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Episode 16: Erin Foster & Sara Foster    

Episode 16: Erin Foster & Sara Foster

Welcome to episode sixteen of The Madhappy Podcast, a conversation on mental health with the creators, entrepreneurs, and sisters Erin and Sara Foster, hosted by Madhappy co-founders Mason Spector and Peiman Raf. In this episode, we speak with Erin and Sara about the evolution of their sisterhood throughout the years and their experiences with mental health, trauma, and self-work.

We start off by talking about sibling bonds and how familial relationships are so different from other friendships or romantic relationships (2:11). Sara talks about her experiences being the oldest sibling, discussing how she hardened herself and shut herself out to survive in her family ecosystem, (8:57) while Erin touches on her sensitivity as a child (14:32). 

Erin then brings up her recent experience with MDMA-Assisted Therapy, moving us into a discussion about our unique therapy experiences (16:26). 

Later, Sara speaks about feeling famous-by-association with their father, David Foster, as Erin vocalizes the shame she felt being labeled as a spoiled brat throughout her childhood (24:03). The duo then shares their inspiration behind and goals for their television show, Barely Famous (31:10) and podcast, The World’s First Podcast (38:11).

Before we wrap up, the Fosters answer some rapid-fire questions on their relationship and what they look for in friends exclusively for TLO readers, below.

Mason: In what ways do you guys feel that you are the most similar?

Erin: Sense of humor, maybe? 

Sara: Well, I kind of stole yours. 

Erin: That’s true.

Peiman: What would be the biggest difference?

Erin: Do you have a while?

Sara: Shut up, Erin. The biggest difference is that I am a really good rebounder. We can fight, and I can literally be like, "That's it. I'm done. I'm never speaking to her again." And then, in an hour, I'll be like, "Hey, what's up. Did you just see what mom just texted us? She is fucking nuts." Erin, I think, holds on a little bit longer. 

Erin: That's you brushing it under the rug and me feeling it because I am more sensitive. 

Our biggest difference to me is that Sara gets really stuck on the perception of things and forgets to trust her own gut and remember how talented she is or how smart she is in a room. She thinks she has to remind people or prove it when everybody already knows it. And, I come into the room, and it's not that I am SO confident, but I spent the first half of my life being so insecure, and I worked through it.

Sara: And I spent the first half of my life so secure.

Erin: Exactly, so we kind of switched pages where it is not that I am cockier or more confident even, it's that I don't put as much pressure on myself to be perfect, and I am okay if I mess up. It's okay. Failure is not as scary for me as it is for Sara.

Sara: That's so true.

Mason: What is something you have taught each other?

Sara: Oh my god, Erin has taught me a lot. Erin taught me what it is like to be in a partnership in a lot of ways. We are in a real partnership. Different from a husband or whatever. She has taught me how to collaborate. I think I have always come from a place of "me, me, me," "mine, mine, mine." Everything I want is just for me. Erin has taught me how to be more collaborative. I have always operated from [a place of] "This is ours! They are stealing our idea!" And Erin has taught me to be more like, "Who gives a shit? There is room for everybody. Focus on yourself." Erin is like that, so I have become more like that mostly because she just judges and shames me, and I don't want to be judged and shamed anymore.  Okay, so what have I taught you?

Erin: I think Sara has taught me how to recover and face our disagreements. I [usually] just want to avoid the conversation but Sara will make me face it with her. Because she can recover better than I can, she can force me to get over it with her and move past it and move forward instead of being stuck on this one thing, which is important in a partnership with siblings. You’ve got to keep it moving. You can't get held back every time you get into a fight. 

Sara: You’ve got to keep it moving because what? Are we not going to be sisters anymore? You’ve got to be like, "this is what it is." Unless something catastrophic happened, you know, like "she banged my fiance." Even then, maybe I would get over it, I don't know! 

Mason: It's kind of weird, though, because you got to keep it moving, but also a lot of what we have been saying is that it’s not the best to sweep it under the rug. I feel like it’s finding a balance between “keep it moving” and “if you feel something, say something.”

Peiman: What is the most important quality to you in a friend? 

Sara: Loyalty. That's it. You don't have to be funny. You don't have to be successful. You don't have to be good-looking.

Erin: What does loyalty look like for you?

Sara: Maybe I am jaded, but women have complicated relationships. I have dealt with a lot of women who talk shit behind your back, say something to your face and something else when you're not looking, who don't necessarily root for you. They say they are your friend and they think they are your friend, but when something really good happens to you, they are kind of bummed about it or a little like, "she doesn't deserve that." I think it is really hard to find women who are just 100% your teammate. I have a few, and I think you only need 1 or 2. But, to me, that is really important. If you are a friend and I hear that you have said anything nasty, I don't want you in my life at all. I see loyalty as just [someone] 100% being in your corner, and I don't think that is too much to ask for. I'd rather have 2-3 really good friends than 40 amazing girlfriends that can make a really fun birthday party, but they're kind of assholes. 

Erin: I was going to say something similar to some of the things that Sara said. Feeling like a friend is supportive is the most important thing to me, but it also ties into this Jewish phrase that you should always look at your partner with a good eye, and Simon and I talk about this all the time. I think it really applies to any close relationship because sometimes we will find ourselves being hard on each other or expecting the other person to say something that is going to annoy us or just looking for a fight. And we have to stop and be like, "Okay, we need to regroup and reset and look at each other with a good eye." It's a Jewish phrase that means always look at your partner through a positive light. Don't expect them to say the worst thing, expect them to say the best thing. Look for the light in what they are doing. And, I really want that and expect that in my friendships as well. For us to look at each other with a good eye. You look at each other, and if a person messes up or fails, you see the intent behind it and not the behavior. It's important because you can have friendships where one person can go through a fucked up breakup, one person can have a mental breakdown, one person can be in a toxic relationship. I mean, how many people are we friends with that are in toxic relationships that bring out the worst in them? You have to be able to see through it and push through those moments and be there on the other side and not want to throw it in their face.

Listen to episode sixteen of The Madhappy Podcast here:

We talk about some serious topics on this show. We are not professionals and are not giving advice. If you or someone you know needs help, please text start to 741741, and for additional resources, please visit LocalOptimist.com/Get-Help. The Madhappy Podcast is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not a replacement for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

E-mail us your mailbag questions, personal stories, and any topics you'd like us to cover on The Madhappy Podcast to podcast@madhappy.com. We'll dedicate time in select future episodes to discuss whatever it is you have to say.