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February 15, 2024 22 mins

Jana explores the power of friendship when she talks to Rachel Winter and Rachel Steinman, authors of “Stay Golden, Girls: Friendship is the New Marriage”. 

The Rachels help Jana understand how to make your friendships deeper through vulnerability and maturity. 

And, hear the one piece of crucial advice to form deeper bonds with with your closest friends!

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:01):
Wind Down with Janet Kramer and I'm Heart Radio Podcast.

Speaker 2 (00:06):
All Right, and this week's Thursday Therapy, We've got Rachel
Winter and Rachel Steinman. They're the authors of a new
book called Stay Golden Girls. Friendship Is the New Marriage.
We're going to talk all things friends and let's get.

Speaker 1 (00:17):
Them on no.

Speaker 3 (00:19):
Hi. Hi.

Speaker 2 (00:21):
First of all, I just when I was reading your breakdown,
I'm like, well, they're best friends with the same name,
so obviously, I'm like, I'm sure you guys get that
all the time.

Speaker 3 (00:31):
It has made it easier for a lot of people.
They're just basically threatening.

Speaker 2 (00:37):
Yeah, but like, how do you so, like in your
group of friends, because I'm sure you guys have you
know a group of friends? How do you know which
one is which? Like are you a Rach? Is one
a Rach and one's a Rachel? Like or is it
a W versus an S? Like what is it?

Speaker 3 (00:51):
It's Yeah.

Speaker 4 (00:52):
They'll usually add a last name. But the funny thing
is because this group has known each other for so long,
quite often and the last names go back to like
maiden names sometimes.

Speaker 2 (01:04):
So I still have my very best friend who I've
been friends with her since middle school. She's still in
my phone as her maiden name. Like she's she's not
a no wiki to me. She's a pelophone. She'll always
be a pelophone. So I'm like, that's like, I can't
change her name. No, that's not who she is to me,
Like my childhood was pelophone. Okay, So I've read a

little bit about your history, but give the wind down
listeners about the history on the rachels. How did you
guys become best friends and your journey together?

Speaker 4 (01:36):
So Rachel and I met in college and which college
we went to, U see Santa Barbara love beautiful and
we actually are also both from We're both original Valley girls,
grew up in the valley in Los Angeles, love it.
But then we met actually at Santa Barbara, and that's

where we became friends. Our relationship and I know Rachel
will agree with this, has grown and deepened. So it
was we knew we were going to be friends immediately
when we met. It was within really Rachel's larger group
that there was a big contingent from her high school,
from Birmingham High School. So a bunch of those girls.

I knew one of them from summer camp. So they
all just pulled me in. So that's when Rachel we
became friends in eighteen years old, and we had taken
Teddy out of the room. I see her dog is
obsessed with her. So we basically college, after college, twenties,

the whole thing.

Speaker 3 (02:41):
I would say, by the time we were in our.

Speaker 4 (02:44):
Thirties and even more in our forties, our relationship deepened,
really deepened. You know, you realize, as sort of grown
ups in a way that where you have more and
calm in that you know, the the top layer you

sort of realized, okay, the top layers there, that's no problem.
But then over time we just realized that we had
actually grown much closer post college, and we the journey
for this book started post pandemic, realizing how critical our
girlfriend relationships, our female friendships were, you know, friendship being

the antidote to loneliness basically, and you know, we were
all pretty supportive of each other, a lot of cocktails
on zoom.

Speaker 3 (03:37):
And that kind of thing.

Speaker 4 (03:38):
And then when the pandemic was more in the rear view,
Rachel and I, you know, we can talk further about
it and in terms of how this book came together,
but that was really I think the birth of the
idea for the book was post pandemic.

Speaker 2 (03:54):
No, I mean, I get it. It's it's it's something
too and you know, just again, your book is called
Stakehold and girl friendship is the new marriage. And I
have I'm lucky to have an amazing group of girls.
We call ourselves the Queendom. But it's like those girls
know me inside and out, and they know when I
go quiet, what's going on.

Speaker 1 (04:14):
They know, you know.

Speaker 2 (04:15):
The other day something really kind of rocked me and
I was upset, and my you know, friend was like,
you want to walk, you want to talk, you want
to and I'm like, no, I just and they're like, don't,
don't go into your hole.

Speaker 1 (04:26):
You know.

Speaker 2 (04:26):
It's like because they we know what we do, right
and so and our friends are there to support and
I don't know what I would do without my friends
because they were the only ones that got me through
my divorce and every other hard thing in my life.
Is at the end of the day, it's like we
always say, like the men will come and go, but
like the women are going to stay for life, you know.

And that's that's kind of a joke we've always said,
but it's true. I mean, in my life, the women
have always stayed. They've been the most true and I've
and I have had some friend breakups. And I'm curious
do you guys touch on that at all in your book,
because there's so many questions that I do get to,
like how do people deal with friend friendship breakups because
that's tough too, when you're like, it's been in these

many years, or this happens and you know it's a
it's a loss as well.

Speaker 1 (05:14):
Yes, And before I do that, by the way, I
just want to say I love your group name, Queendom.
That is amazing. I will get to your answer your
question a second, but I just love hearing these names
that friends have. That is something we're running into is
how many girlfriends groups, whether it's through chats or whatever,

have named themselves and it just love. I want to
keep a running list of them because they have. That
is fantastic. By the way, Queendom. So yeah, So our
book is very bright and happy and joyful, and that
was not by accident. You know the world is kind

of a dark place right now, and we wanted to
bring some positivity, some optimism, a feeling of being uplifted.
So you know there are some serious topics in there
around mental health, but we don't really go in deeply

into the loss of friendships. It's more about the celebration
of friendships. But it is a question we are getting
asked a lot as we uh start on this kind
of press tour now. And and Rachel can talk about that,
but it's and and I'll just I'll start by saying

that part of growing, you know, and Rachel and I
have daughters, and and and Rachel has his son, is
and learning about friendship is sometimes losing a friend. Just
like if you go through a divorce with with your
significant other and you and you lose someone that you
once really cared for, were in loved, it's teaching you

what to look for in the next relationship, or it's
teaching you how to be a good friend in the
current relationship.

Speaker 4 (07:11):
And that that's definitely what has happened to me. So
losing a friend to who was kind of like a
sister and a bestie in the whole thing. She's she's alive,
thank god, but she's losing in terms of the brave

out of the friendship and she we It has really
helped me to understand my part in it, and we
do talk about this in the book on the other
side of It, which is basically the equivalent of a garden.

Speaker 3 (07:47):
If you plant seeds and.

Speaker 4 (07:50):
Flowers grow, but you don't water the flowers, they will die.
And so for us it was the it was for us,
it was these were or matured flowers that we didn't
realize hadn't been properly watered and cared for. So you
can kind of skate through for decades on a foundation

of friendship, because you know, female friendship is very tight.
There's a ton of loyalty. Hopefully those were.

Speaker 3 (08:18):
Not the issues, but you you know.

Speaker 4 (08:20):
When you've met somebody when you're young, you know there's
that old saying, don't expect him to change, don't expect
her to stay the same.

Speaker 3 (08:29):
Women evolve, we change, we grow.

Speaker 4 (08:34):
And without it properly cared for friendship, there can be
fractures in the foundation. You don't even know they're there
until faced with a real problem. So those are symptoms.
If the symptoms go ignored, then your foundation is too
shaky to make it through a real problem. So by

the time my know, this dearest friend of mine, by
the time we were really faced with just differences in
how we were seeing the world. It was almost too
late because we had not properly cared for that foundation,
and it was super heartbreaking. It is absolutely like a death.

I will mourn it for the rest of my life.

Speaker 3 (09:20):
I have, but it has.

Speaker 4 (09:21):
Like Rachel said, I haven't learned how to look at
this and be like, well, I wouldn't. And I've apologized
for my part for me like we're amazing, we're such besties.
We're on a pedestal and not seeing the warning signs
and being more communicative that my needs as a friend
were not being met and maybe I wasn't meeting hers either,

But my own inability to step up and say this
isn't working for me and you're a lazy friend and
you need to do better left us open to what
ultimately happened to us.

Speaker 2 (10:09):
Maybe this is just me. I'm a defensive person. I
get overly defensive at times as my first reaction is
to be defensive, and so I'm not categorizing all women
like that, but I know many that are like that too.
So do you think we have a problem with hearing
our friends say something to us? We get defensive, and
that's usually the break of what how the break of

the friendship starts is the defense?

Speaker 3 (10:34):
You know, it's a great question. I'm not one hundred
percent sure. I think that it's what you.

Speaker 4 (10:41):
Said at the beginning of your statement, that it's the key.
I do not think that women are used to communicating
about these fractures, and so it's maybe more surprising.

Speaker 3 (10:55):
And I do feel like.

Speaker 4 (10:58):
If when maybe the initial is over, women are more
likely to be able to be like, I'm really glad
you said something.

Speaker 3 (11:06):
On some level, I was totally feeling the same thing.
I didn't have the guts to say it. Thank you,
let's work on it.

Speaker 2 (11:13):
Well, I think it's something different too, And like, you know,
I'm forty, so in my forties where I can go.
This just happened a couple of weeks ago. I was like, oh, sorry,
I was when I was I was short on the phone,
I was having a day. I was a little defensive,
you know, And then it's able to I think you're
I'm at least able to now own more my pieces

in all of my relationships, whereas I wasn't able to
in my twenties at all, and not great in my
thirties either.

Speaker 3 (11:43):
Yeah, that's exactly right.

Speaker 4 (11:45):
I think as we age and we get more, we
mature and again involved and that I know Rachel, you know,
is going to say that communication, that part of the
communication is the key, you know.

Speaker 3 (12:01):
So I think it's all about me.

Speaker 1 (12:02):
And sometimes it's those those arguments, those kind of coming
to a head that really brings you closer. So what
you said is I if you reach if you reach
out to a friend and say I'm sorry, I was
defensive and you start with yourself, that opens up that

kind of dialogue and it often brings you so much closer.
And it has happened with Rachel and I where we
I will call her and just say like, I'm sorry,
I'm acting, I acted this way, I stressed about whatever
the situation is, and and she'll say to me like,

oh I I could tell yeh, you know, like the
understanding of like her, she knows me so well that
just what but it but it had that doesn't happen overnight.
That is those are communications. That's me calling and apologizing,
that's her. And when we can be vulnerable and say

like I'm sorry, I was really defensive or I shouldn't
have said it like that, or then that opens up
the other person to say like, oh, I'm sorry, or
oh how can I help you? And it just it
just brings you closer. And so anytime you can be vulnerable,
it's actually brave. So I'm a mental health advocate besides,

you know, I started off as a teacher, but now
I volunteer for National Alliance on Mental Illness. I go
into middle schools and high schools and I talk to
kids and parents and staff about warning signs for mental
health issues, and I offer resources. But one of the
things that I always talk about is asking for help

is not weak. It's actually very brave, turning to a
friend and saying like I suck or I was really
like all of these Vulnerability is a superpower. And it's
so interesting. You know. One of the one of the
ways that we can be a good friend, believe it
or not, is asking our friends for help because we're

showing them like I need you to help me and
and and it's a two way street, of course, like
to have a friend, you have to be a friend.
But I it's a great question, It really is a
great question.

Speaker 2 (14:31):
So on the flip side of things, you know, in
your book, what are some things that are that we
can get from reading the book, Like, what are your
favorite chapters? What's is there like a good story in
there that you can give us, like give us a
little teaser.

Speaker 3 (14:46):
Well, I happen to have a book right here.

Speaker 2 (14:51):
I mean, come on, why not? It's a book tour
week exactly.

Speaker 3 (14:55):
You know, I guess you know. I always kind of
go to.

Speaker 4 (15:00):
The first chapter of Friendship is the New Marriage.

Speaker 3 (15:06):
I think that the book and this.

Speaker 4 (15:09):
Chapter just the our process of realizing that the currency
of female friendship is being valued and prioritized in a
way it never has before. And I know you reference
the difference between being in your twenties being in your forties,

Like I think as women, we were really socialized.

Speaker 3 (15:31):
Like Okay, who's going to be your mate? Who you
going to have children with?

Speaker 4 (15:37):
If that's your path, And then as we've gotten older,
we realize like everything doesn't have to orbit around that
that traditional layout. And then, you know, because we've been
talking about this so much, and the best thing when

writing this book, and this we touch on this all
through the book, is that younger people, younger women are
learning this in their twenties and they're talking about platonic
romance they're like, yeah, I'm par if I end up
finding the perfect whatever, prince, princess whatever, that fairy tale
looks different for women younger than when we figured it out.

And that's one of my favorite aspects of the book
is just when that moment for us, when we realized
that this prioritization of female friendships and the celebration of
female friendships had gotten into the zeitgeist. So yeah, that's
really kind of chapter one, how we tripped and fell
into this idea that we are totally in love with

and having way too much fun celebrating.

Speaker 2 (16:43):
I love that it makes me think about even just
back in high school. I'm like, God, I wish I
wasn't just chasing my high school boyfriend around and I
was chasing my friends instead and like having so much

more fun with friends like and just and I mean
that led into the twenties too. I'm like, man, I
just missed out on so many things because I was
too obsessed about having a relationship when it should have
been the relationship with my girlfriends as number one. Totally,
it's just wild.

Speaker 1 (17:23):
So really quickly back to one of my favorite chapters
is about how friendship is therapy. And as a like
I mentioned, you know, mental health being so important. We
know how great we feel after a girl's night. We
know how much better we feel when we are sitting
with a friend having that one on one time where

just the time actually melts away and we're connecting and
that kind of fight or flight energy is gone, and
we are present and we are in the moment, and
we are laughing and just we are. And this is
what I talk about when I go and I speak
to kids, the importance of not staring at screens and

thinking that those are friendships, the importance of actually physically
getting involved, joining clubs, joining sports, meeting a friend for
your coffee, or in our instance as adults, you know,
at a bar for our cocktail. How that literally changes

not just our mental health, but it helps with our
physical health. And there are studies about how loneliness is
more detrimental to your health than smoking sixteen is at
sixteen or thirteen cigarettes a day. It's just it's so
important to be connected to a community. Because we evolved

to be social creatures. We need our friends, and so
I really do encourage kids to nurture those friendships and
just the important that's really what this book is about
a celebration of how wonderful having friendships are and does

not matter where you live, what aisle you're on, side
of the aisle you're on, we all can agree friendship
is something we all want in our lives.

Speaker 2 (19:19):
Absolutely. What do you think is the best thing a
best friend could do? Like the one thing that like,
you're like this, this matters to to your friend. To
remind the listeners that are listening to this.

Speaker 4 (19:34):
I mean, my answer is, you know, I think it's
so boring, but it's really truly just listen and know
when to shut the fuck up, and you do not
don't have to fix me, you just saying I love you.

Speaker 3 (19:55):
That sucks. I'm team Rachel all the way. Whatever.

Speaker 4 (20:00):
Sometimes knowing the difference between trying to therapize me and
trying to just be there, that's to me one of
the best things the best friend can do.

Speaker 2 (20:11):
I agree Rachel us.

Speaker 1 (20:12):
Yeah, I would say just presence. And by the presence
it can mean similar to what Rachel says, just being
there for the person. And you know, we have some
friends sometimes that go silent, like you had mentioned you
were doing, and that means knowing them well enough to

if you don't hear from them, call and bug them.
How are you check in on them? Just always letting
them know that you are in their life. And as
we know, you know, there's this saying like old friends,
it doesn't matter how long you haven't seen each other.
When you're together, it's as if time hasn't passed, right,
It's all of that is kind of related. Even if

you haven't seen each other, there's still that feeling that
they are present in your life. And I can't imagine
my life without my girlfriends. I mean, it's just I
don't always get to see them, but I know they're there.
I know that they are if I if I need something,
I can reach out to them. So they are present,
maybe not physically with me, but they are in my

mind and always available as I am exactly.

Speaker 2 (21:28):
And this is your reminder right now to call your
best friend, even if they're in a different state or
in the same state, or you call them, you know,
you just talk to them, call them, tell me love them,
and then go get the book. Stay Golden Girls. Friendship
is a New Marriage by Rachel Steinmont and Rachel Winter. Ladies.
Thank you so much for being on.

Speaker 3 (21:45):
Thank you We're so sweet.

Speaker 2 (21:47):
You guys are you guys are awesome. And when I
make it to the valley, I'll call up the Rachels
and we'll go out.

Speaker 3 (21:54):
I love that.

Speaker 1 (21:55):
Okay, we love that.

Speaker 5 (21:57):
Let's go Grabbager perfect all right, bye, ladies, take care him.

Speaker 4 (22:12):
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