464: How to Keep Friendships From Imploding | Esther Perel


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“The quality of your relationships determines the quality of your life.”

These words from the legendary Esther Perel have the power to genuinely change your outlook on life. But while it’s easy to hear them and immediately have your mind go to family relationships or romantic relationships, today we’re going to talk about friendships. Friendships can be massive contributors to mental health. They can also, when they go pear-shaped, be the source of abundant misery.

Today’s guest is the legendary Esther Perel. Her resume is beyond impressive: She is a psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author of books such as Mating in Captivity. Her TED talk has attracted more than 30 million views. She is fluent in nine languages. She is the host of the popular podcasts Where Should We Begin? and How’s Work? And her latest project is called Where Should We Begin - A Game of Stories with Esther Perel.

In this episode we talk about:

  • How the pandemic has impacted our friendships
  • Esther’s contention that “love and commitment and intimacy don’t just belong to the world of romantic couples”
  • What makes friendship unique, in good ways and tricky ways
  • What to consider when determining whether to confront a difficulty in a friendship
  • How to conduct a self-assessment of yourself as a friend
  • How systematic we should be about cultivating and maintaining our friendships
  • How to reconnect with friends authentically
  • Whether or not we can have platonic friendships across the gender spectrum
  • How to handle friendships when you’re in a romantic relationship, including friendships you share, friendships with those with whom your partner doesn’t get along, and friendships with exes

Content warning: There are some brief references to sensitive topics, including suicide.

*Esther Perel invites you and a colleague to apply for a session with her that will be part of the new season of her podcast How's Work? Her team is looking for work pairs, co-founders, colleagues, managers, or any combination to join her for a session to explore the future of work together. Apply here.

Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/esther-perel-464

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