Making friends is one area in life where you just need to go out there and do it.
It might involve being a little uncomfortable. It takes time and practice to get used to navigating these situations – and no episode illustrates this better than this one.
Today’s guest, Deasha, has made and maintained friendships with people all over the world. She’s done it so many times, she trusts that when she goes out and does what she wants to do, she’s going to meet people while doing it. This confidence gives her the power to travel solo and make the big life choices.
I listened to today’s episode and was inspired to put myself out there a little bit more. I hope you feel the same way, and maybe decide to take a small action or two in your life – to be a little uncomfortable, and build this muscle that is making new connections.
In this episode you’ll hear about:
- Deasha’s experiences meeting people online and turning them into real friends, and, her friendship advice
- Being friends with somebody for only a season of life, and being okay with falling out – plus, putting yourself in spaces where you’ll meet the kind of people you want to meet
- Consistency in friendship and how to remove the friendship “administrative” work by creating recurring gatherings
- The power of spending more time thinking about what could go RIGHT vs. what could go wrong – and the skills you gain when things DO go wrong
- How the skill of making friends can give you the confidence to make the big life choices, from big travels and big moves to trying new things
Are there big adventures or choices you’d like to take but are afraid to because you’re worried about meeting new people along the way? What are small steps you can take to make that big leap easier?
Notable Quotes from Deasha:
“If it is not going to kill me, then I’ll probably be okay. And that’s how I’ve done everything. That’s how I’ve moved and gone on one-way flights multiple times in my life. Started businesses. Bought houses. Everything isn’t going to kill me. Probably not. So let’s do it. And if you live your life being scared of what might happen, you’ll never do anything.”
“Sometimes friends are in your life for a season. And it’s okay to fall out with people. You don’t have to be friends with a person for the rest of your life just because they were a friend for a moment in time. I think people worry too much about, what if we fall out? Well, what if you do fall out, you’ll find a new friend. It’s not the end of the world. And sometimes it’s better to find a new friend that is more aligned with your life or where you’re going in that particular moment than where you have been.”
Resources & Links
Leave Alex a voicemail!
Until next time…
Take the conversation beyond the new podcast on friendship! Follow Alex on Instagram (@itsalexalexander) or Tiktok (@itsalexalexander), or send her a voice message directly with all your friendship thoughts, problems, and triumphs by heading to AlexAlex.chat and hitting record.
Want deeper friendships?
I'm giving away my secrets to better friendships.
Podcast Intro/Outro 00:02
Alrighty, gang. Here’s to nights that turn into mornings and friends that turn in family. Cheers!
Podcast Intro/Outro 00:18
Hello, Hello, and welcome to the Friendship IRL podcast. I’m your host, Alex Alexander. My friends… They would tell you; I like to ask the hard questions. You know who I am in the group? I’m the person that’s saying, “Okay, I’m going to ask this question, but don’t feel like you have to answer it.” And now, I can be that friend for you, too.
Alex Alexander [Narration] 00:50
I was recording a podcast the other day with somebody else. And they asked me if you want to get started at making new friends and putting yourself out there, what books or podcasts or resources would you suggest to those people? And I wanted to answer their question with a book or with a resource. But I pretty immediately knew I couldn’t. My answer to that question is, this is one of those areas of life where you just kind of need to go out there and do it. You need to be a beginner, you need to be a little uncomfortable. You have to get used to navigating these situations. Now, I’m not saying you need to go out there and be the most extroverted person and say hi to every person on the street. Do this in a way that feels right to you. But whatever that is, whether it’s being more engaged in virtual communities, or getting to know some more people at your work or at your school. Whether it’s joining a meetup group, a club, a sports league, making a maintaining friends is a habit. It’s a skill set. It’s something that you develop. And I think that no episode I’ve recorded so far illustrates that as much as today’s episode. You’re gonna hear deasha talk about I mean, things that are not beginner level, not beginner level. But in practice, in meeting new people regularly, she now has the ability to make big life choices like moving or traveling solo, and not worry about where she’s going to make friends or who’s going to be there. Because she has made friends and maintained friendships and met new people so many times that she trusts that when she goes out there and does the thing she wants to do, she’ll meet people while she’s doing it. I’m really excited for you to hear today’s episode. It is full of so many real life exa mples of what it’s like to put yourself out there, whether that’s in virtual communities or in your everyday life, and build the friendships that you want. So with that, let’s get to today’s episode.
Alex Alexander 03:30
Hi, Deasha. How are you?
Deasha Waddup 03:32
Hey, I’m good. Thanks.
Alex Alexander 03:35
We were just joking about how I would have absolutely butchered Deasha’s name and you’re saying like it’s okay. And your spelling is unique. So, we’ll give people that. My maiden name is Chalk like chalkboard and people used to just go wild with what they would pronounce it as. Like, it’s just like sidewalk chalk. So at least your name, I guess maybe looks a little unique.
Deasha Waddup 04:03
Yeah, yeah, it autocorrects to death. So, that’s fun. I’ve heard all sorts of variations and emails that go, “Oh, I’m so sorry.” I’m like, “It’s fine, all right.”
Alex Alexander 04:17
So every new friend of yours must correct autocorrect immediately so that they don’t send text messages and say, “Hey, death.” I guess you know what? Note to self for people that are going to have future kids, type your kid’s name into the phone and see what autocorrect says before.
Deasha Waddup 04:46
We didn’t have this issue when I was born.
Alex Alexander 04:48
No, no, but for future generations, just take that into consideration. Well, I’m really excited that you’re here today. And I’m excited because meeting people online is something that is more “attainable”, quote-unquote, right? There are multiple platforms and places and groups and Facebook and communities and whatever. It’s endless. But what I hear quite often is, “That’s great. But how do I turn those people into quote-unquote, “real friends”?” I’ve done it, you’ve done it. And I think it’s really a skill set that is important for people to figure out because of the day and age that we live in, where you should type your kid’s name into autocorrect. But also, just like where people are meeting people on apps and groups and platforms. Do you want to tell us a little bit about your story and the friends that you’ve met online?
Deasha Waddup 04:52
Yeah, I have quite a few friends. And I was actually on holiday with another friend of mine recently last month, and I met her in a Facebook group. So I was telling her about this podcast. We actually met in a Facebook group over COVID. So in 2020, she had just moved to the area. And she was looking for friends. And I was like, “Hey, I need friends.” So we went on like a socially distanced coffee date.
Alex Alexander 06:22
I did that with a few people.
Deasha Waddup 06:23
Right? And when I was telling people these things, they are like, “You go on dates with friends?” I’m like, “Yeah, because you need to know if they’re gonna be a real friend or a weird friend.”
Alex Alexander 06:35
Yeah if you hit it off or not. Yeah.
Deasha Waddup 06:38
Yeah, exactly. So you have to find out these things. Yeah. So I’ve met people like that, who live in my local town. I have also met some friends that I’m meeting up. One is actually flying in next month to come and stay with me for six weeks in the UK, and she’s Canadian. She and I met a couple of years now online. And we both are in the same space. We’re both online coaches, business coaches, and we just connected and we zoomed for years. And I flew out to Canada last year to go and stay with her. And I remember telling my dad that and he was like, “So, where are you going?” “I’m gonna fly to Canada, and go and stay with my friend Jodie.” And he was like, “Okay, where did you meet her?” I’m like, “I haven’t actually met her in real life. Just online.” He’s like, “And you’re gonna fly across the world and stay in her house?” I’m like, “Yeah, yeah, that’s happening.” “But what if she’s a weirdo?” Like, “Well, we have zoomed literally every week for years. So she’s probably not a weirdo.” “But you never know. Right?”
Alex Alexander 07:42
We’re all a little weird.
Deasha Waddup 07:43
Right? We’ve got on so well, that I’m hosting a retreat in Italy for some of my clients. And Jodie was like, “I want to go to Italy.” So she booked a flight over from Canada, to mine. And then we’re gonna go to Italy together. And then she’s gonna come back to mine for a few weeks, we’ll do some work. And then we’re gonna go to Israel because some of her family are Israeli. And she was like, “Do you want to come to Israel and meet some of my family in Israel?”
Alex Alexander 08:08
I love this so much.
Deasha Waddup 08:10
And I’m like, “Yes. Yes, I do!” So we’re gonna go stay with her family in Israel, which again, I have never met, know none of them. Sure, that sounds fun. So we’re gonna Israel for a week, and then she’ll come back and hang out in the UK for a few more weeks before she flies back to Canada.
Alex Alexander 08:24
I just love that people are doing things like this in real life. This isn’t some movie. Like, you’re really meeting people and fly across the world and staying. This makes me think of ‘The Holiday’, right? That movie where they like, swap houses, and then they become friends? It’s different. I get that, but kind of that idea of like, you’re just making the moves. You’re just gonna… you know, you flew to Canada and stayed with her. Like, why not? Let’s try it.
Deasha Waddup 08:53
I’ve got nothing to lose. It’s free holiday. Still.
Alex Alexander 08:56
So when you met online, and then you zoomed as part of a business connection, how long were you online only friends, before you decided to meet up in person?
Deasha Waddup 09:12
I mean, probably two years. It was over the pandemic too. Right? So… and Canada was a bit weird for all that stuff, too. So there wasn’t any opportunity to go. We had talked about going to Costa Rica earlier before the pandemic hit and the world closed down. Then we were like, well, I’ll just fly to Canada, so at least I can get there. But yeah, so probably a few years before we like, flew internationally to hang out. But we talked about all sorts. Like she knows everything about my disastrous love life over the years… Everything to do with…
Alex Alexander 09:12
You’re sharing the real things. Yeah,
Deasha Waddup 09:14
Yeah. When you’re hanging out with somebody every week, you’re sharing everything.
Alex Alexander 09:25
Yeah, I have a friend that I meet with, we’ve been Meeting for, gosh, I think six years? I think six years. We started as like a business accountability group. And people have come and gone and rejoined and left again. And we’ve stayed constant this entire time. And that is the foundation of our weekly meeting. But when you meet with someone every week, you know, I know about her kids, and I know about her family vacation, and sometimes I know about how therapy was really hard. And like, it’s that consistency I think…. And, you know, that consistency is created by just picking the time and showing up every week. Like, it’s so magical what that can do versus depending on the, you know, I’m gonna text her and to a lot of people, it’s like, she didn’t text me the last three times. So, I’m not going to do that. Like, there’s something to be said about how fast you can build a friendship if you just pick a time, put it on the calendar and show up more often than not.
Deasha Waddup 11:03
Absolutely. I think people try to overcomplicate friendships a lot. Lke when people say… and I’ve seen this happen a lot in Facebook groups and communities, where people like, “Oh, well that they didn’t text me back”. So, text them again. I mean, that just might be me. But I’m like, hey, you said you’re gonna be my friend. So I’m gonna, something’s gonna happen at your end. Because we’re still friends. I made that decision. So I’m gonna keep texting you until you text me back.
Alex Alexander 11:30
Yeah, I agree. It’s like wanting to be wanted, Probably? I don’t know why people have that feeling? to me. It’s like, if I’m noticing that somebody hasn’t texted, I want to text them. One, they probably have something in life going on. It’s probably not me. And two, maybe that’s just not their skill set. Maybe their skill set is… like I have a friend like this. I’m normally the one that has to chase her down to get together. But when we do, I kind of just set the time and move on. She normally plans literally everything we do. And she makes it so fun. And she puts so much thought into it. So like that’s kind of her role. And my role is actually getting it on our calendar. And I don’t sit there thinking, well, she didn’t text me. Like there’s probably something you’re not doing that your friend is doing.
Deasha Waddup 12:25
Yeah, absolutely. I’m flying to a friend’s wedding in a couple of months, actually. And I met her many years ago. But she’s that person that never texts you back. But she was living in Thailand for a while. And I just texted him was like, “Hey, I’m in Thailand. I’m coming to get yours.” She’s like, “Cool. I’ll pick you up from the airport.” Like that’s that. But we wouldn’t speak for like years. But when you’re together, it’s like, no time has passed. Like, doesn’t matter.
Alex Alexander 12:52
Yeah. But there is something to be said about the virtual friends. I almost feel like it’s easier to create that consistency. Because for a while until you booked your flight to Canada, really your only option was the online connection, whether it’s messaging or the weekly zoom dates. Like actually, now that I’m thinking about it, there’s something… what does it say? Like the best… like you’re the most creative when you have constraints. Like when you have boundaries to what you can create, that’s when you create the best end product. And so now I’m listening to this while we’re talking about it, and I’m like, wait, maybe this is actually a great thing, because you don’t even have the pressure of another type of connection for a while. So you just focus on like the two things. I hadn’t thought of that. Interesting. I wonder if there’s something to that.
WANT DEEPER FRIENDSHIPS?
I AM GIVING AWAY MY SECRETS TO BETTER FRIENDSHIPS.
Reinvigorate your friendships and learn how to create stronger ones by incorporating my Top Friendship Reframes into your life. BONUS! An exclusive look at my upcoming book. Want to bring more purpose and value to the relationships that matter to you? Download the guide now.
Deasha Waddup 13:50
I think meeting on a Zoom call every week means that it’s in your calendar, and there’s no… because I think in real life, when you’re meeting a person, there are so many variables to whether that meeting can actually happen, whether it be kids or family or work or whatever, whether you’re even down to traffic, right? Whereas online, it’s like, well, I’m free right now. So, why not? That’s it. That’s in the calendar. I’m going to be free.
Alex Alexander 14:22
Yeah, I’ve tried this with other friends to replicate because that friend I’ve had every week… like the not having to plan removes a huge piece of the like… I call it friendship admin, like the work. You’ve just done it once. And really the only thing is if you can’t make it that week, you let them know. But you don’t have to reschedule because you just know the next week you’ll be there. There’s no questions. It’s like, can’t make this week. See you next week. Moving on. And I have tried with other friends. Maybe it just hasn’t stuck because… might be because of the number of variables. But I’ve tried kind of like, okay, let’s connect in one way or another, Tuesdays at 9am. Whether that’s a phone call or an in person or a text, but then you still are having to like pick every week what you’re doing.
Deasha Waddup 15:15
Yeah, I think you have to stick to the same thing.
Alex Alexander [Narration] 15:20
I have talked about this idea before of creating recurring gatherings, or calls or text message times or whatever it is, basically, just getting rid of the need for one person to constantly be the initiator or both people. Because that’s invisible labor. Like it’s just work. I want to validate you, it is work to remember that you haven’t talked to your friend in a while and then initiate or think of a thing you might want to do together. That is work. So something that can be helpful for that is removing some of that repetitive work, and just setting up something that repeats. Now, you can use two ways. You can pick a date or a cadence, and an activity. So you can say, “Hey, Sundays at seven, let’s get together and watch movie.” You know what you’re gonna do, they come over to your house, you just have to pick a movie when you get there and you could just do that by opening whatever streaming platform you want. This cadence doesn’t have to be weekly, it could be yearly. We get together for that trip, the first weekend of August every year, and you can put the same campsite. So you don’t think about it. You also can just pick the date. So you can say that first Friday of every month we get together or we have a phone call or whatever. But doing that does leave some additional work because you figure out what you’re going to do. And then where I see a lot of people get in trouble is that they don’t discuss whose job that is. Like is this one friend always picking what you do, are you taking turns? Is it like every month? And I know that seems silly, but having that conversation can save so many friendships from so many frustrations. Because we’re setting expectations. There’s a final way that I’ve talked about creating recurring things, which… I call it like creating a series. But it’s kind of more of just an open invite. So you decide, maybe not necessarily with one friend, that you are going to open your house up. I saw a TikTok about this. Like every Sunday morning, people stopped by for coffee from eight to nine and they can just stop on by if they feel like it. Now that isn’t exactly connecting with one friend or another but it is creating the expectations with your friends that you are available during that time. Another option could just be, “Hey, I love to connect with people Sunday mornings while I drink my coffee. I will pretty much always answer between 8:00am to 10:00 am.” And if you knew that about a friend, and you also happen to have that time available, when it feels a little easier to pick up the phone and call, it would remove those doubts about whether they have time or not, because the likelihood is they do.
Deasha Waddup 18:30
Another friend of mine who’s in the UK and we met online. Again, she has a very similar business to me. She lives about three hours away. But we check in almost every day on WhatsApp. Like what are you doing today? We do co-working sessions. So, what we do is jump on Zoom and sit in silence.
Alex Alexander 18:48
Yeah, I do know some people.
Deasha Waddup 18:50
Yeah, just to have that accountability in the morning, check in, are you working today? What’s going on with you today? What are you working on? Those sort of things just to have that sort of accountability. And she’s actually the person that I’m running the retreat with initially next month. Because we have such a connection without… our clients crossover so much that we were like, let’s just do something together and run this retreat together. And it works really well. We both have different skill sets. And we both check in and now we get to travel together too.
Alex Alexander 19:21
And you’re doing that about business. But parents could do that about parenting or… I did an episode a while back on… somebody started a Marco Polo group if you’ve heard of the Marco Polo app with like a bunch of ladies from her church. And the premise was that you shared your favorite things. It is a very simple thing, right? Like if you’re walking through your house and you really liked something or share with the group for a minute or two, but the consistency of everybody kind of like trying to share something every day over time has built this really beautiful friend group. That one is such a great example. Same with Zoom and the online groups. These are all just tools, they’re all just tools, the apps, the Marco Polo, Zoom. I mean, even text messages, phones, like they’re all tools. It’s the skills and habits behind them that are actually building the friendship. You know, you can… I mean, what is it? You can download a million apps and still not feel like you have the friendships you want. You can buy all the workout equipment, and it can sit in the gym room, and never be touched and nothing’s going to change. Like, they’re all just tools. It’s what you do with them.
Deasha Waddup 19:39
Yeah. Now you’ve mentioned it, actually, the girl’s house I’m currently staying at and helping out, I met her in a Facebook group many years ago. It was because we had a mutual…
Alex Alexander 20:47
You are just taking online friendships and making them real, like left and right in your life. I bet if you kind of made a list, you probably have a lot.
Deasha Waddup 21:08
Yeah, it’s something I do often. And when people… like I’m having conversations with people, they’re like, “You have a lot of friends all over the place, like all over the world.” And that’s because I make an effort with people all over the place. And I’m constantly making new friends. And I think as adults, you stop making new friends at a point. And it’s so easy to stay in the same sort of friendship group and people I meet, especially people I date meant specifically, they… they’re like, “Well, I have my friends that I met when I was at college or university”, or whatever. And that’s that. Like, they all have kids by now and jobs and other things like… and you have different hobbies. What do you do now? Who do you hang out with? Like, it just seems strange to me.
Alex Alexander 21:54
Yeah, society has really fed us this myth. One, we’re supposed to make our friends young, and then keep them forever. And if we are able to do that or somehow better friendly, or better friends, like that is the success version, which I mean, throw that out. I hate that. But the other thing is, when you’re kids, you make friends where you are. Like where your parents chose or caregivers chose to live, you go, whether they chose for you to be homeschooled or in the public school, whether they chose to be nomadic, whatever they choose, that’s how you make friends. The community groups they go to, that gets a very long period of your life where you really don’t have a lot of choice in the people you’re surrounded by. And I think as adults, we forget that. And when I was listening to you talk about how you made all these friends online, it’s like you have really consciously chosen that your interests and areas of your life, you’re gonna put yourself in groups in places with other people, and then pursue those friendships and like, take control of the connections you’re building for yourself.
Deasha Waddup 23:13
I think as a human, you evolve, right? So I am not friends with anybody that I went to school with at all. I might have them on Facebook maybe. But I haven’t seen them in a very long time. And nor do I talk to them ever. Because I think I have changed so much as an individual since that point in time, that we wouldn’t have anything in common anymore. Like I spent five years traveling. And most people who grew up in the town that I live in wouldn’t even fathom going on holiday outside of Europe. Right? So it seems baffling to them that I would just spend five years just with a backpack on my own out into the world. So they run out of things to then talk about and have a conversation with and the same with… like your enjoyment and your hobbies change. So why not make new friends all the time when you’re out doing stuff? That girl I’m living with currently, her and I met over running. And we actually didn’t even run together. We ran like once or twice and then we ended up just going out in our running gear to the coffee shop. We are technically running, right? Sort of. We got dressed to go for a run and then we’re like, we’ll just go for coffee.
Alex Alexander 23:16
It was kind of the excuse. It was the easy… I talked about this a lot like find the things that are… that feel comfortable to ask. So it felt comfortable in the beginning to ask, “Hey, do you want to go for a run?” Because you both knew you did that. And that was like the reason you initiated contact. And if you hadn’t had that or found that, you would have been less likely to ask to spend time together to get to know each other. And over time as you learn more about each other, you don’t need that anymore because you find other things and you start to actually enjoy each other and like admit that and connect over that. So at a certain point, it’s fine to say, “Hey, I miss you. Do you want to get together for coffee?” But in the beginning that would… you know, second time, that would be a little weird. So you have to say, “Do you want to go for a run?”
Deasha Waddup 25:14
Exactly. Yeah. Yeah, my husband came and joined us one day on that, because he was like, “You girls aren’t running? You guys are in the coffee shop. Aren’t you?” We were like, “Yes, we are. Just come and join us.”
Alex Alexander 25:29
Whatever… whatever it took, right? Whatever it took to get that friendship off the ground, even if it was putting on the running shoes that you didn’t really use. That’s fine.
Alex Alexander [Narration] 25:41
Real quick, because you know I love when we have real life examples of roots, tis was all of it. First of all, the conversation about like people you grew up with, right? You have outgrown who you are when you’re friends with those people. So in order to continue friendships, when you’ve gone off and traveled the world and become this totally different person would require putting in the work to work through the fact that so many of your roots, the things you know about each other, the ways you act in the world are gone. They’ve withered, they’ve died, you’d put in work to build new ones. So if really the only thing holding your friendship together was the fact that you grew up in the same place, that may not be enough. So instead, Deasha’s gone out and taken her interests, her passions, her life experiences, and sought out people with similar shared experiences and share interests. She has looked for those roots, the things that she is interested in connecting over. And then this running an example, that shared experience roots was the reason it was comfortable, even though it’s kind of uncomfortable to reach out to a new friend and say, “Hey, I know we both like running, do you want to run?” That’s a lot easier when you’ve just met somebody than saying, “Hey, I really enjoyed talking to you.” Like, that feels a little vulnerable, it’s easier to have the shared experience that you can do together. But in doing that, it becomes apparent really quickly, that you connect, that you enjoy each other’s company. So then it’s easier to say over time, “Hey, I just really enjoy spending time to get with you.” The story root. “Do want to get together?” And maybe it doesn’t matter as much what you do. Because you’re gonna sit around and just enjoy your time together. But initially, it’s a lot to admit, you just enjoy each other’s company. And that’s why you should spend time together. Not saying you can’t do that. I’m saying that that discomfort, the vulnerability that that takes quite often stops people from nurturing that connection that they really enjoyed. So instead, centering it on the shared experience, or shared interest, for a lot of people is a much easier way to get a friendship off the ground.
Alex Alexander 28:15
When you decided to go to Canada, was it just like, “Hey, come to Canada, you can stay with me moving on”? Were there any conversations about it? And I’m asking that because I think a lot of people are gonna hear that, and have like anxiety about the thought of staying with someone that they “don’t really know”. And I’m saying that in air quotes, because you definitely knew her.
Deasha Waddup 28:36
Yeah. No, there wasn’t really any conversation about me staying somewhere else. It was just come to Canada and stay with me. Like, of course, that sounds good. I booked flights and I was like, “They are so cheap. When do you want me to come?” It was just super easy, then there’s always that thought that it’s gonna be really awkward. And I was actually on a Zoom call with her the other day and my boyfriend was cooking for me. So he was overhearing a conversation and we’re talking about her coming over. And she was like, “Well, I’ve got to put a return flight booked like six weeks out.” She’s like, “But I might stay longer. You know, see how we go.” And he was like, “She’s gonna live here forever, isn’t she?” Yeah, she’s not going home. She was like, “I could stay for like eight weeks or maybe 10 weeks. We’ll just play it by air and see.” And he’s like, “I’m never gonna get a house to myself again. Am I?” “Yeah, no, sorry.”
Alex Alexander 29:40
Now if this was like successful mission, by the end of this, I will have convince her to just move and be our neighbor. I’m gonna go walk through my building, knock on the doors and be like, “Hey, are you moving out anytime soon? I have somebody who will take over your lease.”
Deasha Waddup 29:54
Alex Alexander 29:58
Like I’m gonna convince her just come to terms with it, it’s fine.
Deasha Waddup 30:02
She can live in Canada, it’s fine. She can be…
Alex Alexander 30:06
We all wish that about our long distance friends. Like, they’ll come and be near us, because Zoom is great. But it’s so much fun to be together hence why, when you’re together for six weeks, you probably just want to keep it going. And when you’re doing this, when you book the flight, I guess that’s a great segue, like when she… you’ve already met each other. That first time, was there a lot of pushback from other people about you flying? You already mentioned this, that your dad was like, “You’re staying with her.” But I guess how do you approach all the pushback? Because a lot of what we talked about on this podcast, is doing things that are a little outside the norm. And there’s a lot of pushback, which then makes people question like, oh, should I be doing that?
Deasha Waddup 30:57
Yeah, I think generally, my life choices are outside of the box of most people’s norm, anyway. So in my circle, most people are like, “Oh, deasha’s doing something weird again, cool.” Because my life choices tend to be a bit outside of what others would consider the norm, which I’m okay with. So generally people go, “That’s a bit weird, isn’t it?” I’m Like “Yep. And? What is your point?” And I think, by owning it, and not getting into that discussion, like I don’t need anybody’s opinion on the matter. We’re gonna go and do it anyway. So by just saying, “Yeah, it’s weird. And what’s the point?” Like, people go, “Oh, just be careful I guess.” “Okay. Cool. Thanks. Yep.”
Alex Alexander 31:52
Yeah, it’s kind of that we could fall off society’s boxes, and know the outcome. And obviously, it’s not like you were just going somewhere where you were worried about your safety. Like your feeling of risk was very low. You know, the greatest risk is, I don’t know, I’m gonna be like, the messy roommate staying with her and she’s gonna be mad, and I need to go stay in a hotel for two nights so we can reset or something. Like the risk is low. So I think that’s something for everybody to remember is, yeah, it’s outside the box. But what if it goes… what if it goes well?
Deasha Waddup 32:30
One of my philosophies, and I was talking about this recently to a friend was that my theory on life is that I am probably not going to die. If it is not going to kill me, then I’ll probably be okay. And that’s how I’ve done everything. Like, that’s how I’ve moved and gone on one way flights, like multiple times in my life, started businesses, bought houses, like done, everything. Is it going to kill me? Probably not. So, let’s do it. And if you live your life being scared of what might happen, you’ll never do anything. And then that surely is far more boring than just living life, and maybe something will happen.
Alex Alexander 33:17
Yeah, I have a friend, this reminds me of a friend who is a… I mean, he’s a finance guy. He’s like a hedge fund manager or something. I don’t know, he you know, invests in companies. And he was telling me that his company has a rule, when they’re trying to decide whether to make, you know, 100 million dollar deals about investing in certain companies or whatever, that they are allowed to start the meeting by talking about what could go wrong. They have to start the meeting talking about what happens if it goes right. And everybody has to, like, play into that for a little while. And by the, you know, midpoint, end of meeting, they can go through the the risks. But, you know, we need to spend more time starting with what could go right. Because when you play all that out, it might make the risks worth it versus flipping it, like starting with the risks and then throwing in like one nugget of how it might go right.
Deasha Waddup 34:19
Yeah, I mean, there have definitely been experiences when I’ve been traveling solo, that if I hadn’t thought of all of the risks that could have gone wrong, I probably wouldn’t have gone. And even in some of the moments I thought, probably shouldn’t have survived that. Like that was the risk, even post it happening. But I did survive it. And it was fine and nothing major, terrible happened and I’m still alive. And I had an amazing experience through it. Whether that was a good experience or a bad experience, it was an experience that has shaped me as a human. So I don’t think there’s any sort of… I don’t really think there’s any experience that once you have come through it, can be seen as something that you would necessarily take out of your life because you’ve gone through it. And that then forms you as a human moving forward. So, go for it, what’s the worst that could happen?
Alex Alexander 35:14
So I love traveling too. We like to, you know, go wander around countries and end up in places that maybe tourists don’t go to. And it gets you, what it’s like, traveling. We’re not vacationing, we’re traveling. And we definitely assess the risks and pay attention. This is like an analogy for friendship. But every time something goes wrong, like for example, this is an embarrassing story. We were flying home from Italy, and we’re flying out of Milan, we’ve been there for like three weeks. I had booked us our hotel to fly out at Malpensa, like the main Milan airport. We stayed at the airport. This is what makes it more embarrassing. Like in the airport hotel, because our flight was really early, we got up feeling really good, going to check into our flight. Our flight is out of the other Milan airport.
Deasha Waddup 36:09
Oh, and that’s really far away, isn’t it? It’s like, yeah, a good few hours.
Alex Alexander 36:15
Yep. And it was a scramble, I ended up calling the airline and explain the problem. And the lady was so kind, if I had this lady’s address, I would send her the biggest gift basket. Because it only cost us like $200 to get on a flight 10 hours later. I don’t know how I did that. But, you know, as in the moment as much as that was uncomfortable and unfortunate, I learned what happens, like who to call because I called a bunch of wrong numbers trying to get through to the airline and our credit card and this and the other thing. And, you know, I learned I will definitely be triple-checking how many airports there are in a city and which one we fly out of. So all of this to say, now I have more skills because something did go wrong. And I think taking these risks in friendship pay off the same way, right? If you flew and you went to stay with your friend for two weeks, and it was more awkward or you got in a fight or whatever, that gives you the opportunity to figure out how to fix it so that the next time you have more information to work with.
Deasha Waddup 37:41
Yeah, I also think that friends… sometimes friends are in your life for a season. And it’s okay to fall out with people. Like you don’t have to be friends with a person for the rest of your life just because they were a friend for a moment in time. Like, I think people worry too much about what if we fall out? Well, what if you do fall out? You’ll find a new friend. I think it’s… it’s not the end of the world. And sometimes it’s better to find a new friend that is more aligned with your life or where you’re going in that particular moment than where you have been. I know I’ve had friends in the past that love to drink and party, for example. That’s not my life now. But that still is their life and no shade, that’s great that they’re very happy in that. But we just wouldn’t have anything to talk about moving forward or do anything together. So we… I need to change my friendship circle and have new friends that do things.
Alex Alexander 38:38
Yeah, like that friendship either needs to have a new form where you do new things, where you start running together, where you don’t run and you go to coffee shops, or it’s got to go. But no matter what that version of like partying friendship is ending, and I think that is a great way to describe that. You know, somebody like you who’s putting yourself actively out there in places, you’re kind of like, by being so active online and meeting acquaintances and connecting with people, you’re keeping your funnel full. And that’s not… some people are gonna hear that I’m like, oh, well. So you’re just, you know, planning for your friendships to fail. Like, no. You’re just keeping your overall social wellness, not hinging on one person. You enjoy those other people for the interests you share with them or the small ways you connect. If something happened to one of your closest friendships and it ended, not everything would have hinged on that. Like, yes, that would be a hole, but you still have other people to go connect with or do things with or talk to, even if it’s not quite the same.
Deasha Waddup 39:52
Yeah, and I think there were people that I would go to for different things. Like, there are people that I would go to who have done a lot of work on themselves, for example. And I would go to if I just needed somebody to listen to me because they could be in that space and be like, how does that make you feel? Like what is that doing for you, rather than other people you go to and they want to fix you? So, how can we help you do that? And how can I help you fix this problem? Whereas sometimes you just need somebody to go listen to you whinge. I don’t need any way to fix it. Today I just need somebody to listen to me, whinge, and I have those people that I can be like, “Do you have the space for this? I just need to vent.” And they go, “Okay, let’s do it. Let’s go.” And other people in there go “Okay, what can we do to fix?” “I don’t need that today. I don’t want to fix anything. I just want to whinge about it for a second. Doesn’t need fixing.”
Alex Alexander 40:45
Did you say “whinge” about it?
Deasha Waddup 40:47
Alex Alexander 40:48
Whinge. That’s a new word for me. Yeah, I’ve never heard that. And I will say, you know, maybe I’ll use it. But I don’t even know where I’d use. And I’m really gonna have to work hard to work that one in.
Deasha Waddup 41:00
Just if you’re whinging about something like your tea isn’t hot enough, or the weather… whinge about the weather one day or, you know, whatever.
Alex Alexander 41:10
Vent. I would say vent about it. Do you say vent whinge? Vent? Similar? Okay.
Deasha Waddup 41:14
Yeah, it’s similar. I would never use the word “Vent”, I would always use the word “Whinge.”
Alex Alexander 41:19
All right. We’re learning new things today. I love this. So it sounds like you have a very strong social wellness situation. You’ve put yourself out there, you’ve built these various friendships, you have close friends, you have people in different areas of your life. When you are in these online spaces, or in person, do you ever worry, like, I don’t have enough time to meet new people? How do you handle potential new connections? Again, this is like a thing that a lot of… a limiting belief that a lot of people have is I don’t have time to meet new people. I’m already full. And I think that totally depends on life circumstances. But do you have any thoughts on that, as you’re staying engaged in like your overall communities?
Deasha Waddup 42:11
There is a moment in time for everybody. So depending on what their role in your friendship is, depends on when they would be… when you’re communicating a lot with them. So I think I have some friends that I talk to a lot more than other friends. But it doesn’t necessarily mean they have a bigger or a smaller part to play in my friendships. It just means that in that moment in life, we are busy humans. And we haven’t got that space for each other. One of the things I’ve recently done, I just relocated two hours south of where I used to live. And I was saying about making new friends in the in the local area. And I don’t know anybody at all, where I’ve just moved to. And some people like “Why would you move there if you don’t know anybody?” “I just want to make new friends. It’s not so hard. Why would you think that’s hard?” And people are like, “I don’t know… new friend.” But it’s up to me moving somewhere completely new and making new friends. Well, that’s just easy. Got to make new friends. That’s not hard.
Alex Alexander 43:16
That’s because I think making friends is habits and skills and confidence to like take these little risks and put yourself out there. And if they don’t pan out, it will be okay. Because there’s more people. Lke it’s mindset. And we have to cultivate that in ourselves. And the only way to do it is to do it. You can’t… and once now you’ve done it enough times that you trust, you’ll be okay. And you will figure it out. And that is so powerful because it allows us to make these other choices in our lives move to ourself.
Deasha Waddup 43:55
Yeah. And I think people get caught up in what will others think? So I recently met a new local friend, and I was like, “I’m gonna go for coffee with this girl I just met.” My boyfriend was like, “That sounds like a date.” “No. Well, it sounds like a friendship date.” He was like, “That’s weird. That’s because you don’t make friends.” I’m gonna go for a coffee with this girl and we’re gonna see if we like each other. That’s that. And then we may go for dinner one day. We may not… we may…
Alex Alexander 44:23
Friendship is dating. It is dating. And somehow, some where we’ve been convinced that like, you know, we meet all these friends young and we date find a romantic partner and then we’re just done. We don’t ever have to put ourselves in that uncomfortable situation of trying to get to know a new person and that is so false. It’s so false.
Deasha Waddup 44:49
I think it’s fun to add new people into your world regularly because people have different perceptions. And I think often we can stay in our little circle. And the world has changed so much that our circle can often be very narrow-minded. If you’re living in the same town and all the rest of it, and you’re not branching out, then having somebody else have a different perspective to things might broaden your horizons a little bit. And you think, I never thought of the world in that way. And just having that different perception, I think makes you as a human, a better human, to be able to culturally listen to other people and get involved with other cultures and dynamics.
Alex Alexander 45:34
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. And I think, seeing that different perspective that that person brings to your life as a valuable addition to your life. Because a lot of people, you know, don’t see someone as valuable until they reach some, like work close friends, they’re my friend marker. They can’t even tell you what that is. But anything before that isn’t worth energy or time or, you know, all the times people say like, “Oh, they’re just an acquaintance.” It’s like, okay, you know, you’re so focused on what they aren’t. Have you ever thought about what they are in your life?
Deasha Waddup 46:16
Yeah, I think we can learn so much from people,
Alex Alexander 46:20
I think telling stories and talking about, again, how people are doing this in their life. Like, it’s really just a bunch of small actions that have compounded to give you the confidence to move two hours and not be worried about it to fly across the world. And you can say to someone, like, “Oh, I met this friend online, and I’m gonna fly to Canada.” Without sharing kind of a buildup of what got here, people are like, “Oh, well, that’s impossible.” But when you hear, it’s just all these little things that add it up, you’re like, oh, okay, well, maybe I could have that in a couple years, or in a year, or… You can get here. It’s not really any big, grand, wild things that got you here. It’s just a bunch of little actions that built these friendships.
Deasha Waddup 47:14
Yeah, I mean, my friend, who I’m staying with currently, she literally wrote on a Facebook group that we were in, “I am living here. I only want a running partner.” I’m like, “Okay. Yeah, me too.” Because when you’re interested in those things, I couldn’t actually run at the time. But I was like, yeah, I want to run, I can’t actually run like two miles, but sure. I want a running partner. But she was the same. She was like, I want to get back into running. So we didn’t need somebody who wanted to run a marathon. We only needed somebody who wanted to run around the park a few times. And then finding somebody that’s in that space, it’s so easy to do if you are in communities, even local communities, and you just share something that you want to do together and say, look, I’m looking to get into running. You don’t have to be a runner, or I’m looking to do more walking. There’s so many people with dogs that do the same thing, right? We have huge communities, and I’ve met loads of people through having a dog. Just go for a dog walk with a random stranger, because at least you have some company. That dog doesn’t talk much.
Alex Alexander 48:24
Well, this is something I say a lot is like a lot of people are waiting for… so if they want to run, right, they’re waiting to find the running friend to do it. So then they’ll never do the thing they want to do. They haven’t put themselves in places where they’re going to meet the running friend. So you know, you were saying to me earlier when we chatted, that you solo traveled for five years. And that’s such a great example of you could have said forever I want to travel partner. But you just went and did the thing you wanted to do, which is a little scary and outside your comfort zone probably. At first like, okay, here I go on my own. But doing that thing puts you in the place to meet the people who also want to do the thing.
Deasha Waddup 49:12
And you know how many people I speak to go, “Well, I can’t go traveling, because I don’t have anybody to travel with.” Like if you just wait for somebody to come traveling with you ain’t gonna go traveling. Like it’s the same with people who want to date. I want to date but I’d have to go out like. Well, unless you’re going to take… postman, you are not going to find a date. Go out and do these things. Otherwise, nobody is coming to knock on your door. And I think I have been fiercely independent my entire life and being like, well, nobody’s coming to save me. I’ll just go and do it myself. And that has its pros and its cons, right? It’s not all roses, right? But being able to just go, well, I just… I’m just gonna go and do this. And I remember a few years ago, I went to Borneo. And I booked flights on my own, I plan the entire trip. And it was my dream trip. And the guy I was dating at the moment at the time, was like, “This sounds aweful.” I’m like, “Good, because I’m not asking you to come with me.” I don’t want you to come with me. This is my dream trip. And it was hiking up a mountain. Like a two day trek up a mountain, living in the jungles and seeing wild orangutans and diving. And they were all the things that I really wanted to do in Borneo. And for some people, the whole thing would have been awful. So I was like, this is what I want to do. And I’m gonna go and do it. And I made beautiful friendships all the way. And I’m still friends with the people I met diving, people I met in the jungle, because I just did it.
Alex Alexander 50:48
To close this episode out, if you were to give somebody who is feeling… someone is probably listening to this episode, and is realizing now that they have not taken any intentional action to cultivate the kind of friendships they want, or the people they want around them, if somebody’s listening to that, and realizing it, where would you tell people to start?
Deasha Waddup 51:14
To start, join a local Facebook community page, group, anything like that. That’s where I found my first group, my first friends, because it’s easy. And if you’re looking for female friends, like I joined a Girls in Manchester group, which was the city I was living in at time, because it meant that it was less scary for me to be vulnerable in that space. There was also a similar Facebook group in Sydney. So there is… there are similar Facebook groups all over the place where you can just put in there and go… I remember when I lived in Sydney for a while, I put in to this group, “I want to go and see this film.” And it was just a ‘Girls in Sydney’ group. And four girls came and watched this movie with me. Like complete strangers, never met them before at all. But they all happen to want to go and see the same movie and didn’t want to go on their own either. So, the five of us went to the movies together. And it just gives you that, oh, I’m not alone. So whatever it is, whether it’s just you want to go and see a movie, I had a friend for a while who liked wine tasting. And the only thing we did together as a friendship was go wine tasting, and the various events across the city where you got to taste wine. And that, again, was from posting in a group, “I want to go to this wine tasting. Who wants to come with me?” And that was our friendship. We’re still good friends. But the majority of our activities are based around wine testing.
Deasha Waddup 51:27
And you figured out what’s the comfortable ask. It’s something that people like to do and it’s the comfortable ask. You already know you like to do it. If you’re available, if you can, like you’ll probably go. So you’re just like finding the comfortable asks, and then maybe that’s just where it stays. And maybe it turns into something else. And either way, it’s a beautiful friendship.
Deasha Waddup 53:06
Alex Alexander 53:07
Deasha thank you so much. I’m really excited for people to hear this conversation.
Deasha Waddup 53:12
Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I hope it inspires some people to go out there and make friends and just experienced the world a little bit more.
Alex Alexander 53:20
Yeah, just put yourself out there. Give it a try. Give it a try. What’s the worst that can happen? You’re gonna die, right? Is that what you say?
Deasha Waddup 53:26
Yeah, you’re not gonna die. So what’s the worst that can happen?
Alex Alexander [Narration] 53:30
Are you inspired because I’m inspired. I talk about community and friendship. But I’m not like some perfect model of how to do this. I listened to today’s episode and was inspired to put myself out there a little bit more. I don’t know the last time I met somebody in an online community, like suggested a meet up. Normally I meet people in person, I joined groups. So maybe I’ll give that a try. I will continue to build my own skill set. So whether you feel totally overwhelmed by today’s episode, because you feel like a beginner, or you’re like me, you have a pretty solid social situation and you’re now making a promise to yourself to push yourself a little bit, whatever it is, I hope that you walk away from this episode and decide to take a small action or two in your life, put yourself out there, be a little uncomfortable, and build this muscle that is making new connections. I hope that we all get to a place where we can make the decisions we want in life and go do the things we want to do without wondering who we’re gonna meet there or if we’ll be lonely or who’s going to help us if something goes wrong. Because we have enough evidence that we’ve had no problem building those connections that we need. With that, I’ll see you next week.
Podcast Intro/Outro 55:04
Thank you for listening to this episode of Friendship IRL. I am so honored to have these conversations with you. But don’t let the chat die here. Send me a voice message. I created a special website just to chat with you. You can find it at alexalex.chat. You can also find me on Instagram. My handle, @itsalexalexander. Or go ahead and leave a review wherever you prefer to listen to podcasts. Now if you want to take this conversation a step further, send this episode to a friend. Tell them you found it interesting. And use what we just talked about as a conversation starter the next time you and your friend hang out. No need for a teary Goodbye. I’ll be back with a new episode next week.