Author & Friendship Expert

When we change jobs, we can lose friendships.

Shasta Nelson, Author of The Business of Friendship, is a friendship expert and will help you nurture friendships in and outside of work. We are re-releasing this episode as we are in the middle of layoffs in early 2023 and some of you might be losing friendships right along with your job as work is one place we make those friends. 

In this episode, you'll get the strategies you need to combat loneliness, guidance on where to get started when you want to deepen your friendships, and how you can feel more connected, seen, and loved.

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Re-Release!  Shasta Nelson is a friendship expert and has a three-part framework for developing deep meaningful relationships.  

We are re-releasing this episode as we are in the middle of layoffs in early 2023 and some of you might be losing friendships right along with jobs. Because consistency is one component of a nurtured relationship- so when your work routine stops or shakes up, that one pillar can come tumbling down leaving you a little lonely and wondering why. When we change jobs, we can lose friendships. 

In this episode, you'll get the strategies you need to combat loneliness, guidance on where to get started when you want to deepen your friendships, and how you can feel more connected, seen, and loved. 

Learn more about Shasta Nelson and bring her to your organization. 

Take Shasta's Frientimacy Quiz

Get her newest book The Business of Friendship

Check out all things Dia Bondi.

Dia Bondi  00:19

Hi everyone, this is Lead With Who You Are. And I'm Dia Bondi. And on this show, we explore and discover what it truly means to lead with who you are. And we're doing it with people who embody just that. And today, this episode is one that is kind of special to me. It's a re-release of our conversation with Shasta Nelson, a friendship expert, and Author of the "Business of Friendship", among other books. We are releasing this episode because we're in early 2023. And loneliness is still an epidemic in this country. We're coming out of the holidays, which for a lot of folks can be kind of a lonely time and compounded on that is the fact that the market shifts have caused a lot of layoffs in and outside of tech. And many of you or people in your life or workplace are losing their friendships at work with the loss of their jobs. We thought this would be a useful episode, for those of you who are looking to build friendships, to be a salve for those losses you may have had, and with the loneliness you may be experiencing right now. Shasta shares in this episode, why friendships are so so important, and why friendships at work can't be ignored. And she'll share her three part framework for building friendships as adult friendships with who you are. I swear her, her framework is so useful, so simple, and easy for you to get started on tomorrow. I promise you can do it. So listen in. Hey, just a quick reminder, you can subscribe to this show on your podcast platform of choice. We're live nearly everywhere. And you can always listen to the show at DIA If there's a leader or innovator in your life, who is it their shiniest when they lead with who they truly are, Please share the show with them. And rate subscribe, and leave us a review makes a huge difference in the reach that the show has when you let everyone else know what you love about the show. Thanks so much. Shasta Nelson, she is a leading expert on friendship who speaks all over the country. And she facilitates events for all about connection. And she's been quoted in magazines and newspapers online in print, including the New York Times Washington Post and Reader's Digest, and has been interviewed live on over dozens of TV shows. Check this out, including the today's show, and the Steve Harvey Show, kind of feeling intimidated. But if you haven't, if you haven't yet seen her popular TEDx talk, you'll want to check that out. I watched it actually a couple of weeks ago and she does not pull punches. Let me just say, enthusiastic and like, you know, right for the jugular. Her previous books, she wrote three books. That's just why I invited her onto the show. I mean, all her work, is why I invited her. But her three books that she has out right now our friendships don't just happen, which is a guide for making new friends as an adult, which seems like such an incredible asset for intimacy, how to deepen friendships for lifelong health and happiness, which teaches us how to make our relationships more meaningful who doesn't want that. And in her newest book, she takes all of her expertise about friendships and puts it and applies it to the workplace. Her latest book is called the "Business of Friendship", making the most of our relationships where we spend most of our time. So I'm so glad to have Shasta Nelson with us today. Hello, Shasta Nelson. Hi. I'm so glad to have you on the Dia Bondi Show as our very very first guest for actually Episode Five.


Shasta Nelson  03:56

I'm honored. I'm honored. I'm honored.


Dia Bondi  03:57

It's so funny. So I first met you yes at the clock factory where Arthur and I used to have a shared an office space together along with a few other creatives and production types. We I was hosting Maria Ross's book launch for the empathy edge, which I listened to. I listened to the Business of Friendship over the weekend, and I heard you cite her book in there. Yay. Yes. Yeah. Also side note for your book, like holy research. Well, there was on that. Yeah, we'll talk about that. But um, but I remember I there was, we didn't get a chance to visit very much. But I was so compelled by you, for whatever reason you were there with your husband, I think. And I was like, Oh, that's Shatsta Nelson. I want to get to know her.


Shasta Nelson  04:40



Dia Bondi  04:41

And I remember we've talked about pot locking.


Shasta Nelson  04:44

Yes, I think you're right. I think you're right. Yeah. And then and then the whole world shut down.


Dia Bondi  04:48

I know. I know. We were like let's be in a potluck together because I never really loved pot lucking until I became a full on adult and actually as a parent like pot looking to me is the most low stakes. Beautiful, generous way to cultivate friendships. My like, my favorite thing about a potluck? Well, so So during that time when we were non COVID, let me just talk about some weird friendship stuff for just a second. Maybe that maybe you'd be like, No, it's not weird. It's amazing. But I think it's weird. I, we had these, we would have these Sunday night, potlucks at my house, we live in a neighborhood that's fairly dense. And all of us who are, you know, parent friends, there's a group of maybe five sort of core families hanging out together, we have these evenings, we have this end of the week, potlucks are there. I think I extended an invitation to you a few times where I'm like, Hey, we're doing a courtyard at six o'clock. And, and like the court, yeah, the core group is like, no problem, I got a salad leftover spinach salad, and I got this soup, I'm gonna bring whatever and we like do with thing. And then when new families who we were like, oh, let's totally invite them would get folded in like, you know, mostly friends with the moms in these groups. Like, it was always so fun and delightful to have these moms show up with their, whatever thing they thought was a poultry offering. And to feel like it wasn't good enough, or they were going to be teased. Or like it was, you know, it was like a vulnerable moment to bring and share food. And that like we me and my friend Maya and actually, some of the other women I'll talk about today would just be like, No, like you if you have to bring cheese and crackers, girl we got like, yeah, I feel like it was like an initiation for folks to come in and feel like they could bring whatever they had and have it not be a problem. You know?


Shasta Nelson  06:27

I love that. You just described like the friendship dream that so many people have like a the idea of getting folded into a group that's so amazing. Or even having this consistent community where you know that these people will notice if you're missing or gone. And then I love the part about the potluck elements. Like for me, friendship is always with food. Like that's just those two things just go together so well. But the thing about the potluck I think is so great is it takes us out of like to your point, it takes us out of the entertaining mode and puts us more in the connecting and sharing and breaking bread together mode. But we still come with that like wanting to impress each other.


Dia Bondi  07:01

Yeah, it has like built in vulnerability. You gotta bring, you gotta take the risk of bringing something to share. Even if you're bad cook, or you were really tired, you just had to go into your cupboard and bring a box of crackers totally.


Shasta Nelson  07:11

And yet, that's what we all kind of dream of is the friend that can just like come over with a messy house that we don't have to wow. And we don't have to like put on the whole entertaining meal. We can just order pizza. You know, like, that's the dream. And yet we're kind of scared to like, go straight there. So that's a great story.


Dia Bondi  07:24

So yeah, we never got to have our potluck shots. If I feel like this is the first one we're having right now. We're bringing our ideas together to the table. There we go. There we go. Yeah, I promise I will come to one of your potlucks one of these days. When you give me more than three hours notice. I know it does. It does happen that way a lot. I just like send a text thread. I'm like, What do you have come up to come up the hill in three hours? Yeah, it's true. So I wanted to bring you on the show because a your friendship expert which is just in and of itself, completely badass. And then the the other thing was that you know, I have in the last two years launched this project that started with this project called Ask like an auctioneer aimed at helping a million women ask for more and get it. Using everything I learned from my wild and goofy midlife impact hobby I took on of auctioneering for women led nonprofits and nonprofits that benefit women and girls. And that slowly sort of morphed into a mission to help put more money and decision making power in the hands of women. So we can change everything for all of us. And as part of that, you know, we were launching, this is episode five of the Deobandi show a big podcast for women with goals. So something that, you know, has sort of stayed in my heart since I launched this, this new sort of mission and project is that I was involved with the Women's Network a couple of years ago. And we went to it was a digital virtual network that had sometimes sort of city specific face to face meetups. And so I went to one in the in San Francisco one night and we all I don't know how many women there were there maybe 15 or 20, there was a big huge circle in some flat in San Francisco and everyone went around introduce themselves and said like why they were there. And for one, I was the oldest woman and circle number one. Number two. It was remarkable how many women and let me the the profile of this community are like ambitious, super smart, really competent, women who are who are you know, living it in a lot of ways on their own terms. You know, they've moved from everywhere to pursue their dreams. They're working at you know, gene therapy companies and investment companies and you know, VC, their VC, they're managing their own portfolio they're like they these women are like on it right? And it was incredible to me going around the room. So many women in the room said I'm here tonight I do this I work at this fancy company I'd have this fancy job I did it that are that are that are that are there. And I'm here because I don't have any friends. Yeah. And my heart just like yeah, I was like it makes me choked up even thinking about it right now. I was like, but you are all the women who are that sort of picture have ambition and and you're sort of getting what you want in life. And it was nobody used the L word. Yeah, nobody used lonely, which I know is a word you use a lot. And that just stuck with me and I kind of put it in my back pocket. And then when I met you, I was like, I want to have this conversation one day, and this is exactly the time to do it. And you know, how, where the friendships fit in to our, you know, fit into our lives as we pursue our goals. So that's, that's sort of like the seat of the conversation I had I want to have today.


Shasta Nelson  10:34

Yeah, I love that story. It just puts a face and a feeling to exactly what is so so so common. And it reminds me it's I used to be a life coach back in the day, and it was life coaching, those people you just described, where they were hiring me for all kinds of other big amazing goals and a to each person, I would ask, what are your friends saying, how are your friends supporting you because I knew I wasn't a friendship expert back then that wasn't my thing. But I knew from the research that if they, you know, if they want to go start a company, but all their friends think that's irresponsible, there's going to be some kind of disconnect, but if all their friends start their own companies, that's a whole different thing. And so I was always asking, like, what are your friends saying about this? Or, you know, to a person, they were just like, oh, yeah, well, I mean, I just went through a divorce. And all my friendships are kind of up in the air, or like, well, I just moved here a couple years ago, and I've lost touch with those friends. But I haven't made new friends or I don't really talk about this kind of thing with my friends. And I mean, it was almost to a woman and I walked away with a similar feeling like, wow, like, just wow, that we are some of the most successful, brilliant, amazing go getters are feeling that loneliness. And that was really my deep dive into, like, how can I help these women and starting looking for resources? That really is what kind of put me down this road of like, where are the resources? And like, wow, this is really dismal. And there's so much compelling research. And yet nobody's translating that. And everybody's obsessed with romantic relationships and parent child relationships, when the vast majority of the relationships in our lives are not those few. It's like all the other ones that really for especially for women, but men to correlate so much to our health and happiness. And so really, that was the deep dive for me that kind of impetus. So yeah, similar story where you look around and, and I'm often on stage now speaking to, you know, we often use the word lonely to think of this recluse this hermit, this person with no social skills, we haven't seen them in a couple years, their shutters are closed. And I'm like, the truth of the matter is the loneliest people today are the successful, they're the ones who are so busy with so many relationships, there could be very popular, very scheduled, they're taking care of kids and family. And they're, they're good daughters and mothers and fathers and, and they're often in careers where they're taking care of people and are charming and amazing, have great people skills and are liked. And yet at the end of the day, they feel like does anybody really know me? You know, am I really confiding in anyone does? Am I seen for who I am and my love for who I am? And that that feeling like there? Is that hunger for being really close to people?


Dia Bondi  13:04

Yeah, there. So in that, I feel like there's a there is a see, when we look at our lives, there's like, if our if our lives are a big dining table, you know, you look at like, okay, there's my romantic partner, you know, he or she or they sit in that chair, there's the people that I care for, you know, kiddos, maybe they sit in that chair, my bosses and the people that I report to the people that are the power holders in my life, they sit in that chair, and then my network, quote, unquote, my network, you know, sits in that chair, and then like, there's all these chairs that belong to different things like, what are friendships for?


Shasta Nelson  13:37

Yeah, well, in our friends, our friends can be in some of those categories. And in some of those chairs, for sure. And so, you know, like right now that I mean, as you were saying, the book I just wrote the business of friendship, as adults work is the number one place where we're making our friends. And so that net work could mean it could hold some of our best friends, certainly our boss and our colleagues. And so our friends can be there. I use the word friend broadly, in those kinds of ways to recognize that any relationship, but my definition of friendship is any relationship where both people feel seen in a safe and satisfying way. And I wrote


Dia Bondi  14:14

down, I wrote that down and put it on a sticky note right next to me. Yeah.


Shasta Nelson  14:18

And so it can be broad. And I would say like, you know, here we are, Arthur and DIA and myself are connecting. And in this moment, we would have the loosest level of that, you know, we're not confining, we're not going to be ready to keep promising ourselves to be friends forever. But in this moment, we each want to be seen in a way that feel safe, and then we get off and feel satisfied. And that would be the hope I have for any meeting for any connection. But obviously, that would increase in intimacy or in depth or in deepness, the more we practice those things. And so I use the word for intimacy, to kind of be the coined word for like the deepest level of intimacy and I think that's when I'm doing my research. That's what most of us are missing. Most of us actually know enough people. Most of us know how to be kind to people and Be friendly with people. Most of us when we're lonely, it's because we're missing the for intimacy, the highest levels of that where I truly feel seen in so many areas of my life where it's not, I'm not just a mom in this group and, and a kick ass woman in this group and a father in this group and somebody in this church, but it's like some of those relationships where I'm known, I'm seeing it feels good. They're there for me. And I can trust those those bonds. And so I think for all of us, though, it's having a mix, we, one of the biggest studies that jumped out at me when I was researching this book was the doctor Niven from Ohio State University, I believe he said, people often think of happiness as this really ambiguous thing, like just jello, it's hard to nail against a wall. And he said, It's not ambiguous at all we have, he took all the research studies around the world, longitudinal studies of all these different friendships, and he said, 70% of our happiness comes down to our relationships. And when you look at all the things that make us happy, and that made up, but he put it into four categories of the quantity of our relationships, the quality of our relationships, our family relationships, and then our colleagues and net and neighbors and kind of that group. And so some of us do really well in one or two of those. But we the happiest people, the ones who feel most connected, have that kind of breadth of network and depth. And with a few people, and they all and they all matter to our happiness. I suspect


Dia Bondi  16:19

that that women, those women in that circle that I mentioned in my earlier story, or have have a have a really wide net, maybe the you know, the breadth is there, but maybe the depth is not. And there's two things that are coming up for me as I think about this one is like, I have had moments in my life. So well, three things actually. One is that I didn't really have, I don't have the only friend that I had somebody who I could have that seen in a safe and satisfying way. You know, that is continued from my earlier life is my husband. I don't have any friends leftover from high school college, because I think you know, you speak about how frequency or you don't use the word frequency. But the consistency frequencies when you're done with college, the consistency of being in study group together is gone. Or, you know, being housemates is gone. And so as soon as that consistency is gone, there's no other forcing function to keep that consistency going, or for whatever reason. And I moved to the Bay Area after I had kiddos and I remember my mother in law saying to me, I was like, oh, where should I put the kids in preschool? What do we need to look for in preschool? What does that mean? Does the academics matter? Like, does proximity matter? Like what's you know, what's the thing that matters, and she was like, Go, your kids don't care. Your kids do not care where they go to preschool. She was like, why you need to go to preschool is that you need friends. And she said, that's why you have to go to a co op. And we went to a we we registered for a co op and I have friends now that are 1012 years old that are heart, yeah, that are totally in my heart that so so you know, I made friends, not my brother has friends left over from his kid hood that are rich and deep. And they are deeply connected. I didn't have that I had to make them sort of in in my late 30s. That's beautiful. Makes me think that I have had moments in my 30s as well where other women I mean, I'm in my 40s. Now, other women have sat with me and have said like, I can see them sweating and awkwardly saying they want to be friends with me. And to not know how to get started. Yeah. So I wonder like for women who know they need and want more depth, you know, what's the first step they take?


Shasta Nelson  18:33

Yeah, and I let me just normalize what you just named. I mean, it's really incredibly common. And we have a lot of shame in our culture around like, if we have if we have to admit, we need friends that there's something wrong with us. And it's so heartbreaking. The research actually shows that we replace our half of our close friends every seven years. So you think about who you're close to now, and chances are high that those a few of those names are not people, you were confiding in seven years ago, you may not have even known them seven years ago. And so certainly there are the stories, hopefully half of our network, our close friends, like you said, you you maintain, you've kind of made it past that seven year and they can become more going through different life stage friends with you. But for many of us, there is a revolving door there. And that goes all the way through I do a lot of I do a lot of interviews, like with ARP and with retirees, I mean, there's a whole nother level of drop friends dropping off when we quit our careers. And so it's it's normal, I guess, is what I just want to say that all through our life, we have to become adept at making new friends. It's not something to be ashamed of at all. It's the it's those of us who quickly identify that and really the first thing that I'm always kind of big on is, is kind of just prioritizing a little bit. I mean, it depends. I think my first book was friendships don't just happen. And one of the things I love about that book is I have an assessment in there and I teach the five different types of friends. And what I love about that is that for some people, they're surprised that they're lonely because they're like, I have a lot of friends like why am I feeling this? And so it's helpful to identify, well, I have these three or four different types of friends, but I'm missing this type of friend and so for some for some of us, it's It's lonely for a certain experience a certain type of friend, which can be really helpful to identify. Some of us are lonely because we just moved to a new area and we truly don't know people and we don't feel like we belong. Or we started a new our kids started a new school or we started attending a new religious or anywhere we want to be regular is going to feel lonely until we feel like we have some relationships there. So for some of us, it's like, I don't feel rooted in this place this context this job yet. And so that's our loneliness, it doesn't mean we don't have best friends, it might mean we need to make relationships in this space. And for some of us, it's truly what I was speaking to earlier, the I really believe that the majority of us and the research is backing this up that it's not for lack of interaction, but it's for lack of intimacy. And so for most of us, I would venture to guess the best place to start is naming of the people you do know you already, just assume you know, enough people, I think many of us jumped to the conclusion that if I'm lonely, I need to go meet more people. And that might be true for a few of us in those first examples I gave, but for the vast majority of us, we know enough people that we don't know how to actually turn the people we've met into friends. And so for


Dia Bondi  21:03

Yeah, exactly that that's exactly like literally one night after a mixer after a gathering that I hosted. One woman stayed just awkwardly procrastinating for a really long time until I was like gone. Turn it off the lights. And her husband called and she goes Hey, babe, she's like, in the phone. She's like, Hey, babe. Yeah, yeah, no, I'm having the conversation right now. Okay, see in an hour. In that moment, she like she basically friend proposed to me or friend, like, Will you go out on a first date with me and there was incredible vulnerability in that what I'm hearing you say is like, we can actually take inventory of the friends that come from lots of different places in our lives and, and make a decision about who we want to deep who we want to deepen with that what I'm hearing you say,


Shasta Nelson  21:49

I think that's the first place to start is kind of prioritizing the aspect of like pulling a post it note, don't make this overly complicated. And just like write down the names of a few people that you wish you were closer to, that you will lean in when they're around what you enjoy being with. I don't overcomplicate it, but just kind of start writing down five, six names. And then just the goal is to start kind of prioritizing, and we can get into, like, what are the three requirements of every relationship? I typically wouldn't be encouraging the friend proposal concept. I love her bravery. And I think most of us err on the other side and could like, you know, practice doing a little more brave stuff. But it doesn't have to be trying to jump some puzzle. Yeah, some, some dump somebody from what you know, it's from one to five right away. It's like, like, let's just like figure out how to just slowly keep adding in the ingredients that we know, bond people. And trust that as we do that with a hand and a handful of people, we will find a few people that are responsive, and that we can deepen that with. Yeah, and to be fair, by the way, she


Dia Bondi  22:47

and I are still really good friends, I give her my leftover baby closed our baby like lots and lots has happened since then. And really her friendship proposal for me wasn't like, Can I Can we be friends? It was more like I want to get to know you to get better. Like, can we find time in the next month to like have lunch? Or, you know, she was basically like, I've identified you as somebody that I'm really interested in learning more about? Can we find a way to do Can I Can you can you fit me into your life a little bit so we can get to know one another. It definitely wasn't, wasn't a deep end moment. But I did recognize that there was a little bit of like, making the offer to take me to lunch was in and of itself a risk, you know, because she was opening herself to me just a little bit.


Shasta Nelson  23:29

We have a whole culture around dating where they there's protocol, and the rules are changing all the time, so to speak. But we understand that to get to know each other one of us has to invite the other person to go do something we have to hang out, then we know that if it went well, we need to do it again. Sometime. It's like we have this like these terms will eventually have a conversation that says like, are we exclusive? Or are you still dating and like we're like Who are we as a relationship? What are we like we have these like steps, but with friendship, it's one of the most complicated factors is that we don't know who should be inviting who and is it? Like is it awkward to invite and I can't just walk up and say You look great. Look, I have your phone number and call you and you look fine. And like yeah, there is a lot less acceptance and cultural familiarity around that. So it's going to feel more awkward.


Dia Bondi  24:10

So in in your book business and friendship making the most of our relationships where we spend most of our time, you know, the I have been in and around you know, I have only had a job for three years of my entire adult life. I've been an independent professional like my whole life. And in but but I'm in and around the world of like managing people and feedback and you know, goal setting, performance reviews and all that stuff. And we talk a lot about our performance. We do a lot of this feedback stuff, but I never hear folks talking about managers or coworkers talking about their relationships, explicitly not like not necessarily tied to like performance feedback, but just like how strong is our relationship, how are we doing on this relationship like it like explicitly talking about that what you talk about the third entity, you know, in your book, or you referenced the third entity there like that. How much more can we talk about our relationships with one another?


Shasta Nelson  25:05

So much more. One of the assessments I go into companies and do is I have a healthy team relationship assessments and each person on the team has to answer, basically 10 questions and each of the three requirements of relationship and they end up getting a score. So that's their experience of their relationship with their belonging on the team. And then we take all those individual scores and compile them to come up with Team averages. And it's one of the most fun conversations to start really talking about is saying positivity, that's your lowest score as a team. So how are we expecting to bond? Like, why would people want to keep showing up more often, if they feel worse when they hang out with you, or like, why this is why they're not looking forward to those virtual meetings every single day, like they get off more tired, more drained, you know, so we can start looking at and kind of assessing and gives us this tangible language to actually kind of name and say, We know now what Bond's people together. And so we can actually look at and evaluate and do a better job of saying, this isn't a personal attack. This isn't like something that any one person, I think that's one of the most powerful things about it actually, is that it's, it's often not because they're, they're bad, or they're toxic, or all this kind of stuff. It's simply that most of us have never been taught how to build meaningful relationships, when you look at the big job studies. Now, social skills are the number one requirement like we so often think we're in this technical age. But the truth of the matter is, most of our jobs, like once we learn the technology of that job, it's the same thing every single day, like, we're not having to do that much more computer innovation stuff every day, it's kind of becomes routine. Whereas this was interpersonal relationships that could just continue to be to be such a rub. And so we aren't we have not most of us have not been trained in our social skills. We don't actually know what to do where you avoid conflict, we're afraid of rejection, I mean, so this is an area that gets really messy. And I think one of the most powerful things we can do I love not that it needs to be a performance review. But having language for talking about this as a as a team, or even just as a friendship to just being able to, it's okay to come and say I have needs or when you do this, I feel this way, or like how could we make this better? Like what, what what makes you feel most loved, you know, if it would be able to actually talk about our relationship, it's so powerful. So I do this


Dia Bondi  27:11

weekly thing with a small group of women we call we call it the bitch and whine. And it's an hour right now, because we're in COVID. It's a zoom call. Otherwise, it's sitting on somebody's back deck, you know, and we just we bitch and whine and what we don't just try to what we don't do is try to solve each other's problems. We just let each other bitch and whine. And sometimes sometimes w h i n e ns and NS is W I N D or whatever we could call a bitch and T if people are bringing t that day, but


Shasta Nelson  27:37

there have you been invited to this one? And this one sounds very fun. No, I'm


Dia Bondi  27:41

still waiting for my invite on that one. Well, I can't promise that it's gonna happen within three hours, you know, any further out than three hours went now just kidding. It's an ongoing date.



Who is bringing my complaints then that's much easier than having to prepare food. It's pretty easy potluck. It is a potluck of complaints. That's exactly what it is. Oh, my God, that's a good pitch about stuff right now, if you want. Around,


Dia Bondi  28:06

I was thinking about, you know, so the question inside of this is like, what different how to friendships help us reach our goals, even when our friends don't give a shit about our goals. So like this group of women that I and I told them, I was gonna sort of gently throw them under the bus this way, but it's not really throwing it throwing them under the bus that like, these girls, they love me. They tell me they love me. But literally, I like I don't think any one of us could save very accurately what each other do professionally. You know, once a lawyer one's an eye doctor one is a is a pet. She does stuff with pet with animals. You know, I do what I do whatever the hell this is, you know, one of them's a public health, like, like that, but we couldn't get so so what I mean is, you know, sometimes I'll say guys I'm doing this is golden. You know, they know last year, you know, maybe they didn't know, but I can say I had this goal and they're like, Yay for you. Or if I like make a big achievement toward it. They're like, Ah ha, but when are we going camping next? You know, there's like, so So but for some reason, it doesn't hurt my heart. It doesn't make me feel ignored. It makes me feel like whether I'm reaching my goals or not. And I actually brought this up with him last night I was like, what is it about our friendships that are friendship that is okay, when I'm trying to do stuff and you girls are hardly even watching. And I think my friend Maya said is beat she said is because we're here for who you are and what you're not what you do. So in the business of friendships in the front end of the book, you talked a lot about how you know friendships can lower our stress levels, which maybe helps us perform better I don't know. So what are your thoughts about how do we how do our friendships help us reach our goals even when they don't give a shit about our goals?


Shasta Nelson  29:54

I love how you articulate that and it's one of the things when I kind of circling back to that first book the fringe the have friendships don't just happen. I teach five different types of friends. And you're describing kind of the fifth, the fifth deepest level where it's like we have consistency, we have vulnerability, we leave feeling good. Those are the three requirements of relationship positivity, consistency and vulnerability. And so you have that with them. And so often we can sometimes whether it's whether it's your story with its career, it's often happens to where women will say, Oh, my friends are married. And I'm the only single one or one of the one of the stories I share in that book is one of my friends was the first one to have a baby in that group. And, and she was just like, you guys don't know this side of me, right? And so we can empathize. And we can kind of love her and like what your friends do with you like, yay. But we don't know what it's like to have a baby and be up all night long. And so I said, don't make a group, make some friends with moms like join a moms group. And she was I felt like she was kind of betraying us to do that, and was like, No, that's a part of you that needs to be expressed and seen and supported. And then it was so interesting, because down the road, you know, a few months later, I was like, how's that moms group going? And she was like, they don't even know me outside of being, you know, Lily's mom. And so they don't you know, what I do and like, and I was like, that's okay, that's what we're here for, you know. And so it was an interesting thing for us to realize, like, that second group of friends is the common friends, like, these are people that I'm here because we're committed to losing weight, because we're surviving cancer together. Because we're entrepreneurs, because we're authors because we're, we're in the law firm, you know, and so we, we have this commonality. And it's so powerful, because we do want to be seen in that area, we do need to surround ourselves with people who can support that give ideas to that, who actually know what's going on in that zone. That's what makes work friends so powerful, is they get my friends who are authors, they know what it means that I've published a book, whereas my other friends are like, yeah, you probably wouldn't book but they have no clue. You know, what goes on and what that really means. And just like, I don't know what it's like to wake up all night long, with a crying baby, we can empathize, we can cheer. And I think there's something so beautiful about having those friends who kind of know that experience. But commonality. While can, while giving you a lot in a certain context is not what actually Bond's us. And so we can have a whole bunch of commonality and you would be missing what you have with those friends that you're your bitch and whine group, what you have with those friends is friendship, where you've got the positivity, the consistency, and the vulnerability. commonalities are only important in a relationship, if they help us do those three things. And so you could line me up with like my twin, and it doesn't mean we're better, we're gonna need be any better friends, unless we practice those three things. And so I'm kind of one of those people who says it's not either or it's like, make sure you have those friends who know your heart, who you can be real with what you have there. And if there's a side of you that like is wanting to be a painter right now, or wanting to go write a book, or wanting to run a marathon, like rather than be mad at our friends, for not having the same goal or the same career or the same life stage, go find people who can support that side of you. And then don't be mad at those friends for not knowing your heart to like they serve different purposes. And it's okay, they both they both are meaningful in different ways. And on both sides help you live your goals. Like it's powerful that your friend was able to say, We love you for who you are. And we don't care if you fail all your goals, whereas in a group of people who are just like you, you might feel a lot more judgment there, you may not feel safe being vulnerable if you're not making those goals, you know, and so there's different dynamics. And I think it's I think those of us who live with the most sense of connection, and love and acceptance in our lives are those who know that different friends, meet, meet different needs and see us in different ways that feel safe and satisfying. And they'll see different sides of us. And I think that's important. I think that's good. And I think it leaves you feeling more supported and more areas of your life.


Dia Bondi  33:22

You wrote in and and released the business of friendships last year in 2020. Why does that why does this book matter now?


Shasta Nelson  33:32

Yeah, it's, it's interesting. There's nothing worse than like realizing you're everyone's working remote when you're actually telling, telling the world it's really important that these friendships matter and work. It's interesting to watch. And I will say though our work relationships still matter whether they're virtual or in person. And that is because we are spending the bulk of our day making whatever contribution it is, we're each making. This is the bulk of our day, this is the bulk of our hours and what we're spending our lives doing. And it is if we feel lonely in that if we don't feel witnessed if we don't feel seen, if we don't feel supported in that it is virtually impossible to make up our social needs. Outside of that. We cannot we know that we don't have this like bucket of personal life so that we can spend enough time building friendships. And so that used to be what I was spending so much time doing my first few books where, you know, here's how to make friends and was almost always in your personal life because we've often treated really, you know, friendship and that section and I was like, I could talk to you in a one more phone call a week I could talk to you know, one more girls weekend a year, and it's not going to turn this ship around. Like if you're lonely at the bulk of your day, then we can't make this up. And so it's really important that we that we it's kind of like sending your kids to school and hoping that they don't build any friendships at school, and then thinking you can make it up in the afternoon Play program or something. I mean, we just need all the whole time. So it's really important now for us to be having these conversations do we how do we do this? If we stay remote? How do we do this safely? If we're in person, we know that people who who feels like they have a best friend at work are seven times more engaged. So if I'm an HR person, if I'm a manager, this is a really big deal to me. If I care about mental health, if I care about resiliency, if I care about your engagement and retention, then I should be asking how am I not just how many meetings are we having? And are we getting our meeting our product numbers, it should be coming down to what am I doing to help make sure my team feels connected to each other likes each other feels like they're supported by each other. And that really becomes if we can take care of that piece. And it actually, so much of the other things that we stress about will actually play out better we have better customer service, we have more creativity, they feel safer brainstorming. I mean, the list goes on and on and on. If we can focus on making people feel like they belong at work, it's so important.


Dia Bondi  35:43

And where can folks find you and do more with you Shasta?


Shasta Nelson  35:48

Well, has where you can get the book and then a whole bunch of free stuff. If that you can do that. And Shasta If you are looking for me to come in and work with a team or corporation or speak happy to do that, and sign up for my list there, you never know what I'm going to do. I don't even know what I'm going to do a year to year. Like I do international trips and retreats and you know, it just changes all the time. So if you want to like be a part of any of that, you'll have to sign up for my list. And when I know what I'm doing, you'll know what I'm doing.


Dia Bondi  36:16

And you you have something called a friend to Missy quiz that folks can take as well. Is that true?


Shasta Nelson  36:21

Yes, yes. If you go to right along the top is that is that quiz. And that's a great quiz for helping you kind of assess yourself as a friend in positivity, consistency and vulnerability. We can measure the health of any relationship by those three things. I can guarantee anybody listening that you have never built a meaningful relationship without those three things. And conversely, any relationship that's not feeling meaningful right now it's because at least one of those three things is lacking. And so that quiz will help you kind of take an assessment of if you were to focus on one of those three things that would make the biggest difference to you feeling more connected to your friendships, which one would it be? Well, fantastic.


Dia Bondi  36:57

I loved having you, Shasta. You're amazing and I this is not the last potluck of ideas we're going to. Lead With Who You Are is a production of Dia Bondi Communications, scored, mixed and produced by Arthur Leon Adams, the third and executive produced by Mandy Miranda. You can reach out to us at Or leave us a voicemail at 341-333-2997 you can like rate, share and subscribe at Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your favorite podcasts. Go to for shownotes and to learn about all it is that we do to help you speak powerfully and lead with who you are.

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