Your gambling addict of a boyfriend has put you $70,000 in debt, and now you’re wondering if the notarized document he’s agreed to sign will really be enough to ensure you’ll ever see that money again. While you’re smart enough to know the house always wins when wagering, you have a sneaking suspicion that the girlfriend doesn’t. Welcome to Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- Your gambling addict of a boyfriend has put you $70,000 in debt, and now you’re wondering if the notarized document he’s agreed to sign will really be enough to ensure you’ll ever see that money again. [Thanks to attorney Corbin Payne for helping us with yet another doozy!]
- You worry your good friend may be getting married before he’s emotionally or financially ready — and the couple’s frequent bickering just exacerbates your misgivings. Should you voice your concerns, or just let them go?
- Recent layoffs at your company — of long-time and high-performing employees, many of your friends included — leave you feeling disheartened and insecure, even though you survived this round. Is preparing your resume the most logical next step?
- Your 76-year-old mother has recently admitted to suffering serious health issues from the stress of caring for her dying husband and wondering how to take care of herself once he’s gone. If you can’t convince her to try therapy, how might you help her manage this stress that’s tearing her apart?
- Being a charismatic teenager who’s always romantically approached might sound like a dream to most of your peers, but the truth is you hate hurting the ones you turn away. Aside from eschewing basic hygiene, is there a compassionate way to dial down the mojo?
- 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.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
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Sign up for Six-Minute Networking — our free networking and relationship development mini course — at jordanharbinger.com/course!
This Episode Is Sponsored By:
- Peloton: Learn more at onepeloton.com/row
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- Into the Impossible: Listen here or wherever you find fine podcasts!
Miss the show we did with Dennis Rodman — one of the greatest rebounders ever to play professional basketball? Catch up here with episode 258: Dennis Rodman | The Worm Is Back!
Resources from This Episode:
- Circumcision | Skeptical Sunday | Jordan Harbinger
- Michael Santos | Conquering a 45-Year Prison Term | Jordan Harbinger
- Martin Seligman | Flourishing in an Uncertain Future | Jordan Harbinger
- Pervert-in-Law Scammer Belongs in the Slammer | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Corbin Payne | Twitter
- Bright Lights: What One Woman’s 25-Year Gambling Addiction Really Cost | The Guardian
- Learning How to Cope with Instability | Deep Dive | Jordan Harbinger
- Why We Suffer and How to Manage It | Deep Dive | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Quit Your Job the Right Way | Deep Dive | Jordan Harbinger
- Ramit Sethi | I Will Teach You to Find Your Dream Job | Jordan Harbinger
- 21 Things to Do and Ask If Your Partner Is Depressed | Healthline
- 10 Tips for Coping With Depression in a Relationship | Verywell Mind
- Grief Changes the Brain: How to Heal After a Loved One’s Death | Today
- Affordable, Private Therapy Anytime, Anywhere | BetterHelp
- Martinelli Juice Sparkling Cider | Amazon
- More to Life? (Clip) | Zoolander
804: Beau’s Bad Bets Bust Beloved’s Bank | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Special thanks to Peloton for sponsoring this episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:04] Welcome to Feedback Friday, and I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, a guy whose walls are no longer serial killer white, but more like angsty emo teenager, black now, Gabriel Mizrahi. Gabe, nice jet-black acoustic panels you got there. What are those East Elm?
[00:00:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Thank you. You mean West Elm?
[00:00:27] Jordan Harbinger: No, no, East Elm. That's where they—
[00:00:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: What is East Elm?
[00:00:30] Jordan Harbinger: That's where they sell all the stuff nobody wants. It's on the wrong side of the furniture tracks.
[00:00:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: What a weird store that would be.
[00:00:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, no, of course.
[00:00:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: I exclusively shop there online. Yeah. Mm-hmm. That's where it came from.
[00:00:42] 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. 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.
[00:01:07] Now, if you are new to the show on Fridays, we give advice, we answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, and performers. This week we had Michael Santos. This guy is amazing. He went to prison for decades on drug charges and in prison, he got more done and made more money than most of us do outside of prison by radically changing his life. And now, he helps other inmates do the same. Really incredible guy, really just an amazing person. We also had the one and only Martin Seligman, learned helplessness, one of the greatest scientists around, in fact, the founder of the field of positive psychology. Something to really sink our teeth into this week and somebody who's been on my interview list for like a decade. So very happy to bring that one to you, finally. And we had a Skeptical Sunday that aired this week on circumcision. And Gabe, you know, uh, that episode, it's uncut. Anyway, make sure you've had a look and listen to all that we created for you here this week.
[00:02:05] Before we jump in, Gabe, we have a little update from a listen, right?
[00:02:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes, we do. So as you guys probably remember a few weeks ago, we took a question from a woman whose brother-in-law had put a nanny cam in her room, took a bunch of photos of her, and then tried to blackmail her into having sex with him. And she and her sister gathered a bunch of evidence, including evidence that this guy might have done this to other women slash probably did do this other women—
[00:02:28] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:02:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: —handed all of that over to the police, including his laptop. And the police either seemed to be sleeping on the case or they were just taking their sweet time while this guy remained on the loose.
[00:02:39] Jordan Harbinger: Right. And then on top of that, she had a feeling that her sister was still seeing the husband, right?
[00:02:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:02:42] Jordan Harbinger: Because she was being distant and coming home late and all that stuff. And we're like, eh, maybe, maybe not, definitely talk to her, find out what's going on, and then you'll know for sure. And in the meantime, get a restraining order from the court ASAP.
[00:02:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's right. Well, she wrote in again and she said, "My sister communicated to me that she wants to fight for her marriage. And that's been absolutely heartbreaking for me. It doesn't matter if I like it or not, it's her life and she has a right to do that, you know? I just want her to choose herself. I think all I can do is stay within reach for her when her hopes fall apart, as I'm sure they will. I haven't told her the depths of how this affects me so as to eliminate any guilt she may have. So suffering in silence at home but I do have a therapist. In other news, I was granted an emergency order of protection and have court next month for the final verdict. I actually went to the police station right after to gather the evidence they have from my case. They couldn't give it to me as it is an ongoing investigation, but the detective said he will show up to my court date to support the evidence. I'll keep you guys posted. Thanks again for all the advice."
[00:03:44] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. So we were wrong. Her sister is fully getting back together with the dude who abused her and literally spied on her sister and blackmailed her and probably multiple other women for sex.
[00:03:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:03:59] Jordan Harbinger: Well, that's low self-esteem for you, I guess.
[00:04:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh man, that music really cuts both ways, doesn't it?
[00:04:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:04:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, that's a clown move, but it is also very sad. Probably, yeah, it's a low self-esteem, wounds, fear. I don't know what's going on. All of the above? Who knows? It is tragic. I got to say though, the woman who wrote in is being very understanding about all of this.
[00:04:23] Jordan Harbinger: She really is. I don't know if I'd be as kind to my sister if she made a giant mistake like this—
[00:04:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:04:28] Jordan Harbinger: Especially when it means that they're both going to be less safe.
[00:04:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:04:32] Jordan Harbinger: It's also kind of insulting, right? Like, "I know my husband spied on you and tried to blackmail you into sleeping with him, but I love him and I want to give him another chance." Like, "What? Is that how little you care about me?"
[00:04:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:04:41] Jordan Harbinger: I don't understand.
[00:04:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: I know.
[00:04:42] Jordan Harbinger: But it's not really about her. Yeah.
[00:04:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, but it involves her.
[00:04:46] Jordan Harbinger: Right. It involves her. That's true.
[00:04:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm intrigued by the whole, "I haven't told her the depths of how this affects me, so as to eliminate any guilt she may have," piece of the letter.
[00:04:55] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That's very telling, isn't it?
[00:04:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: I mean, she's well within her right to tell her sister that getting back together with a man who abused both of them is patently insane. Okay.
[00:05:05] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:05:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: So she might feel a little guilty, but that's not entirely inappropriate, is it?
[00:05:10] Jordan Harbinger: No, of course not. It's like, oh, you should actually really feel guilty. You should feel guilty.
[00:05:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Maybe a little bit.
[00:05:14] Jordan Harbinger: Because this is insane.
[00:05:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:05:15] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I love how sensitive she is. She obviously cares about her sister a lot, but I do wonder if she's airing a little bit too much on the side of being delicate.
[00:05:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:05:23] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, they're way past treading lightly here. If we had more time, I'd want to get into why making her sister feel guilty is such a concern. There's obviously a lot more to that because remember, her and her sister are ostensibly raised in the same house.
[00:05:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:05:34] Jordan Harbinger: And one is a low self-esteem mess from the sound of it. The other person is well adjusted and happy. So what happened?
[00:05:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: There's definitely more going on there. She's working very hard to spare her sister any uncomfortable feelings here from the sound of it, which is, yeah, it's very interesting. But then, as a result, she has to bear all of this herself, which—
[00:05:51] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:05:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: —also makes me sad. Well, on the bright side, she got the order of protection. She's in therapy. She's doing everything she can to protect herself right now. That is great news.
[00:06:00] Jordan Harbinger: Yep. I'm very happy to hear that. Big shout out to C. Payne, legal eagle and defense attorney for hammering home the importance of an order of protection/restraining order, so crucial in a case like this.
[00:06:11] Anyway, this is sad stuff and I hope your sister wakes up one day soon, and she's lucky to have you close by. Sending you a big hug and our best thoughts for February, and please stay safe.
[00:06:21] Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:06:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. I've been dating my boyfriend for almost three years, and I've been heavily impacted by his sports gambling addiction.
[00:06:31] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:06:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: We live together and are supposed to share expenses, but his addiction is so bad that he'll often spend over half of his paycheck on gambling right when he gets paid, leaving me to carry the burden of groceries, rent, and other living expenses. He's even stolen tens of thousands of dollars from my credit cards without telling me. He adds the credit cards to his betting apps, and then I'll see thousands of dollars in charges when I check my statement. We'll get into an argument about it and he'll apologize profusely saying he knows he has an addiction and won't do it again, but then he'll continue to steal my money or spend all of his money on sports betting. I've kept track of what he owes me, and it totals over $70,000 at this point.
[00:07:14] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:07:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: This includes a $25,000 loan I had to take out to get out of the first round of credit card debt that he put me in. I work hard, make a good salary, and have been very smart with my money since I graduated college, I've told him that he's ruined my financial future for years to come, which is devastating, and have contemplated breaking things off with him many times. I don't see an end to his gambling in sight as he refuses to seek help. In one of our recent conversations, he said he would sign a notarized document that stipulates what money he owes me. Would this ensure that I'll recoup what he's taken from me, or are there other legal actions I can take? I'm terrified that if I break things off, he'll refuse to sign the notarized document. How can I ensure from a legal perspective that if I break things off with my boyfriend, he'll pay me what he owes? Signed, Screwed by the Magnitude of My dude's Accrued and Unscrewed Dues.
[00:08:08] Jordan Harbinger: Phew. Wow. Okay. Well, this is a problem. I am so sorry that this is happening to you. It's very worrisome stuff, and as you know, your boyfriend is a full-blown gambling addict and you are footing the bill financially and emotionally, I'm sure. And you need to nip this problem in the bud ASAP so the damage just doesn't get any worse. It's already pretty bad, but it's going to get worse. We wanted to talk to an expert here, so we reached out to none other than the aforementioned legal eagle in front of the show, Corbin Payne.
[00:08:37] Just hitting that sound effect again for good measure, Gabe. We got to make sure that we brand it solidly.
[00:08:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's really starting to feel like an episode of Law & Order over here. It's going to starting to feel like Thursday night in 1994.
[00:08:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. And Corbin's take, yes, the notarized stipulation could be very helpful. But he also said that even something as simple as a text message where he admits that he owes you money, even that could be sufficient. But if you can get a signed statement from your boyfriend, you should. And if you do, Corbin said that it would be even stronger if you itemized the money that he's taken. In other words, write out a list of the individual monies he took from credit cards, the loan you had to take out to cover the payment, the times he blew his paycheck and relied on you to pay the bills, all of that. The more specific you can be about the date, amounts, and method of stealing slash the source of the funds, the better.
[00:09:24] Now, the real challenge in anything like this is always collecting, not just the suing part, the collecting part, because yes, that documentation will prove that your boyfriend owes you this money. But just because you have a signed document doesn't mean you automatically get paid back and given your boyfriend's addiction, his relationship to money, the fact that he probably doesn't have very much in the way of assets, Corbin senses that you're in for a very difficult time recovering these funds and you might have to sue your boyfriend to recover the money.
[00:09:53] Generally, speaking, a creditor, and you are a sort of creditor in this case, you're basically your boyfriend's very own Wells Fargo, a creditor can get liens against a debtor's assets or seize them outright and you could even get his wages garnished. Although Corbin said that a garnishment is likely to really only net a few hundred bucks a month, you might also be able to get dibs on his tax refund if he's got a good one or anything at all. And if you stay together, Corbin said you might be able to use the courts to force him to set aside a portion of his paycheck for the good of the couple. But Corbin said you will absolutely require a lawyer for any of those options.
[00:10:29] In the meantime, Corbin's strong recommendation is to lock down your credit cards, let your credit card companies know that you're not sports betting and to deny any future gambling charges. It sounds like you haven't been the most proactive about protecting yourself on that front, but it is absolutely time to start. You're dealing with a flood here, but the first thing you need to do is turn off the dang tap. You might even want to go one step further and report these charges as theft, which by the way, that is what they are.
[00:10:55] Now, the credit card company might want to report this to the police, so be prepared for that. But then again, they might also not. My mom dealt with this in the past, and they just weren't aggressive about pressing charges. I mean, she reported to the police and they were like, oh, well, this way at least you won't be responsible for the charges, because when something is fraud, your credit card company says, "Okay, well, you don't have to pay for that." Or, at the very least, you'll buy yourself some time while they investigate and you'll be able to get your house in order. Look, it might be too late to dispute the charges now. I don't know how long it's been, but it also might not be.
[00:11:27] Regardless, Corbin also strongly recommends putting in writing, and yes, a text message, a Facebook message, an email, any of those are going to get the job done. That your boyfriend absolutely cannot use your credit cards anymore and he cannot use any funds or assets to which you are entitled to engage in gambling of any type. And there's a good reason for this. Corbin wants you to be able to have this guy prosecuted if he keeps ruining your life. And I know that might be a really sad option right now, but what you don't want to see is your boyfriend try to argue that he had your permission to keep treating your MasterCard like his own personal line of credit. And all this is even more important if you do break up with him because he's not going to cooperate with anything after that, most likely.
[00:12:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Agreed. She's got to get a handle on the finances STAT and then deal with the rest of the problem.
[00:12:14] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:12:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Those are your legal options. But now that we've gotten that out of the way, I just want to touch for a moment on the relationship.
[00:12:20] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:12:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: We have to talk about it, right, Jordan? I mean, look, your boyfriend is an addict. You know this. He seems to know this. And like all addicts, he's wrestling with something very intense. And look, I do feel for him in a certain way, obviously, this gambling addiction is serving some kind of function, covering up some kind of pain or numbing or, I mean, who knows what's going on for him. I really do hope he gets the help he needs, but at this point, I think it would be a grave mistake to stay with this guy. He has financially compromised you. He's treated you pretty poorly from the sound of it. I mean, he's placed his addiction above your relationship and your wellbeing. He's used you for your money. This is not a healthy partner. This is a bad partner. And I understand that you've been afraid to break up with him because it might make recouping the money more difficult. I get it. But the money is going to be difficult to recoup anyway, right? And meanwhile, you're subjecting yourself to even more financial disaster the longer you stick around.
[00:13:14] So my take, get out of there. I mean, like now. Reclaim your life. Protect yourself emotionally, financially. Leave this guy to work through this addiction, if yes, to hit rock bottom on his own, so be it. But let him do that on his own without hurting you any further.
[00:13:32] Jordan Harbinger: Amen, Gabe. I'm tempted to dig into why she was drawn to this guy in the first place and why she's put up with this crap for so long. But I'm sure she's asking herself the same question, and I'm sure she's grown a lot in the last few months. This is a very painful lesson to learn, but she's learning it and I trust that she's going to know what to do with it.
[00:13:50] So I'm with you, Gabe. Separate as soon as you can, maybe have to get that list signed and send that email. Shut down your cards, open new ones. Get yourself your own apartment, separate your assets, and just move on. I'm sorry this happened to you. It is awful. It is tragic. It might be a real headache for a couple of years while you untangle all this, but here's the good news, you will never make this mistake again, and you do pretty well and you're good with money, which is a huge advantage. I know that'll make it that much easier to recover from this. We're wishing you the best of luck, which is something your boyfriend apparently doesn't have too much of. Take care of yourself.
[00:14:26] You know what's never a risky gamble? The products and services that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:14:34] This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help. The other day, my dad told me his friend kept him on the phone for hours complaining about his wife and all their personal issues. He was probably venting, which is fine, but for advice on what to do, my dad is just not the right person to go to for that. My God, what he needs is a therapist. If you're going through a tough time — sorry dad, but you know, it's true. If you're going through a tough time, speaking to a therapist can help you get out of that rut faster If you're feeling depressed, getting out of the house to see a therapist can feel downright impossible. That's why I highly recommend Better Help. You can do chat, phone, video sessions. For me, I have an easier time opening up when I'm in the comfort of my own home. I don't want to be on someone else's couch where someone else's feet have been where my head is now. Ugh. I don't even want to think about that. Therapy is vulnerable work. I don't need to smell your stinky feet and Better Help understands that you won't mesh with every therapist. You can easily switch therapists whenever you want, until you find one that you click with. You're going to be vulnerable. It's important that you like your therapist. Better Help even as group therapy sessions, so you're among people experiencing similar issues if you want that. I don't know if I would want that. Nah, I would want that. Check out Better Help's over 94,000 reviews on the iPhone app if you're still skeptical and if you're on the fence, take this as a sign from the universe. You know how I feel about those. So go and try it out. If you want to live a more empowered life. Therapy can get you there. Visit betterhelp.com/jordan today to get 10 percent off your first month. That's better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan.
[00:15:54] This episode is sponsored in part by Peloton. Trying a new workout is like learning a new skill. It can be overwhelming, and the uncertainty can be a major barrier to actually getting started. Peloton's approach to convenience is very helpful for people who are looking to take on a new fitness skill or routine. Everything is designed to be as simple and streamlined as possible from the easy-to-use touchscreen interface to the wide range of class options and personalized recommendations. You can access a variety of live and on-demand classes, including cycling, running, strength. Now, there's an incredible rower, which I really enjoy, all from the comfort of your own home. Rowing is great as a full-body workout, which means you'll be engaging multiple muscle groups at once, including your legs, core, arms, and back. This will help you burn more calories, of course. It will help you build more strength especially, and improve your overall fitness. Correct rowing form isn't intuitive. At least, it certainly wasn't for me. And doing it correctly is harder than it sounds, especially once you start getting tired because, of course, your form always breaks down when you get tired. Form Assist shows you a figure of yourself as you row, and when you screw up a portion of the body, your body turns red. That's a good way to avoid getting super, super injured, or tweaking something and not being able to work out, which stops a lot of people who are diving in either for the first time or getting back into it after a long time. So try Peloton Row risk-free with a 30-day home trial. New members only. Not available in remote locations. See additional terms at onepeloton.com/home-trial.
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[00:17:41] All right, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:17:44] Next up.
[00:17:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, guys. I have a friend who's going to be getting married in a couple of months, and I don't think he's really ready. This is the first true love and relationship for both him and his fiancée. They saved themselves for each other, which is why their bond is so strong. He's been with her for about a year and a half now and has been engaged for the last six months. I'm not saying things can't move that fast, but he isn't financially or emotionally ready. They constantly fight about almost anything right in front of me and our other friend, which puts us in an awkward position. This other friend and I sat down and had a good talk with him recently, and he kept going on about how stressed he was saying that it was due to work, although he loves his job. He also told us that he started vaping again because he, quote-unquote, "has to."
[00:18:30] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:18:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm torn between telling him I don't like what I see and letting it go. What would you do? Signed, Save This Groom From Certain Doom or Avoid his Gloom and Let This Marriage Go Boom.
[00:18:43] Jordan Harbinger: Oh boy. This is bad news. And I think it's fair to say that if you're constantly fighting with your partner in front of your friends, you're hitting your Juul because you have to, you're blaming your stress on a job you actually love. Yeah, maybe you shouldn't marry that person just yet, so no, you're not wrong. But whether you should intervene, eh, that's a little tricky. First of all, I think this comes down to what kind of relationship you have with this guy. If he's been your best friend for years, and you guys have a pretty good relationship and you see this guy in your life for the long term, you have more of a responsibility to talk to him. If he's more of a buddy that you see every month or two, you could intervene, but I'm not sure you owe it to him.
[00:19:23] But look, obviously, something's not right here. He's not seeing his situation clearly, or he's too afraid to admit that this relationship needs work. And if you helped him avoid a huge mistake, you'd be doing him a huge favor. Also, if they're the couple that, quote-unquote, "saves themselves for each other," then they might also be the "never get divorce" types. They might be fairly religious as well, which is another layer to this. So these problems could just get way, way, way harder to solve once they're actually married, and maybe they'll never separate.
[00:19:53] So, you know, I'm leaning towards you saying something, and the way that I would do that is rather than sitting him down and giving him a lecture, which he might just resist or resent you for, I'd take him out and just talk to him. Ask him how he's feeling about the wedding, about her, how he's coping with the stress these days. Get him to open up a little, make it safe for him to tell you how he's really doing. And if he gives you a window to dig into this with him. Then, I would start to explore the marriage stuff, but I wouldn't just go all at it like, "You and your fiancée are doomed, bro. You need to call off the wedding." I would say something like, "Listen, man, as your friend, I can't help but notice that you seem really stressed lately. You're vaping again. You seem a little on edge. I'm concerned about you. You know what's up?" Let him talk, ask him questions, get into it with him, and if the moment feels right, maybe you say, "Hey, look, I don't mean to pry, but I can't help but notice that you and Mary seem to be arguing a lot lately. You know what's going on there? Are you guys okay? Do you guys fight a lot? Are you resolving any of this stuff?"
[00:20:53] Just go slowly, be respectful, but try to help him confront what's happening in his relationship. Maybe seeing it through his friend's eyes will help him see things a little bit more objectively. But listen, while you do that, make sure your buddy knows that you're not saying this because you don't like his fiancée, but because you don't like their issues. Otherwise, he might get super defensive. But if you frame it like, "Hey, I love both of you guys. You guys are both great," but that's going to go down very differently. So you want to make it not about the girl. You want to make it about the issues.
[00:21:24] I think that's key, man, because of course you're going to defend your fiancée, right?
[00:21:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure, yeah.
[00:21:29] Jordan Harbinger: But you can't really fight that you're fighting the freaking car in the drive-through at Taco Bell. Now — getting chalupas always gets everybody a little angsty. Now, the hardest part will be balancing your interests with his interests. Obviously, you want him to postpone the wedding, but that's quite a big decision. It's only two months away. He might be determined to go forward with it no matter what, and you have to be prepared to accept that. So it's a balance. It's a balance between letting your friend explore all this and make up his own mind and maybe telling him what you think he should do to avoid a ton of drama.
[00:22:00] And look, maybe being a little meddlesome is appropriate if he knows that he needs to hit pause in the wedding, but he can't muster the courage. Maybe you say, "Hey, look man, I know this is terrifying, but I just got to tell you, I think you'd be making a huge mistake getting married like this, and if I were you, I'd hit pause and sort this out. Or you're going to be in a world of hurt. And if you need help doing that, man, I will help you." It's a little over steppy, but it's an option.
[00:22:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: It is an option. But by the way, calling off the wedding doesn't mean ending the relationship completely, right? It means investing in the relationship by working through these issues before they tie the knot. So maybe you can remind them of that and put them at ease a little bit. And you can frame that as, "Look, man, I want you to be excited to get married. I don't want you secretly hitting your Juul all day because you're so stressed about the next fight you and Mary get into. So give yourself a little more time. Figure this stuff out with her now. Don't kick your marriage off this way.
[00:22:53] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, good point. Because ultimately, this is the best thing for their relationship.
[00:22:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:22:57] Jordan Harbinger: At the end of the day though, well you know what I'm about to say.
[00:23:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: You got to let this guy make his own mistakes, right?
[00:23:03] Jordan Harbinger: Yep. It is not your life, it's his. And if he wants to mess it up by marrying a girl who screams at him for the way he tucks in his freaking shirt or whatever, whatever these two love birds are tearing into each other about in front of you guys, then, that's his choice. In six months or a year, he might realize his mistake and learn his lesson, and that might be what has to happen for this guy to grow. So good luck, you don't have much time, so I'd have this conversation sooner than later, but I would also be realistic about how much influence you really have here. Whatever you do, support this guy and empower him to make the best decision for himself.
[00:23:37] Man, Gabe, this is the most awkward wedding ever.
[00:23:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, dude. You ever go to a wedding where you just know that the bride and groom are not going to make it? Have you been to those weddings?
[00:23:46] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:23:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: The worst, right?
[00:23:48] Jordan Harbinger: It's the absolute worst. So uncomfortable. And then everyone's just like standing there in their tuxedos and dresses, taking pictures, dancing, and everyone is thinking like, "Okay, this is a charade. This is so effed. Open bar, I guess, but this is going to be awkward as hell in 10 years looking at these photos.
[00:24:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yet another reason, this guy might want to speak up now before it's too late.
[00:24:07] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, forever hold your peace, man.
[00:24:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:24:10] Jordan Harbinger: So I hope this guy sees the light.
[00:24:12] You can reach us firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep your emails concise. Use descriptive subject lines. That makes our job a whole lot easier. If there's something you're going through, a big decision you're wrestling with, or you want a new perspective on stuff like life, love, work. What to do if you're too afraid to seek help for your childhood abuse because it might impact your career in the spy agencies? Whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up email@example.com. We're here to help and we keep every email anonymous.
[00:24:40] Okay, what's next?
[00:24:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, my company recently announced a very abrupt layoff through email. Many longtime and high-performing employees were impacted, including a lot of my close friends. I was very fortunate to survive this layoff, but now I feel very disheartened and like I'm not secure in this company any more, which, by the way, I picked over other high-paying jobs because it seemed more secure than the others until now. I also feel very on edge and careful with my opinions and words at work, which was never an issue before. Am I overreacting here? Should I prepare my resume just in case I get fired? How can I feel secure and trust my current company again? Signed, Trying to Make that Bread With This Anvil Hanging Over My Head.
[00:25:27] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, man, I'm very sorry to hear this. Layoffs are incredibly sad and stressful. And even if you survive one, it can definitely leave you a little rattled. I can certainly appreciate why you feel disheartened, unsteady, unsure how much you can trust your company now. This is all a part of corporate life, so I'm going to drop a truth bomb on you now, and it's kind of depressing, but don't worry. I promise you it's ultimately good news. The truth bomb is this, no job is ever secure, ever. It might seem secure, it might seem more secure than some other job, but no job is ever a hundred percent guaranteed to be safe far from it. And yes, it includes government and all that. I've said this on the show before, companies will ultimately always do what is right for themselves, not for you, even the nice ones. And we don't need to get into whether that's cool or uncool, fair or unfair, hashtag capitalism, whatever. That's just how it is. That's the system we operate in, them's the rules. We just have to accept it. And we can get philosophical about it all we want, but that's a sobering thought, right?
[00:26:24] Because most of us, myself included, we go around making a lot of big freaking decisions based on how much they minimize uncertainty.
[00:26:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:26:32] Jordan Harbinger: Because uncertainty is bad. It's awful in a lot of ways, but the reality is everything is uncertain. I mean, look at what's happening at Google right now, or Amazon, or any number of companies around the world. Amazon is more money than any other company, and they laid off 18,000 people. Why? Because they want to keep that money. It's not, they couldn't afford them. They didn't want to afford them. How many of those workers were like, "Yeah, I'm at a company that's worth over a trillion dollars. I work on a team that contributes to hundreds of millions, maybe billions in revenue. I'm fine. My salary is a drop on the bucket. They need people like me." And then they get an email one day saying they're locked out of their corporate account. This happens all the time. So, like I said, a little depressing kind of. Unless you embrace it completely and you admit that no matter how hard you try, no matter how powerful you are, no matter how much money you make, no matter how much your company tells you otherwise. Nothing in life is guaranteed, and that can take a while to come to terms with. But once you do that, then you're in a position to become friendlier with that reality and you can start to work with it in a way that allows you to manage the uncertainty rather than pretending it doesn't exist.
[00:27:39] So to answer your question, how can you feel secure and trust your company again? Well, you can't. I'm not saying they're definitely going to fire you next, or that they're all bad people. Your job may in fact be safe. What I'm saying is you just don't know, and you'll get a lot further by not trying to reclaim that security and just embracing that your company simply can't offer you that feeling because no one can. And as you probably know, I say this from firsthand experience because five years ago I went through that big business breakup and lost my show, and had to start from scratch. And when that happened, I realized for the second time in my life that uncertainty is just one of the operating conditions of life. It's in the air, it's in the water, so to speak, no way around it.
[00:28:21] The first time, by the way, was when I was laid off from my Wall Street job during the recession in '08. Although, to be honest, that didn't throw me nearly as much because I low-key didn't even want to be there at all. And they gave me a nice severance that is basically an excuse to go all in on my company at the time. But I've had a few of these reminders over the years, big ones and small ones, and it's always that sort of feeling of, oh right, nothing's guaranteed, duh. Almost got too comfortable for a second.
[00:28:45] So given all that, how do you deal with this moment that you're in right now? Well, the first thing you have to do is fully accept that this is how your company is. It always was this way you just didn't know it. Now, you do and you're a little shaken up. That's okay. All you need to do is come to terms with the fact that nothing is fixed. It's that basic Buddhist principle, right? Life has changed. That's all it is. Then, you work with your feelings from there. So you feel disheartened, you feel uneasy, you feel kind of paranoid. What can you do about that? Well, you could talk to your colleagues, find some camaraderie with them, create some support, be there for one another. If things take a turn again. That's always nice. You can put on your Six-Minute Networking cap, ping a bunch of your friends and peers, reconnect with them, see how they're doing if they're still at their companies. Keep those relationships alive way before you need them. You can freshen up the resume, have it ready to go. If there's another round of layoffs, you could even send it out now. Line up a couple of interviews and see if there's a job you like out there even more. It's also a good option.
[00:29:44] Or you could just do nothing. Keep showing up to work. Find out what it's like to do your job when you don't have that sense of security to prop you up. I'm not saying that's the smartest strategy, but it is a super interesting practice just to notice how this new reality is affecting you, what thoughts it brings up, how it changes your relationship to your work. Obviously, I think the right approach is a combination of all but you see what I'm getting at, right? If nothing is guaranteed, if everything in life changes eventually, then your job isn't to clinging to things as hard as you can. Your job is to learn how to work with that uncertainty. I know, I know I'm hitting the Buddhism pretty hard today, but this is one of the handful of things I 100 percent without a doubt, definitely no to be true about life because I have lived that experience.
[00:30:30] And working with uncertainty means empowering yourself to survive the ups and downs of life. You stop asking yourself, "How can I make sure things stay as stable as possible?" And you start going, "How can I set myself up well for when things inevitably change?" You Commit to a few habits, nurture your relationships, especially take care of your finances, invest in your education, stay healthy, whatever it is, and you trust that those assets are going to kick in when you need them. That's how you find that security and that trust you're looking for, not by trying to find it in your company again, but by knowing that you're taking care of yourself.
[00:31:05] So put that idea into practice and I know it's going to help you survive this new normal. I would also go back and check out the Deep Dives Gabe and I did on learning how to cope with instability and why we suffer and how to manage it. Both are going to be great listens for you right now. We'll link to those in the show notes. But yeah, definitely couldn't hurt to freshen up your resume. Always good to have that bad boy ready to go. Good luck, man. You got this.
[00:31:27] You know what's a great use of any severance package though, Gabriel? The amazing products and services that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:31:38] This episode is brought to you in part by Peloton. I get it. It's too icy to run outside. It's dangerous or it's just too cold and sucks, shedding cold weather gear as you go, trudging through the snow. Maybe you need to watch your kids while you work out. There's a lot of good excuses and bad excuses for why we don't want to work out at a gym or outside. Well, the Peloton rower is stationary. It's in your warm house, and if you're like us, it's right in front of a TV playing baby shark 8,000 times in a row while your kid sits hypnotized in front of brain-melting animation while you get your sweat on. Basically, conditions in your home are always perfect for rowing, so you can beat the cold weather, you can work out inside. There's no need to go to the gym, no need to get somebody else's sweat on you. And hey, if you leave your own sweat on the roar when you're done, nobody's going to say squat because you own the thing. Maybe you know a few exceptions here and there besides if you reduce friction and you have access to the thing right in your home, and you can be a lazy ass about cleaning it, you know who you are. You're going to work out more, which means better cardiovascular fitness, it means a better burn. It means at least a thousand more reps per week of the wheels on the bus go round and round with the kids. That's quality time. It's always sunny and it's 70 degrees next to the radiator. I noticed that my friends who work out at home are much more consistent than friends that work out outside the home because working out outside the home sucks for so many reasons and can be really tough. I know a lot of you want community, that's why you go to the gym. My dad's one of those people, Peloton community, they've really nailed this. It's great how you can do online leaderboards. You can do sort of live classes that are a lot of fun. The instructors are a lot of fun. You can compete with friends and family. In fact, your whole family, your whole household can share one login. They're not going to make you buy, you know, separate memberships and all that. I had made a goal in early 2022 to get fit and be healthier. It sounds like, felt like it was longer than that, but maybe not. I started the year at about 190 pounds. I'm now around my goal weight. I'm at 155 or so. I've got freaking six-pack dad abs. I've never been this fit or healthy in my entire life. And I want to share a couple more things that have worked for me with respect to making this happen. Number one, protect your time like it's a business meeting. Don't think of it as something that's flexible or movable. It is a business meeting. It's an important call. Whatever you want to do to make sure that you maintain that time. Doing it first thing in the morning works for me. You can bank it. There's fewer demands on your time typically at that hour of the day. The earlier in the day, the more willpower I have, even if getting started, can kind of suck in the morning. You know, the coffee hasn't kicked in yet. Number two, I mentioned before, lower the friction and set up habits. If you're having to get up, you got to pack a duffle bag, you got to change, you got to go to the gym sometimes in the winter, warm up the car. That's a lot of friction to get a workout in a, again, as I mentioned earlier in the episode, it's all about reducing friction. That's another reason I like the Peloton Row. That thing is just sitting there. I can get a workout in if somebody cancels a phone call or a Zoom call as the case may be. I can shuffle things around. I can work out during the Zoom call. I turn the camera off because otherwise, it's a little weird. I like to protect my time when there's a workout, but low friction plays a large role on whether or not you're going to get something done. Peloton is really famous for their bikes. They've also got the top-notch rowing machine that I'm talking about. I like it because it stores upright. That's one of the main things. It takes up a lot less space that way. Rowing is great for a full-body workout. That's really low impact. And often people do their workouts with bad form when there's no trainer present, maybe you're new to the thing. One of the things I love about Peloton Row is it has sensors that track your movements to determine whether you're performing each stroke correctly, and they'll warn you if you're doing something wrong, which especially happens once you start getting tired and you can get injured if you do a bunch of stuff wrong, there's a little guide right on the screen, in the corner. He's going to show you exactly how your form is, how it should look, how it matches up to an ideal stroke. So you're going to see if your back was leaning too far, your knees were bent too early, and all that jazz. They've got an assist there that'll help correct form. And after each class you get a little grade. Who doesn't love that? So you're actually being competitive with yourself and your form is improving. It'll show you exactly what you need to do to improve your form. Great way to avoid injury and make sure you get everything locked in. And if you really want to correct your form, you can go to any Peloton showroom where a trainer working there will set you straight in a fun way, and you can always, of course, go try the Peloton Row in a showroom. Or try Peloton Row risk-free with a 30-day home trial. New members only. Not available in remote locations. See additional terms at onepeloton.com/home-trial.
[00:35:53] If you like this episode of Feedback Friday and found our advice valuable, I invite you to do what other smart and considerate listeners do, which is take a moment and support our amazing sponsors. All of the deals, discount codes, and URLs are at jordanharbinger.com/deals. You can also always search for any sponsor using the AI chatbot on the website as well. Thank you for supporting those who support us.
[00:36:13] All right, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:36:17] What's next?
[00:36:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, my 76-year-old mother, a neurologist who is usually very private, recently told me and my siblings that she got the mumps, but had been hiding it, that afterward she got meningitis and then, that she permanently lost half the vision in one of her eyes.
[00:36:35] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:36:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: She thinks it's because of all the stress of taking care of her dying husband and having to figure out life by herself once he's gone. Since I lived with them for most of 2021, she couldn't hide the fact that he was sick, but it took a long time to get her to admit how bad it was. Long story short, he has multiple medical conditions and cancers likely from being exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. He's been getting treatment at the VA while my mother took care of him at home, but a couple of months ago, he fell and she couldn't get him back into bed, so they spent the entire night on the floor. She realized that she couldn't help him if she wasn't able to take care of herself, so she sent him to a skilled-nursing facility. She visits him every day but otherwise is pretty alone. She lives in the middle of nowhere and her closest friends live an hour away. She also told me that her husband recently said that he was mad at her when she had her own medical emergency last year, and no one was able to take care of him. He wasn't actually by himself. I was living there and other friends and family members flew in, but of course, we're not his wife. My mom says that she hides things because she doesn't like worrying people, but I have a strong feeling. It's also because she thinks she'll be seen as weak if she can't handle everything on her own. I take after her a lot, and this is something that I struggle with myself. I told her she can talk to me anytime she needs to and suggested therapy as well. She shot that down immediately saying that she doesn't need anyone to talk to about this. She talks to herself and besides, she has a PhD in psychiatry, so why talk to anyone else? Her PhD is actually in anatomy, but obviously, this argument is garbage anyway. She also said that therapy makes sense for someone my age since I have my whole life ahead of me, but she's old, so what's the point? Do you think there's any way I can convince my mom to try therapy? If that's a lost cause, how can I help her manage her stress so her health doesn't get worse? Signed, A Woman Working on a PhD of Her Own, That's Pretty Heated Daughter.
[00:38:37] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm. See what you did there. Such an interesting question, and what an interesting personality, your mom.
[00:38:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:38:42] Jordan Harbinger: I can see why she makes it hard to be there for her, why you're worried about how she's coping with all this. It's interesting, Gabe. You can see how mom and her husband are like two matching puzzle pieces, right?
[00:38:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:38:53] Jordan Harbinger: She won't open up and let people help her because she doesn't want to be seen as weak, and all he wants is to be taken care of by somebody, so much so that he actually gets mad when his wife has a legit medical emergency of her own. I mean, it's a little pathological.
[00:39:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right, right. He wants all of her energy and attention and she wants to give it to somebody, probably, or partly because she struggles to give it to herself.
[00:39:14] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It's so freaking fascinating, that dynamic.
[00:39:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: I also love the whole, "I don't need to talk to a therapist about this. I talk to myself," thing.
[00:39:21] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah, that was great. The award for most Boomer objection to therapy goes to—
[00:39:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's like, you know, that's why people go to therapy, right, mom? Because you can't just talk to yourself about this stuff because it's literally impossible.
[00:39:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Uh-huh. I'm sure our friend here is right that her mom doesn't want to be seen as weak.
[00:39:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:39:39] Jordan Harbinger: That might also be a big part of this "taking care of other people at my own expense" role.
[00:39:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:39:44] Jordan Harbinger: You get to be the strong one. You get to be the one who's needed. You get to be superior, but there's got to be more to this resistance of therapy.
[00:39:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that her mom is probably afraid.
[00:39:56] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:39:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Which is very understandable if you've lived your whole life believing that the way to get through life is just, you know, keep your mouth shut, bury your burdens alone, just get on with it, right? I mean, at 76 years old to sit down with somebody who's going to really listen to you and make it all about you, which is probably this woman's greatest fear, right? That is daunting, and I can appreciate that.
[00:40:18] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I guess I can too. It's just hard because this woman needs to talk.
[00:40:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:40:22] Jordan Harbinger: I'm imagining myself in her daughter's shoes, watching my mom go through these heavy experiences alone.
[00:40:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:40:28] Jordan Harbinger: That would be really hard to watch.
[00:40:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's very hard to watch. And in some ways, I wonder if it might be harder for our friend here sometimes than it is even for her mom, because mom has her way of muddling through. It's not healthy, but on some level it works for her. I mean, works in huge air quotes, of course.
[00:40:44] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:40:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Whereas her daughter knows that there's a better way, like she said, she takes after her mom a lot. This is something that she struggles with herself.
[00:40:52] Jordan Harbinger: Loved that insight by the way.
[00:40:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: So did I. It's so great that she sees that and that she's rewriting that pattern. It sounds probably to me like she's done a lot of great work on herself. It's almost like if you just go somewhere where you can talk about these things with somebody who I don't know, is literally trained to help you grow as a person.
[00:41:10] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:41:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: What would such a place be called?
[00:41:12] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm. Therapy? Is this therapy?
[00:41:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh yeah, therapy.
[00:41:15] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:41:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. I knew it sounded familiar when you started talking. I was like, yeah, I've heard that.
[00:41:19] Jordan Harbinger: What a concept. But you know, again, 76 years old, right? Different generation, different timeline, different random objections to things that are good for you.
[00:41:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: But I find that interesting too, how her mom thinks that therapy makes sense for her daughter because she has her whole life ahead of her, but she's old, so what's the point? I mean, I've heard that from several older people actually. It's a fairly common objection to getting started.
[00:41:39] Jordan Harbinger: It actually makes me think of the question we took a few weeks ago from the woman who had beaten stage four cancer.
[00:41:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Very similar. Mm-hmm.
[00:41:46] Jordan Harbinger: She was basically saying, I didn't go to therapy because I didn't know how much time I had, so why bother? But now I've suddenly got a lot more time because I'm not going to die right away. So do I finally face all of my unprocessed trauma?
[00:41:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:41:58] Jordan Harbinger: And our take was, yeah, you should because you've been through something profound. But Gabe, you made the point that even if she did only have say, I don't know, a year to live therapy would still be worth it. Just to have that relationship and that space to explore this incredibly intense stuff.
[00:42:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:42:13] Jordan Harbinger: Namely, one's own death.
[00:42:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:42:15] Jordan Harbinger: The amount of time you have left doesn't make therapy less relevant in a lot of ways. It makes it even more relevant.
[00:42:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's right. That's how I feel about it. And I would say the same thing to this woman because sure, she's 76, but she's not on her deathbed either. I mean, she could easily live another 10, 20-plus years. I mean, look to your point, Jordan, in the last question, no one knows nothing is guaranteed but she could. I mean, even if she lived five years, those are crucial years. She has a daughter, she has friends. She's going to have a whole new chapter after her husband dies, which is a huge transition to go through. So this woman has a lot of life to show up for. She could grow a ton in this next chapter.
[00:42:51] Jordan Harbinger: Agree completely. So if you have any hope of convincing your mom to talk to somebody, I think it'll be by sharing some of what we just discussed, helping your mom see why therapy is useful and relevant for somebody like her in a way that your mom can hear, and that it's okay to make it about her sometimes. But while you do that, I would try to frame it in a way that's as patient and gentle as you can so she doesn't feel like you're forcing her into an experience she really doesn't want. You might have to chip away at her resistance over a period of time until she's ready, and I would also choose the right moments to bring it up.
[00:43:24] For example, if you guys are having a nice afternoon and you randomly go, "Hey mom, let's talk about therapy again." She'll probably just wave you off. Like, "I'm fine. Why are you talking about it? I'm having a good day. Can't we just enjoy the day?" But if she, I don't know, randomly snaps at you because she's melting down about her husband's care, or she tells you how hard it is to cope with her new health problems, those are good opportunities to say, "You know, mom, I see you struggling. You yelled at me the other day. You're developing all these new conditions. I just have to point out that this is what happens if you don't have a place to go and talk about your life. Do you see what keeping it all bottled up is doing to you?' And I think in those moments it'll be harder for her to dismiss the idea. I mean, she still might, but it'll be harder.
[00:44:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: I like that approach a lot, Jordan. But I also do think she needs to be prepared for her mom to dig her heels in. Yeah.
[00:44:12] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's possible mom is just never going to pay a stranger to talk about her feelings, period.
[00:44:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's possible. And if that's the case, then her job is to accept her mom for who she is, which is so hard because that means accepting that her mom on some level wants to suffer because this kind of suffering is familiar to her and it's safe and it's the only way she knows how to cope with her life and that's just how it is. And sadly, that might mean watching your mom struggle and deteriorate in ways that are probably avoidable and working through that sadness on your own.
[00:44:46] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I think you're right, Gabe. But so what? She just kind of gives up on mom?
[00:44:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, I don't think she has to give up on mom. Like you said, she can still be a good friend to her. She can still love her, she can support her. She can pitch in and help, and she can always ask her, "Hey mom, how are you doing today? Are you taking care of yourself? Do you need some help? You know, what can I do? Do you want to talk about anything?" And she can also just keep coming back to your approach of pointing out when her way of doing things is making things harder and reminding her that she can always talk to somebody. But in a world where mom will not do that, yes, I do think she has to sort of give up on some level. But what she's giving up on isn't her mom, what she's giving up on is her wish for the kind of person she wants her mom to be.
[00:45:29] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm. Yeah. Because she has this idea of what a better mom would do, right? A better mom would be more transparent. A better mom would talk to somebody. A better mom wouldn't shoulder everything alone and literally make herself blind.
[00:45:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:45:40] Jordan Harbinger: She's right. But being right doesn't mean that her mom is going to do any of those things.
[00:45:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: The fact that she's losing her vision, by the way, I mean, just to talk about that from, what an amazing metaphor, right?
[00:45:50] Jordan Harbinger: You know, I hadn't thought about that. This is the screenwriter in you coming out. Like what are the odds that that's the faculty she loses?
[00:45:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: I mean, I, it is a little bit of a reach, but talk about a woman with some blind spots. Am I right? It's just so fascinating. It really does make you wonder about psychosomatic conditions or just like how your mental state can show up in certain physical ailments or whatever. But anyway, yeah, your project is coming to terms with that and sitting with your own pain about your mom's pain, which is really the only pain that you can directly do something about.
[00:46:22] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, agreed. But man, this is such a hard thing to do.
[00:46:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:46:25] Jordan Harbinger: I think it's actually something we end up doing over and over again with our parents.
[00:46:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:46:29] Jordan Harbinger: It's not a one-and-done thing.
[00:46:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:46:30] Jordan Harbinger: But, yeah, it's so important because if she could do that, then she can start fully appreciating her mom for the person she is, warts and all. And not get so worried or frustrated about the person, she can't be.
[00:46:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:46:43] Jordan Harbinger: So I hope you get to do that. I also hope your mom stays open to trying things a new way, and in the meantime, find ways to help her, be there for her. Get her friends and family to pitch in when she needs some backup. Be kind to her. Those things alone are going to make a huge difference, and she's lucky to have you. Sending you your mom and her husband our best thoughts.
[00:47:03] All right, next up.
[00:47:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi Jordan and Gabe. I'm a 16-year-old guy and I've been having a hard time recently with girls. It's not the usual problem where I can't find one or they keep rejecting me. It's the opposite. In fact, girls keep asking me out. I'm not trying to brag here, but I've had three different girls in the past two months ask me if I like them. I've turned them all away, and it hurts me inside to know that I broke their hearts. I know I'm a charismatic person and have relatively good looks, but it's getting annoying now. I've tried being distant and not complimenting girls, but it doesn't work as I had hoped. Is there any way to stop girls from thinking that I like them or to turn them down without causing problems? Signed, Dealing with the Feels When I Give Them the Blue Steel.
[00:47:53] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, well, my friend, talk about a champagne problem, or in your case, an alcohol-free sparkling raspberry juice problem.
[00:47:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: This is one of those Martinelli problems. That's what we call them.
[00:48:02] Jordan Harbinger: Martinelli problems. Yes. I was trying to remember the brand of sparkling juice that you get on Thanksgiving. Martinelli problems. I love that.
[00:48:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Drank that every year. Mm-hmm.
[00:48:11] Jordan Harbinger: Oof. So you're getting too much attention from the ladies, huh? Can't get anything done. They're just swooning over you in study hall. You look like an actor on Euphoria. God, I'm so sorry for your troubles. Man, that must be so hard. No, I'm teasing you, obviously. Look, it's clearly causing you some distress and I can appreciate that. Life is just, it is so hard for would-be Abercrombie models. All right, I'm done. Let's get into it.
[00:48:34] My first thought is, Let's take a moment to be just a little grateful that this is something you're dealing with. I mean, I don't mean to minimize the hurt you're describing, which says a lot about you, but let's just recognize that these girls are paying you a very nice compliment by expressing their interest. And I'm guessing that they're not just into you for your looks. They're probably also picking up on your sensitivity, which is really coming through in your letter, and that it probably took them a lot of courage to come up to you. And yeah, that can be a little uncomfortable sometimes, but you're appealing to people and that's a nice thing. Take it from a middle-aged guy. One day, it's going to come way sooner than you think. You are going to miss the days when all these available women were just getting on your nerves. Trust me.
[00:49:14] My second thought is I think this whole experience is actually an opportunity to develop some new muscles. And I'm not talking about your chiseled six-pack ab bro. Something tells me you're doing just fine in that department Riverdale. I'm talking about your empathy muscles, your respect, your social grace. When girls tell you they like you and you don't feel the same way, that's a delicate situation to navigate. Look, I get it, but it's also a chance for you to learn how to say something along the lines of, "Wow, thank you for saying that. That's very flattering. I'm not sure I feel the same way, but I think you're really cool and I'd love to be friends if you're open to that. And I hope I've managed to say this without sounding like a total dick. This is a new conversation for me and I'm still learning how to talk about how I feel." And you might not talk that way, but you can say whatever version of that feels right to you. Now, if you say something like that, kindly, respectfully, genuinely, you really can't go wrong. If somebody's royally offended or hurt after that, I got to say that's on them. That's not on you. You have to let them work through their feelings of rejection or whatever on their own. That's another thing you learn as you get older.
[00:50:25] So that's my main advice. Reframe this a little bit. This problem doesn't have to just be a source of distress. It can be a chance to develop some new social skills and figure out who you are in these conversations. But Gabe, what do you think about his other question? Can he really stop girls from thinking he likes them? What's going on here?
[00:50:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's a hard one because we don't know how you engage with these girls if you're being flirty or sending mixed signals or leading them on in any way. But look, in general, your best bet is to treat people with the right intention based on your actual authentic feelings for them. If you're not interested in them romantically, you might want to be a little more thoughtful about how you interact. I wouldn't, you know, touch their arm a bunch in a conversation or text them every night at 11:00 p.m., or spend like six hours with them at the mall on a Saturday or whatever. Do teenagers still hang out at the mall, Jordan? I have no idea. That was a thing when I was in high school, the mall.
[00:51:22] Jordan Harbinger: I doubt it. Every teenager listening to this right now is like, "What's a mall?" Yeah.
[00:51:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: So a mall, if you guys don't know, it's like, if Amazon were a building.
[00:51:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That's a good way to describe it. Another way to describe it is if you can picture an airport, except there are no planes taking off.
[00:51:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:51:41] Jordan Harbinger: That's a mall.
[00:51:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's a mall. Yeah, that's right. The mall is that place where all the characters and Stranger Things season three were hanging out. Just to put this in context.
[00:51:49] Jordan Harbinger: There it is.
[00:51:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:51:49] Jordan Harbinger: That's the Gen Z reference you were looking for. I think everyone knows what you're talking about now. They're probably wondering why did they play those big standup video games? That's all we had, bro.
[00:51:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Awesome. Well, anyway, my point is the mall, the movies, the beach, whatever you do. You know what I mean? Those are a few examples of things that might—
[00:52:05] Jordan Harbinger: The movies.
[00:52:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: —send a certain, yeah, movies, they also—
[00:52:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. How about things that don't really exist for teenagers anymore for a hundred?
[00:52:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think we probably have like 10 years left on the movie theater reference, and then that'll be weird. Yeah. But anyway, maybe my point is those are just a few examples of things that could send a certain signal to these girls, especially if you say or do them in a certain way, and you know what I'm talking about, right? Just that way that says, "Hey, I'm kind of into you, or I'm trying to provoke a little reaction from you," or whatever.
[00:52:35] But look, at the same time, I don't think the answer is to be distant or to never compliment these girls because then you are closing yourself off from life and you're depriving yourself of relationships and you're not going to make good female friends or be an open, approachable, generally gracious person. So it's a balance. A lot of what you're figuring out right now is your style. Not just what you do, but how you do it. Your intentions, your language, your voice, your boundaries, and sometimes that's communicated without words. All of that sends a signal. And if those signals are a little messy or they're a little uncalibrated, they could be communicating something that you don't intend and that is something you can work on.
[00:53:17] But again, that is all part of growing up, my man. This is the age where you start to learn about all of that stuff.
[00:53:24] Jordan Harbinger: Agreed. This is all new for him and I love that he's reaching out for help to figure it out.
[00:53:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Same.
[00:53:28] Jordan Harbinger: So there you have it. Be more thoughtful about how you engage with the ladies, but also know that you can't control everyone's feelings all of the time. You will let people down from time to time. You will have to have some difficult conversations sometimes. It can be awkward, it can be a little sad, but it doesn't have to be awful. And if you learn how to communicate your feelings well while still being kind, I think you'll find that these situations, they're really not so bad. Although that might create another problem, which is that women will love how thoughtful and humble you are and that's going to make them like you more. But hey, like I said, Martinelli problems. So you might as well drink it up.
[00:54:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Martinelli problems, drink it up.
[00:54:05] Jordan Harbinger: And, you know, my deepest sympathy for your perfect symmetrical face, you probably got perfectly coiffed hair too. What a shame.
[00:54:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: This is such a shame. This guy has it so hard. I know
[00:54:15] Jordan Harbinger: Gabriel, at least, he's aware of it. When I was in high school, I've told this story before, but I think it's been years, when I was in high school, I was really, really shy. I mean like just painfully shy.
[00:54:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:54:25] Jordan Harbinger: I would eat lunch alone, all that stuff a lot of the time, I mean, or with my guy friends. Like I wasn't hanging out with girls.
[00:54:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:54:29] Jordan Harbinger: And there was a time where in the math classroom, this is such a '90s math classroom thing to have, there was like a ruler taped to the wall for some reason or some kind of thing.
[00:54:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:54:40] Jordan Harbinger: And next to the ruler, somebody had written, you know, those construction paper walls that classrooms used to have?
[00:54:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:54:46] Jordan Harbinger: Someone had written like—
[00:54:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:54:47] Jordan Harbinger: —top 10 hottest guys at the high school.
[00:54:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:54:50] Jordan Harbinger: And it was all these like jocks and the artsy guys and the guys that were just slaying it were like, you're like, "Hey man, leave some for the rest of us."
[00:54:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:54:58] Jordan Harbinger: And somebody had crossed out number 10 and put my name there, and then another person drew an arrow and put that up to number three. Like, this is where this name goes.
[00:55:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ooh, okay.
[00:55:10] Jordan Harbinger: And I was like, what? And somebody showed this to me. I didn't see it on my own. Somebody was like, "Dude, your name is on this list." And I was like, whoa—
[00:55:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: You need to go see this. Sure.
[00:55:18] Jordan Harbinger: So, and I was like, "You did that." And they're like, "No, I didn't do that, bro. I didn't freaking put your name on there. Don't be ridiculous. Like, have some confidence in yourself."
[00:55:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Uh-huh.
[00:55:28] Jordan Harbinger: And of course, I did nothing about that. And then on, I think it was after the last day of school, I went to, like all Michigans, what I did is I drove to Canada, Windsor to go drinking at bars because we were able to get in.
[00:55:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:55:39] Jordan Harbinger: And I ran into a bunch of girls there who were a couple of classes ahead of me, and one of them I worked with at this movie theater and she goes, "Oh, you know, it was funny all day long in pottery class—" and she rattles off like these six super smoke and ridiculous women.
[00:55:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:55:54] Jordan Harbinger: That were, again, like the hottest girls in high school.
[00:55:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:55:58] Jordan Harbinger: And she goes, "I'm so glad that pottery class is over because now I don't have to hear them talk about you anymore."
[00:56:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ooh.
[00:56:04] Jordan Harbinger: And I'm like—
[00:56:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: that's so nice.
[00:56:05] Jordan Harbinger: —LOL Marie. And she's like, "No." She was really nice. She worked with me at this theater. Like I said, she goes, "All they do for half a class is talk about how hot you are." And I'm like, "Geez, make a move already. He's a nice guy." And I'm like, "Why did you wait so long to tell me?"
[00:56:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:56:19] Jordan Harbinger: But also I would've done nothing because I'm a huge wimp. Yeah.
[00:56:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Kind of an amazing thing to hear and also just so painful to hear after the fact.
[00:56:26] Jordan Harbinger: I was with one of my like geeky buddies. and he goes, "Man, that's you, dawg." And I was like, "Yeah, but also way too late to do anything." And he goes, "Yeah, that part really sucks, doesn't it?" He was just laughing it up because he's like, "Oh my God, I'm so jealous. But also, you're never going to get any because they're all going to college, you idiot."
[00:56:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, high school love high school romance.
[00:56:46] Jordan Harbinger: I know.
[00:56:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: So fraught, so touching.
[00:56:48] Jordan Harbinger: So fraught, man. I would've blown it anyway back then. It was such a tool, speaking of confidence.
[00:56:53] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everybody who wrote in this week and everybody who listened, thank you so much. Don't forget to check out the guests from this week, Michael Santos and Martin Seligman. Very good episodes, even if I do say so myself. Something to really chew on this week.
[00:57:06] If you want to know how I managed to book all these great people for the show, it's all about relationships and networking. And I'm teaching you those same tactics, not the gross ones, the schmooze-free ones, the non-cringe ones, over on the Thinkific platform, our Six-Minute Networking course. It's free. jordanharbinger.com/course. Teaching you how to dig the well before you get thirsty and build relationships before you need them. Been huge for the business, huge for my personal life. Again, free jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:57:31] A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts in the show notes. Advertisers, deals, discounts, and ways to support the show, all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. Go try the AI chatbot at jordanharbinger.com/ai. That can dish up any promo code, any piece of Feedback Friday, any question we've ever answered on the show. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi or on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
[00:58:00] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogerty, Ian Baird, Mille Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course. Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions are our own. I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer, so do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. Ditto Corbin. Payne. Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love. And if you found the 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.
[00:58:34] We've got a trailer of our interview with Dennis Rodman, one of the greatest rebounders ever to play professional basketball with five NBA championships under his belt, and who is just as well known for his off-court antics and stints as an author, an actor, a reality star, a wrestler, and an unofficial diplomat to North Korea.
[00:58:53] Dennis Rodman: There's a lot of stories I can tell you. I got a lot of stories. I can tell all about a lot of things.
[00:58:58] Jordan Harbinger: I know your dad who had bounced, I guess, when you were three, showed up to a game once.
[00:59:03] Dennis Rodman: I was coming in, I was a little late, I was like five minutes late for practice. I was trying to get into the gate. And this black guy runs up to my truck and stuck into my window. I said, "What do you want, man?" "You know, I just want to tell you, Dennis, I'm your father." I said, "Great." I said, "You're going to have to wait. I'm late for practice."
[00:59:17] Jordan Harbinger: Did you even believe him?
[00:59:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, just another fan trying to be cute.
[00:59:21] Jordan Harbinger: There's this incident where you go to the court in Detroit.
[00:59:23] Dennis Rodman: Mm-hmm.
[00:59:23] Jordan Harbinger: And you're in the parking lot with this gun in your lap.
[00:59:26] Dennis Rodman: Right.
[00:59:26] Jordan Harbinger: And then you just fall asleep.
[00:59:28] Dennis Rodman: I didn't like being famous.
[00:59:30] Jordan Harbinger: You didn't like it?
[00:59:30] Dennis Rodman: I didn't like it. So I just drove over there with a gun and just sat there and put it in my lap. It was loaded. Decided to turn the radio and it was Pearl Jam playing. And all of a sudden, I fell asleep. I think I'm a superhuman because what has transpired in my life till now. What do you think? If I dive out of a plane, no parachute, look up to God, and hopefully that he catched me and I want to see my life flash in front of me. What do you think? You think somebody catched me and I'm thinking about that. I've been thinking about for a long time, just jumping on a plane, no parachute, and just dive out and watch my life flash in front of me. What did I do wrong? How can I fix this? How can I be happy? Somebody catch me?
[01:00:10] Jordan Harbinger: For more from Dennis Rodman, including marrying himself the pros and cons of fame and risky birthday toast to Kim Jong-un over in North Korea, check out episode 258 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:00:23] This episode is brought to you by the Into the Impossible podcast, hosted by my buddy, Professor Brian Keating. Into the Impossible podcast was recently ranked top 10 in both Apple and Spotify's science category. Brian's hosted fascinating people like Jim Simons, the world's smartest billionaire, interesting flex, a mathematician who cracked codes for the government and then went on to found the most profitable hedge fund in history. Check out his live interview with Dr. Jessica Meir, who could be the first woman to land on the moon next year. These aren't dry boring lectures like you probably slept through in college. Nope. Brian gets guests to open up and he shares the vulnerable side of top performers who've had to battle biases and self-limiting beliefs like imposter syndrome. He does it all with his signature dad jokes and full-on geeky that you might find irresistible. Binge Into the Impossible podcast as you ponder super interesting ideas like whether or not we have free will or where aliens might have left relics for us to find in the solar system, or whether there are millions of other universes that exist parallel to our own. And Brian's got a special offer for our listeners, he's going to send a free chunk of four billion-year-old space dust, aka a real meteorite sample to the first hundred listeners in the USA who sign up for his newsletter at briankeating.com/jordan. Click the link below or search for Into the Impossible podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
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