Your grandma is so self-centered and negative that your efforts to stay in touch with her are just making you miserable. How do you go about breaking up with your narcissistic grandma without feeling terrible? We’ll tackle this and more here on Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- Your grandma is so self-centered and negative that your efforts to stay in touch with her are just making you miserable. How do you go about breaking up with your narcissistic grandma without feeling terrible?
- You grew up in a good-hearted, church-going family, but over time, you’ve come to the conclusion that you’re an atheist. How do you break the news to them without losing their emotional — and financial — support?
- As two male nurses in a female-dominated field, you and your boss have noticed an extreme anti-male sentiment from at least three of your managers. Should you bring up your grievances to HR or just look for another job?
- We all cope with the pandemic in our own way, and some choose to drink more than they otherwise would. As your mother recently died from alcoholism, how can you interact with your booze-loving pals without being the killjoy in the Zoom room?
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
- And if you want to keep in touch with former co-host and JHS family Jason, find him on Twitter at @jpdef and Instagram at @JPD, and check out his other show: Grumpy Old Geeks.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Sign up for Six-Minute Networking — our free networking and relationship development mini course — at jordanharbinger.com/course!
HostGator has been around almost as long as the Internet. Does your business have an Internet presence? Save up to a whopping 62% on new webhosting packages with HostGator at hostgator.com/jordan!
Better Help offers affordable, online counseling at your convenience. If you’re coping with depression, stress, anxiety, addiction, or any number of issues, you’re not alone. Talk with a licensed professional therapist for 10 percent off your first month at betterhelp.com/jordan!
Don’t let a botched below-the-belt trim snag your summer plans — Manscaped has precision tools for your family jewels! Go to Manscaped.com and get 20 percent off with free shipping by using code JORDAN20 at checkout!
NetSuite by Oracle allows you to manage sales, finances, accounting, orders, and HR for your business instantly on the cloud from anywhere! Download your free guide — Seven Key Strategies to Grow Your Profits — at netsuite.com/jordan!
Miss our episode with FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss? Catch up with episode 165: Chris Voss | Negotiate as If Your Life Depended on It here!
Like true crime tales? The Court Junkie podcast shines a light on the injustices of the judicial system by delving into court documents, attending trials, and interviewing those close to these trials to root out the whole truth. Check out the Court Junkie podcast on PodcastOne here!
Resources from This Episode:
- H.R. McMaster | The Fight to Defend the Free World | TJHS
- Oliver Stone | Writing, Directing, and Surviving the Movie Game | TJHS
- What to Do If Your Home Is Hacked | Jordan Harbinger
- Help! My Ex Hacked My Entire Home! | Feedback Friday | TJHS
- Kevin Systrom | Life Lessons from an Instagram Founder Part One | TJHS
- “Be Forgiving with Your Past Self. Be Strict with Your Present Self. Be Flexible with Your Future Self.” | James Clear, Twitter
- James Clear | Forming Atomic Habits for Astronomic Results
- Wendy Behary | Disarming the Narcissist | TJHS
- How to Break Free from Covert Narcissists | Feedback Friday
- Megan Phelps-Roper | Westboro Baptist Church Part One
- What Is the Correct Plural of Conundrum? | Notes and Queries, the Guardian
- Find Studies | ClinicalTrials.gov
- Coming Out As An Atheist | HuffPost
- Familial Relationship Outcomes of Coming Out as an Atheist | Secularism and Nonreligion
- Themyscira | Wonder Woman Wiki
- State-by-State Recording Laws | MSI Detective Services
- What a Lot of People Get Wrong About the Infamous 1994 McDonald’s Hot Coffee Lawsuit | Vox
- What is South Kensington Known For? | Best Gapp
- How Sobriety Became the Latest Trend for British Millennials | Time
- 21 Reasons You Need a Teetotaler In Your Crew | Teetotally Awesome
- What’s So Funny About 9/11? | Observer
Transcript for Breaking Up with My Narcissistic Grandma | Feedback Friday (Episode 412)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:00] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Today, I'm here with my Feedback Friday producer, Gabriel Mizrahi. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most brilliant 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.
[00:00:33] 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 amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes to authors, thinkers, and performers. And for a selection of featured episodes to get you started with some of our favorite guests and popular topics, go to jordanharbinger.com and we'll hook you right up.
[00:00:54] This week, H.R. McMaster, the former US national security advisor. That is a kind of a baller get if I don't do say so myself. We also had legendary director Oliver Stone. Oliver has directed Midnight Express, Platoon, JFK, Snowden, Scarface, and Natural Born Killers. We get inside the brain of one of Hollywood's most iconic and controversial directors.
[00:01:16] I also write every so often on the blog. My latest post is What to Do If Your Home is Hacked. Normally, I don't write about cybersecurity but this one was inspired by a question we recently received here on Feedback Friday about a young woman whose home was basically hacked and surveilled by a crazy ex. I mean, he had sent her like dashcam footage and was changing the temperature in our house and all this crazy stuff. We went pretty deep. We consulted with some great experts on what to do if you ever find yourself in that situation, God forbid, in case anyone else is dealing with a similar issue. So make sure you've had a look and a listen to everything we created for you here this week.
[00:01:49] You can reach us at email@example.com. When you email us if you can keep your emails concise, that helps a lot — we're reading — I don't know. Gabe, how many, like, is it hundreds, or is it thousands now? It's got to be hundreds.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:00] Yeah. I don't know exactly the number, but there are probably many.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:02] Dozens even —
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:03] Dozens — scores — let's go with scores because —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:05] Scores, I like scores.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:06] That's a unit of measurement that needs to be brought back.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:08] Yes.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:09] I like that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:09] But it does make our job easier if the subject line isn't like Feedback Friday question because everybody writes that.
[00:02:16] Anyway, this is based on some thoughts I had after my episode with Kevin Systrom, founder of Instagram, you can find that that's episode 335 — be forgiving with your past self, be strict with your present self, and be flexible with your future self — be forgiving with your past self, strict to your present self, flexible with your future self. I love this. And then Kevin said, but it's something that he got me thinking about. Kevin was episode 335. We'll link to it in the show notes. There's a lot in the show feed if you're new to the show. I think Kevin now is worth like $1.9 billion. He had a lot of Facebook stocks. Look that doesn't make you wise just because you're rich, but he's a smart guy and he really got me thinking, and that sort of a quote that I saw the other day that I got out of some of the wisdom he dropped on the show. I won't spoil the interview. You can go and listen for yourself.
[00:02:57] All right, Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:00] We meet again, Jordan and Gabriel.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:02] That sounds somewhat ominous.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:04] Yeah, it does. That's a great opening. I think that's the first one like that we've ever had.
[00:03:09] We meet again, Jordan and Gabriel. I wrote to you about a year ago regarding my dad who is battling a brain injury and is in a nursing home. I touched on how his mom's, my grandma's, obvious to stay for him being in a nursing home, created some animosity in our family dynamic. She consistently talked sh*t about my mom for putting him in the nursing home even though he has a total care patient and requires it. I've been going to therapy to deal with her toxicity and how her bitterness has almost been more stressful than my dad being forever changed and away from our family. Since March, I was calling her every Thursday to catch up on life and give her updates on my dad, if any, so that she wouldn't harass the staff about his wellbeing. She reverted back to complaining and her comfort with venting to me about my own family has really bothered me. It pushed me to a point where I could not take her anymore. I had my husband who helped me basically break up with my grandma. I said why I needed a mental break, not to call me anymore, and that any updates on my dad would be given through my uncle. I've never cut a person intentionally out of my life. And I don't know how to deal with seeing her at future family events. Do I fake it until I make it and try to take the higher road? I would like to be cordial but just hearing the fakeness in her voice drives me nuts. I don't plan on calling her again because she is narcissistic and manipulative, but I do have a little guilt since she's my grandma, you know, I'm not sure if I should keep ignoring her or reach out again. We'd love your podcast and all the insightful advice you provide. Signed, Going Nuts with My Narcissistic Nana.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:29] Well, I'm glad to hear from you again. Sorry, we're here to talk through this weird new drama with your narcissistic grandma. Here, you are dealing with your dad's brain injury and probably still grieving the guy he used to be before that all happened. That's already pretty intense. Trying to do what's right for him, what's right for you, and then his crazy-ass mom swoops in adds a whole new layer of toxic crap on the ice cream sundae — freaking families, man. So I feel for you here.
[00:04:57] My family had this kind of happening with my grandma, my grandpa. He was in a nursing home. My mom's brother was this massive a-hole and like stealing and starting credit cards in my grandfather's name, even after he died. So I understand family dramas. You sound like a caring daughter and a sensitive person. I can tell this has been really hard for you as it would be for anyone in your shoes. Dealing with a narcissistic family member is — it's exhausting, really. It's frustrating. It's hurtful, it's draining, but worst of all, a narcissistic person leaves you no room for yourself in a relationship, if that makes sense. So on top of feeling guilty on top of feeling exhausted, worn down, you probably also feel misunderstood and almost marginalized or kind of marginalized, pushed aside when you deal with your grandmother, I've been there. My mother's been there. It's horrible.
[00:05:48] So look, here are my thoughts. Without knowing anything more about your dad's condition and your family's situation, it sounds like you and your mom are absolutely doing the right thing by placing your dad in a nursing home. One thing my mom always jokes about, Gabriel, is she says, "When it's time for us to go into a nursing home, just put us there or shoot us or whatever, but don't bother keeping us at home." Because my grandma used to go, "Never put me in one of those, just kill me. It's so terrible." And so, of course, my mom who put my grandpa in a nursing home, because he literally couldn't walk, didn't know where he was, like had all these issues, she felt terrible because it was kind of — my grandma would go, "It's worse than a Russian Gulag." Meanwhile, it was a nice place. It really was. We visited all the time.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:06:29] Yeah. It was just a comfortable spot to hang out. Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:31] it was, it was a comfortable spot to hang out. He got cared. There were a bunch of other people there. He was relatively happy there. He never really complained about it. Meanwhile, my grandma is like, "You might as well just lock someone away to die." Not like you put him there to die, but she'd say like, "Don't put me there to die." So don't feel guilty about this. That's what other people are trying to make you feel like your grandma is trying to do to you. It's just awful. Because here's the thing, she's in no position to care for your dad, obviously, or he wouldn't be in a nursing home anyways. So she's just doing it to make you feel like crap, but she's not like, "I’ll handle it." She's like, "No, you feel like crap, but also I want to handle it."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:07:07] Right. It's just like an excuse to get angry and mad and disagree but there's no solution, actually, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:11] Right. There's no solution. It's not like, she's like, "Hey look, I'm retired. I'm able-bodied. I'll take care of him. I know it's awful. Please send financial support." She's just like, "It's all your fault." And meanwhile, "I'm going to be over here complaining and not helping whatsoever." We all have those people in our life and they're awful. If we're not related to them, we cut them out immediately. Right? But if you're related to them, yeah, you end up with a question like this.
[00:07:33] Your grandma might have other ideas on how to care for people. And she has a right to those ideas. Personally, I think she has no idea. And this is all a bunch of crap to make you feel like garbage like I said. But you and your mom, you have to do what you believe is right. Your dad is a total care patient. He requires it just like you said. So to take care of a spouse or a parent with needs that severe, it's too much to ask for somebody who's not a professional caretaker. If this is what your dad really needs, you should be secure in that decision. It sounds like you are, but I know that when a crazy family member gets to you, it's easy to doubt that you're the sane one. That you are doing the right thing. From what I can tell, I think you are, from this letter.
[00:08:10] And as for dealing with your grandma going forward, you need to hold the boundary. It's really the only way to deal with the toxic person who will not reasonably engage with you, on top of being dysfunctional and negative. It sounds to me like your grandma pulls a ton of energy from the people around her — energy vampire, just sort of standard narcissistic behavior. And the only way to protect yourself from it is to draw the line and honor that line. And if she wants to harass the nursing home staff and complain about everyone else's decisions, that's her business. It's nice of you to try and protect the staff from that. They're used to this. I guarantee you. Mentally, emotionally, you have to maintain that buffer and say — your grandma's bullshit is hers, "And I'm not going to play into it and let it dictate my thoughts and moods right now." That means not talking to her on the phone and enlisting your uncle's help and communicating with her. Great. I think that's fair.
[00:08:59] If she changes the boundary can change, but until she changes, takes some space, that sounds like the right thing to do. I think you need to protect your own sanity. You feel guilty? Never feel guilty about protecting your own sanity. Nobody has a right to get to your side — nobody has a right to get to you. Nobody has a right to call you or yell at you or bother you. I don't care if you're married. They don't have a right to like come home and be like, "Yeah, the world sucks. And it's all your fault." "Oh, sorry. I was just stressed out at work."
[00:09:26] My dad used to kind of do that. He is not a bad guy or anything. He's not abusive, but you know, he'd come home and vent and me and my mom would be like, "Oh, I guess dad is in a bad mood." It's not okay. And I vowed to not do that with Jen and with Jayden because it's not a good look. It's not a good look like you can't just treat your family like a punching bag. You can't get your frustrations out. You can vent to people if they're cool with it. If they're like, "Look, I'm here for you. I'm a sounding board." What you can't do is make other people feel like crap, throw all your garbage on them and go, "Well, I feel better. Bye. When you come in for Christmas, by the way?" Right? That's not cool.
[00:10:00] So maintaining boundaries naturally though. It's really hard. We talked about this on the show a lot. I don't want to repeat myself here, but it is a good reminder that this stuff is hard. You will have feelings about it. It's going to be guilt. It's going to be some sadness, maybe some confusion, some conflict at times, your grandma's definitely going to have feelings about it. This is normal, but you have to be willing to bear those uncomfortable feelings in order to maintain what I see as healthy separation and what you probably also see as healthy separation. Because those uncomfortable feelings, they're really the by-product of taking care of yourself. And when you think about giving in and talking to your grandma again, it's probably because you don't want to have to deal with the feelings, not because you actually think she deserves your love, your time, et cetera.
[00:10:42] So I would encourage you to learn how to hold those feelings and process them so that you can define the relationship the way that you need to right now. And I'm glad to hear that you have a therapist to help you do that. That was going to be one of my main suggestions. That's going to be really helpful. It's also somebody who can kind of sanity check you when you go, "Am I just being horrible, right now?" And they're like, "No, that's totally what I do." And you go, "Okay, great." Because maybe your family is going on, "Man. Grandma said you yelled at her on the phone. You don't have to be mean to grandma." And then you call your therapist and you're like, "My grandma called this, this, this, and this." And the therapist is like, "She's crazy." Right? That's what you need. You need us to check on that. Gabe, how do we handle grandma? When we see her at the next family shindig and she comes up and it's like, "I just want to take two minutes of your time and make you freaking miserable and vent and tell you everything you're doing wrong in your life with my son."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:11:27] Well, you know, just because you're drawing that boundary with grandma does not mean that you need to be mean or disrespectful to her.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:34] Right.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:11:34] And I'm sure that that is super tempting to want to do, given how crazy she's been lately. Give her a taste of her own medicine kind of thing. Believe me, I have toxic family members as well. It sounds like Jordan does too. We totally get it. But that's where your response to her, I think can tip over into a new source of dysfunction. This one created by you if you do choose to sort of take it out on her, even if it's subtle, even if it's like a little jab, like, "Ah, you know, saw my dad today. He didn't ask about you," you know, kind of thing or whatever, while you serve yourself more mac and cheese. This is how I imagine your Thanksgiving. I have no idea if this is accurate, but anyway —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:07] No, that's just our sort of fantasy of like leaving it to somebody like I'm just going to put this stinger right there and leave it.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:12:12] Exactly. And then go back to the table. Anyway, I think that is where you need to be careful just to be very self-aware and make sure that you're taking appropriate distance, doesn't become a new source of conflict between the two of you. So when you're at Thanksgiving dinner or you're at Mother's Day or whatever, my recommendation is to be polite, be courteous, be brief, be minimally respectful. You don't have to completely ignore your grandmother to make your point, but you don't need to indulge her. If she asks you how you are, you can smile and say, "I'm good. Thanks for asking." If she asks about your dad, you can say, "I know how much you care about him. I think he's doing as well as he could be right now. But you can talk to my uncle about that." You can be direct with her without being mean, is what I'm saying. You know, you can be firm without being cruel.
[00:12:50] And I think that's how you can take the higher road that you're looking for without compromising your integrity. And yeah, that does take some practice, but you can do it and it'll make you feel a lot better about doing the right thing here without also adding fuel to the fire.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:05] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
[00:13:11] This episode is sponsored in part by HostGator. Trying to turn your hobby into a livelihood — that's a great way to ruin a hobby. You also need a professional-looking website of your own with a branded email address. It lends credibility to your side hustle, your main hustle, your disco hustle, or any other kind of hustle you can rustle. Think you're at a disadvantage because tech issues aren't your forte. Well, it's actually a forte, but don't worry about it. HostGator's got your back with website design templates that we'll have you up and running in no time, no coding chops are required. But wait, that's not all. With every plan you get unlimited email addresses, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disc space, free SSL certificates — if you don't know what that is, doesn't matter because it's free — advertising credit, WordPress blog tools. HostGator even guarantees 99 percent uptime with 24/7, 365-day support, and a 45-day money-back guarantee if you aren't a hundred percent happy. That's a lot of numbers. Here's another number for you. Get up to 62 percent off when you go to hostgator.com/jordan. That's hostgator.com/jordan.
[00:14:07] This episode is also sponsored by Better Help. If you think you may be depressed or you're feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed. Better Help offers licensed professional counselors who are trained to listen and help. Sometimes that's all you need is somebody to vent to, somebody who's going to make sure that you're not the crazy one. You can talk to your counselor in a private online environment. It's all at your own convenience, especially if you live in a small town or a town where you can't get around easily. So basically a big town or a small town. This is a good look for you. They can help you with anxiety, grief, depression, trauma. The list goes on. I think a lot of people are dealing with some issues right now, and you do need to get it off your chest. Simply fill out a questionnaire and a couple of days they'll match you up. If you don't like who you got matched with, you can switch at any time for no additional charge. Secure video or phone sessions with your therapist, unlimited messages. Everything is confidential. Joined the one million-plus people taking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced Better Help counselor.
Jen Harbinger: [00:15:02] Better Help is an affordable option. And our listeners get 10 percent off your first month with the discount code JORDAN. Get started today at betterhelp.com/jordan. That's better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan. Talk to a therapist online and get help.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:16] And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:15:210] All right, what's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:15:23] Hello, triple J's. I grew up in a small town with both of my loving parents and two siblings. We were a generally religious family and regularly attended church. Then toward the end of my senior year of high school, I began having doubts about my faith. It was a long process, but over the years, I finally came to the conclusion that I am an atheist. Even though all of my friends know about my lack of faith. I've yet to drop the news on my family. I know that they would be crushed and there would be more than a few tears, but I believe it's my moral obligation to be open and honest with my family. To make matters worse, as a part-time musician, I picked up a regular church gig a few years ago that pays me regularly. During this time I've used the job to justify to my parents why I go to any church at all the way I see it. I might as well get paid if I'm going. However, I feel like I'm digging myself into a hole with this kind of mentality. If I break the news to my family, I'm not concerned about losing my relationship with them because I know they still have good hearts and will want me as their son. What I am worried about is losing their financial support. I've been fortunate enough to have them pay for my college. Thus far, I have two years of school left and I don't want to lose that because I wouldn't even know where to begin financially. I'm glad to say that I'm moving into my first apartment very soon and will refuse any offer from them to help pay for it. I enjoy my independence, but losing their financial support for school is ultimately one of the only reasons I have not broken the news to them yet. Even though I've lost my religion, I feel like I've had an incredible journey through life. I genuinely love who I become, but I've hidden the truth from the people I care about. And now I feel guilty and stuck. How do I break the news to my parents while still being honest about myself? Would it be better to do it sooner or later? And does it make me a toxic person for taking advantage of their religion for monetary gain? Signed, Trying to See Through My Apostasy.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:04] Apostasy is a word I didn't even know until like two years ago because of the whole ISIS thing. They were big on the apostate.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:17:11] Right, right, right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:12] Well, this is quite the conundrum or set of conundra, which Gabe and I decided is really the plural form of conundrums. Have we looked this up? Is that correct though?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:17:22] Yeah, we did look it up and I'm glad you've come around to this because I feel very strongly that it's conundra.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:26] Yeah. I think so. I mean, it's Latin, so you don't say — ums.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:17:30] I mean, I feel like the only good reason to not say conundra is that you probably will be punched in the face by somebody.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:36] Yeah, and rightfully so.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:17:37]And rightfully so, but I do think it should be conundra, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:39] Basically, you find yourself in conflict among three things, your integrity, your family's feelings, and your need for financial support. I don't know if they're all equal, but they kind of all are, especially when you're young. This is something a lot of people who grow up in religious families feel, but also anybody who grows up to have different beliefs from their families, whether it's politics or ethics or just feelings about one another, it's really tough.
[00:18:02] I assume it's really scary. I get why this choice is so hard for you. That said we have one huge thing, that's going for you in all of this, which is as you put it, you know, they have good hearts and they will want you as their son. That's a lot more than I can say for some of the other people in this Feedback Friday inbox. Gabe. I don't know if you've seen any of these, but there's a lot of like, "My parents will disown me if I don't marry who they want me to."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:18:24] Yup.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:24] Or like, "They don't go along with this career choice because in my country if you don't work for —"
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:18:29] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:29] "— the police state, you're a loser, a horrible person, or you don't marry this arranged marriage like your life is over."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:18:36] Yeah. There's a huge risk in coming out as yourself. Yeah. The cost is like, we will not accept you, absolutely.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:41] Right. Especially if you're like gay in the Middle East or something.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:18:44] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:45] Like we get those letters too.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:18:45] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:46] So you basically already know that they're going to accept you no matter what, which is huge. That's kind of like falling off a wire and knowing, "Well, okay. There's a safety net. It's going to be uncomfortable. I'm going to be embarrassed but I'm not going to go splat." So really your conflict is about something simpler. Whether you want to honor your principle or whether you want to preserve your financial assistance — integrity, or money, that's really what we're coming down to here. That's what you're asking for here.
[00:19:13] And yes, how to deal with the normal fear of coming out quote-unquote to your parents as anything other than what they want for you. It sounds like they want your best interest or they have your best interest in mind according to them, of course. Let me just say it, this is going to be hard. I know it's going to sound superficial. It might even sound manipulative. Right? "Do I lie to my parents about who I am? So they keep paying for school." But if you're a young person with very little money who wants a degree and you don't want to disappoint your parents. That's a real bind. It's not as easy as like, "I don't need your dirty money. I'm going to be on my own." That's kind of fantasy land for a lot of people in college, definitely.
[00:19:48] My parents paid for my school mostly, and that was a huge help. I didn't have to work three jobs. I had friends that never hung out because they were working a ton. They had to do tables in the morning and tables in the evening, and then work on weekends, doing other things and then get — do those like studies. Gabe, do you ever do this where they're like, "$30 if you take an fMRI or an MRI brain scan," it takes three hours, but you're just laying there and you're like, "$30, hell, yeah."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:20:15] Yeah — no, I never did them, but I've seen those signs. I mean, people have done worse things for money in college.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:22] Dude, yeah, I remember one that my friend decided not to do. We talked him out of it. It was — you get a hundred bucks. It was the most, any of us had ever seen for a study and what they were doing, what they were doing was they were going to horrifically sunburn one of your butt cheeks. And I forget why it was like a burn cream or something that they were testing. They were going to like maximum before it like goes to real, severe, severe, severe damage. They were going to like horrifically sunburn just one of your ass cheeks.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:20:52] That's amazing. I've never heard of a study like this. This sounds like a dream you had.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:57] Yeah — no, I remember it very clearly because I remember going, "Dude," my argument was, "You're not going to be able to sit for a minimum of 10 days," and they were like, "Ooh, that's a problem. I'm in class." I'm like, "Your pants are going to rub against it. You can't run anymore."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:21:11] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:12] You know, it's going to hurt really, really, really, really bad.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:21:16] I'm going to need at least 150 for that. If I'm not sitting for 10 days.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:20] Minimum, but a hundred dollars at the time was mad money. This is like 1999.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:21:24] True, right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:25] This was real money to a college kid. This was like a thousand dollars.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:21:30] Are you saying that it felt like a thousand dollars or that actually was the purchasing power?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:33] No-no, it's a hundred dollars. The purchasing power though of like ditch weed and Milwaukee best beer or a different Milwaukee beast as we call it — that purchasing power was legit, like a thousand bucks in today's money for a college kid.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:21:46] It was a different time. It was a different time. That's incredible.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:50] You how much White Claw you can get it for a hundred dollars?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:21:54] Ah, you tell me.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:54] Probably a lot.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:21:55] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:55] Probably a lot. Also, look, your parents, they're not funding some rich kids of Instagram lifestyle for you as long as you go to church with them. You're paying for your apartment. You're trying to get through school. You're not playing up some big Christian personas, so you can milk your parents for cash. I mean, even the fact that you feel this guilty speaks to the fact that you are self-aware, you do have a conscience. If you didn't, you'd probably be praising Jesus every Sunday and then laughing your way to the bank to deposit those sweet, sweet tuition checks. So it does make you honest, in my opinion — I mean, well, it does make you a person of integrity, but does it make you a toxic person for taking advantage of their religion for monetary gain. I just don't think so. No, it makes — I don't think it makes you toxic. I think it makes you conflicted.
[00:22:37] If you were 40 and they were offering to buy you a house — if you came to the church and you became a deacon or something and you did it. Yeah, it's a little manipulative, a little extra toxic. That's not you. Not yet anyway. So I can't tell you what to do here. The choice is very personal, but I do have a few thoughts that might help.
[00:22:54] First — how important is integrity to you. And it's not a rhetorical question. It kind of sounds like it is, but you talk about digging yourself into a hole. Let's be clear on what that hole actually is. Do you feel like you're sort of casually downplaying your true beliefs in an innocent way and that it doesn't really take a huge toll on you and that the worst part is kicking the can down the road? Or do you feel like every day is just one massive lie and you're carrying around this massive burden, this huge burden you feel anxious, you're depressed about it because you're pretending to be someone you're not, and it's deeply immoral and you're killing your sense of self? If it's the first situation, this isn't a huge compromise on your morals. It might not be as urgent for you to come out as an atheist to your parents right now. But if it's the second situation, and this is a lot more important to you.
[00:23:37] Your mental health, your spiritual health, it might be worth having the conversation sooner rather than later, especially since you have good reason to believe they're still going to accept you. It's not like you're going to be homeless and then you can't talk to your sister anymore and your grandma's dying and they won't let you visit. I mean, there are more extreme scenarios that could come about as a result of this. Who knows? They might even continue paying for college. If you handle it the right way. It's interesting that you know that except you, but they worried that they would cut you off. Is that really a possibility or is that just a consequence? That you've imagined. Maybe because you fear the worst. Maybe because it gives you a reason to kick the can down the road and avoid a difficult conversation. I'd get really clear on that.
[00:24:14] My opinion — to be honest, I can't imagine they would want you to be less successful as a person. Like, "Well, we're going to screw up his education. We're going to make sure that his job prospects are less than because you won't feign belief in the religion that we raised you to have." I mean, that just seems a bit nutty and a bit manipulative. There are definitely people that do that but aren't those usually — Gabe, it seems like to me, the family that says, "No son of mine is going to leave the church. If you do, you're disowned." Those people will cut you off and then you might be screwed. But someone who loves you and wants the best for you, are they really going to go, "Well, I guess our only option is to make sure that you're uneducated and you have issues getting jobs." Look, not everybody who doesn't go to college is going to be unemployable. I advocate for trade school all the time. But if your parents think college is important, they probably also think that if you don't go, you're going to be less competitive and they're not necessarily wrong there. Are they willing to do that to you as a punishment for not pretending to be Christian anymore? Are they really like that?
[00:25:13] If so, we've got a different set of issues than you described in the letter here. Gabe, I don't know. What do you think, how does he plan for the actual conversation?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:25:21] Well, I don't envy him for having to have this talk. I would dread it also personally, but I do think that there is something much better on the other side of that conversation. So let's try to focus on that. In terms of getting tactical, I would think through your talking points in advance. I would imagine the conversation from your point of view and from their point of view. Get clear on what you plan to say. Get clear on how you plan to say it, anticipate their reactions, their objections because I bet that they will have them and I bet that they will be well-versed in a lot of the Bible passages, for example, that would come in handy for a conversation like this. Know your responses to those things. So you're not sort of caught out and at a loss when you're trying to explain to them where you're coming from.
[00:25:57] I would frame the conversation in a way that honors your beliefs, but also leaves plenty of room for their beliefs. So you can break the news to them without causing any unnecessary pain or confusion. And as much as possible, try to make it a conversation truly. So it doesn't just feel like you're dropping this huge bomb on them and then peacing the F-out, you know. By the way, I would reassure them as part of this conversation that you still love them and you do not want your relationship with them to change. You want them to know that just because their son is losing his religion doesn't mean that they are then going to lose their son.
[00:26:30] What's interesting to me about your situation though, is that you actually said that very conscientious person, a grateful person. We've talked about this a couple of times now, if I could be so bold, those are very Christian qualities. Of course, you know, they're just good human qualities. I think that's your point actually, but they're definitely ones that religion tends to teach. So my point is just this, you're not coming out to your parents as a shitty person. You're coming out to them as a person who can be good without having to subscribe to any, you know, particular system. So you can tell them that you still do. I believe in many of the same ideas that they do, that you want to live your life with kindness, that you want to live it with integrity. That's actually why you want it to have this conversation with them in the first place.
[00:27:04] And if you wanted to, you could even open up a little bit about how guilty and conflicted you've been feeling lately when they help you out so much. You know, the more you can let them in on your experience, the more you can help them understand where you're coming from. Which is also part of the bigger goal here. I'm sensing to be more connected, to be more authentic with your parents all around.
[00:27:23] One last thought here, be prepared for this conversation to be a little bit difficult. I think you are already, but even if it ultimately goes, well, it might be a little bit bumpy because it's a big deal to them. It's a big deal to you. It'll probably be a shock to them. It might be a little bit emotional for you. You might feel some of that guilt come up as you break the news to them, which is perfectly normal. They might need a little bit of time to process and decide how they feel. I would give them that space. You have a right to your beliefs. They have a right to their feelings. You guys might have to hash them out over a period of time. It might be two, three, four conversations. It might be a few awkward dinners where you guys get into it, but you will eventually, I think settle into the terms of your new relationship. The terms of that new relationship will be a lot more productive, a lot healthier than they are now.
[00:28:06] This is conflict, for sure, but this is healthy conflict, right? It's something that you have to do as you grow up to separate, to define yourself to not hide who you really are from the people that you care about.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:19] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:28:23] This episode is sponsored in part by Manscaped. Listen up, fellas. We got a new manscape product alert. This is called the Weed Whacker. It's a nose and ear hair trimmer. I personally plug my ear hair, but I do use the Weed Whacker in the old nostrils and I got nostrils, you could drive a truck. You all have seen those. Look in the mirror. I guarantee you're going to see some hairs sticking out of those holes. Time to keep those ear and nose holes looking as nice as your clean sheet pubes, using that the Lawn Mower from Manscaped. Look, ear hairs grow, nose hairs grow, it kind of shows those little spider legs are hanging out. This is a 9,000 RPM motor-powered, 360-degree rotary dual blade system. It doesn't really sound like the kind of thing you'd want to stick up your nose normally, but I use it all the time. It's safe. Pretty much impossible to cut yourself. It uses a USB rechargeable, lithium-ion battery that lasts for up to 90 minutes of use. No one should be trimming their nose hair for 90 minutes but you don't have to charge it every time. And look fellas, 79 percent of partners polled admitted that long nose hair is a major turnoff. And I can personally say that if you have long nose hairs, it's all I can look at when you're talking. I can't look at anything else. I can't pay attention to your words. It's all I can see — those little spider legs hanging out. So get 20 percent off and free shipping with code JORDAN20 at manscaped.com. That's 20 percent off with free shipping at manscaped.com. Use code JORDAN20. Cut those spider legs right off.
[00:29:45] This episode is also sponsored by NetSuite. If you're a business owner, you don't need us to tell you that running a business is tough, but you might be making it harder on yourself than necessary. Don't let QuickBooks and spreadsheets slow you down anymore. It's time to upgrade to NetSuite, stop paying for multiple systems that don't give you the information you need when you need it. Ditch the spreadsheets and all the old software you've outgrown. Now is the time to upgrade to NetSuite by Oracle, the world's number one cloud business system. NetSuite gives you visibility and control over your financials, HR, inventory, e-commerce, and more. Everything you need all in one place instantaneously, whether you're doing a million in sales or hundreds of millions in revenue, save time and money with NetSuite. They've got over 21,000 companies using NetSuite right now.
Jen Harbinger: [00:30:27] Let NetSuite show you how they'll benefit your business with a free product tour at netsuite.com/jordan. Schedule your free product tour right now at netsuite.com/jordan, netsuite.com/jordan.
[00:30:40] By the way, for other podcasters out there, those of you looking to grow your audience to get media coverage. My friend, Steve Cohen is the most connected guy around. He runs a company called Next Horizon Media. He has got a great team. Decades of experience in radio, television, print, podcasting. He's been at CBS, Fox, ABC. He's been called the most connected and best networker in the world. And that was me because this guy knows everybody, he is a strange duck, but he knows everybody, and everyone loves him. If you want to reach out to Steve, just email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will make sure you get connected.
[00:31:11] Thanks for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us going. Who doesn't love some good products and/or services? You can always visit jordanharbinger.com/deals for all the details on everybody that helps support the show.
[00:31:24] And now for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
[00:31:29] All right, Gabe, what's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:31:31] Hi, Jordan. Six months ago, I got a new job as a male nurse working in an outpatient clinic, serving hundreds of patients. I love working at the clinic and I like working with my boss, another male nurse, but it quickly became obvious that there was an anti-male sentiment coming from at least three female managers — one of them being a director. These managers, whom we all have to work with will consistently lie about me and my boss to make us look bad. They'll often do things behind the scenes to shuttle our patients to a female nurse, or just flat out, not consult with us on patient care when necessary. They've also shut my boss out of meetings that he should have been a part of. I recently learned that several other male predecessors of mine here have already been driven off supposedly by these same women. My boss and I have already attempted to address this issue using the appropriate channels but to no avail. I have done nothing to these women, so I don't understand where the toxicity toward us and other male nurses comes from but I do not know how much longer I can hold out. Do I try to use HR to address this anti-man cabal? Or should I just move on to a different job? Signed, Fight or Flight.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:34] Well, this is a very interesting situation. We usually hear this kind of story from the other point of view. So women in male-dominated fields who are dealing with subtle or overt forms of misogyny. It's actually a good reminder that discrimination can work the other way too. And it can be just as infuriating and painful. A lot of people think sexism only works in one direction. And I love this example — sorry, you're the example. I love this example because I think a lot of people really don't get it. They don't understand or they're like, "No, no, no, no. I'm just helping out." You know, people who are coming back from — they're dealing with this on the other end and these guys don't need our help and it can really cross the line. The pendulum can swing too far the other way. It sounds like there's definitely something dysfunctional going on here, whether it's about gender or just management style or they just don't like you guys for some reason. My first question would have been — are you sure this is happening because you're men? Could it — and I'm not trying to gaslight you or whatever — but could it just be that you work with a bunch of assholes? The fact that the discrimination is so overt and that several other male predecessors here have already been driven off. It tells me there's a little bit of a pattern here and it gives me a clue as to what's going on and why.
[00:33:43] So if these female managers are really trying to create some screwed up version of Themyscira in your clinic — you like that ref there, Gabe?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:33:51] I love that. Is that a Wonder Woman reference?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:53] I think so. Yes. I'm not sure I pronounce it correctly.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:33:57] It does. It's like a twisted version of that. Yeah. Themyscira whatever.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:00] Them-mes-skera — them-mes-kara — them-mes-skara. All right. Well, I'm already ruining the reference if I can't say it.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:34:04] Them-mes-skera.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:05] Anyway, if they're trying to do some screwed up version of Themyscira in your clinic, unfortunately, they're winning, which honestly makes me angry. I want you to find a way to fix this.
[00:34:13] First, I would say, yeah, you can go to HR. There are a couple of options here, but first, yeah, you can go to HR. The potential upside is that if you and your colleagues lay out a strong enough case, they might look into it. They might have to look into it and force these managers to change their ways in some way. The potential risk though, is that if they don't get fired, you're going to be stuck working with these same freaking Karens. And if they do change their ways, I doubt they're going to change their feelings about you guys. Sadly, they're probably going to get even worse since you went behind their back to HR, which is probably just pure Karen fuel for them. And then they're going to find ways to retaliate. It's also possible that if you go to HR and HR does nothing. And then Linda in HR tells Francine the director what you said about her over lunch. Now, you're dealing with a super toxic work environment that's even more aligned against you. You're going to face retaliation. I hope that doesn't happen. I'm just prepping you for all scenarios.
[00:35:05] Your other option is to talk to these managers directly. And I know that that's probably pretty intimidating, so here's how I do it. Book 15 minutes with these managers one day, tell them what you've been noticing around the clinic. You might want to do this with your boss so that there are two of you at the meeting. They can sort of divide and conquer. At the very least, I would consult with him on this conversation, so he's in the loop. In this meeting with your female managers, do not accuse them of anything. Do not blame them for anything, just state the facts in a neutral way. Tell them, "You know, we've noticed that sometimes our patients get shuttled to another nurse. And sometimes you don't consult with us on patient care. I know Jerry has been excluded from meetings and he should have been a part of those. We just want to understand. Do you guys notice that this is happening? Are we just imagining this stuff? Is there a reason that we're being kept on the outside? Help us understand what's going on?" And now, look, this is going to be super hard. You already have good reason to believe that they know exactly what they're doing, but you need to make this first conversation as non-threatening as possible.
[00:36:08] My guess is the second you start accusing them. They're going to deflect. They're going to deny they're going to pull rank and shut the conversation down. But if you just ask them a few respectful questions, then it's on them to explain their discriminatory practices. The best part is they can't deny your experience. So even if they swear up and down, they're not discriminating against the dudes in the clinic, they can't deny that their actions are keeping you on the sidelines which of course that's literally discrimination. That is what that is after this meeting. Write down everything that happened. Write down what you said, what they said, what the outcome was, the date, the time, so you have a record of it. You know me — document, document, document, and I'm always like that. That's what your lawyer is going to tell you too. You may even consider recording it just in case things get crazy. Your iPhone has a voice memo recorder. Simply use that. To ensure though that this is legal, Google wiretapping laws in your state. I know you're not tapping a phone line, but Google wiretapping laws in your state. Make sure you live in a one-party state.
[00:37:05] One-party state means it's illegal to record the conversations without the consent of all other parties. I'm a lawyer. I'm not your lawyer. If you really want to be sure about this lawyer up, but you know, again, I'm a lawyer, not your lawyer, but I will say that if you record a conversation and all it does is get played for someone else, the odds of you getting in trouble for that pretty slim, you know, pretty damn slim.
[00:37:25] Now, if they do admit to doing this — which would be amazing, but who knows, I'm not holding my breath — if they do admit to doing this, then the next move is to tell them how that's affecting you and your boss. Tell them you guys feel disempowered, you feel marginalized. Tell them you feel cut off for the patients you care about. Then tell them specifically what it is you want not to be circumvented, not to be cut out of meetings, not to have patients shuttled away from you for no good reason. And then see if the situation gets better and you really do have to give them a chance here because it's possible they've never been called out before. And it's worth giving them that shot if only to be the bigger man, so to speak.
[00:38:04] The other thing here is, Gabe, do they just like tormenting you? The writer, I mean, or do they want you to leave? Because if they want you to leave, you can say, "Do you want us to transfer out? Like, should we leave? Would you work better without us? Do you feel like we're getting in your way?”
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:38:19] Interesting.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:19] Because they might be like, "Yeah, you don't mesh with our culture." And then you're like, "Oh, I get it. You just want us out?'
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:38:27] That didn't occur to me actually when I was reading the letter, I didn't think that maybe this was part of their plan to alienate them. Although it sounds like they would prefer to not have the guys working there, so that would make sense.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:37] Right, so she might even go I'll sign your transfer sheet right now. If you pick another place to go, I don't know how it works in a hospital, but like "I would love to recommend you move up to the fifth floor with all the other guys we hate." Right?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:38:49] I will say, Jordan, think that is super smart advice the way you just described how to handle that conversation. If this were me, I would have that direct conversation with those women before going to HR. That way they don't look like they're ratting on them or stabbing them in the back. Also, you're creating a record of trying to resolve the situation yourself. Then if things don't improve, then you can go to HR with your documentation and say, look, there's something really wrong going on here. You know, Jerry and I tried to resolve it ourselves. It's not getting better. So we thought you guys should know and could you help us in fixing this?" Because then you've really covered all your bases and you almost can't go wrong. And who knows, maybe you guys will be the first people to really fix this huge issue at your clinic that keeps perpetuating itself. That would be pretty cool.
[00:39:29] If it still doesn't get better though, then, yeah, I do think it's time to move on to another job. And maybe that is exactly what the Karens want. I don't know, but there's no shame in that. Toxic workplaces, they don't deserve great employees. Right? You sound like a great employee. You should be working somewhere that you like. I hope you can turn this into a place that you like, but if you can't, you can leave. Jordan. Are there any other legal recourses here? Like, should you be thinking about any other options?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:51] I mean, it's always document, document, document. Companies should take action here. So consider filing a lawsuit. Often lawyering up will not only get you a payday for your hassle, but it will affect a much-needed change in the company. I'm staunchly against using the legal system to make a buck most of the time, but it's very good for changing policy that companies are otherwise not incentivized to care about.
[00:40:14] Gabe, do you remember the — this is a famous case and everyone's like, "Ah, everyone sues for money." This is an older lady. She went to McDonald's, the coffee was too hot. She spilled it. She sued and got like two million dollars and everyone's like, "Oh, you're abusing the system.”
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:40:26] Yes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:27] That woman who was super old, she had complained about the hot coffee before as had thousands of people. So McDonald's knew about it. She spilled the coffee on herself, in the car. She's again, very old. The lid came off or something like that. It got down underneath her belt line to put it in a very sort of euphemistic way. And it caused horrific damage. She only wanted her medical bills taken care of. Her attorneys sued for more because the judge and — I believe, I'm going off memory here. I studied this in law school. The judge said, and the lawyer, they're not going to change this because it's cheaper from McDonald's. I'll just go find here's a hundred grand than it is to make the coffee a reasonable temperature, because super-hot coffee, something, something, something preserves flavor longer, and blah, blah, blah, and like scaled out throughout all of the McDonald's changing the coffee makers and the coffee temp and blah, blah, blah. It was cheaper for them to pay out medical damages and they'd been paid out before. So they were like, "We need to make it so unbelievably expensive that they have to change. Otherwise, they're subject to further liability." So the financial incentives happened. This old lady didn't care about the money. She just wanted to heal up her poor old genitalia, candidly.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:41:42] Interesting. Yeah, and meanwhile, everyone else is like, "Look at that selfish lady. She just didn't understand how coffee works."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:48] "Look at this selfish. She just wanted to make a buck. She probably did it on purpose." Yeah. And it's just not true. It was just a horrible situation. So in this scenario, if you work for freaking Kaiser Permanente, you don't file a lawsuit. They're going to go, "Oh yeah, you worked down in the third floor. Yeah, scare away every guy because they hate them. The supervisor there hates men and every female nurse that comes through there hates working there because it's all a bunch of catty women and it's a catty environment." If you file a lawsuit, they have to investigate it and they're like, "Oh, turns out we have a supervisor. That's a complete, crazy ass. We should just get rid of her." And then you fix the organization. If you really don't want the money, donate your share to charity. But there's a reason that punitive damages exist. And that's what it is.
[00:42:31] All right, last but not least.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:42:33] Hey guys, since lockdown started here in the UK, alcohol sales have soared. Colleagues and friends of mine have been sharing how much their alcohol consumption has increased and how liberating it is to not have to worry about driving to work after a heavy night or weekend of drinking. Most of the time they follow up their tales of drunken fun by saying, "I suppose I should cut down a bit," or make jokes about sounding like an alcoholic. These conversations make me feel really awkward because almost a year ago, my mom passed away from alcoholism. It's a terrible way to die. My awkwardness mainly comes from being torn about how to respond. Do I laugh along and say nothing or do I allude to the possible dangers? Drinking culture is such a big and normalized thing in the UK. So I know that these conversations will keep happening. Part of me feels that it's my responsibility to educate others on the dangers of regular or overconsumption of alcohol. But at the same time, I do not want to be that killjoy who constantly preaches about the dangers of drink. Is there an in-between here or should I just keep quiet? Kind regards, A Well-Intentioned Buzzkill.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:33] This is awkward. I'm sitting here drinking during Feedback Friday and I'm all like, "Ah, those people are so irresponsible."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:43:39] Then again, you have firsthand experience.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:41] Yeah, that's true. But I will say drinking culture in the UK is truly next level. When I worked at this law firm called Linklaters in London, I would get out of work at — I don't know, like 6:30, seven o'clock people would be stumbling drunk by 7:30, 8:00 p.m. And on weekends it was insanity from Thursday through Sunday. And I mean, like, people being carried off the tube.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:44:03] Wow.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:04] People being carried out of buildings, people like falling into cabs wasted. It happens in every city, but in the UK it was just like, "Oh my God, we need to get drunk right now. It was unreal." And then, of course, they try to mitigate by closing things early, right? So like, "Oh, we're only going to stay up until —" I don't even know everything kind of close early where I lived in this place called South Kensington. It's like this fancy, but so boring neighborhood, so freaking boring. This is decades ago now, but they tried to close everything even in major areas by — I don't know 10. So you'd go to a pub just to get food and I'd be out of work nine sometimes because I was an attorney like Wall Street hours are long. There would be people that were just absolutely unable to move. And so all they did was they tried to close things early and it made people drink more, drink faster, start earlier.
[00:44:55] So I can completely relate to your concern, given what you've gone through. And it is interesting when you go through something traumatic yourself, the issue behind it becomes very personal to you. It's like how people who lived through 9/11, find it hard to laugh at 9/11 jokes at comedy clubs. And for somebody else, you can crack an innocent joke about it. But if you were there, it just doesn't feel very funny. In fact, it probably feels really disrespectful and maybe even hurtful. The comedian means nothing by it and that in a nutshell is every single YouTube comment or whatever. But here's the thing comedians are allowed to make jokes about 9/11, even though people suffered in it. It's their job. It's their right. Just like your colleagues are allowed to get wasted every weekend, even though your mom suffered from it. It's their right.
[00:45:37] Just because you went through something doesn't mean other people have to live their lives differently. I understand where you're coming from. I know it's a tough pill to swallow. I'm not dismissing your feelings here. I'm really not. I understand them, but it is true. If you start thinking that way, then the whole world becomes one big canvas for your personal fears and biases. And it's easy to go around, projecting your wounds on everyone you meet, feeling responsible for other people's decisions. And that's a really good way to become a know it all finger-waggy buzzkill with zero friends.
[00:46:08] That said you are not wrong. You are not wrong. That's what makes this tricky because the truth is these people are drinking too much probably. They really are at risk and it just so happens that you have more and unfortunately better if I can use that word experience with that risk than most people. Experience that they truly could benefit from. Does that mean you shouldn't try and help them if you can? That's a tough one, man. I mean, I get it. You see where they could end up.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:46:37] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:38] Gabe, how do we handle this tactfully without becoming a freaking kindergarten teacher at the office?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:46:42] It is a tough one. I do think that the key is to recognize the limits of your responsibility. You know, if you go around the office or I don't know on Zoom lecturing everybody you work with about the dangers of drinking every time Carl in HR tells a funny story, you're going to alienate your colleagues and you're going to come across like a narc frankly. And that's not just annoying. It's actually, I would say a little bit inappropriate, right? These people are adults. They're making their own choices. They might be making them ignorantly. They might be making them stupidly, but that's their right. You have to respect that. But if you have a closer relationship with some of these people, right? If you hang out with them outside of work or you have a more intimate connection with them in the hall, then I do think it could be appropriate for you to say something if you really wanted to, you could pull that colleague aside in the break room or call them up one evening.
[00:47:27] And just say, "Look, I love that you have a great social life. I want you to have fun. I want to hear the stories on Monday morning, but I feel like we're more than just colleagues now. I feel like we're friends and I just want to share something with you in case you might be missing it." And then you can tell this person your concerns. You could maybe tell them a little bit about your mom and that you don't want to see that kind of thing happen to them. Keep it brief, keep it non-judgmental, come from a place of caring rather than knowing, and invite them to talk about it with you. If they show any interest in discussing it, then you can go deeper. Then you can really open up about what happened with your mom or what you think that could happen to them if they keep going down that path. But if they don't really want to talk about it, just leave it at that and let them either take your advice or go a different way. That's up to them. You did your part.
[00:48:08] As for the people you're not as close with though. Yes. I think the move is probably to laugh along and say nothing. Or, you know, don't laugh, that's okay too. But that's a boundary also. That's a boundary that you're going to want to respect. If this were your family member, if this were your say direct report at work, if your employee were like showing up schnockered to the all-hands meeting every Monday or something like that, that would be a different story. Then I think the lines of responsibility would be different and yeah, there's a whole big gray area in between there that becomes pretty tricky. People who are not your friend, but are not total strangers. Like, "Do I help that person? If they really don't have anyone else looking out for them. And I'm the one who might save them from ending up in a hospital somewhere. Do I step in?" That's something you're going to have to decide whether to speak up with those people, those people who are in your life, but we're not like in your inner circle. That's probably a case by case thing. I think you should use your judgment there.
[00:48:58] But yeah, it's really hard to — you know, we talked about this with the narcissistic grandma at the top, right. It's hard to sit with the feelings that get kicked up by other people's behavior, but that's a lot of life, isn't it? Knowing which experience is yours, which experiences somebody else's, and not projecting your experience onto other people inappropriately. Because the one person you're really responsible for is yourself at the end of the day. And usually, that's plenty of work right there.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:24] Yeah, no kidding. Hope you all enjoy that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week. Go back and check out the episodes we did with H.R. McMaster and Oliver Stone if you haven't yet.
[00:49:34] If you want to know how I managed to get guests like this — well, it's all about these systems and tiny habits about digging the well before you get thirsty. The Six-Minute Networking course is free. It's over on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. Don't wait. Dig the well before you get thirsty because once you need relationships, you're too late. Then he ended up being like, "Ah, crap, how do I make an excuse to talk to this person?" The drills are fun. They take a few minutes a day. They're all free, jordanharbinger.com/course. A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts in the show notes. A video of this episode of Feedback Friday is on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter, Instagram. You can hit me on LinkedIn. You can also find Gabe on Twitter. Where? where can we find you, Gabe?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:50:19] @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi. LinkedIn is fine too. It's not my favorite, but you can totally find me there.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:26] Why are you Gabe Mizrahi on Twitter and Gabriel Mizrahi on Instagram.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:50:30] I don't think I was able to get Gabriel Mizrahi. I was late to the party.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:34] On Twitter?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:50:34] Mm-hm.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:35] Nah, bummer. Well, this show is created in association with PodcastOne and my amazing team, including Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi or Gabe Mizrahi depending on which network you're trying to reach him on. Keep sending in those questions to email@example.com. Our advice and opinions, and those of our guests are their own. I'm a lawyer, not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love. If you found this episode useful, please share it with somebody else who can use the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[00:51:18] Here's the quick bite of my conversation with FBI hostage negotiator, Chris Voss. Chris is an expert when it comes to getting people to see things our way. And this episode is loaded with practical examples, tactics, and real-life stories that I think you're going to really dig. Here's the little snip from that episode.
Chris Voss: [00:51:37] Chase Manhattan bank robbery, I'm a second negotiator on the phone. Hugh McGowan is the commander of the NYPD team. He puts me on a phone. He takes this guy off. He says, "You're up. You're next? This is what I want you to do, you're just going to take over the phone and say, 'You're talking to me,' and we're going to do it really abruptly." My point is to get a hostage out, which is what the hostage negotiators are supposed to do. And somebody hands me a note and says, "Ask him if he wants to come out." That was somebody that was listening. My friend, Jamie, Jamie Sedaño. Jamie is sitting here and something in Jamie's instinct is telling him that this guy wants to come out more than anything else. He just hears it and he writes, "Ask him if he wants to come out." I see a note popping in front of my face. So I go, "Do you want to come out?" And there's a long silence on the other end of the line and the guy says, "I don't know how I do that," which is a great big giant yes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:30] Yeah.
Chris Voss: [00:52:30] Everybody goes to like, "Holy cow, okay, get him out of there." I'm talking, I'm talking, I'm talking. Again, probably about, I don't know, maybe half an hour later, another note comes in my hand. I don't know where it's from. As it turns out, it's from Jamie again. And the note says, "Tell him you'll meet him outside." And I say to him, "How about this, how about if I meet you in front of the bank." And he goes, "Yeah, I'm ready to end the shit." I get out there and get on the PA. I started talking to him. So I said, "Hi, it's Chris. I'm out here." Standard operating procedure is the barricade the exit from the outside. So bad guy suddenly doesn't run away. So SWAT has barricaded the bank from the outside, which everyone has forgotten. So I'm trying to talk this guy out the door. We don't know how many bad guys are inside. We don't know how they're going to react. We don't know if the guys start shooting. We don't know what the hell is going to happen. He comes to the door and kicks it hard.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:28] Oh, God.
Chris Voss: [00:53:30] He rattles the door. He was like, "Ah!"
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:33] He's nervous. Right? I mean, "Oh, crap. I'm trapped in here now."
Chris Voss: [00:53:35] Yeah, on the outside, we're going, "Now, what do we do?" We forgot to unlock the door. And our bad guy is kind of like, "Oh, you want to play games with me. Huh?"
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:50] For more from FBI hostage negotiator, Chris Voss, including negotiation and persuasion tips along with a few crazy stories, check out episode 165 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
Male Narrator: [00:54:02] Don't miss the Court Junkie podcast with Jillian Jalali.
Jillian Jalali: [00:54:04] The community held vigils and prayed for Jayme.
Male Narrator: [00:54:08] Join Jillian as she goes beyond the courtroom and sheds light on the injustices of our judicial system.
Jillian Jalali: [00:54:13] We all have the same goal in mind, and that is to bring Jayme home.
Female operator: [00:54:16] You're calling Wisconsin County 911.
Female caller: [00:54:18] I have a young lady at my house right now and she just says her name is Jayme Closs.
Jillian Jalali: [00:54:23] Had Jayme finally been found?
Male Narrator: [00:54:24] Subscribe to Court Junkie on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any of your favorite podcast apps.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.