Jen is a pretty good friend of yours—until she started trying to pin you down to co-host a podcast with her and is constantly trying to find ways to get you to do it. You like Jen, but not enough to establish a working relationship with her that would require weekly in-person recording sessions, advanced preparation, securing guests, online promotion, and hunting down ad sponsors. Unfortunately, she’s adamant that you two get the ball rolling on this. Here’s how to continue having a normal friendship with Jen without agreeing to co-host a podcast.
State clearly that you will “not co-host a podcast.”
It’s important to name your limits, which in this case means not agreeing to devote countless hours of your life to the rarely profitable podcast industry. If you say that you’re not into the Spice Girls enough to do an entire Spice Girls fan podcast, she’ll just ask what you’re into in hopes of finding some common ground to start a podcast on, and you do NOT want to co-host a podcast. Don’t give her any wiggle room—she WILL take advantage and just start recording.
Analyze your own guilt about not doing podcasts.
Look at your past and present choices around other people’s podcast ideas. Why are you having such a hard time saying no? Were you raised in a family where agreeing to co-host other people’s dumb podcasts was considered polite or expected? Did both of your parents host podcasts? Did it drive the family apart? Finding the source of your feelings may help you move on to setting healthy podcast boundaries going forward.
Tune into your own feelings about never wanting to do a podcast with Jen.
It’s easy to get swept up in Jen’s excitement about co-hosting a podcast, but think about when you’re driving home alone in your car, realizing you just agreed to week upon week of time alone in a room with Jen as she spouts random thoughts into the cheap snowball mic she got because she hasn’t really even thought this venture through. How do you really feel about this? The answer is not good. Remember that before you give Jen even an inch of ground because she is very ready to talk.
If necessary, be direct and tell Jen, that you will “never in a million years” do a podcast with her.
A time may come when Jen won’t stop bringing up this podcast thing, where you have to say, “No Jen. No. This is literally never happening. Not ever. Never in a million years.” It may seem harsh, but Jen has an aggressive communication style when it comes to asking friends to co-host a podcast with her, and sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. Jen may be annoyed, but she’ll know this podcast conversation is truly over, and she’ll probably get over it when she thinks of other reasons she wants to ask you to spend inordinate amounts of time with her.
At the end of the day, it’s simply a matter of knowing that you do not have to do a podcast with Jen or anyone else for that matter. Say that aloud to yourself: you do not have to do a podcast with Jen. Feels good, doesn’t it?