84 - Navigating Complicated Work Friendships with Blake Blankenbecler 
Navigating complicated work friendships with Blake Blankenbelcler: The Teacher Career Coach Podcast

84 – Navigating Complicated Work Friendships with Blake Blankenbecler 

TeacherCareerCoach

On this episode, one of our most popular guests is back! Blake Blankenbecler, a licensed professional therapist from Austin, Texas, discusses the ins-and-outs of navigating complicated relationships in the workplace.

Listen to the episode in the podcast player below, or find it on Apple Podcast or Spotify.

Transcript – Navigating Complicated Work Friendships with Blake Blankenbecler 

Daphne Gomez:
Hello, Blake. It is so good to talk to you again.

Blake Blankenbecler:
I’m so happy to talk with you too!

Daphne Gomez:
Thank you. For my audience members who have not heard your past interview, do you mind just giving a little brief overview of who you are and why I brought you on here today?

Blake Blankenbecler:
Yes, I’m Blake Blankenbecler, licensed professional therapist. I was on here a few … Was it last year? I don’t remember.

Daphne Gomez:
It was last year. It was Episode 31.

Blake Blankenbecler:
Beautiful. Okay. Episode 31. And yeah, I am a therapist. I now live in Charleston, South Carolina, so I moved, but I am doing the same thing. I specialize in helping folks who have trauma, eating disorders, attachments, woundings. You know, just the normal … I feel like at this day and age, normal human stuff. And yeah, I do a lot of work on helping folks get back in their bodies and listen to their stories and listen to themselves. So it’s really a great honor. And yeah, I love what I get to do.

Daphne Gomez:
The last episode that you were on, we did a deep dive into how teachers can find affordable therapists, how they can actually explore what types of therapists might be the best fit for them, why so many teachers need therapists.

Blake Blankenbecler:
Yes.

Daphne Gomez:
But today, we are going to really focus in on what is a quote/unquote healthy friendship and how friendships can help us through really hard times. And they also may be potentially holding us back when we’re struggling, as well. Do you want to talk about a little bit of your work with friendships in general, before we get started on some of my questions?

Blake Blankenbecler:
Yes. Amazing. So I started studying friendships, it kind of happened on accident, but basically it was this realization that we have all of these big relationships that we pay a lot of attention to. So we pay a lot of attention to the ones like the relationships we have with our family members, our mom and dad comes up in therapy a lot, our partners, and then bosses often come up a lot. But it’s like there are these relationships on the side that kind of hold us through them all, that we never talk about. And it’s our friends.

Blake Blankenbecler:
And study after study shows chronic loneliness is a huge issue. I think research came out that chronic loneliness is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, which is really alarming. And just thinking about how we’re more connected than ever, but we’re also so much lonelier.

Blake Blankenbecler:
And a lot of that, I came back to these really foundational friendships that we have, but we don’t actually know how to talk about the hard things and really go deeper if we want to and ask for the support. We don’t even know that we can ask for support or that we can ask our friends, “Hey, can you not? When you say this, this isn’t helpful. This would actually be more helpful.”

Blake Blankenbecler:
And so it’s just been this really fun world to open up and explore of, we don’t talk about friendships enough, but they’re pivotal to our wellbeing. And, yeah.

Daphne Gomez:
Yeah. I think one of the reasons why I wanted to bring you on here is, with my own experience as a teacher, it is easy to get sucked into teaching being your entire life, because there’s so much work that goes into it. And with that, the only friends that you really feel like you have are other teachers.

Daphne Gomez:
And so that comes with some positives, of teachers who feel aligned with how you feel and you’re able to vent to them, or you’re able to talk openly to them. Or teachers that are all struggling at the exact same time, and you may be just a negativity circle. Or you are not feeling confident that you can actually share who you are or what you are feeling with any of the other teachers because … I’ve heard someone else say Mary Poppins style teachers, the teachers that nothing is ever wrong and everything is perfect and I’ll get it all sorted out.

Daphne Gomez:
And so if you’re really struggling, it’s hard for you to tell that type of person that you’re struggling. You don’t want to bring them down. Have you worked with teachers or have you explored any of the work relationships with friend groups, especially in friend groups with women, before?

Blake Blankenbecler:
Yes. I think especially at a place like teaching, it’s so interesting and nuanced and messy because teaching is really this very, it’s like a whole nother world. You live at school, you’re there all the time. You’re going through it.

Blake Blankenbecler:
And so it can be this really beautiful thing of support, with other teachers who become your friends. And you also can get really trapped. It’s easy to kind of get sucked into the negativity and sucked into everything that’s wrong. And then friendship more becomes vent sessions. And then after a while it’s like, “Wait, this doesn’t actually feel good, but I don’t know how to say, can we talk about something different?” Or you don’t want to be shameful of just switching into toxic positivity mode.

Blake Blankenbecler:
But I think there’s some balances there, of meeting people in the middle and supporting each other, but also just not talking about everything that’s going wrong.

Daphne Gomez:
I think one thing that I’ve learned through my marriage is asking people if they even have the emotional capacity for that type of dump.

Blake Blankenbecler:
Yes.

Daphne Gomez:
You don’t want to flood someone with what is going on in your life, if they are also potentially having a really rough time. So just asking that permission of, are you in a space where you can hear this type of thing that’s going on in my life? Because sometimes people are so low in their own struggles that it does just kind of cycle and build on everyone else.

Blake Blankenbecler:
1000%. And I think I have so much … I think everybody listening to this has compassion as a teacher, but just on the outside, not as a teacher, but getting to work with lots of them, y’all are going through the ringer. It is a really hard, challenging time where so much chaos is happening and so much unknowns and having to do one thing or not one … There’s just, it’s a messy world.

Blake Blankenbecler:
And so, I do think that it’s just taking that one extra second to be like, “Hey, I need to share something. Can I vent right now? Do you have the margin? And if not, great. I can come back to it at a later point.” It’s just so kind.

Daphne Gomez:
I do feel like venting sometimes does feel good, to get it off of your chest.

Blake Blankenbecler:
1000%.

Daphne Gomez:
If you feel disrespected or if you’re disappointed in something. How do you feel that someone can go about having a venting session with a friend in a healthy way?

Blake Blankenbecler:
I love that question. I don’t think there’s a perfect answer, but even getting clear with your friends. And even this is a good question for us to ask our friends. “I’m gonna vent right now.” Or the person’s going to vent. “Do you need me to just listen? Do you need me to give you feedback? Do you want me to push back on things? Do you just want my support? Do you just need to vent right now?”

Blake Blankenbecler:
And I think just being clear about what you’re needing, and being clear on both sides, is really helpful. And being cognizant. Usually we can, after we’ve said everything and gone through everything, there’s a sense of relief and pause. And the times where I realize we need help or we need some extra support is when we’re having those vent sessions again and again and again, and again and again, and we can’t get ourselves out of them. And we’re just sitting there ruminating. Those become challenging.

Blake Blankenbecler:
They’re frustrating for the person who’s going through them, because they’re like, “I don’t want to be thinking about this.” And they’re frustrating for the friends because they’re like, “I don’t know how to support you in this. Here’s this.” And so, that’s sometimes when some extra outside help and care can be helpful.

Daphne Gomez:
I always try and look at my vent sessions of, if I am starting to approach this conversation, am I looking for advice on how to get out of it? Or is it just, I need to get it off of my chest because I need to validate my emotions? What are my intentions behind what I’m about to say? And that always helps me scale back a little bit, of sometimes I realize, “Okay, I was just saying that just to be negative for the moment, and that’s not moving anyone forward, even myself.”

Blake Blankenbecler:
No.

Daphne Gomez:
But I can be a negative person, sometimes. There are-

Blake Blankenbecler:
We all can.

Daphne Gomez:
Just those types of days.

Blake Blankenbecler:
Yeah. And I hope that no one listening to this thinks, “Okay, I need to be really careful about venting what I say, da, da, da.” I don’t think it’s about having this intense critic watching over what we say. But it is being mindful of, and I think I realize I’m not in a great space when everybody’s bad. Everybody’s out to get me. I know I’ve gone too far, if everybody’s bad, I’m bad, no one’s missing the mark. There’s nothing good. It’s like, “Okay, how can I slow down and rein it in and come back to reality a little bit?”

Daphne Gomez:
I know one thing we were going to talk about is the difference between a helpful versus an unhelpful work friendship. Do you have examples of both of these types of relationships?

Blake Blankenbecler:
Okay. Let me think of some good examples. I think a helpful work relationship, especially a work, I’ll do friendship because let’s … Yeah. We make friends with the people we spend our days with. We’ve got to have support.

Blake Blankenbecler:
A really helpful one is … Let me think of a specific example. When I think of helpful friendships at work, I think about friends who are attuned to each other and friends who it’s like, “Hey, I can see you’re having a tough time. Are you okay? Do you need anything? Can I support you? Can I get your lunch today? Do you need? Can I help you with something?”

Blake Blankenbecler:
And I think a healthy friendship is not just the friend who says that, but it’s also the friend who says thank you for … To not push the care away. It’s also like, “Yeah, I’m not going to hide it. I am struggling. And thank you.” Actually receiving the help and the care. “This would be helpful if you could just talk with me for a second about this.” Or what have you.

Blake Blankenbecler:
But it’s both noticing and receiving. That’s really helpful. Because no one gets gold stars for pushing our way through it and being the strongest one. I think it’s pretty clear with all of teachers, everyone’s having a tough time. So accept help where you can get it, and our friends are great ways to do that.

Blake Blankenbecler:
And then when I think about unhealthy friends, I am a really big advocate of just noticing your body in conversations with people, especially friends. When do I feel relief? When do I feel really seen and cared for? I even just put my hand on my chest. That’s something I often do when I’m like, “Yes!” It’s just this sense of, I feel held and it feels so good.

Blake Blankenbecler:
But noticing when are the friends that I’m around, where it’s like I get caught up and there’s subtle competition. “Well, my kids are doing this today. I did this. It didn’t take me that long to finish my grading assignment. It’s not that big of a deal.” And it’s like, “Ooh, that does not feel good at all.”

Blake Blankenbecler:
And so those become when it’s like you’re having to kind of puff up and be bigger and have everything together, when clearly you don’t. Those become really unhelpful spaces, because they just create a lot of shame and they make you want to hide more.

Navigating complicated work friendships with Blake Blankenbelcler: The Teacher Career Coach Podcast

Daphne Gomez:
Do you recommend that someone who finds themselves in somewhat of a, it seems like a like competitive type of friendship, or a space that someone may be irking them with small things that they’re doing, should they vocalize these concerns to someone? Or does that sometimes even make the rift worse?

Blake Blankenbecler:
That depends. Again, I’m such an advocate for talking about things. And often I find talking about things is a great litmus test for how safe of a friendship this is. For a lot of us who are conflict avoidant, it’s going to scare us regardless. Sometimes we can’t really tell, just having a conversation about … With this example, “Hey, I’m realizing I can’t talk about this stuff with you. I get in my own head about it. And so I think it’s helpful that we don’t talk about lesson planning.” I don’t know if that would even be a thing. “I think it’d be helpful if we just not go there.”

Blake Blankenbecler:
That’s probably going to be scary to name out loud for anybody. And depending on how that conversation goes, it will give you a lot of data on how safe of a friendship it is in the future to continue engaging with. I have always been a huge proponent of conflict dealt with correctly actually breeds intimacy. It can make you closer. “Oh, this makes so much sense that you get in your own head about this. I get in my own head about this. I think I just feel like I have to do it all.” And that can lead to a really beautiful, flourishing conversation.

Blake Blankenbecler:
Whereas if you’re just met with defensiveness, even though it hurts in the moment, it just gives you more clarity that it’s not a helpful friendship for you to continue engaging with. So you’ll get clarity either way. Some clarity might just not feel as good.

Daphne Gomez:
Do you see that limiting beliefs can be something that impacts friendships, where people start to feed into one another’s limiting beliefs? I know I talk about limiting beliefs and mindset with teachers all the time. Have you seen this being something that impacts a healthy friendship?

Blake Blankenbecler:
Yeah, absolutely. So we’re talking about even that example of just having some boundaries like, “Hey, I can’t talk about this. I get in my own head about this. It’s not helpful for me. We can talk about anything else.” To be able to even have boundaries, there has to be a sense of self-worth, that you believe that you are entitled to such boundaries.

Blake Blankenbecler:
And if you don’t respect yourself and if you don’t believe you’re worthy, you’re not going to act in a way that mirrors that. And so I think about the teacher who might believe they’re not as worthy, or they’re not as important, or they’re not in the cool teacher crew and they really want to be.

Blake Blankenbecler:
There’s some, danger is a big word to use, but there’s some hesitancy that I feel towards them, or some I feel actually protective of them. You could be over-functioning and being over-helpful because you think, “Oh my gosh, if I make myself more likable, if I do all of these things, then I will get to be in the in crowd and I’ll get more care and more what have you.”

Blake Blankenbecler:
So yeah, absolutely. Limiting beliefs show up big time. What are your thoughts on limiting beliefs, especially as teachers navigate this?

Daphne Gomez:
I think that there is limiting beliefs that can go both ways, where there are people who potentially are thinking of leaving the classroom. And they start to open up to their trusted support system at the school, maybe one or two teachers, and say, “Hey, I am starting to look into becoming, I want to go into customer success at an ed tech company. Or I’m looking into just becoming a corporate trainer.”

Daphne Gomez:
And then one or two other teachers may catch on to this and say, “I looked into it. I tried. It’s absolutely impossible. Good luck with that.” And I feel like those types of conversations can start to create a large group of people who have the same type of mindset, without realizing that it is impacting other people and how they’re actually perceiving their own future.

Blake Blankenbecler:
Oh, that’s such a good example of just that stuckness. It grows. It infects communities, right? It just kind of trickles out. But yeah, no, that’s a really great example of even holding for yourself, “This was hard for me. This is where I got stuck.” Even taking ownership of it. “I noticed these parts were really hard for me, but tell me more about you. Tell me what’s exciting you about potentially leaving the classroom and doing this?” Can we be more curious with our friends and not project our own experiences onto them?

Daphne Gomez:
That’s such a good point, is that a lot of people always project, “It happened to me once in this one unique situation. And so that is matter-of-factly what is going to happen to every other person who goes into that.” Even when it comes to relationships of, “Oh, I went on a blind date once.” Either it was wonderful or it was terrible. And that’s the end of the story. You either really want to do it or you hate doing it.

Blake Blankenbecler:
Again, I want to steer clear of this, I don’t think it’s actually toxic positivity, but what we notice more of, what we are tuned into, is what we’re going to notice. That is just, there is scientific evidence that points to that, that if we are more aligned with how things are not going to work out and how bad things are, that’s what we’re going to see. Those are the stories that are going to find us. It’s the same thing of, if you start looking for a car and you’re like, “Oh, I really like this white Jeep.” You’re going to start seeing the white Jeeps everywhere. They’re just going to appear. You know how that happens? But the same-

Daphne Gomez:
Oh, when I’m looking for red flags, I will 100% find the red flags in a negative situation.

Blake Blankenbecler:
Yeah. And it’s like, we’re in a place where there is a lot, can be a lot of messiness and drama. Do I leave? Do I go? Where can I find … And that’s even why I love that you have this resource available. It’s like, “Where can I find hopeful stories?” Not stories that it’s like, “You’re going to make a million dollars when you leave teaching!” That’s kind of ridiculous. But can you find some realistically hopeful stories? And I think you provide that for a lot of people.

Daphne Gomez:
Yeah. I just think everyone realizing that their own path is unique.

Blake Blankenbecler:
Yes.

Daphne Gomez:
That everybody’s interpretation of what is possible is their own perception of what they’ve gone through personally in their life, and not something that should impact your own decision-making. There’s a difference between making an informed decision or living someone else’s life.

Blake Blankenbecler:
Yeah. And if you’ve never learned how to be assertive, and I think this can happen, we talked about this in the other episode, of this human giver syndrome. If I only believe I am to be of service, then part of your work needs to be to learn about being assertive, to choose your own path, to make decisions, to reach for what you actually want to reach for. And not just what people say you should reach for.

Daphne Gomez:
One thing that we talked about that I had never really heard of before is this phrase, common enemy intimacy. And I think I can guess just by reading the phrase, what it means. And I do think that probably a lot of teachers and teacher friends have found themselves caught up in this. But do you mind explaining that?

Blake Blankenbecler:
Yeah. So, it does not come from me. It obviously comes from Brené Brown, the BB queen. And so it’s this experience of, it is a type of intimacy, but it’s all about, as you can say, what we mutually hate together.

Blake Blankenbecler:
On one hand, it makes up the best gossip sessions. On the other hand, and this has sadly happened in a few of even my friendships, I kind of take a step back and I’m like, “If we’re not talking about what we hate, there’s not a whole lot to talk about.”

Blake Blankenbecler:
And that’s where it’s like the whole friendship is based on this kind of mutual hatred and disdain for a shared object, person, what have you. And I think in places where there can be toxic cultures and toxic administration or problematic administration, it’s so easy for this to happen in teaching.

Blake Blankenbecler:
I don’t want to shame anybody. It’s so easy to fall into a place like this. And you do need support. You do need people to understand how hard it is. And yet, if the only thing that you are actually finding intimacy around is what’s hard and what’s bad and what’s going on, it’s not going to be the most quality, meaningful, helpful relationship that can move you forward. It’s going to be one of those more relationships that keep you stuck.

Daphne Gomez:
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. And I definitely can reflect on a couple of friendships that I have. And I think we’re just salty like, “Oh, look at this celebrity or here’s this meme that’s not that funny.” Just negative things, that we know that we have these common senses of humor or common gripes that we have, or people that have rubbed us the wrong way in the past.

Daphne Gomez:
But those are also friendships that I can evaluate and say, “We can’t sit down and talk about the positive things in life.” If you are always surrounding yourself with that negative energy, it’s going to be so hard for you to continue to grow and to continue to move past it and be happy and healthy, even outside of that situation.

Blake Blankenbecler:
Absolutely.

Daphne Gomez:
Knowing that there’s a space for being honest, being vulnerable, sharing your feelings, sharing your emotions, but looking at the person in front of you and saying, “Is there something else that I can actually talk about with this person? Is there a solution to the problem that we’re talking about? Is there even space in their brain for me to be talking about this right now? Or are they also so overwhelmed that they can’t process this?” It’s just part of growing and learning and developing as a human and being a better person and being a better friend.

Daphne Gomez:
One of the biggest problems that I know a lot of the teachers are facing is, they have developed this community, this education community, and we have been in it for forever. And I personally respect and love teachers, just in general, so much. And then when you leave, you feel like you are letting down these people that you love, you’re potentially hurting them, and you could be throwing away your friendship with people that you’ve been working with and had this huge connection with for five years or 10 years.

Daphne Gomez:
How do you recommend people try to sustain those friendships, especially if they feel like they left them behind or potentially hurt them in some way?

Blake Blankenbecler:
Wow. Communication is number one. And I think about really good friends who can see us, I think about good friendships are those that can see our potential too and cheer us on. And we can share in the grief together of, “Yes, I’m going to miss you so much. And this is so good for you.” I get that not every … And sometimes those two don’t happen seamlessly. It takes some people some time to come around.

Blake Blankenbecler:
But I think about, Aristotle talked a lot about friendships. And he talked about this idea of accidental friendships and friendships of good. And accidental friendships were those that you just happened to be in the same space, at the same time. And for teachers accidental friendships happen all the … Right? You’re in shared space at the same time, you want to go through this and have some camaraderie.

Blake Blankenbecler:
It shifts into friendships of good when they’re purposeful and when there is a lot of choice and a sense of, “I want to be friends with this person, this person is important to me, and I’m going to invest in them.” And so that means the friendship has to grow beyond just the meeting place. Do you see each other outside of school ever?

Blake Blankenbecler:
I can promise you, if you’ve never once hung out with someone outside of school, you probably won’t see them after you leave. If you do happen to leave the classroom, you probably won’t see them because you’ve never created those rituals.

Blake Blankenbecler:
So even thinking as a teacher that’s considering leaving and has all of these really special friendships, are you creating rituals that you’re meeting outside of the classroom, that you’re meeting and getting involved? Do you walk together? Do you work out together? Do you go over to each other’s houses for dinner? Are you creating different touch points than just the ones at the classroom?

Blake Blankenbecler:
Because the reality is, someone will leave first. People don’t stay forever. They move schools. I mean, some do, but it’s going to change. And so, are you creating pathways to allow for that change and to allow for the friendship to stretch?

Daphne Gomez:
I’ve heard so many stories about, when people left, just feeling so shocked and so hurt that people were not supportive of them, or some really negative situations where they actually feel adult bullied from their past colleagues.

Daphne Gomez:
I also have heard from the perspective of one of my very close personal friends, who still is in the classroom. And she was telling me the story of someone who left midyear, and she 100% understood why this person left midyear. She was just at their breaking point. And she was saying that when the former teacher came onto campus or had called, she just was very defensive and was saying, “Oh, it seems like you don’t want to be my friend right now or you’re upset with me.”

Daphne Gomez:
And my friend who’s still in the classroom just said, “I’m just exhausted. I’m happy for you. But I don’t have the emotional capacity to celebrate your new job because I just have so many things on my plate right now.” So both things can be true. They can be happy for you and also distant at the same time, which is so hard to hear when you have this guilt, that teacher guilt in your heart, that you hurt people. You want to immediately see it in their faces that they’re happy for you, or they’re happy to see you. But right now, they may have just looked sad anyway.

Blake Blankenbecler:
Yeah. And the teacher who’s staying, their work is to stay. Their work is to be okay they’re leaving, even in the grief and the messiness and to move forward. But yeah, I think that’s a hard thing, because we want permission a lot from our peers. “I’m doing the right thing, right? Celebrate me!” Because we doubt it, too, if we’re making these really big choices.

Blake Blankenbecler:
And so we need some peer approval, but often it’s not always there. And especially in a place like teaching where there is a sense of, I think it is such a hard place to be and you bond so much, that it’s easy to feel betrayed when someone leaves.

Daphne Gomez:
It’s definitely one of those hard work dynamics. It always feels bigger than just a regular work friendship. Because I have had work friendships after I left teaching, and they anticipate people leaving companies-

Blake Blankenbecler:
That’s part of it, yeah.

Daphne Gomez:
And going to different places. But teaching was this, “You’re in it and you’re in it for the rest of your life. You may be at this school for the rest of your life.” Where company culture is a little bit different. You do have your work besties, you go to lunch with them, but if a different company poaches them, you’re just excited for them. And it happens every two or three years.

Blake Blankenbecler:
Yeah. And sometimes that’s even helpful to hold in the back of our minds. And I know that, yeah, I think about my early jobs when people left, it was so hurtful. But now it’s like I expect it. And so even as a teacher, holding that. Some people will leave. I might be the one to leave. Some will stay, some will leave, and I have to be okay. I have to learn how to be okay with it.

Daphne Gomez:
Is there any way that we can be more aware of when our own insecurities or our own trauma or our own perceptions are starting to show up and put baggage on an actual friendship?

Blake Blankenbecler:
Oh, absolutely. This is why I’m a huge proponent and biased about therapy. Because I think it can really help us reality test. “Hey, this thing happened. I’m super upset about it. I’m super triggered.” Part of it probably is some feelings getting hurt, and part of it probably is our own stuff getting pulled up.

Blake Blankenbecler:
So I think about, it’s so common for so many of us to have wounds around rejection and abandonment. And so, even thinking a teacher leaving can easily … Or a friend that’s telling you they’re leaving the classroom, that can easily trigger those same, “Wait, you’re abandoning me. I thought you were in this with me forever. How can I do this without you?” It can really evoke a sense of betrayal.

Blake Blankenbecler:
And so that’s when it’s helpful to get some, “Okay, you are absolutely valid in feeling that way, and you’re not getting abandoned.” Yes, someone’s leaving, but abandonment and leaving are really different. But that takes time for our bodies to learn. That’s trauma work. I say that, yeah. I hope it doesn’t come across like that’s just an easy knowing for us to have. It takes us a long time to really embody that truth.

Daphne Gomez:
No, I think being aware of this is probably something else that is triggering my emotional reaction. And it’s realistic that it’s stress from all of the other things going on, but also that fear of rejection, that fear of abandonment.

Daphne Gomez:
And same with the teachers who are leaving. They have that same fear of rejection. This is the first time maybe they had this really close group of friends that they felt really aligned with. And this is when, out of nowhere, it could feel like high school again, that all 15 people that you thought you were close with out of nowhere are going to say-

Blake Blankenbecler:
See ya!

Daphne Gomez:
“Nevermind. We don’t want to be friends with so and so.” And that’s scary, even as an adult.

Blake Blankenbecler:
Yeah, it doesn’t stop being. I feel like there are parts of us that will always be kind of at that middle school table, asking the questions like, “Do you like me? Check yes or no.” Those are still … And I don’t think we need to get rid of those parts, but I think that we can be conscious and care for those parts.

Blake Blankenbecler:
So if we’re the ones leaving, talking to even … That’s a huge part of my work is talking to those younger parts of us that feel like they’re going to get ganged up on and being like, “Hey, I see you. This is really hard. We’re not going to go through this alone. I’m not going to leave you. I’m not going to be mad at you.” But yeah, it’s scary. It’s scary stuff, to take risks and to know that our decisions do impact others.

Daphne Gomez:
Gosh, I wish I could talk to you for another 30 minutes about this, but we do have to wrap up. Blake, when teachers are looking to connect with you, what would be your favorite way to have them find you?

Blake Blankenbecler:
My favorite way? I love when they hang out with me on Instagram. That’s a fun little pop in place, and it’s just my name. That’s my website, too. Blakeblankenbecler.com and @BlakeBlankenbecler.

Daphne Gomez:
We will link it in today’s show notes for anyone who wants to connect with Blake and learn more from her. She is wonderful. And if you have not gone back to listen to Episode 31, where we do a deep dive into all things teachers and therapy, definitely go back and listen to that episode. But thank you so much, Blake, for being here today.

Blake Blankenbecler:
Thank you for having me. And I’ll share one thing about cultivating meaningful friendships that I think would be a great tool for teachers to use outside of the classroom, to help even make sure when/if they do make a decision, we’ve created some rituals and time to spend together is, I’m creating a friendship deck.

Blake Blankenbecler:
So it’s going to be a hundred questions that you can ask your friends. There are going to be three levels of descending vulnerability, so we won’t go to the deep end first. To just create those sustainable, meaningful, longterm friendships. That will be out this summer, so stay tuned.

Daphne Gomez:
I love that. I cannot wait to see it. Really excited and thank you so much for being here.

Blake Blankenbecler:
You’re welcome. Thanks for having me, and thanks for everyone listening.

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