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I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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Friendship is powerful. And it’s complicated — which makes a close friendship like Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman’s truly extraordinary. 

As the co-hosts of the wildly popular podcast, Call Your Girlfriend, hundreds of thousands of listeners tune in each week to hear these two friends chat about everything from books to politics. Aminatou and Ann as are passionate and thoughtful as they come — even if it means disagreeing with each other on air. 

Team Forleo and I have been fans of theirs for a long time so, when I heard they had a new book coming out, I had to get them on The Marie Forleo Podcast.

“Friendship is a really complex relationship that brings out the best and worst in everyone.” @aminatou & @annfriedman Click To Tweet

Today you’ll hear Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman talk about their phenomenal new book, Big Friendship. It’s a deep dive into how to stay close, especially when friendship gets messy. 

As Aminatou says, “Friendship is a really complex relationship that brings out the best and worst in everyone.”

If distance or disagreements have ever threatened to end one of your close friendships, then this episode is a must-listen.

Tune in to learn:

4:15— The Gossip Girl meet cute that ignited a life-long friendship.
12:16 — What to know *before* you start a podcast.
18:20 — How to create consistent content without burning out.
24:00 — Their Shine Theory philosophy that keeps toxicity out of friendship.
29:14 — How to address conflict or disconnect in a friendship.
38:30 — How white people can get better at talking about race.
47:38 — The beautiful and messy process that goes into co-writing a book like Big Friendship.

Aminatou and Ann don’t hold back! Hit play now or download from wherever you listen to podcasts.

View Transcript

Check out this episode on The Marie Forleo Podcast

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DIVE DEEPER: Learn how to make friends as an adult and how to make time for your friends when your schedule is out of control.

Now, Aminatou, Ann, and I would love to hear from you.

Which part of our conversation resonated most and why? What can you do to turn that insight into action now?

Leave a comment below and let us know. Remember, share as much detail as possible in your reply. Thousands of incredible souls come here each week for insight and motivation, and your story may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough.

Important: share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. will be removed.

Never underestimate the power of filling your life with compassionate, supportive people. If you’re looking for a new friendship mantra, here’s an excellent one from Aminatou and Ann: “I don’t shine if you don’t shine.”

With enormous love,


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  1. Thank you for the video. I love the part where you discuss race on friendship. It is amazing to have friends of different races 🙂

  2. I don’t have near enough friends.
    i’ve lost plenty already has I’m an elder.
    it’s really a challenge for me.

    • Renee – Team Forleo

      Hi Mr. B. We’re sending you lots of love from Team Forleo. ? It’s possible to make new connections and friendships at any age! Here’s a great episode on this topic:

      I know it’s hard –– but so worth it! Sending you a virtual hug ?

  3. Friends2020

    Mr. B
    I value elders. I think friendships can be cultivated with adults of varying ages. Treasure the friends who have passed on. Thanks for sharing your tender comment.

  4. David Cobb

    I like the shine theory concept!

  5. Deanna L Robinson

    I loved this conversation. I think about the friendships I’ve enjoyed for years, and they do take effort. I’m moving to another state and I’ll be physically leaving a few close friendships so now to have the awareness to address how we are going to stay connected is perfect timing. I also found value in the discussion about race and how as the white person in the friendship, it’s my luxury, yet not life-giving, to not address the race difference. Whew – that is deep, and a situation I aim to change, for my part. Thank you for another great episode.

    • Renee – Team Forleo

      Beautiful reflections, Deanna! Thank you for sharing your heart with us. We’re so glad this episode can support you in nurturing friendships while you’re physically distanced. Sending you lots of love from Team Forleo! ?

  6. Cleve

    I used to believe friends are people with the same illusions, I now believe it’s not same it’s “matching” illusions”. We all have a stroke system we use to validate and recycle our favorite feelings along with validating our belief system. Friends are people willing to help us while getting what they need. Game’s ( the triangle)) are a waste of lives for the most part because everyone in it ends up as the victim. We are not listening to ourselves or others. Not enough work is being done on really listening.

  7. Melchades Lukanyanga

    a very interesting topic, and so cut to the heart, i have lost many friends because of distance. I feel to guilty. need to see how i can bounce back and connect with my friends.

  8. Susan Newberry Hokama

    My best friend moved away in 2014 which my husband and I named our year from hell because his mom passed away, his dad had a debilitating stroke, my dad committed suicide, our oldest daughter who was single announced she was pregnant and our closest neighbors moved away. So it was tough to not have my best friend nearby but she was such a trooper through that time and every day since. We stay in touch through texts and phone calls and once a year get togethers and I feel closer to her than ever! I am grateful every day that we have this type of amazing commitment across the miles to stay connected and encouraging of one another!

    • Renee – Team Forleo

      Oh my goodness, Susan. That does sound like a year from hell, and we’re so sorry all of that happened to you and your family. I had a similar year in 2016, and yes, friends are so important during those hard times. We’re sending so much love and lots of virtual hugs from all of us on Team Forleo, and thank you for sharing your story and heart with us. ?

  9. I love this. I made a friend at university in 2008 and now we make youtube videos and talk about spirit meeting science (i did neuroscience and CBT training, shes a nurse) and keep talking about doing a podcast <3 This made me really think about our friendship: gone from living together as students to living in different countries and now back to around 2 hrs drive apart. And yet, that spiritual connection of "being close" hasn't changed much at all!

    • Renee – Team Forleo

      Your YouTube show sounds so neat, Katy-Rose! I love the intersection of spirit and science. Thank you so much for sharing your friendship and story with us! ?

  10. Jodie Cleave

    “I don’t care if I’m hungry or freezen cold- I gotta get me some of them! Cause you’ve gotta have frie—-ends, la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la” What a beautiful topic, Friends! …Did you get the song reference??? Yep, the Divine Miss M…Bette Midler please take a deep and flourished bow. I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older to love my friends because of their quirks, uniqueness and eccentricities…not despite them! And as a result, they’ve helped me love mine! Ladies, thank you for bringing this to our world, along with your cute little tool that’s a delight to remember to boot…”SHINE”, this awarness alone will save so much boogedy-boogedy (scary), not to mention lonely self dought and pain. You Ladies Rock!!! Smooch xxx

    • Ismeri -Team Forleo

      Thank you for sharing, Jodie! We love how you and your friends appreciate and support one another, and are happy to hear this conversation resonated with you:)

  11. Nice one.
    Sometimes people just grow apart… different interests, ‘life things’…. it just happen sometimes. It’s sad but that is life…

  12. Krista Wagner

    I had a 17-year friendship end 3 years ago, it ended because I chose not to invest in a “gifting circle” (illegal). I did not feel good about it and shared that, I was treated disrespectfully and not asked why I made my decision. I was yelled at and spoken to rudely. I was going through a separation at the time..2 years later arrests were made then my x friend called me and wanted me to go to her.. I told her I was busy. In retrospect, the friendship was win loose and I was on the losing side.
    It was a painful experience and one that I look back on and wonder why it happened. If a relationship has value, both people are respected and should be free to be who they are. I took care of her son when he was 3 and I still talk to her son now and then, too bad she didn’t value our friendship more than money.
    Thanks for letting me share this here it helps.

    • Ismeri -Team Forleo

      We’re so sorry you had to experience that, Krista, and appreciate you sharing your story with us. We’re sending tons of love your way:)

  13. Sheila

    Funnily this is a topic that has been challenging me for quite a while now. I am on a tightrope with a friendship of over 35 years. The problem really came to a head when she inherited from her family. I am glad for her and it has placed us in different places. She has opportunities now that are not available to me and she brings it up in a way that feels like she’s lording it over…reminds me of an ex smoker and the righteousness that sometimes comes. It saddens me and I have stepped Way back not really knowing how to address it all. Thinking that it’s time to cut the cord. This talk has made me wonder if this friendship can be saved with what I consider blatant honesty. Thank You

    • Ismeri -Team Forleo

      Hi Sheila — we’re glad this conversation got you thinking about your friendship and hope you find the clarity you need to decide how to move forward. We wish you all the best:)

  14. Jacqui

    All my friends have always lived in another State for half of my life. The phone has been and will always be so important to me.

    • Julia - Team Forleo

      YES, Jacqui! We feel you. Thank goodness for phone conversations with dear friends who live so far away ❤️

  15. Claudia

    Thanks for the compassionate insight on the avoidance of the race discussion: One person is always ready because it been an ongoing one for them since they realized the weight of their experience. ? Also, the connection made to the Hetero white relationship: one side is much more aware that there is a need for listening. ?

  16. I love hearing stories like this.

  17. I like your posts each time. thanks a ton!!

  18. thanks a ton!!

  19. Damaris Smyth

    Thank you for the insights on Friendship. Friendships are challenging but also so rewarding. As our lives take us in different directions and our families have different needs, I like to settle in with my closest friends each year with an “Annual Girls Trip.” It takes us all about a day to unwind and reconnect. The trip invites are very open and don’t have a lot of pressure or schedule around them. We have been doing the trips for over 10 years now. Due to COVID-19, we’ll be postponing this year’s until 2021 but I highly recommend it if you can find the time and funds.

  20. Truly a great post and a really good blog, really compliments, Fantastic

  21. Susan Pitman

    Absolutely inspiring. Challenging. Insightful. And a little bit of a rub…lots to self-explore, and to walk through with friends. Thank you for this timely conversation, Marie!

  22. This episode packed so much value — and of so many different types — into one conversation. Most importantly, thank you for addressing systemic racism. But in addition, your podcast tips offered great reminders. And the discussion about consistent content hits at a primary goal that we have for our business this year. Keep up the great work!

  23. Really enjoyed this episode.

  24. Thank for sharing an inspiring video. As introvert myself i find it hard to mingle with other people coz mostly of my time i’m staying in the house working. I do have friend but they already married and have their own family. I’m happy that i was able to watch your video and your blog here. Thanks you so much for giving inspiration to others. Cheerrr!

  25. Hi guys love the topic about friendship.
    I also came across a book titled “how to win and influence friends” its as amazing as this blog post

  26. Absolutely inspiring. Challenging. Insightful. And a little bit of a rub…lots to self-explore, and to stroll thru with friends. Thank you for this well timed conversation, Marie!

  27. Thanks for the compassionate perception on the avoidance of the race discussion: One individual is constantly equipped due to the fact it been an ongoing one for them due to the fact they realized the weight of their experience. ? Also, the connection made to the Hetero white relationship: one facet is a whole lot greater conscious that there is a want for listening. ?

  28. The content is very practical, it gives me lots of new ideas, I like the content of your article very well. I hope you will have many new posts to share with readers.

  29. Thanks for sharing this great information. Very informative article.

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