Now that your mother-in-law is in hospice, you’re worried that your unstable brother-in-law — whose uncomfortable attachment to her makes Norman Bates look like John Boy Walton — is set to go literally ballistic against you and your husband (who has been handling her financial affairs) when she finally passes. Should you skip the funeral, or rent a couple of bulletproof vests and hope for the best? We’ll try to find an answer to this and more here on Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- Should you skip your mother-in-law’s funeral to avoid being shot by the unhinged brother-in-law over financial affairs?
- You’re living abroad with a significant other who cheated on you during the long-distance phase of your relationship, and trust is difficult to regain. You’re considering moving out, but you’re a stranger in a strange land without a support system. What should you do?
- As part of a hard-working sales team, it was disheartening to discover your manager’s been playing favorites and spoon-feeding the best leads to her crush. How can you right this wrong without jeopardizing your own position?
- How do you best protect yourself, your child, and your niece against a sister struggling with addiction who makes sure none of your good deeds toward her over the years go unpunished?
- When talking about medical problems and past trauma makes your friends uncomfortable, is it okay to bury your pain rather than trying to sort the mess out?
- 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.
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!
Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Jordan Harbinger Show receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you for your support!
This Episode Is Sponsored By:
Miss the conversation we had with counterfeiting investigator Kris Buckner? Catch up with episode 308: Kris Buckner | Who Does Counterfeiting Really Hurt? here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Almonds | Skeptical Sunday | Jordan Harbinger
- Chris Fenton | China’s Harrowing Hold Over Hollywood | Jordan Harbinger
- Peter Zeihan | Mapping the Collapse of Globalization | Jordan Harbinger
- Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story | Netflix
- Dr. Sohom Das | Rehabilitating the Criminally Insane | Jordan Harbinger
- Dr. Sohom Das | Decoding Alex Jones, Andrew Tate, and Anna Delvey | Jordan Harbinger
- Dumb and Dumber | Prime Video
- How to Start Over in a New City | Jordan Harbinger
- 30 Rock Season | Prime Video
- The Benefits of Traveling the World Alone | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Drew Binsky | Vicarious Trips and Travel Tips | Jordan Harbinger
- Glengarry Glen Ross | Prime Video
- Fentanyl | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
- Is Marriage Impaired by Emotional Affairs? | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Gabe’s Front-Row Seat to Florid Psychosis | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Hanging Out with Jordan | Anastasia Golovashkina, Instagram
782: Death of Mother Could Trigger Ballistic Brother | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, the guy who's really doubling down on those bare serial killer walls, Gabriel Mizrahi. You just refuse to decorate the walls.
[00:00:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay, first of all, I'm in the process of hanging up artwork.
[00:00:20] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:00:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Give me a minute. I just moved in. Also, I'm still sorting out my studio right here at home. It's taken a little bit of time. So, by the way, guys, if my audio sounds a little weird lately, that's why it's a little, it's a little echoey in here. So yeah, it's coming across as tinny, but that'll be fixed pretty soon.
[00:00:36] Jordan Harbinger: You know, you think serial killers would be better at acoustic proofing? I was watching, I told you before I was watching Dahmer.
[00:00:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dahmer. Yeah.
[00:00:42] Jordan Harbinger: And I thought, you know, this is a guy who kills people in his apartment and he is not even worried about the smell that's going through the vents or anything.
[00:00:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: No. He's sloppy.
[00:00:52] Jordan Harbinger: He's drilling holes in people's heads and it's like, "You might want to throw up a blanket or something, man."
[00:00:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Put some cones on the wall.
[00:01:00] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:01:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Just put some soundproofing in the corner of the room.
[00:01:03] Jordan Harbinger: Bass traps, couple of bass traps. Keep people, yeah, I mean, it's really not that complicated, anyway—
[00:01:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: No. You know what? You're right. I'm going to finish the rest of Dahmer and just get some soundproofing tips from that show. Then, we'll be back in business.
[00:01:16] Jordan Harbinger: That's not where I was going, but anyway, on The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating 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.
[00:01:42] If you're new to the show on Fridays, we give advice, we answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, and performers.
[00:01:54] This week we had Chris Fenton on Chinese soft power and Hollywood movies. I know that sounds a little bit complicated here, but Chris made movies like Ironman and other movies you've heard of and worked to get them into China and is essentially now an expert on how the Chinese Communist Party uses film and culture to change global opinion or influence global opinion on China — insidious, dangerous stuff, really interesting. We also had Peter Zeihan back on the show on why the system of globalism and shipping and trade, as we know it is going to be radically different in the very near future and why some countries might actually, essentially collapse, have famines, massive demographic crises, et cetera, and why the United States and Canada, of course, and Mexico for that matter, is actually in a great position to withstand what's coming. If you thought I sounded like a CIA shill in the past, well, this week is really going to knock your socks off. So you ain't seen nothing yet. Make sure you've had a look and a listen to everything that we created for you here this week.
[00:02:49] Now, where are those Iranian weapons and Nicaraguan cocaine I was promised?
[00:02:53] All right. Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:02:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. My mother-in-law is very old and now in hospice at a care facility. My husband has power of attorney and began managing her affairs years ago when we found out that his brother was transferring money out of her bank account, getting her to write him checks, and charging his personal expenses to her credit card.
[00:03:15] Jordan Harbinger: Oof.
[00:03:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: There's something wrong with my brother-in-law, narcissist, BPD. Not sure exactly what.
[00:03:22] Jordan Harbinger: BPD is borderline personality disorder for people who don't know, and if you want more on that, Dr. Sohom Das episodes explain a little bit more.
[00:03:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: He thinks he's perfect and smarter than everyone else. He's alienated everybody from his life except his mother, and he's twice divorced with no friends. When my mother-in-law was in the hospital several years ago, he shoved my husband in anger at the hospital and the police were called. This happened again when we were moving her into the care home. My husband has never filed any police reports or tried to get a restraining order out of fear of adding fuel to the fire, but he's now starting to really go off the rails. He sent a nasty text to a relative and he's blown up at a new director at the care home accusing her of elder abuse, probably because he's racist. We also get crazy rants by text from him periodically accusing my husband of not taking proper care of their mother and stealing money from her. But then, he mostly maintains this really polite, almost ingratiating facade with the care home staff and the relatives who visit with my mother-in-law. Everyone thinks he's so nice and just dotes on his mom. As we're nearing the end with my mother-in-law, my husband is becoming more stressed out about his mother's final arrangements. He literally can't sleep, focus on work, and so on. He's afraid that if he doesn't consult, his brother or his brother will have a meltdown. Partly because of his codependent relationship with his mother and his inability to accept that she's near the end. Also a family member who's been helping take care of his mother, has been observing these dynamics for the last few weeks and told my husband about his brother's unusual attachment to his mother. That's a direct quote, and that she thinks he's going to become unhinged when she dies.
[00:05:00] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:05:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: She even went so far as to suggest that my husband and I make the final arrangements, but say we are too sick to come to the funeral as she thinks brother-in-law could do something crazy like shoot us.
[00:05:12] Jordan Harbinger: Whoa. Wow. Okay.
[00:05:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: This is something my husband and I have contemplated as a possibility, but having a neutral party observe this on our own is validating and very unsettling. We're considering not going to the funeral, but we also think that that would further fuel his brother's belief that my husband doesn't care about their mother and only wants her money. What do you think we should do? Do we call in sick to his own mother's funeral? Do we hire armed bodyguards, wear bulletproof vests? And if so, are there places we could rent bulletproof vests? Signed, In Dire Straits, Tempting Fate With Our Very Own Norman Bates.
[00:05:52] Jordan Harbinger: Whoa, whoa. Your brother-in-law is a frigging nut job, obviously.
[00:05:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep.
[00:05:56] Jordan Harbinger: Everything you're describing. Phew, just paints a picture of a guy who is definitely unstable, codependent, obsessed with his mom, but also getting something out of his mom or the role that he plays in her life or thinks he's playing in her life, in addition to the whole stealing money thing, which is just so gross. The irony of him accusing the care home director and your husband of elder abuse, of stealing — I mean projection, much.
[00:06:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Seriously.
[00:06:23] Jordan Harbinger: This guy is off his freaking rocker. It's almost funny how textbook his delusion is.
[00:06:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:06:29] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, he's not even being subtle about it. He's just so transparent. Your poor husband, man. I know how hard it is to have siblings like this. I've seen versions of it in my own family. It's a constant source of frustration and anxiety. I really feel for you, guys. So look, this whole situation is bananas, but I think the answer's pretty simple. You got to go to the funeral. If you don't, I think you and your husband, your husband especially, you guys are going to regret it, and you'll be angry that your crazy ass brother-in-law succeeded in scaring you away from this chance to say goodbye to their mom, which is so important.
[00:07:03] Yeah, your brother-in-law, he would definitely use that as evidence that, "You guys never really cared about mom. You were just waiting for her to die so you could cash out her IRA something, something. Mom promised me the house because I was always her favorite." You just know that that's where this is heading. But the other reason I think you guys should go is I can't tell how likely it is that your brother would actually, and I can't believe we're even talking about this, but I know, I know it's a real concern. I don't know how likely it is that your brother's going to commit a freaking 187 at his mother's funeral. I mean, it's Is it possible? Sure, anything's possible. Is he capable of it? Maybe he sounds kind of unhinged, but is he really going to shoot you guys in public in front of a bunch of people at his own mother's funeral? I don't know. It seems a little extreme even for a head case like this. You and this relative, you guys have been observing your brother-in-law at his worst, and your minds are probably going to a very dark place.
[00:07:58] Now, if your brother-in-law literally said to this relative, "They better think twice about coming to the funeral, because I'm coming strapped, they're going to regret it." That would be a different story, then I'd say, yeah, maybe don't go and also report this to the police immediately. But that's not what happened. Gabe, do you agree? Am I being way too chill about this, possibly?
[00:08:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, I don't think so. I agree with you. I don't get the sense that he's really going to hurt them at the funeral, but I also think there are a few things they could do when their mom dies to keep things peaceful or as peaceful as possible. Like for example, I would definitely text your brother-in-law when his mom dies and tell him, you know, you're very sorry for his loss. You're thinking about him. You're sending him good thoughts. Be kind, be compassionate, even if he's done very little to deserve it.
[00:08:40] Jordan Harbinger: That would be a hard text for me to write, but you're probably right. Schmooze a little bit, get a little bit on the good side.
[00:08:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: As hard as it is, I would recommend your husband do the same. Now, your brother-in-law might react to that text or that call in any number of ways. Maybe he just ignores it. Maybe he gets mad and throws it back in your face, but it's the right thing to do. It's funny. You almost have to like turn off the part of your brain that knows he's a maniac.
[00:09:02] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:09:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: And just treat him like a human being in this moment of grief because even if he's done nothing to deserve your sympathy, I'm sure the guy's hurt. And also you guys are the sane ones in this situation, so you kind of have to be the bigger people here.
[00:09:15] Jordan Harbinger: Fair point. Okay.
[00:09:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also more cynically. It's also a good way to earn a little bit of goodwill before the funeral. So—
[00:09:23] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, so he doesn't do a double murder suicide by his mother's open casket. That's where I'm going with this.
[00:09:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, quite, although I don't know if a narcissist would do the suicide part.
[00:09:32] Jordan Harbinger: True. Probably just the double murder part. Though that's not as bad.
[00:09:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, just the double murder.
[00:09:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Right. Just the—
[00:09:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: This guy is, he's not taking himself out. He thinks too highly of himself, but okay. Like the perfect son going to commit suicide at the funeral. I don't think so.
[00:09:43] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:09:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: But, okay, look, let's move on from the double murder talk because I think we're going to freak this woman out even more than she already is.
[00:09:48] Jordan Harbinger: I know I'm just having a little bit of a laugh because it's so absurd. Although if we read about this in the paper next week, I'm going to feel real bad, but I'm with you—
[00:09:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: We'll do a retraction on the top of next episode.
[00:10:00] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I'll correct the podcast in that case. Okay. That should make it right, but I'm with you, Gabe. The more they can treat this guy with kindness, the less ammunition, he's — well, sorry, that was a poor choice of words. The less motivation he's going to have to lash out at them.
[00:10:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Nice. Save.
[00:10:15] Jordan Harbinger: Although, let's be real, if this guy hates them and he is living in this fantasy world where he's the perfect son and they're the monsters, he's probably going to make things difficult no matter what.
[00:10:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: He will. But it'll be a lot harder if they're not going out of their way to antagonize him if they're even being pretty nice to him, you know, all things considered.
[00:10:33] Jordan Harbinger: Agreed. And you know, it's one of those things where maybe you do it because you don't want to look back and go, "I could have been nicer to Hank. I didn't have to say that thing in the kitchen or not say that thing when it counted." So dare you have it. I wouldn't call in sick to the funeral. I would go, but while you're there, yeah, sure, stay alert. Watch your six. Keep an eye on Hank in his waistline. But if you notice something weird, call it out. Let somebody know. Trust your instincts.
[00:10:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Maybe stand behind a family member you don't really like at the service, just saying.
[00:11:02] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Uncle Pete, the homophobic flat earth or whatever, somebody you're not going to miss.
[00:11:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Like I always say, the best human shields are the ones who don't believe in physics. Yeah, exactly. As for the armed bodyguards, I don't know. That seems like overkill. Again, sorry, poor choice of words, but like it couldn't hurt to let the funeral home know, or the cemetery staff know that there's a family member in attendance who's a little off, you know, point him out, ask them to keep an eye on him. That is totally fair. And then if he makes a scene or if he starts yelling at you or something, they can intervene. They can try to calm him down. I am sure that they've seen it all before. That's part of those people's jobs.
[00:11:41] Jordan, where are we on bulletproof vests? Is that something they need to even think about?
[00:11:46] Jordan Harbinger: Uh, no. Again, that's probably unnecessary, but you're welcome to wear them if it makes you feel better. I googled this. You can rent some, although most places will probably want you to buy, but again, I would only do this if you're truly convinced your brother-in-law is just going to start popping off. But then, you know, at that point you, you don't go to the funeral.
[00:12:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. If you're convinced he's going to pop off and you have bigger problem on your hands than his funeral.
[00:12:09] Jordan Harbinger: Right. And you should report this to the police and consider filing a restraining order immediately. And then you can go to the funeral and he can stay at home wondering why his only friend was his mom and nobody talks to him, and the police won't let him within a hundred yards of his own brother.
[00:12:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly.
[00:12:22] Jordan Harbinger: Also, side note, if you wear a vest, you all know he has to shoot you in the vest. And usually, you can get shot like once. You might still die from trauma force. You'll definitely have injuries. And also he has to, you know, not actually try hard to kill you or shoot you in the head or the face, sorry to be graphic, but vests, they don't do a ton in many cases.
[00:12:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, that was my big takeaway from the end of Dumb and Dumber.
[00:12:44] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah. Hold on, hold on. I'll find the scene here.
[00:12:48] Soundbite: But what if he shot you in the face? What if he shot me in the face? That's a risk we were willing to take. [Dumb and Dumber]
[00:12:54] Jordan Harbinger: Right, like, if you get shot in the face, the vest isn't going to do any good. So—
[00:12:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's the end of it.
[00:13:00] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, get through the funeral, be as gracious and diplomatic as possible, and once everything is officially sorted, and you don't need to be on decent terms with your brother-in-law, I would just consider staying very far away from the guy. Maybe even cut ties completely, depending on how bad he gets. The guy just sounds like a black hole and a total waste of time, energy vampire. There's a reason he's alienated everyone. It's tragic, but it's not your fault. It's certainly not your responsibility, and I'm sorry that you guys have to deal with him in the middle of saying goodbye to your mother-in-law. That sucks. I hope your husband can focus on her and on his own mourning process and that the funeral goes as smoothly as possible. Sending you and your husband our best thoughts.
[00:13:42] You know who definitely wants to drain the old 401K? The amazing sponsors that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:13:51] This segment is sponsored in part by Peloton. It's the time of year when people are making New Year's resolutions. I've been sharing how I've been able to keep up with my goals, what's worked for me. I made a goal in early 2022 to get fit and be healthier, and I started the year at like 190. Now, I'm at my goal weight of 150. Okay, I was, but then Christmas, yada, yada. But either way, all right, I got six-pack abs. I've never been this fit or healthy in my life. I'm not exaggerating either. People think I'm always kidding. I mean, I can barely believe it myself, so I don't blame you. I've talked about protecting your workout time, like it's a business meeting, not something that's flexible. I've also talked about lowering the friction to get a workout in. You know, not having to get up, pack a duffel bag, get your coat on, go to the gym, whatever. That's a lot of friction to get a workout in. I like the Peloton. It's sitting here. I get a workout in if somebody cancels a call, I can shuffle things around. I can really into that space. I protect that workout time like it's a business meeting. But low friction also plays a role. I love that about Peloton. They're also, of course, known for their bikes, but the rowing machine that stores upright is really great, really low footprint in the house and gives you a full body workout. Furthermore, with Peloton, you also can really lean on the power of community. They have nailed this. A lot of people say that they like going to workout at clubs because there's a lot of other people in there that keep 'em motivated. With Peloton — and again, they have really done this well in a way that I kind of didn't expect — you can see who's in the class with you, do virtual high fives with each other. It's almost like, imagine if Zoom meetings were workout classes, but they actually had stats and not just people with their camera off or like eating or pretending they're not peeing. The instructors really engage. The instructor might even call you out during a live class. You can add friends, you can be competitive, hopefully, in a cooperative way. There's leaderboards, you can earn badges. There's special achievements, all that gamification stuff they have done so well with Peloton and it's a very supportive place. Great way to keep you motivated, especially when you feel like your workouts are maybe a little bit in vain, trying to get over the hump of those first few days or weeks of any habit. Peloton's community element has been a great motivational tool and is a great tool to keep up with your 2023 fitness goal.
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[00:16:13] Thank you so much for listening to and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us going. Keeps the lights on around here. All of the advertisers, all the deals, all the discount codes are all in one place, jordanharbinger.com/deals. You can also search for sponsors using the search box on the website as well. Please consider supporting those who support this show. Again, jordanharbinger.com/deals.
[00:16:35] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:16:38] All right, next up.
[00:16:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. For the last couple of years, I've been in a relationship with a woman who lives abroad. During one very tumultuous summer, she told me she couldn't handle the distance any longer, scared of losing her. I set everything in motion to move. In that time, she grew distant and cold and then revealed that she had an affair with a work colleague at her summer job. Appreciating her honesty, I trusted that she had told me everything. We started couples therapy and I moved to her country a month later. Sadly, this was not everything. She left out some major details. She also had a hard time committing to the recovery of our relationship, mostly focusing on herself. We both started individual therapy last year. While I see progress on my side, her commitment to healing and to creating a home falls short. She seems stuck in a place of guilt, but I also fear that she's just using me to feel sane, to have someone to come home to. I'm thinking of moving out, but I barely know any people, nor do I know the local language, beyond some basics. I feel lured into a trap and stuck. I love this girl, but I do not feel I can trust her nor can I work through my resentment. What would you do if you were me? Signed, A Poor Sod Odd By a Flawed Broad Abroad With No Squad to Fall Back On.
[00:17:59] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Bravo. That sounded like one of those tongue twisters they use for vocal warmups. I feel like we should work that into the show prep.
[00:18:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. A poor sod odd by a flawed broad abroad with no squad to fall back on.
[00:18:10] Jordan Harbinger: A poor sod odd by a flawed broad abroad with no squad to fall back on.
[00:18:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: A poor sod abroad—
[00:18:15] Jordan Harbinger: All right. Yeah.
[00:18:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: I can't even say that.
[00:18:16] Jordan Harbinger: Got it.
[00:18:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, that's pretty good.
[00:18:17] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe we don't need to record the show prep. I think this is what people are like, "Oh, I want to know what it's like behind the scenes. It's a bunch of—
[00:18:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's just that—
[00:18:24] Jordan Harbinger: That's all, that's all you're missing, guys.
[00:18:27] Look, I'm sorry this happened to you, man. I can hear how difficult this has been. Your girlfriend did some objectively uncool things. She obviously didn't communicate well. She cheated on you. She came supposedly clean, but then withheld crucial information. Now, she doesn't seem to really want to work on the relationship. Yeah, that's painful. I can definitely appreciate why you feel like you are lured into a trap. You thought you were moving for one kind of relationship. Now, you're in a very different kind of relationship. Although to be fair, you also moved abroad to be with this woman knowing she cheated on you. You saw a couple of red flags that you might have overlooked or justified, and that probably wasn't the best idea and I'm not trying to make you feel bad here. I'm just keeping it 100. These are the kinds of mistakes that teach you what to pay attention to, and sometimes you just have to learn them the hard way, through a broken heart, through a few thousand bucks in Zoom couples therapy.
[00:19:22] By the way, you know, the expression keeping at 100 is about to become super uncool now that I'm using it.
[00:19:29] Soundbite: How do you do fellow kids? What? [30 Rock]
[00:19:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Such a good clip.
[00:19:34] Jordan Harbinger: Now that you're over there, I think you need to come to terms with the reality of this relationship and the reality based on what you've shared is that you guys are just on different pages. For whatever reason, she can't or won't work through this cheating thing. She's stuck in her guilt, which fair enough, she's done something worth feeling guilty about, but it doesn't sound like you guys are experiencing much growth or forgiveness. You're not getting any closer. And then there's the whole, "she's just using me to feel sane, to have someone to come home to" thing, which doesn't sound particularly healthy or fulfilling or frankly, very fun.
[00:20:10] If this were me — I hate to tell you exactly what to do — but if this were me, I would just call it, I would. You've given it a real shot, both in individual therapy and in couples therapy, which let's not forget you began before you even moved out there and things aren't even getting better. These are fundamental problems and they might be unsolvable right now, and I'm not even saying you're a hundred percent right and she's a hundred percent wrong. I'm sure there's a lot going on in this relationship for both of you. I'm just saying it doesn't sound like this is working at all on many levels. So if you come to that conclusion too, and I wonder if you're already there. You just needed a little confirmation. But once you get there, I would get to a place of your own and carve out your own life in this new city, and I would think of that transition as an opportunity to engage with your new country in a whole new way.
[00:21:00] You said you barely know any people. You don't speak the language beyond some basics. Now is the time to start. Again. If this were me, I'd get myself an apartment, I'd sign up for a language class, start practicing it wherever I went, and I would make it a top priority to get involved in some activities and groups and make some new friends, join a gym, attend some meetups, join a book club. There are tons of ways to open up your world, especially abroad, and I don't mean to sound like the wise old guy. This is the joy of moving to a new country, carving out a new identity, engaging with people in their native tongue, in all senses of the term. You know, you'll be single soon, not going to lie. It's hella fun, especially overseas, but also expanding your social circle, turning on parts of your brain that haven't been activated before, that's what moving abroad is all about. And it sounds like you haven't really given yourself that gift because you've been so wrapped up in this relationship.
[00:21:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Absolutely. In fact, it's funny when you said that your girlfriend is clinging to you to stay sane, to have somebody to come home to, I couldn't help but wonder if maybe that's also been kind of true of you to some degree.
[00:22:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I had the exact same thought.
[00:22:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: When you move somewhere for somebody, they can become kind of a life raft, right? They can talk to the waiter for you at the restaurant. You can hang out with their friends. You drop into their routines. It's a nice bubble and that's comforting, but it can also hold you back. And in your case, since your relationship seems to be holding you back these days, in a lot of ways, I'm with Jordan. I think this is even more important.
[00:22:27] Jordan Harbinger: I could not agree more. All right, so my advice, give it another six months, a year on your own. And see what happens. It's very possible that in a few months you're going to be sitting in some bar in your new town telling people you just met in their own language, the story of what happened with this woman. And everyone will be leaning in and complimenting you on your language skills, whatever language it might be. And you're going to have a moment like, "Wow, is this my life? Did I actually do this? Who am I right now?" And you're going to be really freaking proud of yourself. And I know that feeling because I've been through it whenever I moved to other countries, and kind of get, crack the case, right? Crack, crack the dot and open up, or you'll give it a shot and you'll realize that you don't bond with this country at all and you'll move back home and you'll be a lot wiser for it. There's no shame in heading home either. But you'll feel a lot better about that decision if you take the next step and see where this road leads.
[00:23:18] Again, I'm sorry it played out this way, but also it had to play out this way because it is playing out this way. So try to roll with the punches as best you can and find out what path life is trying to put you on. You've also done the scariest part moving abroad. Now, you just have to stay there and dig in and kind of get through the dip, and at the very least, it'll be a hell of an experience. Good luck.
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[00:24:07] All right, next.
[00:24:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, guys. I work in sales for a tech company and joined during COVID, which meant a remote launch and a lack of connections with my team. I consider myself a professional with an incredible work ethic, so I pushed on hunting for business and keeping myself busy to hit my targets. As we come to the end of the year, I'm reviewing my results and rather close to hitting my annual target. I started comparing myself to my colleagues and using our CRMs reporting feature. I dug into how others were winning their business. That's when I noticed something which confirmed a hunch I had for a long time. My manager has been spoonfeeding, a guy on my team almost every single deal. I'm talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars in free business, and this kid is just riding the wave. My manager is a woman who seems to be secretly in love with this guy. The sh*tty thing is while he's been getting a free lunch for over two years, qualifying for the President's club and receiving praise left and right, not to mention the huge money he's earning, the rest of us are getting hounded to reach our targets with minimal support. This is extremely frustrating, especially since I have a family to support and I'm tirelessly putting in the hours. I've tried playing dumb and throwing subtle messages at this manager to get her to stop, but she just becomes defensive and straight-up lies. Also, our team is small, so if I report this to HR, they'll report it to the manager and then to the VP, and it'll circle back to me and create an awkward working relationship. How can I make my situation more fair? Signed, Stand Up to My Crooked Boss, or Stay Stuck in Glengarry Glen Ross.
[00:25:45] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh, Gabe. I love Glengarry Glen Ross.
[00:25:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: So good.
[00:25:50] Jordan Harbinger: What a good movie. Oh, you know what I remember?
[00:25:53] Soundbite: Put that coffee down! Coffee's for closers only. [Glengarry Glen Ross]
[00:25:58] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that movie is straight-up nightmare fuel for salespeople. If you haven't seen it, Glengarry Glen Ross. Watch that movie. It's basically, it's a bunch of skeezy salesmen working in this really toxic, corrupt office. Great actors. Pacino is in it. Some amazing moments in there. Kevin Spacey, pre-canceled.
[00:26:17] So this is a really, just a sh*tty situation to be in. I really feel for you here. I ran sales for many years at my old company and I know how much work it is to chase leads, close clients hit your targets. So to find out that your manager is feeding leads to one person in particular, a guy that she has some weird office crush on, her subordinate no less — yeah, I would hit the roof. It's totally unfair and it's terrible for morale. Because look, if these are customers calling in trying to buy something from you guys, and she's supposed to refer them to one department, but instead she's referring them to frigging Brandon who spends all day browsing Reddit while commissions just fall into his lap. That's bad news. And actually, this could be worse than it seems depending on how this manager has been pulling this off and how commissions work at your company. What she's doing might actually amount to stealing from the company. So in my opinion, she should absolutely be terminated for this.
[00:27:12] My advice, I wouldn't stick around much longer. I would run. Salespeople are in demand everywhere, in pretty much every industry, in any economy. You have a skillset that is highly valuable. Salespeople are the elite athletes of the business world. There's a reason that top paid sales guys and gals for that matter, often make more money than anybody else in the company, aside from maybe the CEO or C-suite executives. Not to mention your attitude, your work ethic, which are huge assests. I would start by looking around, hit up your network, see what's out there. Six-Minute Nnetworking, plug time. jordanharbinger.com/course will help you with this, but if you're in sales and you're good at it, you know, you've got to handle on some of this. But I would reactivate those systems from Six-Minute Networking and I wouldn't be surprised if you get a couple offers pretty quickly.
[00:28:00] True story. I just had lunch with a friend of mine the other day. He got a 30-percent raise just by switching from one SaaS, so Software as a Service, common sort of tech. Think of like Salesforce, those online software companies. He went from one to another. And he's in sales, 30 percent raised just by switching companies. He's like 30. It makes a quarter million dollars a year now, crazy. But before you leave your current company, I would gather as much evidence of what's happening as possible — screenshots of the CRM, notes about conversations you had with your manager, what you said, how she responded, basically, how you found out what's going on if you can, how they're hounding you to reach your targets without much support, all that stuff. Then when you get an offer you like, put it in your two weeks, meet with your bosses, tell them what's been going on and show them the evidence. Tell them what it's been like working at a place that does this, how it's affected you personally, how it's dragged down the team and then, yeah, leave it up to them to get rid of this manager after you are gone.
[00:28:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Interesting. So you don't think there's a way he could speak up and stick around?
[00:29:02] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, he could. but that's going to be hella awkward and like he said, it might come back to bite him. Do you want to get someone in trouble and then they're your still your boss? I mean, ugh.
[00:29:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. I mean, sure, it's a good point. Brandon's definitely going to hate him, but if this manager is gone and Brandon is just salty about it, I mean, fine. Everybody else is going to love him for getting to the bottom of this, right? It just, it seems like a small price to pay for doing the right.
[00:29:25] Jordan Harbinger: Well, you're even assuming now that the company's going to do anything/do the right thing.
[00:29:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm..
[00:29:31] Jordan Harbinger: They might just give this woman a little talking to and sweep it under the rug to avoid drama, avoid a lawsuit. Maybe the everyone's hitting their sales goals, so they don't really care who's getting paid the commissions. Who knows?
[00:29:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Interesting. Yeah. Okay. I see that. I get that.
[00:29:44] Jordan Harbinger: And then what? He's stuck working under her who's, you know, under Brandon and now — you see what I did there — and now he's worried Brandon's poisoning the Keurig Cup machine and then he is got to look for a job under those conditions. No, thank you.
[00:29:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, no, I guess that's true. That's a fair point. I guess I'm assuming that the company would just finesse this woman and possibly Brandon and then this guy comes out as the hero. But yeah, you make a good point. Maybe he needs to hedge his bets here a little bit.
[00:30:08] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, sure. Look, if they do this and they're like, "We really want to retain you. We're going to double your salary and make it up to you and increase this." It's like maybe you can negotiate something with the other job. I would maybe still just bounce. It's always good to shift if you can, you get a raise. You never know.
[00:30:24] My advice, don't try to fix this. Just find a place that doesn't pull this kind of crap. Then you can see if the company even cares to fix it. You have more to gain from using this as motivation to find a better gig, period. With your skills, your mindset. You'd crush it at so many places, but yeah, definitely drop this bomb on your way out because this isn't cool. It has to stop. My sense of justice is itching, and I'm sorry this happened to you, but good on you for going fishing and getting to the bottom of it. I'm not even sure how you did that. I'm very curious. That was super smart and good luck.
[00:30:57] Soundbite: You call yourself a salesman, you son of a bitch? I don't got to listen to this sh*t. You certainly don't, pal, because the good news is you're fired. [Glengarry Glen Ross]
[00:31:05] Jordan Harbinger: The good news is you're leaving for another job.
[00:31:08] All right. You know who else wants you to ride a wave of unfair deals? The amazing sponsors who support this show. We'll be right back.
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[00:33:35] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:33:38] All right, what's next?
[00:33:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe, my older sister and I grew up in an abusive household with our dad, who was an alcoholic and later developed a pill addiction and our mom who was depressed and felt stuck in her miserable marriage. As a result, we've struggled a bit to find our way in life. After divorcing my own alcoholic husband three years ago and becoming a single mother to my now six-year-old son, I've done therapy and learned about my tendency for codependent relationships. I've done a lot of work on myself, but have plenty more to do. My sister has a 10-year-old daughter and has always been a single mother, although my niece has a great dad who gets her on the weekends and pays his child support. I've always helped my sister out and have even let her live with me many times over the years, and my niece and I have always been close. Three years ago, they moved in with me again after my divorce, and we plan to help each other get back on our feet by splitting bills and helping share childcare and household duties. Unfortunately, this isn't how things went. My sister developed serious mental health problems from an abusive relationship and became a negligent mother who didn't contribute to the household. She also wouldn't get help or do anything to better her situation. I worked six days a week at a physically exhausting job to provide for all of us. I was resentful, but thankful that I could at least know that my niece was cared for and that they were safe. Then one morning I found my sister overdosing on heroin.
[00:35:07] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:35:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: I called 911. They saved her life and DCS got involved.
[00:35:12] Jordan Harbinger: DCS is child protection, is that what that is?
[00:35:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, basically. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Department of Child Services or something like that. Yeah.
[00:35:20] Jordan Harbinger: Gotcha.
[00:35:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: So DCS closed the case after a few weeks telling us that I'm the only reason she didn't lose her daughter, but they felt she was safe enough with me there and with my sister getting outpatient treatment. I told my sister that I loved her, but was upset that she put my child in danger and wouldn't allow her to live in my house if she couldn't stay clean. Soon my sister began acting strange again and I found meth in her bag.
[00:35:43] Jordan Harbinger: Oof.
[00:35:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: I kicked her out and informed my niece's dad. Since then, my niece's dad and I have been working together to take care of her. He got emergency custody but has allowed her to continue to stay with me during the week so she won't have to change schools in the middle of the year. My niece seems happier since the change playing and laughing more, but my sister is filling her head with lies about me and her dad. As a result, my niece has been difficult with her dad and she refuses to talk to any of us about what's going on. My sister denies having a drug problem and has also turned our father against me. He berated me and accused me of stealing my sister's child because I'm full of hate. I finally had to block him and don't wish to speak to him again, which I'm struggling with. How do I deal with having a family that only uses me and doesn't care about me or my child? How do I see my sister for visitations after she sponged off me for years and put my child at risk and is now trying to turn my niece against me? And how do I talk to my niece about all of this? Signed, An Aunt in Agony Navigating This Family.
[00:36:52] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man, this is a really sad story. I am so sorry that you've been through all this. This is quite a childhood, first of all. But I got to say on the flip side of all of this, look, how far you've come. You ended up in a marriage that mirrored your father and that dysfunctional relationship. You got out of that. You went to therapy, you put in the work. You learned about this codependency thing, which by the way, very common with children of addicts. That's an incredibly difficult template to break, and you've started drawing firm and healthy boundaries with your sister. I mean, this is remarkable.
[00:37:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:37:21] Jordan Harbinger: You've escaped a lot of the dysfunction that your sister is still tragically stuck in and she's probably using these drugs to cope with that in the first place, and you've been able to a responsible and loving mother to your son and an aunt to your niece. You know, you're kind of the poster child for doing the work and breaking the family cycle. So I hear you that you have more work to do, but you should be really proud of yourself for all of this seriously. So, all right, about your sister. She's in a world of pain, obviously, and my heart goes out to her. She's also a product of your childhood too. But the way she's behaving, what she's doing to her daughter, the position she's putting you in, it is not okay. It is irresponsible, it is hurtful, it's damaging. This is classic addict stuff, and the fact that she won't even acknowledge her addiction, that she's turning your dad against you. That's a whole other layer to this story. Here you are. You are the normal person in this insane situation saving your niece, and you're being accused of stealing her. I mean, it's just — geez, these frigging people, what a cast of characters.
[00:38:25] But listen, it's actually your relationship with your sister that I think is the most relevant to this story. You feel responsible for her, which again, very common with siblings of addicts. I mean, how can you not save your own sister when she ODs and risks to losing her daughter. But also this could be another aspect of the codependency. Your sister has relied on you in big ways without putting in the work to honor that gift and change her circumstances and withdrawing that support, watching her struggle, letting her risk her literal life, that's obviously very difficult for you. And again, makes perfect sense. But I just want to appreciate that feeling so responsible for your sister, even while you simultaneously resent her for it, that is driving so much of your question here.
[00:39:10] So just to be very direct here, how do you deal with having a family that only uses you, that doesn't care about you and doesn't care about your child? Well, you start by acknowledging that you're dealing with two addicts, one for sure, an active addiction, a sibling who's relying on you to save her and clean up after her without taking even basic steps to take responsibility for her own life. You start by identifying the part of you that was probably conditioned from an early age to make sure everyone else was okay, and that still wants to step in and save your sister over and over again, often at you and your son's expense. You remember that your dad's words, your sister's actions, your family's whole wave dealing with things, those are dysfunctional responses to a ton of unresolved crap in their own.
[00:40:00] Yeah, they're hurting you, but they're just acting out their own drama. They are creating chaos because they don't know how to do any better. I'm not letting them off the hook. I'm just saying you can hold some compassion alongside your very justifiable anger.
[00:40:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hmm.
[00:40:15] Jordan Harbinger: Then you decide what kind of relationship you want to have with them, which you're already doing, which is great, but that's an ongoing conversation, and that means carefully and deliberately deciding what role you play in your sister's, how much and how often you're going to step in to save her, what kind of bullsh*t you're going to accept and what kind of BS you just don't have the energy for, how you're going to engage with her during these visitations, and this is the most important part and the hardest part, how much you're going to let her behavior determine your experience.
[00:40:49] In other words, boundaries, man, because as you know, when you don't have those boundaries, especially with an addict, this close to you, that is how their chaos seeps in.
[00:41:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Absolutely. Well, said Jordan. And while you do all of that, I think you're also going to have to go through the grief of that decision, which is also the grief of accepting your sister as the addicted and chaotic person she is, of accepting your dad as the sometimes hurtful kind of confused guy he is, of accepting yourself as the one person in this family who understands how all of this dysfunction works and is pretty much done collaborating with it the way she used to. And that also means mourning the sister you wish you could be, which I'm guessing is the person who could save her sister and make her dad see things clearly and just make everybody okay again. That's an identity and it's a fantasy, really, and you're going to have to eventually, let go of that fantasy too.
[00:41:52] And then ultimately, you support your sister up to a point and you get to decide what point that is. But you got to let her go her own way, as heartbreaking as that is with one big asterisk, which is her daughter. Because your niece deserves so much better than this and she needs you. The fact that you're in her life, by the way, that is a huge gift. It'll probably one of the relationships, I would say, in addition to the one with her father that saved her. And that's amazing.
[00:42:20] So my advice there is just be there for your niece as much as you can. Invite her to talk, listen to her. Give her a loving home, a stable home. Give her space to talk about her mom if she wants to. And also to not talk about her if she doesn't want to sometimes. I mean, she is 10. This is probably very overwhelming. She might not want to talk about her mom all the time, but you can help her understand what's happening with her mom as much as a 10-year-old can understand that, of course. You'll have to see how much information she really needs and what she can handle, but I would also do that without tearing your sister down or complaining too much to your niece. That's another important boundary to keep your eye on. Just keeping things appropriate and keeping them really focused on what your niece. And yeah, keep working with her dad to give her the best possible life. I am so glad to hear that he's a solid guy.
[00:43:09] It's funny, Jordan, I was actually a little surprised to hear that, given her sister's personality. But—
[00:43:13] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:43:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: —that's another silver lining here. It's ultimately his responsibility to care for his daughter, and when the school year is done, he will be her primary parent again. But you can still be a big part of her life. I am pretty sure that as your niece gets older, she is going to look around at all of these people and she's going to, "Okay. Mom is on her own thing. She's spinning out. Grandpa is, I don't know, kind of angry kind of nuts. Dad is solid. Aunt is the one who works hard and has a peaceful home and wants to talk to me and gives me space to like process all of this. I can tell who the normal one is here and you just have to trust that being that stable presence for her is all you need to do really to earn her love and you don't even need to earn it, really. All you need to do is give it. And your relationship and how she feels about you, that will take care of itself.
[00:44:01] Jordan Harbinger: I could not agree more, Gabe. Her sister might be in her niece's ear telling her all sorts of crazy ish, but at a certain point, the facts just speak for themselves. All she has to do is keep the door open.
[00:44:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:44:12] Jordan Harbinger: And stay close. It reminds me of your earlier comment about the dad turning out to be kind of surprisingly stable. A friend of mine, she had a sister, and the sister, she was like, "I can't believe so-and-so cheated on me." And they have, they had a little girl, and I remember my friend was just so pissed at this guy and would send him like these messages, like, "I can't believe you screwed up your family, like da, da, da, da." And he is like, "You know, I'm sorry. I hope we can make it up to you one day, whatever." Because he was, he had like shattered this little family.
[00:44:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:44:40] Jordan Harbinger: Then it came out later that he was really a super responsible parent and yes, he cheated, which was not good, but one of the reasons was her sister was in the throes of like a crazy multiple bottles a day alcohol addiction where she would just be like drunk from morning until night, couldn't function, slept all day, and he was basically parenting this kid on his own. And it became a lot more understandable why he had grown apart from this woman and just had everything had shattered and then turned out to be this responsible guy in other areas and not a total screw up.
[00:45:10] So there's a lot going on behind curtains and relationships where somebody might turn out to be a different way than you originally think. Also, one of the best things you can. Start attending some Al-Anon meetings here. We talk about this a lot. This program can be a game changer for friends and family of addicts. It'll give you some great tools for coping with your sister and understanding your family better. This could be the source of support you need most right now, so don't wait. Check out a meeting or two. I think it could make a huge difference. Maybe it's not for everybody but go for it, anyway.
[00:45:41] My only last thought here is don't lose sight of your son in all this.
[00:45:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hmm.
[00:45:46] Jordan Harbinger: I'm with Gabe. Be there for your niece. Your son has to come first. This is also part of what's so painful, having to prioritize what matters most. Admitting you can't be everything to everyone in this situation. And I say that because I can tell that you have a huge heart and it's hard for you to draw lines and say no sometimes, but your primary responsibility is to yourself and to your son. Everything else, in my view, is secondary. Again, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. I know how upsetting it must be. But congrats on how far you've come. It really is extraordinary and good luck with your sister. We're sending you and your son and your niece a big hug from California.
[00:46:26] Gabe, the story reminds me of the question we took a few months back from the woman who was trying to decide whether to let her addicted sister be her maid of honor at her wedding. Do you remember that?
[00:46:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, yeah, of course. Oh, wasn't she also using meth?
[00:46:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Now, that you mention it, I think she was. It's just one hell of a drug. That crap is everywhere.
[00:46:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Everywhere.
[00:46:46] Jordan Harbinger: It's—
[00:46:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:46:46] Jordan Harbinger: It really makes for some methy situations. Am I right? ? All right. I can't. I'm sorry about that, folks.
[00:46:51] But anyway, that was a whole different situation, but the boundaries piece was big there too. That would be another great episode to listen to. That was episode 741, fourth question on that episode. We'll link to that in the show notes. At the very least, it might be nice to know that you're not the only person dealing with a train wreck of a sibling.
[00:47:08] Ugh. Geez. All right, what's next?
[00:47:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I'm a 39-year-old woman with stage four endometrial cancer. The good news is, as of a few days ago, the doctors could not see any cancer in my body. My understanding is that I still have cancer, and this could turn at any time, but it looks like I have way more time than I thought. I've been through a lot over the last five or six years, the cancer side. I have some heavy trauma in my past. I frequently babble, scream, and cry in my sleep. I've hurt myself several times trying to flee my bed after someone has woken me up. But when I try to talk to friends about what I've been through, their faces get all squishy. It's obvious that I made them very uncomfortable, so I more or less just don't talk about it anymore. I've been putting off going to real therapy, mostly because I didn't want to spend what time I had left picking at old wounds, getting through the moment seemed hard enough. Now that I have more time though, therapy's back on the table, but the prospect of actually talking about these things is still terrifying. It feels like it would break some kind of emotional dam that has more or less been holding me together. Like if I start talking, I'll start crying and I might not stop. Writing this now is skirting the areas I avoid thinking about. If I avoid the nasty memories and thoughts. I'm more or less a happy and stable person during the day at least. When I do think about them, my body panics. I get melancholy and it makes the night screaming even worse. Is there ever a time when it's okay to bury your pain rather than try to sort the mess out? Signed, Pretending I'm fine When I Just Got A Lot More Time.
[00:48:53] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. What a story. You have been through a lot, my friend. This must be actually a really intense time for you, but I am so thrilled to hear that you're healthy, or for now, I suppose, I don't know. It doesn't sound like you're out of the woods yet, but this is obviously incredible news.
[00:49:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:49:09] Jordan Harbinger: You know, I don't want to go too far off the map here, but hearing this letter, I can't help but think about my friend, Anastasia Golovashkina. I talked about her on the show last year when she passed away. Anastasia was a super talented, very special young woman who was diagnosed with brain cancer in her mid-20s, and the doctors told her she had like four or five years to live. We met because when she was diagnosed, she wrote me an email asking what she should do with the time she had. So we ended up hanging out a bunch. We talked about family and work and what really matters, big conversations and I could go on and on about this, but what Anastasia really brought to life for me in the past few years that we got to be friends was just how precious time is. And that's it. It's the old cliche, right? The only thing that ultimately matters is how we use that time in a way that's important and meaningful, however, you define that. And I'm sure that's the realization you're very much in touch with right now.
[00:50:04] You probably know what I'm going to say here because as we talked about on our end-of-year episode, we are huge believers in therapy and I do think that it would be incredibly valuable for you, but I also have to say, I really do understand your decision to put it off. If I had stage four cancer and I thought I didn't have much time left — well, yeah. I mean, look, I'd probably need a space to work through everything. I might also just be like, eh, I've got six months. I want to spend it with the people I love. I want to focus on the joy. I don't want to spend my time and money talking about stuff that literally won't matter pretty soon, so I get it.
[00:50:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:50:36] Jordan Harbinger: I really do. It's a fair choice. But you're still here. You're still alive. You have time. How much time exactly? You don't know. I mean, nobody knows, right? But it's a hell of a lot more time than you thought just a few days. You could potentially have quite a lot of it. Years and years, hopefully, decades. So given where you are now, I really do think it's worth getting into therapy because you have just been given a huge gift, the gift, your life. And it sounds like you've spent a long time in pain. This unprocessed stuff is, well, it's coming out in your sleep. You've literally injured yourself trying to flee your bed. I mean, those are, that's a real serious symptom. And until you deal with all of that, I just, I don't know if you'd be able to fully enjoy and make the most of this gift that you've been given.
[00:51:29] And honestly, even if you didn't have this older trauma to work through, going through this huge existential experience of having cancer and then getting a new lease on life, I'm sure that's brought up so many questions and feelings about what you've been through, how to live your life going forward, and those are very meaningful conversations to have with a therapist. And I'm going to shamelessly plug one of our sponsors here, betterhelp.com/jordan. I mean, people have had great results with Better Help. It's a good place to dip your toes in the water and it's going to be something that you can squeeze into your schedule, which is hopefully full of fun things and activities.
[00:52:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: I could not agree more, Jordan. And you know, it's interesting, even if she had written in to us saying, "I just found out I have six months to live. I have a lot of stuff to talk about, but like, is it really worth going to therapy?" I think I would still say yes. And maybe that sounds ridiculous to your point, like why spend your last six months on Earth talking about how your dad was mean to you or whatever. Maybe your time would be better spent hanging out with your friends and traveling and playing with your dog. I get it.
[00:52:33] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:52:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: But dying is obviously a hugely profound experience. It's the ultimate experience. So if going to therapy would help somebody resolve old conflicts and have some difficult conversations with people in their life and figure out what really matters to them while they're here. You know, if it would make somebody's last few months more meaningful and richer and more loving, I do think that's time well spent.
[00:52:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it's a good point. I tend to agree.
[00:52:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: To me, the fact that somebody might die soon doesn't mean that talking to somebody is pointless. It's no more pointless to me than making sure that somebody is, you know, well cared for, taken care of, seeing people they need before they die. That experience is still real, right? It still matters, and if somebody doesn't have a lot of time, yes, in a way that makes it less important, but in another way, it actually makes it more important.
[00:53:22] Jordan Harbinger: Right, because it's more urgent.
[00:53:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly.
[00:53:24] Jordan Harbinger: But you know, I'm especially into this idea for the woman writing in, because when she said that, talking about this stuff is terrifying, like it would break some kind of emotional dam that's been holding her together. What did she say? That if she starts talking, she'd start crying and she might not stop.
[00:53:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, that really hit me.
[00:53:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That got me too. I mean, that's a huge burden to carry around. My heart kind of breaks for this woman who's been holding it together for so long and going through stage four cancer treatment. I just, I can't even imagine how much she's hanging onto.
[00:53:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's a lot and I just want to tell her like good cry, right? Cry for a month if you have to just let it out. Crying for a month might be exactly what you need, and I promise you it won't be as bad as you think.
[00:54:07] Jordan Harbinger: Certainly not worse than years, more of this kind of suffering.
[00:54:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly. Absolutely. And I also say that because it sounds like she can't talk about this with any of her friends, like they're obviously unequipped to deal with this. I'm guessing it's just way too intense for them to understand. There may be a little bit scared to try because it's so beyond them that must make her feel very lonely and that just makes all of this so much hard.
[00:54:29] Jordan Harbinger: For sure. Look, I found it interesting that her response to her friends being uncomfortable was, "So I more or less don't talk about it anymore." I mean, that's really sad.
[00:54:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:54:37] Jordan Harbinger: It tells me that she doesn't really have the support that she needs, and she might not even know that there's a very different type of relationship available to her.
[00:54:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Which is the relationship you find in therapy.
[00:54:49] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. With a good therapist anyway.
[00:54:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:54:52] Jordan Harbinger: Somebody who really gets her, maybe even has experience with health stuff and existential issues that someone who can meet her in this wild experience, she deserves that.
[00:55:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:55:00] Jordan Harbinger: So I hope you find your person. I hope you start talking. You're so fortunate. Not everybody gets a gift like this, and I want you to make the most of that gift. So when you're ready, find somebody and start. And we're thrilled for you. We're sending you a big hug. We're wishing you the best as you begin this new chapter of, hopefully, a very long and healthy life.
[00:55:19] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this week and everybody who listened. Thank you so much. Go back and check out Chris Fenton and Peter Zeihan if you haven't yet.
[00:55:27] All of the guests are booked on the show, these are people who are part of my network and I'm teaching you how to build your network for business reasons, personal reasons, probably a little bit of both. It's our Six-Minute Networking course. That course is free on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. Don't kick the can down the road. I'm teaching you how to dig the well before you get thirsty. Build those relationships before you need them, and the drills take a few minutes a day. Ignore this habit at your own peril. Really, I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. jordanharbinger.com/course is where you find it.
[00:55:59] A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts are in the show notes. Advertisers, deals, and discounts, all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn and you can find Gabe on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi or on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
[00:56:19] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My amazing team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions are our own, and I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. 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 the episode useful, please do share it with somebody else who could use the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[00:56:52] Here's a preview of my conversation with an expert who spent more than two decades rooting out the counterfeit goods and services that fuel a trillion-dollar industry that only benefits petty crooks and organized crime networks. It's not just handbags or designer clothes, alcohol, makeup, even cancer medication are just the tip of the iceberg of what gets counterfeit. Here's a quick listen.
[00:57:15] Kris Buckner: Anything and everything is counterfeit from automobile parts, cancer, medication, alcohol, kids' coughs syrup. I mean, anything that somebody can fake to make money, they're going to do it.
[00:57:25] I mean, we found human feces, rat feces, and carcinogens in some of the counterfeit makeup. It's really, really scary. I mean, people can actually die or really get harmed over this stuff. The general public thinks, oh, it's poor people just trying to get by, trying to make a living. But somewhere down the chain, a criminal organization is involved in that counterfeit item. The sales of counterfeit goods is actually listed in Al-Qaeda's training manual on a quick and easy way to raise revenue for operational purposes, because why? It's a crime that's completely worth doing for them, where they can make huge amounts of money. And then let's look at the human impact, where are these goods made?
[00:58:00] Jordan Harbinger: Chinese kids in these factories in the middle of nowhere. There was an investigator online who said he was about to do a raid with the police, and he heard children's music and he thought, "Oh wow, they have childcare for their workers." And then when they came in, they found a bunch of kids at sewing machines handcuffed to the machines, and he said the smell was unbearable because they weren't allowed to go to the bathroom.
[00:58:20] Kris Buckner: The common perception, "Oh, it's poor people just trying to get by or trying to make a living," it's really not the case. I mean, this stuff's tied to organized crime, criminal cartels, I mean, there's a whole big picture behind this stuff. You will see law enforcement do seizures where they're pulling three million cash out of someone's house, and that's all the proceeds from counterfeit goods. When you're buying that item, you are contributing to that child labor, you're contributing to that terrorist organization. That is where the money is going undoubtedly.
[00:58:49] Jordan Harbinger: Even if you don't care that the Gucci bag you got for just 20 bucks can't be spotted as a knockoff by the snootiest in your circle of friends, hear why the trillion-dollar counterfeiting industry should concern you, check out episode 308 of The Jordan Harbinger Show with Kris Buckner.
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