Breaking the Cycle: Rewriting and Modeling the New Rules of Friendship For the Next Generation With Annmarie Beatty | EP67

Friendship IRL Podcast - Episode 67 with AnneMarie Beatty

Podcast Description

Many adults today say they weren’t taught to make and maintain friendships. I’m often asked how we might break this cycle and model something different for the next generation.

What I keep coming back to is that we all need to start making small changes. What if we said hi to people walking by? What if we stayed off our phones while on the train or waiting in line? What if we allowed children to teach us how to put ourselves out there?

Today’s guest is Annmarie Beatty, who is a therapeutic life coach and a leader in her local home school community. So many people think homeschooled kids don’t get enough socialization, but her experience is the opposite – families who homeschool their kids have to be intentional about socialization.

In this episode, we talk a great deal about being intentional in connecting with the people around us. There are so many societal structures that make friendship difficult, but here, I hope you get the message, loud and clear, that it’s worth the effort!

In this episode you’ll hear about:

  • The importance of socializing with all ages and giving kids the opportunity to make intentional friendships 
  • The cultural shifts and structural hurdles that cause making and maintaining friendships difficult
  • Third Places, the Liking Gap, the decline in social trust (including thick and thin trust), and weak ties vs. strong ties
  • Small changes that can facilitate more social trust, which can be as easy as staying off your phone while in line or on the train
  • The extreme loneliness epidemic in the U.S., and seeing children as examples of how you can make friends and put yourself out there

Reflection Question:

When you walk by somebody on the street, do you say hi? Do you interact with strangers when you’re out in public? What is one small change you can make that will help facilitate more connections with the people around you?

Notable Quotes:

“I also know families that have homeschooled, and they don’t go out as often. And the children can feel lonely. But they also socialize within their own family unit. When we do see them, the children know how to have a conversation with all ages. And that I find unique, because when you see a group of school kids – and there might be 5-10 of them – and you try to engage them in conversation, they’re almost speaking a different language, or they’re not willing to communicate because I’m an adult and they’re children or teens. And that got me thinking: is the socialization in school as good as we believe it is?” 

“We are isolated into ages artificially too soon. If you’re a parent that is working and you have mortgages to pay and you have a baby, and then at six weeks, you put them into childcare because you have to, they’re in the infant room. And then when they get to a certain age, they’re in the 2-year-old room. And then after that it’s the 3- or 4-year-old room, and then it’s off to school. It all screams at me as artificial and leading us to not be in control of how we connect as a community.” 

Resources & Links

Check out Episodes 38 and 39, which are about third places, and Episode 41, which is about the Liking Gap. Another good resource is Bowling Alone: the Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert D. Putnam.

Like what you hear? Visit my website, leave me a voicemail, and follow me on Instagram and TikTok!

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!

Profile Photo for Alex Alexander a blonde haired white woman smiling at the camera. She is in her 30s with her hair down and curled and wearing a grey sweater.

Hi! I'm Alex.

I am just a person who has spent an extraordinary amount of time trying to understand some of the relationships that I hold most dear. I invite you to join in on the conversation below in the comments section below.

Ask questions, leave comments, share critiques or give advice. All are welcome.

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Hi. I'm Alex.

I'm just a gal who cares deeply about community + friendship. Why? Well, I didn't have a healthy support system growing up.

So I built one... out of friends. I believe a healthy support system is the ultimate self-care.

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