It’s not a request; it’s a demand from the brother who sexually abused you when you were eight in a family that gaslighted you about the whole thing: “You will speak at my wedding.” Maybe he thinks you’re too spineless to say anything that will embarrass him, but the truth is that you’ve been diagnosed with complex PTSD and the thought of speaking at his wedding at all fills you with dread. On the other hand, being the only sibling to refuse would also cause drama you don’t want to deal with. How do you balance being genuine with not calling someone a cruel person on their wedding day? We’ll try to find an answer to this and more here on 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:
- Should you speak at the wedding of your brother who sexually abused you when you were eight, or be the only sibling to refuse and cause unwanted drama? [Thanks to clinical psychologist Dr. Erin Margolis for helping us with this one!]
- If you have a physical feature that might surprise someone you’re meeting for the first time (like, say, type IV radial club hand), how can you put everyone at ease and defuse any potential awkwardness ahead of such a meeting?
- In spite of going above and beyond in your leadership role during the pandemic, your boss “doesn’t believe” in giving you a 5/5 star rating on your review because there’s always room for improvement. On the other hand, you’ve been criticized for giving a subordinate a 3/5 for meeting expectations. If 4/5 is the best you can expect for exceeding expectations, how is such a system fair for anyone?
- Your dad spent 10 years in prison. You’d enjoy making up for that lost time by watching movies and other low-key activities together, but he wants to party and go bar hopping (even though you’re under the legal drinking age). How can you get him to reel in his wilder tendencies that make you uncomfortable without hurting his feelings?
- At the end of the month, you’ll be laid off from the company where you’ve worked for 15 years. If you’re able to secure interviews for future job prospects before then, would it be dishonest to negotiate from the more powerful position of being currently employed?
- Documentary recommendation of the week: Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art [Many thanks to Fruit of the Loom for its sponsorship of this segment!]
- 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.
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Resources from This Episode:
- Julia Galef | Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don’t | Jordan Harbinger
- Kevin Kelly | 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future | Jordan Harbinger
- Dr. Erin Margolis | Thrive Psychology Group
- 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser (with Science) | Science of People
- Dr. Sue Johnson | Website
- Should Siblings Unite to Confront Abusive Parents? | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Radial Club Hand | Great Ormond Street Hospital
- Defusing the Drama Around Your Intoxicated Mama | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Online Dating With A Disability | BuzzFeedVideo
- Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art | Netflix
Already Dreading Your Abusive Brother’s Wedding | Feedback Friday (Episode 538)
Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Today, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, my compadre in consultation, Gabriel Mizrahi. 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. So we want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how amazing people think and behave. And our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. So you can get a much deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening, even inside your own mind.
[00:00:36] If you are new to the show on Fridays, we give advice to you and answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of absolutely amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, and performers. And if you're joining us for the first time — welcome — or you want to tell your friends about the show — thank you. We have episode starter packs. These are collections of your favorite episodes, organized by topic. That'll help the new listeners get a taste of everything we do here on the show because there's like 500, 600 of these things now. So just go to jordanharbinger.com/start. That'll get you started. Everything's organized there. Let me know what you think.
[00:01:12] This week on the show, we had Julia Galef with some critical thinking skills to make us better at making decisions. We can never have too much of that in my opinion. And Kevin Kelly, this is from the vault on futurism, AI, and how technology can make us better humans. So make sure you have a listen to everything that we created for you here this week.
[00:01:32] Also some of you have asked why on my Instagram, @JordanHarbinger, by the way, I don't post like, listen to the show. Here's a clip of the show. I do little screencaps of the guest on the day it releases and a swipe up link, and that's it. I don't do heavy promotion. A lot of people have said, "Oh, you're missing out. You're missing out." Honestly, I don't really think so. So I post a lot of funny stuff in my Instagram story to get y'all to laugh and to get myself to laugh.
[00:01:57] I look at it this way — and Gabe, you know, feel free to chime in here — I feel like there's too much FOMO where it's like, "I'm on a beach in Tulum, everyone." So I want to offer value and funny is value and stuff you all send me that I think is funny. Usually you guys know my humor and you send me the best stuff. So I repost. Because if I'm just making you feel bad, or if I'm posting motivational content, but it's really cheap and it's a dime a dozen, you can get it anywhere else. If I don't focus on personality and the behind the scenes stuff, and the funny stuff that I'm inadvertently creating more FOMO, where people are like, "Oh, Jordan's on a vacation or doing something cool. And I'm just like in my office, my home office, or I'm cat-sitting or changing a diaper or not sleeping at three o'clock in the morning because of anxiety." I don't want to do more of that. So I'm not trying to create a personal brand that encourages you to purchase more crap or consume more. Yes, we have show sponsors, but I'm not like posting, I don't want a lifestyle brand. I just want to give you a laugh and remind you that I exist and I'm here for you in my DMs and on the podcast. Does that make sense, Gabe?
[00:02:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, a hundred percent. Actually, that's what I like about your Instagram. I feel like I'm not being co-opted and that you just make me laugh. Tell me about a cool episode. And then we move on with the rest of our lives. I like that.
[00:03:09] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly, look, and we've done episodes on this, but a lot of these people who are posting, like "I'm in Tulum. I'm on a private jet." Those mofos are broke as sh*t half, not half the time, 90 percent of the time.
[00:03:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: I will stop doing it. I get it. I'm sorry.
[00:03:22] Jordan Harbinger: Yes.
[00:03:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: It was just like, you know, it was a—
[00:03:24] Jordan Harbinger: We know you're just looking through a toilet seat. It's not a private jet window. Yeah, there's a lot of that and there's too much of that. I don't want to be a part of that. So funny stuff it is, and you know, here's the latest episode and you can DM me. That's the message I want to convey on Instagram. And I do answer all my DMs because I have no life.
[00:03:39] Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:03:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. I experienced sexual trauma at the hands of my brother when I was eight and he was 11. While we both got a few months of court mandated therapy at the time, my parents told me not to tell my grandparents or anyone else about what had happened. So I grew up with this hanging over my head and nobody in my family ever addressed it. On top of that, I've recently realized that what I thought was just being the butt of family jokes was actually years of verbal abuse and severe gaslighting. For example, my brother once made loud crow kind noises while babysitting me. When I asked him to stop, he tried to make me think that I was insane and hearing things.
[00:04:18] Jordan Harbinger: Wait, like bird noises, like—
[00:04:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, like, "Caw, caw."
[00:04:22] Jordan Harbinger: "Caw," okay, that's just not — that's ridiculous.
[00:04:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: 15 years later, he still loudly caused me to get my attention even in public. He also wants lit my hair on fire on the day of a dance. So my hair would smell like smoke.
[00:04:35] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, charming.
[00:04:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: I've been diagnosed with complex PTSD. I'm slowly working through everything in therapy and I'm taking medication. My brother is now getting married in a month. And today I got a group text telling me and my other siblings that we are all speaking briefly during his ceremony. He didn't ask, he told us. I'm supposed to talk about his relationship with his fiancée, who I've met twice, but who seems very nice. I don't talk to him outside of major holidays, so I don't even know much about their relationship. I don't usually say no to things in general. I want a good relationship with him, but I've never discussed our past with him. I was waiting to do that until after the wedding. How do I balance being genuine with not calling someone a cruel person on their wedding day? Do I turn down the speaking part, even though all my other siblings are doing it and make drama? If so, how? Signed, Speaking Up.
[00:05:22] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. This is a really extraordinary situation and there's a lot going on. First of all, I want to start by saying you have been through something seriously traumatizing here. Like we might make light of the bird calling, even though it's dumb, but the abuse itself, of course, is what we're talking about. And then having your family force you to keep it a secret at such a young age and then sweeping it under the rug so that everybody can be "okay". And then on top of that, now, you're the emotional scapegoat of the family. So this is a very complicated childhood. I can only imagine how intense it must be to process these experiences. So I'm guessing a lot has come up for you in therapy, especially when you realize that you were not the problem, your whole life, your family was the problem. And the fact that you're doing this work, the fact that you are finding the help you need and taking care of yourself, I think that's remarkable. I want to give you props for that, pat yourself on the back for getting that far. It takes a lot of courage to do what you're doing, and I'm proud of you for that.
[00:06:17] As we often do we consulted on your story here with Dr. Erin Margolis, a clinical psychologist and friend of the show, to get an expert's perspective here. And the first thing I want to say is this. Your family's situation, it's obviously complicated, but deciding whether to speak at your brother's wedding, this part seems straightforward, thankfully. If you don't want to give the speech, you don't have to give the speech. End of story. You don't know anybody, anything, especially, by the way, your brother who has hurt you in the past and to some degree continues to hurt. You are allowed to set your own boundaries here. Okay. If you said, "Thank you for wanting to include me, but I'm sorry. I'm not comfortable speaking at the wedding." That is not making drama.
[00:06:59] And as Dr. Margolis pointed out, if your family tells you, you're making drama by turning this down, that is part of the same pattern of gaslighting that you described in your life. So I would seriously consider drawing this boundary if that's what you feel you need to do. It is absolutely your right. You're more than allowed to. And know that if you say, "Yeah, no, this is messed up. I'm not giving a speech," and your family then lashes out at you in response and tries to guilt trip you. That's okay. That is to be expected. That is not a reflection on you or of you, or whether you've got any right to draw the line here, drawing boundaries after years of relating to people in a certain way, usually provokes some kind of response.
[00:07:39] That's exactly why boundaries are so important, right? It's people pushing your buttons, testing those boundaries, but I also know that asserting yourself is going to be scary for you, right? It's easy for me to say, but it's harder for you to do. And as you put it, you don't usually say no to things in general. Dr. Margolis zeroed in on this as well. This sense that maybe you still have some guilt or some shame that you're not allowed to do something or be "bad" in your family. Just saying how you actually feel, trusting that people will take you seriously, that doesn't seem like it's alive in your family. And so now your default mode is just to be people pleaser and I get it. I understand why you became that. But Dr. Margolis, she actually explained something really fascinating to us about people pleasing, which is that people pleasing, keeping the peace, keeping things on an even keel, whatever you want to call it, that is often a trauma response.
[00:08:29] It's a way that we learn from a young age to make sure that nobody gets mad at us. Nobody alienates us or distant points us or withdraws their affection or disapproves of us, whatever it is because we're kids. We need those connections to stay safe. And so we'll do anything we can to maintain them, even in abusive situations including abandoning ourselves in the process. So this impulse to say yes to everything, it makes total sense. Dr. Margolis helped us see that this was probably how you learn to cope as a child. And it probably worked pretty well for you back then. It was basically a way to protect yourself from the abuse and the aftermath of the abuse and this difficult role that your family put you in, by the way. You didn't jump into it willingly. They put you there, but now as an adult, you don't need your parents the way you needed them back then, not in the same way. You don't have to continue to abandon yourself to stay in their good graces or avoid setting your brother off. Now, that strategy is keeping you stuck and it's causing more harm than good because it's preventing you from taking your own needs seriously, and then setting those healthy boundaries.
[00:09:33] In fact, Dr. Margolis mentioned a quote by Sue Johnson, another great psychologist, which basically goes like this, "What starts as protection can become a prison." And I thought that was really insightful because it describes a lot of what's going on for you right now from the sound of it. So part of the work you can do with your therapist now is to work through those feelings, anger, guilt, fear, whatever it is. And start to empower yourself to get out of that outmoded prison. For example, by saying thanks, but no, thanks to the speech. And as they say, the door is open, but you have to walk through it. And that can be really hard. It takes a lot of courage, a hell of a lot of vulnerability, at which you might not be used to, because it's not comfortable in your family, but it is absolutely doable. And I think it's going to be liberating for you to put your foot down on this one.
[00:10:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree completely, Jordan. I can only imagine how scary it must be to stand up to these people. These people, this family, after so many years of playing along with their bullsh*t, but I get the sense that she is actually really ready to do that. It sounds like she's come a very long way. She's thought about this deeply, here's this opportunity. So I really do hope she takes it, to rewrite some of this stuff, but I'm also thinking about your brother here. That's a very tricky relationship. You mentioned that you do want a good relationship with him that you were waiting until after the wedding to discuss your past. I could see that being an important step for sure. But I also do wonder what your goal is there, because if you're expecting to have a big, you know, come to Jesus, talk with your brother where you tell him what happened to you. He breaks down. He says, "Oh my God, I'm so sorry. I can't believe—" you know, you guys have this real moment and he starts treating you the way he should. And you get the closure that you're hoping for. I mean, sure, that's possible. Maybe your brother has grown a ton over the years. Maybe he's ready to have that conversation, but then he's still freaking cawing at you like a bird in public. So I don't know. I'm guessing maybe not. Maybe that is realistically possible right now.
[00:11:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, no, I don't get the sense that this guy is going to be super open or contrite. Look, I don't know him, but I know we're focusing on her here, but it's worth pointing out. Her brother is clearly wrestling with some stuff of his own, okay. A kid who does this kind of stuff, abusing his sister sexually, making her think she's crazy, lighting her freaking hair on fire. I don't want to speculate too much. Who knows what happened to him? He might have been abused himself or he might have some other mental health issues that he's dealing with right now. He might just be super angry and traumatized in some other way and was working that out through her. So on that level, I have some very minimal amount of compassion for him in the context of this question, but it doesn't excuse anything he did to her whatsoever. It's horrifying. But there's almost certainly some trauma going on there too.
[00:12:09] So I guess my point is people who do what your brother did. They're not the most psychologically healthy people and that's who she'll be dealing with in this conversation/situation, right?
[00:12:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:12:20] Jordan Harbinger: She's not dealing with like a rational, healthy actor, who's going to go, "You know what? That was messed up. I am so sorry. Let's hug it out and be totally normally, and adopt a pattern that we've never had in our entire lives right now."
[00:12:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly. So my only advice is just to get clear on your expectations for that conversation when it does happen, if you want to say some things to your brother for your benefit, so that you can get them off your chest, you can finally own what happened to you in a new way. We are totally on board for that. But if you're hoping to get something out of him, if you're hoping that he will say something that he hasn't said before, that something profound will shift between the two of you. It is possible, but I would be very realistic about what you can hope to achieve with him at this point.
[00:12:59] And Dr. Margolis also touched on this. She pointed out that that would be another great thing to talk about with your therapist so that you can have a plan for before and during and after this conversation, and you can develop a ton of coping skills, you know, have those ready so that if this conversation does get intense or you get activated in some way, retraumatized, whatever it is, you are prepared for that. And look, if you decide not to talk to your brother, that is okay too. That does not mean you can't continue to work through this trauma, heal without him, it's totally possible. That is your work to do.
[00:13:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, man, Gabe, it's just wild. In one way, I feel absolutely awful that our family is sort of forcing her to make a speech at her abuser's wedding. Forget that it's her brother. I think that's beyond the pale, but in another way, the fact that it's so extreme in a way that's kind of good. I mean, hear me out on this, right? Because it's so crazy that she can't deny it to herself, that this is insane, right? It's like one more wake-up call. That's making her realize just how effed up this is, how her family has denied her experience all these years, how little regard they have for her pain and her autonomy. They just want to forget the whole, like, they want to forget all the difficulties. And they're expecting other people to do it too, including the victim, which is total bullsh*t. So this wedding speech, it's like a crucible, you know, like a test. "Will I finally stand up to these people? Will I finally say what I want to say and what I want to do, and can we finally put this bullsh*t charade to bed?"
[00:14:26] And my hope for you is that you get to do that. I know it's hard. It's probably one of the hardest things you'll ever have to do, but I'm not sure it's harder in the long term than playing along with these toxic patterns. So you can do this. We're sending you good thoughts in all of our confidence here. You've come a really long way and that's incredible. So keep going.
[00:14:44] By the way, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep your emails concise. Try to use a descriptive subject line that makes our job a lot easier. If you can, tell us where you are state, country, that helps us give you even more detailed advice sometimes. So if there's something you're going through, any big decision you're wrestling with, or you just need a new perspective on stuff like the life, love, work. How to confront your abusive parents later in life, like we talked about last week, I feel like we've got a theme going here, Gabe. Whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up email@example.com. We are here to help. We keep every email anonymous.
[00:15:21] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
[00:15:25] This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help online therapy. Some of us are starting to see the light at the end of this COVID tunnel. A lot of us are still feeling down, a little bit emotionally out of sorts. You might not feel depressed or at a total loss, if so, congratulations. But maybe if you're feeling a little bit off, your relationship is suffering, that is actually a sign that you should talk to somebody. Don't let things spiral downward or out of control, whether you're feeling anxious, struggling with the career stuff, relationship stuff, sleep stuff, online therapy can help. It sure beats driving across town and parking. And it definitely beats just ignoring the problem. Visit betterhelp.com/jordan. Fill out a questionnaire. They'll hook you up with the therapist. In a couple of days, you can set up your secure weekly video phone, or even live chat sessions with your therapist and better help is committed to facilitating great matches. So if you don't click with your therapist, no big deal, get a new one. No extra charge.
[00:16:16] Jen Harbinger: Online therapy is convenient and more affordable than in-person therapy. And our listeners get 10 percent off your first month of online therapy at betterhelp.com/jordan. That's better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan.
[00:16:28] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Firstleaf. We all have that one essential that's an absolute must this time of year. For many, especially my father-in-law, it's wine. Don't tell him I said that. Summer is all about having fun. So keep the good times going with equally good wine. My father-in-law's weekly golf games, he does this thing afterwards with his buddies. They get together with a few bottles of wine, throw down some Mahjong. Since we get incredible wine shipped right to my door from Firstleaf, I get brownie points by gifting them bottles of our summer staple. So Firstleaf is a wine that curates and ships bottles of wine that are perfect for you. And Firstleaf gets better with each box because every time you rate the wine you receive, Firstleaf learns more about your palate, what notes and type of wine you like. So the more wines you rate, the more personalized your selection. So think of it as like a wine algorithm, machine learning, except the machine is your tongue. And they're award-winning wines at 60 percent off retail. So you just answer a simple questionnaire so Firstleaf can curate the first bottles. I love that it shows the points in the awards for the wine. So you know that it has expert approval. Our box literally arrived in two days.
[00:17:29] Jen Harbinger: Whether you're by the water, grilling with friends, or taking it easy at home, Firstleaf is the perfect summer staple. Join today and you'll get six bottles of wine for $29.95 and free shipping. Just go to tryfirstleaf.com/jordan. That's six bottles of wine for $29.95 and free shipping at tryfirstleaf.com/jordan.
[00:17:49] Jordan Harbinger: And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:17:54] All right. What's next?
[00:17:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey gang. I was born with something called type four radial clubhand, which means my right forearm is about half the length and overall size of my left forearm and I have four fingers on my right hand. I had several operations as a kid to correct as many of these issues as possible, but there was only so much that they could do, so I've had to learn to live with the claw. In spite of this, I haven't let it slow me down and physically there isn't much I have trouble doing. I've become quite comfortable with this part of myself as I've gotten older. I don't really have many friends, but thanks to therapy and some meetup events before the Panny D, I've worked on my social anxiety to the point where I now only have a mild heart pounding moment before I meet someone new. I've been planning on trying my hand at online dating after I get vaccinated for the Rona and I plan to make sure my arm is visible in my pictures. I don't want to surprise someone if I can help it. I did that once with the first date when I was less comfortable with myself and I didn't show my whole body and pictures. Needless to say, there was no second date. Also, this is my right hand. So shaking hands can be a little awkward. I regularly catch people trying to get a look at my arm out of the corner of their eye and I can't help, but feel like they're uncomfort. I've heard you mentioned on the show before that making a mention of something early yourself can help people feel more comfortable, but I'm not sure when to do that. Should I say something like, "Beware, the claw!" when I stick my hand out or should I only say something if the other person appears uncomfortable? And how does this translate to online introductions, say, on a dating app? Basically, how do I show that I'm comfortable with my arm and help put other people at ease? Signed, Let Them Know, or Keep It on the Down-Low.
[00:19:27] Jordan Harbinger: This is a really thoughtful question. And by the way, Gabe, you can tell they named these kinds of disabilities or whatever you want to call it, these types of conditions hundreds of years ago, because who would ever like, "Oh, we're going to call it clubhand." Like, that's just so—
[00:19:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's some 1910 sh*t.
[00:19:42] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Like, it's something you do when you're so clinical that you have absolutely no sense of how this is going to affect people with that particular condition, right? Like it makes no sense. I do think this guy's really funny. This is a thoughtful question like I said. It sounds like you've come a very long way with respect to your disability. And I know it isn't easy. Any disability presents its own unique challenges, but the fact that you haven't let this slow you down, the fact that you're even able to talk about this openly, that's a big deal. Usually when people are right in about a challenge like this, like the guy who wrote in a few weeks ago about the loose skin he has after losing a ton of weight, how to bring that up when he's dating, our main advice is to work through the feelings around it, accept that fully. Find a more helpful story around it and then integrate that into your personality. So maybe have a listen to last week's Feedback Friday as well, but you've already done a lot of that work, which is amazing. You still have some residual feelings about it. Like when you feel people eyeing you, which is totally normal, it sounds to me like you're able to talk about this with a lot of comfort and even some humor. And I think that's a huge asset.
[00:20:42] So look, obviously you have a couple options here. You can continue to hide your arm and photos, and then surprise people when you meet in person. The upside, they get to know you a little before you have this conversation. You don't prematurely disqualify people who might write you off unfairly, in my opinion. The downside, maybe they feel manipulated or lied to, maybe you feel inauthentic or anxious before the date. And then either way you run some risks, right? They're both legitimate choices. And I wouldn't hold it against you for doing one or the other. That said, I do admire your decision to show your arm and photos that speak to your personality in a really cool way. And I think that's probably the best way to own the situation from the start.
[00:21:20] So my main piece of advice is just this. I would prepare a little story or statement to go with your disclosure. That could be something you include in a prompt in the dating app, where it could be a caption to your photo, or it could be something you share when you start texting with someone. And basically it should say something to the effect of, "If we meet, I want to share something with you. And this is something I tell everyone I go out with. I've got a physical disability, not a huge deal. It hasn't stopped me from doing anything I want to do. It's just a quirk that I deal with. Mostly, I just look like a drunk toddler when I waved goodbye with my right hand." You know, like throwing a little joke like that if you feel comfortable and then say something like, "Anyway, hopefully that's not a deal breaker. Looking forward to meeting you. And if you want, I'll tell you all the funny sh*t that's happened to me because of the claw." Something like that.
[00:22:04] Now, look, I know this is unconventional advice. Usually I wouldn't tell somebody to make light of their condition without knowing where they are mentally, emotionally, but you've come such a long way in accepting yourself from the sound of it, in the letter here. And that tells me you're probably in a place to be a little playful about this aspect of yourself. And if there's one thing that disarms people, if there's one quality that will endear you to them, it's almost always humor, okay. If you can be a little self-deprecating, that'll send all the right signals. It'll make you look candid, open, secure, confident. It'll put other people at ease and it'll help them see you as more than just this one quality. They'll see you as funny and authentic and a unique person, which you are.
[00:22:43] I had a buddy, really a funny guy. He was three-feet tall and he was in a wheelchair and he had this bone deformity. So his chest popped out really far and, of course, it was really obvious because he was three feet tall and in a wheelchair that there was something going on, but we would bring them out to clubs and go dancing. And women who were like intoxicated would say, like, "What's the deal with you?" And he'd say, "I see you eyeballing my chest boner," because he had a chest bone that popped away out and he'd call it the chest boner. And so women would just like, they'd be laughing, they'd be flocking around and dancing around him. And it was just really funny and he was very candid about what everything that was going on. He didn't try to hide it. He didn't try to pretend like it wasn't. You know, he really just sort of called it out and then dispensed with it. And that was it. It didn't take over his whole identity as well.
[00:23:29] And I want to mention that as well, because I'm a fan of the whole, beware the claw idea, when you offer your handout, something like that. There's probably a better joke there, workshop it. You know if someone said that to me, I'd probably laugh and think, "This guy is totally comfortable with him. He's even more comfortable with himself than I am sometimes. I want to get to know this guy." But you know, there is a fine line between being funny and being a clown, so I wouldn't be obnoxious or create a whole identity out of this, like I mentioned before. Your goal is just to call it out so people can move past it. And then get to know you as a person. Maybe you offer your left hand to shake, and then you lift your right one and say, "Sorry, this is a bonus arm." Have a little shtick, but don't make it the whole show. So that's what I would do. Own it, call it out early, but do it in a way that's playful and self-assured, not overly engineered. And then focused on getting to know the other person and then just letting them get to know you as well.
[00:24:19] If you do that, I think you're going to hit the right note. And look, obviously, there's going to be people who meet you and go, "Sorry, I'm not into it. I'm totally shallow assh*le," you know? Right. I'm not going to sit here and pretend that disability biases don't exist. But when you find that one person who swipes right because you're funny or wants to go on a second date with you because you're kind, and you're interesting, and you have a unique perspective on the world, that's the person you want to be. So I'd think of it like that. You're filtering in the people you want by owning this part of yourself and you filter out all the people who just can't see you as anything else, which ultimately that's what we should all be trying to do, whether we have a disability that's visible or not. So good luck, man. I love your attitude. I wish you the best.
[00:25:01] All right, next up.
[00:25:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I'm in a senior leadership role at my company and recently had my annual review. While I got the promotion I wanted, I was disappointed that I didn't receive the top rating of five, which means far exceeds expectations, even though my efforts allowed the company to adapt to the chaos of last year, including upgrading our technology, keeping informed of state and federal regulations, and creating policies for everything from telecommuting to daily cleaning to COVID mitigation in case of an outbreak. All of this on top of my day-to-day responsibilities of leading my department. I asked my boss what it would take for me to get a five and he said he doesn't believe in five ratings. That even though I went above and beyond and exceedingly difficult conditions, there's always room for improvement. Guys, I went from being disappointed to angry, despite all of my efforts and various accolades, I will never reach that far. Then last week, I completed the review for one of my employees, whose job is primarily data entry. She's dependable and accurate. She has a great attitude. She's all around a great worker, but there's nothing in her performance that moves beyond a three meets expectations, as every day she clocks in, does her entry, and clocks out. When I gave her the review, she said she was angry that she didn't get a five as she works hard all day. But in my view, that's the expectation of her job. Like my boss, I feel there's always room for improvement. There's a lot of opportunity for her to cross train or to learn a new skill but she has no desire to move beyond what she does, which is fine. She's good at her job but just at her job. My husband feels I deserve the five, but he said it's much easier for me to get it as I have a lot more opportunity given my leadership position. He said my employee has limited opportunity to go above and beyond in her role. And that I should have given her a higher rating as she's good at her job within its limitations. Am I being fair here? Should I have given her the higher rating? What really deserves a five-star rating? Signed, Five-Star Fiasco.
[00:26:56] Jordan Harbinger: Man, Gabe, this email is making me really glad that I don't work for a traditional company anymore. The fact that I never have to stress about how many freaking stars to give people, it's freedom right there.
[00:27:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. I'm definitely having some PTSD from my consulting days when I read this email. We had the same system at the firm I worked for. It was like one to five thing. And that determined your salary, determined your promotion. It also low-key determined how everyone else in the office kind of treated you. And also someone in the firm would have to advocate for you in front of the partners for your rating. Like some kind of dystopian council of elders. It was really bizarre. It was a whole thing.
[00:27:30] Jordan Harbinger: This is so annoying. The email itself is just annoying to hear because I'm annoyed for them. So like, "I don't believe in that." I've experienced something similar when people will give it, they'll be like, "I love the show. It's amazing." And they'll give it a four-star review, not the end of the world, because it doesn't actually affect me, but they'll go, "By the way, don't take it personally. I just don't believe in five stars." And I'm like, "Why? There are five available stars." And like, if you can't even imagine a show that's better, you're still giving me four stars. Like you're just not using the rating system correctly. That's all you're doing. So I'm kind of out of my depth seeing as I run my business from my house and I only occasionally put on pants, not exactly a one to five stars kind of vibe around here. So since changing out of my pajamas is an exceeds-all-expectations situation in this house, I think I'm going to have to hand it to you, Gabe. You want to take the lead here.
[00:28:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay. Yeah. Sure. Well, the first thing that jumped out to me from this email is like you said, how subjective this whole five-star system actually is. This woman's boss refuses to give her a five, which means far exceeds expectations, even though he agrees that she's clearly going above and beyond, but then he turns around and he's like, "Yeah, I don't really believe in five-star ratings. You went above and beyond, but you know, you can always go above-er and beyond-er.
[00:28:42] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That's just so punchable to say something like that, by the way. Right, so then five is this like mythical made up thing and just because the Lord room-for-improvement over here says so, but if she worked in a different department and killed it over there, she would get a five. I don't even get why that's useful.
[00:28:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's actually pretty messed up when you think about it, because the executives at this company, they are determining their employees, earnings, their livelihoods, their reputations. They're telling them all year long three means this, four means that, five means above and beyond. And those employees are performing with those standards in mind all year round. But if the rating system isn't consistent across roles, no matter where you fall in the company, then that does seem pretty unfair.
[00:29:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It's super unfair because five means perfect to some people. It means just above and beyond to others, whatever that means. So, honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of companies are like this, plus there's got to be a ton of politics at play here, or like catching somebody who doesn't really like you that much. And they have enough leeway to not go above and beyond for you. Like there's always politics going on.
[00:29:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: For sure. But if one supervisor gets to make up their own rules within their little fiefdom, like some kind of corporate Kim Jong-un, then people like this woman pay the price and then she has less incentive to work as hard next year. And then her rating might go down again and then she'll finally decide to leave for a different job. And then the company suffers. So this is actually a terrible policy.
[00:30:04] Jordan Harbinger: That's a good point, but isn't it also kind of exactly what she's now doing to this data entry person in turn.
[00:30:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay. So that's interesting. I mean, I'm not so sure about that. Like she said, this data entry person, she does have opportunities to go above and beyond. She could cross train, she could learn a new skill, but she's not. She's nice. She's dependable. She's good. But she's not wildly crushing it. Whereas the woman who wrote in is very clearly going above and beyond her role, at least according to her account. Their jobs might be totally different, but within every job, there's some version of above and beyond. And according to her, this woman, this data entry person, she's just not doing that.
[00:30:39] Jordan Harbinger: I hear you, but it is kind of the same. I feel like in the sense that the woman who wrote in, her boss is basically saying, "What you call above and beyond, I call it meets expectations because my expectation is that you should go above and beyond and crush it for me." And then she's turning around and telling her data entry person, "Hey, being accurate and dependable. That's amazing. But it's also just meeting my basic expectations." Either way, I feel like they're both imposing their own subjective standards here.
[00:31:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, that is a fair point. And that is exactly why this rating system is so corrupt, but I still think there's a difference here because if the data entry person did pick up a new skill and continue to do a great job, the woman who wrote in would give her a five, whereas her boss will never give her a five.
[00:31:20] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's a good point. At least the woman writing in believes that five exists. It's possible for someone who works for her to get it, yeah.
[00:31:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly, but then there's this thing that her husband brought up, that it's easier for her to get a five than it is for the data entry person to get a five because she's a leader in the company. I mean, that's a really interesting point.
[00:31:37] Jordan Harbinger: That's right. Part of the unfairness though, that's baked into the whole situation, right? I know I'm about to sound like a low-key communist or whatever right now, obviously I'm not. Y'all know I love me some free enterprise up to a point here, but in a certain way, the powerful people, the executives, they are in a better position to succeed within the system that they have created. Whereas this data entry person, she sits at her desk, she does this very concrete task. And even if she's the fastest and most accurate typist in the world, she's probably not really in an obvious position to, I don't know, like rewrite the department's processes or upgrade their technology or lead teammates. And even if she was she'd probably have to work a hell of a lot harder to carve that role out for herself. Whereas her boss, the woman who wrote in, her literal job description is to go above and beyond and outside the role because her job is not to perform a task. Her job is to lead, to improve the company, to find ways to take them into the future. There's more five-ness built into that role.
[00:32:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay. So that is a really great point, but then this woman's getting shafted by her boss as well. So they're both getting screwed by the system.
[00:32:41] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, exactly. Awesome. Meaningless corporate scorecard bullsh*t system.
[00:32:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's right. That's exactly right. But that's why they have to fix this rating system because it's creating this very damaging institutional injustice, dysfunction. I don't know how dramatic to get here, but the more we unpack this, the more problematic it starts to become. So to answer your question, are you being fair here? In a way, yes. In a way, no. You're being fair and that you do believe a five is attainable if your employee does certain things. If it's impossible for your employee to actually do those things, or she's not even aware of what those things are, then you're not totally being fair with her. She's operating under one set of assumptions and you're operating under another one, just like you are with your boss.
[00:33:23] So should you have given her the higher rating? I'm not sure. I don't know if that's really the answer. That's also a very hard question. I think the more important thing is to get a lot clearer with your employees about what these ratings actually mean going forward. So here's what I would do if I were. I'd sit down with your employees for five minutes, one-on-one at the start of the year and say, "Listen, here are our goals for the year. Here's what I expect of you. You want a three, do your job really well. You want a four, do your job super well and then some, but if you identify some ways we can save money or something like that, or if you pick up a new skill in another department or you tag team a few projects, or you send me a memo every few months with some ideas for, I don't know, like upgrading our tech, or we're moving a little bit faster. That's a five in my book. So it's totally up to you how much you want to do, but I just want to be very transparent about what these ratings mean. So there you go." And then not only will you get a better performance out of your employees because they'll know exactly what they need to do to succeed, you'll probably also avoid pissing them off at the end of the year. If they don't get the rating that they expected.
[00:34:20] Jordan Harbinger: I love that advice, Gabe, because in a perfect world, that's what her company would be doing across the board. Setting a standard, making sure everybody knows it, being transparent. So in fact, here's an idea. What if you do what Gabe recommended, make the whole rating system process more transparent within your own team and then see what the results are. Then if your boss keeps pulling this whole, "There's no such thing as a five bullsh*t," you go to the higher ups and you say, "Listen, I've given it a ton of thought. This is part of my role as this innovator leader. And I think our review process needs some work. I want to be part of the solution. Here's what I would do." And then you share some recommendations on making this whole system more consistent. And in that conversation, you can speak to your own experience that you created, right with your boss and your experience with your employees and help your company develop a rating system that's actually more fair. And maybe that's how you do right by your employees while also doing right and correcting this problem by yourself.
[00:35:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: That is a great idea. I mean, look, I love that idea. I would give that recommendation like a three Jordan, because it was definitely solid, you know, but just like, it just met my expectations.
[00:35:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I appreciate that. I give that feedback on my feedback at three as well, since you did the job, but you didn't really go above and beyond.
[00:35:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: You know, you're good at your job, Jordan, but you know, just at your job.
[00:35:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Okay. All right. All right.
[00:35:38] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:35:42] This episode is sponsored in part by BiOptimizers. We're expecting baby number two, as many of you know. And same as what we had with her first pregnancy, Jen's been struggling with leg cramps, little insomnia, but she's noticed a big difference on the days that she takes magnesium. Magnesium Breakthrough by BiOptimizers is an organic full spectrum magnesium supplement. That includes seven unique forms of magnesium. They've got a lot of five-star reviews saying they'd give it a hundred stars if they could within one month of use. I went from daily struggles with restless legs, poor sleep, to no struggles with any of it. I know that sounds dramatic. Jen has tried this. She definitely recommends the anti-left cramp, that is magnesium. Do not run to the store to get the first magnesium supplement you find. You need to get something high quality. That's why we're recommending Magnesium Breakthrough by BiOptimizers. Jen has tried it, leg cramp free. Just take two capsules before you go to bed. See how much more rested you feel when you wait.
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[00:38:40] Next up.
[00:38:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe, my dad is a wholehearted Midwestern country boy, who likes to drink, fish, and go to boating parties at the lake. He was also released from serving a 10-year sentence in prison two years ago. I'm his only daughter and sometimes I feel like his only friend. Before COVID, he got in a car accident that left him disabled. Despite his disability, he wants to enjoy wild activities with me, such as mudding, boat parties, and even bar hopping, even though I'm under the legal drinking age. I enjoy spending time with him, but I'd feel more comfortable making up for lost time if we just sat down and watched a movie together. I've also built a strong relationship with my cousins when he was away. And I feel guilty wanting to spend more time with them than with my dad. I've considered spending time with my cousins and my dad together, but my dad makes them uncomfortable by the way he talks and acts. I feel conflicted because I only visit them for a limited amount of time. And the people pleaser in me wants to make everyone happy. What would you do? Are there some ways I can tell my dad no, without hurting his feelings? Signed, Seeking Quality Over Quantity Without Losing My Sovereignty.
[00:39:43] Jordan Harbinger: This is a really interesting relationship you have with your dad. So it's sweet, it's touching, but it's also a little bit complicated because it sounds to me like you genuinely enjoy hanging out with him. He sounds like a fun guy. He really obviously loves hanging out with you, but on some level you also feel responsible for him. And like you said, sometimes you feel like his only friend, which you might be and you just want to make him and everyone else happy. That's a lot of pressure. I'm sure there's more going on there, but let's start with your dad.
[00:40:11] You want to make up for lost time. You know, Gabe, I'm doing the math and it's like, he was gone in prison for probably most of her childhood. Right? Especially the formative.
[00:40:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:40:20] Jordan Harbinger: So you want to make up for lost time. You can just don't love the same things. You'd rather stay in with them and watch Ford versus Ferrari or whatever. I don't know why that popped into my head. It seems like a dad movie or a movie dad loves. Maybe he's more of a Fast and the Furious type guy, something with cars probably. Either way, you'd rather do that than get wasted on a pontoon boat or go mudslinging in an ATV, which I totally get. You're allowed to have different interests from your dad, and that's totally fair. Honestly, the fact that you'd rather spend quality time with him than go bar hopping, it says a lot about you and it says a lot about the kind of meaningful relationship you actually want to have with him. And that should actually make this conversation easier than you might think.
[00:41:01] I would sit down with your dad and tell him how you're feeling. You know, you can say, "Listen, dad, I'm so happy to have you home. I want to thank you for spending so much time with me. I love hanging out with you too. I know you're into your country boy stuff, and that's totally cool. I want you to have fun, but I'm not really into that stuff as much as you are. What I'd really love is to have some more one-on-one time with you without engine noises, right? Maybe we can cook dinner. We can watch a movie when we hang out and then you and the guys can go get country crazy on your own. What do you think?" And then just let them respond, talk it out, reassure him that you're not judging him or rejecting him. You're just trying to make the most of your time together. And that's how you can say no without hurting his feelings. Because you're not saying no, you're saying yes, "But let's make our time together count and make it so we remember it," which he can't really argue with that.
[00:41:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly. Yeah. If she frames it that way I think he'll respond pretty well. And he'll probably be touched that she wants to spend that meaningful time with him because deep down that's what he wants as well from the sound of it. As for your cousins, I think you'll feel less guilty about spending time with them if you get the quality time you really want with your dad, but it sounds to me like you're also very concerned about making sure that everyone else in your life is happy, which is a thoughtful quality of yours, for sure. But I'm wondering, you know, what do you want, what about your priorities? Because those are valid too. You're old enough now to say, you know, "This is how I want to get to know my dad. This is how I don't want to spend a Saturday morning. Today, I just want to be with my cousins without my dad." You're not betraying anybody by being more assertive about what you want, even if it does feel that way sometimes.
[00:42:33] And look, I know it's uncomfortable when family members don't all get along, especially when you're very close to everybody. And there are little disagreements that can be hard. It sounds like maybe you have a little bit of, I want to say shame, maybe that's overstating it a little bit, but maybe a little shame about the way your dad behaves in front of them, the way your cousins see him. I get it, but it's okay for you to hang out with them separately. It sounds like in your mind, part of being your dad's friend is being responsible for him protecting his feelings, which makes it hard to be fully honest with him about how you want to spend. That's a tricky relationship to have with a parent. I think it speaks to some, like Jordan said, some complicated feelings for both of you. You feel responsible for him. Maybe he in some level expects you to be responsible for him. I'm not totally sure on the dynamics there, but I do sense that there's a little bit of enmeshment going on between the two of you.
[00:43:20] So here's something to think about. I wouldn't sacrifice your relationship with your cousins so that you can protect your dad's feelings, but at the same time, I wouldn't turn your back on your dad to go hang out with your cousins. You can do right by everybody in this situation and by yourself, if you just get a little bit more comfortable saying, "This is how I want to spend my time. This is who I want to spend it with. It doesn't make me a bad daughter or a bad friend or a bad cousin when I want to make those decisions for myself."
[00:43:47] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. She needs to learn how to not take all of these people's feelings on herself. And look, I'm sure if your dad who you love goes to prison and then comes back, you can't help, but feel responsible for him. It makes sense, but that's not the healthiest template to have with a parent. There's a better template. And it's about both you and your dad, recognizing that you are your own people with your own needs. And knowing that that doesn't make you guys any less close.
[00:44:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly. Right, they can have better boundaries and still be close. In fact, having those boundaries with each other, that's what allows them to be close, not out of a sense of obligation, which is maybe what she feels a little bit right now, but because they genuinely want to be friends and they can tolerate each other's different interests.
[00:44:27] Jordan Harbinger: But all this stuff is connected, right? The more meaningful time she spends with it. The less guilty she'll feel for not going drinking on the lake. The more she feels comfortable saying what she doesn't want to do, the less she'll feel like she has to choose between her family members. And then she'll feel more connected to who she really is more in control of her own life, which is — it's like the deeper question here, right? How do you have a relationship with dad and maintain your relationship with your cousins, and bear that the comfort of other people's feelings, and not sacrifice yourself in the process? That is the goal. And that's something we all have to learn how to do at some point in our lives. It'll take some practice. You'll get there, just be open and loving with your dad and you can't go wrong. In the meantime, I wish you guys the best. I think it's cool that you and your dad still have this relationship. And it's awesome that you both want to protect it. Just make sure that it's not holding you back from the rest of your life. Good luck.
[00:45:15] Gabe, 10 years in prison, man. That's pretty serious. That's a long time.
[00:45:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. And it would make sense that they want to make up for lost time. The stakes are high for getting this right. It makes sense.
[00:45:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, absolutely. All right next up.
[00:45:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hello, Jordan and Gabriel. I was recently informed that I'm being let go from my company at the end of the month after 15 years due to budget cutbacks. I have developed a pretty good network and built a respectable name in my area. So I'm actually pretty excited about getting back into the market. My question is this. If I'm able to secure any interviews between now and when I'm separated from my current company, how should I address why I'm leaving my current company after so long? I know that it's much more appealing to prospective employers when you're already employed. And I don't want to appear desperate, thus lowering my power in negotiating any offers. Any insight you can provide is greatly appreciated. Signed, Keeping the Upper Hand After Getting Canned.
[00:46:05] Jordan Harbinger: Good question. My gut instinct is it's best to embrace the truth here. If you lie about why you're leaving, you're probably going to feel anxious or imposterish during the interviews, which is like the last thing you want when you're trying to land a job. Or you'll be caught in this awkward position if an employer finds out that you're actually let go. It's interesting. It's kind of like the guy who wrote in about this, right? You can either hide the ball and risk alienating people when they do find out, or you can own it from the start with a great story. I know you want to have the upper hand here, but the more important thing right now is just being an awesome candidate landing a new gig. That is it. That is your job right now. And you can do that without fudging the truth about why you're in the market. So rather than stress about coming up with a clever cover, I would direct all of that energy into preparing for these interviews, building relationships, knocking the job search out of the park. And if somebody asks you why you're leaving, I would say something like, "Well, I've been at my company for 15 years. I'm really proud of all the work I did. Now, they're going through budget cuts. They're letting a bunch of people go. It's a bummer, but it happens. And I'm really excited to bring all of my experience to a company like yours." If you say that without trying to deflect, I promise it's not going to be as damaging as you think.
[00:47:18] If you crush it in the interview, the hiring manager is not going to be thinking, "Huh? I wonder what's wrong with this person that they were laid off with a bunch of other folks." They'll be thinking, "Well, all right, I'm happy this person was laid off. Now, I get to snatch him up." Obviously, if you're interviewing, after you leave your company, you have no choice, but to be up front. So why not just be an open book from the start? And in general, I think a lot of job candidates, they worry about the marketing, right? How to frame bad news? How to spin their weaknesses? And I get it sometimes you have to do that, but if you really want to compensate for a piece of bad news, the best thing you can do is invest in your skills, your network, your talent, and learn to tell your story in a compelling way.
[00:47:58] If you focus on that, you're going to have much better results. Gabe, I'm just thinking now also, what about asking the current company to keep him on the website? Keep his email active for just a few more months. You know, when I was with the law firm ages ago, they laid off like 56 people, the whole first year class. And they knew that was going to screw with our careers. So what they did is they said, "Look, we're going to confirm your employment, keep you on the website, keep your email active. You know, you can even use the office if you need to for like nine months." So that way we were always apparently employed while job searching and it wasn't like we got laid off or fired. They just let us ride.
[00:48:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Super nice of them. I mean, if this guy's company is willing to do that. Yeah, why not? Most companies probably wouldn't do that, but if he has a good reputation and it's no skin off their back. Yeah, no harm in asking.
[00:48:44] Jordan Harbinger: I've heard from salespeople as well that I've hired, I'll say, "Hey, you know, you're still on this website." This has happened a couple of times and they go, "Oh yeah, actually they're just keeping me on the website for now."
[00:48:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Cool.
[00:48:54] Jordan Harbinger: "I don't have the job anymore." And I'm like, "Wow. Okay." So I think it is a thing. I don't know how talk about it is and maybe it's industry specific. I really don't know, but I've heard of this happening. It doesn't hurt to ask. They might say, "Hey, we can't do that corporate policy, but if it's a company where you know the boss, the head honcho, they might say, "Sure, just don't delete your email. Okay, we're not paying. But we'll leave your bio up. And if somebody calls me and says, does he work there? I'll say, sure, you know, up until December. Fine, whatever, it doesn't matter. No skin off my nose," right?
[00:49:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: And he's been there for 15 years.
[00:49:25] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:49:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: So maybe, maybe he's earned it.
[00:49:27] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, at this point. Yeah, so good luck, man. We're rooting for you here.
[00:49:30] This documentary of the week is brought to you by Fruit of the Loom. Thanks to Fruit of the Loom for sponsoring the documentary of recommendation of the week. I also recommend looking in your underwear drawer and replacing the ones whose best days, let's just say, might be behind them. Look to Fruit of the Loom for that.
[00:49:44] I'm recommending Made You Look this week on Netflix. Now this is about fake art. And it is — if you like the art heist episodes that we've done on The Jordan Harbinger Show, some of the stuff is just fantastic. I mean, who doesn't love a good heist? This is more like con versus heist. So I won't give it away, but essentially a woman walks into a New York gallery with a cash of unknown masterworks and all of these people fall for it. And it kind of reminds me of how all these wine experts often fall for just trash wine and they say it's amazing. And these art experts can't verify anything. And it's like, did they know? Were they in on it? Or is this just them not being nearly as good at their job as they're supposed to be? So it's called Made You Look, it's on Netflix. I recommend it. And let me know if you think that she was in on it, or if she is just as much of a victim of her own hubris as everybody else in the scam. And I won't say you have to sit in your Fruit of the Loom just to watch this, but that's what I did.
[00:50:40] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this week and everyone who listened. Thanks for that as well. Go back and check out Julia Galef and Kevin Kelly, if you haven't yet.
[00:50:48] If you want to know how we managed to book all these great people and manage the relationship, I use systems and tiny habits. You can use this for your job search if you're in one. Check out our Six-Minute Networking course, it is free. It's on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. The course is short. The drills take a few minutes a day. It's a type of habit you can ignore at your own peril. I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. It's been great for me. Find it all for free, jordanharbinger.com/course. A link to the show notes for the episode is at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts in the show notes. Videos of our interviews, and some Feedback Friday on our YouTube firstname.lastname@example.org/youtube. I also have clips channel jordanharbinger.com/clips. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram, or just hit me on LinkedIn. And you can find Gabe on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:51:39] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions, those are our own, and I am a lawyer but I am not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. Dr. Margolis's input utilizes evidence-based psychological information. It's intended to be general, informational in nature. It does not indicate an established clinical relationship or replace treatment for anyone writing into this. Please follow up with a mental health professional who can provide feedback tailored to your unique needs. And remember, we rise by lifting others, so share the show with those you love. If you found this episode useful, please share it with somebody else who can use the advice that we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[00:52:29] Here's a preview of my conversation with one of Al-Qaeda's most respected bomb and poison makers who swore allegiance to Osama bin Laden himself. Here's a quick listen.
[00:52:39] Aimen Dean: We took so many prisoners, 80 of them were taken to a clearing and it was decided that there and then that these people will have to pay for the crimes of what they did. Seeing the bloodthirsty nature of people, who just until a year ago, I used to see them as sweet, tender, decent good people suddenly, basically became people who would use chainsaws to dismember these people alive. How could one year in Bosnia, one year of ugly conflict, turn these wonderful souls into ugly bloodthirsty individuals? When I went to sleep that night, all I could think about was, "How could I unsee what I've seen?"
[00:53:22] None other than the mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he said to us, "You should go to Afghanistan where the training camps are reopening to become good at bomb-making to become good at urban warfare, to become good at assassinations, at kidnapping. A new kind of war that will never be fought in the mountains anymore, but it will be fought in every urban center from the pole to the pole." Suddenly, you know, I thought that the nature of the war is changing from, you know, fighting in the mountains of Bosnia, I mean, basically we are talking about gassing people in cinema, nightclubs, and trains. Of course, that was unsettling, but I thought this is just the ranting of one insane individual.
[00:54:03] Al-Qaeda carried out its first serious attack against American interests. Everyone was jubilant in the camps. They were firing bullets into the air in celebration and shouting, "Allahu Akbar." We are no longer just a bunch of freedom fighters. We are now bonafide terrorists.
[00:54:25] Jordan Harbinger: To hear why and how Aimen Dean eventually switched sides from being a Jihadi to spending eight years as an MI6 spy trying to take Al-Qaeda down from the inside, check out episode 383 on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
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