Podcast Summary

Podcast Summary: Jay Shetty On Purpose interview with Psychotherapist Ester Perel.

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Jay Shetty interviews psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author Esther Perel, who is recognized as one of today’s most insightful and original voices on modern relationships.

Esther’s Podcast: Where should we begin?

These are my favorite takeaways from Jay Shetty’s On Purpose interview with psychotherapist Ester Perel.

  • We are often drawn to people who bring characteristics from which we want to draw away.


  • The question of whether to stay or leave is complex and does not have easy binary answers.
  • If you think the decision is 100% perfect, with no doubt or hesitation, it is a setup.
  • If you leave, you need to experience losing some things that could have been good – A dream of what was.
  • If you stay, you need to be able to grieve the part of you that will never know what it would have been like if you left.
  • The answer is not in the extreme determination. It is the ability to hold inherent contradictions.

Every choice comes with loss. The consequence is the choice you didn’t make. Even if you think this is the right choice, the grief may be not been able to make it work or that you had so much high hopes that it didn’t materialize.

Saving a relationship: What it takes?


  • We are not asking the other party to do all the changing.

Change yourself not others

  • The hardest part of creating change in any relationship is taking personal responsibility. If you change, it is going to affect the other party somehow.


  • There is a need to create a new belief system instead of holding onto the belief and value system of our caregivers/parents.

Jay Shetty: Most of our challenges exist often because we project our operating system to others rather create a new one with them

Perel: Turning conflict to connection

  • It is not what you fight about but more about what you fight for.
  • Underneath every fight, there are usually three underlining things that we are fighting for:

Power, Trust and Value.

  • Understanding what you are fighting for makes the real root of the fight clear.
  • Everything about relationships is about navigating sameness and difference.
  • How do you let the other person influence you without constantly waving your flag of identity.

In every relationship, there is often one person who is more afraid of losing the other and one person that is afraid of losing themselves.

  • One person afraid of abandonment and rejection is more prone to acquiesce, pacify, placate, and say yes to the other person and one day maybe not.
  • One person is afraid of suffocation; therefore, they fight for their ideas and way of life—this is more about the nature of connection.


  • Don’t go necessarily for what you see because what you see is not necessarily there. Go looking at the level below.

Ask to ask partner?

  • Curiosity is often lost in relationships as we are not curious to know why people act the way they do. We assume that it is about us.

Curiosity is at the other side of reactivity

  • Everything dealing with conflict is about helping move from reactive to reflective to curious.

Fundamental Attribution Error

We judge others by their action but, we judge ourselves by our intentions. We think our actions are circumstantial and others behaviour are character flaws or logical. The loss of curiousity in relationships is because we tend to think that we are more complex than our partners and that is what make us not ask: What is your story? Why do you need to get things your way all the time?

Taking responsibility is liberating as the only person you can change is you.

Be Thankful

  • Your being here is what makes me go take care of my busy schedule.
  • Create a context for digging deep into the past.

The past is usually traumatic, aversive,  scary, uninteresting, or lacks vocabulary.

  • Use the arts: books, movies, plays, songs, poetry. They all speak our human experience, and we just have to say that is my thing.

Understand your audience

  • Use other mediums or other vocabularies for stuff people don’t want to discuss in therapy with their partner. Speak the Language of the people you are speaking to.


  • Many people talk easily when they are walking or moving their bodies.


  • By doing activities where both partners are novices and where both partners are seeing the fun, fresh, and unseen side of each other, we get to play and understand.

Perel Book Recommendation

The All-or-Nothing Marriage: How the Best Marriages Work by Eli J Finkel 

  • The all-or-nothing marriage talks about the importance of doing new things, not just things you are both comfortable with, which breeds friendship. But if you both do things that involve risk, unknowns, mystery, and curiosity, that is where you bring excitement and desire.

Illusion of Familiarity

  • It allows us to maintain our mysteriousness and illusiveness. Faced with the unknown, we can either react with fear by trying to flatten it and ignore all of it by holding onto the familiar, or we can nurture it by engaging with the mystery and curiosity that is right in front of us.

Rebuilding Trust

  • Whoever hurt you can feel guilt and remorse for hurting you. The ability to become the vigilante of the relationship. It is your job to say how much you value and protect the relationship.
  • Affairs have meaning; they are stories. They tell us about the person and the relationship.
  • In the crisis stage: Guilt, Remorse and Acknowledgement
  • In the insight phase, We are the vigilantes, and we explore the making of the crisis. What are we going to do with this?
  • If we stay together, what is our vision for who we want to be?
  • Most of us will have two or three relationships in our adult life or marriages. Some of us are going to do it with one person.

Choice comes with Loss.

The Paradox of choice from products to people

Perel is interested in the intersection between relationships, technology and mental health.

  • The frenzy of romantic consumerism is based on the search for the perfect. People are no longer happy with the good. People are looking for a soulmate on an app, an exciting intersection between capitalism and spirituality. The search is being done with a checklist,. The dating experience is now like a job interview.
  • We have lots of choices, uncertainty and self-doubt. We are a lot more incapable of handling uncertainty because we live with various predictive technologies meant to take away uncertainty, obstacles, friction and rough edges.
  • We don’t engage anymore with stuff that helps us deal with uncertainty, the unknown and happenstance. Happenstance. The commodification is real, it is not just because of our childhoods.

The Still Face Experiment

  • According to Perel, the still-face experiment shows what happens in ghosting, breadcrumbing, and check listing. It is the experience with most people in the dating scene. You meet someone and feel there is chemistry, but you are left hanging.
  • Perel recommends doing an activity with someone you just met rather than going to a bar. If you want to get to know someone, put them in a social situation and see how they react with other people in the mix.

Chemistry for a life story or a love story?

  • The project will determine the nature of the chemistry.
  • Curiosity: A desire for more. A person is like a book. Do you drag yourself to the next page, saying let me see where it goes or you can’t wait to turn the pages?

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile -info@lanredahunsi.com | lanre.dahunsi@gmail.com

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