Co-parenting with your stepson’s chaotic mom is challenging when she invents reasons she should have custody. 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 email@example.com. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- Co-parenting with your stepson’s chaotic mom is challenging when she invents reasons she should have custody. How can you ensure his comfort and care while keeping her from expressing her worst tendencies?
- How do you make the case for promoting someone whose work-related skills are top-notch while their social skills are lacking?
- How do you set boundaries with an intrusive — and honestly, somewhat insensitive — family?
- Should you boycott Chinese fast fashion retailer Shein?
- You’re a 15-year-old closeted agnostic/atheist in a conservative Christian family. Should you risk the consequences of telling them your true beliefs, or wait until you’re old enough to move out of their house?
- 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 Instagram @gabrielmizrahi.
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Miss our two-part conversation with the Caravaggio of currency counterfeiting? Catch up by starting with Episode 488: Frank Bourassa | The World’s Greatest Counterfeiter Part One here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Personality Tests | Skeptical Sunday | Jordan Harbinger
- Julian Walker | How Conspiracy Theories Make Society Sick | Jordan Harbinger
- Paul Hutchinson | Beyond the Politics of “Sound of Freedom” | Jordan Harbinger
- 7 Realities of Stepparenting: Are Stepparents “Real” Parents? | Stepmomming
- 17 Vegan Jokes and Comedy Sets That Will Make You Laugh and Cringe | Food and Living Vegan
- What to Do With a Worker Who Has A+ Skills but a Failing Attitude | Remodeling
- How to Set Boundaries with Family: Benefits, Obstacles, and the Value of Self-Care | BetterHelp
- Fast Fashion | Skeptical Sunday | Jordan Harbinger
- David Kilgour | The Heartless Art of Forced Organ Harvesting | Jordan Harbinger
- Shein Lawsuit Accuses Fast-Fashion Site of RICO Violations | CBS News
- Laowhy86 | YouTube
- Serpentza | YouTube
- The China Show | YouTube
- Laowhy86 | How the Chinese Social Credit Score System Works Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Laowhy86 | How the Chinese Social Credit Score System Works Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- Erewhon Market | Los Angeles
- How to Tell Your Family That You Are An Atheist | Time
- How Do I Tell My Religious Family I Don’t Believe in God? | Quora
- How Do I Tell My Christian Parents I’m Agnostic? | Reddit
- Atheist Teen Stressed by Mom’s Church Scene | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
873: Custody Fiction Leads to Co-Parenting Friction | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Special thanks to Airbnb for sponsoring this episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show. Maybe you've stayed at an Airbnb before and thought to yourself, "Yeah, this actually seems pretty doable. Maybe my place could be an Airbnb." It could be as simple as starting with a spare room or your whole place while you're away. Find out how much your place is worth at airbnb.com/host.
[00:00:21] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, or as I like to call him, Gabe GPT, Gabriel Mizrahi.
[00:00:31] On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. Our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. During the week, we have long-form conversations with a variety of amazing folks, from organized crime figures and Russian spies to astronauts, Emmy-nominated comedians. And this week, we had Julian Walker on how spiritual stuff like yoga often takes conspiratorial turns.
[00:01:02] I don't know if you noticed this, Gabe, but during the pandemic especially, a lot of yoga studios and otherwise normal sort of spiritual folks turned out to be the ones who were like, and aliens and chemtrails and all this other crazy stuff that just seemingly makes no sense. It turns out that's a huge thing in a lot of these natural health and wellness movements, and we explored that. Really fascinating, the connotations, and, you know, basically yoga Nazis, it's a thing.
[00:01:28] And we also had Paul Hutchinson talking about the movie, The Sound of Freedom, the movie, if you haven't seen it, this movie tracks Tim Ballard, who was actually on this show a long time ago, and this is, you know, sort of based on a true story, but really is highly dramatized. Paul funds child rescues and has done over 70 undercover missions himself, 7-0. He also raises funds to rescue trafficked children and individuals, and perhaps most importantly, is willing to talk openly and not unnecessarily politicize the issue or turn it into some kooky conspiracy theory. And we also had Our Skeptical Sunday last Sunday on personality tests. Did you know you're maybe an ENTJ or not? Gabe, do you know your personality? You're Myers-Briggs.
[00:02:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. I don't.
[00:02:13] Jordan Harbinger: You know what, though? It doesn't matter. Because the test doesn't know either. So have a fun listen to that one, especially if you love those you might find we tip over some sacred cows.
[00:02:21] On Fridays, though, we share stories, take listener letters, offer advice, and generally ride a delicate and occasionally dicey line between empathy and mockery, as is our custom.
[00:02:31] Gabe, before we jump in, another story I think you'd appreciate. When I lived in Germany, the former East Germany, which I don't think people probably say anymore, 25 years ago, and holy crap, that makes me feel old, I was on the tram and a bunch of skinheads surrounded me. And at the time, I didn't speak German very well/at all. I probably knew like a few words, really. And they were staring at me, and they were saying something to me that I didn't really understand, of course. And I noticed there was this girl with them, cute girl, kind of quiet, could have been one of their little sisters or something like that. And she was staring at me in this really uncomfortable way, and I was like, oh man, she pities me because I'm about to get my ass kicked.
[00:03:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh.
[00:03:08] Jordan Harbinger: Like bad.
[00:03:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Really?
[00:03:09] Jordan Harbinger: And I thought, oh, it's really bad. She was looking at me kind of nervous, and I was like, oh, this is not good. So, of course. I'm quite anxious at the time, and I'm hoping that if I just stay on the tram, maybe it won't be that bad, because there's a lot of people around. So I zip up my jacket, thinking like, that maybe will pad some kicks to the ribcage. And I'm ignoring them, and I'm ignoring them, and I'm ignoring them, and they will not let this go. And finally, this one skinhead, this really big dude, he's wearing like knock-off Doc Martin boots, tattoos, shaved head, the works. He basically sits right behind me, and he's tapping on my back, and he's calling me over and over and over again. And I can't ignore him anymore. And I'm like, okay, he's just going to get even more angry now. You can tell he's getting annoyed.
[00:03:50] So finally, I turned around expecting him to either punch me in the face or start yelling or whatever. And I just say like, "Hey man, I don't speak German. I'm sorry from the United States." And I'm hoping that just gets him off my back, right? Because I know even skinheads have no problem. Modern-day skinheads have no problem with the United States. You know, I was thinking maybe he thinks I'm Russian or something. They don't like those guys. So he points to the girl, and in the worst English, that I've ever heard in my entire life up to that point. He says, "She, I love you. I love you so much." And his friends—
[00:04:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: She, I love you?
[00:04:22] Jordan Harbinger: They just start losing their mind. Yeah, yeah. "She, I love you, I love you so much." And it was the whole tram—
[00:04:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, like she loves you.
[00:04:32] Jordan Harbinger: Right, yeah, like he just didn't know how to conjugate that and say that.
[00:04:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay.
[00:04:36] Jordan Harbinger: So his friends start laughing, which makes me laugh, which makes him laugh, which makes the girl laugh, which makes the entire tram car erupt in laughter because there was so much tension. Everybody noticed what was going on. Everybody saw those people get on the train. They were like, this guy is going to get his ass beat. People were moving away from me. But instead, now, we're all just laughing at this skinhead's absolutely rubbish English, command of the English language.
[00:04:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wait, so he was just trying to set you up with this girl?
[00:05:01] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, he was probably like, "Oh, my sister or friend or whatever thinks you're cute, and I have no idea how to say that, and she's being chicken and isn't going to say anything."
[00:05:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:05:09] Jordan Harbinger: And she was talking with them a little, and I just thought she was saying, like, "Don't murder that guy, he doesn't, you know, why do this," you know? But meanwhile, she was probably like, "Get his attention, come on." I don't really remember because I was terrified. So, that's what I think. I think she said something about me being cute or whatever. That set those guys off. They thought we're going to intimidate this guy. It didn't work because I didn't understand what the hell they were talking about. And then, when he found out I was foreign and he tried to translate, it was just too much comedy for anybody to handle and it totally destroyed the tension.
[00:05:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: This is by far the cutest skinhead story I've ever heard.
[00:05:41] Jordan Harbinger: There aren't many cute skinhead story—
[00:05:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: No.
[00:05:43] Jordan Harbinger: —in fact.
[00:05:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, they turn out usually pretty dark, I would say.
[00:05:46] Jordan Harbinger: They do indeed. Yeah, it was kind of a great moment and obviously a massive relief for me because I didn't die—
[00:05:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:05:51] Jordan Harbinger: —that day from blunt force trauma to the head.
[00:05:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Seriously.
[00:05:55] Jordan Harbinger: What I love about this is occasionally I would see those guys from time to time in the streets of the city where I used to live because I was out all the time I go out every day. I was always walking around. And it's a 300,000-person town with one downtown area pretty much, and that's it. So they would often nod and say hello, and it was like we were kind of acquaintances because we had shared this weird, awkward moment on the train.
[00:06:15] One more thing before we kick off here, we're translating our Six-Minute Networking course, jordanharbinger.com/course into other languages. And we're looking for show fans who speak English and another language natively to help translate it. So the course is free, we just give it away, but we've got people translating it into Brazilian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Polish. I think we already have those. We could use literally any other language. I don't care what it is, any at all. This would be a favor to the show, probably wouldn't take long because there's only probably about a dozen videos and they're only a few minutes each. And yes, we could do AI translation, everybody suggests this, but it seems really silly to do that when that's going to be wrong by some margin, and we probably have every single major world language represented here in the show's fanbase. And I think it'd be great to get this in traditional and simplified Chinese, Russian, French, German, Italian, Vietnamese, et cetera. It's only going to be subtitles, right? You don't have to voice anything over. So if you're willing to offer a bit of your time, hit me up, email@example.com. We're redoing all the scripts and you would be getting the new ones and translating them and I think it'd just be a lot of fun and make the course way more accessible for a lot of people.
[00:07:20] And I know what you're thinking, "But if they listen to your show and the show's in English, why do they need the course in another language?" A lot of people share the course and a lot of people listen to the show to practice their English. And it's harder to listen to a course where you're getting instructions. So, I think it would even help those people practice their English if they had real subtitles about what I was actually saying. And again, people share the course with students who don't listen to the show, so I just think it's a good service.
[00:07:43] All right, Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:07:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, when I met my husband, he was raising his one-year-old son on his own because his ex had left to, quote-unquote, "figure herself out." We now raise all of our kids as a blended family. Two young kids under four, and my now nine-year-old stepson, who lives with us 80 percent of the time and only sees his mom on weekends. My stepson's mom was in and out of the picture for most of his childhood, so I filled that role however I could. I potty trained him, took him to his speech therapy, enrolled him in school, did drop offs and pick ups from daycare, and took him to all his doctor's visits. During that time, my stepson started to call me mom. I originally corrected him and told him to call me by my name, but he never did. From the beginning of my relationship with my husband, I tried to include my stepson's mom, send her updates, and start a relationship with her. We eventually became very close during the pandemic and would text back and forth daily and would even go to lunch and get our nails done together. She once sent me a lengthy text about how she thought it was, quote, "amazing that our son has two mom figures," unquote, and how, quote-unquote, "lucky he was." I was so thrilled about how we were co-parenting and our son was so happy seeing all of his parents getting along. Unfortunately, she would often talk badly about my husband and try to get me to see why she was right. I tried to stay neutral, but I often agreed with him and it got harder for me to keep a friendship with someone who was so hard to reason with and who completely hated my husband. One day, while picking up his son from her house, they got into a particularly bad argument. Her father approached my husband and told him he was going to come to our house and kill him. My husband quickly left with the kids and we notified the police. They didn't do anything, and after that incident, I distanced myself and kept my two younger kids away from her and her family. She then started a custody battle, claiming that we were neglecting her son and that we forced him to call me mom. She asked for full custody and wanted to have every other week with him. After two very long years, a judge saw that these were mostly false allegations and decided that she shouldn't have any extra time. Now, she's forced to pay us child support, which really upset her. Recently, my stepson came back from a weekend at his mom's place and told me that he was, quote-unquote, "scared of her" because when he slipped up and called me mom at her house, she screamed and got upset. He told me that she sits him down and tells him she is his mom and I'm not his real mom. He also said it's too much pressure for him, those are his words and asked me to please talk to her. How can I help my son navigate this situation? Should I reach out to her again? Signed, Navigating This Strife With My Stepwife Without Ruining Our Son's Life.
[00:10:22] Jordan Harbinger: So this is obviously super sad. I mean, I loved the part where you and this woman were co-parenting really well—
[00:10:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:10:29] Jordan Harbinger: —and texting photos back and forth and getting mani-pedis together. That was a really special dynamic with a partner's ex. And I just knew when you said how great it was that this was all going to come crashing down in a fiery Hindenburg fashion because that's a dream scenario in a situation like this. And it says a lot about you and your capacity for great relationships. So kudos to you.
[00:10:49] Unfortunately, your husband's ex does not have that same capacity for relationships as evidenced by her, I don't know, abandoning her kid and husband, and then also smack-talking the husband to you. I mean, I don't even know how to put it. She's got some serious stuff going on. Who knows exactly what it is, but it's not good. I mean, from what you're telling us, this woman essentially abandoned her newborn baby so she can figure herself out, whatever the hell that even means. Unclear if she actually succeeded. I'm going to go with no. It doesn't sound like we're dealing with some self-actualized or enlightened personality here.
[00:11:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, that sounds more like, I don't know, I lived out of my van with no human contact for nine months. Then, I went to an ashram and then to therapy to resolve my conflicts around being a mother or something.
[00:11:35] Jordan Harbinger: Right, yeah, this is not exactly an Eat, Pray, Love kind of situation from the sound of it.
[00:11:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, it is not.
[00:11:39] Jordan Harbinger: Not that eat, pray, loving right after you give birth to an actual human baby is that responsible either, frankly.
[00:11:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, it's not.
[00:11:45] Jordan Harbinger: Then she nurses this resentment against your husband and tries to drag you into it, to recruit you to her side, which is both petty and inappropriate and kind of makes me think the whole friendship was actually about her trying to ruin your relationship with your husband, but whatever, I don't have any more evidence for that.
[00:12:01] Her dad, Mr. I'm-going-to-kill-you, sounds a little unhinged himself, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's the, probably one of the keys to mom's issues there, or, you know, birth mom's issues here. And when you pull back, as you should have, she changes her tune and drags you guys into a custody battle, which completely backfired, and that is delicious. And so now she hates you guys, and she's taking it out on her son. I mean, I don't know how you are supposed to reason with an a-h*le like this.
[00:12:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Honestly, she sounds very threatened.
[00:12:32] Jordan Harbinger: I was going to say, this woman is obviously a bit unstable, but a lot of this, it can really only come from a place of deep insecurity and fear.
[00:12:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, this whole calling his stepmom mom thing is very loaded, obviously. It's beautiful that he's bonded with our friend here so much. I mean, that makes total sense. She was there for him in a huge way. But that's got to be very painful to his biological mom who is already kind of, uh, what's the word?
[00:12:57] Jordan Harbinger: Thin ice mentally? Shaky ground?
[00:12:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Thin ice mentally, on shaky ground.
[00:13:01] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:13:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's hard for her to hear.
[00:13:03] Jordan Harbinger: Right. But instead of going, "Huh, I wonder why my son prefers to call this other woman mom. Maybe I should look at that and maybe I'm fricking paying the piper for abandoning my baby early in life."
[00:13:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:13:13] Jordan Harbinger: Instead, she's just screaming at him and being like, "Don't do that! I'm your real mom! You shouldn't have a relationship with this other person who cares about you. That's unfair to me. Hello."
[00:13:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's very tragic. I feel for her son the most here though because he has to spend time with her.
[00:13:26] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:13:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: He can't reason with her at nine years old. He can't make his own decisions. I mean he's getting the brunt of this at a very impressionable age and sadly, I just don't think this woman is going to magically change overnight.
[00:13:36] Jordan Harbinger: No, me neither. I mean, she already tried to go find herself and came back still kind of an a-h*le from the sound of it.
[00:13:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Worse.
[00:13:42] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, worse. So your question is exactly the right one. How can you help your son navigate this situation as well as possible? It's not like he's 16, 17 and can make really sort of informed, emotionally intelligent decisions. Basically, I think you need to invite him to talk to you about what goes on at his mom's house, how she makes him feel, what position all of this puts him in. And keep reassuring him that he's done nothing wrong, his mom is a tricky person, and that her reactions are about her and not him. And the hard part is going to be doing that without bad-mouthing this woman too much, which I am sure is very tempting and frankly warranted just given how she's behaved, but you need to be super disciplined about helping your son see his mom more clearly without poisoning the well.
[00:14:29] And that's going to be good practice for you to not just to avoid unnecessary negativity but to show your son what healthy conflict actually looks like and that you won't inadvertently put him in the same position that his mom is putting him in. Because even though he sees you as the safer parent, for good reason, if he talks to you about his mom and you're like, "Well, you know your mom is batsh*t crazy. She's threatened by us. Don't let her get to you." You'd be 100 percent correct. But that might also add to the sense of pressure that he feels because now he's getting it from both sides, and that's very hard and very unfair for a child.
[00:15:06] The better approach, in my opinion, is to make a lot of room for his feelings, surround him with love and support, and give him some tools for handling his mom. For example, at his age, maybe you help him see that when mom gets upset, she's upset with herself, not with him. Or maybe you help him find some words to tell his mom that he loves her and he loves you and he doesn't want to feel like he has to choose. Or maybe you even tell him just try not to use the term mom to refer to you around his biological mom, which makes me so sad because he shouldn't have to censor himself. He's nine years old. She should learn how to work through her anger and sleep in the bed that she frankly made for herself. But it might be a way to keep the peace.
[00:15:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think you're absolutely right, Jordan. The way she helps her son navigate the situation will change as he gets older.
[00:15:53] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:15:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right now, at his age, I think it's much more important that you remind him that he's done nothing wrong and that you're on his team and that it's all okay and it doesn't change anything in terms of how you feel about him or even how his mom feels about him. She's just kind of going through something. As he becomes an adolescent, he'll become more equipped to push back with his mom when he has to, you know, maybe set some boundaries, maybe have some more direct conversations with her about this whole mom thing.
[00:16:18] As for reaching out to her, oh, that's a tough one. She might not want to hear from you guys at all right now, or you might, even if she were open to it, you might not get very far. I'm guessing this woman is not going to take well to you saying, "You know, listen, you're really upsetting your son when you get mad at him for calling me mom, so you need to work on that and leave him alone." You might have to focus more on your stepson than on her. And what's hard about that is it means admitting that she might always be a bit of a loony tune.
[00:16:47] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:16:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: And that she's going to continue to hurt him, which is, yeah, it's heartbreaking, but that's how it goes sometimes. But the great news is, your son has you, which will be his saving grace, you and your husband. That said, I do think there is a world where you and your husband could approach her, maybe together, and try to hit the reset button and help her see how this is impacting her son. I don't know if she's willing to do that at this point but it's an option. Maybe it's worth trying and if there's an opening I would definitely take it.
[00:17:13] The message I would lead with there is, "Look, I know things are tense between us. I know we're not your favorite people right now. But the one thing we have in common is that we both want what's best for your son. And if we can work on our relationship a little, if we can try to resolve some of this, you know, this anger, this sense of competitiveness, we can all serve him a lot better." If she does not respond to that invitation, then she probably just isn't ready to reconsider this narrative or look at herself or do some of her own work. That's just the way the cookie crumbles.
[00:17:40] But here's the good news. You sound like an awesome stepmom. I mean, like, this kid hit the jackpot with you, and you and your husband seem to have a really good relationship, and you're giving your stepson a really wonderful home. So as tragic as this stuff is with his biological mom, that might be all you can do here, and it might be the best thing you can do for him.
[00:17:58] Jordan Harbinger: Right, and that's a lot, actually.
[00:17:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:17:59] Jordan Harbinger: It's really sad that their son's mom is this person. But every child grows up with different challenges and this is his.
[00:18:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:18:06] Jordan Harbinger: So the more you can help him process what he goes through, be a good parent, be a good friend to him, surround him with unconditional love, all the things he doesn't get consistently from his biological mom, the better. And maybe, yeah, some people say, you don't know, maybe she loves him now. She left him as a baby. That's what I'm referring to. And as he gets older, he's going to see this pretty damn clearly. Although I think he already kind of does. We don't give kids enough credit. He's going to know which of you is the better parent, right? Bio mom is scaring him and he's coming to you. So she's not fooling him. It doesn't matter if she gets him Nintendo or whatever the hell kids want these days, Xbox. Like, none of that's going to make up for the fact that she's a kook. And he can decide then for himself what their relationship should look like.
[00:18:48] He's very lucky to have you in his life. Sending you all a big hug and wishing you the best. And you know, it's just occurred to me, Gabe, another thing that they could do is ask their lawyer what they can do ongoing if they have to fight a custody battle again. Because I'm thinking get this kid to go to therapy occasionally with the rest of the family.
[00:19:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:19:06] Jordan Harbinger: Talk about the situation. Maybe even go to therapy while mom or stepmom or dad waits in the waiting room. Because if you have to go to a custody battle and you can call up a therapist and say, "Yeah, there's been a nine, ten, eleven-year-old kid in my office for the last three years talking about how bio mom is scaring him and grandpa threatens to kill dad. And he doesn't want to go there anymore and he's expressing signs of trauma and stress and he talks nothing but good things about stepmom and dad and is terrified to even go to grandpa/mom's house." That's pretty strong because that's going to be written documentation from what is essentially a party that has the child's best interest at heart. Not just like, "Oh, yeah, well, he told us a million times over the last three years that mom scares him," and they're like, "Yeah, yeah, sure he did, sure he did, right when you were taking him to Disneyland and engaging in parental alienation."
[00:19:59] So, I would honestly prepare for the next, I hate saying this because I know it stresses you out, prepare for the next custody battle, court battle, now. Because something tells me that when he's 15, 16 years old and she's still crazy as ever and grandpa's threatened to kill dad for the 27th time on the way out, you're going to be in a position to do something about this, and you need evidence and documentation, and having years of that from a quality therapist is going to help a lot. There's probably other things that I don't even know about because I'm not a family lawyer. Your lawyer's going to be able to help you set the table for this. Because kooky mom's going to make up a bunch of crap, but if you have another third party that says, "Yeah, none of that was documented in the three years I was seeing this kid, so I don't believe it." You're in a much better position. Family courts love therapists. They love therapists and they love documentation because they don't get a lot of evidence like that. It's always "he said, she said." That's going to weigh heavily in your favor.
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[00:23:52] Now, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:23:54] Okay, what's next?
[00:23:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, last year, I moved into a team lead role at my company, and I was very surprised to learn that a software developer on my team was still a junior. He's in his early to mid 30s, and this is his first, quote-unquote, "real job." But he's been with the company for four years, and his pay is almost half of anyone else on the team, which doesn't match his skills and contributions. I brought up a possible promotion for him with my boss, not a major one, just removing junior from his title, and he agreed that he is up to par in terms of technical skills. The issue, according to him, is this guy's negative attitude and complaining. He needs to, quote-unquote, "grow up." Earlier this year, I put him in charge of an important project, which he's shown good results on. I hoped to use this to push for his promotion, but it hasn't changed his attitude. If anything, the negativity may be getting worse, although this may be related to some of his deteriorating chronic health issues. Well, I agree that there's some negativity on his part, especially when vegan food options aren't available.
[00:24:53] Oh, I hate that detail. Ugh.
[00:24:56] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, now you can't hide from the truth.
[00:24:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Man, it's so hard. It's like, you know, vegans are such an easy target, and then you hear a story like this. It's like, bro, don't complain about not having vegan food in the office.
[00:25:06] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:25:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Like making the rest of us look bad. And you're making it weirdly easy for Jordan to roast me when we didn't even know—
[00:25:12] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, it's coming. It's coming.
[00:25:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's super annoying.
[00:25:15] Jordan Harbinger: I'm inspired now.
[00:25:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay. So while I agree that there's some negativity on his part, especially when vegan food options aren't available, he also makes an effort to spread a positive atmosphere, which takes some tension out when things get stressful.
[00:25:26] See, that's, you know, that's the reputation I would like for vegans.
[00:25:30] Jordan Harbinger: There you go.
[00:25:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: But I'm not sure how to approach this topic with him as his attitude has been tolerated by the company for years. It makes me hesitate to bring it up directly. How can I approach this topic in a way that nudges him in the right direction and helps him grow up? And how can I help elevate his positive qualities so that my boss sees that he's a talent worth recognizing with additional compensation? Signed, Securing This Title From My Grumbling Disciple.
[00:25:55] Jordan Harbinger: This is a great question. I got to say, I love that you're so passionate about helping this junior guy get the title he deserves. You sound like a very thoughtful boss. I think it's rare to have a boss who takes this kind of interest in an employee's success, so I'm here for it. But I think you're getting some very meaningful signals, both from this junior developer and from your boss. And it's time to put those to good use.
[00:26:15] So my take on this is if you're as passionate about this guy as you say you are, then you owe it to him to give him this feedback directly. And you've gone to bed for this kid, and your boss has turned down the promotion for reasons that are fair or unfair. But actually, it kind of makes sense. I mean, having a positive attitude, not complaining around the office, not whining when there isn't fricking like dairy-free oat milk donuts in the break room or whatever, which sounds like a real classic Gabe move if I'm being honest.
[00:26:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: God dammit, I knew you were going to say that. Wow.
[00:26:45] Jordan Harbinger: Can't just not talk about being vegan, can you? Even this morning, even though I brought it up.
[00:26:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Once again, I've basically made it my mission to be the least annoying vegan on earth. But somehow you're the one who keeps bringing it up.
[00:26:56] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, all these jokes at your expense are just not going to crack themselves, are they, Gabe?
[00:27:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's fair.
[00:27:01] Jordan Harbinger: I will also admit that oat milk donut sound delectable right now, and I hope they exist because I'm going to go DoorDash some of that right after the show. But the point is, this kid's personality, how he behaves around the office, that stuff is important.
[00:27:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:27:14] Jordan Harbinger: So even if your boss's objections, eh, they seem a little petty, in a way, they're not. This talented kid is inadvertently getting in his own way, and somebody's got to help him see that. Because you're his boss and because you're passionate about him, I think that person is you. So I would take him out for lunch, or a walk, or whatever, and I would basically say, "Look, man, you're doing great work, I think you're under compensated for what you do, I fully agree with that. I'm invested in you. I want to see you succeed. One of my missions is to help you get promoted here, finally. And part of me doing that is also empowering you to put your best foot forward so you can be the kind of person this company wants to promote. So, to that end, I want to share a few observations. Please know that I'm sharing all this in the spirit of you getting better, seeing yourself more clearly, deciding what kind of colleague you want to be, and I'll let you decide if/how you want to put this into practice, totally up to you." And then you just gently tell him about some of these sticking points — the occasional negativity, the whining and complaining, how the company views itself as essentially tolerating his attitude, which is not, that doesn't sound good at all.
[00:28:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:28:27] Jordan Harbinger: I would also point to a couple of concrete examples so he can really see what you're talking about. The grumbling in the meeting last Thursday is better than, eh, sometimes you seem unenthusiastic about certain kinds of work. Which, I got feedback like that at my first law job, and I was like, what do they mean? When? I've been here for months. What does that mean? Manage expectations. What does that mean? Enthusiasm. And it's just none of it's useful. But if they were like, "Hey, you handed something in and you didn't tell anybody you were going to do that. We didn't hear from you for a week while you were doing it." That makes more sense. You know, sometimes we don't have examples like this in our life. And while you do that, I would reassure him that he's doing great work on the whole. He's a valuable developer. People also appreciate his positive spirit when it shows itself in so many ways. You know, so he doesn't feel like he's totally blowing it and that he's being criticized only. Just give him the full picture.
[00:29:16] The message I would aim for is essentially this, "You're a talented person who deserves to rise up and here are a few ways you might be making it harder for other people to see that."
[00:29:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's such a nice way to frame it and also what a gift to receive that kind of feedback from somebody.
[00:29:30] Jordan Harbinger: Amen, man. Like I said, I feel like this is the kind of feedback everyone needs at one point or another, especially young people. Because they don't get feedback like this. Nobody tells you how to hold a job. It's so personal. It can be really daunting to give it to somebody. So most people sweep it under the rug and then it's like, why aren't I getting promoted? Well, here we are. And it's so hard to see yourself clearly. Because you might have rocked it in school, but the teachers are like, I mean, I don't have to worry about managing expectations, he turned in the assignment or he didn't, I don't give a crap about the rest of it. So a lot of people, like I said, including me at various points, we just go through life with massive blind spots, especially with respect to working a real adult ass job, and we just never know.
[00:30:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, yeah, it's also really hard to tell a vegan with chronic health issues that they're rubbing everybody the wrong way when, you know, they complain that no one ordered the seitan option from Sweetgreen or whatever.
[00:30:19] Jordan Harbinger: Jeez.
[00:30:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's funny, that's probably the least of this guy's problems, but, you know?
[00:30:22] Jordan Harbinger: I don't even know what seitan is, so it's definitely not that big of a deal.
[00:30:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: I actually don't even know if I'm saying that correctly because I've never said that word out loud.
[00:30:27] Jordan Harbinger: Seitan?
[00:30:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, seitan, seitan.
[00:30:29] Jordan Harbinger: What is it, though?
[00:30:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Pretty sure it's like a soy based.
[00:30:32] Jordan Harbinger: Say no more. Of course, it is.
[00:30:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's a substitute for meat or something. Yeah.
[00:30:37] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:30:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: This is really reminding me of something that I've forgotten about. When I was in college, in the second half of college, I started to get really serious about trying to find a job and I wanted to work in management consulting. That was my big goal.
[00:30:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:30:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: And so I started going to these like club meetings for kids who wanted to do that. And I met this really wonderful group of students who were much further along this path than I wasn't really passionate about like getting good jobs and helping other people at UCLA get jobs and these guys taught me everything. I was like so not corporate and so I had so much to learn. And I met this guy at this meeting one night. I did not know him. We did not have a deep relationship, a friendship or anything. This dude called me the next day because we had met at this club meeting and I guess we exchanged information. And he called me and he was like, "Listen, man, I just want to tell you that you come across like a little bit like a serial killer."
[00:31:24] Jordan Harbinger: Holy smokes. Wow.
[00:31:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: I might be editorializing a little bit. I don't know if he said serial killer, but that's what I—
[00:31:30] Jordan Harbinger: But damn, dude.
[00:31:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. And by the way, I've gotten that note a few times.
[00:31:36] Jordan Harbinger: Not the first time I've heard that.
[00:31:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Over the years. Yeah. Because I do have a little bit of resting bitch face.
[00:31:41] Jordan Harbinger: Why do my victims always say that?
[00:31:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's so unfair. Yeah. Like, they don't understand the real me as I shovel dirt into the grave.
[00:31:49] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:31:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: But no, but like, I just have a serious face and I can be a little intimidating and nobody had ever pointed that out to me before and this guy boldly did and he was like, "I'm not trying to be a dick. I want you to know that because I think it's going to become a thing in your interviews. And I've seen you be really sociable now. Like he saw me talk to other people. And when I talked to him, he was like, oh, you're a completely different person from how you appeared when I saw you across the room. So I just want you to know that that's what people are going to associate with you." It kind of like rocked me for a day. I was like, Jesus, like that was brutal and kind of intense, but I think I ended up getting jobs because of this guy.
[00:32:23] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:32:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: He had the courage and like the kindness to tell me in this very kind, but direct way, like you need to know how you come across. And I feel like something similar is happening here. If it's delivered in the right spirit, he could really change the course of this guy's career with a couple of minor adjustments.
[00:32:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, this kid probably just grew up kind of complaining about that sort of thing and everybody tolerated it because of his health condition. And then you get to an office where people there aren't your mom and dad or your brother and your sister.
[00:32:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:32:49] Jordan Harbinger: And it's like, "Hey man, I know you have a health condition. I'm not your parents, so knock it off. We all have work to do. Pull your pants up, whatever." And he needs to hear that like once, at least, before it sets in.
[00:33:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep. That's exactly right. And I would also, while you do that, hit pause on this goal to get him promoted just for now because part of the point of this conversation is to see what this guy does with your feedback. You know, how does he metabolize it? How does he respond? How does he put it into action or not put it into action? That's his job. That's not your job. I love your passion for helping him get ahead. Don't get me wrong. But what you're also doing here by giving him this feedback is seeing whether this guy really is as deserving of your support as you think he is.
[00:33:29] It's a really great litmus test because your boss might be right. He might need to grow up some more before he deserves to rise up. But, how do you give him a chance to grow up and how do you find out whether he's interested in growing up if you don't challenge him a little bit, you know, give him a chance to step up and consider if he would like to mature in this way.
[00:33:46] Jordan Harbinger: Indeed, or forsooth for that matter. And you know, what's interesting to me, is that our friend writing in here—
[00:33:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:33:53] Jordan Harbinger: —he kind of needs to grow up too, but in a different way, right?
[00:33:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, I see. Yep, that's a good point.
[00:33:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, again, I'm not trying to be a jerk about this, but he's avoiding this conversation because it's awkward and because it's intimidating. And I get it. But these are precisely the conversations that make a great boss great.
[00:34:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:34:10] Jordan Harbinger: Not just that they champion you but that they shape you, that they give you the respect of telling you where you need to improve. You're not really doing anybody, it's like our episode with Sam Harris on lying. You're not really doing anybody any favors by not telling them this. You're lying by omission. "You're totally ready for this." And it's like, "Uh, I hope he stops whining about the oat milk donut thing. Man, that's super irritating. Well, that probably won't affect his career too much. But what's for lunch?" Like, that's a lie by omission, really.
[00:34:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: He has a chance to invite this kid to be a sort of partner to him in getting this promotion. And ideally, the kid should be driving here mostly, but rather than just making this kid, you know, like the object of his patronage.
[00:34:49] Jordan Harbinger: Which clearly isn't working, by the way.
[00:34:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:34:51] Jordan Harbinger: Ultimately, it's this kid's job to excel and rise up with our friend here's support. Not our friend's job to make the case for this kid to rise up despite his flaws, which is kind of what it sounded like in the letter. So, go schedule that chat, arm this guy with the information he needs, and let him show you that it's time to drop the junior from his title. If he's really as deserving as you think, he'll take it on board. And if not, then he'll just have to figure this stuff out in his own time, which I think is fair, too. And tell him about this show, because maybe there's some skills he can learn, and shameless plug.
[00:35:25] You can reach us firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep your emails concise, try to use descriptive subject lines, that does make our job a lot easier. If you're finding dead squirrels in the mailbox, your neighbors are eavesdropping on your therapy sessions through the wall, or, and I can't believe I'm saying this, your boyfriend accidentally killed a guy and hasn't been the same since — I'm still thinking about that one from last week, Gabe. It's so intense, man. God.
[00:35:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: So intense.
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[00:35:52] Oh, by the way, the newsletter, Wee Bit Wiser, bite-sized gem or two from a past episode. Not the past, but like a long time ago, years old episodes. We reanalyze it, deliver it to your inbox once a week. If you want to stay connected to the huge library of past guests and ideas, come check it out. Lots of really good feedback so far. I'm very stoked about that, jordanHarbinger.com/news.
[00:36:13] Okay, next up.
[00:36:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. My wife and I have been married for two and a half years. She's from Ukraine and I'm from the US. Her mom and grandma are back home in Kyiv, safe and sound, and her sister is here in the States. My wife was raised by her mom and her grandma after her dad left when she was two or three. Our relationship with them has some challenges. For one thing, her sister complains a lot about not having enough money but then goes on vacations to California, Ukraine, and other places on a whim. A while back, my mom and I went in on some hair shears as a gift to my sister when she was in hair school. My wife's sister has never forgotten that, and points out that we spend tons of money on my siblings but nothing on her.
[00:36:54] Jordan Harbinger: How extravagant, a pair of hair shears. I know those things are expensive, but like, that's the hill you're going to die on? Okay.
[00:37:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's the lock you're going to cut? I don't get it.
[00:37:02] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:37:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: Meanwhile, while my wife was in college, she took 12 credits every semester, worked two part-time jobs during the semester, and donated plasma to pay for rent, tuition, books, and groceries, and still had enough money to travel. Then, recently, my wife sadly miscarried our daughter due to an infection. We're doing better now, but her mom and sister regularly say that she can't take any medicine, even though the doctor said she can't eat certain foods and can't even drive to work. They're worried for her, which I understand, but her mom took it too far. In one conversation my wife had with her mom, her mom insinuated that if we had been kinder to my sister-in-law, then she would not have miscarried our daughter. I'm really at a loss here. On one level, I don't care to have any contact with at least my mother-in-law. My wife and I have talked about some boundaries we can set, which I think needs to happen, but I don't know how best to deal with them. Should I advocate that we cut them off entirely or is there some middle ground that I'm not seeing? Signed, Officially at An Impasse With This Family's Sass, a Mother's Wrath, and This Lass's Crass Math.
[00:38:05] Jordan Harbinger: Wow, okay, so your wife's family is just all up in your business. They're overly worried, they're meddlesome, and then there's the money thing with your sister-in-law, which is so transparently self-interested and petty. And in my opinion, wildly inappropriate. It's like, you gave someone the equivalent of schoolbooks, given that they're in a trade, right? It's like a lawyer getting a pen, except even more functional. And she's pissed off because you don't give her, whatever, don't get me started on that. It was this detail that you shared that your mother-in-law said that if you guys had been kinder to your sister-in-law, your wife wouldn't have had a miscarriage. That is what really pushed this over the edge for me.
[00:38:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oof. That's a brutal thing to say. Why would you say that?
[00:38:50] Jordan Harbinger: It's so manipulative. When I heard that, I'm just like, okay, first of all, f*ck you. Jase, bleep that. We have cultured folk listening. But also, this isn't just presumptuous and false. It is manipulative, and it's cruel, and your wife, she had a fricking miscarriage because of an infection. And your mother-in-law is going to use that to get your wife and you to, what, give her sister more money? What is the implication here? God is punishing you guys because you're not letting your sister-in-law sponge off of you financially. How offensively ridiculous. That is deeply messed up. I am offended for you. I am taking that personally, really. This is not a healthy relationship anymore. Something absolutely has to change.
[00:39:33] So yes, there's a middle ground between tolerating all of this and cutting your in-laws off completely, and that middle ground is a relationship enabled by boundaries. And the boundary you and your wife are looking for here is, well, it's a limit to how much her family gets to weigh in on her choices, the way they communicate their opinions to her, and what they believe they are entitled to from you guys because that's what this is.
[00:40:00] If I were in your shoes, I would help your wife prepare for a conversation with her mother and sister, maybe together, maybe separately, I don't know, I'm thinking separately, where she basically says, "Look, I know you love me, I know all of your opinions are mostly coming from a good place. But I need you to understand that the way you're inserting yourself into my life has become very difficult for me. Sometimes, it's actually quite painful, especially since the miscarriage. And when it comes to decisions that are between me and my husband and my doctor, I now feel they are totally inappropriate. So from here on out, I'm going to ask you to keep your opinions about my health and my life and my relationships to yourself. When I want your input, I'll ask you, and if you try to tell me how I should live my life or treat certain people, I'm going to respectfully ask you to stop, and if you won't stop. I'll have to pull back on how much contact we have," something like that. Look, it might take some time for your wife to get to a place where she feels comfortable saying that to her mother and her sister.
[00:40:59] Because something tells me, Gabriel, that this is not the first time these people have crossed that boundary.
[00:41:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: No.
[00:41:03] Jordan Harbinger: It's probably been a pattern and they're going to be—
[00:41:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: For sure.
[00:41:05] Jordan Harbinger: —surprised when they get hit in the face with this. But when she's ready, that's the basic template for this conversation. And obviously, along the way, she can try to talk to her family about some of the specifics. Her sister's expectation that you guys will support her financially, which makes zero sense to me. There has to be a pattern in the past of this happening. And the way her mom responded to the miscarriage, and if they can hear her out, maybe they can resolve some of this without having to draw a ton of boundaries. I hope they can.
[00:41:37] There's a part of me, Gabe, that hopes this is some superstitious wives tale thing that the mom said that, and not because she's a kooky, manipulative, awful person.
[00:41:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:41:46] Jordan Harbinger: You know, Chinese people, they're like, "You got to eat foods that are cold because it's hot out, and you can't shower 30 days after pregnancy because they did that 5,000 years ago." And they mean well. I hope it's something like that and not just like, "Oh, I know how to get her to give you money. We'll tell her that God is punishing her and this was all because she didn't buy you tickets to Disneyland." I hope that they can get this through their skulls without you having to draw tons of hard boundaries. But my guess is that this will be a process. And that process usually involves some tough conversations and some boundaries until everybody starts to settle into a new dynamic, easy or not.
[00:42:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well said, Jordan. I completely agree. I was just sitting here thinking about how this family got to this place, this very invasive and meshed place. Because these dynamics don't just develop on their own.
[00:42:33] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly.
[00:42:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Some of this might be informed by culture, some of it might be informed by living in different parts of the world and wanting to stay close. I'm sure it's very hard for the mom to be so far away. But like you said, this family is all up in each other's business and a lot of the meddling, especially around what his wife can do after the miscarriage, seems to come, well, look, placing aside this weird thing about like if you gave your sister money, then you wouldn't have miscarried or whatever.
[00:42:58] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:42:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: But that aside, this does seem to come from a place of what sounds like great fear. And then I remember that detail about how his wife's dad left when she was a toddler and she was raised by her mom and her grandma, right? And I'm sure that that had a huge influence on each of them in different ways, but I'm guessing that they feel profoundly protective of his wife. And a lot of their interventions are probably informed by this need to keep her safe and see her succeed and keep her close and be connected to her. That impulse is overly developed in this family, and it's often inappropriate. And it's also tinged with other interests, like getting his wife to support her sister, which is misguided and absolutely not her business. But deep down, I suspect that in their own complicated, dysfunctional, oversteppy way, this mother wants to make sure her daughter is okay. And so I wonder if that might be a nice place to begin the conversation that Jordan laid out. Just recognizing that in her mom and in her sister and making them feel understood and appreciated before she turns around and rewrites a script that's been in the works for decades.
[00:44:00] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I think that's a good call, Gabe. I think this might be very jarring for them, remember I said getting hit in the face, and I mean it's going to feel like that, for her to suddenly want to dissect some very intense family stuff that they've probably swept under the rug for their entire life, and possibly redefine the terms of their relationship.
[00:44:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:44:18] Jordan Harbinger: I feel strongly that that's necessary, but you're right, if she can be a little charitable and acknowledge that they mean well, even if that's not really the full story, the medicine might go down a little smoother.
[00:44:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: The stuff with her sister, though, I don't know if she needs as much diplomacy there, you know, to me that's probably more of a boundary conversation, like, I don't know if we need to work through this, it's more like, "I'm sorry you're struggling financially, but I have confidence that you can take care of yourself if you figure out your priorities, and I don't think it's fair for you to critique how we spend our money because you want some of it."
[00:44:49] Jordan Harbinger: Right, I agree, that's complete BS. Can you imagine saying that to somebody? "You bought Veronica 54 scissors for Christmas three years ago, and you never buy me anything!"
[00:44:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: What?
[00:45:00] Jordan Harbinger: "Maybe cut back on hitting LEGOLAND to fill the hole in your heart and put a freaking sock in it, Katarina." I mean, even if it's true that they spend more money on his siblings than they do on her sister, it's so awkward to ever point that out. Also, has it occurred to you that maybe we don't want to lavish you with gifts when you constantly guilt us and make it an obligation?
[00:45:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: I mean, it's like, it's reminding me a little bit about the stepwife situation, like, the mom cannot tolerate that her son really loves his stepmom, so she's yelling at her son, like, why don't you love me as much? And it's like, bro, like, maybe you need to wonder why your own son doesn't want to call you mom.
[00:45:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:45:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's just weird. Also, when mom is saying that I had a miscarriage because I didn't pay for your vacation to Istanbul, like, none of this makes me want to be kinder to you or more generous. It makes me want to do less, actually.
[00:45:49] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. And I'm getting angry all over again. I still can't believe she said that. Imagine actually having that level of gall. So, that's our take. Your wife needs to have some tough chats with her family, respectful and peaceful ones, hopefully, but tough ones. And if they can't listen or they're not going to engage fairly or in good faith with her, then yeah, I think some strong boundaries are the way to go.
[00:46:10] In the meantime, continue being there for your wife, help her prep for these conversations and empower her to confront this stuff because, yeah, I think it could be life-changing. And I'm sorry you guys have been through so much, but there's a lot of peace and freedom on the other side of these conversations, at least. Sending you both a big hug and good luck.
[00:46:27] You know what else your jealous, self-obsessed sister-in-law is going to want to get her hands on? The amazing products and services that support this show. Maybe get Katarina a mattress she can lay on and think about why she's such a selfish a-h*le. We'll be right back.
[00:46:43] This episode is sponsored in part by TextExpander. I love this app. Last week our team saved six hours collectively of typing, straight typing. I know because every week TextExpander sends me a report, which is pretty damn cool. If you want to be more productive and save literal hours each month, use TextExpander. We've been using it for years and years. I asked them to sponsor the show and they do. Save time typing out repetitive things such as the current date, email addresses, phone numbers, commonly used phrases, all that jazz. TextExpander is basically keyboard shortcuts, but way more powerful. You can create drop-down menus, fill in the blanks to customize the shortcuts. A few of you have had your own team implement this, and your bosses are stoked. You're welcome. Our entire team uses it, like I said. It's great if you're doing outreach or networking, if you need to send mass messages that are customized, like responding to LinkedIn or social media or other business. TextExpander is so smart, it'll suggest snippets you should create based on things you type all the time. So don't waste time typing out things you've already worded perfectly, whether it's a word or a whole email, something you spell wrong all the time. Capture important pieces of your emails, directions, addresses, messages, all that jazz. You never have to retype them again. Works on desktop and mobile.
[00:47:51] Jen Harbinger: Try TextExpander for free. And when you're ready to sign up, get 20 percent off your first year at textexpander.com/jordan. Again, that's textexpander.com/jordan.
[00:48:02] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is sponsored in part by Airbnb. Pre-kids, we'd fly almost every week for podcast interviews and conferences. We'd stay in Airbnbs most of the time because we love the locations and personalized stay. One of our favorite spots in LA, it was in this really sweet, older couple's home. And since their kids have left the nest, they converted the granny flat in the backyard into an Airbnb and it became our go-to accommodation whenever we were in town doing interviews. And as regulars, we always appreciated the thoughtful touches they included. So they'd throw down a basket of snacks that Jen would eagerly dive into. They gave us a bottle of wine, a personal note, and they even started tuning in to The Jordan Harbinger Show. Hey, folks. And this actually inspired us to pay the hospitality forward and convert our spare room into an Airbnb. So maybe you've stayed in an Airbnb before and you thought to yourself, "Okay, maybe I could do this. Maybe my place could be an Airbnb." It could be as simple as starting with a spare room or your entire place while you're away. You could be sitting on an Airbnb and not even know it. Perhaps you got a fantastic vacation plan for the balmy days of summer. As you're out there soaking up the sun and making memories, your house doesn't need to sit idle. Turn it into an Airbnb, let it be a vacation home for somebody else. And picture this, your little one's not so little anymore. They're headed off to college this fall. The echo in their now empty room might be a bit much to bear. So why not Airbnb it? While they're away, make some extra cash and who knows, you might just meet some fascinating people along the way. So whether you could use a little extra money to cover some bills, or for something a little more fun, your home might be worth more than you think. Find out how much at airbnb.com/host.
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[00:51:30] All right, now, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:51:32] All right, Gabe, what's next?
[00:51:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, as I've been learning more about the horrors going on in China over the past few years, I've been trying to raise awareness with people I know and to cut back on buying from the company Shein, which is where I get most of my made in China stuff, as far as I know.
[00:51:48] Jordan Harbinger: So for anyone who doesn't know, Shein is a massive Chinese fashion retailer that has gotten a bunch of backlash recently for labor law violations and impacts to the environment. Basically, this all blew up recently because Shein invited a bunch of influencers to collaborate on a clothing line and tour one of its factories. And then people on social jumped on them for promoting a company that they say hurts people and hurts the environment. And I think some people were like, "Hey the pictures you posted that is a model factory. Not a real factory." They're not showing you the real stuff and whether that's true or not. And people on Twitter accused these influencers of basically being paid to whitewash the company and promote propaganda.
[00:52:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. And they might be right because apparently there was like a house committee report recently that named Shein as one of the fast fashion companies that's been evading like US terror flaws and violating human rights codes. So these people might slash probably do have some point in there.
[00:52:43] So the letter goes on, but I'm confused about the best-case scenario here. Suppose the West's collective boycott of Shein and other Chinese companies actually works. Could being useless to the CCP actually be worse for these persecuted groups than their current situation? What if that results in more organ harvesting, like David Kilgour talked about in episode 497, or something worse, if the CCP no longer needs these people to be in peak condition for this kind of work? I'm already picturing you guys making fun of me for finding an excuse to keep buying from Shein, but I can handle it. Signed, Leading With Compassion or Just Addicted to Fast Fashion.
[00:53:20] Jordan Harbinger: This is a really good question and no, we're definitely not making fun of you for asking these kinds of questions, although I can just hear your little capitalistic wheels turning looking for ways to save eight dollars on a tailored suit from Guangzhou. I kid, those savings are legit. But at what cost? You know, I have my suspicions about this.
[00:53:38] But we wanted to talk to some actual experts or people with real knowledge on this, so we ran this by my buddy, Matthew Tye, aka Laowhy86, YouTube vlogger, human rights advocate, and his collaborator, Winston Sterzel, aka SerpentZA, which we make fun of him all the time for choosing that, you can't change your YouTube name, it's, it's kind of rough. They lived in China for many years, and I'm talking about like 10 and 14 years, respectively, and they run a great YouTube channel, all about China, several channels, in fact, and what Laowhy and SerpentZA explain — I'll call him Winston because I cringe every time I say SerpentZA — explain to us is the organ harvesting trade and other forms of forced labor, like cotton picking in Xinjiang, those are most likely not directly tied with forced factory labor involved in cheap products in China.
[00:54:25] In their view, these industries don't necessarily increase or decrease based on the sales of, you know, fidget spinners and blouses abroad. So there's probably no direct relationship between a company like Shein and these other more explicitly horrifying situations in China. But they did say that it's looking more and more likely that if you are buying from companies like Shein, you could easily be supporting less than savory working conditions and potentially forced labor, child labor, et cetera, in China. So no, continuing to buy from places like this, it's not actually helping anyone. Winston pointed out that, hey, by that logic, we should all order more from sweatshops because they give employment to kids. And if those kids would be unemployed if they didn't, maybe they could be abused in other ways. It's like, mmm, okay, it's a bit of a stretch. And the guys pointed out that these cheap goods they're actually being promoted to gain a foothold in other economies and displace domestic services. So, in other words, and the US does this all the time, by the way, like, we'll donate a bunch of grain or shoes or something to a country and then nobody who grows grain or makes shoes in that country can stay in business because a bunch of free crap is being dropped off every week in containers.
[00:55:35] So, putting aside China's awful human rights abuses, if you support these companies or apps, you might also be supporting companies that sell knockoff goods at a massive loss in some cases, simply with the goal of taking over the consumer industry in other countries. It's called dumping.
[00:55:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: So this model is almost like a loss leader for market share or political, like a way to get political and commercial influence abroad, is what you're saying.
[00:56:01] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. Exactly. They want to drive domestic producers out of business. So they can take over the market.
[00:56:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:56:07] Jordan Harbinger: It doesn't happen as much with clothes as it does with other items like electronics. But of course, clothing is a massive industry which is another reason to be decently thoughtful about where you buy your stuff. And I'm not going to be like, don't buy anything from China. That's impossible because even when you buy an American thing, the components are in China, made in China. But if something is just clearly cheap Chinese, or whatever, garbage, like clothing. You can choose to buy something better, and we did a whole Skeptical Sunday on fast fashion that explains all this in case you want to dive in in more detail.
[00:56:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: So, our friend here isn't like, dooming Chinese people to wake up in a bathtub full of ice with a kidney missing because he stopped buying his suits from Shein.
[00:56:45] Jordan Harbinger: No, no, it doesn't sound like it. According to David Kilgour, who by the way was a gem of a human being and recently passed away, he was a great guest and a great advocate for human rights and really went to bat and took a lot of flack from a lot of places. So may he rest in peace, David Kilgour. According to him, most, if not all of the organ harvesting is actually happening in prison camps. Taking organs from Uyghurs or members of Falun Gong or other prisoners of conscience, not from random laborers in private companies that the Chinese Communist Party would randomly shift over from sewing machines to the operating tables if business slows down.
[00:57:22] And I know I take a lot of shots at China, but I'm going to be reasonable here and say that somebody who works in a company is not going to get hacked to pieces and sold for parts if their job goes away or decreases. So there you have it. Me, personally, I wouldn't shop from Shein just because of the level of what I know about fast fashion, Chinese or not. It's just bad for the environment and bad for the workers. It doesn't sit right with me for many reasons. It's too easy to avoid. But Laowhy and Winston, they put it best when they said that people are going to buy what they're going to buy. And their hope is that more people understand the implications.
[00:57:55] So big thanks to Laowhy aka C-Milk and Winston aka SerpentZA — hey, imagine picking your nickname 14 years ago, don't judge — for their wisdom here. If you want to learn more about their work, I highly recommend their YouTube channels and their co-hosted podcast, The China Show. Really awesome and fun content there. We'll link to all of those in the show notes. I would also check out my two part interview with Laowhy on the Chinese social credit score system. That was episode 643 and 644 if you need just one more incredibly dark reason to avoid Chinese goods these days. And of course, our recent Skeptical Sunday on fast fashion. That will really paint a picture of the dark side of this industry in general.
[00:58:34] All right, next up.
[00:58:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I'm a 15-year-old closeted agnostic/atheist in a conservative Christian family. I think I want to come out and tell people about my beliefs, but I'm hesitating for a few reasons. First, both my parents are respected teachers at the Christian school that I attend, and I'm afraid that students and other teachers will judge my parents if they find out that their son disagrees with their beliefs. Another reason is my girlfriend. We started dating while I was just questioning religion, but now I'm lying to her about my beliefs on a daily basis. I know that we're young, but I can see a future with her. I run the risk of her breaking up with me, and if she does, I worry she'll tell people, or even blackmail me. I also don't want to make my parents sad or disappointed. My grandparents on my mother's side might try to shut me out completely and likely shame or bully my mother, which they have a history of doing, and going to church or doing anything with my family could become awkward. On the other hand, if I do end up marrying my current girlfriend, I'm going to have to tell her anyway. I feel very inauthentic when I quietly agree when my grandmother makes absurd claims, like that woolly mammoths aren't real and the devil made them, or my father's best friend dismisses astronomy because he doesn't understand the science. And I'm sick of pretending to everybody that I'm something I'm not. Should I risk the consequences of telling people my true beliefs? Or should I stay closeted until I graduate high school or move out? Signed, Trying Not to Shake When I Might Be Burned at the Stake For Refusing to Be Fake.
[01:00:07] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, boy. Well, look, you know I'm very biased here because I'm not strongly religious, at least not in any conventional sense. I don't know about Gabe. We all know he prays at the altar of Erewhon, the yoga supermarket, so maybe he feels differently.
[01:00:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: The yoga supermarket. Well, yeah, you got me pegged. Our lady of the lemongrass chai, you know, several times a week. Just, just praying, really.
[01:00:29] Jordan Harbinger: We all know you worship that bougie tea brand you're always drinking over there.
[01:00:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hallowed be thy name, which is Rishi Tea & Botanicals.
[01:00:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Amen. But seriously, here's the thing. We have no problem with religion or religious people per se. You can believe what you want to believe. And truth be told, despite how skeptical I am of mainstream organized religion, certainly the kind of stuff that makes people doubt whether woolly mammoths are real.
[01:00:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Which, okay, I'm sorry, I just got to say it.
[01:00:56] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:00:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm so confused by that.
[01:00:58] Jordan Harbinger: Of course.
[01:00:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: His grandma thinks woolly mammoths are not real and that the devil made them?
[01:01:04] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:01:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: So which one is it? Like, are they real or not?
[01:01:06] Jordan Harbinger: It's a trick from the devil.
[01:01:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: There's a world where woolly mammoths are fake, but the devil is real, but if the devil is real and made woolly mammoths, then they must be real.
[01:01:14] Jordan Harbinger: Dude, I think the problem here is you're trying to actually understand this. It makes—
[01:01:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, okay.
[01:01:17] Jordan Harbinger: —zero sense.
[01:01:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay, cool, cool, cool.
[01:01:19] Jordan Harbinger: Trying to engage with this stuff. This is just mythology, right? So if you don't believe in basic paleontology, basic astronomy. You're just living in a completely different reality and it's not informed by any curiosity or rigor or discipline all of which are compatible with and probably enhanced by a healthy relationship with spirituality and religion. I know a lot of Christians and other religious people and I can't recall too many of them telling me that planets were fake or whatever.
[01:01:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[01:01:48] Jordan Harbinger: So some of the stuff your family believes, man, it's something else entirely and as you know, it's just nonsense. So, look, if you were a little older, my advice would be very simple and direct, and I'd say, "Yeah, you need to tell your girlfriend and your family the truth. Come out and own your beliefs. Stop hiding." And in a way, that is what I want to tell you. And you're certainly welcome to do that. But real talk, man, you're 15 years old. The costs of coming out right now are higher. It's possible that other students and teachers are going to judge your parents. You might hurt them in some way. Your grandparents might shut you out. They might retaliate against your mom, and, like you said, your girlfriend might break up with you and possibly blackmail you, which, that one's the least of my concerns, but that's interesting, and let's return to that in a moment.
[01:02:33] Now, none of these risks are ultimately your fault or your problem. And they shouldn't stop you if you feel the need to speak up. But they are real concerns when you live in the same house with these people when you still depend on them financially and otherwise. So, what you need to decide is if these costs are worth the upside to being fully yourself right now. I hate that you have to make this calculation, but I feel there are good reasons for you to come out. But I also think there are very fair reasons to sit on this for just a couple more years, get through high school, maybe go to college or move out or whatever, and then decide how to let your family know.
[01:03:12] Again, I don't love the idea of having to hide who you really are. I know how painful that must be, or I can imagine how painful that must be. But I also wonder if you have more to gain by being subtle and flexible right now, just given your age. You have your whole life to be a demonic atheist heathen who tore the family apart. But that's a much easier stance to take when you're out of the house, you're making your own money, you don't need your community's approval, or like, to be fed by them, basically when you have more power and more freedom.
[01:03:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think that's a great point. I'm also curious to know if he and his family can agree on anything, like, he's an atheist/agnostic, right? But does he believe in some organizing principle, some sense of the divine, you know, a basic sense of right and wrong and how to treat other people? I guess I ask this because I think sometimes you grow up in a family and you inherit a certain, not just a belief system from them, a religion, but also like the attitude that they bring to it. Like this grandmother who doesn't believe in woolly mammoths, like it's a very limited version of theology, right? Like she, she has a very limited worldview and a very rigid mindset, but that doesn't mean that it, that that's the only way to have spiritual beliefs.
[01:04:20] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:04:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: And so you know, we're not trying to tell you how to feel or how to believe even though Jordan and I clearly have our biases, but like there might be a world where you discover your own relationship to this stuff and discover interesting and meaningful stuff within these systems that are not the way your family would have done it. I raise that because it would, it might be nice for you to have that if you're interested in that. But I also bring that up because maybe you can come out to your family in a way that's not quite as dangerous to them. You know, you could say, "Look, I don't believe in the same version of God you do. I don't believe that the devil is real. I have very different views about science, but I do believe that life is meaningful and we should treat other people well, and we should strive to be good human beings, you know? I can't hide from you anymore, and I don't want to go to church anymore, but I want you to know that our values, deep down, are similar, even if our beliefs are different. And also, none of this changes how I feel about you. I still love you guys, and I hope we can have a good relationship, even if we don't agree on everything." That would be one way to stay connected to his family and still be authentic.
[01:05:21] Jordan Harbinger: I hear you. I like that approach if he's not perjuring himself or finding yet another way to hide from his family by saying that.
[01:05:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Fair.
[01:05:29] Jordan Harbinger: I also think it's possible their values are completely different too. I mean the science thing alone.
[01:05:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's hard to get around that one. I guess what I'm saying is there are more surface-level beliefs and rituals and all that and then there's the deeper stuff and oftentimes the deeper stuff is what really matters or what should matter. But you're right, he might have to own the fact that they are just on completely different pages.
[01:05:48] Now, about your girlfriend, you're right. If you end up marrying her one day, you're going to have to tell her what you believe. Anyway, we've talked about this on the show before, you can't really be in a real intimate relationship with somebody and hide beliefs that are radically different, so this conversation is coming one way or the other. But what I find myself wanting to tell you is, well, actually a few things. First of all, I think it's very sweet that you're so into this girl, but you're 15 years old. So much is going to change for both of you. The probability that this is your wife is it possible yes, but I would say it's pretty slim, but it's extra slim given that you hold such different beliefs and probably are not going to change your minds at this point. But it's this other piece, "I worry she'll tell people what I really believe or even blackmail me." Oh, that gave me, that gave me real pause.
[01:06:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, can we talk about that? That's, that to me is so ridiculous.
[01:06:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's hard to know if that's something your girlfriend would actually do to you or if that's just your anxiety and your paranoia about coming out talking. Maybe your mind is spinning out because this is a very scary conversation to have and there's a lot of pressure in your community to conform. But if your girlfriend would actually blackmail you in some way, and Jordan, I'm struggling to even imagine what that would look like.
[01:06:59] Jordan Harbinger: It's unclear, like, would she want to get out of him.
[01:07:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. What did she have to hold? "I'm going to tell everybody at school that you believe in woolly mammoths if you don't take me to prom," like what?
[01:07:10] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. "Come to my little sister's baptism or I'm telling everyone you listened to that Neil deGrasse Tyson podcast." I mean like what's the consequence here?
[01:07:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: I don't know what the stakes are, but I know we're having a laugh here, but you know what I mean? Like if she's going to actually blackmail you because you have different beliefs, I would really ask yourself if this is a relationship you want to be in.
[01:07:27] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Blackmail, my Bible stuff is a little rusty, but that doesn't sound very Christian, does it? I'm guessing it's, "Do what I want/stay together with me, or I'm going to tell everybody that you're a godless heathen, and it's going to ruin your social and personal life?"
[01:07:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Not good.
[01:07:41] Jordan Harbinger: I don't remember reading, "Ye shall leverage thy neighbor's fears to profit for thyself," in either the Old or the New Testament.
[01:07:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Doesn't ring a bell. No.
[01:07:50] Jordan Harbinger: I just got to say, somebody willing to leverage one of your secrets in order to control you is also potentially somebody who would seek to damage or control you in other ways. Again, can't tell if this is a real possibility or just an abstract fear but certainly, something to think about.
[01:08:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Honestly, man, and look, I don't mean to beat a dead woolly mammoth here, but I just don't see this girl working out long term. I know that's probably a huge bummer to hear, but if your girlfriend is committed to these beliefs in the same way that your family is, if she is just as rigid as they are and might hold it against you for going a different way, then you're not truly compatible, right? That relationship can't work.
[01:08:29] Jordan Harbinger: I'm with you. And again, at your age, it can be hard to have that perspective. Maybe people in your community get together super young. I mean, that's not unheard of, right? People married at 18, 20, whatever. And that's fine. I'm not knocking it if it's the right fit for you at that time. But my sense is that your beliefs are putting you on a different path from these folks. And part of growing up is embracing those values and following them wherever they lead. I'm not saying you should cut off your family or write them off. Not at all.
[01:08:55] My sincere hope is that you can stay connected even if you disagree. They might be disappointed, but they might be like, "Hey, we understand." I hope they're not like, "Get out of my house." But these folks, some of the other folks, like I don't know if they're the most well informed or open minded. Let's put it that way. And that is very tough. So be authentic and have integrity, have courage, but hey man, pick your battles until you're sure that you can accept the consequences. Once you are, then these will be very liberating conversations, but there's nothing wrong with sitting with them a little while longer, especially at your age, as you figure out what you want to believe and what relationship you need to have with your family. And good luck.
[01:09:35] Man, I don't envy him being in this position at that age. That's tough. I would almost wish to still be firmly drinking whatever Kool-Aid until I was out of the house and then have your enlightenment. Like, the problem is, man, you're ahead of your time. You're supposed to have all of these breakdowns in college after you're already out of the house. That's when you're supposed to have your own mind before that. So the problem is you're precocious and intelligent. Shame on you.
[01:09:58] All right. Hope y'all enjoyed that. I want to thank everybody who wrote in this week and everybody who listened. Thank you so much. Go back and check out Julian Walker and Paul Hutchinson, and our Skeptical Sunday last Sunday on personality tests if you haven't done so yet.
[01:10:10] The best things that have happened in my life and business have come through my network, a circle of people I know, that I like, that I trust. And I'm teaching you how to do the same thing for yourself in our Six-Minute Networking course. It is free, it's not gross, and it's on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. Dig the well before you get thirsty, build relationships before you need them, jordanharbinger.com/course.
[01:10:31] And the newsletter, a bite or two from a past episode straight from me to you, jordanharbinger.com/news. We're going through all 800-plus-whatever episodes, reanalyzing them, putting the takeaways in some funny punchy stuff and putting it right in your inbox, jordanharbinger.com/news. Show notes and transcripts at jordanharbinger.com. Advertisers, deals, and ways to support the show, also at jordanharbinger.com/deals or ask the AI chatbot on the website. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn. And you can find Gabe on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi or on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
[01:11:07] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions are our own, and I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. And 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 could use a little bit of the advice that we gave here today. In the meantime, I hope you apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you learn, and we'll see you next time.
[01:11:39] You're about to hear a preview of The Jordan Harbinger Show with the world's best counterfeiter.
[01:11:44] How long does it take to print 250 million dollars?
[01:11:49] Frank Bourassa: Five months. It needs to be worthwhile. It's going to need to be perfect because perfect go big.
[01:11:55] One day, for no particular reason, I was driving and thinking, and I stopped at a red light. It just hit me, out of nowhere. You know, I'm chasing something to make money from, sell something, make something, do something. All we do is to translate that into money. That's why we wake up in the morning and do that.
[01:12:16] Jordan Harbinger: I need to do something for money. Well, why don't I just literally make money? One million in 20 bills is about 50 kilos. So 250 million is 12,500 kilos or over eight Toyota Camrys or six Ford F150s. That is multiple metric tons of cash. You must have been stoked, man, because you knew you were going to put 20 bills all over all of that and then just never work again.
[01:12:51] Frank Bourassa: Yes, when I did bring it in, and then I slammed the door shut, I was confident enough that everything I did up to that, I hadn't done any mistakes, so I was good to go. By design, there are people specifically looking for you all the time, this is all they do. If you get suspected, you know, in any way, let's say you're dumb, you can tell them whatever you want. They're not dummies, I mean, this is as high as it goes, this is top of the line.
[01:13:19] Jordan Harbinger: For more on how Frank Bourassa printed his own fortune and got away with it, check out episode 488 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:13:29] Paula Barros: Hi, Cold Case Files fans. We have some exciting news for you. Brand new episodes of Cold Case Files are dropping in your feed, and I'm your new host, Paula Barros. I'm a Cold Case Files superfan, true crime aficionado, and I love telling stories with unbelievable twists and turns. And this season of Cold Case Files has all of that and more.
[01:13:50] Her cause of death was strangulation.
[01:13:53] Male 1: Lying face down on the bed.
[01:13:54] Male 2: She was in a pretty advanced state of decomposition.
[01:13:57] Male 3: He panicked and decided he was getting rid of the body.
[01:13:59] Female: I saw danger in everything.
[01:14:01] Paula Barros: So get ready. You don't want to miss what this season has in store. New episodes of Cold Case Files drop every Tuesday. Subscribe to Cold Case Files wherever you listen to podcasts.
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