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:
- How do you continue to have a relationship with a family member in which you can focus more on positive things you have in common rather than what he or she is stressed or anxious about?
- Feedback Friday 18 is episode number 26, and here’s a listener’s follow-up to a discussion we had there.
- How do you reframe a job — that’s got amazing perks but doesn’t challenge you — and change your mindset so you don’t get stuck in a rut?
- Addiction to anything is a struggle — even if it’s “just” video games and pot. But how can you kick your addictions when you’re burned out on real life and don’t really know how to relate to other people?
- Should you go for your dream job even if it forces you to move thousands of miles away from your significant other?
- Qualified relationship expert Duana Welch tags in to dispense good advice to someone looking to get out of a red flag, jealousy-driven, abusive relationship.
- If thinking about using social media gives you anxiety and you experienced a sense of great relief when you deactivated your Facebook account, do you even need social media to make friends in the 21st century?
- When making conversation, you tend to ramble and blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. How can you cut back on the awkwardness?
- Shoutouts to Athena and Marilyn Koutsonikolas and American Dream University!
- 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 Jason on Twitter at @jpdef and Instagram at @JPD, and check out his other show: Grumpy Old Geeks.
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Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
Sign up for Six-Minute Networking — our free networking and relationship development mini course — at jordanharbinger.com/course!
Resources from This Episode:
- 63: Daniel Pink | When Is the Best Time to Get Things Done?
- 64: Sean Young | Changing Your Life for Good with SCIENCE
- 26: Feedback Friday | Getting Excited without Banking on the Outcome (aka “Feedback Friday 18”)
- Anthony Bourdain Dead at 61 by Brian Stelter, CNN
- The Adam and Drew Show 859: Jordan Harbinger
- Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People by Vanessa Van Edwards
- How to Start over in a New City by Jordan Harbinger
- 37: Duana Welch | The Science of Jealousy and How to Manage It
- Love Science Media
- Find Domestic Violence and Abuse Help, Information, and Stats
- In an abusive relationship and seeking help to get out? Text the word CONNECT to 741741 or call 1-(800)799-SAFE to reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
- The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence by Gavin de Becker
- When Men Batter Women: New Insights into Ending Abusive Relationships by Neil Jacobson and John Gottman
- Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft
- Six-Minute Networking
- American Dream University
Transcript for How to Get out of an Abusive Relationship - Feedback Friday (Episode 65)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:00] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. I'm here with producer Jason DeFillippo. Here on The Jordan Harbinger Show, we love having conversations with our fascinating guests. And this week, we had Dan Pink talking about the power of when. So when does science say you should do your most important work? When are you the most creative? When are you the most focused? How can we hone that skill sets of finding our when and dial it in? What other sorts of timing do we have? Not just time of day, but time of life. And we'll get into a lot of that this week or we did get into a lot of that this week with Dan Pink. And we also had Sean Young talking about how to use the power of science. So different types of habit change tools to change different types of habits. Is it something that so automatic you don't think about it?
[00:00:47] Is it something that you feel compelled to do? Is it something conscious that you'd like to change? Well, there are different ways to change each of those habits and that's what we discussed with Sean Young this week on the show. Of course though, our primary mission is to pass along these guests’ wisdom and our experiences as well and our insights along to you. In other words, the real purpose of this show is to have conversations directly with you and that's what we're going to do, especially here today on Feedback Friday. You can reach us at email@example.com. Try to keep them concise if you can, that makes things a lot easier for us. And today we've got some fun ones and some doozies as usual. Jason, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:01:28] Hello, Jason and Jordan. My mom and I have a relationship where she constantly dumped stress and anxiety onto me rather than having an actual conversation. My mom was raised by a single mother who is very needy, addicted, distress and self-medicates with alcohol. On the outside, she's a wonderful, sweet Texas lady, but deep down she has a serious problem with drinking vodka every day and struggling with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. I think that my mom is a classic adult child of an alcoholic where she struggles to create her own identity and instead lives most of her life embedded in a cocoon of stress and anxiety. I just turned 22 and for the most part, I'm living on my own minus a week here or there back home. Having spent some time living out of the house, it's becoming clear and clear that when my mom and I interact, she has this habit of dumping stress, anxiety and other issues onto me as if it's my responsibility to help her.
[00:02:15] The current issues mostly revolve around my grandmother who's beginning to struggle with dementia and becoming even more needy and draining for my mother. Every time my mom and I share a meal, car ride, phone call, I feel like she dumps all of her worries surrounding this issue onto me. I'm, of course, sympathetic as watching a parent slipping into dementia would be terrible for everyone, but at the same time, I don't really want to have to deal with the stress it's causing me. Especially given that I'm still at school and make my money through running my own small business, which is a very time draining enterprise. Looking back to my younger years, it's becoming more obvious that this isn't a recent trend. My mom's always struggled with being an actual parent and I spent most of our interactions dumping stress on me since a young age.
[00:02:55] I believe that she learned this habit through a similar relationship she had with her mother, so for her, she probably doesn't have much perspective on what a healthy parent-child relationship looks like. I've tried talking to my dad about this, but he isn't much help. He struggles with confrontation and the few times he's tried to intervene were unfruitful. Obviously, I love my mother and the few times in my life where she wasn't stressed, we had an awesome relationship, but those moments are rare when compared to the times where we had a patient-therapist relationship. Not a parent-child one. So my question for you guys is, how do I continue to have a relationship with my mother where we can focus more on positive things we have in common rather than what she is stressed or anxious about? If she begins venting to me, how can I help steer the conversation in a way where I don't find myself also stressed by the end of it? Cheers. Unintentional Therapist.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:39] Alright, so this problem is rough. I definitely understand this. I think that your mother is not conscious of this, but I think you're also right that it's bad modeling. She really just didn't have anyone who had a normal parent-child relationship with her in her life. I think you might need to call it out in a caring way. She might need a few dozen reminders and I'm not saying, you know, blow up at your mom or something like this, but I think that saying, “Hey, you know, the way that you put your stress on me, it stresses me out. I know you'd like to vent.” Just that little gentle awareness around it might be really helpful. You are responsible for steering her in the right direction with this when it comes to your relationship with her because she's not going to do it. I'm not saying it's fair that you do that.
[00:04:26] What I am saying is no one else is going to do it and I think it'll help repair the relationship. You can let her vent, say once a month, and then be done with it so that you're providing the emotional support there because people do need emotional support. People need to vent, but then she's not emotionally enmeshed with you like every day venting about something. And frankly, you're doing her a favor. Now when she hangs with you, she's not allowed to vent and therefore your relationship with her becomes her refuge from her stress and anxiety if she plays by the rules. So that's a win-win in my book. If she won't stop, you know, you let her know exactly what's going on and you limit contact with her and you encourage her to seek help and seek a therapist with this because she needs to solve this problem for herself, but you don't owe it to her.
[00:05:13] To be a sounding board for everything that's wrong with her life. You're her son. You don't have to be there as a punching bag or a dartboard or even a sounding board, like I said, for all of her problems and stresses -- real or imagined. That's going to make you unhealthy, that's not an acceptable consequence of someone else's damage. Does that make sense? It's not acceptable for somebody else's problems to be rubbed off on you in a way and then have you do nothing about it because you're related. That's just not how this is going to work out for you long-term. And then you risk becoming miserable yourself. And that's exactly what we're trying to avoid here. So I think the gentle nudge, the awareness, and if she's willing to do something about it, great therapy. And if not, you've got to slide door shut a little bit.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:05:58] I recommend doing this now while you're young because you're only 22. I waited until I was 44 with my mom and she was this exact same type. And, we haven't spoken in two years, so I highly recommend getting this taken care of earlier rather than later.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:12] You think it was the waiting that made it worse, Jason?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:06:15] Yeah, because, you know, when you look back on it, it's just years and years of that same kind of all the stress getting put on the kid and at one point, you're just going to break if you can't get it fixed and not knowing what the problem is. It's just like, “Why do I always feel miserable when I come over here?” And say, “Oh, because, you know, her problems become your problems and that just adds up over time.” So I think if he can get this sorted now and at least he knows what's happening now, then I think he can has a good chance of keeping a good relationship with his mom.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:44] That's great. I love that. Jason, so this next one comes as a follow-up from Feedback Friday number 18 as a while back. She is an MD PhD student, an aspiring professor and researcher, obviously a really sharp gal and her ex-boyfriend -- now ex-boyfriend, had flunked both culinary school and his bachelor's degree and he was the guy who is playing golf all the time, if I remember correctly.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:07:08] He also lied about not getting his bachelor degree and getting kicked out of school or leaving school early. Remember that?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:14] Oh, that's right. I forgot about that too.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:07:18] Yeah. Yeah. So she writes in -- Dear Jordan and Jason, thanks so much for answering my question on the air. So you guys called it. It escalated. A few weeks ago, he ended up calling me crying and saying he felt suicidal and as a future healthcare provider, I felt I had to answer his call. He has no history of anxiety, depression, or suicidal ideation. The phone call started with how he felt triggered by Anthony Bourdain suicide and how he felt so empty without me, but quickly turned into a heated debate and argument about our relationship and why I was wrong in all the ways I made him feel terrible. I ultimately did have to cut him off after making sure he wasn't alone and his friends were with him. I find it interesting that the people most attached from him and our situation, were able to spot this as a potential issue, but everyone that knew him was shocked that this happened. I thought you guys might want to know how that panned out. Thanks for everything that you do. Signed, Mismatched Match.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:05] So her situation, if I remember correctly was she was a doctor, she was going through this crazy residency. She wanted to do all this academic and professional development and he couldn't get it together to get any kind of trade school, any kind of college degree. But it's not that he didn't want to, he kept saying, “I'm going to work on it later”, but then he would go play golf and sleep until 11:00 AM and all this stuff and I called it with you, Jason. We said, it sounds like maybe a little bit of depression, but it also sounded like he was being controlling because every time she would bring up any issues with their relationship he would say something like, “Oh, you're just trying to make me feel bad about myself”. He would just use guilt all the time to do that. And he was making her feel guilty for working too much, which I just thought like, “Hello? This guy is on another planet.” And he just seems like a bit of a loser with no drive.
[00:08:57] And she seems like a really ambitious and smart person. And so I will say thank you for the compliment, but this detached perspective that Jason and I have actually oftentimes can be the most accurate perception because of the other factors involved with the people around you, guys. Less is more. Jason and I are not distracted by other things I know about you or other things I know about him or the fact that I like him or you or the fact that I understand what it's like to dah dah, dah. I don't have any of that noise. And Dr. Drew and I actually talked about this type of phenomenon in the interview I did with him, that will be out soon where we discussed, I asked some things like, “How can you read people just based on five seconds of what they say their problem is?” And he says, “Actually, it's better because I can feel things from the callers and I can grasp things from what they're saying but I'm not clouded by the whole – ‘Well, I've known him for 10 years. He would never do this.’ Right?” We're getting a snapshot of that person as they are now. I'm not clouded by, “But when he was a kid he was so happy go lucky. He can't be depressed, right?” We don't have that kind of signal to noise ratio issue that I think a lot of people that know you guys really well have. Plus I have no emotional attachment to this guy. So I don't necessarily subconsciously want any one thing to be true. I don't want this relationship to work out because I want you two to be happy. I don't care. Like I want you to be happy as a listener of this show, but I'm not rooting for you two to work it out or something like that, right? So I'm just glad you had the guts to cut him off because you are both better off for this now. I know it doesn't sound like he is, but you are actually both better off for this now. Keep in touch. Best of luck moving forward. You've got a lot of potential and now you are unchained and I know that feeling. So go ahead and knock them dead, Mismatched Match, and find a match that's better for you. All right, next up.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:10:53] Hi guys. I'm a chef in the only fine dining restaurant in a 20-mile radius. Lately, I've been finding myself unsatisfied because I feel I've stopped learning. I do what I can to teach myself, but my boss is neither engaged nor engaging. I'm not management yet, but I'm more or less second in command. I know it's not my bosses’ job to mentor me, but I can't help but wonder if I would perform better with someone more interested in their own field. I'm open to driving further and even willing to work for free for the sake of learning, but the difficult part is that my son gets a top quality education for free as long as I remain employed, at least with the company that owns the restaurant I work for. Most days I tell myself that I just have to keep pushing forward, but some days I let my situation affect my confidence and I start to wonder if I'm even good at what I do. I've largely been a cook since I became old enough to work and only been management once. Am I in the wrong mindset and if so, how do I reframe my situation and change my mindset so I don't get stuck in a rut? Thanks. Stuck And Frustrated.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:51] This is really strange. This is bad all around because he's got the handcuffs, right? He's got the golden handcuffs. They might be silver in this case, but the perks are what key people in these jobs and these careers that they don't like. This is really bad all around. So the first question is, is there any way to get your son's education taken care of in another way? Maybe there's another restaurant with the same company that has the same benefit, but you'll be challenged more. Because you really do need to be challenged and mentored in your work environment or you are just going to get, I mean you're already miserable. It's not going to get any better. I'm wondering also if maybe you can split the time with another restaurant. Having two jobs is obviously tough, but it's still better than having one bad one where you have no upward mobility at all.
[00:12:39] So it would be tough, but one of them would be kind of like, “This is my learning job and this is my bill's job.” Not ideal, but better than where you are now. I think it's time to get creative here or you are going to burn out. You're going to burn out and not be able to move up and you'll be a less engaged dad because of it. So this stuff sneaks up on you. You got to really be careful. You don't want to become the burned out, less engaged dad who hates their career and is supposedly doing all this for their kid but doesn't have a relationship with their kid because they're all burned out. That's not what we want here. So I'd start exploring ideas here, ASAP before you wake up in five years and feel like you just don't care anymore or you lose this job and realize, “Oh, I haven't grown at all in the past half decade.” That's not how we want this story to end.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:13:26] You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show and this is Feedback Friday. Stick around and we'll get right back to the show after these important messages.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:30] This episode is sponsored in part by HostGator. You have to have your own home on the web, it's that simple. With the ever shifting landscape of social media, people need to be able to find you anytime, anywhere. And I know you think, “Oh, I have a LinkedIn profile. I want to get social media.” Yeah, until something changes or your data gets jacked or they change the config and you hate it. That's why we recommend HostGator's website builder. You can easily create a professional looking and feature-packed website and the best part there is no coding. Choose from over a hundred mobile friendly templates. Your site's going to look great on any device -- smartphone, tablet, desktop. HostGator also gives you a ton of add-ons so you can do things like increase your search engine visibility without being an expert in SEO or integrate with PayPal and allow customers to buy directly from your website. You also get 99.9% guaranteed uptime. Their support team is there to help with any issues you experience 24/7 365 and HostGator's giving you guys and gals up to 62% off all their packages for new users. So go to hostgator.com/jordan right now to sign up. That's hostgator.com/Jordan. By the way, I know a lot of people have been asking me about the Six-Minute Networking course that we have. It's a mini-course on networking and relationship development. I go through a lot of the little hacks, drills, exercises that I do daily, weekly, just a few minutes a week to reach out to other people, maintain relationships, build relationships with influencers, people that were or will become guests on the show and how I use systems to create and maintain those relationships as well. And so I put it together in a little mini-course called Six-Minute Networking. It's at jordanharbinger.com/course. Jordanharbinger.com/course. This is the stuff I wish I had known 10-15 years ago and I want everyone to have it, so go check out jordanharbinger.com/course and let me know what you think and that'll be linked up in the show notes of course as well.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:15:29] Thank you for listening and supporting The Jordan Harbinger Show. To learn more about our sponsors, visit JordanHarbinger.com/advertisers and don't forget to check out our Alexa skill. Go to JordanHarbinger.com/alexa or search for Jordan Harbinger in the Alexa app and get ready for us in your daily briefings. Now let's get back to your questions here on Feedback Friday.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:50] All right, next up.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:15:51] Hello to everybody on the Jordan Harbinger team. I come to you with the issue of addiction, not your average drug or sex addiction that most people can't overcome. I've managed to kick all that to the curb, but there's one thing left which has been ruining my life ever since I was seven years old -- video games.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:08] Did my wife put this question in here?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:16:10] Maybe, maybe. Ever since I first got my hands on online gaming at a young age, my parents have allowed me to waste away most of my youthful years behind a computer screen. Fast forward to me now at 25, and the only time I was able to overcome my incessant desire of video games was during high school when I substituted it for drugs. At this point, I'm able to go short bouts of completely cutting out gaming for weeks at a time during which I start to see my life get back on track, but then my overly high and unorganized work drive along with the feeling of being behind almost two decades in life, forces me to burn out within a matter of weeks and resort back to video games or pot as a way to relax. How do I learn to pace myself so that I don't burn out in everyday activities and how can I find new hobbies or friends to keep me engaged with the real world? Thanks again for your time and keep making miracles with your podcast. Very respectfully, I Hate Real Life.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:01] I know we edited this question a lot, Jason, and I know he's an only child. He moved here from another country when he was young, is a veteran from the Navy, zero social life because all of his high school friends were not his Navy buddies. They're still doing drugs, you know, or he moved a lot, you know, he was a shy and awkward guy and he also was raised by a single mom. His stepdad died at 14, no contact with his biological dad. So this is a kind of a traumatic past. It's not your usual kid who just got too into video games and he's also got a lot of other ambition. He's not a dumb guy. He loves learning a ton of stuff, exercising all the time. And this to me indicates maybe he's got some undiagnosed ADHD or something like that where he's got a ton of energy.
[00:17:50] So, and that combined with him feeling, “Oh, I'm so far behind in my life”, he goes balls to the freaking wall when he's not doing the gaming thing because he's got to focus that energy. And instead of a laser beam, he's a blender with everything shooting off the top, right? The blender with no top on it. So video games, and I know this from firsthand experience, they take up a lot of your focus. I don't mean they wasted. I mean you can just get into that game and it's fast. You're using your reflexes and it's fun and there's dopamine release and you're getting rewarded for your hard work and you're leveling up and everything. That's why video games for me are such a great release when done in moderation, but I think that if you're addicted to games, you might want to look at this as a real addiction.
[00:18:37] You know, the DSM, they just added gaming addiction to the manual there. It's a real thing. There's rehab for it. You might want to look at that that way, but I also think that there's a really good chance you just have really poor work habits that are causing you to burnout and then you're going back to something that you can't control as a way to relax. And I believe that you are relaxed when you're playing these games. I do. But I think you're also drawing a false dichotomy here and you're not doing this on purpose. I'm not blaming you for this. It's actually part of addiction. It sounds like you're saying, “Well, I can get on track, but then I burn out. And so I've got to use pot and video games to relax.” And that's sort of classic addict behavior in a way.
[00:19:17] Addiction and addictive mindsets need treatment. You can't just replace one thing with the other. You know, you see this all the time. I used to go to AA meetings. I'm not an alcoholic or anything. I used to go out of pure curiosity and I know that's a little weird, but you know, look at the line of work that I'm in. I would go with friends of mine and I noticed that there is just a huge number of people outside smoking at these meetings. And I remember talking with some of these tough looking biker guys in Hollywood and saying, “So, I don't mean any offense, but is it lost on anyone that everyone's out here smoking? But you're at AA?” And they're readily, these are very self-aware people, readily they would go, “Oh yeah, we just replaced one addiction for another. But I'll tell you, I never beat up my son's friend and then left my wife for three months with a stripper because I smoked too many cigarettes.” And I'm like, “Yeah, good touche.” Like you got me there, right?
[00:20:08] Because the substance or whatever else they were doing were just, the consequences are so much more dire. That still doesn't mean you should be replacing pot with video games or for the other and short-term you could try replacing pot and video games with exercise and meditation, jogging, cycling. That helps keep the brain engaged enough to think that cycling for a while was sort of my instead of video games doing that. But the problem is I've got to get to the trail, I've got to make sure the bike is ready to go and I used to have my bike ready all the time, but you know, it becomes a problem. You can't just bike for 20 minutes if you've got to get to a trail. So games replace that and if it's hot AF outside like it is now, games replaced that.
[00:20:50] So you have to use and make your environment set up to replace this, and I'm wired the same way. That's what I'm telling you. I can only play for an hour or two though and then I'm good. I don't sit around and play video games for six hours. That's the moderation that's needed on your end and if you can't moderate, pick something that's self-moderates in most cases like exercise, you will find it very difficult to work out for nine hours. You just won't be able to do it, most of the time. If you do, congrats, you're an elite athlete, right? You've got a different set of things going on here. You can also try cooking. I've heard this has a similar effect, but in the end though, I really think you should seek some basis of treatment here even if it's just a therapist and not full on rehab because this sounds like addict behavior and you have to get to the root, not just the flavor of your addiction. All right, next up
Jason DeFillippo: [00:21:42] Hi Jordan. Currently, I'm four months into a contract working for a great government organization in my field of study. However, it's not the stream of this field that I would like to be in forever. I'm learning that this job is not what I had thought it was initially and that the level of government isn't for me. I'm a very personable individual where I believe my skill set is best suited in a frontline position, but many of these roles are found in local government. I recently interviewed for my dream position in local government and felt that the interview went really well. The downside is that this job is extremely far from my significant other, which means a long distance relationship. In time, we would both like to settle down and get married. I should add that although I've interviewed for my dream job in this rural area, positions like this on occasion are posted in more favorable cities that are closer to my significant other.
[00:22:28] However, are much more competitive. Should I stay in my current contract position and wait to apply in a more favorable city? And if I do get the job I interviewed for, should I accept the offer to gain experience in hopes that I'll be able to apply for this position again in the future in a city closer to my significant other? Signed, Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:47] My opinion, definitely accept the offer. Look, you're going to have the same set of problems with the relationship that you have now, but you're going to be getting experience and you're going to be getting closer to the goal of your dream job, of this dream job, in a better locale. It's going to be much easier to change the locations than to change job and location to the prime location that everybody else with experience in this job wants. That's just waiting to get a lottery ticket, right? So I would say absolutely get closer. Look, you're a couple hours further away, whatever. You still got to get on a plane and do it. If you wait, you're just going to stagnate where you are now. You're going to pray that something falls in your lap. I'm just not a fan of that strategy. Anything you can do to get closer to your goals by gaining experience is worthwhile. That's true in pretty much every case. Stack those bricks, get those skills. The skills are what's going to get you where you want to be, and I hate saying this, but long distance relationships? Imagine if it doesn't work out. Okay, well you just wasted all this time. If it does work out, you being slightly further away is probably going to make no difference at all in the quality of that relationship. So accept that offer, get that experience and get closer to your goals. All right, next up.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:24:05] Hey everyone at The Jordan Harbinger Show. My question relates to your recent episode starring Duana Welch about jealousy. I'm one of those people in a red flag relationship. My partner's always been extremely jealous with anyone I associate with and has isolated me from most of my friends in the eight years we've been together. He's also been verbally abusive. Friends and family warned me he wasn't a good match for me. At the time, my self esteem was very low and I didn't think I deserved better. The only reason I've stayed is because we eventually got pregnant and now have three kids together. I realized this isn't the best situation for the kids, but he does provide financial security. I always knew I was in an unhealthy relationship, but I'm very concerned now because my partner matches all the red flags from Duana’s episode. My question is, how can I safely leave a relationship like this? Thank you for any help you can provide. Red Flag Gone Bad.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:55] So Jason, this is a little bit over my head and that I have ideas, but if I answer it wrong, we're dealing with a situation that's a little too serious. So I think we should call in the aforementioned expert Duana Welch who happens to be right here with us right now. Thank you very much, Duana, for joining us. I'm a little intimidated by this question because what's scary for me is she already labels her relationship as a red flag relationship. So she's well aware of it. Not in any sort of denial at all. Also really outlines what's happening here -- been jealous with anyone she associates with, isolated her from her friends over eight years, verbally abusive, friends and family are all over this one. She's not listening. She knows she had low self esteem. So this isn't like, “Oh he's fine. It only happens sometimes.” She's like, “I know this is bad, I just don't know how to get out.”
Duana Welch: [00:25:50] Red Flag Gone Bad, thank you for writing in. I'm so glad you're not trying to tackle this on your own. And I'm really glad that you are understanding that what your husband does is abusive. It's not just red flags at this point. When you ask abuse survivors what the worst part of the abuse was, they almost uniformly say it was the verbal abuse which you're going through right now. And in fact, most men who actually hit the women that they're with, they only hit them until such time as they feel like just verbally abusing them will cause the woman to associate that with being physically assaulted. So verbal abuse is a very effective way a lot of the time for someone to control someone else and that's what abuse is. It's basically violence with a purpose including verbal violence and that purpose is to control you through fear and intimidation. And it sounds like you're there now and yes we need to help you get out of that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:40] Yeah. What do we even do here? Because she's seeking information, that's the reason I didn't want to just be like, “You know, you need to leave right now.” Because that's easy for me to say, but look -- financial security, she has kids with him. If I just say like, “You drive as far as you can, girl.” Like that sounds great on the radio but it's really not good advice because then what? She's kidnapped the kids. She has no money. I mean this is not, there's more to this story. There's more to this solution.
Duana Welch: [00:27:06] Jordan, I just want to say one of the reasons I love being on your show is that you don't give the glib answer. The glib answer is, well just go ahead and leave him. And clearly she understands because she's in the situation that that answer, I mean she's a smart woman. You can tell by the way she wrote. It's not that it never occurred to her that she could leave. It's that the word that I keep coming back to in her letter is, safely leave a relationship like this. So let's talk about, first of all, she used to trust her gut, which is telling her to be cautious here that he could potentially be dangerous. And that's really important. Intuition is here to save our bacon or you know, vegan cheese or whatever. So listen to your gut because science shows that it really is here to save your life.
[00:27:51] And then next, please trust your knowledge of this abuser. So there are studies on how abusers behave and how people who are being abused safely leave relationships. And I will tell you that that research adds up to this. You need to trust what you know about the abuser. Nobody -- not me, not Jordan, not any other experts, none of us can tell you what your abuser is like. I can tell you that what he's doing is abuse. I believe you, but I don't know what his habits are. I don't know what your exact financial situation is. I don't know if you have people who can watch the kids while you exit safely. I don't know what the laws are in your state. You're the person who knows most of that and so you're the best person to trust. I am going to tell you later on how to form an action plan of helping someone help you because I don't want you doing this on your own and you can get help for free, but before you do that, I want you to identify whether you're with a pit bull or a cobra.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:54] Okay. What does that mean? Somebody who barks really loud and gives you a lot of warning versus somebody who just sneaks up on you and then does something terrible?
Duana Welch: [00:28:59] Yeah, they both do really, really horrible stuff. It's just that pit bulls hang on like a dog with its teeth in you and they can do that for up to two years after you leave and just as pit bulls can be lethal. Sorry, I know pit bulls are really sweet to people. Please don't hate me for saying that, but the researchers who came up with this term said, you know, there are dogs that can hang on and hang on and hang on. And so they liken these kinds of abusers to pit bulls. Basically these men are deeply insecure. My guess is you may be with one of them and here's why. He has socially isolated you, right? That's a big tip off because pit bulls, they do what they do for their own reasons. You didn't cause the abuse. Sadly that means you can't prevent it either.
[00:29:47] So they're going to do this to whoever they happen to be with. The problem is they happen to be with you and so all their attention is focused on you. They'll often say things like, “Well, go ahead and leave then.” You know, they may seem like they don't even care. These men can be not only dangerous but actually lethal for a full 24 months after you leave them. So you need to be very, very careful about how you leave a pit bull. Cobras are sociopaths. Like pit bulls are frequently the guy that everyone's surprised to hear he beat his wife because he was such a nice guy. Nobody is surprised to hear that a cobra beat his wife. No one's surprised by that because he's probably beaten a lot of other people too. He's probably done time. He has low regard for your life, his life, and all other lives.
[00:30:28] He may have tormented animals. He is a sociopath. So your guy does not sound like a sociopath to me. Again, I don't know, I've not met him. All I have is your letter. But if you hear these descriptions and it sounds more pit bullish, the cobra is more dangerous as you're leaving. But if you can get away safely, he's just going to find another victim. He wasn't focused on you so much as just having anyone in his environment be victimized. But pit bull is focused on you and how dare you leave him. And he will hunt you down. So it's very important to make sure that you're extra safe when you're dealing with that kind of situation. Especially since a lot of women sadly are lulled into a false sense of security when the pit bull says, “Yeah, fine, go ahead, take the kids and leave. I don't care.”
[00:31:13] You know, another thing is you said that you've got a red flag gone bad and that you fit every one of the red flags I mentioned on the jealousy show. One of the ones I mentioned was, having a special relationship with weapons, not only having a lot of weapons, but expressing your power and dominance in terms of weapons. If that's your guy, that's really, really dangerous. So I guess you know, Jordan, if you think we're ready, I guess we should just skip to, okay. Nuts and bolts. Where do you go now?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:42] Yes. What does she do right now to get out of this as safely as possible?
Duana Welch: [00:31:46] Okay. So you are going to need to consult with people who are more of a specialist than I am. I have helped people leave abusive relationships because I was a professor for 20 years and I had to deal with things like a woman who said her husband choked her dogs to death in front of her. That's why she wasn't making an A in my class. She had three children also. Husband choked the dogs to death in front of her. They were her pets and said, “You're next.” Okay. She knew she had to exit safely. We helped come up with a plan but let me tell you that plan did not just involve me, it involved abuse specialists and here's how you can find one of those for free. You can go to a shelter. You can use the books that are referenced on my website. It’s lovesciencemedia.com and I'm sure Jordan and Jason will post some of those as well. You can reference the columns that I've already written on this topic, which they're also going to post at the end of this and I definitely advise you to text the word CONNECT. Just that word, CONNECT to 741741. If you text the word CONNECT to 741741, you will reach the National Domestic Violence hotline in the United States and Canada and they will help you.
[00:33:03] Or you can call. If you call, it's 1-800-799-SAFE, 7233 is for safe. Seven two, three, three so that's 800-799-SAFE. Let these people help you. They will do a lot more than just say, “Girl, you got to leave.” I mean, you already know you've got to leave. By the way, just for anyone out there who thinks, “Oh yeah, yeah, right. This woman says she wants to leave, but she won't. They never do.” I want you to know we need to have a lot more respect than that for people who are in abusive situations in any given year, excuse me, any given two years, 2% of people leave their partners. In any given two years, if you're being domestically violated, if you're being domestically abused, that rate goes up to almost 30% so yeah, people do leave their abusers, but they have to do it in their own time, in their own way.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:54] How do we get in touch with these experts that could help us really help us plan out how to leave someone like this?
Duana Welch: [00:34:00] So really the best way is to call the National Domestic Violence hotline or to text them. And the phone number for National Domestic Violence hotline is 800-799-safe. If you would rather text, you can text the word CONNECT to 741741. If you want to read more about at first, like you, first of all, I don't advise bringing these books home obviously. I mean that in itself is dangerous. Some people feel it's dangerous to text or to call it. And it might be, I mean, one sign that you're with a pit bull is, have they low jacked your car? Do they monitor where you are through your phone? Can they actually read every text message you get?
[00:34:42] If so, you may have to create a pool of mad money from which you buy a separate phone that they don't know about before you can do this. There are a couple of really good resources for figuring out more about how to deal with abusive situations. If you want to read more, one that I highly recommend is a book by Gavin de Becker who is a survivor of abuse. His father was very abusive towards his mother and his book is called The Gift of Fear. It's an older book but it's spot on. Another one is called When Men Batter Women, which is by Jacobson and Gottman – Neil Jacobson and John Gottman. Another one is called, Why Does He Do That?: Inside The Minds of Angry and Controlling Men. That one is by Mr. Lundy Bancroft. I highly recommend all of those as sources if you're thinking about it, but you might want to just go and read it a chapter at a time in the library. If your library doesn't have it, they will get it for you.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:40] Duana, thank you so much. This is really helpful and really, really serious stuff, so please keep in touch with us, Red Flag Gone Bad and let us know what's going on here. We're all a little worried about you right now actually.
Duana Welch: [00:35:52] Absolutely. And I have high hopes because this person clearly is someone who is being careful, understands the importance of safety and is willing to take the time needed to make a plan.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:04] Thanks, Duana. All right, next up.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:36:07] Hi Jordan and Jason. I'm a 25-year-old gal who had crippling low self-esteem and I always had this suspicion that I have anxiety and depression. Not yet diagnosed though, but I'm going to a psychiatrist this weekend. Over the past two years, I've been working on myself immensely going from a gloomy, obese, self-loathing person to a now more confident, slimmer, and happier person. I'm very proud to see the change and this happened in large part. Thanks to you, guys. – Oh, great! -- But here's my next thing to overcome -- social media. My fears have always affected my digital life to the point where I don't even use it. It's difficult for me to even open Facebook. I get this cold sweat just looking at the inconsequential feed or whenever I see people tagging me on things I don't even like anymore. I feel that I've outgrown the majority of my friends and that I can't afford to waste more time wallowing and entertainment and feeling that everything is going to be okay. I just deactivated my Facebook account and felt this huge sense of relief. I still continue connecting with friends, bosses and coworkers through chat apps, but I know this is rather isolating, especially if I want to meet more people. How do you think I can go about this? First step on my list is LinkedIn, then building my portfolio website, but I'm not sure what more to do to get the confidence I need for social media. Would love to hear what you think of this. Love the show, Slowly Inching Forward Turtle.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:21] All right. Well, here's what I think, you don't need social media.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:37:27] Amen.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:28] At all. Deactivation of your Facebook was a good move. To me, this is a symptom of a larger problem though. There is a lack of confidence here so that we're going to have to figure out how to address, but you don't need social media constantly holding a mirror up to your perceived inadequacies. If you don't find social media useful, you don't need it. Even if you're in a business where like, “But I've got a market myself because I do web design.” Find another way to do that. Someone like me, I kind of don't have a choice but to do social media. Luckily, I enjoy it to a certain extent. I like Twitter, I answer all my messages there. I don't enjoy Facebook that much. I rarely log in. I like Instagram.
[00:38:09] It's a lot of fun. I answer all my messages there. So there's a lot of things that you can really do on social media if you want to brand yourself. None of them are obligatory, especially if what you're doing doesn't require you to be. Well, first of all, if what you're doing requires that in your line of work, you're in the wrong line of work if you don't want to do it, but nothing that you're doing right now seems to be something where you have to have social media. I think you're just better off without it. Work on yourself, judge yourself by your own standards. There's no reason to use something like social media to put yourself on a stage with social media itself, especially if you hate every second of it. That's just totally ridiculous. Don't believe anybody that tells you, “you need to have this”. Stick with LinkedIn or something like that so people can find you if they need you. Put an up-to-date resume there, put some of your work there for your portfolio and be done with it. All right, last but not least.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:04] Hey, Jordan and Jason. When making conversation, I tend to ramble and blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. I noticed that I do this when I'm feeling a little awkward, which happens all the time. Sometimes I walk away from conversations cringing at how awkward my responses were. Your advice would be very much appreciated. 20 Going on Blurty.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:23] Alright, okay. Well, I liked that one. Well, this to me sounds like a symptom of anxiety, which is fine. It's totally normal, it happens. This can be mixed with practice, exposure, therapy. I've got the Six-Minute Networking stuff, we'll talk about that in a second, but this is something that goes away with practice. My question is, does this happen with people who you're not awkward around? Are there certain contexts or types of people that you are awkward around? And that's what you need to answer. Honestly, most of this awkward stuff, totally forgettable. I do and say awkward stuff all the time and later when I ask friends or family if they were there about it, nobody even noticed or Jen noticed and she's like, “Yeah, it was kind of funny. You're just kind of awkward and said this weird thing.”
[00:40:12] Or maybe it was slightly out of character, but it's not notable in any other way. And that's the thing about anxiety. It's really self-important. In other words, anxiety has a way of making us think it's the most important frigging thing that's happening in our lives. And really nobody else gives a darn, nobody else cares. Nobody else can even tell. You might be overly self-critical regarding things that don't actually have any sort of real impact on the impression that you're really making. I would try to be more social with people with whom you do not feel awkward around so like cashiers, servers, things like that that you don't know. Talk more. Ask them more questions. Sit at a bar or restaurant on an off night. Even if you're just reading cause that's what you want to be doing. Chat with the bartender, chat with other patrons a little bit.
[00:41:00] This is just the beginning but it helps take the edge off the anxiety which is the root cause of this weird, awkward blurting and if there are other symptoms, grab a therapist even monthly to help a bit with this, but check out jordanharbinger.com/course. The Six-Minute Networking stuff is more relationship, outreach, networking. It's really, really baby steps. I created a set of over a dozen videos that have used a little bit baby steps that are like, do this today, do this today. This will help you through that. It's for professionals and it's actually not necessarily beginner advice, but it will work really well for you because it is a small chunk to in a way to get you to where you want to be and that's at jordanharbinger.com/course. Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week.
[00:41:49] Don't forget, you can email us firstname.lastname@example.org That'll get your questions answered on the air. We're happy to keep you anonymous, of course. A link to the show notes for this episode can be found at JordanHarbinger.com. Quick shout out to Athena and Marilyn Koutsonikolas. That's apparently how you pronounce that. Koutsonikolas. It’s a very Greek name and they listen to the show. [00:42:11][indiscernible] and I'll tell you off-air who that is, but they are big fans of the show and it's a lot of fun to hear from you. And a big shout out to American Dream University. It's a charity I work with to help veterans readjust to civilian life, get things moving for them, get things moving for their businesses. If you're looking for a good charity to support, check them out. AmericanDreamU.org. I'm on Instagram and Twitter @JordanHarbinger, great way to engage with me and the show. Jason, where can they find you?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:42:40] I'm on Instagram @JPD. Twitter is @jpdef and you can check out my other podcast, Grumpy Old Geeks. It comes out every Monday and we have a special guest this week, Mr. Jordan Harbinger. So if you want to go hear us, have a few, knock back a few and talk tech. That was a fun time.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:55] Yeah, that was really fun. I love that. Keep sending in those questions to email@example.com. Remember to try to keep them concise if you can, makes things a lot easier for us. In the meantime, share the show with those you love and even those you don't. Got a lot more like this in the pipeline, we're very excited to get that out to you. So until then, 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.
[00:43:21] Hey, if you like my show, check out No Excuses with Jon Taffer. Shot it down and listen to John. the award winning hospitality legend as he brings his straight talk and unapologetic approach to daily topics and current events. You don't want to miss his latest interview with Adam Corolla, for example. So download No Excuses every Tuesday on PodcastOne. PodcastOne.com and Apple podcasts. Also remember to rate and review.
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