As a closeted, bi, teen atheist, it’s a bummer your mom makes you go to a church — three times a week — that has a problem with your very existence. On top of this, she insists you’re being overly dramatic about the depression, anxiety, and insomnia you experience every day. How do you even consider coming out to a mother who can’t seem to empathize with your most basic needs? We’ll try to help 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:
- As a closeted, bi, teen atheist, how do you even begin the conversation of coming out to your mother when she regularly downplays the depression, anxiety, and insomnia you’re going through and forces you to go to her church (which rejects your very existence) three times a week?
- You were dismayed to learn that your husband (with whom you work) isn’t very popular at the office. While you know it’s due to his difficulty reading social cues rather than any serious character flaws, you’re not sure if telling him will help him improve or completely crush his confidence.
- You’ve made the decision not to be bullied by your emotionally manipulative, sometimes violent QAnon-corrupted parents whose values, to put it kindly, do not match your own. The problem: you also happen to work for them. How do you make a clean break from them and their business?
- As a 73-year-old delver into family secrets lain bare by the modern wonder of DNA testing, you’d like to have a relationship with a few of your newfound relatives. Unfortunately, some people in your family have threatened to cut you out of their lives if you reveal their part in covering up this shared history. What should you do?
- You’re excited about a new relationship that budded from an old friendship. But how do you foster a healthy bond without falling into the rut of codependency you each experienced with prior significant others?
- 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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Miss the show we did with James Fallon — the psychiatry professor who can teach you how to spot a psychopath because he is a psychopath? Catch up here with episode 28: James Fallon | How to Spot a Psychopath!
Resources from This Episode:
- Ioan Grillo | How America Arms Gangs and Cartels Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Ioan Grillo | How America Arms Gangs and Cartels Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- Do You Owe Your Friends Honesty? | Jordan Harbinger
- What Does ‘Demisexual’ Mean? | Verywell Mind
- Living In Fear of the Fiend Who Lurks Near | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- 12 Tips on “Coming Out” Well to Conservative Christian Parents | Diverse Church
- Father in Mormon Family Shares How Two Sons’ ‘Coming Out’ Experiences Propelled Him to Understanding | Freedom for All Americans
- David Archuleta Gave a Master Class in the Mormon Coming-Out | Advocate
- How to Tell Your Family That You Are An Atheist | Time
- Signs You’re Not Well-Liked at Work (And What to Do about It) | Jordan Harbinger
- Qualms about QAnon Mom and Her Starseed Schtick | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Help! I Married a Conspiracy Theorist! | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Steven Hassan | The #iGotOut Guide to Quitting QAnon | Jordan Harbinger
- QAnon 101: The Search for Q | Vice
- Dismantling QAnon: A TEDxMidAtlantic Must Watch Program | Freedom of Mind Resource Center
- DNA Testing Is Easy. It Can Also Turn Your Family Upside Down | Psyche Ideas
- Born on the Fourth of July | Prime Video
- The Secret Facebook Groups for Shocking DNA Tests | The Atlantic
- How To Stop Being Codependent | BetterHelp
- Can An Open Marriage Be Anxiety-Free? | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
702: Atheist Teen Stressed by Mom's Church Scene | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, the custom dongle connecting your USB-A of drama to our USB-C of life advice, Gabriel Mizrahi.
[00:00:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Top five.
[00:00:17] Jordan Harbinger: 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. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these 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.
[00:00:42] 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 absolutely amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, and performers. This week, we had Ioan Grillo on gun smuggling, cartel violence, and crime in Mexico and the United States. This was a two-parter. A really insightful stuff from somebody who spent a lot of time in Mexico covering crime, cartels, violence, gun running, human trafficking, you name. If you're interested in that sort of discussion from this show, this one is a buffet.
[00:01:17] I also write every so often on the blog, my latest post, why you owe your friends honesty. This one's all about the upsides to being candid with the people in your life, how honesty transforms your relationships, avoids difficulty and dysfunction down the line, and gets you closer to the meaningful criticism you need as well. I also talk about the limits of honesty, when it's appropriate not to be completely honest, and how to balance honesty with kindness. A great read for anybody craving more meaningful conversations at work, in your personal life, or even with your family. You can find that article and all of our articles at jordanharbinger.com/articles. So make sure you've had a look and a listen to everything that we created for you here this week.
[00:01:59] Now, before we dive into the questions, I just wanted to take a moment and recognize that we hit episode 700 this week. And this is especially, I don't know, meaningful for me because this is the app number, approximately where I left my old show and previous business and dumped my previous business partners, or I should say quite a mutual and in a way, unexpected dumping on many sides. So I've officially created more content with The Jordan Harbinger Show than with any other brand or company. And it's only been four and a half years, which actually sounds like a freaking long time now that I think about it. But the other show I did for more than twice as long, and it was nowhere near as successful at its peak than this one happens to be, right now.
[00:02:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Congratulations, man. That's awesome.
[00:02:44] Jordan Harbinger: Thank you. Appreciate that. It's a team effort as you know. There's plenty of stuff coming down the pipe, some of it's under wraps, you know, for legal reasons. I can't talk about all this stuff until it's like actually happening. But I think one thing I am allowed to announce is we're going to be starting to put the video of this show — it's already on YouTube — but we're going to start to put it on Spotify as well. We're going to be in their very limited run. I think there's only 30 creators or so that are allowed to put video on Spotify. They've asked us to put our video on Spotify, so that's kind of cool. So if you use Spotify to listen to the show, you'll be able to see video pop up in the player. It won't be for Feedback Friday, because we don't do video, but anything with the guests, we're going to be able to have a video for you, which is, I don't know, pretty cool, not bad. Getting a little love from the Spotify and other folks. And there's other stuff from other companies, like I said, that I can't talk about. That's also kind of a big deal. So I don't know, proud of the direction we've gone in and where we've ended up so far. And hopefully, you know, many more decades to come until we get marked irrelevant and have to retire.
[00:03:41] All right. As always fun questions and some crazy ones just because, you know, we are that Velcro target board for you're crazy over here on Feedback Friday. Gabe, what's the first thing we got?
[00:03:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I'm a 15-year-old female/other in the Mormon community. And I'm struggling with depression, anxiety, and insomnia. I'm also struggling with my mom who tells me that my issues are not as bad as I know they are. For example, she often says that I don't really have depression even after my doctor put me on strong antidepressants. I'm bisexual and demisexual, and I know my mom wouldn't respond well if I came out.
[00:04:19] Jordan Harbinger: Hold up, Gabe. Remind me again. What is demisexual?
[00:04:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: So demisexuality is an orientation where a person feels sexually attracted to someone only after they've developed a close emotional bond with them.
[00:04:31] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Okay. I feel like that actually describes a lot of people, but sure, yeah, let's come up with a new spectrum. Why not?
[00:04:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, why not? Let's do it.
[00:04:40] I'm also an atheist and my mom forces me to go to church, which takes up two to three days of my week and places, a lot of stress on me. In fact, I often get anxiety attacks at church. How do I get out of these stressful church meetings and how do I come out to my parents? Signed, A Black Sheep in Deep, Losing Sleep, and Trying Not to Weep.
[00:05:00] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, man, that sounds like a really hard situation. Gabe, I'm thinking about the Mormon guy who wrote in a few months ago, remember him?
[00:05:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:05:07] Jordan Harbinger: The guy who'd been having gay thoughts since he was like 12, but he believed that being gay was a sin, of course, and he couldn't even consider coming out.
[00:05:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. Yeah. Because his girlfriend had been suicidal and their relationship saved her life or something like that.
[00:05:21] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:05:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: And he felt — yeah, that was tough. That was episode 642, by the way, if you guys want to check it out. These stories really get to me, man.
[00:05:28] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:05:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's hard to grow up in an environment where you're so different, but then to also have a parent who's basically minimizing/denying your experience completely and trying to force you to believe in something you just don't believe it. It's heartbreaking, honestly.
[00:05:41] Jordan Harbinger: The whole you're fine. Like, "You're fine. You're not depressed." "Oh, thanks. That helps. That helps. I've tried not being depressed." My heart goes out to this girl. She's depressed. She's bisexual, she's an atheist. She can't come out to her mom. She can't be herself really. Plus she's being forced to attend church three days a week, which is a lot. And she's having anxiety attacks about all of it. So she's suffering and her mom is just busy pretending like it's not a problem, which I wonder how many other problems her mom tries to sweep under the rug in their life, now that I think about it. To be fair, as well, that probably speaks to how little her mom also understands things like mental health and sexuality and gender. And I don't know, having a healthy, emotional life where you're allowed to have problems.
[00:06:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:06:22] Jordan Harbinger: But yeah, still it's hurtful and it's clearly making her daughter's life just a lot harder. So I have a few thoughts. They might not fix everything overnight, but I think they'll make this chapter of your life a lot easier.
[00:06:35] First of all, if you're not doing this already, I would highly recommend talking to a therapist. Surprise, surprise. Now, you're 15. So you might not be able to see one without mom knowing I don't really know how that works. It seems like there should be resources, but this is the United States, so maybe not. But if you can convince her that you really need to talk to somebody, you can say it's about the depression or school or whatever you feel comfortable saying. And then that would be fantastic. Actually, there's got to be a counselor at school in theory. That could help. A therapist would be so helpful in deciding how and when to come out to your parents, processing the feelings around that conversation, working through this complex relationship you have with your mom. And if you can't see a therapist right now, then I would look for another resource that could play a similar role for you, a counselor at your school, a support group online for teenagers, maybe even other teenagers in the LDS community, someone who's safe and can talk to you confidentially. So you can explore all of this.
[00:07:33] As for how to come out to your parents. Yeah, that's obviously a big conversation and there's no one right way to have it. It might be a conversation you work up to for a few months or even years, or it might be something you just want to get out there ASAP. So you don't have to deal with it anymore. Either way is fine, but just know that you don't have to do this before you're ready and there might be good reasons to do it down the line if it means that the repercussions would be easier for you. But whatever you do, I would definitely start by planning and planning means taking some time to think about how you're going to deliver the news, having some talking points ready, and maybe most importantly, being prepared for whatever reaction they have to the news. They might surprise you and say, "Wow, okay. Not what we were expecting. Not sure what to say right now, but okay, I guess." Or they might react very strongly and try to convince you that this isn't really happening or punish you or make you talk to the bishop or something, which based on what you've shared about your mom, that does seem possible, or they might just shut down and pretend this conversation never happened. I can see it going in that direction as well, right? The whole "you're not depressed" thing is also that "you're not gay. You're not bi. That's fine. I'm just going to ignore this and keep reading."
[00:08:44] Sadly, you might have to be prepared for your mom to struggle with this piece of news. Your relationship with your parents might get a little rocky when they wrap their heads around all of this. And unfortunately, that is common, but you know, it's also common for parents to struggle to accept their children at first and then come around a little later. So I'm not saying this is definitely going to destroy your relationship with your parents forever or anything like that. Let's have some faith that they can remain open and rise to the occasion. I would also find one or two trusted people to talk to friends, trusted family if any, a teacher, a therapist, people you can turn to after that conversation. You're just going to want some good support before and after the fact.
[00:09:29] As for actually having the conversation, that's also very personal, but here are a few ideas to guide you. First, I would start by telling your parents that what you're about to say might be surprising. It might be a little hard for them to process, but you've given this a lot of thought. You're clear about who you are. If you feel comfortable, you might even want to say that you're sharing this with them because you love them and you don't want to hide from them or pretend to be somebody that you're not. That might prime them to be more receptive to what you're about to say. Then I would be very direct and brief the message is basically, "So I like boys and girls. That's just how I'm wired." I wouldn't draw it out too much. I wouldn't try to qualify the news. I would just deliver it and see how they respond. And if they have questions, then you can get into it more. If they shut down, there isn't much more conversation to be had right now.
[00:10:18] Also, if you try to overexplain, they might think, "Oh, she's not a hundred percent sure." They might assume you're just going through some weird phase. "Oh, you've been brainwashed by the Twitter," or whatever. So, it's better to just keep it short and maybe come across a little bit more confident as a result of that. What happens after that? That really depends on how they respond and you might have to help them through their reaction. They might be angry. They might be sad. They might be confused. They're certainly going to be confused, just given who you're talking about here. Whatever it is, reassure them that it's okay. It doesn't change anything fundamental about your relationship. Just make sure you don't backpedal. Don't apologize for anything. Ultimately, they are responsible for their own feelings. They have to go through this process here on their own and they might have their own timeline. Whatever happens though, I would seek out those sources of support we just talked about so that you can process what just happened.
[00:11:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow. Well said, Jordan. This is a very daunting conversation for sure. And she could use all the help she can get. So I hope she does find somebody to talk to. I would also read about other coming-out stories in the LDS community. You can just Google Mormon coming out stories or something like that. There are so many of them out there and maybe see what you can learn from other people's experiences, good and bad. I also think that hearing other people's stories right now will make you feel a lot less alone in all of this. There are so many people in your community who have had to tell their parents about their orientation, about their history, about their mental. Just see how they handled it. And I just think that will give you a lot of perspectives right now.
[00:11:50] As for getting out of these stressful church meetings, it's funny. That might be easier than the whole coming-out conversation and hey, maybe you make them the same conversation. You know, like, "Mom, dad, this is who I am. Also, this is what I believe. And I don't want to go to church anymore. As you've seen, I get anxiety attacks when I'm there. It's just not serving me the way you want it to. I understand that church is important to you. I completely respect your beliefs, but I just can't go anymore." Now, will your mom definitely be okay with that? Hard to say she might put her foot down. She might insist, she might say that you coming out and not wanting to go to church are connected. And if you just kept going to church, you wouldn't have these thoughts or whatever it is, but then you could say, "Listen, mom, do you really want me to go to church if you have to drag me there? Like, is that how you want me to participate in our religion?" And then maybe you guys can talk about whether it's fair for you to have to go to church at your age and what role the church is playing in your life in general. Also, whether you guys can have different beliefs and still get along.
[00:12:51] But I'm going to be real with you, I don't know if I see the mom who keeps insisting that your depression isn't real and forces you to go to church. I don't know if I see her taking all of this in stride. I don't mean to scare you. I just want you to be prepared for any outcome because there's a world where none of this goes down very well with your parents. And then your job is to accept that they're just not ready or equipped to understand you right now, and then to find some good ways to cope with those feelings in the meantime.
[00:13:20] And to that point, I just want to remind you that you're 15, you are in the middle of a very intense chapter in your life, a very pivotal chapter, but in less than three years, you'll be 18. You can live wherever you want. You can be whoever you want and you can find your own community and your mom will not have the same hold over you that she does now. I know that seems like a long time, but you'll be 18 before you know it. And I just want to remind you of that because when things get dark and they might get a little dark, sometimes it will be helpful to remember that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel.
[00:13:51] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I'm glad you said that, Gabe. I hope they can hear her and accept her, but hey, if they can't, she just might have to ride this out until she can build her own life, like so many LGBTQ folks from religious communities. I'm sorry, you're going through this. I'm sorry. Your mom isn't there for you in the ways you need her to be. I really am. I can't really imagine what that's like, but you clearly have a good grasp of who you are. And soon you can start to chart a life of your own. You might not always get your family's acceptance or approval, which is their loss in my opinion, but you will get something even more important, which is your freedom.
[00:14:27] So hang in there, have these conversations when you're good and ready and only when you're good and ready, and trust that everything's just going to be okay. We're sending you good thoughts and a big hug from California. It's tough enough to be in that place but to have your parents just be like, "Nope, it's not true. Stick my fingers in my ears and la-la-la away." It's like, oh, it's so it's infuriating. Really?
[00:14:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:14:48] Jordan Harbinger: And it sucks because I want to slap those parents and be like, "You're the one destroying your relationship with your kids. You're the one pushing them away."
[00:14:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:14:56] Jordan Harbinger: You know, this is all you, so get your sh*t together, mom, and realize that this isn't some weird reflection on you and the community's not going to — you know what, who cares what the community does? You know you say you value family. It sounds like you value your reputation or just the stability you have in your fake world that you've created for yourself. And now, I'm going off on a tear.
[00:15:15] Anyway, you know who doesn't care, who you shag, as long as the check clears? The sponsors who support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:15:23] This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help online therapy. All right. I was talking about this with Jen the other day. I used to be so freaking depressed, especially my early 30s are just a mess. And it's funny because I look back and those years, they feel so long to me. You know, when you look back at your life, you're supposed to be like, "Wow, that went by so quickly." Those years felt so long. They felt like a decade. I used to sleep all weekend. Honestly, I used to go to bed on Friday afternoon when my work was done and I would hear people — I had a pool outside my window and I would make sure I couldn't see or hear them because they were having fun and I was miserable and I would go to bed. And I would wake up some on Saturday at like 5:00 p.m., order Chinese food and get it delivered and eat it. And then watch something on my laptop while eating and go straight back to bed. And I would dread waking up for a Monday. This is on Saturday after sleeping for like 20 hours. Looking back, I didn't even realize that I was depressed, which is ridiculous, but I think we all can agree that that's no way to live your life. And so therapy is what got me out of that funk. I had to make some life changes. I needed somebody sane in my ear, instead of all the stress that I was getting from work and from people around me. I got to recommend therapy and I will recommend you Better Help. Better Help is online therapy that offers video, phone, even live-chat-only therapy sessions because I was not about to go anywhere. I did have to go to my therapist. That was tough. I would much rather — I would've done it earlier, I'd like to think if I had video or phone options. You don't have to see anyone on camera if you don't want to. It's more affordable than in-person therapy. You can get matched with a therapist in under 48 hours. Our listeners get 10 percent off their first month at betterhelp.com/jordan. That's better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan. Don't sleep all freaking weekend. It sucks. And there's a better life out there for you.
[00:17:10] This episode is also sponsored by Stitch Fix. I haven't shopped for my own clothes in a while. I don't love doing it. I really don't. I'd rather have a professional help me look good. I don't want to make impulse buys at some store. That's like an expensive thing that I'm never going to wear. You know, when you go, "Oh, I'm totally going to wear this whenever I need like really cool stuff." And it's been in your closet for 20 years. Don't do that to yourself. You don't want endless browsing. Stitch Fix has you covered with fresh picks, curated for your taste and your size?. You're going to find what suits your body and none of that diaper butt pants thing. And on occasion, when you want to look refined for work or you're looking for casual basics, Stitch Fix can help you elevate your look. Schedule a fix, and a style expert will send you five pieces that fit your style, size, and price range. You keep what you like. You return the rest for free, or if you actually do like to shop, but you don't want to endlessly browse, try Stitch Fix freestyle, where you can pick pieces that match your vibe and your lifestyle. To get started, take a style quiz. So Stitch Fix can learn your prefs.
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[00:18:36] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:18:38] All right next up.
[00:18:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I recently found out that my husband, whom I work with isn't very popular at our office. And now that his position is even more hands-on with clients, most of our colleagues have developed a pretty significant disdain for him. People have described him as a huge assh*le, but he just has a hard time reading social cues. He also veers on the OCD side of needing things done his way. He can get overwhelmed if things don't go to plan. In our clicky workplace, he doesn't exactly fit the mold. And our colleagues are not very understanding about personalities like his. I, on the other hand, have built a very strong reputation for myself. And I'm higher up in this social hierarchy. That might seem like a silly thing to worry about, but in our environment, you can't get anywhere without your network and being liked. If I told him how people feel about him, I think he would take it well, but it would really hurt his confidence and his feelings. Although he's not the best at his job, he loves it and he works very hard. I also think the behavior is unlikely to change and knowing how our colleagues feel would just make him more anxious and more self-conscious. But if I don't tell him, he'll just be known as that assh*le in the workplace and become a social outcast and that would hurt his feelings just as much and he needs to stick around here. Financially, he cannot go back to his previous job. So do I tell my husband how people really feel about him? Signed, The Waffling Wife.
[00:20:05] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh, this is an interesting situation. It's tricky. And it's extra tricky because of your husband's personality, right? If he were more open, less self-conscious, this could be a relatively straightforward conversation, but it sounds like he might react poorly to this feedback. And then that puts you in a really tough spot.
[00:20:22] But here's the thing, like you said his feelings are going to be hurt either way, whether you tell him what people think of him or whether he never finds out but just feels like an outcast, and in fact, isn't invited to things or whatever. And if that's the case, my gut is telling me that you should tell him because if his feelings are going to be bruised here, A, it's better that they be bruised by somebody he loves and trusts — you. And B, it's better that they're bruised in the process of becoming a better colleague, a better man, a better person. But you will have to frame this feedback for your husband the right way, so it's helpful and not too daunting.
[00:20:59] And one way to do that would be to say something like, "Listen, honey, I want to share something with you. And I want you to know that it's all out of love because I care about you. And I want to see you succeed. It might be a little hard to hear. It would be hard for me to hear too. I get it. But I know that if I were in your shoes, I'd want my wife to share this with me. So here's the thing. First of all, I love that you've gotten more responsibility at work. You're more hands-on now. You work really hard. That is awesome. But now that you're more hands-on, you have more interactions with our colleagues and I've noticed that some of them aren't responding to your style the way I think you want them to. I'm friends with these people. I get to see things from the outside. And my sense is that some of them find you a little particular, a little rigid. You tend to need things to go a certain way. And if things don't go to plan, I notice that you can get overwhelmed. And your coworkers sometimes interpret that as you being overbearing or stressful or a little difficult. And I think that's making it hard for them to bond with you. And as you know, in our office, those bonds are really important. I know it's kind of high school, but I want us both to succeed and we need our relationships with these people to be great, to do our best work, and to keep rising up."
[00:22:15] That's more or less how I deliver the news. And maybe you can point to a couple of examples so he can see how his behavior is showing up in specific moments. Not as some vague thing, he can just dismiss. But this is probably where your husband's reaction's going to kick in. So I would probably add something like, "Look, I'm not telling you this to make you feel bad or to make you self-conscious I'm telling you this because I care about you. These quirks of yours, I totally get them. Honestly. I find them really endearing as your wife, but the last thing I want is for them to get in the way of your career. I want you to succeed. I really do believe this is something you can work on and I can help you do that if you'd like." And then make it a conversation, ask him how he feels about his colleagues. If he's noticing these patterns too, if he gets angry or defensive, hey, let him, and then maybe you can point out that him getting frustrated is exactly what you're talking about. If he gets sad and he withdraws, be kind to him, draw him out, make it safe for him to keep talking.
[00:23:15] It sounds like your husband has some shame around struggling socially and honestly, okay, who could blame him? This would be tough for anyone to hear, even as somebody who's pretty decent socially. So be patient with him and be extra supportive. And then I would come up with a few ways he could work on all this. Being more flexible, being less obsessive if possible, going with the flow, taking other people's ideas and feelings into account, whatever it is. I know you said the behavior is unlikely to change and hey, maybe you're right, but A, it's worth a shot. And B, maybe you think it's unlikely to change because your husband can be hard to talk to and you're catering to that part of his personality. But you taking this risk to speak up, supporting him, that's how you can change the outcome. So I say, go for it as his wife and his colleague who understands him better than anyone, I kind of think you owe that to him.
[00:24:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I agree. I think she does owe that to him as his partner. I love that approach, Jordan. That's a beautiful script you just shared, but I do wonder if there's more going on here than just, you know, my husband's not really great with people. I don't want to overreach here or read into this too much, but some of these qualities that she mentioned, okay, so he has a hard time reading social cues. He's kind of OCD. He freaks out if things don't go according to his plan. He can come across as rude. Okay, that could be anxiety. That could be some, just some social deficiency, but it could also be something else. A lot of these traits — again, I, obviously, can't diagnose anyone, but I can't help, but notice that they're very consistent with autism.
[00:24:45] Jordan Harbinger: I wasn't sure whether to go there because who the heck am I or we to diagnose someone, but I did have the same reaction when you read the letter. I was like, "Hmm, sounds a little autistic," Not because — okay, people don't like him. Calm down, angry emailers. But I'm referring more to the trouble reading people's emotions and social cues part because that is—
[00:25:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:25:03] Jordan Harbinger: —kind of one of the defining traits, right?
[00:25:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. Plus the relying on routines and the struggling with change or unexpected differences, that's kind of textbook. But look, the only reason I bring this up is that if that is what's going on, it would be hugely helpful for your husband to know. Adults with ASD, especially ones who were somehow missed when they were younger, they talk about how helpful it is to finally learn why their brains work the way they do, and then they can get resources on how to understand themselves better. They can work on their social skills in a whole new way. They can talk to other people on the spectrum and learn from them. It can really be a life-changing discovery. So if your husband is open to it, maybe you can encourage him to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist who can do an assessment and see if that's what's maybe going on here. And again, we could be totally off, but if we are onto something that would explain so much about the situation. And it would also give him the tools he needs to relate to his colleagues in a better way. Maybe even help them learn how to relate to him.
[00:26:02] Jordan Harbinger: Solid advice, Gabe. And if he is on the spectrum, yeah, he should know. That could be a game changer. And if he's not, okay, then they'll know for sure that he just kind of, isn't great with people and it's time to work on that. So I hope that helps give you a way forward here. I know this is a tough conversation to have, but great marriages, successful careers, they always require tough conversations. Your husband is lucky to have you looking out for him and we're wishing both of you the best.
[00:26:29] You can reach us firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep your emails concise. Try to use a descriptive subject line that makes our job a whole lot easier. If there's something you're going through, any big decision you're wrestling with, or you just need a new perspective on stuff — life, love, work. What to do if you're ethically non-monogamous relationship is driving your partner crazy? Whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up Friday, jordanharbinger.com. We're here to help and we keep every email anonymous.
[00:26:57] All right, next up.
[00:26:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. I have a difficult relationship with my parents for one thing. They're conservative Christians who believe in QAnon — which thanks to your podcast, I now know is a kind of cult. My relationship with my mom has been fine. Although in recent years, I've come to realize that she's emotionally manipulative, but my dad's anger is a real issue and it's caused a lot of problems for my sister and me. She spent years in therapy working on it, and I've just tried to be a better parent than he was. Several years ago, for example, he yelled at me about a negative comment I made about a political candidate he supports and I promised myself then that I would never allow him to talk to me that way again. Then on a recent trip to visit my parents with my kids, he not only yelled at me but also made two moves to strike me. I had flashbacks of him doing this to me as a child, but this time I didn't cower, I literally jumped up and asked if he was going to hit me. The thing is I work for my parents as their virtual assistant in their small business. And I no longer want to help them. Not only because of the way my father reacted but also because of whom they advertise with. And because I find most of their customers despicable. Reading their emails and having to respond is painful. Also, since my parents learned that I'm no longer a Christian, they love to talk about God and the Bible, and even cut me out of the business for a short time, because they assumed that not being a Christian meant I was into satanic stuff. How do I let them know that I no longer want to work for them? How do I keep my kids away from their toxic issues? Signed, Confronting This Mismatch, Looking for an Escape Hatch.
[00:28:33] Jordan Harbinger: Oof. Yeah, this sounds like a very difficult family to grow up in, even more difficult because you guys work together. That's an interesting dynamic — and not that I have room to talk. I work with my wife — but everything you're describing the childhood abuse, the emotional manipulation, the anger, the questionable beliefs, the judgment that all paints a very dark picture. It makes sense that you want out of the business, that you want to keep you and your family safe from them? Yeah, I think that's wise.
[00:29:01] So I actually think this conversation is pretty straightforward. You can respectfully share your decision to branch out on your own, and I am not sure how much you need to even explain that choice to them. There's a way to do this where you don't bring up any of the highly charged stuff. The way they treat you how you feel about their customers and their ad partners and your philosophical differences. I'm just getting the sense that mom and dad wouldn't react too well to you going, "Yeah. I'm not interested in working for your Pizzagate t-shirt company. And if I have to hear one more customer talking about how 5G is going to activate the tracking chips in the vaccines, I'm going to stab somebody. Also, you guys have treated me terribly for so-called Christians. So go F yourselves, maybe try reading the Bible instead of using it as a cajole against everyone you don't like."
[00:29:48] That's not going to change their beliefs. If this were me, I would probably just say, "Listen, mom, dad, thank you so much for inviting me into the family business. I'm glad that I could help you guys out. I am so grateful for the job. But I've given this a lot of thought and I've decided that I'm ready for a change." And if they press you on that, eh, you can share more details, like why this job isn't speaking to you anymore, or what kind of job you do want to have. But I would just be very thoughtful about how deep you get into those bigger issues.
[00:30:18] Now, if you want to have that all caps, big talk, you certainly can. I would just adjust your expectations accordingly. Think through how that might impact whatever relationship you guys do have. Also is giving them a piece of your mind actually going to open their minds and make them more tolerant, or is it just going to alienate and entrench your parents even further? As you can tell, I personally, I'm leaning toward a clean and diplomatic exit. You can get out of the family business without lashing out at them. And hey, maybe there's a middle ground where you say something like, "Honestly, we have some pretty significant differences in our beliefs. I'm finding it hard to serve the company. Well, when I have reservations about all of that, so I think it's best for all of us if I find another job." Just be forthright without creating unnecessary conflict.
[00:31:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: I like that middle ground, Jordan. I think that's exactly right. Her goal is to get out of the business, not to fix her parents. That's a very different conversation and it would take a long time if it's even possible.
[00:31:14] So as for keeping your kids away from their toxicity, also kind of a tough one, but you do have a few options. So option one, you could cut off your parents entirely, which is pretty drastic, probably unfair. I don't think it's necessary, especially if your parents haven't overtly hurt your children directly. Option two is you could limit the amount of time you guys spend with them overall. Just maintain a lot of distance between your kids and their grandparents, and it's just not a very close relationship. Or you could keep seeing them as much as you always have, but keep a very close eye on how they treat your kids. If your mom starts to like mess with them emotionally, the way she has with you or your dad, like screams at them because they like broke a lamp in the bed or, you know, something minor, then you can step in and say, "Hold on. Sorry, not okay. Please don't talk to my kids like that." And hopefully, they'll respect that, but if they don't check themselves, then you can pull back even further and consider spending less time with them.
[00:32:09] But really the best thing you can do is just be great parents to your kids, which I know you're already doing. Be a safe space for them. If they come to you and they're like, "Mom, you know I don't really like grandma and grandpa. They kind of scare me." You can validate their feelings, you can put them at ease. You don't have to actively turn them against their grandparents. It's like, they're young. They probably don't need to know everything, but you can make it okay for them to tell you how they feel and you can make them feel loved and appreciated at home with you. And that's actually a great template overall. Like you don't want them to feel like there are certain family members they have to pretend to like, and they can't bring certain things up with you because it's so tense. I think that's how you can also rewrite some of these dynamics.
[00:32:44] Because to your point, the one good thing your parents did was show you how not to parent your children. So if you can be there for them in the way that your parents weren't, you will be ending the cycle, which is by far the most important thing you can do here — well, that and getting out of the business I have a feeling, some healthy distance and some appropriate boundaries, I think that'll do wonders for your relationship.
[00:33:05] Jordan Harbinger: Hey, I agree completely here, Gabe. I also want you to check out a couple of questions. We've taken on Feedback Friday in the past about how to best deal with parents like yours. One of them was about talking to a mom who's deep into QAnon. Another one was about how to engage with a partner who became a conspiracy theorist. And then there's my interview with Dr. Steven Hassan where we talked about what to do when people you care about have been sucked down the QAnon rabbit hole. These would all be pretty good listens for you right now and will link to all of those for you in the show notes.
[00:33:38] So there you have it. I think it's a wise move to separate from your parents. The separation alone might be all you need to make things more peaceful. That doesn't mean you can't have a respectful, functional relationship with them. It just means you need to be very careful with them so that you guys can talk without them hurting you or your kids again. So focus on yourself, focus on your family and I know you'll strike the right balance. Good luck.
[00:34:01] You know who you can always trust with your kids, Gabe? The amazing sponsors that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:34:09] This episode is sponsored in part by Liquid I.V. So this weekend I went to change into my pajamas and I knew immediately that I was getting sick. I was hot and I was cold at the same time. And I was reading my kids' bedtime story. And I just got sicker by the minute. You all know that feeling, right? And right after the kids fell asleep, I had a full-blown fever and I knew that night was going to be crap-tacular, and it was. The first thing I did was grab the Liquid I.V. that they had sent over as a sample for this exact promo that you're listening to right now. I knew I was going to be sweating it up in bed. So I grabbed the tangerine flavor, which has some immune-supporting ingredients. I let the fever run its course, woke up with a little headache, drank the apple kombucha flavor, which I really liked a lot. My fever was gone by the afternoon. Now, legally, of course, I cannot say it cured the bug I had, whatever that bug might have been, but I can say that I was well hydrated and we are keeping a stash of it on hand in case of emergencies because, oof, man, I'll tell you with kids, I'm getting sick all the time. Also, I started drinking Liquid I.V. every morning during my workout. All the flavors I've tried have been actually really good. Although my personal favorite, still a tie between tangerine and apple kombucha.
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[00:35:33] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Progressive insurance. Most of you listening right now are probably multitasking. So yeah, while you're listening to me talk, you're probably also driving, cleaning, exercising, maybe even grocery shopping, but if you're not in some kind of moving vehicle, there's something else you can be doing right now, getting an auto quote from Progressive insurance. It's easy and you could save money by doing it right from your phone drivers who save by switching to progressive save over $700 on average. And auto customers qualify for an average of seven discounts, discounts for having multiple vehicles on your policy, being a homeowner, and more. So just like your favorite podcast, Progressive will be with you 24/7, 365 days a year. So you're protected no matter what. Multitask right now. Quote your car insurance at progressive.com to join the over 27 million drivers who trust Progressive.
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[00:36:49] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:36:53] All right. What's next?
[00:36:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, I'm 73 years old and I'm the unofficial keeper of my family records. Through DNA testing, four new relatives have recently come to light, which is now causing some problems. First, I found out that my late uncle had a secret second family and fathered three daughters, in addition to my two cousins I grew up with. I'm not particularly close to those two cousins since my uncle passed away. I'm establishing relationships with my three new cousins and my two other cousins will no longer talk to me. I also learned that my nephew, who is just two years younger than me, father a daughter as a teen, he knew nothing about until a few years ago. He wants nothing to do with her. As her great aunt, I'm establishing a relationship with her as well. On top of all of that, one of my new nephews was married and had a son with a troubled young woman who died of an overdose when the baby was one. He subsequently married and his new wife has raised the boy as her own. They never told him that he had a different mother and don't want him told. He's now 14. I welcome these new family members and have started new relationships with them, but not everyone in the family is so welcoming. They're now threatening to cut me out of their lives if I pursue relationships with these new members and they do not want their information in the family tree. So what do I do? Signed, 23 and Help Me.
[00:38:13] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, this is a lot of secrets for one family. Holy smokes.
[00:38:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep.
[00:38:17] Jordan Harbinger: I'm not totally surprised that your family isn't thrilled about this. I'm guessing they just don't want this new stuff to come to light. They're probably ashamed and/or jealous and it's just too painful. Although there's a part of me, that's like imagining people going, "How dare you tell me something that's true, but mildly inconvenience and doesn't necessarily really affect—"
[00:38:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:38:40] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, it's just kind of ridiculous.
[00:38:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Is it such a big deal?
[00:38:42] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:38:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hard to say.
[00:38:42] Jordan Harbinger: No hard to say.
[00:38:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:38:43] Jordan Harbinger: But for you, this is a fun project. You're the keeper of the family lore sort of the Frodo style. You're obviously enjoying building these relationships and being there for your new family members. That's really sweet of you. But for some of your other family members, you're dredging up difficult stuff. You're complicating the picture they have of their parents and even themselves. So the stakes are just much higher.
[00:39:06] I think you have two moves here. The first move is to talk to these family members about what's going on. Maybe you can ask them — what this family tree project is bringing up for them? Why they're so angry? What about these new family members is so difficult? Hear them out. Try to appreciate why this is so painful for them. And as you talk, help them process some of that stuff.
[00:39:27] For example, if you talk to your cousins and they're like, "We don't want to know about these half siblings, we are dad's kids, not them. This is humiliating." Maybe you can work through that with them. You could help them see that having these half siblings, it's not a reflection of them. You don't think any less of them as a result. Maybe one day you could even open up their minds to the idea of meeting these half siblings. I personally would love to find out I have half siblings. Yes, it would be a little weird, but it'd be cool. You could make it less scary for them to accept the truth about their dad.
[00:39:57] Same thing with your nephew, the one who had a daughter when he was young, I'm guessing he's pretty angry and ashamed about that. He was kept in the dark about it, I guess. And now he can't or won't be a father to this girl. Maybe you can help him open up about that. Who knows? You could even be the person who brings them together at some point and heals that old wound. That's really taking the old family tree to the next level, right? You play this different role than just putting cool stamps and drawings in a piece of paper.
[00:40:26] I guess what I'm saying is help your family come to terms with these huge discoveries that you have made. You're upsetting the apple cart in a pretty major way. And that's certainly you're right but I think you have to balance that with a little bit of empathy for what that's doing to your family members. And while you guys talk, I would also share your reasons for wanting to meet all these people. Your family might feel that you're meddling and you're stirring the pot and you're trying to open all these old wounds. When in reality, you just want to have an accurate family tree and be kind to these people. It sounds like they had it rough, right? They didn't get the good parents. Most of the time, they're they got left out.
[00:41:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:41:05] Jordan Harbinger: And so, it's hardly the ones who grew up with a nice satisfying life and had both — they're hardly the victims here, right? It's quite the other way around. If they understood your reasons more, maybe they'd be a little less hostile. Who knows? Maybe a few of them would even start to get into this whole family tree thing. At the end of the day, though, it's possible that some of your family will never be on board with this. And then you have to decide if you can bear their disapproval look. You're 73. This project is obviously important to you. Maybe you can accept their anger. I've heard older people say this at some point. They're just like, there is a certain age at which you just stop giving a crap, right?
[00:41:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:41:42] Jordan Harbinger: Because time is too short and you're like, I don't have time for your petty nonsense and passive-aggressive BS Ethel. Okay. You know, we have limited time on this earth. I don't care what your opinion is of my hobby. Or maybe you decide that the family tree isn't worth hurting people in your family over. Only, you can decide that. But if talking to them doesn't help, then you have another option, which is you stay close to these new family members you found, but you just don't bring it up to your old family members. Maybe they'll be okay with you being the keeper or the family lore if you're not constantly banging on about it at Thanksgiving.
[00:42:16] Honestly, given my family and how they are, they'll just forget about the whole thing after like a month. So here's another idea. You keep two versions of the family tree, one without these new people and a more accurate one that actually includes everyone, which is the whole point of a freaking family tree, but whatever. And then you make sure that whoever takes over the family tree project from you works from the complete version and your family members who don't approve can get the redacted version and just like, pretend these other people don't exist. which—
[00:42:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:42:48] Jordan Harbinger: —seems really dumb to me, but whatever, that's their choice. So no easy, simple solution here. Just ways around the problem and some trade-offs that you have to accept.
[00:43:00] Gabe. It's a fascinating problem though, how to deal with major revelations like this. I'd like to think I'd be super cool and open to meeting a long-lost half sibling or something. But to be honest, yeah, it would probably be very weird. Maybe even a little creepy. It's definitely the kind of thing that could change your opinion of a parent forever.
[00:43:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:43:18] Jordan Harbinger: So yeah, I get why these other family members are freaking out a little, although I don't think I'd cut someone off for digging up my half sibling and finding out the truth after all it is not this woman's fault or their half sibling's fault, it's their dad's fault. And their dad is gone. So what's the big freaking deal.
[00:43:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:43:34] Jordan Harbinger: So to be honest here, my aunt told me that my dad, my aunts, all of them, they have a secret sibling who's older than everyone else.
[00:43:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ooh.
[00:43:44] Jordan Harbinger: So my grandfather on my dad's side was married before, I guess, to some woman, had a child, and then they got divorced, which you never talked about if you did that, I guess in like 1950 or 40, whatever, whatever it was.
[00:43:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure. Right.
[00:43:58] Jordan Harbinger: And so it was 1940 something, so they just moved to California maybe or maybe this stayed in Detroit, but anyway, they lived in California for a while. And I don't think anyone found out until either my grandfather died or something. And I don't even know how it happened. I guess they found his immigration naturalization documents for coming to the United States. And it was like, has children one, so-and-so, and then all the siblings we knew. And it's like, "Wait, who the hell is Merrill?"
[00:44:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Whoa.
[00:44:28] Jordan Harbinger: And they got in touch because they were like, "Oh, hey, you're our older sister." She's like, "Yeah. Great. Oh my gosh, hi."
[00:44:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, okay. So they were cool about it?
[00:44:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, they were cool about it. They weren't like, "Oh no, grandpa, dad had another kid." they were just like, "Holy crap. Dad had another kid," but they're all adults.
[00:44:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:44:42] Jordan Harbinger: And they weren't like, "Oh, this person that we wrongfully thought was a saint." I mean, the guy was quite mortal and has been gone for decades. And it's like, do you want to know the truth? Or do you want to bury your head in the sand, like a freaking toddler? Come on.
[00:44:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm with you a hundred percent. I don't quite understand the psychology of that. Like I don't get why you would want to just ignore something that A, is a fact, I mean, they know now either way, whether this person is in the family tree, they know that—
[00:45:08] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:45:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: —they have other family members, they didn't know about. But also it's not their fault and it doesn't change anything about their lives.
[00:45:14] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:45:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: I have to think that on some level news, like this is threatening to some beliefs you have about your family like you idealized your parent or you feel like there's not enough love to go around if there are other siblings, but none of that ultimately is true. It's just an idea you have in your head. Maybe that's exactly what this woman writing in can try to get to the bottom of.
[00:45:31] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Yeah, I think so. And you would think older people would be more able to accept that, but they also might be mired in 1968 moral philosophy of the United States where everybody has a manicured lawn and the white picket fence, and anything that threatens that — remember Born on the Fourth of July, where Tom Cruise says the word penis and his mom goes ballistic? And like, kicks him out of the house, "You will not say that word in this house." And it's like, are you kidding me? Come on. We all know these exist.
[00:45:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:45:55] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That's sort of what this reminds me. Anyway. All right, what's next?
[00:45:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. A couple of months ago, I finally managed to break up with my girlfriend of six years having been together ever since we were 18. Our relationship was fairly codependent from the start with her depending heavily on me and my family for economic and practical stuff since she's an immigrant studying in my country without any family here. The relationship got increasingly unhealthy as we grew apart, but breaking up was extremely difficult. I was terrified that she wouldn't be okay without me and my family, but I finally managed to end it with her. Then recently I started dating an old close friend of mine. We've tried to take things slow since we're both fresh out of difficult breakups, but we're really enjoying being with each other. And the relationship is great in that intense new relationship way. So we haven't really managed to take it as slow as we initially wanted. She struggles with anxiety and depression and is in therapy. I want to be as supportive as possible, but due to my previous relationship, I'm very worried about enabling an unhealthy dynamic by not letting her get to a better place on her own terms. She's also mentioned that she wants to fix her underlying issues before Band-Aiding her mental health with a new partner. What steps can I take to make sure I support her while fostering the healthiest relationship possible? Signed, Saying No to the Tendency to Grow in Codependency.
[00:47:17] Jordan Harbinger: Well, first of all, I love that you're so aware of this pattern of yours. You've learned from the past, you're being very thoughtful about how you kick off this new relationship. You want to do things differently this time. I think that's huge.
[00:47:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:47:29] Jordan Harbinger: Just seeing a dynamic so early that's at least half the battle. And it goes back to, I think last week we had a question about this kid who was like, "I need help for my addiction." I bravoed to anybody who sees this and then actually does something about it. No matter how old you are. I also love that you've chosen a girl who also wants to have a healthy relationship. The fact that she's working on herself, that she doesn't just want a paper over her mental health stuff with you. That's great. That's crucial. With both of you taking care of yourselves, I know you can build a well-functioning relationship.
[00:48:00] So my first recommendation is as much as you can try to get to the roots of this impulse to step in and save someone or take care of them inappropriately. The best place you can do that is obviously in therapy. So if you're not there already, that would be really helpful. The whole codependent thing, that's almost always rooted in childhood, early family dynamics. Maybe mom needed you to do that for her or dad set up a certain expectation that it was your job, or you took care of a sibling from a young age or everyone in your family was all kind of up in everyone else's business all the time. If you can figure out what those formative early experiences were, this dynamic with your partners will make a lot more sense. And it'll be easier to notice when you find yourself falling back into that pattern.
[00:48:49] My second thought is, keep checking in with yourself regularly, keep tabs on this caretaking thing. For example, if your girlfriend brings a problem to you and you guys talk it out, I would pause and ask yourself, "How am I doing right now? What role am I playing for her in this moment? Am I supporting her appropriately? Am I recognizing the limit of my role here? Or am I starting to feel like her problems are my problems? Am I overly anxious about whether she can work on this on her own?" Just notice when those codependent thoughts and feelings start to creep in.
[00:49:22] And I would do that in the bigger picture too. Every few weeks, check in with yourself and see how the relationship is feeling overall. Is your girlfriend actively working on her stuff or is she starting to look to you to fix things for her? Are you guys maintaining separate identities or are you starting to feel obligated to her, responsible for her? Is the relationship feeling like your last one or does it feel different? Those are all really important signals. If you do start to notice any of the old codependency stuff cropping up, then I would sit with that for a bit and try to find a different way of relating to your girlfriend. Maybe you take a day apart, reconnect with yourself. Maybe you pull back a little, let your girlfriend step up and take care of herself. Maybe you even talk about it together. I'm actually a big fan of that and see if you're each honoring your commitment to taking care of yourselves. And again, if you're both in therapy, then you both have a place to check in with a professional about how the relationship is going. And I think that's key.
[00:50:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I agree completely. But while you do all of that, keep in mind that you don't need to get this right from the very start. You don't need to be absolutely perfect for the relationship to succeed. There might be times where you overstep a little bit. Maybe you suddenly find yourself taking on your girlfriend's stuff before you even realized it. You can always make an adjustment along the way. The first few times you guys negotiate that as you start to calibrate the right level of support. You're basically learning how to function together, how to function in a better way together. And the process you guys go through there and the way you communicate about all of this, that's actually more important than whether you nail this codependency thing from the start.
[00:50:58] But also, I just want to say, try to enjoy this. It is so exciting to be in that honeymoon phase, right? It's fun. It's important. So don't feel like you need to hold yourself back from that phase completely, like, "Oh, I can't let myself feel all the things and I can't let myself get excited because I might be falling back into codependency." It is totally possible to bond deeply with somebody without falling into the caretaking pattern if you're vigilant and self-aware and you communicate really well.
[00:51:26] Jordan Harbinger: So true. He doesn't need to cut himself off from all these wonderful feelings to not backslide. He just needs to be aware of how this pattern operates and find a different way. And like you said, he's learning and this is how he learns. So good luck, man. I love your intention here. I'm a big fan of how much responsibility you're taking for yourself. And I have a feeling this relationship is heading in the right direction. So, yeah, good luck.
[00:51:48] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everybody who wrote in this week. And of course, everybody who listened, thank you so much. Go back and check out Ioan Grillo, both parts. If you haven't yet.
[00:51:56] If you want to know how I managed to book all of these great people for the show, I manage my relationships using software, systems, and tiny habits, and I made a course for you. The course is free. It's over on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. I'm teaching you how to dig the well before you get thirsty and use all the same little tactics and tricks that I use. Take like four or five minutes a day. Trust me. I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. It's been great for my business and great for my personal life. All for free at jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:52:25] Show notes at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts are in the show notes. All the advertisers and discount codes are all in one place, jordanharbinger.com/deals. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn. And you can find Gabe on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:52:44] 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 this show. Remember, we rise by lifting others. Hey, share the show with those you love. And if you found this episode useful, please share it with somebody else who could 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.
[00:53:18] Here's what you should check out next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:53:22] James Fallon: I'm a neuroscientist. Since about 1989, I've studied the brain imaging scans of killers, serial killers, really bad murders. And in this case, I did one or two a year for many years. And then in 2005, 2006, I got sent a ton of them and I analyzed them. I said, "Oh my god, there's a pattern." So I saw this pattern that nobody had ever described, but at the same time, we were doing a clinical study on the genetics of Alzheimer's disease. And we had all the Alzheimer's patients we needed. So we needed normals, just normal controls. And so I asked my family, that was kind of my first mistake. I said, "Look, guys, you want to all get in?" I have my brothers, my wife. I said, "We'll test you." And the idea being in the side of the family, there was no Alzheimer's at all. So we did it.
[00:54:08] And the two technicians walked into my office and on my right side, I piled all these murders' brain scans, and they handed me, piled my family scans and they were covered up. So I couldn't see the names. And so I went through, I went through one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. I was really relieved that they looked at the first pass normal. And then I got to the last scan and looked at them, I said, "Okay guys." They said, "This is very funny. You kid around with each other, right?" And I said, "You switched it. You took one of the worst psychopaths from this pile of murders and you switched it into my family. Ha-ha." And they go, "No, it's part of your family." I said, "You've got to be kidding." I said, "This guy shouldn't be walking around in open society. He's probably a very dangerous person." So I had to tear back the covering on the name of it and there was my name.
[00:54:59] Jordan Harbinger: For more with Dr. James Fallon, including how to spot a psychopath in the wild, check out episode 28 here on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
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