Welcome to Jealousy Junkie!
Aug. 23, 2022

09: Is Jealousy Keeping You Ruthless with Dr. Marcia Sirota

09:  Is Jealousy Keeping You Ruthless with Dr. Marcia Sirota

“We need to understand that being kind to ourselves has nothing to do with stuffing down our feelings or burying them, or smothering them with consumerism or addiction. It's really about looking inward. Seeing what feelings and what needs are there and trying to find realistic and compassionate solutions.” - Dr. Marcia Sirota

Being kind in our society is unfortunately very rare. Not just kindness to others, but kindness to ourselves as well. 

There seems to be a common theme among society, which is that we experience a lot of negative self-talk which causes us to not be compassionate with ourselves, or others. This can become an issue, especially in intimate relationships, because a lot of the mistrust and jealousy comes from innate negative self-talk where we filter the world through that perception. 


What would happen if you became aware of those filters, and decided to change your perspective to have ruthless compassion for yourself and others? What would your life and relationships look like? 


Forgiving yourself for the past is the first step, and resetting to do better in each moment is the key. You will never be ‘perfect’. This is an impossible standard that we need to do away with. What we can do is improve in every moment with kindness as our anchor.


On today’s episode, we have invited Dr. Marcia Sirota who is a board certified psychiatrist and host of the ‘Ruthless Compassion’ podcast. Who better to help us uncover what it means to be ruthlessly compassionate and cultivate kindness within yourself and others!


Marcia is on a mission to create an army of kindness warriors, because the world is in desperate need of this. Also, having this compassion for yourself could be the turning point for your jealousy in relationships. 


So for all the jealousy junkies out there, we have a challenge for you. Listen in to hear what it is and let us know if it helped you! 


 Topics discussed in this episode:


●      What does it mean to be a kindness warrior

●      Two ways we can have jealousy

●      Importance of a reality check when differentiating jealousy

●      When you need to use ruthless compassion 

●      Importance of slowing down and relaxing to conjure a reality check

●      Difference between being self indulgent, lenient, and kind

●      Importance of having reasonable expectations of yourself

●      Perception through the filter of our past vs. the truth

●      Importance of mindfulness as a tool to cut through our filters

●      The ruthless piece of ruthless compassion

●      The importance of mental flexibility

●      Take every opportunity to be kind

●      A challenge for all the jealousy junkies out there!



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[00:00:00] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: There are a lot of childhood moments I don't remember, but as I was preparing to interview my next guest, an old childhood memory came flooding back that I completely forgot about.

[00:00:22] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: And it reminded me of a time when I was very young, maybe five or six. It was like late seventies or early eighties when Underoos first came out. You know, those character pajamas that you could dress up like Superman or Spiderman or my personal favorite was Wonder Woman. 

[00:00:41] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: But my best friend at the time, I think her name was Jenny. I can't remember, but she had several pairs of these. And one day we dressed up in them and just ran around the house being in full character mode and like these warriors and warrioresses. And when I was thinking about it, I could actually feel that same sense of like carelessness and freedom and the belief that we could conquer the world.

[00:01:07] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: It was before I was self conscious, before I ever had my heart broken, before I was my own worst critic. And definitely before I felt like I was in constant competition with other women. Jenny and I weren't competing to see who was the prettiest in their Underoos or who was the smartest or the funniest or the best warrior. We joined forces to conquer the world. 

[00:01:30] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: And each one of us had our own special superpower. I was still kind to myself and we were still kind to each other. I know often when our jealousy gets triggered, all of our compassion and kindness for other women and for ourselves goes out the window and we go into that ruthless mode.

[00:01:48] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: Today's guest and I have a challenge for you. So stay to the end and see if you're up for the challenge.

[00:02:01] Podcast Intro: There's just no other way to say it. Jealousy sucks. And I know you do anything to not be jealous, but you just can't shake it. Obsessive thoughts, lots of anxiety in your, disastrous nights out and even ruined relationships. I've been there. Welcome to Jealousy, Junkie the podcast to help you go from that jealous and anxious feeling in your relationship to calm and confident.

[00:02:27] Podcast Intro: My name is Shanenn Bryant. And as one of the few who focus on overcoming jealousy, I'll be right here to support you through the painful range of emotions, tackle your jealous reactions and bring your sanity check questions to the table.

[00:02:43] Podcast Intro: Welcome jealousy junkies. I have with me a very special guest today, Dr. Marcia Sirota. She is a board certified psychiatrist and host of Ruthless Compassion podcast. We are diving into the topic... I love this, becoming a kindness warrior. Tell me a little bit about this. What does it mean? 

[00:03:09] Dr. Marcia Sirota: It goes with my philosophy of ruthless compassion. So it's always this kind of yin and yang juxtaposition, and basically being a kindness warrior is being kind when it's not easy to be kind. And when it's not the popular thing, You know, in a very cutthroat, competitive world that we're living in these days, it's harder and harder to find the opportunities to be kind.

[00:03:33] Dr. Marcia Sirota: And so you have to bring some warrior energy to your kindness and make sure to be kind, even when it's not easy to do it. 

[00:03:41] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: So being kind to ourselves and being kind to others? 

[00:03:46] Dr. Marcia Sirota: Exactly. It always has to go both ways because the essence of kindness is that it's both internal and external. So it has to go both ways. If it's only being kind to ourselves that's narcissism.

[00:03:58] Dr. Marcia Sirota: And if it's only being kind to others, it's people pleasing. 

[00:04:02] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: Mm. Yes. We're familiar with people pleasing for sure. I wanna focus specifically on jealousy and how this ties to this. We know that jealousy comes with a lot of self conscious emotions, like shame and embarrassment and guilt. And that's often related to the activities or the behaviors that we present when we're on the verge of a jealousy meltdown, or we have that anxiety and we really just beat the hell out of ourselves for what we did or what we said.

[00:04:37] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: But there's also some accountability there. So how do we balance that? And what's your advice in that situation? 

[00:04:45] Dr. Marcia Sirota: So I wanna start off with something which may be a little bit unexpected. There's two ways that we can have jealousy.

[00:04:53] Dr. Marcia Sirota: We can have jealousy that's unfounded and we can have jealousy that's well founded. So I wanna talk about the jealousy that's well founded, cuz I think it's really important because sometimes we're in a relationship with somebody who does things that makes it hard for us to trust them. That makes it hard for us to feel safe or comfortable with them.

[00:05:12] Dr. Marcia Sirota: And they're the one who is the problem. It's not that we have a pathology of jealousy, but we are trusting our gut and feeling that there's something not quite right with this person. And we're feeling neglected, we're feeling disrespected. We're feeling like they're breaking boundaries around the relationship.

[00:05:33] Dr. Marcia Sirota: And so we're feeling jealous, but it's not because we have a jealousy problem. What we have is a relationship problem. We have a problem with a partner who is not trustworthy. And our gut is sending out these little signals, you know, red flag, red flag, red flag. So when we're having jealousy, the first thing we need to do is distinguish between well founded jealousy and unfounded jealousy.

[00:05:56] Dr. Marcia Sirota: And if we have well founded jealousy, then what we need to understand is that there's a problem with our partner. Our partner is behaving in certain ways, and if they can't stop doing these things, then this relationship needs to end because this is not a person that we can ever feel safe with and feel comfortable with. And why would we wanna be in a long term relationship, never feeling safe or comfortable. 

[00:06:17] Dr. Marcia Sirota: So that's the well founded jealousy and that's something I think everybody needs to be aware of because not always is our jealousy in our heads. Sometimes it's real in the world and our partner is doing something wrong. So we need to be aware that there's always that possibility. 

[00:06:33] Dr. Marcia Sirota: So once we have dealt with that, then we can go onto the unfounded jealousy. 

[00:06:38] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: Yeah. A hundred percent. And I do wanna make that distinction. as you mentioned, there may be the reason that you're having sort of feelings of my intuition is telling me this or this doesn't seem exactly right.

[00:06:54] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: And then there are those cases where there really is no evidence and it's potentially some baggage that we're bringing from an old relationship from our childhood, those types of things that we're bringing into the relationship. 

[00:07:08] Dr. Marcia Sirota: And we need to have really good reality testing. And if we don't trust our own reality testing, then it's always great to talk to somebody and get a little reality check from them.

[00:07:18] Dr. Marcia Sirota: So they can say, yes, you know, I've noticed your partner flirting really outrageously with the waitress every time we go to dinner together as couples. Or I've never seen your partner behaving in any of those ways that you suspect them of. So having a reality check is really good. It can really help you get a sense of, am I imagining this or is it something real.

[00:07:41] Dr. Marcia Sirota: But when your jealousy is unfounded, that's a really great time to bring in ruthless compassion because ruthless compassion combines the principles of strict honesty. Like being very honest with yourself, but also being very loving with yourself.

[00:07:58] Dr. Marcia Sirota: So ruthless compassion says I'm gonna really see the truth about my behavior. There's the accountability, but I'm not gonna beat myself up for it because that doesn't help change. We can only change in an atmosphere of kindness toward ourselves. If we're beating ourselves up, we're gonna become resistant to change.

[00:08:14] Dr. Marcia Sirota: So change is only possible when we have that self-compassion. So ruthless compassion allows us to be very rigorously honest with ourselves about our jealous behavior, but then not beat ourselves up. Simply recognize that we are making some bad choices and we need to make some better ones. 

[00:08:32] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: Mm-hmm . Yes. And I remember when I was in the depths of my jealousy, unfounded jealousy, that I was pulling in from other relationships and from my childhood. And one of the things that I got in that vicious cycle of my behavior I would be embarrassed about. And then that would just make me feel worse about myself.

[00:08:56] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: I'd beat myself up even more and get myself even further into that depression. And so it was just this continuous vicious cycle because I wasn't allowing any forgiveness and really moving to what you're saying is being aware of but then also learning from it. 

[00:09:16] Dr. Marcia Sirota: Exactly. And then if you use ruthless compassion, then you can be that kindness warrior because you can really fight to be a kind person with yourself and with your partner and not get caught up in all your fears and paranoia. And if you're kind to yourself, you can go, okay, well maybe I'm being a little overly suspicious. Maybe I can relax. And maybe when I relax, I can get more of a reality check on what's going on because often jealousy is just fantasy that you allow to run wild.

[00:09:49] Dr. Marcia Sirota: So when you are a kindness warrior to yourself, you can be kind and calm down and then see the truth of what's happening as opposed to allowing your imagination to just go to all the worst case scenarios possible. And then you can be kind to yourself and then also when you're not being so jealous, you're much more kind to your partner.

[00:10:11] Dr. Marcia Sirota: You're not accusing them of horrible things because it's very hurtful. Obviously when you accuse somebody who loves you and who cares about you, of behaving in these unscrupulous ways, because they think, how could this person see me in this way? I've never given them cause to. And it also makes them feel alienated from you because they feel like you don't know me.

[00:10:31] Dr. Marcia Sirota: You know, you're accusing me of all this awful. Obviously you have no idea who I really am because you would never say these things. If you really knew me and saw me. So it prevents all those really unpleasant interactions. 

[00:10:44] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: We hear people say there's a difference between being nice and being kind, but can you dive into that kindness piece a little bit?

[00:10:51] Dr. Marcia Sirota: So kindness is not self-indulgence, you know, it's not like I'm just gonna sit here and eat two boxes of chocolates and spend the whole night binge watching Netflix. Right. It's not that. Or I'm gonna drink, you know, two bottles of wine and smoke a whole bunch of marijuana and just like waste all my time and, you know, go online and spend tons of money on items I don't need online. Right. That's not kindness. 

[00:11:16] Dr. Marcia Sirota: That's self-indulgence so there's a big difference between being self-indulgent and being kind and also being overly lenient to yourself. Oh, it's okay. I did that, you know, I'm kind to myself so I can get off the hook. That's also not kindness. Being kind to yourself is being accountable, is taking responsibility, is owning up to the things you've done, but not beating yourself up for it.

[00:11:39] Dr. Marcia Sirota: So being kind to yourself, you need to make those distinctions. It's not self indulgence and it's not lenient. It's loving, acceptance. It's tolerance. It's understanding. And it's care. So loving acceptance is seeing yourself for who you really are. There's the ruthless part of the ruthless compassion. Really seeing your flaws and your faults and your foibles and your weaknesses, but seeing them with humor, with lightness and with compassion. And also with a spirit of being an evolving person, who's always wanting to grow and change and do better and be your better self, not your best self, but your better self.

[00:12:13] Dr. Marcia Sirota: You always wanna be your better self cause you're never gonna get to your best. You can always be the better version of yourself more and more, right? So that's the kind of acceptance piece. And then understanding is really understanding where you come from, where your childhood led you, where your experiences led you, where your, you know, growing up years led you.

[00:12:32] Dr. Marcia Sirota: So what kinds of experiences have you had over the years that have led you to develop certain beliefs, behaviors, habits, and expectations. And so, you know, just being kind and tolerant and understanding of that. Being tolerant means not judging yourself for every little mistake that you make for every little failure or loss, but having some perspective and some patience with yourself and that tolerance.

[00:12:59] Dr. Marcia Sirota: So, you know, not expecting too much of yourself .Having good expectations of yourself, but not unreasonable expectations of yourself. And then just having some humor so that you can laugh at yourself and not take everything so, so seriously where, you know, you get rigid and you get like perfectionistic and, you know, if you feel like you have to be always on all the time, cuz that's exhausting and unnecessary.

[00:13:27] Dr. Marcia Sirota: Like I always say perfection is not necessary and not possible. 

[00:13:32] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: And not possible for sure. Yeah. That judgment piece. We can go into that so easily. You talked about the self indulgent piece of it. Do you find that that's often what people start doing versus being kind? Is that kind of where we go? 

[00:13:50] Dr. Marcia Sirota: Because people haven't been taught how to be truly kind to themselves and we're living in a society that always uses the bandaid solution. And very often it's about consuming something, right? Accumulating something, consuming, something, you know, eat something, drink something, buy something. There's this philosophy in our society that that's gonna make you feel better. So when you're stressed or you feel bad, you do something to numb your feelings. To push down the pain or the hurt or the need. We think that self indulgence is kindness, but self indulgence is ignoring our actual feelings and our actual needs because we're not addressing the problem. We're just putting bandaids on it.

[00:14:32] Dr. Marcia Sirota: And the bandaids can often lead to other problems. So if we're indulging in drink or food or drugs, it's gonna create other problems. If we're shopping online, of course it's gonna create financial problems. If we're gambling, you know, I had a patient, she lost her house with her pathological gambling. You know, it was very, very sad right? 

[00:14:50] Dr. Marcia Sirota: I had another patient, she had, a million dollar mortgage on her house when her husband got through with his addiction. So like when we get into this self indulgence, we create bigger problems. So we need to understand that being kind to ourselves has nothing to do with stuffing down our feelings or burying them, or smothering them with consumerism or addiction.

[00:15:11] Dr. Marcia Sirota: It's really about looking inward, seeing what feelings and what needs are there and trying to find realistic and compassionate solutions. So if we're sad, there are lots of things we can do to vent our sadness. Share our feelings with a loved one or a friend or a counselor. Express it through creativity, work it out through exercise.

[00:15:34] Dr. Marcia Sirota: There's lots of things that we can do to process whatever feelings and needs we have. But self indulgence is the opposite direction of where we need to go to. And when we're using ruthless compassion and trying to be a kindness warrior, we're always looking at the truth of our feelings and our needs and trying to address them realistically and compassionately, as opposed to just putting that bandaid solution to play.

[00:15:57] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: Mm-hmm . I wanted to talk a little bit about when we're in a jealous meltdown or when we're suspicious of our partner, you know, they're kind of enemy number one at that time. But then I find it funny because going through this, it was like, oh, I'm so angry at him and I can't believe he did this, that I think that he did and just really being that enemy number. But then the same person that's like on my emergency contact list. You know, my go to person. Like the back and forth of it just gets crazy. And so I feel like we see what we wanna see in the moment. And I definitely know that our brain's like, I think I'm gonna see this, or I think this is going to happen and so my brain really goes to that and that's often not the truth. 

[00:16:51] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: And you talk about this a little bit about us seeing what we wanna see versus the truth. Can you go into that a little bit? 

[00:16:59] Dr. Marcia Sirota: If we've had wounds from our childhood, we tend to project the situations and the experiences and the emotions of our past onto our present day experiences as though we're watching a screen and a movie is playing that's superposed on reality. And so instead of experiencing reality, we're experiencing a distorted version of reality that has become distorted through the filter of our past. And so I have a kind of tool that I really recommend to everybody to really help us stop in the moment and reset our brains.

[00:17:37] Dr. Marcia Sirota: One thing that's really important is to practice kind of a regular mindfulness practice so that we start to really watch ourselves. We tune in and we watch ourselves because there's kind of a flavor in the emotional state that we get into when we're losing our mind. Right. When we're having like this kind of crazy place and what I call it, it's, it's kind of a regression into the wounded child who's projecting scenarios from the past onto the present. So we've regressed. We've become our more primitive, paranoid, the irrational, impulsive self. So there's a flavor. Like we can feel it. If we spend time with the mindfulness practice tuning in tuning and tuning in, we get a sense of the flavor of that place. And we can watch ourselves. 

[00:18:25] Dr. Marcia Sirota: It's kind of like a meta experience so we can notice ourselves being in the moment and we can stop and go, oh, I'm having a crazy moment. And then once we have practiced the, seeing it, then we can start stopping it and then we can start changing it. So we may only start out being able to see it.

[00:18:45] Dr. Marcia Sirota: Wow. I'm in the middle of a place, but I don't know what to do about it, but the more we practice, oh, I'm in the middle of this thing. I'm gonna stop it, but I don't know how to do anything else. Oh, I'm in the middle of this crazy thing. I see it. And I stop it and I can switch gears. So it like, it's a gradual thing and learning tools for, you know, how to stop it and how to switch gears is also important. 

[00:19:05] Dr. Marcia Sirota: But if we have that meta awareness where we can really practice seeing ourselves and getting a sense of the flavor, when we're in that regression, then we can see it. We can stop it, we can switch gears and we can even turn to our partner go, sorry. I lost it there for a second. I regressed into that paranoid child, sorry.

[00:19:24] Dr. Marcia Sirota: And being able to separate the different parts of yourself, that frightened child who is projecting things from the past versus the adult self who is in touch with reality and really seeing the person in front of them for who they. And then there's another part, which is also not helpful, which is the critic part who's saying, well, that was stupid of you.

[00:19:45] Dr. Marcia Sirota: You know, you just blew that. You almost lost him there, you know, keep that up and you know what's gonna happen. So that part is another part that we also have to have that meta awareness about and go, that's not helpful in this process. I can see it with compassion. I can stop it with compassion. I can switch gears with compassion. You are not needed for any of this be gone. Yeah. 

[00:20:10] Dr. Marcia Sirota: So recognizing those three parts, the child who gets freaked out, the adult who is able to be in reality and that critic who just wants to make everything worse because it has nothing good in mind. So if we can do those things and have that meta awareness, then when we're even in the middle of the depths of it, we can go. Mm oh yeah. This tastes like my crazy side. Okay. Breathe, stop shift gears. 

[00:20:38] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: Yeah. I think bringing awareness to when you're starting to feel that way. And one very important thing, I think that you mentioned was the piece about, I can stop myself in the middle of that and say to my partner, I just caught myself doing this, et cetera, cetera, et cetera.

[00:20:56] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: And that is, that takes practice to do, but it is a game changer cuz I think we get so far into it almost that. Well, that means not continuing my stance of what I thought or losing the argument or, you know, whatever it is. So at times we're just maybe kind of still just pushing on that track no matter what and so being able to stop, like you said, and recognize. That so important. 

[00:21:22] Dr. Marcia Sirota: That's where the kindness warrior comes in because when you're being kind to yourself and to your partner. You don't need to win the fight. You don't need to stay on the track. You don't need to make a point. You don't need to win the argument.

[00:21:34] Dr. Marcia Sirota: You just need to be in reality and in connection. And when you're in paranoia, you're not in connection. So when you're in the kindness warrior mode, the warrior says, no. The only thing that's important is reality and connectedness. How can we get back to reality? How can we get back to the connection?

[00:21:52] Dr. Marcia Sirota: And all the other stuff is not important. And that warrior is like, let's get to what's really important here. Winning the argument doesn't matter. Staying on the same track doesn't matter. Nothing is more important than being connected to reality and to my partner. So let's just focus on what's important here.

[00:22:13] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: So good, like switching over to that warrior piece and keeping that in mind. Cause I'm telling you it's so difficult and uncomfortable to do at first. But man, does it change the game of how you're communicating and how you're behaving in that relationship? 

[00:22:31] Dr. Marcia Sirota: And if you're doing it with kindness, you're not beating yourself up and going, I'm being an idiot right now. I'm so embarrassed. I'm so ashamed. And now I'm gonna have to win the point just because I'm so embarrassed. If you're just being kind and saying, no, this is not what I want. This is not what I want for myself or for my partner right now. I'm gonna be the warrior and fight for what I really want, which is love, connection and being in reality.

[00:22:54] Dr. Marcia Sirota: So then you don't have to do anything else, but just get back to what's real. It's like a meditation practice. All of my meditation teachers have always said the same thing, you know, focus, focus, focus. And when your mind wanders, just notice and go back to focusing. Don't go, Ugh, my mind wandered, bad me and start going on this whole track of, you know, how, how useless I am at meditating cuz my mind wandered. 

[00:23:20] Dr. Marcia Sirota: No, just notice. Oh good for me. I noticed, get back on track, lose the track. Oh good for me. I noticed, get back on track. So it's really like a meditative practice put into just everyday life, everyday relationship notice, get back on track. No judgment, no criticism. No attack. 

[00:23:41] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: Yeah. I mean, I just so want to drive that piece home because I know that some people when they're in those situations will say, well, I can't change my story or my tune now, because that's almost like admitting that I was wrong that they did this thing or that they aren't then doing it in the future.

[00:24:04] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: And they are thinking about the future and how... if I think that they're doing this, they're looking at women or doing those other things, then I don't have a case in the future. So I just so wanna drive that home. 

[00:24:17] Dr. Marcia Sirota: And I love that you said, you know, people feel like they have to keep doing things cause they can't admit that they're wrong.

[00:24:23] Dr. Marcia Sirota: So here's a great use of ruthless compassion. So ruthless, the ruthless piece is, I was wrong and the compassion point is like, okay, it's all right to be wrong, cuz nobody's perfect. And we're allowed to make mistakes. So, wow. I've made a really big mistake and it's okay. You made a really big mistake. Reset.

[00:24:43] Dr. Marcia Sirota: So ruthless compassion is perfect because it helps you not be all rigid because you know, one of the signs of mental dysfunction is rigidity. The healthiest people have mental flexibility. They can be open minded, they can change their mind. They can change their stance, change their point of view, change their perspective.

[00:25:03] Dr. Marcia Sirota: When we have mental flexibility, we have mental wellbeing. When we have mental rigidity, we have mental ill health. So being able to say, oh, you know, I was wrong or, Ooh, I'm on the wrong track here. Or, Ooh, I made a mistake. That's mental wellbeing. So we should never be afraid to admit that we're wrong cuz if we're compassionate about it, it's okay. And if our partner also is compassionate, then it's fine. It's all good. 

[00:25:30] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: Yeah. And I have a feeling they may be a little more empathetic or willing to talk through if it happens again or when you're still trying to work on yourself, cuz it takes time. It takes time to get over things like that and you're gonna fail, you know, you're going to fail along the way.

[00:25:49] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: And so I think it maybe just gives them a little bit more comfort that she's not always going to stick to her ground every time this happens and we can talk through it. 

[00:25:59] Dr. Marcia Sirota: And your partner can even remind you and say, do you remember that time when you stopped in the middle of it and went, hold on a second, I'm losing the plot here.

[00:26:06] Dr. Marcia Sirota: And you were able to switch gears and even apologize. Remember that? So they can remind you of that time when you, when you lost it. And then you came back on your own and that can remind you of your own internal process and help you find that part of yourself that can be self-aware and self-compassionate and help you in that moment switch gears. 

[00:26:27] Dr. Marcia Sirota: The other thing about it is there's nothing more romantic then a partner being able to admit that they've made a mistake, apologize and try to change. There's nothing more sexy that, you know, leads to like great times in the bedroom than being able to just own up to your stuff because it builds trust.

[00:26:48] Dr. Marcia Sirota: I'm saying sexy because it builds trust and trust builds intimacy. So when we can own up to mistakes and say, you know, I went off the deep end there. I'm so sorry. I'll try to do better next time. Your partner just falls madly in love with you and wants to drag you off and so, yeah, it's the best, right? It's the best. 

[00:27:09] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: Yes. And I can't tell you how many inside jokes, my husband and I over all of my jealous things. I mean, they're constant and things from 8, 10, 12 years ago, that is still a running joke between us. 

[00:27:22] Dr. Marcia Sirota: If you can have compassion toward yourself, you can build deep intimacy with your partner because owning up is not a sign of failure or weakness. It's a sign of vulnerability. And when you can get vulnerable with your partner and honest with them and show them that you're flexible, boy, will they go crazy over you? They will just be madly in love with you for doing that kind of thing. That is what builds depth in a relationship. And that's what prevents divorce.

[00:27:49] Dr. Marcia Sirota: And one of the opposite things I can say is so much divorce is caused by rigidity and a refusal to admit that you were wrong or that you made a mistake because the person is shame bound and stuck in their own inner critic. And so they can't acknowledge that they went off the deep end because they're so full of self blame and self-criticism and self shame.

[00:28:11] Dr. Marcia Sirota: So if you want to stay together and avoid divorce, have that mental flexibility and have that ability to just say, yeah, you know, I blew it there and I'm gonna be compassionate about it. And hopefully you will too. And that's how you build trust and connection by just being vulnerable, not beating yourself up and trusting that your partner won't beat you up for it either.

[00:28:33] Dr. Marcia Sirota: And in fact, the opposite will happen. They'll love you more. 

[00:28:36] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: Yeah, I love the idea of mental flexibility. Thank you so much for sharing that. I think that's really a great thing to keep in mind as we go through this process. 

[00:28:50] Dr. Marcia Sirota: Another way of being a kindness warrior in the world today is when there are opportunities to be kind to take advantage of those opportunities.

[00:29:00] Dr. Marcia Sirota: You know, so often we walk by a situation or a person. And, you know, there's an opportunity to be kind or in the workplace even, and we don't take it because we're shy or we're uncomfortable, we're awkward. Or we wonder what they're gonna think. So be brave and I'm inviting everybody to take advantage of those opportunities to be kind. Not to be a people pleaser where you're trying to curry favor or trying to get something out of it. But just being kind for kindness sake, because the more kind energy we put into the world, the more we are gonna encourage other people to follow suit.

[00:29:37] Dr. Marcia Sirota: It's remarkable how, if you start being kind just in little ways, not big grandiose ways, but just in little ways, other people will notice and they'll start being kind. Not necessarily to you, but to each other. And then you're just gonna spread. Just take the opportunity to be kind. 

[00:29:57] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: Okay. You gave me a fantastic idea, Dr. Sirota. So here's what we're gonna do. We're gonna challenge our jealousy junkies because I know this is difficult for them. When they are triggered by another female or whomever it is, we often, unfortunately are very unkind to that person. And so we're challenging you to say one thing nice to that person who is triggering you, like go out, stretch outside your comfort zone and say something nice.

[00:30:34] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: Give them a compliment and see what kind of difference that makes. 

[00:30:38] Dr. Marcia Sirota: Yeah. Don't see them as the enemy. They're not the enemy. If your partner is truly not doing anything to betray you or break the boundaries of the relationship. And if this person is also not doing anything to try to drive a wedge between you and your partner, cuz you know, that person doesn't necessarily need the kindness.

[00:30:59] Dr. Marcia Sirota: But if, if in reality nobody's doing anything wrong, then yeah, it's great to be kind and to switch gears and stop seeing them as the enemy because this us, them thinking is what's getting our world into a really bad place. You know, polarization is not a good thing for anyone, either in a personal or political realm.

[00:31:20] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: Yes. Well, okay. That's our challenge, Dr. Sirota and I are gonna be curious. We wanna hear from you. Anyone that does this challenge, email me, let me know, and I would love to share it. 

[00:31:33] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: So thank you so much for being on Jealousy Junkie today and for all the valuable tips that you've given. 

[00:31:39] Dr. Marcia Sirota: Oh, it's really been a pleasure Shanenn. Thank you. 

[00:31:43] Shanenn Bryant- Jealousy Junkie: If you'd like to work with me directly, head over to www.jealousyjunkie.com and schedule your free clarity call to see how I can help you. Until next time, take care and remember, you're not alone.

Dr. Marcia SirotaProfile Photo

Dr. Marcia Sirota

Dr. Marcia Sirota is a board-certified psychiatrist practicing in Toronto, Canada. She has more than 25 years of experience, author of 5 books and an instructor of Udemy online courses.