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52 Weeks of Hope

Lauren Abrams



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Fostering Friendship, Community, and Connection with Marisa G. Franco

Strangers are just friends waiting to happen, and building connections is the most natural thing we can do as humans.  This week, New York Times bestselling author, professor, and psychologist Marisa G. Franco joins us to discuss finding the beauty and value in friendship, how to cultivate these platonic relationships, the positivity that can come from developing a community, and how she found healing when she began to look beyond romantic relationships and instead started to prioritize friendship.  As Lauren and Marisa unpack the science of connection, Marisa touches on the art of nurturing deeper connections and how to work through the fear that can often come when we open ourselves up to others. She believes the connections we build support everything – our health, our motivation, our work, and our sense of who we are – and wants to equip individuals with the tools to move past that initial discomfort.  “When we're vulnerable, we underestimate how positively people perceive us. And it's also true with affection. When we share affection toward people, we underestimate how much they like it, overestimate how awkward it is. When we reach out to a friend to reconnect, we underestimate just how much they'll value it. When we say ‘no’ to someone, we overestimate how negatively they'll respond to it. So you know, across the board we see that generally the world is safer than our brain is telling us and that our brain tends to remember all these negative experiences and ignore all of the positives.” Everyone has the capacity to develop intimate and steadfast friendships that enrich the quality of our lives, and Marisa is here today to support you on that journey! “For friendship to happen, someone has to be brave, so be brave!” In this episode: (01:04) - Making friends as an adult (04:30) - Examining the expectations around romantic love and friendship (06:26) - The Liking Gap and fear of rejection (09:47) - How your friendships shift in different seasons of life (14:26) - Vulnerability as a strength, not a burden (16:34) - “Shared vulnerability” and developing familiarity (19:04) - The role of social igniters (20:14) - The science of loneliness and how to combat isolation (23:07) - Marisa’s message of hope (23:48) - Overcoming covert avoidance Guest Professor and speaker Dr. Marisa G. Franco has helped dozens of people all over the world by sharing her knowledge and research about friendship and the different relationships we build in our lifetime. As the New York Times bestselling author of the book Platonic, she carefully digests the science of connection and brings platonic relationships to the foreground by leveling the hierarchy between romantic love and the friendships that we form. Her works have been featured in major outlets like Psychology Today, Scientific American, and The New York Times.   Resources & Links 52 Weeks of Hope https://www.52weeksofhope.com  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyLA7Rb6E0PtKBhPGu1vcjA  https://www.facebook.com/52weeksofhope  https://www.instagram.com/52weeksofhope  https://www.twitter.com/52weeksofhope  Marisa G. Franco https://drmarisagfranco.com/ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/experts/marisa-franco-phd  https://twitter.com/DrMarisaGFranco  https://instagram.com/DrMarisaGFranco  https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/676695/platonic-by-marisa-g-franco-phd/   

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