Thinking back on how you’ve navigated your life, you’re concerned that certain human interactions reveal a tendency toward behavior that our former guest, behavioral expert Thomas Erikson, might categorize as psychopathic. Weighing the evidence for and against, you really want an answer to this question: “Am I a psychopath?” We’ll try to get to the bottom of 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 email@example.com. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- Weighing the evidence for and against, you really want an answer to this: “Am I a psychopath?” [Thanks to behavioral expert Thomas Erikson for helping us field this one!]
- Now in your thirties, you gathered the courage to tell your mother about the sexual abuse your stepfather inflicted on you as a teenager. Her response was to take his side and now they’ve moved out of state, essentially cutting you off entirely. You’re rightfully devastated. How can you move on from this? [Thanks to clinical psychologist Dr. Erin Margolis for helping us with this one!]
- Your otherwise model spouse has one or two episodes a year when overdrinking prompts him into hurtful ranting for which he’ll apologize the next day and all is forgiven. But what if he mouths off to the wrong person or says something that is truly unforgivable next time (like the upcoming holidays)? Is there anything you can do in the moment to bring him back to his senses?
- As a factory supervisor, you expect to hear certain blue-collar perspectives aired that would be considered unprofessional (or grounds for termination) in other fields, but it’s only gotten worse in today’s divisive political climate. Sadly, objecting to the employees and HR has gotten you nowhere. Hunting for another job during the pandemic would set you back in several areas of your life, but you feel powerless to improve conditions at your current position. What should you do?
- You’re an overwhelmed teenager in a rural community who has found solace in the act of cutting yourself with a razor blade. You know it’s dangerous and you told your parents you’re over it after they caught you, but you still crave the feeling. How can you actually get over the urge to cut yourself? [Thanks to Dr. Erin Margolis for helping us with this one, too!]
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
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Miss the conversation we had with Habits Academy’s James Clear? Catch up by listening to episode 108: James Clear | Forming Atomic Habits for Astronomic Results!
Resources from This Episode:
- Dennis Rodman | The Worm Is Back | Jordan Harbinger
- Andy Norman | The Search for a Better Way to Think | Jordan Harbinger
- Chase Jarvis & Jordan Harbinger | Your Network Insurance Policy | Jordan Harbinger
- Wendy Behary | Disarming the Narcissist | Jordan Harbinger
- Is It Possible to Assuage Narcissistic Rage? | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Surrounded by Psychopaths: How to Protect Yourself from Being Manipulated and Exploited in Business (and in Life) by Thomas Erikson | Amazon
- Thomas Erikson | How to Protect Yourself from Psychopaths | Jordan Harbinger
- Dexter: New Blood | Showtime
- Erin Margolis | Thrive Psychology Group
- Jason Sanderson | Podcast Tech
- Your Local Shelter Wants You! | Petfinder
- Self-Harm | National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
- Self-Harm | Crisis Text Line
- Find Support Groups | Mental Health America (MHA)
- Find the Best Self-Harming Group Therapy and Support Groups in Virginia | Psychology Today
592: Do the Math: Am I a Psychopath? | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Special thanks to our sponsor Glenfiddich single malt scotch whisky. You've heard me talk recently about Glenfiddich, the highly recognizable stag icon at the bottom of our show art. They've got a new body of work that aims to challenge the traditional norms of what it means to be wealthy and live a life of riches. Glenfiddich believes that beyond the material, a life of wealth and riches is also about family, community, values, and fulfilling work. These are the values that led Glenfiddich to become the world's leading single malt scotch whisky. On Feedback Friday, we're always trying to help solve problems that get in the way of you living your richest. More from our partners at Glenfiddich coming up later in the show.
[00:00:37] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, Gabriel Mizrahi. I got your cold man. I got your cold from last week. Yeah, now I got Dennis Rodmanitis or Rodmanitis or whatever we called it last week. Man, I just woke up, did a bunch of interviews, and then like felt myself getting sicker as the day progressed. And it's just one of those, one of those crash, I never get sick, dude, knock wood, but anyway, nobody cares.
[00:01:05] 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 — I don't know why I'm laughing at that so hard. I'm the one, that's sick — that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. 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 deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening, even inside your own mind.
[00:01:34] Now, if you're 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 just amazing people from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, performers. This week, we had Andy Norman on mental immunity, how we can keep our thinking free of diseases of the mind, so to speak. And also I was on Chase Jarvis Live where I got interviewed on a wide range of topics; namely, networking relationship development. So I decided to air that in the feed because I thought the episode went particularly well. Chase is a fun interviewer, a good friend of mine, so I wanted to plug this into the feed for all of you as well. So make sure you've had a listen to everything that we created for you here this week.
[00:02:13] We also got a really special email from a listener. Now, we get a lot of really great emails, but this one sort of hit different. Gabe, you want to read it.
[00:02:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:02:21] So somebody wrote in saying, "I wanted to thank you for doing what you do. Tonight, I will find myself sleeping alone for the second night in a row for the first time in five years. I could not be happier. I started listening to your show a couple of weeks ago on Spotify, even though I've always tried to be self-aware. Your show really opened up a lot of locked doors in my mind. One of those doors under a hundred pounds of chain and a 50-pound padlock was the fact that my relationship was controlling, toxic, and nearing a stage where the next thing to get broken in a fight may have been me. Thankfully, I have good people on my side and was able to get out with one of my three dogs and my two cats. All of my coworkers rallied people. I had met two or three times in my life, gave me a place to live. I've had people helping me nonstop. I've been as open and honest about my situation with the people around me, because I feel like it will help me heal. I'm really just here to give you a huge thank you. I'm alive. I'm safe and I'll never feel alone again.
[00:03:15] Jordan Harbinger: So this is amazing. You know, this is one of those — does anybody listen to Feedback Friday for anything other than schadenfreude and entertainment? And the answer is obviously yes. I mean, this isn't even a long time listener. This is somebody who's been listening just for a few weeks. So I love that. I love that impact. You know, what else I love about this message, Gabe is that — you know, when you're watching ESPN late at night? Which I never do, but you know, you see those documentaries and it's like a broke athlete and they go, "Man, you find out who your real friends are," or you're watching behind the music on VH1 in high school and it's like, the artist goes broke, and he's like, "What happened? All these friends I had." And they're all bitter about it. They always say, "You find out who your real friends are." This is the opposite experience, right?
[00:03:54] This woman found out that people she had met two or three times in her life gave her a place to live. You find out how much support you have that you didn't even realize you had until you ask for help. And this was my experience when I was restarting The Jordan Harbinger Show four years ago, not even four years ago. I was like, "Oh man, a lot of people are going to ghost me, probably." And I had people that I just didn't even remember who they were being like, "Oh, I loved your show," or, "Yeah, man, we met once at a conference three years back. I'm going to mail everyone I know about this on my email list or have you on my show and advertise your new show." And that was surprising.
[00:04:29] This woman had her colleagues stepping up, had almost near strangers stepping up. The other thing is when you're in a toxic situation, a lot of people tend to stay away from you because while you're in a toxic situation, right? "I don't want that to rub off on me. I don't want to be involved. I don't want to be in the middle." But once you decide for real, I'm getting out of this, a lot of people are like, "Yes, finally, I will help you." You know, they want you to get escape velocity. They didn't want to get involved if you were going to go back to your abusive relationship and then that now the boyfriends after you or the husbands after you and hates your guts and they have to deal with the fallout. But almost every decent human being is going to be willing to take somebody who's in a bad situation and help them if they think that that is going to work, right? If they think that there's a chance that their help is going to be well-received.
[00:05:17] So I just loved this message for so many reasons. I think it illustrates a lot of good points and also helps us realize that what we're doing is important. So I hope that everybody gets a little bit of value from this letter. And thanks so much to her for writing that and bothering to send that into us. I love it.
[00:05:33] As always got some fun ones and some doozies can't wait to dive in. Gabe, what is the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:05:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe, I'm writing to you because I'm afraid that I might be a psychopath. Without trying, I file away every human interaction I've ever had and how everyone reacts to different stimuli. What your psychopathy expert Thomas Erikson described as being able to pick things off of the shelf. My earliest memory of the problem is being in elementary school and forgetting to do my spelling homework. I claimed a paper that had no name on it as my own. An hour later, the teacher called me to her desk with another student who also claimed the paper. Without thinking, I insisted the paper was mine. The teacher decided to do a spelling test. I remembered how the words were spelled and matched the assignment closer than the other student. And the teacher ended up giving us both credit for the paper. I didn't feel guilt, remorse, fear, or worry. If anything, I felt powerful, powerful that I had outsmarted the teacher. On the other hand, I knew that what I had just done was wrong, despite it not feeling right. From that day forward, I essentially became an anti-bully, speaking up when textbooks got things wrong and teachers fail to equip students for the real world. When someone came to me with a problem, I could quickly diagnose what was going on and give them decent advice. This made me fairly well-liked, but I didn't have any emotional connection to the people I was helping. I didn't care about the consequences of intervening or fear lowering my social standing. One night at a party for example, I saw a young man trying to force a girl into a bedroom. Long story short, I had to be pulled off at a guy and spent a night in jail. I enjoyed the sport of fighting up until then, but that night was not sport. I honestly didn't care if I killed him. Fast forward many years, a marriage, four children, and nearly a decade of sickness, and I still feel like that wolf. Having recognized just how predatory my instincts are, I refuse to even use basic sales techniques or relationship building skills because they could be slightly manipulative. But there isn't a large job market without engaging those skills. At this point, I feel secure moving forward, especially because I've been open with my wife and asked her to keep track of my behavior and tell me if it changes. But what do you think? Am I, in fact, a psychopath? And if so, what should I do? Signed, Facing the Specter That I Might Be Hannibal Lecter.
[00:07:45] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Fascinating question. I appreciate your candor about all of this. I'm sure it's not easy to talk about and I admire your eagerness to figure out what's going on here. It's interesting. I think a lot of people walk around wondering if there's something wrong with them. I mean, I've done this before. Gabe, were you on, when I asked about intrusive thoughts and I'm like, "Does anybody else walk around and just be like, 'What would happen if I just jumped up on the table and smacked that person across the face?' And then you're like, "Wait, am I insane for thinking this?"
[00:08:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:08:12] Jordan Harbinger: And I remember talking about this on the show and like dozens of people wrote in and they're like, "No, doesn't everybody do that." And I felt a lot better after that. I think a lot of people have this bug in their head that there's something wrong with them, especially people who take an interest in psychology.
[00:08:26] You know, it's funny. I also remember a while ago I interviewed this famous expert on narcissistic personality disorder, and I got a ton of emails from listeners being like, "I just listened to your interview and a lot of what he described sounds just like me. What's wrong with me? Help. Am I a monster?" And of course, these people were not malignant capital N narcissists. They were just hyper aware of the standard narcissistic impulses that literally all human beings have to some degree. Kind of like how medical school students start thinking they have all the diseases their patients are coming in with, aka WebMD syndrome. And also how everybody who's like two months into a therapy program starts writing in and telling us everything that we're wrong about on Feedback Friday and all the terminology that we're using. And I'm just like, "Cool. We got our answer from a real therapist with like 20 years of experience. But tell me more about how we don't know anything."
[00:09:11] Anyway, so I don't think you're alone in worrying about something like this, but we wanted some insight from an actual authority, of course. So we consulted with your boy Thomas Erikson, behavioral expert, and author of the books, Surrounded by Psychopaths. We did a fascinating interview with him sometime back. That was episode 465. I highly recommend checking it out. If you want a great crash course in the psychopaths mindset. You can go to jordanharbinger.com/465. That goes for every episode, you can just type the number after jordanharbinger.com or after the slash, anyway.
[00:09:43] And the first thing Thomas said is that your letter, it contains some interesting contradictions. On one hand, you're being very open and blunt about your impulses. You say that you're lacking in guilt or remorse. You feel like a wolf to use your word. To confess that you didn't care if you beat another person to death, yeah, it's pretty disconcerting. Thomas agreed that probably isn't, quote-unquote, "normal" at the same time, though, you're telling us how fiercely you protect other people, how you make an effort to counsel them, how you actively avoid professional skills that even seem remotely manipulative, like aggressive sales tactics. You've even asked your wife to keep track of your behavior. You want to check your impulses. That is not exactly monstrous behavior, right?
[00:10:24] So are these psychopathic tendencies? Well, in Thomas's view, he doubts that. In his view, a psychopath wouldn't even see himself as a wolf. Psychopaths generally don't consider their own behavior at all. And they don't think that they act the wrong way. You seem to feel more. You're more in contact with right and wrong, but it does sound like you don't modulate your actions very well sometimes. So to quote Thomas, "A wolf can't act the wrong way. As long as he's behaving like a Wolf, he just is." And I agree with him here, reading your email, I'm not getting Dexter Morgan vibes. I'm not getting squirrel in the mailbox vibes. I'm getting a person who has complicated and sometimes dysregulated feelings about himself in the world vibes, which describes a huge number of people. These feelings might seem psychopathic, but that doesn't make you a psychopath.
[00:11:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. I'm having the exact same reaction. Yes, he's complicated. Yes, he's conflicted and he's done some things that are kind of questionable and maybe his moral compass is not always well calibrated, but this isn't like a guy who's like stalking people and might snap and murder somebody or like premeditated or anything like that. But if you're not actually a psychopath, then what is going on here? Well, hard to say for sure.
[00:11:38] One theory that Thomas proposed is that there might be some narcissism at play here. There does tend to be a lot of overlap between narcissism and psychopathy. He explained this to us, but according to Thomas narcissists, generally aren't as cunning or threatening as a psychopath would be. They're often manipulative, attention seeking, self-centered, but they're usually fully aware of what they're doing. To quote Thomas here, "Narcissism is less, I want to do this terrible thing. And so I just will, and it's more like I probably shouldn't have done that thing that I just did," which does seem to capture how you feel sometimes like with the spelling test or when giving advice became a way to get people to like you.
[00:12:13] Thomas also raised another interesting idea. And I do want to tread lightly here because we're just going off of one email. We don't really know your full story, but he did that there might, might be some attention-seeking behavior going on here. It's possible that you found an intriguing way to get a little bit of attention by displaying some very real problematic patterns and then writing into a show about it and getting them to talk to you about it and see if it lines up with your experience. If you are playing this up a little bit, and again, we're speculating here, but if you are, that is an issue too. It's just an issue in a different way, but we're not saying you're straight up lying or anything. We obviously have no way of knowing. You do seem sincere, but Thomas is getting at an interesting question, which is, is your perception of yourself as a psychopath? Is that serving some purpose for you? Is it, I don't know, maybe creating an identity that allows you to feel special or in need of attention? Does that status that you have as an outsider allow you to move through life in a certain way? Maybe without too much of an emotional investment, or maybe just in a sort of muted disinterested way that protects you from what might actually be quite intense feelings. That would be very interesting to explore, because even if it turns out that you're not actually a psychopath, the fact that you view yourself that way, that is still very meaningful.
[00:13:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, those would be great questions to explore for sure. They'll probably get you closer to resolving some of this stuff than trying to fix the psychopaths psychology or describing, because I don't doubt for a second that you're dealing with some very intense experiences, but you probably just need to work through them with a professional, understand where they come from, how they operate and find a more helpful explanation if there is one. So your situation is complex to say the least, but Thomas' opinion is that you're probably not a psychopath. Again, he's not a doctor. He hasn't even seen you in real life. So take that for what it's worth, but that should be assuring or reassuring.
[00:14:01] But there's still work for you to do. I'd find a good psychologist pretty much immediately. You might even want to look for somebody who has experience with psychopathy specifically and tell them point blank, what you are wrestling with so that they know how to approach you. And you can get an expert's diagnosis. That's really always going to be your best bet when it comes to stuff like this, but whether you're a psychopath or not, It sounds like you have a lot to talk about, especially the things that this fear of being a psychopath is holding you back from. So I'd make that a priority. Good luck with it, man. And good on you for being just self-aware.
[00:14:34] But, you know, Gabe, who definitely is not a psychopath trying to prey on your vulnerabilities? The amazing sponsors who support our show. We'll be right back.
[00:14:44] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
[00:14:49] This episode is sponsored in part by Blue Nile. Getting ready to pop the question? Need a holiday gift for that loved one in your life? Maybe a girlfriend, wife, mom, sister, daughter. Whether you're customizing an engagement ring or looking for fine jewelry to gift this holiday, at bluenile.com you can find a timeless piece like classic diamond stud earrings, elegant tennis bracelets, and so much more on bluenile.com. And with free two-day shipping and even options that ship same day for those of you that like to wait till the last freaking minute to move on something. I got Jen, a one-carat, total weight, diamond eternity ring that showcases a full circle of round brilliant cut diamonds set in polished 14-carat white gold. That's right. I got great taste. And Blue Nile's jewelry experts were helpful with all of my questions.
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[00:15:50] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Zelle. Zelle is a great way to send money to family and friends, no matter where they bank in the US. I like to travel light and rarely carry a wallet. So I don't even have a credit card on me. I pretty much have everything I need on my phone like most folks. Plus I can send money with Zelle just because it's so easy and fast. On a recent trip with a group of 18 folks, it was super convenient just having everyone split the cost of tours, restaurants, and taxi bills using Zelle. You can use Zelle to split the cost of a gift or chip in for a friend spot a or some other gift. What's great about Zelle is you don't have to download yet another app because it's most likely already in your banking app, since it's in over a thousand different banking apps as it is. The money sent goes straight into the recipient's bank account, typically in minutes between enrolled users. So look for Zelle in your banking app today.
[00:16:32] This episode is also sponsored by Klaviyo. If you're getting an online business off the ground, chances are you're pretty short on time and long on really big to-do lists. You also know that you need great email marketing to keep your best customers coming back, but where to begin? Save yourself some time by getting started with Klaviyo, the email and SMS marketing platform built just for e-commerce brands. It's fast and easy to use. Create a free account, and you can start sending messages and driving sales in under an hour. With over a hundred ready to go integrations, you can pull in unlimited data like customer shopping behavior, product recommendations, and just about anything else right away. And it even features built-in guidance to help you see bigger opportunities and keep improving your results. If you're in that space, definitely check it out. Get started with a free account at klaviyo.com/jordan. That's K-L-A-V-I-Y-O.com/jordan.
[00:17:20] Thanks for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us going. Who doesn't love some good products and/or services? You can always visit jordanharbinger.com/deals for all the details on everybody that helps support the show.
[00:17:33] And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:17:38] All right. Next up.
[00:17:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi Jordan and Gabe, I'm 32 years old. And my mother's husband sexually abused me from the age of 13 to about the age of 16. I finally found the courage to tell my mother about all this a few months ago, after all these years and her reaction was not what I expected. Initially, she asked her husband to leave our home. For the next two months, we spoke very little. She asked me to give her time to process, and she told my husband and me that she was staying with a family member until she figured things out. Little did we know she was actually moving to a different state with her husband. We haven't spoken in months and she refuses to take any of my phone calls. The last time she spoke with my husband, she told me that things are different from how I'm saying they happened. She doesn't believe that I'm as traumatized as I say I am. She doesn't understand why I waited all this time to say something and why I agreed to move back home if he did this to me. She thinks I'm doing this out of revenge because I never liked my stepdad. And I want a separate them. I am so hurt, angry, and confused. She has cut me out of her life, but I can't seem to do the same. Part of me is waiting for her to snap out of it and come back home. I'm having a hard time coming to grips with my new reality. I never imagined that the day I told my mother the truth, she would refuse to believe me and take her husband's side. How does someone move on from this? Signed, The Lone Survivor.
[00:18:54] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Well, this is a really heavy story you've shared with us and I'm so sorry you went through this. I can only imagine how traumatizing it is to be abused by your stepfather. That's heartbreaking enough, but then to tell your mom all these years later and have her basically just deny your whole experience is just doubly traumatizing. And I can hear from your letter how hurt and angry and sad you are about all this and that makes total sense. I get it.
[00:19:19] So, obviously this is very complicated territory. We wanted to consult with an expert on your situation. So we reached out to Dr. Erin Margolis, excellent psychologist, friend of the show, and Dr. Margolis' first reaction was similar to us, just very moved and heartbroken by your story. It's awful. It's violating. It's scary. Of course, you're going through a lot right now.
[00:19:41] She also pointed out that sadly, your mom's response to all of this. It's not uncommon for parents in this situation. As she put it to us, it's very hard for parents to accept a revelation like this, to accept that they hold some responsibility for bringing a person into their lives, who would harm their child. And some parents, instead of accepting that responsibility, they just turn around and blame their child. That does not excuse mom's behavior at all. It might give you some context, probably not as a surprise.
[00:20:08] But what really gets me, Gabe, is that her mother lied to her about going back to her husband and then they moved states?
[00:20:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:20:15] Jordan Harbinger: And I'm wondering if they were like, "We better get out of here because we can get prosecuted in this state. So let's move to another state. That's like not going to play ball." I don't know. I don't know how that works.
[00:20:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Maybe.
[00:20:25] Jordan Harbinger: But that's just extra sketch. You know, it's one thing to sort of go, "I don't know what to do. I need me-time." It's another thing to be like, "We need to escape," and then escaping with the actual perpetrator. She's choosing the stepdad over her own daughter and she didn't want her to know. And that's just mind blowing to me. To me that signals that on some level, she knows that her daughter might be right, but she just cannot bear acknowledging that to herself.
[00:20:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:20:49] Jordan Harbinger: Which, I mean, look, mom's obviously going through her own complicated process right now. I guess I have some compassion for the bind that she's in, but to me that's just unconscionable. Anyway, all of that stuff to say, you feeling so hurt and angry and confused, that makes perfect sense. Mom didn't protect you when you were a kid and this was going on under her nose, and she's not protecting you now as an adult when you're telling her this horrible thing happened to you. Not only that, she's straight up denying your reality in a way that strikes me as incredibly cruel. All of which Dr. Margolis pointed out, is probably bringing up a lot of feelings in the here and now, but also a lot of the feelings from the past that haven't been resolved.
[00:21:28] Now the real heart of your question is this strange conflict you're in now where you're heartbroken that your mom won't support you. You're confused and furious at her, but also you can't cut her out of your life. And man, I can really empathize with you here. No matter what your mom has done, she's still your mom. You still need her in some way. I mean, we all need our moms, even when they're imperfect or hurtful or even absent, that's a very big wound.
[00:21:55] And processing that wound and healing it, that's where a lot of the growth you're looking for is going to happen. And Dr. Margolis put it even more directly. In her words, "You clearly need to grieve your mother — the mother you thought you had, the mother you needed to have, and the mother that you wish you had now." And that's incredibly painful. Grief is painful and it starts with coming to terms with some very brutal facts. You can't undo what your stepdad did to you. You can never tell your mother what happened. You can never unknow how she reacted. That's up there with some of the most hurtful experiences you can have in life. To be abandoned by the one person who should be taking your side.
[00:22:35] I don't know if you're ever going to be able to cut your mom out of your life, the way your mother has done with you from the sound of it. But you are going through an irreparable shift with her. So Dr. Margolis's insight is that you won't heal from this by getting rid of the sadness and the longing for your mother. You'll have to start by acknowledging that those feelings are there. That they're valid, that they're painful, and that they might never go away completely. Those feelings are in response to a trauma like this that are part of being a human being. And you can be experiencing all of this grief and be realizing that your mother is not a protective figure for you.
[00:23:12] As Dr. Margolis pointed out. It's not one or the other. It's both. And that's part of the mind f*ck of accepting a situation like this in its entirety. So as much as you can, I would forgive yourself a little bit. Give yourself some grace for still wanting your mom right now. Of course, you still want the nurturing of a parental figure while you're processing what happened to you, even as you're realizing that she can't realistically offer that to you.
[00:23:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. That is so well said, Jordan, and all of that said it does sound like what you really want is to be free of this loop that you're stuck in. To use your words, "Part of me is waiting for her to snap out of it and come back home." But she's clearly not. I mean, not anytime soon anyway. Dr. Margolis zeroed in on this as well and her insight there was pretty dead on. As she put it to us, "That's a dangerous game to play." Those were her words. Because waiting for your mom to realize that you were right and that she made a grave mistake in all likelihood, that's a path to even more disappointment and a path to being permanently stuck in this phase of the experience. This new reality that you find yourself in right now, of course, it's difficult to wrap your head around it because not only are you a survivor of sexual assault, but you're a survivor without one of your primary support figures, which, you know, that's devastating. You deserve better than this. And you might not get that from your mother and there's no way around it. It's just a sh*tty place to be.
[00:24:29] So Dr. Margolis' approach to a situation like this is really about allowing yourself to have the feelings you're having and to trust that this is part of an incredibly difficult, but very necessary process of grieving. Your morning, your younger self. In addition to the mother, Jordan mentioned a moment ago. You're mourning the relationship you thought you had with her and your morning, your mom now. And the thing about grief — and we talk about this on the show a lot — it usually never goes away completely. It could ebb and flow. It might be better or worse from day to day. And with time, you will figure out how to channel that grief in more productive ways, but going through an act of abuse like this, that is not the kind of thing that you just put away one day and then never think about, again. This is something you have to live with and process and make meaning of. That's really the only way forward.
[00:25:13] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's right, Gabe. My heart kind of aches for this woman, but that's really her only option. It's time to confront, accept, and process. And if you're not there already, the best place, the only place in my opinion is in therapy. Find someone good, maybe somebody who specializes in trauma and abuse. And get the support you need, you do need it. You're worth it. I know that sounds corny, but this is a problem that is worth handling correctly.
[00:25:37] I'm so sorry, this happened to you, but I'm really proud of you for telling your mom the truth and owning what happened. That is such a crucial step. You seem like a very brave person. I mean, I really do applaud your behavior here, and I know those qualities are going to serve you very well in therapy and in the rest of your life. So we're sending you hugs from California. Good luck.
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[00:26:26] All right, what's next?
[00:26:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. My husband is loving and hardworking and we have a happy relationship. He's also extremely talkative and opinionated and hardly stops for breath at times. Sometimes leaving out of group conversations. I'm used to this though. If he wants to stage, let them have it. The problem is that when he drinks too much, his mouth runs away with him. The non-stop talking occasionally turns into a nasty rant, directed at me where he can say some very hurtful. I don't argue back. I think it's best to ignore him. Then the next day he apologizes. But recently this happened with someone else, he was not provoked, yet he decided to put down someone else's opinion and he would not shut up. If I discreetly kick him, he just calls me out like, "She's kicking me to shut up, but I won't." I can tell him over and over to stop, but he won't. Once again, the next day, he's always sorry. I know it's the demon drink that propels the ranting, but we both like to occasionally drink. And this only tends to happen a couple of times in a year when he has undoubtedly had too many. One day though his big mouth will offend the wrong person or he'll say something to me that I cannot forgive. How do I reach in and slap my husband's monkey brain quiet? Signed, A Cringing Wife, Trying to Avoid Strife.
[00:27:38] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Yeah, this is a super interesting situation. This is a real problem, and I think it speaks to some deeper issues in your husband and in his relationships. It sounds like there's probably a little narcissism at play here. Also some disinhibition brought on by the drinking, of course. Your husband is not a straight-up monster, but he can be very hurtful. And it sounds like he's kind of dominating, maybe a little bullying, and just generally disrespectful to his audience, which is super annoying. I mean, it's got to be hard for you to watch — I imagine it's somewhat embarrassing for you as his wife.
[00:28:10] I know you're asking about how to make it — you know, I'm just going to be honest here. I have had too much to drink a few times when Jen's around and I've like thrown up out of the car in an Uber and it's like, so cringe thinking about, and I know that she was so embarrassed. Producer Jason was in the car for this once. And he was just like, everyone was just like, "Oh my God." You know? And it was enough to get me to just not drink anymore really because I was like, "Do I want that to ever happen again?" No. And it's just, this guy keeps doing it except he's also running his mouth and it's just seems like — I get it. I've been there. I've been on both sides of this equation, unfortunately.
[00:28:51] I know you're asking about how to make him change, but I'm actually more interested in the dynamic between you and your husband. As you put it, you're used to his rants. You feel that if he wants to stage, you should let them have it. Even when he gets nasty, you don't push back. You find it best to ignore. You attribute most of his behavior to the drinking, even though there's definitely an element of personality at play here. And every time he acts out, he apologizes the next day and it all gets swept under the rug. Of course, until the next time he has one too many Jack Daniels and then the cycle just repeats itself.
[00:29:22] And that's the model of your relationship from the sound of it. Your husband is the star of the show. You're the audience. You shrink to allow him to be big, at least in social contexts. You overlook some objectively dysfunctional behavior on his part. Then rationalize it by saying that he's entitled to the attention. It's just the alcohol talking and any way he doesn't really mean what he says. And as you put it, "One day, his big mouth will offend the wrong person or he'll say something to me that I can not forgive." But this is already happening. He is offending the wrong person. It's you. And he has said something that you can't forgive, except maybe that you've told yourself that you've forgiven it, when clearly there's some residual resentment buried underneath the surface.
[00:30:04] That tipping point you're worried about, in a way, it's already here. It's already here. So my question for you is, how have you guys settled into that dynamic? What purpose is it serving in your marriage? What is your husband being kind of agro and uninhibited and you being avoidant and peacemakery, what does that doing for you? Because my hunch is that beneath this dynamic, there's actually a lot going on for you.
[00:30:27] I don't know about you, Gabe, but I hear some anger in the email. There's some shame here, probably some fear about what would happen if you really told your husband how you feel, gave him a piece of your mind. And listen, I hear you that he's loving and he's hard working and he's a great husband and all these other ways, I do. I hear that. I'm not saying this guy has you under his thumb or anything like that, but the fact that he's a good dude in many ways and you still don't want to call him out too much, that's a little interesting. I think that speaks to some of your stuff around confrontation, owning your feelings, possibly upsetting somebody by saying what you really think.
[00:31:02] And so if you really want to change your husband's behavior, you're going to have to work on both sides of the equation. If you haven't done this already, I would have a very honest conversation with your husband. I would respectfully but bluntly tell him how he comes across. When he dominates the conversation and belittles people's opinions, how you see that behavior affecting his relationships, his reputation with your friends. Then I would tell them, and this is probably the most important part, I would tell him what all of this is like for you. How it feels to be excluded from a conversation? How it feels to have to listen to his rants? What's it like to be on the receiving end of his hurtful comments? Maybe you've tried this, but I don't get the sense that you've really told your husband. "Hey, look, I know you probably don't mean it. I'm willing to forgive a lot, but it's very embarrassing for me when you belittle my friends' opinions. It's extremely hurtful when you insult me. And I'm really asking you to think about what you're saying and how it affects other people, especially me. And if that's hard to do when you're drinking, then I think we should talk about whether you should be drinking this much." Something along those lines.
[00:32:02] Now I'm guessing, that would be a pretty scary thing to say to your husband. It might in fact be a little threatening for him to hear, but the fact that it's scary, maybe that's a sign that it's important.
[00:32:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Well said, Jordan. Such a good point. This is the conversation that in many ways she has been running from, and maybe he has to in his own way by taking up so much space, because — I don't know about you. I'm sort of picking up on a little bit of a manic quality in her husband. You know, the intensity, the nonstop talking, that kind of man equality, that's often a defense against something. In addition to having this conversation with your husband, I would also explore what's going on for you. What you're afraid will happen if you speak up? How biting your tongue and sweeping things under the rug might be allowing you to keep things on maybe an even keel? And also at what cost to your sense of self and to your feelings?
[00:32:48] I know these are big questions. They would be great ones to bring into individual therapy. And if you and your husband have some trouble working through this, then couples counseling would be a great idea. Because again, you're asking you about your husband's rants, how to make them stop, but really that's just an entry point into a whole world of stuff about both of you.
[00:33:04] So to answer your question, how do I reach in and slap my husband's monkey brain quiet? The answer is, you can't, you really can't. You can't make your spouse into a radically different person overnight. There's really no shortcut here. You're going to have to share things that you haven't wanted to share, and your husband's going to have to acknowledge them. And you're both going to have to talk to each other and work through the feelings that this difficult conversation brings up. But ultimately, your husband's really the one who's going to have to figure out why he's ranting, why he's dominating the way he does, and whether he really actually wants to change.
[00:33:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Good point, Gabe. Who knows, maybe him dominating conversations, putting other people down, maybe that's a way for him to maintain control or compensate for feelings of inferiority, or maybe just to get attention so that he doesn't feel he's getting into other parts of his life. Or like you said, the manic quality of his rants might be a defense against other feelings, whatever it is, you don't bully your friends and insult your wife if you're not wrestling with some complicated stuff. So I think it's time to talk, probably with the help of a professional. The more you guys can listen to each other, empathize with each other, try to appreciate what each of you is going through, the better shot you have of fixing this behavior and hopefully improving your marriage overall. I hope you get to do that. Good luck.
[00:34:17] By the way, if you're joining us for the first time, or you're looking for a handy way to tell your friends about the show, we've got these episode starter packs. These are collections of your favorite episodes, organized by popular topic to help new listeners get a taste of everything that we do here on the show. Visit jordanharbinger.com/start to get started.
[00:34:36] All right, next up.
[00:34:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe, I'm a supervisor in a factory, and unfortunately I've come to expect a certain amount of ignorant and derogatory comments around here. I've voiced my objections and try to have open conversations about these issues with my employees and HR but I found that the problem has only gotten worse, especially given today's climate. Extreme comments about marginalized groups, coworkers who used to see each other after work, no longer even looking at each other, even shouting matches, these are all far more common now. I've thought about leaving, but I need a high and steady income to continue my higher education and finding a new job during the pandemic is complicated. Is there more I can do here? Or should I just ignore this stuff and get on with my day. Signed, Conscientious and Conflicted.
[00:35:20] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh, tricky one. I get the bind that you're in. On the one hand, you're the supervisor at this factory. You want to foster a healthy environment. I assume that's part of your responsibility there. On the other hand, if you step in every time one of your guys goes on a rant about immigrants, then they'll probably start to resent you. They'll think you're a buzzkill or a snowflake, or they'll just feel like you're meddling. And any way you probably have more important things to do than educate Kurt, the quality control inspector, and why he needs to rethink some things before he talks about how women aren't as smart as men or whatever the gripe designer happens to be.
[00:35:53] So, yeah, this is a hard one. I got to say, though, I love that you tried to have these open conversations. It sounds like you tried to address this thoughtfully and nobody wants to put in the effort to change which sucks. Honestly, I'm inclined to say that you should just leave it there, except now it's actually getting worse. Some of your employees aren't even looking at each other. Some of them are actually getting into shouting matches. That is obviously a problem. This isn't just the occasional blue joke or some un-PC banter between a couple of guys over their cigarette break. This is actually becoming a hostile work environment or is a hostile work environment.
[00:36:27] So I do think you have something that you got to do here, but I don't think it's on you alone to solve this issue. So my advice: go back to HR, tell them what you're seeing, how it's escalating, how it's spilling over into people's relationships at work. The key thing you have to do here is make HR understand that this isn't just rubbing some people the wrong way. This is actually having an impact on their employee's ability to do good work and that it's taking a toll on you too. If you could make the, higher-ups see that the way people are talking to one another could have a material impact on the company, either by contributing to sloppy work or increasing the risk of accidents or making their best people leave for other jobs, then they might just wake up and realize that they need to do something. This might also mean coming up with clearer policies on what is and what isn't okay to say at work or enforcing the existing policies more effectively or whatever, or even holding a little town hall where everyone has a chance to talk about how things are going and figure out where to draw the line. You can start this conversation with your bosses, but that's really up to HR and management. That is their job. And then maybe they'll look to you to help them enforce it. But I just, I don't think it's your job alone.
[00:37:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. I agree with you, Jordan. He should treat HR like a partner in this problem and hopefully they can collaborate on the solution together. Although the fact that he feels like it is on him completely, that actually says a lot about him. He actually sounds like a pretty solid boss, standup dude from the sound of it. But if you do what Jordan just said, and HR and management are like, "Nah, we're not going to metal in everyone's business. Keep treating the factory, like a, like a poorly moderated subreddit." Then it's time to make a decision. Either you stay and you let all this stuff roll off your back. Just completely sidestep it, focus on your work as best you can, which, who knows? Maybe that's the best move at least as long as you have to stick with this job. I know you have some good reasons for doing that. I think you said you were pursuing your MBA or something like that.
[00:38:24] It'll probably take a toll on you and it will continue to hurt some of your employees, which sucks. But you do have some control over how worked up to get about what you're hearing, given that you can't change all of these people's psychologies, yourself overnight. Your other option is to start looking for a new job at a factory with a better culture, which is probably the right move long term. It sounds to me like you're pretty unhappy. And if the culture here is just wildly out of sync with your values and they seem like the right values, I got to say just like basic human decency then, yeah, jump ship. Totally fair. Maybe you start putting out some feelers right now. Get the ball rolling on interviews. See what happens. If it takes a few months to line up a new job, it would be nice to start. And I bet that that would also make it easier to get through some of the hard days at the factory when Kurt is screaming at Bryce, because they voted for different people in some local election. I don't know what the deal is, but I'm assuming that's something they'd fight about, if you know that you're already planning your escape route.
[00:39:18] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Those things get easier when you have the keys to the prison. So good point, Gabe. If he can't work with management to fix this culture, then there's no shame in leaving. And eventually they'll realize that by not fostering a better environment, they're losing their best people or they won't. And the whole place will just become a toxic cesspool and eventually the place will freaking fall apart. And if that's the case, yeah, don't be afraid to prioritize yourself. I love your attitude. I love your willingness to stand up for people and have hard conversations. Those are rare qualities, even in the supervisor, just make sure you're offering them to a company that actually deserves them. Good luck.
[00:39:52] Gabe, you know what HR should give this guy if he manages to clean this place up, some of our amazing sponsors' products and/or services. We'll be right back.
[00:40:02] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
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[00:43:04] Jordan Harbinger: And now for the conclusion of Feedback Friday,
[00:43:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, I'm 16 years old and I live in a small community in Virginia. And during the middle of the pandemic, I was extremely overwhelmed. I was watching a TV show that gave me the idea to cut. So on a particularly upsetting day, I tried it. I immediately regretted doing it, but I was still hooked on the feeling. A while ago, my parents found out and they confronted me, but it never came up again. I also wasn't entirely honest with them and I told them I was over it, but I'm not over it. And now I'm craving it again. My parents are so busy. Is there anything I can do to protect myself from hurting myself again? Signed, Try to Heal When There's So Much to Feel.
[00:43:46] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man, I'm really, really glad you wrote in. Thank you for doing that. And I'm really sorry that you've been going through such a tough time. This is very serious stuff, as you know, and it must be scary and confusing on top of being dangerous. This is definitely a sign that it's time to get a handle on what's really driving this impulse to self-harm.
[00:44:06] Gabe, I got to say, she got the idea from a TV show. It's terrifying as a parent because you know, you think, "Oh, kids know. They're not influenced by this stuff," but obviously that's not the case. Once again, we wanted an expert's opinion here. So we consulted with the one and only Dr. Margolis on your question as well.
[00:44:21] And the first thing Dr. Margolis explained to us is that when people engage in non-suicidal, self-injury, it's generally an emotional regulation strategy. So it's a way to cope basically. Oftentimes, the person will feel numb and then they'll cut to feel something or they'll feel overwhelmed like you described and they'll cut to emotionally regulate. So to exert some control over their emotional state, sort of balance out.
[00:44:47] So in Dr. Margolis' view, what you're addicted to here probably isn't the cutting itself, but the neurotransmitter rush that it creates and/or the experience of feeling something other than, "I'm completely overwhelmed. I'm freaking out. Life is really hard." And of course, all teenagers have big emotions. That's a huge part of being a teenager. I remember it all too well. And there's nothing wrong with that, but not all people your age cut themselves after watching someone do it on a TV show, right? So I'm curious about what else is going on here and Dr. Margolis was too. So her general principle in a situation like this, and of course, I agree with her completely is to talk to a therapist. And I know we recommend this a lot and that's because it's almost always a good idea in cases, especially like this.
[00:45:30] Whatever's going on beneath the cutting and around the cutting, that is what you need to be working on with a professional. The chain of events leading up to the self-harm, the feelings you have right before you have the urge, this experience you described of being overwhelmed, all of that is playing a role here. Dr. Margolis kept emphasizing this when we talked to her, the real problem here is not the cutting itself. The cutting is your way of dealing with the actual. So I would find someone to talk to as soon as possible. Then, you can figure out how to intervene before you cut and hopefully find a healthier way of processing your feelings.
[00:46:05] You'll probably have to ask your parents to take you since you're a minor, and that might be a tough conversation, but it might also make them realize how much you need the help. And since they seem to be struggling with how to help you. They might actually be relieved to take you to a professional. I know as a parent, if my kid came to me with something like this, I would be really worried, but I would also be really glad that I knew about it. And we were doing something about it. So don't worry about freaking your parents out, okay.
[00:46:31] In addition to talking to somebody, I would also start exploring a couple activities, you know, hobbies and places that can give you a healthy outlet for some of your feelings. Join a freaking photography club and start taking pictures or write some stories and post them on WattPad. Maybe volunteer at an animal shelter on Sundays, whatever. I'm actually a big fan of the animal shelter idea, super therapeutic. Animal therapy is a real thing that could be very grounding for you right now. There's a reason that there are therapy dogs. It's not merely a trick for people to bring their pets on an airplane. I mean, 90 percent of it is, but there's a kernel of truth in there, but really any activity that helps you express yourself and process these feelings would be phenomenal. Talking to a friend, going for a hike, journaling, cooking, playing music, exercising — there are tons of productive outlets out there. And I would talk to your therapist about the best way to engage in those activities when you feel this urge to hurt yourself.
[00:47:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree, Jordan. And to dig into this just a little bit more, I think we have to talk about your parents here for a minute. You said that they confronted you about the cutting sometime back, but then they sort of swept it under the rug. Now you're struggling again, but as you put it, you can't really turn to them because they're, I think, the way you put it was, they're so busy. Man, Jordan, that kind of breaks my heart, right? Like too busy, too busy to help their daughter who's struggling with cutting herself? I don't know. I imagine that having parents like that, and I'm not throwing it all on them, but when your parents are too busy to take an interest or maybe you just feel that they're too busy and you don't want to bring this to them, that must make you feel pretty alone in all of this.
[00:48:00] If I had to guess, your parents are not being super involved in your life right now, probably contributing in some way to the urge to hurt yourself, or at least to your coping strategies, the ways that you avoid hurting yourself. And maybe it's confirming that this is the only option you really have. Dr. Margolis zeroed in on this as well. And her insight was that you probably need more sources of support outside of your parents. In addition to therapy, I would look into some support groups for self-harming in your area. Support groups, by the way, are super helpful because you get to hear from people who are going through something similar to you.
[00:48:32] Sometimes people your own age as well, you can learn from their stories. You can feel less alone. A lot of people make friends in there. And since a lot of support groups are actually meeting virtually these days, you can probably hop on a meeting from your bedroom. You wouldn't have to ask your parents for a ride to the local YMCA or wherever they're happening. Also, a lot of these groups have resources for parents as well. If your parents are struggling with how to support you right now, you might be able to get some good information for them, or at least some guidance on how to talk to them yourself, hopefully bring them into the fold a little bit more.
[00:49:01] To get you started, we're going to link to a bunch of great resources about self-harming in the show notes, and we're also going to include some good support groups that we found in your neck of the woods.
[00:49:10] Jordan Harbinger: Good advice, Gabe. And I agree with Dr. Margolis completely. She really needs to be in therapy here. And look, you're not broken, therapy is for people that just want to get back on the right track. So I'm so grateful that we had a chance to even talk with you about this. And if your parents make it difficult to go to therapy, then you should just check out those groups until you can get there on your own. So go find some support, start talking, take care of yourself, find an outlet. And I know there's going to be a very different way of making sense of these feelings. But you're not some sort of crazy headcase or beyond repair or anything like that. I want to make that abundantly clear. So if that's in your head, let me just relieve you of that burden right now. What you're experiencing is quite common. You're on the right track, trying to get it under control and find a healthier way to cope. You've got this. We're so grateful for your letter. We're thinking about you and good luck.
[00:50:01] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this week and everyone who listened. Go back and check out Andy Norman, and me, Jordan Harbinger, on Chase Jarvis Live if you haven't heard the episodes of the podcast this week, yet.
[00:50:12] Want to know how I managed to book all these great people on the show and manage my relationships? I use systems, software, and tiny habits. I'm teaching you how to do the same in our Six-Minute Networking course. And that course is free over on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. I'm teaching you how to dig the well before you get thirsty. And I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. So start now. It really is the kind of thing you ignore at your own peril. And again, it's free, freaking free. It takes six minutes a day or five, but five minute networking was taken. Find it at jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:50:43] A link to the show notes for the episodes are at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts are in the show notes. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter or Instagram, or you can hit me on LinkedIn as well. And you can find Gabe on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:50:59] 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 are our own, and I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show.
[00:51:16] Dr. Margolis' 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. Ditto, Thomas Erikson.
[00:51:31] Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love. If you found this episode useful, please share it with somebody else who can use the advice 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.
[00:51:48] If you're looking for another episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show to sink your teeth into, most of us have big goals that we'd like to accomplish, anything from getting in better physical shape, to quitting a lifelong vise to learning a new life, Habits Academy creator, James Clear shares processes and practicals we can use to incrementally change our own lives for the better. Here's a quick bite.
[00:52:08] James Clear: It's not a single one percent change that's going to transform your life, it's a thousand of them. Whenever I feel like giving up, I think about the stone cutter, who pounds a stone a hundred times without a crack showing and then on the hundred and first blow it splits in two. And I know that it wasn't the hundred first that did it. It was all the hundred that came before.
[00:52:25] Newsworthy stories are only about outcomes. When we see outcomes all day long on social and on the news, we tend to overvalue them and overlook the process. Like you're never going to see a news story that is like, "Man eats salad for lunch today." Like this just is not right. It's only a story id six months later when man loses a hundred pounds.
[00:52:43] The real reason habits matter is because they provide evidence for the type of beliefs that you have about yourself. And ultimately, you can reshape yourself, your self-image, the person that you believe that you are if you embody the identity enough.
[00:52:56] A lot of people watch too much TV or don't want to play as many video games to do or whatever. If you walk into pretty much any living room where do all the couches and chairs face? They all face the TV. So it's like, what is this room designed to get you to do? You could take a chair and turn it away from the television or you could also increase the friction associated with the task. So you could take batteries out of the remote so that it takes an extra five or 10 seconds to start it up each time. And maybe that's enough time for you to be like, "Do I really want to watch something? Or am I just doing this mindlessly?" The point here is if you want to build a good habit, you've got to make it obvious. If you want to break a bad habit, you just make it invisible.
[00:53:28] Your entire life you are existing inside some environment. And most of the time you're existing inside environments that you don't think about, right? You're like, and in that sense, you're kind of like the victim of your environment, but you don't have to be the victim of it, you can be the architect of it.
[00:53:42] Jordan Harbinger: For more with James Clear, including what it takes to break bad habits while creating good ones and how to leverage tiny habits for giant outcomes, check out episode 108 on The Jordan Harbinger Show with James Clear.
[00:53:55] This episode is also sponsored in part by Fruit of the Loom. Is that time of year to get your loved ones what they really need? Hint, it's not a snow globe or a pair of mistletoe earrings. This season, show them you care with underwear from Fruit of the Loom. Take gifts from "oh no," to, "how did you know," with underwear for her from unbearable holiday ties to totally wearable cool zone, boxer briefs. Give the kids something they'll use every day — we hope — boys and girls, cotton underwear, and instead of another ugly sweater, they won't want to put on, give them something they won't want to take off, like they're ever soft sweatshirt. You see no matter who you are, underwear is something everyone needs. So before you saddle your loved ones with just another holiday gift, look into your heart and remember their bottoms. Show you care this season by going to fruit.com.
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