episode #369

Relationship Therapy: Do You Struggle with Female Friends? with Danielle Bayard Jackson


Why do some women find it so challenging to build deep, meaningful friendships with other women? From stereotypically male interests to past friendship traumas, and even the discomfort with emotional expression, Danielle Bayard Jackson sheds light on the barriers women face in forging intimate connections.

“The number one thing women look for in their same-sex friendships is emotional support. Meaning if I don’t get anything else from being friends with you, this is the least you could do.” – Danielle Bayard Jackson

In this episode, Danielle explores how envy and competition can disrupt the egalitarian nature of female friendships. She also discusses the importance of secrecy, mutual prioritization, and reciprocity in fostering trust and closeness among friends. With practical tips and insights, Danielle guides us on building stronger, more fulfilling friendships.

Episode Overview:

0:00 Intro/Teaser
2:41 Female Friendship Dynamics
7:21 Symmetry in Female Friendships
12:48 The Dynamics of Female Friendship
21:15 Expectations and Support in Friendships
25:03 Navigating Emotional Support and Solidarity
38:18 Navigating Healthy Conflict and Anger
47:20 Sophisticated Stealth in Relational Aggression
53:38 Navigating Envy and Jealousy in Friendships
1:02:03 Building Better Female Friendships

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Danielle’s previous appearance on Better!

Danielle’s new book: Fighting For Our Friendships

How to Navigate Female Friendships

Fighting For Our Friendships

Jennifer Kolari – Teenage Parenting For The Modern Parent


Danielle Bayard Jackson is a former high school teacher turned friendship coach who speaks nationally on the subject of female friendship. Her work and insight has been featured in such outlets as NBC News, Psychology Today, NPR and The New York Times, and she worked closely with Bumble as their resident friendship expert. Before she began coaching women across the country, Danielle worked as a high school teacher and spent time as an academic department chair in the eighth largest county in the United States. She now uses her education background to deliver practical, research-based strategies for women who are looking for ways to create and maintain healthy female friendships. Her ability to speak to women in various life stages has contributed to the growing popularity of her business, Friend Forward and podcast of the same name.

We are grateful to our sponsors:


The EightSleep Pod4 Ultra is proven to give you up to one more hour of sleep every night, reduce your snoring effortlessly by up to 32%, and give you 34% more deep sleep. So head over to eightsleep.com/better and use code BETTER to get $350 off the Pod4 Ultra.


The Apollo wearable supports women’s cycle and changing bodies by supporting the circadian and infradian rhythms so you can give your body what it needs when you need it — more energy, relaxation, focus, sleep, or calm. Go to apolloneuro.com/DRSTEPHANIE and use code DRSTEPHANIE for 15% off your order.


If you want to get all your magnesium in one supplement, you will love Magnesium Breakthrough. Each supplement itself is 500 milligrams of magnesium, which I feel is such a great dosage as a baseline for most women. So head on over to bioptimizers.com/better and use code BETTER for 10% off of any order, but make sure that the Magnesium Breakthrough is in your cart.

I’m Dr. Stephanie

Part geek, part magic, and all the way passionate about being a well-lived woman.

I want to throw my grandkids in the air in my 70’s. I want to be squatting even more weight than I am now, and putting my OWN luggage in the overhead bin. Sound like weird goals? For me these are just some of the little things that represent a life well-lived.

My health is MY job – I’ll be damned if I rely on luck, ‘good genes’ or a cocktail of drugs that over promise and under deliver.

The Betty Body is my first book-baby, and a collection of what I’ve learned after thousands of clinical hours, hundreds of conversations with the world’s top experts, and most importantly…

This book is an outline of what took ME from “rock-bottom health” at 38, to being my own version of a Betty in my perimenopausal mid 40’s. A woman who is physically strong, full of energy, enjoys mental clarity, great sex and a joyful family life. Is it all roses? Of course not. But I have the stamina and tools to deal with the push and pull of life so that it doesn’t turn into chronic stress.

I want this for you too. Let’s go Bettys!