Is your partner a narcissist? If you feel like they are, it may be true, so we decided to present 10 warning signs to watch out for so you can know for sure.
In this episode you will learn: 1. Learning about narcissism in order to emancipate yourself from self-blame and self-doubt. 2. Understanding that narcissism exists along a spectrum, and that not everyone with narcissistic traits has a personality disorder. 3. Recognizing the role of the inner critic in fueling jealousy and insecurity, and learning how to stand up to it.
Here's a breakdown of what is covered:
[00:00:05] - Introduction to Wendy.
[00:00:47] - Introduction and training.
[00:01:21] - Jealousy and impostor syndrome.
[00:06:34] - Jealousy from a childhood.
[00:12:10] - When grief feels big.
[00:16:26] - Tips for dealing with narcissists.
[00:24:49] - Partners of narcissists.
[00:33:06] - Five tips to help break your jealous habits.
Disarming the Narcissist Book by Wendy Behary
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Welcome back to another episode of Jealousy Junkie. I have with me today, founder and director of the Cognitive Therapy Center in New Jersey, author of Disarming the Narcissist and so much more. I'm so honored to have you here. Welcome Wendy Behary.
[00:00:18] wendy-behary: Thank you Shanenn. I'm happy to be with you. Thanks for having me.
[00:00:22] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: Yes. And I think you actually trained Ruth Ann Harper, who we've had on the podcast. She did an amazing episode on betrayal and how to recover from that. If you haven't checked out her episode, please go do that.
[00:00:35] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: I wanna talk about both to deal with a narcissist, if you're in a relationship with them or suspect that they may be a narcissist. But also, um, when I look back on my behaviors, when I was extremely jealous, I had a lot of those traits or was presenting a lot of those things. You know, distrustful and perfectionist and snobbish and approval seeking I just really wanted to talk about both sides of those, because I feel like I was really maybe on the verge of being that way in my relationship.
[00:01:15] wendy-behary: Hmm. Yeah. And I think, you know, we need to think about narcissism as something that happens along the spectrum, right? So we can all have a number of different traits that might fall somewhere within that category of narcissism, but it doesn't necessarily mean we're all walking around with narcissistic personality disorder.
[00:01:38] wendy-behary: Nor does it mean that we're even narcissistic types, but that there may be certain conditions in our lives, they could be short lived, they could be longer lived. I mean, it depends on pattern and chronicity. So if you think about things like approval seeking and entitlement and control criticism, judgment, stifling someone, impulsivity. These are the typical traits you find in someone who has narcissistic issues, let's say, but then there are degrees of intensity. And how robust is that coping style when it shows up? How rigid and inflexible can it be? How long standing? Does it have roots that make sense? When you look at the early life history and how this individual was molded, how they constructed these ways of coping with life, vis-a-vis others. Cuz usually it's vis-a-vis others and how they're showing up in their interpersonal lives. So yeah, we can all get into that position of, oh no, am I the narcissist? Well, maybe in this moment, I'm a bit narcissistic, or maybe in this episode of my life, I was showing up with some of these traits, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you're carrying the full personality disorder, which is, you know, much more glaring, uh, much more self-destructive and has just kind of longer roots attached.
[00:03:06] wendy-behary: Mm. I'm glad that you brought that up because I was, you know, I was looking at it going… Ooh, that makes me a little nervous and I don't want people now to go, oh my gosh, I have extreme jealousy so I'm this too, you know, that kind of thing. You said it's pretty glaring. Can you talk about some of the ways to identify that? Yeah. And I really love what you just said at the end of that, about how you can be in a position of, in extreme jealousy, which I see as a state of suffering, you know, when you're in a position of jealousy. I mean, you may be acting in ways that can be off putting and upsetting and difficult for the person who is feeling accused, you know, perpetrated by the jealousy.
[00:03:55] wendy-behary: But the person who's feeling the jealousy is suffering and that suffering may be linked with things like feelings of insecurity. Maybe linked with earlier experiences of feeling isolated or rejected or left out or not good enough, not measuring up in some way. And so there's lots of explanations temperament even, that can explain why one would get to that place of deep suffering and sometimes more chaotic behaviors in response to it.
[00:04:26] wendy-behary: And I think, you know, we need to be empathic and compassionate about these experiences and, and the origins of these experiences that lead to these styles of coping. And let's face it, if you're in a relationship with a narcissist, it's not to say that we no longer have responsibility for the way we behave. We do, but boy, oh boy, they will push your buttons like no other.
[00:04:51] wendy-behary: And when you're in a relationship with a narcissist, when I say glaring it's because there's something about the feeling of being erased. And it's a word that several of my clients have used over the years. And I love that term because I think it really captures the essence of the experience. You feel erased and that's at the benign end of the experience.
[00:05:13] wendy-behary: I mean, for those with more overt, aggressive narcissistic types, you can also feel abused and betrayed and manipulated and used. You know, at the very least, and still incredibly painful, is this sense of just not being there, you know, like they're looking right through you, that you are in a sense, a reflective prop for their image, for their sense of goodness, wellbeing, approval. That you don't interfere, that you don't get in the way, that you don't question, you don't doubt, you don't judge. They will deny, they will defend, they will demean. They will devalue all those great D-words and justify their behaviors.
[00:05:57] wendy-behary: Because the difference between someone who has narcissistic features and someone who doesn't is that, although there can be conflict in relationships, the narcissist feels entitled to what they've done and there's always a great big grand justification for it.
Thanks for talking about that, because certainly when there's someone who's suffering from this extreme jealousy, as you mentioned, it comes from that insecurity and potentially what has happened certainly in their childhood.
[00:06:30] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: And so they really question, is this something that someone else would be upset about in a relationship that my partner's doing or is it just because I'm jealous and I have all of these things that are going on in my head and I'm obsessing about certain things and I, um, am uncomfortable with certain events?
[00:06:50] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: And so I think it's, they struggle to really be able to tell the difference. Am I being kind of washed over here or should I take a stance in this?
[00:07:01] wendy-behary: Yeah. And again, two really powerful things in your message there Shanenn and that is that number one, we have to consider the power of this perpetrator called the inner critic. When you have insecurities that you've lived with for much of your life and now, you're coming into a relationship with someone who has ramped up this sense of uncertainty, insecurity, maybe self-degrading thoughts and feelings, jealousy, suspiciousness, people are calling you paranoid; the narcissist is calling you paranoid. You know, what's wrong with you? You're paranoid. You're crazy. You're so insecure. I mean, you hear the labels when you're with a narcissist, they'll just out and out say so. Um, and so you fall into this position of large self-doubt. Am I alone?
[00:07:52] wendy-behary:As you said, would other people feel this way? And if you have an inner critic, that's lived with you most of your life, as you know, most humans do, it's just a matter of intensity and volume and how menacing it might be. But if you have that inner critic, it can likely show up like, yeah, you're crazy.
[00:08:10] wendy-behary: You know, you're just, you're just kind of hopeless. You're pathetic. What's wrong with you? This sense of disgust that lives inside of you. And now it's being echoed in the melody of the narcissist as they gaslight you through this process. Particularly when they are betraying you. But even if they aren't and they're just acting in ways that are so demeaning or so neglectful, so without empathy.
[00:08:36] wendy-behary: You know, this lack of intimacy, cuz it's so hard for them to be good at that. Um, you know, you're not wrong for feeling upset, for feeling the loneliness, for feeling hmm could something be going on here that I'm not aware of. For feeling put off by disrespectful behaviors.
[00:08:59] wendy-behary: You're not wrong and you're not alone, but you don't know that you're not alone until you're actually speaking with other people who understand something about narcissism.
[00:09:08] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: mm-hmm yeah, a hundred percent. That's definitely one of the biggest feelings I think, is feeling alone or that you're the only person. And especially when you have someone that is a hundred percent telling you that and reinforcing what you already are thinking to yourself, for sure.
[00:09:28] wendy-behary: If you have an inner critic, I really believe that the inner critic part of us can be the greatest, I call it the chauffeur of shame. You know, it sort of escorts shame right into our whole nervous system, our whole experience. You're already feeling this sense of jealousy. It's such a hard state to be in when we are in a state of jealousy. Nerves are rattled. Thoughts are scattered.
[00:09:59] wendy-behary: Um, there's panic at times. There's fears. There's a feeling of violation, whether or not it's already happened, it's going to happen, it did happen. Um, and so it's a bit complicated, right? And then you have this critic that just continues to keep saying, you're crazy. You know, you're nuts. What's with you? I told you; I told you, and if we let that lie, we just kind of let that lie without addressing it or confronting it, it can really wreak havoc in the body.
[00:10:31] wendy-behary: And actually I think it stirs up even more self-doubt, suspicion and jealousy. So, part of the remedy is being able to stand up to the critic and ask for its purpose, its function. You know, it's almost like you're speaking to a part of yourself. Why are you showing up right now? Inside of my head, in my body? What do you want? Are you trying to protect? Are you trying to prevent? Are you trying to promote? The critic is usually trying to do one of those three things. Protect, prevent, promote.
[00:11:02] wendy-behary: It wants to prevent you from making a fool of yourself. It wants to protect you from further shame and mishap and mistakes, or it wants to promote you towards doing something differently. Get out of that relationship with the narcissist, but it doesn't say it in ways that are constructive, effective, supportive, or helpful.
[00:11:22] wendy-behary: It says it in ways that are menacing and hurtful and devaluing. We must listen and look for the function of this message and see if we can convert it to something that's actually helpful to us. You know, helpful in getting us to figure out where to seek help or how to assess the state that we're living in clearly with a clear head that it's not coming from craziness. It's coming from a whole story that has a sensibility attached to it that's led me to this place right here and now. And forces me or encourages me I should say. I say forces because I think it's so imperative to understand the narcissist, if you have one in your life, because without that understanding, you cannot be liberated easily from this sense of self-doubt and jealousy that you're feeling.
[00:12:14] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: Yeah. Well, you said something in an interview that I watched, and I thought it was so powerful and I feel like hits on that a little bit in terms of really understanding it. But you said, um, when you have a big response, you have to think small child or something to that effect. And I thought that is amazing.
[00:12:39] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: Can you talk about that a little bit?
[00:12:41] wendy-behary: Yeah. Yeah. I'll start with something kind of positive, right? Think about yourself when you are the most joyful, joyful like excited and happy. And you could just feel like you're floating. You're so joyful. It's what we think of as a childlike joy. It has almost no limits.
[00:13:01] wendy-behary: It's big. The feeling is big because the experience comes from someplace where you're very small and it's, I think the same in those darkest moments, when we're feeling the intensity of our sadness, the intensity of... it's not disappointment, its devastation, right? It's not being afraid. It's being absolutely terrified. It's something that takes the experience and escalates it to a level of intensity that's so big that you feel almost expanded within your bones and it hurts. And so I say like, when it feels that big start thinking small, there's a little part of you that's probably been called up through your reference of experiences that's now been activated. Something about this is familiar and that's why it's so big. And that's why your primitive survival system has deployed because whenever we experience what feels like a threat to our safety, to our wellness, to our security, our survival system gets activated and that will set the stage for a fight, flight freeze response.
[00:14:17] wendy-behary: That's where things get big and chaotic. Something about this smells like, looks like, sounds like, tastes like, and we need to investigate because there's probably a really important experience underneath and needs comfort and validation and holding and some kind of what we call corrective emotional experience in schema therapy. Something to sort of help to heal that emotional pain deep down underneath, because it's so big right now in the here and now.
[00:14:51] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: mm-hmm yes. And those feelings and emotions, I mean, they come up so quick and so strong in those moments that I loved having that just little reference because, you know, I talked to people about even just being able to focus on their breathing at that time, you know, or step away. There are a few things that people can do in that situation, but I thought that was just another great thing to have in your mind of...my response is so big or this, you know, this feels so big to, to think small.
[00:15:28] wendy-behary: Yeah, and I mean, it's easy. Like you can imagine if I'm working, which I usually do with narcissistic men, and I work with some who are on that more aggressive end of the spectrum. So, you can imagine that, you know, their response to my proposing this when they're having intense reactions would be, oh, that's ridiculous and what are we looking at the past for? And this is silly.
[00:15:49] wendy-behary: And yet when I can really persist at urging them to look a little deeper, Maybe look at a photograph of themselves as a child. It's amazing how almost always there's a link to something about this intensity and the theme behind this intensity might be a theme.
[00:16:06] wendy-behary: Like it's not fair, you know, it's not right. Something about that theme that just rings a bell. That's very clearly linked with an old experience and it's just the way like our brain works, you know, it's the way our brain and our body communicate with one another over time. And you know, I've often said that the brain is a brilliant organ, but it's also stupid, cuz it's not good at telling time.
[00:16:33] wendy-behary: It doesn't differentiate well between that was then this is now. And so we can find ourselves with the past living in the present more often than it should. More often than we like.
[00:16:46] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: Well, and since you work with narcissists, are there tips that you can share with us if we do feel or think that we're in a relationship with a narcissist and they are gaslighting, they're doing those things. Um, because that gets really difficult. And I think a lot of times we don't know how to combat that because we don't have that self-trust in us.
[00:17:14] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: We don't have sort of that, uh, feeling of power or that we can stand up to that. So, do you have tips on how do we speak to them? How do we engage with them?
[00:17:27] wendy-behary: Yeah. Um, that is the most critical question. Isn't it? Because if you're living with a narcissist, dealing with a narcissist in your life, I mean, it's pretty hard to change them without professional help to get them to make the necessary and meaningful changes that will lead to healthier interpersonal connections without professional help.
[00:17:51] wendy-behary: That becomes almost impossible unless they're at the mildest end of the spectrum. You know, you have your kind of annoying show off-ish type of narcissistic person without some of the more toxic, obnoxious ingredients. But I think what you can do immediately is learn the truths about what this disorder really means.
[00:18:16] wendy-behary: Learn about narcissism, because you want to emancipate yourself immediately from self-blame, self-doubt. So, you want to be able to be standing on solid ground in your own skin. Feeling a sense of sturdiness. You need to really prepare yourself for confrontations and conversations with the narcissist in your life.
[00:18:40] wendy-behary: And that means not coming from your most vulnerable, childlike self, but coming from your sturdiest healthiest adult self. You wanna be speaking to the narcissist in a tone, like the one I'm using, right now because most people feel like, well, when I'm angry, I roar. And when I roar, I feel strong and, you know, anger gives us this sort of false sense of strength.
[00:19:05] wendy-behary: And the problem is you can't carry anger around all the time. It's exhausting. Not so great for the body to be in a state of anger all the time. But yeah, it does feel powerful when you feel it and you can finally voice your opinion loud and clear. Like I'm not taking this anymore. That's not acceptable to me. It's not that that's bad or wrong, but it's just not delivering the full message and what is scariest and most powerful and potent to getting their attention is when you are in the position where you're not engaging the battle, you are actually in a state of full conviction and resolution, self-advocacy.
[00:19:48] wendy-behary: You're clear, and you're not engaging. And it can be as simple as saying, Hmm, I'm not gonna continue this conversation right now cause we're going down the dark road and I'm not gonna do the, oh, look at you or you so amazing. Now you say, yeah, I'm becoming more amazing actually. And, but I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna do that.
[00:20:12] wendy-behary: So you can name call me, um, if you need to, I'm gonna step away from this and we can come back to it. Cause I think it's important. And in a tone that goes no higher, no lower. It's not apologetic. I'm not falling apart. There's nothing that you have to defend. You have nothing to defend. It's just, I'm not dancing anymore.
[00:20:36] wendy-behary: So, you're changing up this whole choreography and the relationship. Now for those who are in relationships with narcissists, I mean, people who inspired me to write my book originally were those who were saying, are there ways that we can make it. The answer is how much leverage do you have? Or the answer is a question, you know, do you have enough leverage?
[00:20:56] wendy-behary: Are there consequences in this relationship that matter? Would the narcissist in your life care if they lost you, would that matter to them? Because if it does, then maybe that's a chance to have an impact on whether or not they seek help, you know, like get help or I'm done, get help or somewhere down the road, we're gonna come to an end. There are ways to deliver that message without just being a threat, but really speaking a truth about the sadness of the inevitability of a potential ending of a relationship. Most of all, you've got to focus on sturdying yourself. Healing your own body and mind of all the poison that's been poured in from maybe lived experiences once upon a time.
[00:21:44] wendy-behary: And then the ones that you've lived in the relationship with the narcissist and how they've come together to form all this insecurity within you. So, a lot of self-healing and promoting this sense of sturdiness so that you can decide, do you really choose this relationship? Is there something to choose at the end of the day?
[00:22:05] wendy-behary: And you might, because you might be protecting children, you may be protecting your finances right now. You may not really have easy options for an exit yet. Um, maybe you still love this person, and you don't have to be apologetic for that either. It's just a matter of being sturdy enough to be in a position of choice.
[00:22:26] wendy-behary: Deliberate choice and not like at the mercy of, you know, someone else's decisions about who you are and then using a voice that is resolute and really changes in its tone and quality.
[00:22:41] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: Um, I love that part about the strength and calm really. Right? And I say it in the intro of the podcast you know. I want to help those that are jealous and anxious, be calm and confident, but not just calm. It's what you are talking about as well. The strength in that there's strength in calm, not just, I feel relaxed.
[00:23:06] wendy-behary: Yeah. oh Yeah, no, you may not feel relaxed at all. In fact, you can feel all that energy inside of you, but right up here where it gets delivered, it's very calm. It's very solid. It’s not doesn't have to be sweet and syrupy at all. Just solid and honest, raw and real, you know? Nope. I'm not gonna do that. I actually don't agree with you.
[00:23:35] wendy-behary: I have a different point of view. I respect your thoughts about that. I know you're not used to this cuz you're used to me just agreeing so that's not your fault because I've always gone into the agreement zone, but I, I don't agree. I see it really differently. Oh, so what now you're pulling the rug out from under me?
[00:23:53] wendy-behary: Well, I guess it could feel like that. I'm sure it does, but um, just being honest with you, that's where I am. Right. It's just solid. It sounds, it may sound good, right? Not easy, not easy. So, you know, practice, practice, practice, practice. What is my intention and how do I have that impact? How do I get the effect that I intend? That's the question. So, you wanna make sure that your courier who's delivering this message here is having exactly the effect, delivering exactly the message that you intended. And that's the practice.
[00:24:36] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: Right. Well, and I'm glad that you said, you know, we might not be in a situation where we can, you know, our ultimatum isn't that I'm gonna leave because as you said, we may be protecting children. We may not be at a place where we're financially stable to be able to leave the relationship in this moment.
[00:24:54] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: But that practice of that and gaining that strength in the interim, I feel like that is where people go when you're practicing that strength, as you said, there'll be a day. And as you're working towards that where.. I am strong enough, and I've been working on getting these things potentially in order if that's what it comes to.
[00:25:15] wendy-behary: Yes.
[00:25:16] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: Cuz I think a lot of time we go, I can't do anything because I can't go.
[00:25:19] wendy-behary: Exactly. And yet there is this place that you can go deep within yourself to heal and to become strong and to each day, make a choice and know that every day you could choose differently because that's your right. Um, and you'll assess your readiness for that. Whether it's a choice that's radically different or it's a little more the same, but you know, with you making kind of emotional departures, when things start to rupture and fall, um, I do have to say though, Shanenn I think in the spirit of your topic, your, your theme, which is on jealousy, that sadly, so many of my clients that I've worked with who are partners of narcissists, carrying immense amounts of jealousy and suspicion and deep suffering inside of them, um, are not wrong.
[00:26:13] wendy-behary: You know, unfortunately they are living with someone who does feel entitled. And feels the need for constant stimulation. Who's often breaching the contract, you know, is in a situation they are living in situations where their right to informed consent has been violated. So, you know, it's just that they've been gaslit into believing that they're crazy.
[00:26:37] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: Yeah, yeah. A hundred percent. I mean, I think, that sort of becomes the problem as well when we continue to be in relationships. I mean, that's certainly what happened in my case or part of where I'm in a relationship. I already have these things from my childhood that, you know, I'm insecure and I'm going into these relationships that way.
[00:26:57] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: And I'm with someone who does all of those things and proves those things to me. And then it happens again and again, and then when you're in a relationship where that may not be going on, you still have all of those things that you've carried with you because you've seen it so much.
[00:27:14] wendy-behary: Oh, Sure. Because you know, betrayal, as Ruth Ann talked about is a traumatic event and it's a tough one to recover from. And so, so many of my clients who have come out of narcissist relationships with narcissists will say, I don't know how to not end up in the same place.
[00:27:35] wendy-behary: Again, I'm so terrified in partner selection. How will I know, how will I resist, you know, getting wooed and captured again by all the charming cuz narcissists can be so charming and you know, they're superheroes and rescuers. They know how to court, you know, they're really good courtship, uh, Mavericks.
[00:27:55] wendy-behary: And so, my recommendation to anyone who's going out there again in a new relationship or dating, or just peaking at the possibilities is always, you know, set it up as an experiment for yourself. Use the dating platform, use the meeting new people phase of your life to get to know yourself.
[00:28:20] wendy-behary: There's no loss there. So, you will stand a much better chance of selecting a healthier partner for yourself. If your mission is to go out there and learn about you. In other words, go on that date and come back and say, Hmm, gosh, I agreed at least three times when I didn't really feel like I agreed. I said, yes, I oh, I let him interrupt me over and over again, and I didn't stop or set a limit for all the interruptions.
[00:28:55] wendy-behary: When I was speaking, I laughed at things that I was actually put off by, and I didn't say so. He asked a lot of questions, but he didn't listen to any of my answers. There seemed to be no shared enthusiasm for things that I was saying. It was like talking to just an anchor person on television.
[00:29:15] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: Yeah.
[00:29:16] wendy-behary: There was no real engagement. And you noticed that you didn't do anything. I was apologizing. I apologized and like, I didn't do anything wrong. Why was I apologizing?
[00:29:26] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: Yeah.
[00:29:27] wendy-behary: Wow. I did it. I did that. I did that. You know, you notice you're not beating yourself up. You're just amazed that this is something I do when I'm with this type of person.
[00:29:38] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: I love that idea cuz yes, we struggle with that and not paying attention. So, if you're not going into the mindset of paying attention when you're on a date or when you are early in a relationship, I think that's how we fall into, like you said, these things where we're not noticing what we're doing.
[00:29:59] wendy-behary: Absolutely. You mean you step out. Okay. You noticed he's handsome. He has nice eyes. I like the way he dresses. All right, great. That's fine. You're not gonna be able to avoid some of the physical things that come into our view that we notice that our chemistry starts to pick up, but then you sit down, and you target your discovery mission towards yourself, and you notice, how can I get better and better and better at being able to say, Hmm.
[00:30:30] wendy-behary: Yeah, I don't, I don't really see it. Or no, I, I don't like chocolate or even if that seems crazy and you don't want the person on the other side to think you're crazy, you can preempt it by saying, this might sound crazy. I don't really like chocolate. You know, it it's about those non-negotiables. Do they cross the line on those non-negotiables. Are they making a racist joke? And you're actually snickering because you just want to laugh at their joke and not make them upset. Hmm. That's a non-negotiable for you. You can say, you know, that's really not negotiable for me. This probably isn't gonna be a good fit. Right. It's a discovery mission. All you can do is learn more and more about yourself and how much stronger you're getting and how much more honest. And how much more of an authentic representative of yourself that you can be. And this will lead you to, it's not a perfect formula for the perfect partner, but it will lead you to healthier outcomes.
[00:31:33] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: mm-hmm well, and I would even say that people could do it in their existing relationship if you are struggling and you know, you're not quite sure. I think it's a, a brilliant exercise to do in your current relationship too, even just generally.
[00:31:49] wendy-behary: Yes.
[00:31:49] wendy-behary: Well with anyone with all relationships. So, it could be in your work life, in your friendships, in your family relationships and in your personal intimate relationships. Just pay attention, take inventory. Notice at the end of the day, you know, how many times today did I betray myself?
[00:32:08] wendy-behary: How many times today did I stand up for myself in an honest way, in an honest, thoughtful way? In a way that really reflected my intention. How many times today was I able to repair a rupture that maybe, you know, I contributed to, without feeling like I'm such a terrible person, but just knowing that I'm human, I made a mistake, and I can own that.
[00:32:33] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: Right. Yeah. We're so focused on... are they betraying us. I love what you said of how many times am I betraying myself in this relationship?
[00:32:44] wendy-behary: Yeah. By not saying to my friend, who's constantly showing up late making me wait or I choose to wait. And I'm always, always letting this friend off the hook, for example, that might be an example where, you know, today for the first time I said out loud, you know, I advocated and I said out loud, you know, it doesn't feel good to me. You're my friend and I love you. And I love our time together. Right. And I know you have a big job and I know it's hard to break away right. Empathy, confrontation, empathy, confrontation. It's the best formula for being able to address these tough and gnarly issues.
[00:33:30] wendy-behary: I know it's hard for you, but like what about my feelings? It leaves me feeling a little, you know, undervalued, my time undervalued. And I just really had to say that to you. Cuz if I don't then I'm walking around feeling resentful. That's not good for our relationship.
[00:33:46] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: Right. Yeah. And just because we're being empathetic doesn't mean that we're saying it's okay.
[00:33:52] wendy-behary: Oh, no, never, no, no, never empathy is not about agreement or letting somebody off the hook. Empathy is simply just like making sense out of something. Like I understand traffic was heavy. Your job is big. It's hard to break away. You can't always be on time. I completely get it. But I also think that it just might not be a good idea for us to meet in the evening hours because it ends up with me sitting here just starting to feel resentful.
[00:34:20] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: mm-hmm yeah, what's another good time that may work better for us to meet.
[00:34:24] wendy-behary: yeah, yeah.
[00:34:26] jealousy-junkie---shanenn-bryant: Yeah. Oh, I love, I love, love, love the exercise that you said, uh, for us to do so thank you so much for all this valuable information. I've loved having you on and the conversation. Thank you so much, Wendy.
[00:34:41] wendy-behary: MY pleasure Shanenn. It's been great to be with you too.
Dr. Wendy Behary is the Founder and Director of the Cognitive Therapy Center in New Jersey and author of Disarming the Narcissist.