Ep 20: Jealousy Versus Envy with Lauren Appio, PHD
Fertility Forward Episode 20:
We tend to use the terms jealousy and envy synonymously, but there’s a distinct difference between the two. Today’s guest is Dr. Lauren Appio, a licensed psychologist in the state of New York, who explains why this distinction can be important. In this episode, we talk with Dr. Appio about jealousy and envy and what exactly the difference is. We also discuss how to find balance when socializing while on a fertility journey, and how to honor and respect the feelings that may come up while trying to conceive. Dr. Appio goes on to shares with us some practical techniques for loving ourselves, dealing with painful emotions, and reducing stress at times when that may seem like it’s impossible. Tune in to find out more!
Rena: Hi everyone! We are Rena and Dara and welcome to Fertility Forward. We are part of the wellness team at RMA of New York, a fertility clinic affiliated with Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Our Fertility Forward podcast brings together advice for medical professionals, mental health specialists, wellness experts, and patients because knowledge is power and you are your own best advocate.
Rena: Dr. Lauren Appio is a licensed psychologist in the state of New York. She earned her PhD in counseling psychology from Columbia university and BA in psychology from Lafayette college. She completed her internship and postdoctoral fellowship at University of California Davis, where she pursued specialized training in career counseling and multicultural psychology. She presents regularly on cultural competence and professional development and has co-authored articles in the journal of clinical psychology law and human behavior and journal of counseling and development. She has also been featured in New York Magazine, Fast Company, Buzzfeed, Oprah Magazine, and Huffington Post. In her private practice she provides psychotherapy for people looking to improve their relationships, codependency counseling, career counseling, and coaching for women's leadership development. Her psychotherapy and career coaching practice is located in New York city. In this episode, we talk with Dr. Appio about jealousy versus envy and the difference between the two, how to find balance with socializing while on a fertility journey and how to honor and respect your feelings that may come up while trying to conceive and how to love yourself during a difficult time.
**Rena:** We are so happy to welcome today to fertility forward Dr. Lauren Appio, a licensed psychologist in New York. Thank you so much for coming on Lauren. **Lauren:** Thanks for having me. It's great to be here. **Dara:** We're so happy and you're not too far from the office? **Lauren:** No, I'm not. My office is on 31st and Fifth. **Dara:** Great. **Rena:** So just a walk, subway, cab right away, depending on your mode of transport. **Lauren:** Or maybe a run if you just ran in the marathon. **Rena:** Always a run always a run.So I have to say, I'm so happy that you are on today. I first came across Lauren’s name when I was reading an article in New York Magazine that was talking about jealousy versus envy, which caught my eye because that's a name that comes up frequently in my conversations with patients. And so then from that, I kind of just cold contacted Lauren and said, hey, I read your name in this article. Can you talk? And she was so nice to respond. I felt like I was talking to a celebrity. We had a call, so grateful, and then we started the podcast and I thought, Oh my goodness, what a great person to have on. I think this conversation will really resonate with our listeners because I think the jealousy versus envy topic is something that comes up so much in infertility and trying to conceive. **Lauren:** Absolutely. I loved that you reached out to me and reached out to me with this. I always like, just really appreciate people's courage and wanting to connect. And so that just made me feel so warm. **Rena:** Well I’m so glad. So when I sent Dara the article, I said you have to read this. **Dara:** It like opened Pandora's box of like, Oh my gosh. Wow. There's such a difference. **Rena:** Yeah. So do you want to tell our listeners - jealousy vs envy, what is the difference? **Lauren:** Sure. So envy is when you feel like you see somebody who has something that you want and jealousy is when you already have something that you feel like it's being threatened, that it could be taken away. And I would say, you know, in everyday life, people use these terms interchangeably and that's fine. If you're listening to this and you're like, it's all the same to me. That's totally fine. For some people, it can be helpful to differentiate between the two so that you can get just a little bit more clarity on what's going on for you in those moments. Because I think a lot of people often find that they are feeling envious of somebody and then they're judging themselves as though that's a terrible thing to experience. **Rena:** Yes, yes.I see that. **Lauren:** All feelings have a purpose. I mean, I know in that article that you read Rena, it talked about, how can you imagine if our ancestors never felt envious or jealous? And so if someone came up to you and just took away your food, that they were just like, Oh, well, you wouldn’t survive! **Rena:** Right, right. **Lauren:** And so, yeah, the envy and the jealousy really motivates us to really clarify what we want, go after what we want, go after what we value. And if we don't have those things and we truly would not survive, there's a good reason for that. **Dara:** Serves a purpose. **Lauren:** Absolutely. **Rena:** So, I mean, I see a lot of my patients beating themselves up. You know they come in and they say, I feel like I'm such a horrible person. I feel jealous or envious at my sister in law or my friend, because they just had a baby or they just got pregnant within one month and I just feel jealous of it. And then I feel like a bad person because I should be happy for them. I mean what do you say to that? **Lauren:** So the first thing I would say is that it is possible to have more than one feeling at a time. **Rena:** Yes we talk about this **Dara:** And they can be opposing thoughts and feelings. **Lauren:** Of course. You could be thrilled for your sister, your sister in law that, you know, she got this thing that was really important to her. Maybe that's not the primary feeling that you have in that moment. Maybe the jealousy or envy is what is the loudest feeling. But it also doesn't mean that you begrudge, her, her experience. It's not an all or nothing thing. It's not that you want to take it away from her or wish that that never happened to her. It's just something that you want for yourself too. And I just can't imagine a more human response to that kind of a situation, especially if you're struggling in your fertility. **Rena:** So it's totally normal and it doesn't make you a bad person. I think it's just learning how to sit with it and honor your feelings and say, you know, you can be happy for someone else, but sad for yourself too. **Lauren:** Absolutely. I think that is a really good point Rena because I think that envy and jealousy can also be signals for other kinds of feelings. When you mentioned being sad for yourself. And I don't know if you talk about like primary and secondary emotions in your work with folks where sometimes we'll have a primary emotion like sadness for ourselves or fear that we're never going to get pregnant. And then we judge those feelings or try to suppress those feelings. And then the secondary emotions come up on top of that. And so the envy and the jealousy can sometimes be those secondary feelings because the primary feelings might be hopelessness, despair. These really, really intense emotional experiences. And the envy and jealousy is there to kind of protect you a little bit from that. **Rena:** From those more difficult feelings. **Lauren:** From the really, really painful feelings. So they're trying to do a good thing, but then, you know, we, we pile on pounds, judging the envy and, you know, judging the jealousy. And then now we're feeling guilty and ashamed and, and it's a whole pile on that's happening. **Rena:** So what do you say to someone who's going through that? What tips would you give someone for how to navigate that? **Lauren:** So, I mean, there are so many different strategies and, you know, things that I would want to say to people who are going through that, I think the first is really developing your self- compassion, practice of noticing when you are having those judgments and being able to just name them as judgments to start like, you know, the trick is always, don't judge yourself for judging.You know, we're all going to have those judgments, but practicing catching yourself, using the mindfulness of catching yourself when you're judging, and then just acknowledging like your humanness in this. We all feel envy. We all feel jealousy despite the fact that they get a bad rep and even in some religious traditions are considered immoral. And so this is part of why we judge ourselves so hard. I think especially people who are raised as girls get the message that jealousy and envy is petty. It's cruel. **Dara:** It's evil **Lauren:** It’s evil when the reality is it's in the normal range of human emotions. And so being able to take a step back and say, this makes me human, other people go through this, I'm not alone to help just kind of soften your experience of that. And I think the other piece that we were talking about just earlier of moving towards both and thinking: it is possible for me to be envious of this person and happy for them. It is possible for me to, you know, feel anxious and attend this baby shower, or, you know, feel anxious at the baby shower and cope with it in a way that feels helpful for me. But it's also possible for me to really care about my friend and not attend the baby shower. The both-and thinking frees you up from either you're a good person or a bad person. And that thought process of good or bad is never going to be helpful to you and really any circumstance. So moving into a, both-and headspace, being able to cope ahead with potential stressful situations. So, you know, if you are going to be attending a shower or hanging out with friends who have children who speak a lot about their children, and that's something that, you know, can be stressful for you to think about, what do you need in those situations? Do you need to set some limits? Do you need to communicate with people about, you know, maybe that you'll step out of their room or if you need to take a beat or you'll need some support, just being able to imagine what would coping well in that situation look like for you and how can you maybe arrange some of those things ahead of time? So you have supports in place. **Rena:** So set yourself up for success? **Lauren:** Absolutely, absolutely. **Dara:** I think planning’s important, having that discussion, whether it's with an expert who can maybe help guide you, whether it's writing down a list of, of your needs or all of the above. I think it's important to think about it ahead of time, or at least sometimes we're in those situations and we don't even realize until we're in those situations how challenging it can be, but sometimes afterwards taking a step and say, what can I do next time? That would… **Lauren:** Absolutely, absolutely. **Dara:** Put me in a better head space. **Lauren:** And I think that's the self compassion piece of, you know, you are going to have times where you feel like you didn't handle it as well as you would have liked. And that's okay. We've all been there too. **Dara:** For sure. **Lauren:** And so being able to not just repeat this process of beating yourself up over and over again, but just take the kernel of truth from that of, Oh, I don't like how I handled this.This is what I want to do differently. And then your inner critic has served its purpose and it can like retire and it's good. But having that whole arsenal of mindfulness skills, grounding skills is so important and being able to focus on the present moment. I keep thinking of this baby shower example because I know this is something for my clients and my friends that I have gone through this that it's such a hard environment to be in. And that using mindfulness skills, if, if you feel like you can be present, can just look like really paying attention to your sensory experience, noticing, you know, how does the cake taste? What are people talking about? Really throwing yourself into the games, kind of getting out of your head and into the present moment can be helpful for reducing that kind of stress. **Rena:** I like that. So big on mindfulness here, being present, being in the moment. **Lauren:** Yeah. **Rena:** I love that, that way of thinking and really just looking at what's in front of you is so helpful. And I think, you know, I talk a lot about running on here cause it's a big part of my life, but this weekend I was so nervous before the marathon. It was my first one and I had a ton of anxiety. I felt like I was totally role reversal and I was in the patient chair instead of the therapist chair. And I read what I thought was a really good mantra the day before, which was just take every mile individually. And so that's what I did in the race. It wasn't about thinking, Oh my gosh, I have 18 more to go 19 more to go. That's so overwhelming. And it was one mile at a time to stay in that moment. And I think that's sort of exactly what you're saying here and what I communicate to my patients too. Look sometimes here I, you know, I kind of say the macro planning is too overwhelming. It's too daunting because the very difficult part of infertility is there's no crystal ball, you know, we don't know how long you're going to be in treatment for, we don't know what the end of your journey is going to be. We have no idea and that can feel so overwhelming. So I always say, look at the macro planning feels like too much, let's dial it back. Let's see what can you handle right now? Is it day to day, week by week and let's start there. **Lauren:** Yes. **Rena:** And so I love that and I think that's what you're saying. And it ties so much into Dara and my philosophy of mindfulness and trying to stay present. **Dara:** And I think also work, we tend to be so as women, we often are so negative and we focus on like the one or two things that we're so shameful of as opposed to reflecting on some of the things that we're proud of. **Lauren:** Yeah. And I love a pride practice too, because even the idea of having pride can be shameful. **Dara:** So true. **Lauren:** Especially people who are raised as girls. I like the idea Being like I got through that shower and I did not like have a meltdown. That’s amazing! **Rena:** Love yourself! Life is hard and it’s right, it's about taking pride and that is extremely difficult. **Dara:** Yeah. **Rena:** You know? **Dara:** I feel like with meditation, I started meditating a couple of years ago and I, you know, I was having trouble and I started listening to some of those tapes. I listened to 10% happier and I just love that they keep on reinforcing the idea. It's, you know, there's less shame of your mind wandering, but the mind wandering is the magic moment. **Lauren:** Right. **Dara:** Because that's the magic moment that you can change. And instead of putting shame towards that, you can say, I could change and I could go back to my breath. And I think that can be applied to life. **Lauren:** Absolutely. And looking at your emotions as these magic moments, they have some information for you. You then get to choose I mean, so much of the fertility process, there's so much that feels beyond your control. There's so much uncertainty. And so then being able to move back into a space of what are the pieces that are in my control and can I, you know, solve the solvable problems? Can I, if I'm feeling envious, what do I want to do with this emotion? What relationship do I want to have to it? That then becomes something that you have choice and agency in. **Dara:** Women want that. **Lauren:** Absolutely. **Rena:** It’s human nature. I think, you know, to want control and certainty. And I think sometimes too, it's, it's saying, Hey, look, you're experiencing all these feelings, you know, that are difficult. Jealousy, envy, anxiety. Okay. So let's do, sit with them, look at a watch. Okay. You sat with it for one minute, two minutes, five minutes, whatever it is. And then say, okay, I just sat with all those feelings for X amount of time. What happened? Nothing. I'm still here. The world is still, as I know it, I made it through those feelings. **Lauren:** That's right. Yeah. Being able to just, it gives you this opportunity to really know your capacity, that you can sit with these feelings. They aren't, you know, they may be painful. They may be uncomfortable, but they aren't going to kill you. They are going to, you know, and the world, as you know it, not to minimize them, but that you can, you can take it like you can move through this. You can experience your life and also have these uncomfortable feelings. **Dara:** I was speaking to you about this before we started recording on how a lot of times we have these extremes, especially when we're children, but that can carry on into adults and it's either like chaos, craziness or calm. And when we can acknowledge that there is that in between, and it can shift. **Lauren:** That is such a useful point to bring up, especially around jealousy or envy, because I think the depictions around jealousy and envy are always these like terrible people who are like going after their partners ex or like even like Disney villains. There's always this sort of like envy quality about it, that people are just wicked. Right? And the reality is, is that, you know, I'm envious. If someone catches a train that I met, right? Right? That, that we experienced all of our feelings on this continuum where it can be very, very intense or just every day. And I think, yeah, being able to recognize that there's a middle ground and that having a spark of this feeling does not mean you're in Disney villain territory. Right? **Dara:** I mean, I guess they do that to make it more entertaining for the viewers, but I think it also sets the stage that like it has to be extreme. **Lauren:** Yeah, absolutely. **Rena:** You talked about in the article too, this emotional regulation and sort of the opposite action. So intentionally choosing to do the opposite of what you feel you should do. Can you talk about that a little bit? **Lauren:** Sure. So opposite action is essentially when you've used your mindfulness, right? You caught the rise of your emotion. You described it to yourself that you take a step back and say, okay, is it helpful for me to act on this feeling? Right? So if I feel envious, does that mean that I talk to the person I feel, you know, envious about, about why I'm envious? Do I avoid them or whatever the case may be, if that feels like that's not going to be helpful to you, or it doesn't fit the facts of the situation, which I'm going to come back to in a minute about jealousy, you can decide to actually say, you know what, I'm going to create a change in this emotion by acting opposite to it. So if you're envious and your, you know, the urge is to essentially avoid that person. Opposite action is you're not only going to see them, you're going to be so nice to them. You're gonna be so excited. You're going all the way in facing it head on, which can then actually generate those feelings of generosity, excitement, joy, that you may be wanting to feel, but didn't, you weren't having access to, but the opposite, it's like the bottom up, you change your body, you change your movement, you change your approach. And then it generates those feelings for you rather than having to like, think yourself into a new feeling state. **Rena:** I love. So it's sort of just forcing yourself to do what you think you should do, but might feel very difficult to do in the moment. **Lauren:** Right. **Rena:** Because you don't want to. **Lauren:** For the purpose of saying, I want to feel differently so I'm going to act differently and see what happens. **Rena:** So it’s forcing yourself to change your pattern almost. I like that. And it's hard I think. Really hard. **Lauren:** It definitely is. And I think, you know, starting small with practicing opposite action can be really helpful. Yeah. Baby steps are really useful in this. You know, even things like, you know, one of the ways that I practice opposite action, my poor husband, he always gets used as examples of these things. If I am really upset with him, but we've already talked it out, like the problem has been resolved, but I still feel in my body, like I'm angry with him. I will intentionally go and like cuddle him or be nice to him because I know it's not helpful for me to continue to hold onto the anger and I know for myself that I just have a slow return to baseline. So knowing that I will go all the way opposite and open myself up. **Rena:** I love that. **Dara:** And that helps expedite the recovery? **Lauren:** Because then I actually do feel closer to him. And I think there is, you know, from a psychological perspective, a way that we keep ourselves from being open to connection. And so we need to, you know, sometimes shift those patterns like being around, you know, people at a party being around your friends might actually be helpful for you. We know that's good for your mental health. And so being able to make those decisions can create some shifts for you. **Dara:** But I'm sure in the beginning it's not easy to like mentally, okay, I'm doing what I don't want to do. **Lauren:** Right. **Dara:** With the hopes that I will be happy at the end. **Lauren:** Right. **Dara:** But that can be scary. **Lauren:** It's kind of brutal sometimes. I mean, we know when we work with people who are depressed, behavioral activation is essentially opposite action. So behavioral activation is scheduling pleasurable events in order to create shifts in mood. And I always talk with my depressed clients like you, like your depression does not want you to do any of this and you know, what can we do to make this more manageable so that you can take these actions? So it's sort of like going above your will going above your mind and just being. **Rena:** It's like a system of override. **Lauren:** It's a system over. I love that. Yeah, exactly. Overriding the systems, doing it anyway. And then just being curious, being open to the experience. **Dara:** And I think I'm sure with anything for the initial, the first time you do it is probably the most challenging. And then I wouldn't say you get desensitized, but I'm sure with each time it makes it a little bit easier, perhaps. Yeah. Yeah. You just become more familiar with the experience. Like using my example of my husband. I know that when I first go to hug him, I'm still mad at him. Like I don't feel happy but having done it a couple of times now, I also had the sense of the feeling rising and falling and that I know what the resolution feels like. So you just get more data about yourself and thinking like, Oh, I can do this. I know, I know the stage of this, that I'm in, I'm in the stage where I hate it. And then it'll resolve too. **Dara:** I’m totally taking this to my own personal life. I appreciate it. I have all these thoughts now. I can handle it. I mean, it's hard, it's a hard thing to do. And I feel like, but I, you know, I think we do want to get that sense of control. And then the idea that even though it's tough, we can't get past it. **Lauren:** Absolutely. And there's a piece I wanted to mention about jealousy, where one of the helpful things about differentiating envy and jealousy is in this particular situation, jealousy can sometimes look like if that person got pregnant, I'm not going to like if that person was able to do that, that's somehow lessens my chances, which we know, you know, in our kind of reasonable mind is not a rational thought, but it can still affect, you know, how we interact with that person or how we respond to our own, you know, fertility experiences of thinking like, you know, of, of becoming much more guarded, fearful. And so being able to sit to name that thought and do the opposite action and do the, the both-and thinking is possible for that person to be successful and possible for me to have to also have what I want. Those two things are not related. **Rena:** That's interesting. Does that go back to kind of the whole biological evolutionary perspective of it, like supply and demand, almost like, okay, if that person is pregnant, then they're taking away the supply. So now there's less for me. **Lauren:** Yeah. I think there is an evolutionary perspective to that. And I think, you know, from a psychological perspective, if you go, if you look at patterns in your life around scarcity of what you were taught about, is there enough for everybody that if you learned in your family and your community and in other places of influences that there wasn't enough to go around. And so you either had to hoard what you have or constantly be vigilant about what you do have or what you don't have then yeah. That, that can be an ongoing pattern. And so shifting from scarcity into a place of abundance, there is enough for everybody that, that person's experience has no bearing on my experience can just create a bit more kind of cognitive flexibility, but more ease in the body. **Rena:** I think we should get an economist on here next **Dara:** Trends **Lauren:** Right. Right. Of like how we, how we respond to not enough. **Rena:** Yeah, totally. That's giving me anxiety at a very hard time in the economics. **Dara:** Maybe you just need the right person to frame it differently. **Rena:** Maybe. **Lauren:** Well that's it. **Rena:** But I mean, I do think a lot of infertility is a lot about biology and you know, a lot of the reading and research, it is so difficult because we do think it's our biological right to bear a child. And when that's taken away from us, there's so much to grapple with, you know, that's a huge loss to be stripped of sort of this innate feeling like we should be able to grow up and they're a biological child. And then that's taken from you because you have to do assisted reproductive technology or you have to use a donor, or you have to have a gestational surrogate, you have to adopt or whatever your path is. It's very hard to reconcile that. **Lauren:** Yeah, it is. And it's so, you know, and what I will sit with with clients are people who are saying, this feels so unfair to me, but that feeling also doesn't feel productive, right? Like what is unfair and what I will often do with folks and be like, it's okay to just sit in that, like, it's okay to be angry about what you hoped for and what you dreamed for. And that, that is now changing. That it is okay to just be in that place. Even if it doesn't feel like, like I'm not angry at anyone, or I'm like angry at my sister in law, it's okay to just have a space where you're naming that for yourself so that you can kind of complete the stress response in your body of getting it out, getting validation, soothing yourself around it, instead of stuffing it down and acting like it's a shameful thing. **Rena:** Right. Exactly. **Dara:** Bringing it to the surface. So much that like, literally my mind is like going a mile a minute thinking… Rena: I just think it’s fascinating. And I really encourage everyone you know, we'll put a link in our social media and everything how to find the original article that we referenced in here, the New York Magazine article which is how I found Lauren in the first place because it really delves into it and talks a lot about jealousy versus envy. So we'll put a link to that so you can go to that and read more, keep it for your notes. **Dara:** And what's the best way to contact you for any listeners? **Lauren:** So people can find me at my website, which is www.appioconsulting.com. **Rena:** We'll put a link to that. **Dara:** 2 Ps. **Lauren:** 2 P’s. Yes and there's plenty of ways to contact me there. Email is great. Be happy to chat with anybody who has follow up questions or interested in therapy or career coaching. Those are some of the other aspects to the work that I do. **Rena:** Well, we are so grateful to have you on and for your time, I think this was fascinating. **Dara:** Super helpful. **Rena:** Yeah. So we like to wrap up each podcast by going around and sharing our gratitudes for the day. So Lauren? **Lauren:** So my gratitude today is that I got to have a slow start to my morning. I got to have tea and breakfast at home and I have a busy day ahead, but with plenty of breaks. So I feel very grateful for the pace of my day today. **Rena:** Oh I love that. That’s a new one for here! I love that! **Dara:** That's so funny. I was just listening to under pressure this great audio, it's a book, but also an audio. And she said that we should only plan 75% of our day to leave some time for that spontaneity, which I think is essential and incase there is something chaotic. It will be less chaotic. **Lauren:** Yes. Absolutely. **Dara:** So you’re doing that. **Lauren:** I do try. I do try to walk the talk. **Rena:** I love, I think it's so important, you know, to schedule that time and I think in New York or so you said, go, go, go every minute. But then you end up being that stressed out person at Starbucks because your coffee's late and now you're going to be 10 minutes late. And then behind them the next day, the next day, the next thing I hate that. **Lauren:** For sure. I had a friend who wanted to schedule a meeting with me this morning and I had the time I technically could do it, but I said, no, because I didn't want to. I wanted to be able to come and talk with you all, you know, be calm and rested. And she's lovely so she of course understands. But that's another thing I always talk with clients about like, just because you can, does not mean you must. **Rena:** I love that. I totally, I've learned that a lot about, you know, you want to have the right energy when you meet with someone. You know, you don't want to just meet with someone cause you have the time and you technically could, but then bring in bad, stressful energy because what's the point of that. **Dara:** It's wasting somebody it's wasted time. **Rena:** Totally. I love that. So that's where that adds our listeners to, to remind them, you know, you don't do that. Take the time for yourself. It doesn't mean you're not working hard or you're not being productive which I think people struggle with is having this downtime. You know, I see that a lot with patients, what do I do with the downtime? What do I do? That's the time when you do sit with feelings and do process and it is scary and I think a lot of times people over-schedule because they don't want to sit with those feelings. **Dara:** Exactly. **Rena:** Do it. It’s hard but do it and that's when the real change and shift can happen. **Lauren:** So what are you all grateful for? **Dara:** Rena has a lot to be grateful for. She just ran the marathon. **Rena:** Oh thanks, Dara. **Dara:** I’m grateful to her, her unbelievable time. **Rena:** I'm definitely grateful to get through that experience and you know, bigger picture, I'm grateful the support that I, I found, you know, the kind of like random emails. I got text messages, encouragement was really incredible. It was incredibly empowering. And I think, you know, the best part was seeing my daughter at the end. She was so happy for me you know she just turned three so she kind of comprehends and she’s seen me go out running every day. And to see her be really proud of me and she, she got it. That was something that really moved me. I mean, I want her to see a strong woman, a strong mom. And so, yeah, I'm super grateful, I’m grateful for my body for carrying me through that. I'm grateful for Dara for you coming in every day. Dara, I'm so tired I had another run this morning. **Dara:** But she pushed through it. **Rena:** Grateful for Dara was super encouraging and so awesome. Dara? **Lauren:** That's wonderful. **Dara:** I believe I may have said something like this in a previous podcast, but I, I feel like what you said today, Lauren, kind of sparked it up again. The idea that we I'm so grateful that we live in this era where we can have this discussion and be able to communicate and learn from some of the past and their research in the past. And the idea that there's just more discussion out there on different techniques. Cause a lot of times we think, Oh, there's only one way of doing things. And just being able to say no, there could be multiple ways of doing things and whatever way you can connect to is what's good for you. So just it's great that we have people like you to bring that to our attention, to help give us the techniques and the tools and hopefully getting less shame out of it. **Rena:** I love that. And I really do to go back to what Lauren said about, just saying no, you know, I can't even like I talk a lot about, you know, trying to be less reactive on here and being protective of your time. And I think a lot of people feel like, Oh my gosh, you know, my friend texted me and I just, Oh, I'm so jealous or envious or angry in the moment. It's okay to take time, respond to their text message in a day or two. Give them a nice mindful response instead of one in the moment. So I just love that you're, you know, open and saying, look, I was really protective of my time this morning. I valued my time. I wanted to sit and have tea and I love that. I think it's so important for, for people to value themselves in their time and have to say no. Yes. **Lauren:** One of my favorite quotes from Brenee Brown is I choose…. **Dara:** Rena talks about her all the time. **Rena:** Brenee if you’re listening, please come on the podcast. **Lauren:** Oh my gosh, if Brenee’s coming, I want to be here but I choose discomfort over resentment. **Rena:** Yes. Right. I love that. **Lauren:** That it can be uncomfortable to know that, you know, you may be disappointing someone. And I often give my clients homework to actively disappoint people like this is the opposite action. **Rena:** I need to come see you. **Lauren:** Of like developing a practice of disappointing people so that you can tolerate it. And so my gosh, I feel like I could talk to you two all day. **Rena:** Or as Oprah my other, Brenee and Oprah, she goes at the start of her podcast, she says, you know, the most valuable gift you can give yourself is time. **Lauren:** Yes. **Rena:** And it's true. **Lauren:** Yes. **Rena:** I love it. Oprah, Brenee, please come on. **Dara:** I was about to say amen to that but my new thing is… **Rena:** No **Rena and Dara: A-woman!** **Lauren:** Oh! Love that. **Rena:** We got that from another podcast from Juliet she came on our podcast. **Dara:** Well, Lauren, thank you so much for being here. **Lauren:** Oh, thank you for having me. I'm hoping we can have you back. **Lauren:** I would love to come back. **Rena:** You’ll be back with Brenee and Oprah come on don’t worry. **Lauren:** Great. Thank you. **Dara:** Thank you so much for listening today. And always remember, practice gratitude. Give a little love to someone else and yourself. And remember, you are not alone. Find us on Instagram @fertility_forward. And if you're looking for more support, visit us at www.rmany.com and tune in next week for more Fertility Forward.