's death by 1000 cuts. And so that's what makes getting out of these relationships feels so weird, because it's not like some 99 times out of 100 It's not some big dramatic thing that happens, it's just you're growing apart, or you've been to overtime, disrespected, or you know, whatever. So, you really got to get clear on the habits of the relationship. Once you understand that these are this is habitual behavior or habitual reactions relationship, then you need to kind of figure out your your way out of it. And so the first thing I say is that the you need to prepare and you I asked you to take you know, 5 10 minutes, however many minutes it could be much longer than that, to really envision your life without this person in it, because without knowing it, we there is a grieving process when we get out of these these relationships and we always think it's on the other person if you if you're ending it that it's it's kind of their their problem to deal with. But there is a grieving process, your life shifts, your energy will shift because of this and you kind of want it acknowledge that and understand maybe the ways it can, especially if it's a relationship that is really long standing, and at a certain point was very meaningful, right? There's gonna be a lot of feelings around this for you. So you want to really kind of sit in that for a minute. So that number one, you don't get talked out of it, because it takes a lot of effort to break up with somebody, it's very easy to get sucked back into it, if you're not clear on kind of, you know, you've manifested a different kind of reality for yourself outside of this relationship. So that's the first thing then the second thing is you got to really know your, who you're talking to. And so I always say, it's absolutely the best if you can to say something in person, or at least on the phone, so you can have a voice and be firm. And that that's the harder thing to do that takes more courage. But you need to understand, the goal is that the information is going to be received by the other person. So if this is a friend, that is particularly reactive, or defensive, or gets really heated and mad, you might not want to say something in person, or, or, or even on the phone, because the message probably will not be received, right? It'll be right deflect it into rage or anger or thrown right back on you. And then you guys both are not really farther ahead. So in that case, you want to send something like an email, that's very clear, you always want to lead with love, and respect for the relationship. And then get into what you want to say. And it is out of the respect for this relationship that I now feel that we have gone in different directions. So that the person that might be more reactive and emotional, has a chance to read it, walk away, sit with it, and hopefully, some of it will be distilled right, as opposed to just throwing it right back on you. And in the book, I have different conversation starters based on scenarios which kind of when I was reading it, I was like, oh my god, this is just this is this is feels so basic. But when I thought about it, I was like, no, because we're not used to having these conversations. We're just not in these relationships. Very clear. I think what to do in a romantic relationship, you can say the five reasons why this isn't working for you. It doesn't mean it's not hard, right? But we kind of know who you know how to present. But in a friendship, you know, you almost feel silly, right? Because we so often don't do this.

Alex Ferrari 52:22
Do you ever have you? Can you recall a scene in a movie? Where two people are breaking up a friendship? Like, like a sit down in a coffee shop? I think we I think we need to stop seeing each other as friends. Like, that's not a thing. I'm sure they're not. I'm sure it happens. One I just can't remember one.

Erin Falconer 52:41
Well, definitely not at any like big. I can't I don't I've got zero memory of any indie, some rare obscure whatever.

Alex Ferrari 52:48
It again, you like saying it's not the stabbing in the back where I cheated. I you know, you slept with your best friend. Nothing Nothing like that. No, we're just sitting there. Like, you know, I just think we're not good for each other. I think we just I just, it's it as I'm saying it.

Erin Falconer 53:04
You're like Billy Billy. Yeah, you're like, right. And it just because it's not out there in the zeitgeist. And so that's what so then I was when I was writing these different conversation starters, I was like, based on different scenarios, of course, it's not exhaustive, but there's a million reasons why you might not want to be friends with somebody, but you know, their six or seven kind of main benchmark kind of categories that this relationship, my fallen, and here are literally, you know, eight to 10 sentences on just how to get through the front door with it with the conversation. And then obviously, you have to make it personal and your own. But it's just the starting point on this conversation is so foreign, that I feel like that's why we we a lot a lot of the reasons why we don't have the conversation or we don't take that action.

Alex Ferrari 53:47
So do you think that I mean, obviously all everything you're talking about in that chapter? is really for more really personal relationships? Surely some close relationship close friendships, right? I mean, things like that, but maybe some a little bit more superficial would you recommend? Well, I hate the ghosting or passive aggressive, just letting it go.

Erin Falconer 54:09
Here's the thing I and this is what I say about this, I think with the you know, the major kind of sit down relation, you know, or, you know, exhaustive kind of like, ending of a friendship should be kind of reserved for relationships that have have or had had weight and some sort of length. Right? I mean, you're not going to have this conversation with somebody, you've been friends with six months, you know, doesn't make sense. It's ridiculous.

Alex Ferrari 54:33
It's ridiculous enough, six years, let alone six months.

Erin Falconer 54:35
Right, exactly. So you're not gonna do that. But I think where you want, what you want to pay attention to is like, let's say you have somebody kind of in the middle or outer ring of your friendship. You guys are just kind of going in different directions. As long as you are both kind of on the same page with me you just recognize as behaviorally right then I think it's fine to let the ship sail or see how that Go kind of goes, maybe it comes back, maybe it doesn't. The problem is, is if the expectation is not the same between the two of you, and one of you, is constantly asking for plans, and the various constantly saying, I'm busy, I can't, I don't. Because, you know, you can say, first of all, let's send the one that's saying no, like, it's irritating. And I might think that it's like, oh, I just SAFIRE this text, I can't do it, and then it's off, and it's off my plate, but it's not, it's spinning in your subconscious, it's taking up space, it's taking energy now might be taking a huge amount of energy, but I'd want to preserve that energy for something else, right? And if the other person is gonna feel terrible, because she keeps asking you, or he keeps asking you to do stuff, and you keep saying no, you would hope that they would stop asking. But if they don't, I said, Yes, you know, pick up the phone and say, Listen, I feel like I'm disappointing you, I feel like we're just not in the same place. And from a bandwidth perspective, I don't have the time to commit to this, but I also respect you enough. And the relationship, we have had to not let you spin your wheels. I don't want you feeling bad. But this isn't necessarily personal to you. This is I'm just letting you know where

Alex Ferrari 56:14
It's not you and when it's not you, it's me.

Erin Falconer 56:18
Let's bring that into the friendship zone. Okay,

Alex Ferrari 56:21
It's not really, it's nothing to do. It's me, it's really just me

Erin Falconer 56:25
You know, just make it stop. Right. And I believe me, that other person is going to feel relieved, maybe not then. But you know, a couple weeks from now, when it's clear, right? I'm not asking that person, I'll ask somebody else that will probably say yes, you know, why am I spinning my wheels? Asking this person that's constantly saying no, to me?

Alex Ferrari 56:43
And how do you how do you set boundaries with friends? Because it's so I mean, I had people like, when I was coming upit just a little bit too, too everything too everything. And I didn't know I didn't have the skill set to just go to.

Erin Falconer 56:58
Yeah, well, yeah. So again, that that cuz also when you're young, we don't know ourselves who we are, as well as we do, you know, now, right. And so it is kind of a wild, wild west, like everything goes. But again, it's that idea of getting really clear with what you will or will not take, like I cannot stand people that are, you know, that are late to constantly, habitually show up late I can't, you know, you got to understand where you're at, I can't create a boundary for you, you need to say what you will you will just put up with, yeah, you will put up with what is worth, your energy navigating what is not. And so and I talk a lot about boundaries in the book and suggest what some, again, loose boundaries should be, you know, but you have to make that personal to you. But, really, it is, it's hard when you have legacy friendships, right, because you've been behaving in the same way habitually. And then all of a sudden, now you're drawing a boundary. And I got to tell you, people don't like that people don't like, even if it's the right thing to do, the other person's got used to, you know, calling you whenever they want to in the morning, let's just say it is difficult, but you it's you're responsible for carving out exactly exactly what you will and won't take and then let the chips fall where they may if people have a problem with that, then you have a problem in the relationship. Right? You know, they good friends? Sure. They might take a minute or two to adjust your new boundary. But if they understand that it's a reasonable boundary, and that makes sense for your life, then they have they have to respect that. And if they don't, then you need to have a conversation because what is this relationship we had? What is this relationship man, right? But what is what I do want to say is when you're making new friendships, you gotta lead with the boundaries don't fall into old patterns. Like I just met somebody the other day, a couple months ago. Really cool woman. I was at, like a club. I was at a club. I can barely hear it. Yeah, I was at a club. We're doing shots at the bar. And I was like, No, so sugar. Jaeger shots. Exactly. Yeah, exactly. Oh, God. Jaeger bombs. Oh, Jesus. No, we were at this dinner. And I got sat next to her. And I was like, oh, man, she's super cool. And we just energetically just really, you know, shut it off. And she said, we all we should do, we should get you know, we start to make plans. And she lives on the east side of Los Angeles. And I live as I said, at the beach. So you know, for anybody that not listening. That's like a real life. So another, another country, and I stopped myself and I said, Listen, I got to be honest with you. I really like you and I really want to make plans but I'm just going to be honest, I live in Venice. You live in Echo Park. Oh, I can't. No way. I'm going to call you when I happen to be on that side of town I and hope you're free. But That is absolute that any you may be the same. But I don't want to start this thing off where we have this exam even though I was very energy. I was like, I really liked this girl. Look, I'm talking about her right now. That's how much I like her right? And I've only had one set, but next year, one dinner. So it's a feather in like, I'm remembering this because energetically I do like this person. So it's not like I just banished her but energetic she's present. But I also just had to be honest, I'm not going to drive. If I have to find myself over there for a meeting, I will call you and also free. I'll hope you're afraid.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:35
Oh my god, I swear to God for people who are not from Los Angeles. Yeah, it sounds like you're absolutely loony. But it's worse. No, but I just can't do it do how do I like this person enough to sit and track for for an hour and 20 minutes, one way and then another hour and 20 minutes.

Erin Falconer 1:00:50
But you can't have you can barely if you if you drink, which ideally you can barely have a drink because then you got to drive, you know? And it's like, that's right. i You don't want to do that, you know, big trouble in LA, you know, they're all all over you. They're waiting. They're waiting. They're waiting. So it's been the whole dinner. I'm kind of like, wandering to their glass of wine, but I'm not, you know, I'm thinking about that. What route am I going to take driving home? You know what I mean? So it just doesn't work for me. So that's a good example of like, just just put up a front, because the old me would have been like, yes, and then tried to make plans, I would just want to cancel 10 times she would account and it would have been like, bleh!

Alex Ferrari 1:01:31
Why are we wasting? Why? Why? Why are we But that takes time that takes just time and age and experience. Yeah, for you to figure that out. Paying attention. And again, just that's something that hopefully people listening who are younger listening to this episode will pick up on these these carriers, people who are older, like, ya know, I got that's why I make no new friends. No, I'm gonna ask you a couple questions. Ask all my guests. What is your mission in this life?

Erin Falconer 1:01:59
Well, I have to say that, for me a real personal, something that I'll it was one of my absolute core things that drives me is really honestly, in the female empowerment space. I just, I feel like it is like the last, you know, kind of real true equality, which is so elusive for women. And it's something that, you know, we talk to happens to be International Woman's Day to day that we're talking I'm not sure. But so maybe I'm just feeling very nostalgic because of that. But I I you know, for me, I just the idea that we're still making, you know, 80 cents on the dollar and 67 cents on the dollar for a woman of color is just just mind blowing. We're watching things like reproductive rights to go back on the table, and which just feels like we're going backwards. And so for me, everything I do kind of is rooted in how can we get true equality? How can we feel really comfortable just being women operating in the world not taking on the burden of every single thing that comes into our life? That's kind of what my first book was about. And so yeah, for me, it's just that's like, it always comes back to that for me. And I would love to see kind of true equality, not equal in the same. That's the understand. It's being the fullest version of what a woman is. And feeling like that is equal. Right. And so it's not well, I talking dollars and cents. It's more than that.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:29
I got you. Yeah, I got I've got daughters, I understand. Exactly. Right. Yeah. Now and why do you think we're all here?

Erin Falconer 1:03:39
Well, you know, I mean, I sometimes wonder, it feels existentially really hard at times, especially where we are just right now at any given moment, but I think that the ability to, to be here and exist is, even though it is really hard is is there's so much magic, there's so much. It's I mean, it's that's a big question. It's hard to answer. But I but but I think that whatever we're doing as humans, and there's so much talk about how much bad we're doing in the world. I do think that there is so much magic in what we're doing that. And we need to lean more into that. Of course, we can't turn a blind eye to all the all the bad stuff we're doing. But it seems so unbalanced with that with that those conversations never focus on the magic of what we're creating that just the dynamic and relationship that we have with people, which is obviously so different than any other species, right. So there is something magical. We just need to practice leaning more into that. But I think we're here because I mean, how do you describe or define what magic is? I'm not it's hard to define that. But I do think our presence here is magical. And so no question. Yeah, and so and so it's I'm not, I'm not sure why we're here. But I think the the element of magic makes me know without being able to put words to it.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:10
Fair enough. Fair. I mean, it's it's a fairly difficult question. So I always ask, I want to get people's opinions of it. So no worries, it was a good it was a good answer

Erin Falconer 1:05:17
Well, what can I ask what your answer is?

Alex Ferrari 1:05:19
I feel I feel that we're here to to learn and grow and evolve as spirits. And I do believe that we are spiritual creature having a physical experience as opposed to a physical creature having a spiritual experience. And and then everybody that's thrown into our lives are here to teach us lessons. And we're bringing these kinds of people into our lives, good or bad. And then the term good or bad is it's kind of, it's kind of, you know, it's not as easy as black or white. You know, I feel that we're, I think that I, because I come from the movie business. So I always put things in the movie in movie. metaphors, if you will. So, so many of us are, but not so many of us. All of us are, are actors playing characters in scenes. Our lives are a scene or movie. But the difference is that we associate ourselves with the character but not the actor, the actor gets to go home and knows who he or she truly is. Whether you're playing a bad guy, or you're playing a good guy. The insanity is that Anthony Hopkins knows that he's not Hannibal Lecter, right? He doesn't live in the space of Hannibal Lecter, right, he plays the part that he takes off the mask and goes home at night, we I think all the problems of our entire planet are wrapped around, that we associate with the character, right Persona Persona that we're putting out there. And the actor is the spirit is the ever, ever, you know, everlasting. You know, solar, if you want to call it that, that's what I believe we're here to do. And we might do this again and again, until we figured things out.

Erin Falconer 1:06:59
Right. And well, one of the things that you said that I obviously agree with is just everything is very relational. And so it's just the relationships as opposed to the chair that brings you joy. It's like figure out who your people are. First, figure out your relationship with yourself and then go really figure out who your people are, because that is what that's where the magic is. That's where the growth is. That's where the learnings are. It's relationally

Alex Ferrari 1:07:23
Absolutely no question now, where can people find out more about your book and the work that you're doing?

Erin Falconer 1:07:28
So everything's on My blog is, but you can get to my blog, are in My books are available everywhere. You know, Amazon, Barnes and Noble indie booksellers. And then I'm @ErinFalconer are at pick the brain on all social,

Alex Ferrari 1:07:45
And the name of the latest book is?

Erin Falconer 1:07:47
How to break up with your friends finding meaning connection and boundaries in modern friendships.

Alex Ferrari 1:07:52
Erin, thank you so much for writing the book. Thank you so much for being on the show. I hope that everyone listening has a better understanding of relationships and hopefully will help them on their journey because it is one part that every human being on this planet, unless you're Tom Hanks on an island with Wilson, and even then he had a relationship with Wilson, right. We all have to deal with this throughout our lives. And I hope that your work is helping in this conversation and help them out. So I appreciate you. Thank you so much.

Erin Falconer 1:08:20
Thank you!

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