Shannon Curry: Johnny Depp & Amber Heard Trial, Marriage, Dating & Love | Lex Fridman Podcast #366

Last updated: Jun 2, 2023

The video is a podcast interview with Shannon Curry, a clinical and forensic psychologist, discussing the concepts of love, relationships, and the effects of contempt on them.

The video is an interview with Shannon Curry, a clinical and forensic psychologist who specializes in trauma, violence, and relationships. The conversation covers various topics related to love, marriage, and relationships, including the effects of contempt on a relationship, the fading of romantic love, and the role of arranged marriages. Curry also discusses the importance of finding a partner who will be there for you during difficult times and the potential for initial feelings of attraction to develop into a deeper appreciation of the other person. The interview was conducted as part of the Lex Fridman podcast.

  • Contempt is criticism on steroids and can be abusive.
  • Romantic love is like being high on heroin and unsustainable.
  • The foundation of a long-term relationship is having someone who will support you through hard times.
  • Shannon Curry is a clinical and forensic psychologist who conducts research on relationships.
  • The Gottman Method is a therapy for couples that provides a blueprint for longevity in a relationship.
  • Identifying your partner's bids for connection is important for building a strong relationship.
  • Small acts of kindness can have a big impact on a relationship.
  • The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are highly predictive of divorce.
  • Love involves a balance of passion, intimacy, and commitment.

Shannon Curry: Johnny Depp & Amber Heard Trial, Marriage, Dating & Love | Lex Fridman Podcast #366 - YouTube

Shannon Curry: Johnny Depp & Amber Heard Trial, Marriage, Dating & Love | Lex Fridman Podcast #366 001

Contempt in Relationships

  • Contempt is criticism on steroids, according to John Gottman.
  • Contempt is looking at your partner from a superior position, such as eye-rolling, name-calling, and mocking.
  • Contempt is meant to make your partner feel pathetic and ridiculous, and it can be abusive.
  • Most people have engaged in contempt at some point in their relationship, and it is the biggest predictor of a split.
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The Effects of Romantic Love

  • Romantic love is like being high on heroin, with chemicals pumping through your body and rose-colored glasses on.
  • Eventually, our bodies are made to dial down these chemicals, and we can't sustain this level of intensity.
  • We are evolutionary beings, and we are doing the same thing we did 200,000 years ago to find a mate, procreate, and spend enough time with each other to make babies.
  • We are living longer, making marriage commitments that last half a century, and expecting it to be all because of love.
  • Arranged marriages, which are based on traits that you will appreciate more and more over time, are often more satisfied and longer-lasting than marriages based on love.
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The Foundation of a Long-Term Relationship

  • The feeling of being high on drugs is not a good foundation for a 50-year relationship.
  • Hotness and physical attraction may be a good foundation for a short-term relationship, but not a long-term one.
  • Life is hard, and things happen, such as having a child with special needs or getting diagnosed with cancer.
  • The foundation of a long-term relationship is having someone who will hold you when you are sobbing on the floor and tell you that you will get through it together.
  • Beauty can come from a deeper appreciation of the other person, but it is not the same as being high on drugs.
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Shannon Curry: Johnny Depp & Amber Heard Trial, Marriage, Dating & Love | Lex Fridman Podcast #366 - YouTube

Shannon Curry's Background

  • Shannon Curry is a clinical and forensic psychologist who conducts research, therapy, and psychological evaluations pertaining to trauma, violence, and relationships.
  • She received worldwide attention in April of last year for giving a lengthy televised testimony on her psychological evaluation of Amber Heard during the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial.
  • She is brilliant, funny, thoughtful, and kind.
  • The interview is part of the Lex Friedman podcast.
  • There are sponsors for the podcast, which can be found in the description.
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The Gottman Method for Longevity in Relationships

  • The Gottman Method is a therapy for couples that is evidence-based and skills-based.
  • The method is based on the research of John and Julie Gottman, who have been studying relationships for 50 years.
  • The therapy provides a blueprint and set of skills for longevity in a relationship.
  • The Five to One Golden Rule is a research finding that happy couples have approximately five positive interactions to each negative interaction.
  • Positive interactions can be small gestures, such as paying attention to your partner's bids for affection or connection.
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Identifying Your Partner's Bids for Connection

  • Bids for connection are small gestures that we make in relationships to seek affection or connection.
  • Identifying your partner's bids for connection is important for building a strong relationship.
  • Positive interactions can be as simple as acknowledging your partner's bid for connection.
  • It's important to pay attention to your partner's bids for connection and communicate with them about what matters to them.
  • What matters to one partner may not matter to the other, so it's important to communicate and understand each other's needs.
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The Importance of Small Acts of Kindness

  • Small acts of kindness, such as acknowledging your partner's bid for connection, can have a big impact on a relationship.
  • Being considerate and showing appreciation for your partner can help build a strong and lasting relationship.
  • It's important to understand what matters to your partner and to make an effort to show kindness and appreciation in small ways.
  • Small acts of kindness can help reduce stress and build a stronger connection between partners.
  • Being aware of your partner's needs and making an effort to meet them can help build a strong and lasting relationship.
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The Role of Contempt in Relationships

  • Contempt is a toxic emotion that can have a negative impact on relationships.
  • Contempt involves feelings of superiority and disrespect towards your partner.
  • Contempt can lead to criticism, defensiveness, and stonewalling in relationships.
  • It's important to recognize and address feelings of contempt in a relationship in order to build a strong and lasting connection.
  • Building a strong and lasting relationship requires effort and communication, and it's important to address negative emotions and work towards building a positive and supportive relationship.
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Levels of Comfort in Relationships

  • Showing vulnerability is required for positive interaction in a relationship.
  • People have different levels of comfort in showing love and genuineness.
  • Communication is key to figuring out what makes your partner feel cared about.
  • Some couples have a system that works for them when there is a rupture.
  • Not all couples need to process conflicts verbally, but there should be a repair attempt.
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Common Ways Relationships Fail

  • The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are highly predictive of divorce.
  • Criticism is when we assume our perspective is the only valid one and tell our partner what is wrong with them.
  • Defensiveness is making excuses or turning it around on your partner instead of accepting responsibility.
  • Contempt is when we feel superior to our partner and treat them with disrespect.
  • Stonewalling is when we shut down and withdraw from the conversation.
Shannon Curry: Johnny Depp & Amber Heard Trial, Marriage, Dating & Love | Lex Fridman Podcast #366 014

Contempt in Relationships

  • Contempt is the most destructive of the Four Horsemen.
  • It is when we feel superior to our partner and treat them with disrespect.
  • Contempt can manifest in sarcasm, name-calling, eye-rolling, and other forms of disrespect.
  • It is important to recognize and address contempt in a relationship before it becomes too damaging.
  • Contempt can be a sign of deeper issues in the relationship that need to be addressed.
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Love and Relationships

  • Love is a complex emotion that can be difficult to define.
  • There are different types of love, including romantic love, familial love, and platonic love.
  • Attachment theory suggests that our early experiences with caregivers shape our ability to form healthy relationships later in life.
  • Love involves a balance of passion, intimacy, and commitment.
  • Healthy relationships require mutual respect, trust, and communication.
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Effects of Contempt on Relationships

  • When we get flooded, our reptilian hindbrain takes over and we go into fight or flight mode.
  • There are three Horsemen of the Apocalypse that can occur when we get flooded: criticism, stonewalling, and contempt.
  • Stonewalling happens when we shut down and disconnect from the conversation.
  • Contempt is criticism on steroids and is the biggest predictor of a split in a relationship.
  • Contempt is when we look at our partner from a superior position and engage in behaviors like eye-rolling, name-calling, and mocking.
Shannon Curry: Johnny Depp & Amber Heard Trial, Marriage, Dating & Love | Lex Fridman Podcast #366 018

Gender Dynamics in Relationships

  • Women tend to use criticism more often because they're the ones that typically raise issues verbally.
  • Men are more likely to stonewall when feeling criticized.
  • Criticism is often just a plea to be loved and get your partner to show you they care.
  • Men tend to feel like they can't do anything right and don't have any real solution to the criticism.
  • Contempt is the biggest predictor of a split in a relationship.
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The Importance of Wearing Rose-Colored Glasses

  • Wearing rose-colored glasses is important and healthy in relationships.
  • Getting married is just choosing one person's faults over another.
  • Even if you're in a committed relationship, you might see beauty in another person who is novel and attractive to you.
  • Remembering that they too have a set of problems that you would be marrying helps you see the beauty in your partner again.
  • Humans are fundamentally flawed and relationships are about figuring out how two people can fit together despite their differences.
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Differences in Relationships

  • We are all raised differently and have different experiences that shape our value systems.
  • We are going to have differences in relationships, especially when it comes to big issues like parenting, love, and money.
  • It's important to recognize and accept these differences and work together to find solutions.
  • Relationships are about melding with the other person and becoming your own family.
  • Humans are unique and flawed, but relationships can help us figure out how to fit together despite our differences.
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Dynamics in Relationships

  • Couples need to accept each other's differences and work with their strengths.
  • There are different dynamics that come into play in relationships, such as dominant/submissive or a dance where it changes from minute to minute.
  • Lesbians and gay men tend to be gentler with one another during conflict discussions.
  • When working with straight couples, the psychologist is like a referee or ski coach, keeping them on a "bunny hill" and intervening when necessary.
  • Lesbian couples tend to skip steps and show humility and openness during conflict discussions.
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Passionate Lifelong Romance

  • Drama and tension are not required for a passionate lifelong romance.
  • The closer you feel to your partner, the more you can ignite that beauty and interest.
  • There are continual layers that you can uncover with your partner over time.
  • One of the psychologist's favorite questions to ask during conversations with partners is, "What is my as of yet fondest but unrealized life dream?"
  • Asking questions like this can help partners feel close and remind them of the specialness of their relationship.
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Key to a Successful Relationship

  • Attunement is important, feeling like it's "us against the world".
  • Loyalty and handling each other with care.
  • Partners who have worked through things and know the relationship is delicate.
  • Compliments and consideration for each other.
  • Keeping each other in mind and being careful with each other.
  • Looking at each other when talking and not taking each other for granted.
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Conflict Processing

  • Gottman method of therapy has hundreds of different interventions.
  • Specific intervention for a conflict that occurred is called "incident processing".
  • Goal is to get a better understanding of each other and your positions.
  • Identify the emotions that you were feeling.
  • Describe play by play your perspective if your partner were looking through your eyes.
  • Not saying "then you came in and were..." but rather describing what they heard, saw, and thought.
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Rekindling Relationships

  • Asking each other questions and finding out how much the other person knows about you.
  • Partners are shocked that their partner does know so much about them.
  • Reminding each other of all the good that's still there.
  • Looking at each other and appreciating them as a mysterious, wonderful creature to observe.
  • Believing in each other and seeing the beauty of what they're saying.
  • Self-fulfilling prophecy and caring.
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Us Against the World

  • Feeling like it's "us against the world".
  • Partners who are loyal and handle each other with care.
  • Being careful with each other and giving each other compliments.
  • Considering each other and keeping each other in mind.
  • Looking at each other when talking and not taking each other for granted.
  • Appreciating each other as a mysterious, wonderful creature to observe.
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Relationships and the Effects of Contempt

  • Validation is a key component in relationships.
  • Validation involves listening to your partner and understanding their feelings.
  • Validation can help change the way you interact in future disagreements.
  • Validation can help you understand your partner's sensitivities.
  • Validation can help you make sure your partner does not feel misunderstood or unloved.
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Modern Dating Process

  • Most people are signing marriage agreements based on love endorphins.
  • Only about 35% of married people are actually happy.
  • Couples who are happy tend to rate their partners higher in three different traits: conscientiousness, emotional stability, and agreeableness.
  • Conscientiousness involves being smart, attentive, and motivated.
  • Conscientiousness is not just kindness, but a certain intelligence, awareness, and attunement.
  • Conscientiousness involves anticipating your partner's needs and meeting them.
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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Trial

  • The Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial is a prime example of how contempt can destroy a relationship.
  • Contempt involves feeling superior to your partner and treating them with disrespect.
  • Contempt can lead to a lack of validation and understanding in a relationship.
  • Contempt can lead to a lack of trust and communication in a relationship.
  • Contempt can lead to a toxic and unhealthy relationship.
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Marriage and Love

  • Marriage involves more than just love endorphins.
  • Marriage involves commitment, communication, and compromise.
  • Love involves more than just feelings, but also actions and behaviors.
  • Love involves treating your partner with respect, kindness, and understanding.
  • Love involves validating your partner's feelings and needs.
  • Love involves anticipating your partner's needs and meeting them.
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Qualities of a Good Partner

  • Conscientiousness is an important trait to look for in a partner.
  • Having a partner who is emotionally stable is crucial for a long-term relationship.
  • Having a partner with moderate adventurousness leads to greater satisfaction.
  • Having a partner who is generally happy and has some life satisfaction is important.
  • Having a partner with serious emotional distress and instability is hard on the relationship and other family members.
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The Importance of Resiliency

  • Having a partner with some resiliency is important for a stable relationship.
  • Flexibility, resiliency, and being easy-going are desirable traits in a partner.
  • Having a partner who is always seeking novelty can be detrimental to a monogamous relationship.
  • Low to moderate adventurousness can provide stability and a feeling of home.
  • Having a partner who cares about simple things and family is associated with low to moderate adventurousness.
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Self-Awareness and Growth

  • Self-awareness is key to controlling neuroticism.
  • Therapy can help with personal growth and potential for growth.
  • Being low in adventurousness doesn't mean you can't grow in that area.
  • Throwing yourself out there can lead to extra adventures and personal growth.
  • Being high in adventurousness doesn't necessarily mean you will be satisfied in a monogamous relationship.
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The Threshold of Chaos

  • Exceeding a certain threshold of chaos can be destructive to a long-term relationship.
  • Having a partner who is emotionally unstable can be hard on the relationship and other family members.
  • Having a partner who always finds problems with everything can make everything more difficult.
  • Having a partner with some resiliency and flexibility can help maintain stability in the relationship.
  • Having a feeling of home and stability is important in a long-term relationship.
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Importance of Adventure in Relationships

  • Connecting with high adventure people can bring excitement and interest to a relationship.
  • However, it can also lead to heartbreak as the spotlight shifts to the next shiny thing.
  • Heartbreak is a part of love, but it can be a drug-like addiction.
  • Being with high adventure people can be like riding a horse.
  • People have different levels of readiness for committed long-term relationships.
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The Role of Sex in Relationships

  • Sex can bond partners and lead to lower stress levels and increased happiness.
  • Even a 20-second hug can have similar benefits to an orgasm.
  • Each partner has different levels of sexual satisfaction that are important to consider.
  • Sexual satisfaction is more important than the frequency of sex in a relationship.
  • Sex can be used as part of the conflict resolution process in some relationships.
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Infidelity in Relationships

  • Infidelity is different for everyone, and some couples are open to having sexual relationships with other people.
  • Some couples tolerate affairs and keep them hidden to avoid damaging the relationship.
  • Partners who are not having affairs typically know that their partner is capable of it.
  • Honesty can be destructive in some situations, and radical honesty is not always the best policy.
  • Infidelity can be a complicated issue that requires open communication and understanding between partners.
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The Importance of Resolving Conflict in Relationships

  • Processing conflict is important in relationships, and it is essential to feel like conflicts have been resolved and repaired.
  • It is not necessarily how conflicts are resolved that matters, but whether both partners feel satisfied with the outcome.
  • Some couples use sex as part of the conflict resolution process.
  • Open communication and understanding are essential for resolving conflicts in relationships.
  • Resolving conflicts can lead to stronger and more satisfying relationships.
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Honesty in Relationships

  • Some people believe that complete honesty is necessary for a healthy relationship.
  • Others believe that certain information, such as prior sexual history, should be kept private.
  • Disclosing infidelity can be harmful to the betrayed partner and create a post-traumatic stress experience.
  • It is selfish to unload guilt onto a partner and give them the trauma of imagining the infidelity.
  • If you have betrayed your partner, you should carry the burden and discomfort of your actions.
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Personal Values and Decision Making

  • Values play a role in decision making regarding honesty in relationships.
  • Some people prioritize truth above all else, while others prioritize kindness and do no further harm.
  • There is value to both arguments, and it ultimately depends on personal beliefs and values.
  • It is important to consider the potential harm that disclosing certain information can cause.
  • It is also important to consider the burden and discomfort that carrying a secret can cause.
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Effects of Contempt on Relationships

  • Contempt is a toxic emotion that can destroy relationships.
  • It involves feeling superior to your partner and viewing them with disgust or disdain.
  • Contempt can manifest in behaviors such as eye-rolling, sarcasm, and name-calling.
  • It is important to address and work through feelings of contempt in order to maintain a healthy relationship.
  • Practicing empathy and focusing on positive aspects of your partner can help combat feelings of contempt.
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Communication in Relationships

  • Effective communication is essential for a healthy relationship.
  • It involves active listening, expressing emotions and needs, and being open to feedback.
  • Communication can be improved through therapy or couples counseling.
  • It is important to avoid criticism, defensiveness, and stonewalling in communication.
  • Practicing healthy communication can lead to a stronger and more fulfilling relationship.
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Disclosing Truth in Relationships

  • People disclose truth because they can't stand the secret anymore.
  • Disclosing truth can be a selfish act.
  • People have different opinions on whether truth or loyalty is more important.
  • People may say they value truth above all else until they are faced with a truth that hurts them or causes suffering.
  • Truth can be a platitude, and the complexities of relationships make it challenging.
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Open Relationships

  • The beauty and value of monogamous relationships are seen, but the possibility of open relationships is also acknowledged.
  • Open relationships can be challenging due to societal values and inner conflict.
  • Jealousy arises in open relationships, and it can be difficult to be truthful and direct.
  • Partners who are happier in open relationships tend to be more experienced at it.
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