How do you and your sis endure life under your parents—who are “only” abusive 10% of the time—until you’re old enough to leave? Welcome to Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- How do you and your sister endure life under your parents — who are “only” abusive 10% of the time — until you’re old enough to leave home? [Thanks to clinical psychologist Dr. Erin Margolis for helping us with this one!]
- Your long-term partner has been dropping hints about opening up your relationship, which only makes you feel like you’re not good enough for him. Will insisting on maintaining monogamy just urge him to move on — and would that be the worst thing in the world if you each want something different from a relationship?
- While you’re flattered your company thinks enough of you to offer you your boss’ job when he retires, you’re content where you are and don’t really want to be working 70-80 hours a week in your 50s. How can you tactfully turn down such an “opportunity” without appearing ungrateful?
- You know all the other MLMs out there are scams that prey on people eager to “be their own boss” while draining their bank accounts by making them buy products they don’t need and will never sell. But the one you belong to is totally different, right? Right?
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at email@example.com!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi and Instagram @gabrielmizrahi.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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Miss our conversation with ethical persuasion sensei Robert Cialdini? Get caught up with episode 507: Robert Cialdini | A New Look at the Science of Influence here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Tobias Rose-Stockwell | Dismantling the Outrage Machine | Jordan Harbinger
- Israel and Hamas | Out of the Loop | Jordan Harbinger
- Make Ex’s Hard Life Nice without Self-Sacrifice? | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Lab Leak or Not? How Politics Shaped the Battle Over Covid’s Origin | The New York Times
- Dan Ariely | Why Rational People Believe Irrational Things | Jordan Harbinger
- Dissociation and Dissociative Disorders | Mental Health America
- Dr. Erin Margolis | Website
- What Happens When You Call CPS? | ERLC
- Should I Call CPS on My Parents without My Parents Knowing? | Quora
- Facts About Corporal Punishment | Verywell Family
- Is Corporal Punishment an Effective Means of Discipline? | APA
- What to Do If Your Partner Wants an Open Relationship | Brides
- When Your Partner Wants Non-Monogamy and You Don’t | Psychology Today
- Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationship by Christopher Ryan | Amazon
- Man Arrested After Apparently Groping Spanish Reporter Live on Air | Guardian News
- The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity by Esther Perel | Amazon
- The Dating App for Open-Minded Individuals | Feeld
- Low Libido (Low Sex Drive) Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment | Cleveland Clinic
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain | Amazon
- Is It Wrong That I Don’t Want to Be Promoted at Work Because I Don’t Want to Manage People? I Just Want to Continue to Be Creative | r/Introvert
- How to Tell Your Boss You Don’t Want a Promotion | HBR
- How to Avoid Scams | Deep Dive | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Save Yourself and Loved Ones from Scams | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Rescue Your Loved One from an MLM Scam | Feedback Friday
- The Ultimate Hypocrite: Robert Kiyosaki and His Company’s Bankruptcy | The College Investor
- Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money — That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki | Amazon
- How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie | Amazon
- Can Relationship Live on If China Takes Taiwan? | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Find a Mentor (And Make the Most of the Relationship) | Jordan Harbinger
910: 90% of the Time, Parents Aren’t Toxic Every Time | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer — I'm lacking today — my bro in the know, Gabriel Mizrahi. Sorry, man. Short notice. Can't think of a good one.
[00:00:15] On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. Our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker.
[00:00:28] During the week, we have long-form conversations with a variety — that is the longest yawn I ever seen in my life. Good Lord, am I boring you?
[00:00:36] During the week, we have long-form conversations with a variety of amazing folks.
[00:00:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: I didn't know you could say that.
[00:00:40] Jordan Harbinger: From spies to CEOs, a mafia enforcer, economic hitman, gold smugglers, Fortune 500 — see, I already freaking said that, rocket scientist, see what you're doing to me, Gabriel, see what you're doing.
[00:00:51] This week, we had Tobias Rose-Stockwell, the man with three names, on social media, the internet, and what it's doing to our brains. It's more than that, but like, it's also that. Also, we had an Out of the Loop episode on the conflict between Israel and Hamas, by popular request. A lot of you emailed me and sent me DMs asking me if I was going to do something on this, and here you go.
[00:01:10] On Fridays, though, we share stories, take listener letters, and meddle in your life, like a couple of Lydia's. And if you have no idea what that reference means, go back a few weeks and listen to the episode where we shamelessly butted into a woman's sessions with her highly questionable therapist, who, by the way, should definitely not be a therapist.
[00:01:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: We did do that. No, she should not.
[00:01:29] Jordan Harbinger: Gosh, and I'm not a professional, but I will tell you that's a bad therapist. I can't compare to my own skill, but I would sooner ask almost anyone for advice before that person.
[00:01:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm dying to know what their session was like after that episode aired. Just to be a fly on the wall.
[00:01:46] Jordan Harbinger: Can just anyone call themselves a therapist? Is that the problem we're having here?
[00:01:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: I mean, I don't think you're allowed to, but I mean, people do, I guess.
[00:01:54] Jordan Harbinger: We get so many emails from people that, "My therapist said," and I'm like, "That can't be a real therapist. Are you sure this person is actually, like, licensed by anyone?" I do always wonder what their session after that episode was like. But about the Lydia thing, a listener did reach out to us like, "What's this Lydia business? Did a new Karen drop? And I didn't know." The answer is no. Gabe and I made it up in the moment the other day. But now it's the thing on the show. And it's better than Karen's like, "I want to see the manager." And Lydia's like, "You know, you should do psychedelics?" And you're like, "Who are you? I'm walking my dog over here. I've seen you in the park before, but that's about it."
[00:02:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: So for the record, Lydia is a person who is not qualified to give you advice whatsoever, but does it anyway. Especially if it has to do with your personal life. So yeah, if you guys want to make Lydia a thing, I would be thrilled.
[00:02:39] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. Yeah.
[00:02:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Let's give the Karens a break, but also we need like a new species of Karen to talk about.
[00:02:45] Jordan Harbinger: Right. We do come dangerously close to that sometimes, by the way.
[00:02:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:02:48] Jordan Harbinger: But you write into us asking for advice, so whose fault is it really? And we do talk to experts who are way smarter than us. So I think we're safe.
[00:02:55] Speaking of being safe, as you guys know, I'm pretty skeptical about conspiracy theories. I am militant about not consuming disinformation. It's kind of a theme here on the show, but somebody did ask me recently if I'd ever changed my mind about a crazy idea over the years, and if so, what it was.
[00:03:11] And the answer is yes. I have changed my mind, not completely, but I have moved my position about the lab leak theory with respect to COVID-19 specifically. Basically, the idea that the virus is the result of a laboratory leak in Wuhan. Maybe accidentally, maybe intentionally, probably accidentally, rather than coming from bats and then spreading to humans through infected animals in a wet market in China. There's more and more evidence for that. More government agencies are endorsing that view. There's like whistleblower stuff that's throwing up some uncertainty. Or saying it's a credible possibility, more researchers are like actually, you know, there are more lab leaks than you think about. And to be fair, my understanding is that there's also evidence that it came from a market, or at least probability is decent that it did, so it's hard to know for sure, but here's the thing, what I do know, is that I can't dismiss the lab leak hypothesis out of hand anymore, which I used to do, because there was no evidence for it that was public.
[00:04:03] That said, I'm still 50/50 on it, and it's important to come to beliefs for the right reasons. Because what troubles me is that unthinking conspiracy theorists get a lot of energy from unusual stuff like this. But those folks are in many ways still broken clocks that might be right twice a day. They believed the lab leak theory early with zero evidence for political and ideological reasons because they have no trust in institutions and because they haven't had an agenda to believe something like that. Whereas now, I'm 50/50 on it for scientific and evidence-based reasons. That is a completely different way of arriving at a conclusion, and it's still a different conclusion than, it's definitely a lab lead because it was a bioweapon and yada yada.
[00:04:46] But also on a broader note, I used to think conspiracy theorists, in general, were highly ignorant or just straight-up dumb, especially flat-earth folks. I'm not totally off that for a lot of conspiracy theorists are just people have really terrible thinking skills and not a lot of brain cells and they just believe everything they hear that's interesting but not everyone. Having done a ton of episodes about this, I now appreciate quite well that there's usually something else going on with the people who believe in these sorts of things — their identity, their belief systems, critical thinking faculties or trust in institutions, cognitive dissonance.
[00:05:23] I know this because I'm talking with a lot of conspiracy theorists all the time. People are DMing me and they're like, "I love the show, but you're wrong about flat earth or the moon landing," or whatever and I'm like this person is not an idiot. They're not. They believe something that I disagree with, but it's not because like, "Oh, you're dumb." It's because there's a whole lot of other stuff going on here and a whole ecosystem, a whole garden that is fertile for bad thinking and misbelief. And I'm actually doing an upcoming episode with Dan Ariely who many of you know just a brilliant thinker about this topic literally misbelief. In fact, I think that might even be the book title. So that should be super interesting.
[00:06:01] But anyway, it was a good question. So I just wanted to share that I have changed my mind on other stuff, that's probably not as interesting as that. As hardline as I am about crazy theories like this I really do try to stay open to new evidence and revise my beliefs when there is new evidence So I'm all for being flexible but I'm even more for being flexible for rigorous reasons if that makes sense.
[00:06:23] Anyway, Gabe, what is the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:06:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I'm a sophomore in high school, and my sister is in eighth grade, and we've grown up in a textbook, toxic, and emotionally manipulative household. We always thought body shaming, screaming fights, and our parents blaming us for our family's dysfunction were normal, until recently. We're used to our mom exploding monthly, yelling at us on our way to our friend's house about how much she hates her life and wishes she could leave our family, and then walking in the front door later all smiles. I'm used to our dad telling me to eat less because I, quote-unquote, "don't need any more food" or not allowing me to eat. My sister is used to our dad forcing her to eat herself sick, going to bed nauseous every night, having panic attacks before meals, and then dragging her downstairs weekly to see if she gained more weight. Our parents have also found a way to sexualize us.
[00:07:20] Jordan Harbinger: This is horrifying. It's abusive. I think it's interesting that she used the words toxic and emotionally manipulative.
[00:07:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:07:27] Jordan Harbinger: And I'm sure this situation is those things, but more than that, it's just textbook abuse. It's not okay.
[00:07:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:07:33] Jordan Harbinger: It's heartbreaking how your parents, man. What a house to grow up in. I am so sorry this is happening to you guys. How parents can do this stuff to their own children?
[00:07:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:07:42] Jordan Harbinger: As a parent, I'm always like, how do they do this? So unconscionable. I can't relate at all.
[00:07:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: As you can imagine, we have a plethora of mental health issues between us. I was depressed and suicidal for years and have body dysmorphia and dissociation, although I'm doing better now. My sister has monthly panic attacks, is suicidal and depressed, and dissociates too.
[00:08:04] Jordan Harbinger: Literally driving their kids to suicide. Unbelievable. I have to ask, I probably should look this up at some point, but what is dissociation? I know what the word means, but what happens when you do this?
[00:08:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: So, basically, it's a process where somebody will disconnect from their thoughts or their feelings or even their sense of self and flee the moment and retreat to some other place mentally and emotionally because the present is too unpleasant or intolerable or difficult. It could be a coping mechanism, it could be some other process, but it's a way to like flee your own life when things are really hard.
[00:08:36] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, so I know I'm going to take some flack for this, but to me, aside from the cause, how is that different from daydreaming? Because that sounds like daydreaming, only you're doing it because of a horrible situation instead of me where I'm just like, "Wait, what, where am I? I'm in school? Crap, I was just thinking about going to the mall." I feel like everyone does that. So this has to be different. It's like a different degree.
[00:08:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, it's different. I'm not an expert at all in dissociation, but I think it probably involves a degree of severing like your relationship with yourself and you're not really connected to your own experience. It's not like, oh, I'm still me and I'm just happened to be thinking about. Some vacation or some other place or whatever like this is me not really being present at all as myself in the moment.
[00:09:17] Jordan Harbinger: I feel like you hear about that when you read accounts of somebody getting assaulted and they're like, "I just left my body and like don't remember the details and it's just like a trauma response."
[00:09:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally. Yeah.
[00:09:27] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:09:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's probably something like that is what our sister is dealing with.
[00:09:31] Jordan Harbinger: Interesting. I can't, I obviously have never had that experience so I don't understand it firsthand but yeah it sounds like something you don't want to be doing regularly.
[00:09:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Correct. That's right.
[00:09:40] Jordan Harbinger: All right.
[00:09:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: So the letter goes on.
[00:09:42] Recently, my sister and mom got in a small fight over something minor and my dad lost it. He yelled at my sister for being disrespectful and blamed her for my mom's anger at him. Then to, quote-unquote, "establish this family's hierarchy" and to make sure that my sister, quote-unquote, "knows her place," he made her kneel on the ground for close to half an hour until her knees were red, swollen and painful. He told her that any mistake would be punished very unreasonably, and that he was fine with it.
[00:10:11] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, this is bizarre. First of all, who talks like this? Beyond the pale. So this guy actually knows he's being unreasonable, and he's like, "Okay, fine, I'm still going to treat you guys like this." It's just, what a piece of work this guy is.
[00:10:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: As soon as my sister got into our room, she started crying and had about a 30-minute panic attack.
[00:10:29] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:10:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: She said she felt so small, powerless, humiliated, and less than human.
[00:10:35] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:10:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: She told me she couldn't take it anymore and the only way out seemed to be death.
[00:10:40] Oh man, poor girl.
[00:10:42] The next morning, my mom apologized for not stopping my dad that night. He entered and started to defend himself saying things like, kneeling has been used for thousands of years, and that it was to teach her humility. There was nothing wrong with that. Then, he threatened that if my sister didn't drastically change her behavior, He would force her to go to a counselor. This counselor would be a friend of my mom's and would report to my parents everything that was said in the sessions. If my sister doesn't open up to them completely, she will be severely punished. That's a quote.
[00:11:13] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, you live in North Korea, and I don't even mean that as a joke. This just gets worse and worse. That's not a real counselor, by the way. We'll talk about that. That's like an ethics thing.
[00:11:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Clearly not. Yeah.
[00:11:23] Jordan Harbinger: No. That's a struggle session in a communist regime. And yeah, kneeling's been used for thousands of years, right alongside branding humans, corporal punishment, slavery. Yeah, it's up there with a lot of things that have been used for thousands of years. I'm not sure that's a good defense there, genius.
[00:11:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: How does that make it all right?
[00:11:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I want to kick this guy square in the nuts?
[00:11:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: The hard thing is that we really do love our parents when they aren't being toxic and manipulative, which is 90 percent of the time. It's just that the 10 percent is incredibly traumatic. It's gotten a bit better over the last couple of years. The body shaming is less and so are the blow ups.
[00:12:00] I got to stop again. You know, Jordan, I don't know about you, but that 90 percent thing that somehow makes this worse.
[00:12:06] Jordan Harbinger: Right, yeah, because it's not like my parents are always terrible, so when I'm not home, it's fine.
[00:12:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:12:10] Jordan Harbinger: Now, it's like, when's that 10 percent going to come out, and why?
[00:12:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:12:14] Jordan Harbinger: Are we just going to be at Chili's being like, "Oh, finally, our family's normal," and then he's like, "Now, you got to go kneel on a broomstick because you took the last jalapeno popper?" I don't think so. And I know I'm going to get emails about being like, "Wow, you just shamed a guy for making someone do corporal punishment and then you said you were going to kick him in the nuts," and I'll have you know that kicking people in the nuts has been around for thousands of years.
[00:12:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's an age-old retribution. I think it's fair. Yeah. But yeah, this 10 percent thing really weirds me out because I think it must make them feel like, "Who are our parents really?"
[00:12:43] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:12:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Are they the 90 percent fine people or are they the 10 percent monsters? I think that's actually in some ways more terrifying and it's got to be just so confusing.
[00:12:53] Jordan Harbinger: Well, she might also be protecting her parents here a little bit, you know? Like, "They're not all bad. I don't want to overreact and make it seem like they are 90 percent of the time. They're pretty great. It's just the 10 percent that makes us want to dissociate and literally kill ourselves." And again, I'm not trying to make light of this, but I don't think the time is the factor is the important part. Like, yeah, I don't think so.
[00:13:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, look, to be fair, it is very scary, especially at their age to turn against the very people who are supposed to keep them alive, right? Physically, emotionally. Even if those people are legit monsters a lot of the time.
[00:13:25] Jordan Harbinger: I get it. Some connection with dangerous parents can often feel better than no connection at all in a scary world.
[00:13:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:13:31] Jordan Harbinger: But that doesn't mean that those caregivers are healthy or safe at all either.
[00:13:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:13:36] Jordan Harbinger: So, carry on.
[00:13:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Neither of us have talked to anyone else about what's going on. Largely because they have their own presuppositions about our family.
[00:13:44] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:13:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: What are we supposed to do now? Is there any way of escaping this toxicity without going into the foster care system? How does my sister go through this counseling without letting our parents know everything? And how are we supposed to interact with them so we don't continue to get hurt? Signed, Two Sibs Stuck in This Dangerous Crib.
[00:14:03] Jordan Harbinger: Oh boy, well, this is a very dark story. Obviously, it's extremely sad. As you can probably tell, I'm very affected by what you've shared with us, especially as a father. The fact that there are parents out there who do this kind of stuff to their kids, it just blows my mind. And I am so sorry for what you and your sister are going through, all of this. Again, truly beyond the pale. And I'm sorry to say, although you clearly already know, your parents are very troubled people. There's obviously something very wrong with them. This is not normal. What they're doing to you and your sister is not okay, full stop. But of course, It's a complicated situation.
[00:14:40] We wanted to get an expert's opinion here, so we reached out to the one and only Dr. Erin Margolis, clinical psychologist and friend of the show.
[00:14:47] Soundbite: I'm also known to the people who know me the best as the f*cking doctor. [Analyze This - Ben Sobel]
[00:14:53] Jordan Harbinger: And just so you know, Dr. Margolis responded as strongly as we did to your letter. She found everything you shared very disturbing, and she said that it's clear that your parents are not fit to be parenting and that she really feels for you and your sister. You guys are clearly traumatized by all this and need help. And by the way, she also touched on the 90/10 thing, how confusing that must be. But as she put it, looking at this in terms of percentages, it might not be very meaningful. It might be more useful to look at this in terms of the impact of these experiences. That's what I was hinting at earlier. That 10 percent of abusive behavior is having a profound effect on you guys, even if it happens more rarely.
[00:15:32] So what are you supposed to do now? Well, Dr. Margolis was very clear. What you're describing is abuse. It's not okay. And she highly encourages you to talk to somebody about this. Ideally, child protective services or the equivalent agency in your state. Ideally, they would intervene and find a way to keep you and your sister safe.
[00:15:51] Now, there are a few ways that could happen. You could report this to CPS yourself, and if you do, Dr. Margolis recommended you not call from your own phone or the family landline in case your parents are monitoring your phone or listening in some way. I would maybe borrow a friend's phone, or use a public phone, or Google Voice, or something like that. You know, you could call using the Internet. But, if contacting CPS yourself is too hard, then, Dr. Margolis urged you to talk to a teacher, a school counselor, even a medical professional. Because they are also mandated reporters. So if you tell them, "Look, my parents are abusing my sister and I," they have to notify CPS or some other authority. That's the law. That's what they have to do.
[00:16:31] Now, I know you're scared of your parents. I get it. I would be too. So if you decide to talk to somebody at school, I would make it very clear to them how worried you are that you'll be hurt even more if your parents found out that you reported them. That won't stop the report from happening, but it might mean that CPS takes a little extra precaution in terms of keeping you and your sister as safe as possible.
[00:16:54] Dr. Margolis also wants you to come up with a safety plan in case your parents hurt you guys again. Maybe you can go to a friend's house or a family member's house or somebody safe in your community. As long as that person isn't going to just turn around and call your parents and be like, "Yeah, Shelly's over here and says you're abusing her, you want to come pick her up now?" I mean, you don't want that, right? By the way, if you talk to CPS, they can also help you come up with a safety plan in the meantime.
[00:17:20] Now, I understand that you haven't talked to anybody about what's going on at home because, as you put it, they have their own assumptions about your family. I'm guessing that means your parents are perceived a certain way, or they have some influence in the community or whatever, but Dr. Margolis was adamant on this point. As she put it to us, that does not matter. The only thing that matters in this case is your safety. She totally understands that this is terrifying, but with the right protections in place, Dr. Margolis said that your parents wouldn't have access to you in the same way.
[00:17:51] And in the best-case scenario, the right people and institutions, they'll be protecting you. And on that note, we do think there's a way of addressing this situation without going into the foster care system. Foster care is usually the last resort. In general, CPS wants to place minors with family members or friends, not random people. And they always want to keep families together, and that's if it even comes to this, but they wouldn't keep your family together if that put you at continued risk. And if it did, then they wouldn't do that without significant interventions to ensure that you would be safe. Like, for example, requiring your parents to get X type of treatment for Y amount of time until Z milestone is hit before you would be reunited. So if you speak up about your parents, please know that you are not automatically going to end up ripped away from your sister in a foster home. There are so many other options before that would ever happen.
[00:18:44] Now, about this, quote-unquote, "counselor" they want your sister to see, obviously, look, it goes without saying, this person is not a real therapist. They're going to be feeding your parents information and not reporting the abuse? I don't think so. I'm guessing this friend of your mom is a leader in your community or somebody from, I don't know, their church or who knows. Maybe it's just some random person they know.
[00:19:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right, yeah. It's just some Lydia, totally, yeah.
[00:19:08] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly, no business treating their child in any capacity, but perfectly happy to meddle in their lives. I find the whole thing so disgusting. So we asked Dr. Margolis how your sister can go through this counseling without letting your parents know everything. And her take was, well, she's not sure that she can. Your parents have put your sister in a real bind. If she sees this counselor and withholds a bunch, your parents are going to find out and then take it out on her. If she goes in there and tells them about the abuse, this is a trap, they're still going to take it out on her, and it might be even worse, probably will be. So she can't win with this. It's a trap. It's designed as a trap, obviously. So Dr. Margolis felt the best option is to get yourselves somewhere safe before your parents force her into this fake counseling trap in the first place. Now, in my view, this needs to happen anyway, nothing good is going to come of this arrangement.
[00:19:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: I could not agree more, although if, by for some reason, the process cannot begin, nobody can intervene in the meantime and she has to go see this person, I guess the best advice is to just be extremely neutral, right, Jordan? I mean like—
[00:20:11] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:20:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: —say as little as possible, keep it light, I mean, I really hope she doesn't have to actually see this person but if she does, my priority would be keeping her safe and not giving the parents more fodder for abuse basically for mistreatment.
[00:20:26] Now, you asked us how to interact with your parents so you don't continue to get hurt and that's a tough one because here's the thing. You are not responsible for what your parents are doing to you. You should not be in a position where you need to manage them in order to stay safe, you know, to secure their love, to secure their care. This is on them. But of course, I understand that you want to stay safe while you're in the house.
[00:20:48] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:20:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: So part of me wants to tell you, look, you guys got to stand up to them. You have to tell them that you're going to report this abuse if it continues. Maybe you can put them in their place a little bit, put them on notice. But your parents are very scary people.
[00:21:01] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:21:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: And they have a lot of control over you right now at your age. And all of the evidence suggests that they're only going to harm you more if you do that. So, the other part of me wants to say, stay neutral. Again, avoid conflict. Don't talk too much. Maybe stay in your room as much as possible and just muddle through until you're 18 years old. But that's a long way off, especially for your sister. And I hate that those strategies might disempower you guys even more when you already feel very small and very scared to use your words.
[00:21:32] So this is really tough. And honestly, the best way to keep yourself safe is to not interact with your parents at all. And unfortunately, this breaks my heart, but I'm afraid that means leaving or being removed from this home or putting some process in place for the parents to just stop doing this because they're being monitored or something because something has to change.
[00:21:52] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I don't know how else this gets better with parents like these.
[00:21:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:21:56] Jordan Harbinger: Unless the threat of notifying the authorities freaks them out so much, they suddenly do a 180, but I just, come on, man. I guess it's a remote possibility. I'm not banking on it. Permanent change doesn't happen because they're like, "Oh yeah, the police exist. Oops, maybe I better become a normal person now." No.
[00:22:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:22:10] Jordan Harbinger: For what it's worth, Dr. Margolis said if you were one of her clients, she would be on the phone with CPS yesterday, working on getting you out of that house now. That's how serious this is. And looking further down the road, Dr. Margolis would strongly encourage you to get into therapy ASAP. You need a parent's permission when you're under 18, but you could go sooner if somebody else ever became your legal guardian. And in her view, there's some very deep stuff for you and your sister to address. And the sooner you begin that work, the better.
[00:22:40] I know how painful and terrifying this all must be, and my heart really does go out to you guys, but you might need to be very strong and take a leap of faith here because from where I am sitting right now, what is happening in your house is absolutely tragic, it's wrong, it's unsustainable, and it's dangerous. I'm sorry to say this, but your parents don't deserve to have children if they're going to treat them like this. Enough damage has been done. I don't want there to be anymore.
[00:23:08] So please find the support that you need. You and your sister deserve to feel safe. You deserve to feel protected. You deserve to have people be there for you. And Gabe and I will do whatever we can to help you guys from a distance. Whatever you need, we're here. We're sending you both a big hug and all of our love and confidence.
[00:23:24] Big thank you to Dr. Margolis for her wisdom and advice. Dr. Margolis is seeing patients in Los Angeles and virtually throughout California. You can learn more about her and her approach at drerinmargolis.com. We'll link to that in the show notes.
[00:23:37] You know what I worry, Gabriel? This isn't science. Okay? I don't have any evidence for this.
[00:23:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:23:42] Jordan Harbinger: What I'm worried about is if you're willing to hurt your kid. In a certain way, what keeps that from escalating, right? I mean, look, I get it. Just because you spanked your kid doesn't mean you're going to like break their wrist, right? I understand that. But for some reason, when you start doing weird stuff, like making them kneel on the ground until their knees are swollen, that's not, "Okay, I'm spanking my kid, and even though the science shows that doesn't work, but now they understand, and it hurts me as much as it hurts you." This is like, "I'm hurting you physically," and I feel like it could get worse.
[00:24:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Where's it going to go?
[00:24:15] Jordan Harbinger: Where's it going to go? And also, it's not like, "Oh, yeah, my dad does this weird thing where he makes us kneel, we've been doing it since we were little, it's a little bit abusive, whatever, we're used to it." This is like a new thing. He's just making up new stuff to hurt them. So where does that end?
[00:24:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: We haven't talked a lot about her parents and what they must have been through, but I have to imagine that her parents have had their own very rough histories. I don't think you abuse your children like this unless you have been horribly treated—
[00:24:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:24:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: —or have some very confused ideas about how to raise children. They have their own issues, but you know what we haven't even touched on in this letter outside of the textbook abuse is this stuff about like her mom, you know, wishing she could leave the family—
[00:24:54] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:24:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: —and then putting on a smile when she walks in the front door and just keeping up appearances I mean even if there weren't any of this really horrible stuff going on, just that would be a lot for a child to contend with.
[00:25:05] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:25:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Like having a mother who's miserable but doesn't know how to express it and takes it out on the children and shares inappropriate, I mean, there's just so much happening here It breaks my heart. I mean, they have a lot to heal, basically.
[00:25:16] Jordan Harbinger: Look, I know you rewrite these, but I'm assuming this letter wasn't some disaster that was barely legible. These are smart women.
[00:25:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: I actually had to edit this one very little. She wrote very vividly and concisely about what is happening here. So this is basically her letter.
[00:25:30] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, look, maybe we're getting fooled by ChatGPT, but let's assume we're not. And these are smart young women—
[00:25:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:25:37] Jordan Harbinger: —who can be functional and live great lives and have kids of their own that they don't mistreat if that's what they want. Not only is it miserable, and they don't deserve it, I feel this is dangerous.
[00:25:47] If these kids were my neighbors, I would call the police. I would keep them in my house.
[00:25:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:25:53] Jordan Harbinger: And I'd be like, "If your dad comes over, there's no way he's not getting these kids back."
[00:25:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:25:57] Jordan Harbinger: He's going to have to go through me, and I'm going to wait until the cops come. And then, I'm going to move because I live next to a psycho whose kids I just took. It's one of those things like, I just feel very scared for these kids right now. This is very disturbing, this letter.
[00:26:10] Aside from children, you know, what else those parents don't deserve? The amazing deals on the products and services that support this show. We'll be right back.
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[00:28:31] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:28:34] Okay, what's next?
[00:28:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hello, Jordan and Gabe. I've been with my boyfriend for almost two years and we live together. Issues have started to pop up in different parts of our relationship, and I feel like I'm able to deal with them. The one thing I can't deal with is the hints my boyfriend keeps dropping about having an open relationship or bringing another woman into our bed. I know that my libido has never been as high as any of my partner's. I'm not a sexual person, and I consider myself a prude, which might be an issue. All of this makes me feel like I'm not enough for my boyfriend. I was married for 10 years before, and my husband cheated on me, so the thought of my boyfriend having sex with someone else makes me sick. Even if I agreed to it, I would only do it to make him happy, and I would be dying inside. I also believe strongly that if he truly loves me, like he says he does, I should be enough. He strongly believes that human beings were not made to be monogamous, but open relationships, bringing other people into our bed, or cheating, completely go against my values. How do I deal with these hints? How do I stop feeling like I'm not good enough for my boyfriend? Signed, Feeling Blah and Saying Nah to This Ménage à Trois.
[00:29:50] Jordan Harbinger: I was wondering how you were going to rhyme that. This is quite an intense question to deal with in a relationship. There are a few things going on here. They're probably pretty complex, but just to answer your question right off the bat, if you don't want to open your relationship, if monogamy is all you're interested in, that is absolutely fine. And you're obviously allowed to say, "Yeah, sorry, that's not what I want." This is not a crazy stance to take. These are your needs, they're your values, just because you didn't go to Burning Man and do DMT or whatever happened to this guy. If your boyfriend has different ones, that's perfectly okay too, but that doesn't mean you need to suddenly compromise on your values or capitulate to his. You sound very clear on this. It's just not going to work for you. And that's that.
[00:30:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. In a way, I feel like the real question is why is it so hard for her to tell him this is not what I want. End of story.
[00:30:37] Jen Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:30:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: But then I also wonder why this guy entered this relationship in the first place if he doesn't believe that human beings were meant to be monogamous. He's been with her for two years, right? And suddenly, he's like, "Sorry, this isn't the way we're wired. Let's have threesomes or I'm not going to be happy.
[00:30:52] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it's a little strange, but I've seen this before again back in my like dating coach days I got a lot of questions like this. And it was like—
[00:30:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:30:59] Jordan Harbinger: "How do I get my wife or girlfriend to be cool with threesomes?" And I'm like, "So where did you guys meet?" "Church." All right, and then it's like, "Well, is she into it?" "No, man, she thinks it's_—" "Well, how did how come you're into it? This is not a part of your relationship before?" And it's always some-ish like, "Oh, I read this book by Dr. Chris Ryan called Sex at Dawn and humans of evolution this and that and the other thing," and I'm like, "Cool. That's not what she signed up for." And you can have her read the book, but that doesn't mean she's suddenly going to be like, "Oh, we've been doing this wrong. Yeah, let's sleep with tons of other women." also, you know what? Here's something guys don't think of. Guys are like, "Yeah, I want to bring other women to the bed." Try competing with your wife for how many people you can sleep with and you're going to lose homeboy.
[00:31:39] I was watching a video this morning. You see this reporter in Spain. She's doing a live broadcast. The guy walks up behind her and grabs her butt.
[00:31:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm, I've not seen this.
[00:31:47] Jordan Harbinger: The dude gets arrested on live TV.
[00:31:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, wow.
[00:31:48] Jordan Harbinger: It actually makes Spain just look completely ridiculous. So not like that doesn't happen here. That's what women are contending with. They are beating D off—
[00:31:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:31:57] Jordan Harbinger: —literally with sticks and/or they have to call the police to keep D away from them. And you're like, "Yeah, I'm going to get a threesome occasionally." Bro, you're going to get one every quarter and she's going to have three a night. You don't want this competition. So yeah, look, it's possible. He came to the conclusion in the last two years, dude's been reading a bunch of Esther Perel or whatever. She's kind of become the patron saint of consensual non-monogamy. Again, a dear friend of mine, so I'm not throwing any shade. But maybe now he's trying to reconcile his new views on monogamy with his current relationship. And he's just flailing around and it's just not working.
[00:32:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Which, it's also interesting because he's not breaking up with her.
[00:32:34] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:32:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: That would be the obvious solution if he didn't feel very strongly about our friend anymore or if he just wanted to have fun on his own. She's worried that she isn't good enough for him and I really understand why she feels that way.
[00:32:44] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:32:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: But there's at least one huge piece of evidence that he does still want to be with her just on different terms. So it might be useful for her to separate those two things out.
[00:32:53] Jordan Harbinger: Right. But I can also absolutely understand why those terms make her feel insecure or unwanted because they're a little bit—
[00:32:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally.
[00:32:59] Jordan Harbinger: —skeevy. It sounds like he's going about it in a skeevy way.
[00:33:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure, it's a very confusing message to receive if you don't share the same view about relationships. I get it.
[00:33:07] Jordan Harbinger: What complicates the open relationship question, though, is this mismatch in their sex drives?
[00:33:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:33:13] Jordan Harbinger: Because it's hard to know if he wants to open up their relationship because he's unfulfilled or because this is just what he wants. Or it's what he thinks he wants because he's been doing Reddit deep dives. And like I said, I can see why she's hearing him say, "Let's get on the Feeld app and live like nature intended." I can see why she's hearing that as, "Sorry, you don't do it for me. I need to get it somewhere else I need variety and you're boring or I just need more or I need different.
[00:33:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right, plus her last husband cheated on her.
[00:33:39] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:33:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: So that's clearly a wound there. Possibly a pattern?
[00:33:43] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe. Like, is she choosing guys who can't commit or have questionable ethics or want to step out on her? Or is her low libido potentially playing a role in this somehow? Okay, maybe.
[00:33:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's the one piece of this I do think she needs to look at for herself to really have a good grasp of her sexuality because I'm hearing two things here. On the one hand, she's saying that she's just not a sexual person, which fair enough, you know, asexuality definitely a thing. Some people just aren't wired this way. That's okay. But then she's also saying that she considers herself a prude and she knows that might be an issue. And being a prude, well, look, I guess that's compatible with being asexual.
[00:34:19] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:34:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: I can imagine that having no sexual desire or having a very low sexual desire might make sex feel awkward or shocking or dangerous, just you don't even want to go near it.
[00:34:29] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:34:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: But is it possible that she has some issues or some other conflicts around sex and that's made sex very fraught for her, and so she shut down her desire, or never really explored it in the first place?
[00:34:42] Jordan Harbinger: Right, there's an interesting chicken or egg question here.
[00:34:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Which I think she needs to get a good handle on if she hasn't yet because all of this is making her feel like she's not enough for her boyfriend. And that's a very painful thought. to bear when you don't really know where the problem lies, if there's a problem at all.
[00:34:58] Jordan Harbinger: Plus, he's grappling with this very intense question of, "Am I causing these guys to cheat on me or pull away or look elsewhere?"
[00:35:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:35:04] Jordan Harbinger: "Is it because I'm a prude and I'm not good in bed?" And it's like, well, no, your boyfriend obviously has an interest in open relationships that has cropped up almost out of nowhere. And that's largely his stuff. He didn't seem to have a problem with it before. But if your boyfriend has needs that are not being met in the relationship, it would be important for both of you to know why.
[00:35:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's exactly right. All that said, though, there are two things happening here. There's the sex drive piece and the attitudes towards sex part of this, and then there's the values part about monogamy. Even if you guys had the same libidos, the same needs, I think you would still be opposed to opening up the relationships. So maybe the sexuality thing doesn't have any bearing on the main issue you're asking about, and it really is as simple as Jordan said.
[00:35:46] Jordan Harbinger: My opinion there is the same. If you want to be monogamous, that's absolutely fine, and you should feel comfortable communicating that to your boyfriend. If he feels differently, you might not be the right partners for each other. That would be a painful outcome, but that's probably the best if you guys are fundamentally on different pages. But look, if I'm in your shoes, I would want to understand myself as well as possible before making that decision. Just to really appreciate how my own stuff is playing a role in this very important part of a romantic relationship. Obviously, you know I'm going to recommend therapy and couples therapy if you think this is something you guys can work on together.
[00:36:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Especially by the way, because you said issues were popping up in other parts of the relationship.
[00:36:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I forgot about that detail, Gabe. That is interesting. It makes you wonder if maybe there's a few things going on here.
[00:36:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:36:32] Jordan Harbinger: Regardless, seek out some support. It's really important to work through this stuff. Yeah, if your boyfriend is determined to sleep with other people and that's just not going to work for you on any level, then this situation, as complicated as it is, it's actually pretty simple. So good luck with that.
[00:36:46] You know, also whenever I hear about libido stuff, that might just be the way you're wired, but go get a hormone blood panel and take it to a doctor or an endocrinologist or something like that because I've just heard so many anecdotal examples of somebody being like, "Yeah, I went and my progesterone is like really low and we weren't going to find out until we started trying to have kids that this was a thing. And now, I'm on supplements and holy cow, this is how normal people feel, I'm banging all the time." Like I hear about this all the time from men and women, there's all kinds of stuff going on that you don't find out about until you're trying to get pregnant or whatever that you've had your whole life sometimes or that's cropped up in your 20s or 30s. But who knows? You could also be super stressed out about all this. That's not going to make anybody want to get freaky either. So there's lots of stuff that can be going on in a medical level. So don't just be like, "I'm broken." I mean, go get therapy, get a blood panel. There's a lot of control you can take in this situation.
[00:37:41] All right. You can reach us firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep your emails concise. Try to use descriptive subject lines. That makes our job a lot easier. If you're finding dead squirrels near a mailbox, your stepdad's got your nudes, your neighbors are eavesdropping on your therapy sessions through the wall, or your high-flying sibling is in a full-blown addiction that's tearing your family apart, whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up, friday@jordanharbinger.Com. We're here to help and we keep every email anonymous.
[00:38:06] Okay, what's next?
[00:38:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I'm that rarest of animals, a lawyer who actually likes his job. I've huck-finned my way into a pretty good gig. I spent my 20s bouncing around in a van trying to be a rock star, then got a law degree. After a few years of teaching and temping, I ended up working for a big corporation that everyone has heard of. In 10 years, I went from temp, to contract specialist, to senior contract specialist, to in-house counsel, to senior counsel.
[00:38:36] Jordan Harbinger: Wow, okay, that's quite a journey, and you don't have to be a lawyer to understand this. This guy basically went from zero to hero in 10 years. That's faster, I think, than a lot of people probably realize. Sometimes, these things happen by accident, usually not. I'm guessing you're pretty sharp, you're good at your job, people like you. To get this far ahead this quickly without having a real plan to do it, like you're not a gunner, you're not like, I'm trying to make it in big law, that, it's quite impressive.
[00:39:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Our department head is retiring in a couple of years, and I was recently asked what role I want in the succession plan.
[00:39:07] Wow, okay, so these people really like you. They're literally saying like, "Chairs are opening up, which one do you want?" That's pretty cool.
[00:39:13] Jordan Harbinger: You can tell he's taken seriously at this place. You don't ask an employee, "So, what role do you want in the succession plan," if you don't want them to absolutely stick around and rise up? They say that so that you don't quit because you didn't get the role you wanted. They need you, they want you, they want to keep you.
[00:39:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Here's the problem. I don't want a promotion.
[00:39:33] Jordan Harbinger: Interesting. Okay. Well, this does fit with the whole Huck Finn living in a van. That is curious.
[00:39:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: In my current position, I negotiate contracts with other in-house counsel for services that have largely already been sold. I kind of like what I do. I'm paid really well to do it. It's low stress most days, and I average about 45 hours a week. I have time to play music at night, I take most of my PTO, I can work in my PJs when I'm not traveling, and most days I'm done by 6 p.m. My boss makes bank, but he has a full day of meetings and then he has to do his job. He probably works 70 to 80 hours a week. Last year, he was happy because he only worked 6 hours on Thanksgiving.
[00:40:16] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my god, that sucks. That's such a lawyer thing.
[00:40:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: I do not want that life, pretty much regardless of what it pays. I'm in my early 50s, and if I stay in my current job, unless the market collapses, I'll be able to retire comfortably in a decade or so. I'd be thrilled to do what I'm doing for another decade, but I don't want to throw stank on my career by appearing ungrateful or lacking in ambition. How should I let management know that I'm not interested in moving up any further? Signed, A Contented Lawyer, Determined to Be an Enjoyer, Without Becoming a Destroyer of My Employee's Goodwill Toward Your Boy Here.
[00:40:52] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh, that sign-off almost went off the rails, but you pulled it back just in time. I was like, oh, it's not going to rhyme. It's not going to — it rhymed.
[00:41:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Thank you.
[00:41:00] Jordan Harbinger: Part of me wants to quibble with rhyming employer with Boyer, but another part of me is kind of proud you did that.
[00:41:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Appreciate it. I'll take it.
[00:41:08] Jordan Harbinger: Well, you're an interesting dude, the ex-rocker who went to law school and just wants to have time to jam and hang out, brah. Like I said, I can appreciate that. You do have the best of both worlds now, and you don't want to lose that work life balance.
[00:41:20] It reminds me of when I was in law school, we had a senior partner who ran a pretty big law firm based out of Chicago, and he taught a course called Law Firms and Legal Careers.
[00:41:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:41:29] Jordan Harbinger: And we were like, "Why are the hours so terrible?" And he goes, "Let me see you raise your hands. How much of you, if you were making X dollars," like whatever the starting salary was, 160 grand a year, "how many of you would work half as much for half that pay?" And like every hand almost in the class went up, except for the few guys who were like, "I'm here to get rich, bro."
[00:41:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:41:47] Jordan Harbinger: And he's like, "That's why. It still costs a firm money. You still got a seat. You've got benefits. You know, the work has to be spread out. There's logistics involved with each person." And he's like, "They want to work you to death because you're more valuable."
[00:41:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:41:58] Jordan Harbinger: And I thought, oh, that's interesting. So, yeah, you don't want to lose work life balance. Everybody wants it. It does exist. It's not supposed to.
[00:42:05] So look, if you're absolutely sure that you don't want to rise up, then I think you can communicate that to the higher ups, but you really have to do it in a certain way. I wouldn't say, "Thanks, but no, thanks, man. I got a new Liz Paul and I don't want to be a solo suit like you dorks," even though that's what you might mean. I would frame it more like, "Thank you so much for the opportunity, the consideration. I am honored that you want me to be part of the succession plan here. I definitely want to help make this transition as successful as possible. I've asked myself where I can be the most useful. I've given it a lot of thought, and I've decided that, frankly, it's where I'm at right now, negotiating your contracts. I love what I do. I'm super grateful to work here. I'd just like to continue being a good attorney for you. And if I can help out with the transition around that, I'm happy to. But this role, this is where I thrive, and where I believe I can be most helpful to the company." Something like that. Maybe negotiate a five to 25 percent raise on top of it if you can. If you deliver that graciously, I think it'll go down the right way. And you know, depending on the personalities on your team, if I'm your boss, or especially if I'm your colleague, I love you for this, right? A workhorse, who has absolutely no designs on my job, or the promotion that I wanted for myself. Perfect. You're friends with everybody if they know you're this guy.
[00:43:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: I didn't even think about that. That's true.
[00:43:22] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, like, oh, you wanted to have a knife at my throat because you're worried I want to be a manager? Let me take this worry off your plate right now. I want you to go all the way up to the top. We're homies. I never want your job. So don't worry about me. And it's like, oh, okay, now, I can stop holding out on you. I mean, that's perfect.
[00:43:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:43:39] Jordan Harbinger: My only caveat to this is, sometimes playing it neutral during a major transition, that could potentially play out not in your favor. I don't know what your company looks like. I have no idea. It could be fine. But in this Machiavellian, Game of Thrones-y world that we live in sometimes, especially in law, corporate, whatever, if you pass up a promotion, maybe that means some other lawyer makes a play for department head. Fine, you say. But then that person, they could reduce your responsibilities, or they could shift you around, or you could end up working for somebody you don't like, or somebody who holds this decision against you, because you're not as ambitious as they are, and they're petty. Or, maybe this succession plan kicks off a reorg or your department changes how it operates and that means more work for you or different work for you or more hours for you which you don't want and you can't do anything about it because you didn't rise up so you don't have any control over the situation itself.
[00:44:32] So that's just some things to consider. I don't think I would take a promotion I didn't want and be like, "Oh, good, at least now, I'm in charge. I'm miserable but I'm in charge so I can keep the status quo other than for myself." I know you don't want that hashtag boss life. But you might want to play a little bit of chess, look down river just a tiny bit to use your Huck Finn metaphor, game out a few likely scenarios. I hope none of this comes to pass, but just not making a choice is also a choice. And in corporate environments where a lot of people do want to rise up, you do have to be prepared for how that choice might play out.
[00:45:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, yeah, very strong advice, Jordan. I hadn't considered those angles. I'm just wondering if there's anything else to this neutral stance of his. I know he wants to protect his lifestyle. I totally get that. But I do wonder if there might be something else going on here, too. Like, does rising up feel daunting or uninteresting? Because it means, like, he would have to deal with people and problems that he doesn't have to deal with now. And maybe he feels a little out of his depth there. Or he just doesn't like being part of the system at that level. You know, again, I'm thinking about the rock star bouncing around in that van. He's probably pretty unconventional. He's maybe suspicious of traditional work to some degree. Does he maybe have some feelings about being a department head because of that? Because look, the interesting thing is he is a great lawyer.
[00:45:48] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:45:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: He has done well. He's well liked. So part of me wonders, why wouldn't you want to follow those qualities into a bigger position? I know it's a hit to the lifestyle. But, is he also undervaluing those qualities and the opportunities that they're creating for him?
[00:46:04] Jordan Harbinger: I think what he's saying is these opportunities just aren't that meaningful to me. What's meaningful to me is having a life of my own.
[00:46:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. No, I totally get it. I'm not saying he's wrong. I just want to make sure that he really understands his reasons for turning this down. And also, I wonder whether he could do, if he ever did end up in this leadership position, department head, whatever, if he could do his boss's job in a different way, maybe a better way. That still allows him to have the life that he loves.
[00:46:29] Jordan Harbinger: You know, that's a good point. Because he's looking at his boss like, "Ooh, that job is brutal. No, thank you." But I always suspect this. That might also just be his boss's way of handling things.
[00:46:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:46:39] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe his boss attends way too many meetings that he doesn't even need to be in. Because he's like, I got to have my finger on the pulse. I got to be in control. Maybe he's not as efficient as he could be. Maybe he's wasting two hours a day. Redlining documents by hand or redoing all the work that his junior associates are doing or trying to fax him to people because he's old school. Who knows?
[00:46:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Maybe he's choosing to work on Thanksgiving because he's a workaholic or he's not a good planner or he just has really bad boundaries.
[00:47:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, or he doesn't like his family and he's like, I'd rather be in the office. I mean, that describes so many executives, lawyers especially, but that doesn't mean it's necessary. Maybe our friend here would find a healthier way of doing that job. Maybe that role needs somebody with a little more chill and an assistant, to find the right balance.
[00:47:22] That said, if you're totally secure in your decision to stay where you are, that's totally fine. The older I get, the more I appreciate how important the lifestyle element actually is. But definitely consider all the angles and make sure your reasons are solid, not just a fear of taking on new opportunities or falling into a certain trap. You're clearly a talented guy with a lot to offer. And it would be cool to flex those muscles and be rewarded for them. I think that's really gratifying too. So if you can do it while still shredding the guitar at night, amazing. If not, make sure your bosses know that you're pumped to be where you are and that you're going to keep crushing it. So good luck.
[00:47:55] You know, it's a great use of your plateaued earning power, Gabriel, your stagnant wages? The amazing products and services that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:48:06] This episode is also sponsored by Wrkout. I am on, I think I'm in year three since I started trying my buddy's virtual personal training called Wrkout. It's one of the best decisions I've made. I actually didn't really want to do it, but he gave it to me for free in the beginning because it was kind of my idea for him to pivot his gym business to Wrkout. Anyway, now, I've tried a lot of things when it comes to my fitness, but nothing I've tried has the convenience and personal connection that Wrkout has. And now it's like my favorite. It's changed my whole life. It's helped me so much. I now do it four times a week instead of, I originally wanted to do it once a week because again, I didn't want to do it. But if you think you can't do it, just know that my 80-year-old mom also is hooked on Wrkout. She's actually more than 80 now. I look forward to my sessions. That has not always been the case. As you know, my trainers Chad and Kareem, again, the most personal trainer names ever, they've gotten to know me, they know how to push me, they know when I'm not feeling it. It's so convenient because I do the workouts at home. But I also bring the laptops to the gym sometimes, I bring it to the hotel gym. I'm stronger, more flexible, pain-free than I've ever been in my whole life. Entire physique has changed. It's really incredible to look at, I have abs for the first time since forever, literally, probably forever. And there's a lot of tools and cool features. I cannot recommend this hard enough. You know, it'll help you live longer. You know, it'll help you lose weight. You know, it'll help your joint pain go away, et cetera. If you want to see what highly vetted world-class personal training can do for you, check out wrkout.com/jordan. That's W-R-K-O-U-T.com/jordan. And I don't know, lose a little bit of weight, get a little bit more flexible, sweat a little bit. Can't go wrong with that.
[00:49:41] Guys, I want to give a shout out to one of my favorite YouTube channels. It's called The China Show. It's run by two of my friends, Laowhy86 and SerpentZA. Imagine picking those names a bunch of years ago and being like, this will never be cringey. Winston and C-Milk, really good guys. I guess that's another name, C-Milk. There's a story there, I'm sure. These are great guys. They lived in China for 10 years, 14 years respectively. They are incredibly versed with Chinese news, they do a roundup of things going on in China like AI and why people are going bonkers over ice cream, but also things like the Pentagon leak and what those documents have to do with Chinese policy, so it's not super nerd alert when it comes to in-the-weeds policies and politics, but it's really interesting. They try to keep it funny and light as well, I watch pretty much every one of their videos that they put out, all these guys, especially the China Show episodes. If you want to stay up to date on China, if you want to get an idea for the threat that the Chinese Communist Party has, or just get a really cool and funny look into Chinese culture itself, then I definitely recommend The China Show. One recent video they did was on the state of AI in China, and it just kind of devolves into this funny cultural critique. So, definitely check out the link in the show notes. It's called The China Show. You can literally just search for The China Show on YouTube, and you will find it. And let me know what you think. Good guys, great show.
[00:50:57] If you like this episode of Feedback Friday, and why wouldn't you? And you found our advice valuable, and, again, why wouldn't you? I invite you to do what other smart and considerate listeners do, which is take a moment and support one of our amazing sponsors, or multiple of our sponsors, why not? jordanharbinger.com/deals is where you can find every deal. The AI chatbot can point you in the right direction as well. If you're super lazy, just email me, email@example.com. I'll dig up the code for you. Thank you for supporting those who support us, really appreciate that, it does make all the difference.
[00:51:25] Now, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:51:28] Okay, next up.
[00:51:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I'm 24 years old and I've been involved with my mentors for about two and a half years. I've been listening to a lot of your Feedback Fridays recently and have picked up on your clear disdain for MLMs, which has gotten me thinking. I consider myself quite an intelligent person and can clearly tell from the stories I've heard that a lot of these opportunities you talk about are just scams in disguise. But I'm struggling to reconcile that with the organization that I'm involved in. Basically, it's one of the huge MLMs out there and it runs on a self-consumption model where we're not asked or taught to sell products, but rather to just replace products that we already use in our day-to-day lives with the MLM's alternative, and then bring in other like-minded people whose main focus is on mindset change and personal development. We don't ask just anyone and everyone to join, but rather have conversations with friends, family, and strangers to see where they're at in life. And if they're looking to get ahead by creating a passive income. That's the core of this mentorship, not the network marketing business.
[00:52:39] Jordan Harbinger: Hold up, I'm confused. So he's saying that it's not an MLM?
[00:52:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: He's saying that whatever this organization is, I'm a little unclear on it as well, but he's saying that this mentorship community, the main focus is not the network marketing stuff.
[00:52:55] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, by the way, network marketing is another word for MLM.
[00:52:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: But he's saying that's not the core focus. It's self-improvement first and buying the MLM's products second.
[00:53:05] Jordan Harbinger: So if they're using Neutrogena moisturizer or whatever, their mentors are saying, "Hey, by the way, we'd really like you to buy our moisturizer instead in exchange for our mentoring you, whatever that means.
[00:53:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Correct. That's right. Blah, it's correct.
[00:53:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yes. Blah.
[00:53:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: But wait, there's more. Okay, so the letter goes on.
[00:53:23] Yes, the goal is to be able to actually make profit off of this thing and find other people who are interested in the personal development and will buy the MLM's products. So obviously these new people would be my downline.
[00:53:37] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, so that settles that. This is clearly part of the MLM, and also what's left out here is, so if they're your downline, are you mentoring them, or are they joining your mentoring group? Because why wouldn't they just buy directly from the other mentors? The whole thing falls apart pretty much instantly.
[00:53:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: But I also feel like I've benefited a lot from being involved with this team. I've had a lot of mindset changes and developed a lot of good habits, like reading and listening to uplifting audiobooks, like Rich Dad Poor Dad, and how to make friends and influence people. I know I haven't had any success with the business because I haven't actually put any of the real work in.
[00:54:12] Jordan Harbinger: Red flag! So I'm going to let you finish, but that is classic MLM gaslighting speak right there.
[00:54:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: The way it was explained to me was that our MLM is just a vehicle, and how it's utilized is entirely up to the person. I've seen firsthand—
[00:54:26] I don't know what that means exactly. Sorry, aside to you, Jordan, I'm not clear on that. I guess he means like, some people can use an MLM in some nefarious way or they can use it in this really positive uplifting way. And it's not about the MLM, it's about the people involved.
[00:54:41] Jordan Harbinger: Sure. I mean, that's what people say about every culty thing and scam ever.
[00:54:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:54:47] Jordan Harbinger: Like it's all about how you use it. Okay, but the business model doesn't work. So it's going to fail for everybody who uses it anyway.
[00:54:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Interesting He goes on, I've seen firsthand how people have been able to rise up and eventually replace their full time income with passive income. Furthermore, the fact that our organization is partnered with a major telecommunications company, a massive retailer, and many other credible companies, allows me to believe that this is legitimate.
[00:55:13] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. Well, just to get this bit out of the way, that doesn't make any of this legitimate. Do you think big companies go, "Oh yeah, we're going to let this place advertise for us. Quick, do a deep dive on their entire business practice and make sure that it's all legitimate." They don't care. That doesn't make anything legit. It just connects this pyramid scheme to other companies. That is it. Most, if not all, MLMs are, in theory, legal because they are not illegal. Even the ones that are shady and murky are allowed to operate.
[00:55:41] Look at Herbalife. Here's the problem, Gabriel. People think, "Oh, well, it would be illegal if it was a pyramid scheme, so it must be legal and not a pyramid scheme because it's allowed to operate." A pyramid scheme is when you exchange cash upwards. And you have down lines of people that are giving you cash. That's why MLMs use products because then you're saying, "Oh, you're buying the products and the products are exchanged for money." The product is an afterthought. It's an excuse to exchange the money has nothing to do with the product. That's why it's allowed to operate as a, quote-unquote, "business" instead of a straight-up scam. That's the whole idea behind it. That's why the products are just always mediocre crap that's overpriced for what it is.
[00:56:19] Also, replacing full-time income with passive income, that does not mean that the model is healthy or legitimate or a good use of your resources. It just means that with a clever structure, you can get other people to make money for you too. It doesn't mean it's a good thing to be a part of. You know, I know a guy that has so much money. And he also just works only a few hours a day. You know what he does? He's a drug dealer. That's what he does. He doesn't pay taxes. Wow, his profit margins are enormous. Yeah, he sells cocaine. That's not a good business to get into. So, it's really the same argument.
[00:56:54] This is another part of what worries me here. The appearance of legitimacy allows you to believe this is not only legitimate, but a good business. As if bad, illegitimate businesses never operate with a veneer of legitimacy and legality. I don't know if allowing yourself to believe something is really the best mindset to have, but we can come back to that.
[00:57:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: But now I'm having doubts, just from hearing more and more of your stories.
[00:57:18] Jordan Harbinger: Good.
[00:57:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Do I need to reconsider this group? Am I part of a scam? Or is this legit and truly helpful? Signed, Enjoy This Community With Total Immunity or Be Dispirited About This Pyramid.
[00:57:31] Jordan Harbinger: Boy, okay. So candidly, I don't fully understand this mentorship angle, but I don't like it. I've heard about similar structures, though, before. Since a lot of people are onto MLMs being scams, now, there's a lot of mentorship, and even the letters we get about people getting recruited into MLMs are like, "I don't know, my friend kept trying to do this thing where like, they're trying to evaluate if I'm good for their mentor group, and I'm going to be mentored, and I kept saying like, how does the money come into play, and what's the product, and they're like, won't tell me." It's this bullcrap.
[00:57:58] I don't like that you're part of a so-called mentorship group that does seem to have helped you in some ways, credit where credit's due, right? But then part of the deal is that you have to buy products from your, quote-unquote, "mentors." And then you have to bring in other like-minded people who will do the same thing which further enriches those mentors. If you want to get a coach for something, pay the coach with money. If you want to get a mentor for something, there's a value exchange that isn't you buying the toilet paper from them.
[00:58:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:58:28] Jordan Harbinger: You might do some work with them, that's not what this is at all. That right there, what we're talking about, this is a pyramid, it's a network or a circle or whatever creepy shape enables the financial scheme to happen. The fact that you're not asked to sell the product yourself, it doesn't change anything. In fact, that's usually the case with MLMs. They go, "Oh, you don't have to sell the products. You give other people the opportunity to sell the products." In fact, most MLMs, most people sell almost no products. They just get other people recruited in underneath them. That's the actual business model of a pyramid scheme of an MLM. So if anything, it sounds like that keeps you firmly in the role of consumer/recruiter, not actual salesperson yourself, which frankly makes me wonder if you're benefiting even less than you would. In other types of arrangements where at least you learn sales skills. I mean, they're basically just pulling customers into their orbit, right? That is ultimately what this is about.
[00:59:21] But I'm also concerned about this other thing that you said that you know you haven't had any success with the business because you, quote, "haven't actually put in any of the real work." That is exactly what MLM ideology says to everyone who isn't crushing it at the top of the pyramid. They have to blame you because the other alternative is that the business model doesn't work, which, guess which one of those things is true? When people don't see results, MLMs will always turn around and say, "Well, you aren't trying hard enough. You aren't really doing what it takes," that is a way to deflect legitimate skepticism of the business model and redirect responsibility to you.
[00:59:59] It will always happen that way. It is eerily reminiscent. of how cults operate. Oh, you just aren't committed enough. You don't believe hard enough. That's why you're not getting the magic powers that the cult leaders have, or the other people in the group. But more to the point, you're acknowledging that there is a business here, but then you're also saying, well, it's not really about the business, it's about the mentorship first. Those contradictions, those mental gymnastics, it's classic scam stuff.
[01:00:25] Also, if these people couldn't move their product through you, if there were no money to be made, I promise you, bro, the offer of mentorship would evaporate immediately. That's the difference between real mentorship and the kind of, quote-unquote, "mentorship" you find in MLMs and other schemes. Because in reality, this mentorship crap, you're in a sales funnel. They're using it to create more downline, to find more targets, essentially. So yes, you're in a scam, but you're also perpetrating the same scam. And I'm sorry to say that that might be a little disconcerting or even hurtful to hear because I know you have an attachment to this group and they have sort of helped you in some ways, but honestly, that's the truth.
[01:01:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, but also Jordan, the ways that they've helped him, they're very generic, right?
[01:01:08] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it's very lowest common denominator. I wasn't really going to go there, but it's like, good Lord, this is like self-help from Instagram. Read these books.
[01:01:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: He's had a lot of mindset changes as he put it. He's developed a lot of good habits. He's reading. He's listening to audiobooks.
[01:01:23] Jordan Harbinger: Uplifting audiobooks podcasts. I doubt they recommended this one, or if they have, they're going to stop after this episode.
[01:01:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: So presumably, it's a lot of inspirational content and books about motivation and courage—
[01:01:36] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:01:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: —hope, faith, stuff like that. I mean—
[01:01:38] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[01:01:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Rich Dad Poor Dad and the Dale Carnegie book.
[01:01:41] Jordan Harbinger: How to Win Friends and Influence People.
[01:01:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes. I'm sure they contain some gems in there, but those are pretty generic recommendations.
[01:01:48] Jordan Harbinger: Well, two things. One, yes, they are generic. You can get any of those recommendations off a listicle that you get off of, like, BuzzFeed or something like that, circa 2015, okay? But also, Rich Dad Poor Dad classic MLM fair. I'm pretty sure that both the author and the content of that book are not well regarded by actual business people most of the time. It's super vague, it's BS-y. I've read it, and I remember being like, what the actual hell is this? This is complete nonsense. I believe the author himself ran a shady financial scheme of his own or currently does.
[01:02:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh really, I did not know that.
[01:02:20] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, nobody who's actually like good at business will hear the name Robert Kiyosaki and be like, that's the guy!
[01:02:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's hilarious.
[01:02:26] Jordan Harbinger: They're like, isn't that the MLM financial guy? Who's always like flashing his Lambos. It's a lot of hokey abstract principles of success that he did not originate. And those are precisely the kinds of ideas that these organizations push on people. It's never critical thinking. It's never a book on marketing by Harvard Business School. It's never going to be rigorous psychology or how to build a great team or whatever. It's going to be rah-rah recruitment stuff. And it's also a lot of vague concepts that, look, they're not inherently bad. Of course, most of the stuff. We all need some courage. We all need hope and confidence. Sure, fine. But when that's the main product being sold, it's usually to discourage critical thinking, not to enhance it.
[01:03:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, the truth is, he could be working on his mindset and his habits and his reading ritual on his own.
[01:03:12] Jordan Harbinger: Of course.
[01:03:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: But this group has given him structure, it's given him community. It sounds like it's given him a sense of, "Hey, these people are really on my team and they're making me better and they're holding me accountable and all they ask is that I help them out by buying their shampoo. You know, what's wrong with that?"
[01:03:26] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:03:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: So I actually feel for him, but that is what disturbs me about this because the scheme here is being threaded through this seemingly productive, maybe occasionally helpful arrangement.
[01:03:39] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly, that makes it creepier to me. Another thing I forgot to mention, when he said, "I'm not seeing success because I haven't done the work," here's the thing, what kind of success? Are you not getting success for reading how to win friends and influence people? No, that's not what he's talking about here, for sure. What he's talking about is the financial success.
[01:03:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[01:03:55] Jordan Harbinger: And what that means is he's in the red on the shampoo and toilet paper that he's being forced to buy from these guys and recruiting people for his downline. So he's in the red. He could literally pay a real coach, the actual money that he's losing in this crappy business venture and get real coaching with somebody who's accountable to him and doesn't just see him as a spreadsheet on their downline map. It's not that he's not getting success from reading the books and learning the material. They don't give a f*ck if he's successful with that stuff.
[01:04:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[01:04:21] Jordan Harbinger: That's not the point. The point is he's not making money for them because...he hasn't applied what he's learned.
[01:04:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[01:04:27] Jordan Harbinger: Why the f*ck are you working for them? Just f*cking pay them. That's what I'm trying to say.
[01:04:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[01:04:31] Jordan Harbinger: Sorry, I'm getting worked up here. I'm dropping F bombs. I usually don't try to do that. At least when you're one node in a network marketing scheme, you know the score, you know what the deal is, or at least I hope you do. Sadly, a lot of people don't. That's one of the major problems with MLMs, but it's not a huge mystery, right? You buy stuff, you recruit more people to buy stuff from you. You build a downline, you keep a bunch of crap in your garage. You think you're going to sell it later. Whatever you try to use it, you can't. Most people, even the true believers, they get it after a while. This is something else that's designed to keep you from really understanding what you're into because it looks like a mentorship program when really it's just another freaking MLM.
[01:05:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: You know, it reminds me of that letter we took a few months back from that woman who was dating that guy who was involved in an MLM. Do you remember that?
[01:05:13] Jordan Harbinger: Yes. And he was like, "My mentor saved my life." And she was like—
[01:05:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[01:05:17] Jordan Harbinger: She was a therapist or something or studying to be a therapist. And she was like, Oh, how do I tell him?
[01:05:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: So, it's crazy, but now that I think about it, he was involved in this same MLM.
[01:05:26] Jordan Harbinger: No surprise, I guess, at all.
[01:05:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm just remembering that. We didn't include the name of the MLM in that letter either, but it's the same exact one. That was episode 865, by the way. I'm guessing this mentorship strategy is a common recruiting tool for that company.
[01:05:41] Jordan Harbinger: It is. I think I mentioned before that now that people are becoming more hip to the MLM game, it probably lowers their defenses. So, instead of being like, "Hey, you want to join my MLM?" And everyone's like, "Pfft, no," runs in the other direction. They're like, "Hey, you want to be awesome? This is going to get you in the back door. I've taken on like-minded, amazing go-getters." And you're like, "Well, sure." And then this gets you in the back door. And also it puts another veneer over the nonsense. But again, it's not mentorship if there's an expectation that you enrich your mentor directly or indirectly.
[01:06:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's the opposite of mentorship if you think about it.
[01:06:11] Jordan Harbinger: Well, they would rather you not think about it. So do you need to reconsider this group? Yes, definitely, man. I would encourage anyone in any group of any kind, MLM or otherwise, to always be reassessing their involvement. Figuring out what the proverbial deal is. But yes, there is something shady going on here. The fact that you've benefited in some way, it doesn't change the fact that it's shady. It just means that these people understand that you need to get something out of it too. Or at least, he needs to look like you are. Because if you're not making any money in an MLM, you start to go, "Geez, I'm losing money." But if you're getting some nebulous mentorship, you can start to justify that money loss, that financial loss.
[01:06:50] So whether that thing is meaningful, that's up to you to decide. I don't mean to disparage the nice parts of this. Obviously your mindset's important. Reading is crucial. You're speaking my language, but look, man, you don't need these people to tell you that. And if this stuff is truly meaningful to you, I don't know if you need them to keep you accountable for doing it. And you definitely don't need any of that if the deal is, "Hey, buy my toilet paper and also tell your friends and family that we'll help them too if they buy our products."
[01:07:17] So, look, we do this show for free, but not really, right? We get paid when you support the sponsors. I ask you to support the sponsors, but you know what I don't do? I don't go, you can't listen to the show unless you buy this mattress. And you got to get your friends to buy the mattress too, and then they can listen to the show. Why is that? That's not the model. The model is such that I can afford to be generous here. And are they doing so much more for you than we are here on the show? Maybe they are, but I bet you can get that from a coach and I really hope this helps you, bud. I know I'm being snarky. I do get worked up about the MLM stuff and I really appreciate that you're open to looking at things in a new way.
[01:07:54] I'm only grouchy because I really don't like how these groups prey on curious people. I bet this guy's young too. They prey on curious and young people like you. So keep asking good questions, keep your own counsel and good luck. I really think anything you could get from a fake-ass mentorship group where you buy products, you should just take that money and hire real coaches who specialize in real skills and learn those skills from those coaches. These guys are always haxed.
[01:08:19] I remember a point I was going to make earlier here, very briefly. I've got a large network, right, and I've got this platform of the show which has millions of people every month. I can't even count how many MLM people come to me, the leaders of these things, and they're like, "Look, man, what we're going to do, you join us, you advertise this, we're going to jump you ahead of all the underlings and the downlines and we're going to give you this whole," I forget what they call it, it's like a leg of the business. And all these guys on all these downlines are going to pay their bosses who run these mentorship group things, and those guys are going to kick up to somebody like me, and I'm going to advertise these mentorship groups. And when I'm like, "Huh, what are these mentorship groups about?" Not that I'm thinking of doing this, I just like to figure out how these things work.
[01:09:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[01:09:02] Jordan Harbinger: It's always some nonsense crap like this. Oh, these guys run Zoom calls with like 20 or 30 guys on them, and that's how they recruit their team. And I'm like, "But what happens in the call?" And it's like, "Oh, it's like a book club." Like, really? So these guys are spending thousands of dollars on toilet paper they don't need so that they're in a glorified book club that's not even as good as a regular book club because it comes with stress? Hard pass. Anyways, yeah. So not only am I anti-scam, I'm anti-MLM and MLMs are always a scam. There is not one that exists that is not, so far. Okay.
[01:09:33] Hope y'all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this week and everyone who listened. Thank you so much. Don't forget to check out our episodes with Tobias Rose-Stockwell on social media, why it keeps us angry and creates extremists and our Out of the Loop episode on Israel and Hamas if you haven't heard those yet, I definitely recommend those from this week.
[01:09:50] The best things that have happened in my life and business come through — it only took me five years to pronounce it right — have come through my network, the circle of people I know, like, and trust and who buy pallets of paper towels from me in exchange for mentorship. No. I'm teaching you how to build the same type of circle for yourself without the paper towels in our Six-Minute Networking course. It's free. It's not gross. You don't have to buy any shampoo. It's just over there on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. Dig the well before you get thirsty, build relationships before you need them. And hey, you don't even have to exploit those relationships for a shallow financial gain. You can find it all for free at jordanherbinger.com/course.
[01:10:24] Newsletter, Wee Bit Wiser, every Wednesday, a bite-sized gem from a past episode will flutter into your inbox. If you want to keep up with the wisdom of our, oh my gosh, 900-plus episodes, and apply it to your life, I invite you to come check it out. Sign up at jordanharbinger.com/news. Show notes and transcripts on the website jordanharbinger.com. Advertisers, deals, discounts, and ways to support the show over at jordanharbinger.com/deals. Our AI chatbot on the website to help you with everything as well. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn and you can find Gabe on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi or on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
[01:11:00] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions are our own, and I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show.
[01:11:15] Dr. Margolis's input is general psychological information based on research and clinical experience. It's intended to be general and informational in nature. It does not represent or indicate an established clinical or professional relationship with those inquiring for guidance. Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love, and if you found the episode useful, please share it with someone else who could use the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, I hope you can apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you learn, and we'll see you next time.
[01:11:42] You're about to hear a preview of The Jordan Harbinger Show with the godfather of influence, Robert Cialdini.
[01:11:48] Of course, as we know from being scammed over and over by everyone online or otherwise, all of these things can be engineered and we've talked about that on the show. We've had con men on the show who pull these levers, right?
[01:12:01] Robert Cialdini: They are levers of influence. They just flick a switch. And we respond automatically. Liking is one of the universal principles of influence. Because it works so well and so broadly across all these situations. There is also something called a horns effect. Just as there's a halo effect where everything around you, if you're good looking, If there's something negative about you, people then associate other negative things with you. So, we have to be sure that our first encounters with people are very positive.
[01:12:38] When you go into a new situation, when you don't know very much about the people that you're dealing with, expect the best from them. That allows you to be generous. And the consequence of being generous hits on three of the principles. First of all, people like you more. Secondly, they reciprocate the generosity with generosity of their own. And when they've done that, when they've given to you, they've made a decision about making a commitment to your partnership. It's costless, and the other thing it does, besides producing a gift that you've given to people, and the obligation to give back that goes with it, you've established yourself as an authority. And authority is another one of the universal principles of influence. Whatever your business is, you give first.
[01:13:37] Jordan Harbinger: For more on Robert Cialdini's universal principles of Influence that will turn you into an unstoppable persuasion machine, check out episode 507 on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:13:50] Mandy Matney: Family patriarch and disbarred prosecutor Alex Murdaugh was convicted of the brutal murders of his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul, in March of 2023.
[01:14:02] My name is Manny Matney and I have been investigating the Murdaugh family since 2019. The justice system can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be because we all want to drink from the same cup of justice and it starts with learning about our legal system.
[01:14:19] Catch our new show, Cup of Justice, with tales from the newsroom and the courtroom. Liz Farrell, Eric Bland, and I invite you to get an entertaining understanding of this case and others. You will love Cup of Justice shows on the new feed. Together, our hosts create the perfect trifecta of legal experience, journalistic integrity, and a fire lit to expose the truth wherever it leads. Search for Cup of Justice wherever you get your podcasts, or visit cupofjusticepod.com.
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