You’re a straight man who was sexually assaulted by another man when you were just 21 years old, and it’s haunted you ever since. Additionally, you bear the burden alone because you’ve never been able to tell your wife about this traumatic experience. What can you do to make this right after all this time? We’ll try to help 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:
- As a straight man, you were sexually assaulted by another man at 21 and have never told your wife. The experience has been haunting you. What should you do?
- Written accuracy is a crucial part of your job, but you seem to make typos and mistakes no matter how hard you try. How can you improve your attention to detail while coping with the anxiety and insecurity that come with being criticized for your slip-ups?
- You work hard to secure your children’s future, not so your in-laws can hobnob at the country club and drink wine they can’t afford — so their failure to repay the $20,000 you loaned them is making you resentful. What do you do now?
- Is it worth reaching out to the “friends” who know about how your charming ex used to physically abuse you but went on vacation with him anyway? Or should you just write them all off and look for newer, better friends?
- You’re a human resources management major who aspires to become a job recruiter. The irony: you can’t seem to get yourself a job in spite of doing well in mock interviews. How do you get better at selling yourself to potential employers?
- 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!
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Miss our conversation with Google’s Eric Schmidt? Catch up by listening to episode 201: Eric Schmidt | How a Coach Can Bring out the Best in You here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Laowhy86 | China Uprising | Out of the Loop | Jordan Harbinger
- Nick Bilton | Hunting the Dark Web’s Silk Road Kingpin | Jordan Harbinger
- Date Rape | Sublime
- What Exactly is Arousal Non-Concordance? | Biird
- Male Victims | National Alliance to End Sexual Violence
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: Confidential 24/7 Support | RAINN
- Male Survivors | Fredonia State University
- Resources for Survivors | MenHealing
- Male Sexual Assault & Abuse Support for Men | MaleSurvivor
- Men & Boys | HAVIN: Helping All Victims In Need
- Looking Back on the Worst Chapter of My Life, Four Years On | Jordan Harbinger
- Grammarly (20% Off Here!)
- Ride Wit Me ft. St. Lunatics | Nelly
- Debts and Deceased Relatives | FTC Consumer Advice
- Award-Winning Wine | Firstleaf
- Her Spouse Raped You. Can Friendship Stay True? | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
765: Fella Fretting from Furtive Front Seat Fellatio | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Jordan here. This episode contains adult themes. No kids in the car for this one.
[00:00:08] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I am your host, Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, my sidekick in salvation, Gabriel Mizrahi. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. 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, sometimes even inside your own brain.
[00:00:41] 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 really amazing folks, from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, and performers. This week we had another Out of the Loop episode on the China protest, the China uprising. Not sure what to call it yet, featuring Laowhy86, former show guest. We also had my friend journalist Nick Bilton on the dark web, namely the Silk Road. You remember that, Gabriel? That OG, dark web, website, the Silk Road where you could buy it like—
[00:01:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh yeah.
[00:01:12] Jordan Harbinger: —drugs and weapons. And apparently, you could even get hitman on there, which turned out to be kind of the downfall of the founder.
[00:01:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Last time, I order hitman online.
[00:01:21] Jordan Harbinger: Yep.
[00:01:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's the last time I'm doing that.
[00:01:22] Jordan Harbinger: I hear you. This is one from the vault, a fascinating story that really stands the test of time in my opinion, so make sure you've had to listen to the feed this week.
[00:01:29] As always, we've got some fun questions and we also have some crazy doozies, so I can't wait to dive in. Gabe, but what is the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:01:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Just a heads up. This first one is a little intense and a little graphic, so keep that in mind.
[00:01:43] Hi, Jordan and Gabe. Eight years ago, when I was 21, I was walking home shirtless, shoeless, and phoneless at two in the morning when a man in a gold Honda Civic offered me a ride. I had about three miles left to walk. I am too trusting and I had been drinking in case that wasn't obvious. Everything starts out normal. He's telling me about his kids. I thank him for saving me, stuff like that. I guess since he had a family, I felt safe and nodded off. My next memory is hearing the doors lock and opening my eyes to find that we're in an empty parking lot. By the time I look over at him, he's already pulling my penis out of the side of my athletic shorts.
[00:02:22] Jordan Harbinger: Whoa.
[00:02:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: And shoves it in his mouth. I completely froze. I was confused and terrified. Somehow I got an erection. I remember thinking the faster the better. So I closed my eyes, tried not to feel a stubble and thought about something else.
[00:02:37] Jordan Harbinger: Ugh.
[00:02:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Afterward he put his hands behind his head, leans back and says, "My turn."
[00:02:42] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man.
[00:02:44] Soundbite: That's when things got out of control. [Date Rape by Sublime]
[00:02:48] Jordan Harbinger: Sorry, but this poor kid, man.
[00:02:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, man, this poor dude. Yeah.
[00:02:52] I unlocked the car and full-on sprinted for what felt like a mile before hiding behind a dumpster. Then I walked home and decided I would just pretend it never happened until now. For a while, this event made me question my sexuality. I mean, I was able to finish pretty quickly, but I'm over that now. I wouldn't care if I were gay. I'm just not. The thing that I'm ashamed of is what a wimp I was. The guy was smaller than me, obviously, a creep, and in the wrong, and I didn't stop him or hit him. I just ran. This event now creeps into my life in the weirdest ways. A stranger on a train will bear a vague resemblance to the guy in the car, and my wife will ask me why I was so angry at him. Once or twice a year, the memories will hit me while I'm trying to fall asleep and I'll ask my wife if we can sleep with the TV on. The reason I haven't told my wife what happened is not that I think she'll judge me, it's that we really don't keep secrets like this from each other. None of my married friends are as open and honest with their spouses, or frankly love their spouses as much as I do. I'm terrified of the pain that I've caused by keeping this from her, and part of me thinks it's too late. What should I do? Signed, The Hiding Hitchhiker.
[00:04:03] Jordan Harbinger: This is a really strange and intense story.
[00:04:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:04:06] Jordan Harbinger: In a moment of real vulnerability, you were assaulted, let's call it what it was. This guy took advantage of the situation and assaulted you while you were asleep, and yeah, that's obviously left a mark on you, and it's created this painful secret inside your marriage. I can only imagine how upsetting and isolating that must be, and I'm just, I'm so sorry that this happened to you, man.
[00:04:28] These symptoms that you're describing — remembering the night in such vivid detail, getting angry when you see people who look like this assailant, replaying the memories on a loop, needing a distraction — I think these are pretty textbook trauma symptoms.
[00:04:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:04:42] Jordan Harbinger: And that makes sense because what you went through, it was traumatic. Of course, this night has stuck with you. It's probably been really hard to live with on your own. And I just want to thank you for opening up to us and asking for help. I know that that's not easy, but it is really important.
[00:04:57] It's interesting, Gabe. We've taken a lot of questions over the years from people who have been assaulted and—
[00:05:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:05:02] Jordan Harbinger: They've mostly, if not all, been women, right?
[00:05:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:05:04] Jordan Harbinger: And now we're hearing from a guy who's been through something that women tragically experience more often.
[00:05:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:05:10] Jordan Harbinger: And it's just, I don't know, fascinating is quite the right word, but it is a fascinating reminder that men get victimized too.
[00:05:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Good point.
[00:05:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I do think the psychology of male victims because there's this identity at play. Like, "I'm a man and this is how men behave when they're attacked."
[00:05:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:05:25] Jordan Harbinger: That can sometimes make it even harder to process a story like this because there's so much shame attached to being scared or powerless. And this happens for women who are victims too, of course, but sometimes, I think this particular element of it is more pronounced in men given gender identity and the way we're socialized from a young age.
[00:05:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:05:45] Jordan Harbinger: Ultimately, I think it's about acknowledging that men can be vulnerable and it can be hard for some people to think of men as victims and then still think of them as men, which is just, well, it's incredibly sad. It really is.
[00:05:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: It is. Yeah. It is very sad. And I think that might be happening to some degree with our friend here too, right? Like, he's going, "Why didn't I stop this guy? Why didn't I hit him? You know, he was smaller than me. I could have overpowered him. I'm a wimp." He sounds, yeah, he's ashamed about that.
[00:06:11] Jordan Harbinger: Right. It sounds like he's really judging himself for how he reacted, and he is wondering if maybe there's some other meaning or implication behind that reaction or lack thereof.
[00:06:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Even the way, he talks about what led him there, right? "I'm too trusting. I was drinking. I felt safe." I completely understand why he might be pointing the finger at himself a little bit, but all of that could have happened and a normal person would not have assaulted him. Yes, he put himself in a precarious position with a stranger he didn't know, but he had no reason to believe it was precarious. And now, he's judging himself for what happened to some degree.
[00:06:44] Jordan Harbinger: Right. But look, here's the thing, he was in full-on survival mode. That was all about—
[00:06:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:06:49] Jordan Harbinger: —making it out of this horrible situation alive. When you're threatened or attacked, your conscious brain often goes offline. Your primal evolutionary survival instincts kick in. And that response looks different for different people. It doesn't say anything about your character or your personality. You're not a wimp for freezing and then running away. Your body wasn't trying to make your ego feel more secure, it was trying to live another day.
[00:07:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:07:14] Jordan Harbinger: And I think a lot of guys have these fantasies of like how they're going to turn into Jason Statham when they're in a situation like that. I'm going to rise to the level of my expectations, but it's all nonsense. It's all nonsense until you're there. You can't judge yourself for doing what you needed to do to survive. I think that's really important to remember here. Although I absolutely understand why the sexual arousal piece of this is so confusing. The fact that you finished quickly even though you're straight and you didn't want this. I mean, that's complicated.
[00:07:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: It is complicated. And in another way, it's not complicated because based on what I've read, this is actually a very common phenomenon. Being aroused, maybe even sometimes experiencing pleasure when you're not mentally and emotionally engaged in what's happening. There's actually a term for that. It's called arousal non-concordance, which is basically when your physiological arousal and your psychological arousal are mismatched.
[00:08:06] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:08:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: So the mind is going, you know, afraid, violating, gross, and the body is just responding to the stimulus because it's relevant. It's what's happening. It's just being stimulated. It's being activated. They don't always align those two systems. And that can also cause a lot of shame and confusion for victims of sexual assault.
[00:08:25] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Because they're going, "Well, if I didn't want it, why was I turned on? Why was I able to finish or whatever?" But it's like, no, that wasn't you. That's your system. It's a physical reaction. It was just neurons and neurotransmitters and you know, some fast twitch muscles, I guess. I don't know.
[00:08:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, exactly right. So finishing quickly, that has nothing to do with your sexuality or your identity, it just means that these two systems were working simultaneously and yeah, as the term explains, non-concordantly, again, just like the fight, flight, freeze thing, not a reflection of you.
[00:08:57] Jordan Harbinger: That does make a lot of sense. It sounds like he's not too phased by the "maybe I'm gay" thing. He doesn't have any conflict around his sexuality. It's the way he reacted that's creating the most shame.
[00:09:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm. Right.
[00:09:08] Jordan Harbinger: What we need to figure out here is what does he do with all of this?
[00:09:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think he needs to start talking about it.
[00:09:16] Jordan Harbinger: Well, yeah, with his wife, right?
[00:09:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, it's up to him whether to disclose the assault and when he doesn't have to, and he doesn't have to do it on any particular timeline. Certainly, not with people who aren't people he trusts, people he feels safe with, but it sounds to me like his wife is safe.
[00:09:29] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:09:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: They love each other a lot. They don't hide things from each other. So except for this, which is very interesting. So it sounds like she is the right person to share this with, but only when he is ready because clearly, the shame is making that very difficult. He's not just caring the shame of what happened to him. Now, he's carrying the shame of not telling her what happened and feeling like he's lying and dishonoring this really special relationship they have.
[00:09:54] Jordan Harbinger: Of course, but the longer this goes on, the more distress he's going to experience, the worse the secret's going to get, the more shame he's going to feel.
[00:10:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:10:02] Jordan Harbinger: If this were me, as hard as it is, the first person I'm telling is my wife.
[00:10:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, right. But look, you might have some stuff to work through before you can do that, so I would strongly consider talking to a therapist about this. Process what happened to you. Explore the shame. Work through this resistance about opening up about it, and then you'll be better equipped to share this with your wife. And look, if it's still hard to tell her, then maybe you invite your wife into session with you and you have your therapist guide the conversation, which is totally legitimate. That could be really helpful because based on what you shared with us, I do think telling your wife will probably go a lot better than you think it will. I think she's probably going to understand that you held onto this for so long because it was just so difficult and painful. And finally opening up about it that is going to bring you so much relief, maybe even more than you realize.
[00:10:51] Jordan Harbinger: Could not agree more. Plus, if you're going to start therapy, it might be necessary for her to know so she can be a source of support for you through all this. You don't want to hide therapy from your wife either. It's just it. It's going to compound.
[00:11:01] Also, in addition to therapy, we're going to share some really terrific resources for male victims of sexual assault in the show notes, articles, support groups, all of that. I highly recommend checking them out. Yeah, it's going to be a great starting point for you. Again, I am so sorry this happened to you. I know that this is a life-defining thing in many ways. It's horrible, but it doesn't have to paralyze you, and it definitely doesn't have to isolate you. You're blessed to have an amazing friend and partner to turn to and a world of resources ready to help. If you start talking about this and you start sorting through it and learning how to process all these feelings, I know you're going to find a ton of relief and probably an even deeper relationship with your wife. Wishing you the best man, sending you a big hug.
[00:11:46] Gabe, I got to say this is a really painful experience to go through.
[00:11:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:11:49] Jordan Harbinger: It's got to just be so hard. I mean, you can tell that he's just reliving it when he says, "tried not to feel a stubble," because that's such a graphic—
[00:11:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ugh.
[00:11:57] Jordan Harbinger: —thing, right?
[00:11:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:11:57] Jordan Harbinger: And I just feel so bad for him. My heart really goes out to this guy. But you know, one weird upside of having terrible stuff happen to you is that it opens up your ability to understand and have compassion for other victims of similar things.
[00:12:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:12:11] Jordan Harbinger: I know that that's cold comfort, but this can actually be a gift eventually if you choose to frame it that way.
[00:12:18] I know it's not the same as this guy's story, but you know, when our business broke up five-plus years ago and we had to start the show over, I now have a really keen sense of empathy, sympathy, whatever you want to call it. I can really relate to people who are going through tough things. I was talking to somebody recently, their business got jacked by business partners and I was like, "Oh, I can really relate." And they're like, "Oh yeah, thanks." I'm like, "No, no, no, no, I really can. And here's how it went for me." And they wrote me a really nice letter and they sent me a card with a gift because of the things that I'd shared. And they're like, "This made us feel so much better about our situation."
[00:12:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:12:54] Jordan Harbinger: And I was kind of shocked because this is like an Instagram DM conversation with somebody I've never talked to in my life who didn't even listen to the show, but was introduced by a friend who did. It was just their business had gotten stolen by a partner. And I was like, "Hey look, I know this is like cold comfort, but it's the best thing that ever happened to you. When people told me that I wanted to punch them in the face, look at me now." And they were like, "Wait, everybody's been saying this, but we know no one that's gone through this, so we just figured it was sort of this kind of cliche nonsense." And I'm like, "It is, but also, here's how I dealt with it and here's how I started to feel better." And it just changed their entire perception of what was going on.
[00:13:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally.
[00:13:29] Jordan Harbinger: And it was enough that they sent me, they mailed me a gift. I mean, you don't do that when somebody just sends you a nice letter that makes you think for a second. It's a husband-and-wife team. So that was really something that I thought, wow, this delivered a lot of value to these people, right? I wouldn't go through it again. But it opens up your ability to feel and relate to different people with different things. And, so in a way, you can frame this as a gift.
[00:13:49] Again, I wouldn't recommend getting assaulted by a dude in a parking lot, of course. But I think now when this guy meets somebody else, man or woman that's had some sort of violating experience, he's really going to be like, "Hey, I see you in a way that I almost wish I didn't." Phew.
[00:14:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's one of the experiences on the other side of him processing this—
[00:14:08] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:14:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: —the right way.
[00:14:08] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly.
[00:14:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: So, well, that's get to doing that. Yep. And there's a whole world of feeling and relating that's possible. I agree.
[00:14:15] Jordan Harbinger: You know, who won't do a tasteless ad pivot about something as traumatic as the story we just heard? The amazing sponsors that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:14:27] This episode is sponsored in part by TheFire.org. Do you know that only one in three Americans believe we can fully exercise our free speech rights? That's why Fire is stepping up to protect freedom of expression for all Americans. No matter where you're from or what you believe. The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression or Fire knows free speech makes free people. Fire will always be a principled, nonpartisan, non-profit defender of your rights. Join the fight for free speech at www.thefire.org.
[00:14:58] This episode is also sponsored by Better Help online therapy. Having somebody to talk to about how you're feeling and what you can do about it is truly a gift. As a business owner, I'm often under high stress. Believe it or not, I don't just talk into a microphone all day. There are so many benefits to having a therapist and somebody who you can talk to who's not related to you or hanging out with you at the time. Even if you're not experiencing any specific mental health conditions or serious problems, mental health counseling can be a useful tool to improve communication skills, reduce stress, set healthy boundaries, deal with trauma, all that stuff. Better Help online therapy is a great option because you can access mental healthcare from the comfort of your own home without worrying about office visits. And plus, if you have a hectic schedule, online counseling gives you a plethora of options.
[00:15:43] Jen Harbinger: As the world's largest therapy service, Better Help has matched three million people with professionally licensed and vetted therapists, 100 percent online. Plus, it's affordable. Just fill out a brief questionnaire to match with a therapist, and if things aren't clicking, you can easily switch to a new therapist anytime. It couldn't be simpler. No waiting rooms, no traffic, no endless searching for the right therapist. Learn more and save 10 percent off your first month at betterhelp.com/jordan. That's better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan.
[00:16:18] Jordan Harbinger: Thank you so much for listening. Thank you for supporting the show, and thank you for supporting our sponsors. All of those deals and discount codes and URLs, they're all in one place, jordanharbinger.com/deals. It's a very searchable place. It works on your phone. You can also search for the sponsors using the search box on the website as well. So hey, please consider supporting those who make this show possible.
[00:16:39] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:16:41] Okay, next up.
[00:16:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. Two years ago, I began practice as a lawyer at a big law firm. After a year, I was offered a great role with another firm, which was an exciting opportunity, but things quickly turned south. A partner there was highly critical of my writing, constantly criticizing emails and pointing out every error I made. He regularly called me out for being, quote-unquote, "inattentive," and, quote, "substantially below the standard one would expect of someone with your experience," unquote. He even suggested that I was in the wrong profession and that I should quit while also saying that he would protect me if I, quote-unquote, "gave him everything."
[00:17:20] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:17:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: The situation was highly toxic. Unfortunately, his reviews of my performance were the only ones I received, so the firm eventually asked me to leave. Four months on, I'm now with another firm, and yet to reach the end of my probation period. The thing is, whenever I'm given any feedback, particularly related to attention to detail, my hair goes up and I worry that I'm at risk of a repeat. For example, last month, a partner encouraged me to work on my attention to detail after he fixed a fair few typos in a document where I had missed two periods and an A. I've been working incredibly hard to reduce the number of errors I make, but no matter how hard I try, I invariably miss some obvious things. And when I'm called out for them, I can't help but feel stupid. He said it wasn't a big deal, but I can't help but feel it's affected his view of me. Do you have any recommendations on how to make fewer typos and mistakes at work, or better yet, how to make peace with making them without losing your job? Signed, Hanging On When You're Slipping Up.
[00:18:21] Jordan Harbinger: This is a really good question and I feel for you, man. It's so tough to be called out for mistakes, especially by lawyers who we are not exactly the gentlest people, I would say generally speaking. That partner at your last — by the way, this is typical big law BS too. I know people that have had books thrown at them, people who've been dressed down significantly for minor crap just because everyone is running in the red. And also I think there's a fair bit of sociopaths at firms like this, but that partner at your last firm, just a typical piece of work, kind of a piece of crap guy, cutting you down from making mistakes as a lawyer with like it sounds like one year of experience under your belt and then turning around, turning around and saying he'd protect you if you gave him everything that—
[00:19:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:19:06] Jordan Harbinger: What the hell?
[00:19:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay, Michael Clayton, what's going on here?
[00:19:10] Jordan Harbinger: Seriously though, again, classic, big law nonsense.
[00:19:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:19:14] Jordan Harbinger: It sounds like that guy was a nightmare and I understand why his criticism shook you up. That whole relationship did probably, it really sounds like he was trying to abuse you into being loyal to him specifically, which is just again, sociopath vibes. Who dresses someone down and is like, "But I can make this all go away if you just become mine"? Like, what's that movie? Devil's Advocate, right? Where—
[00:19:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:19:38] Jordan Harbinger: —the firm actually is run by Satan. That's kind of like this abusive narcissist stuff. That said, it sounds like your new firm is a lot cooler than the last one. So in all likelihood, you won't be fired for this. But I also don't think it's the worst thing in the world for you to feel some healthy pressure to get better here.
[00:19:54] So my advice, I would lean hard into this note, even if it isn't very pleasant, and just make it your top priority to nip this type of problem in the bud. I know you're already doing that, but it's still happening, which means you still have some work to do here. So maybe get up an hour earlier or stay an hour later. You carve out some time to slowly read your contracts three, four, or five times before you send them in. Maybe you write down your most common mistakes and you turn them into a standard checklist for yourself and you review your deliverables, looking for those mistakes specifically until you know for sure that they are not there.
[00:20:31] I would also download an advanced spell check app or plugin, and I would run that before you submit any document. I'm a big fan of Grammarly. They are a sponsor of the show. I've asked them to sponsor the show. You can get 20 percent off Premium at grammarly.com/jordan. You're going to have to check your firm's policies about confidentiality, security. You often can't just install whatever software you want on your work computer for obvious reasons, but Grammarly will often go through and find things that look weird. It's not just a spell checker, it's got a lot more than that. Again, grammarly.com/jordan.
[00:21:03] And hey, as a last resort, you could even ask one of your peers to give your deliverables a once over, and you just offer to do the same thing for them. And that could be a nice way to get some more practice too. Whatever you have to do to start catching these mistakes has got to happen. So no, I wouldn't make peace with them, not yet anyway, not until you're a senior associate or a partner and you're allowed to make typos because you're too busy and you have 25 workaholics under you, catching all these mistakes for you.
[00:21:30] What I would make peace with is the fact that you have some work to do to get better, and that's okay. I would give yourself just a little bit of grace as you level up, have a little more faith that your colleagues will give you some time to improve and then work your butt off to prove to them that you can.
[00:21:46] If you do that, I think your anxiety about being let go, it's going to start to ratchet down because you're going to be channeling that anxiety into the only thing that you can control, which is fixing the problem. Plus, you'll start to see some real progress and that's going to build your confidence in a real way and that's going to be very validating.
[00:22:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally agree, Jordan. It's so funny reading this letter I was having flashbacks to when I worked in consulting after college, and I remember feeling the exact same way a few times. In my last few years at that job, I did actually become pretty good at it. I was like managing projects on my own and stuff like that, but for the first year, year and a half, I was kind of a disaster as an employee.
[00:22:27] In fact, oh, man, so there was this senior manager on the project who was just, honestly, probably top five worst people I've ever met.
[00:22:35] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, man.
[00:22:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: She looked like just if like Wednesday Adams grew up and went to Wharton, is just like how that's like the image in my head. Barely shook my hand the first time we met. Refused to look me in the eye weirdly. And then, I had this direct manager, this other woman, zero sense of humor. We just did not vibe. And even though I was perfectly capable of the job, I just could not get my sh*t together on this project because I knew these people didn't like me very much and I didn't like them.
[00:23:03] And so when they gave me notes, yeah, it really stung, but I didn't really know what to do with them because they gave them in such a terrible way and I wasn't motivated to work on them because I didn't feel loyal to them and I didn't like them. Which is kind of a classic, you know, 21, 22, 23-year-old framework to like view the world through. But that's where I was. So basically, for three months or more, I was basically the worst analyst they've ever had.
[00:23:26] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:23:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: And I was constantly paranoid that they were going to have me fired. That's how bad it was. And in fact, nine months later, when I got my review, I found out that they almost did fire me. And yeah, that's a really awful feeling. But you know, you grow up, you get more experience, you learn how to separate the message from the messenger more. And I think that's part of what this guy needs to do to separate this legitimate feedback from this toxic partner so he can just focus on getting better at his job.
[00:23:56] And also to separate his experience at his last firm from what's happening at this new firm, because there's very little evidence that things are going to go down exactly the same way they did at the last place. You know, if anything, him constantly worrying that it will, that he might get fired, that might actually make it more likely that they won't have his back.
[00:24:15] Jordan Harbinger: You know, that's a great point. This can become a self-fulfilling prophecy sometimes, because if he freaks out whenever somebody gives him feedback, because he's low-key, traumatized by his last boss, his new bosses might look at him and think, "Wow, that guy really struggles with criticism. He seems really stressed. His energy's off. He's not a good fit here, whatever it is."
[00:24:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Right.
[00:24:33] Jordan Harbinger: But if he leans into this note and he goes above and beyond in fixing the problem, they're going to look at him and go, "Yeah, he has some work to do, but man, this guy is dedicated. He's passionate. He's not hiding the ball. I literally see him getting better. I like that guy."
[00:24:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally. It's not perfection that earns people's loyalty. I think it's the admitting you're not perfect and being willing to accept that, and then striving for it.
[00:24:53] Jordan Harbinger: Unless you're that lawyer at the past firm, in which case, complete servitude is how you—
[00:24:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally. That's a different thing. Yeah.
[00:24:59] Jordan Harbinger: But yeah, well said. Interesting paradox here. I do hope that this helps. I think a good principle to come back to is if a piece of feedback wounds you or sets you off, there's a kernel of truth to it sometimes. And your best bet is to sit with it, come up with a plan, and then put in the work to address it. Because ultimately that's the only thing you can do and that's the only productive use of this anxiety that you feel. So if you do that, this whole situation is going to look very different in a few months. And good luck.
[00:25:31] You can reach us email@example.com. Please keep your emails concise. Try to use a descriptive subject line that makes our job a hell of a lot easier. If there's something you're going through, any big decision you're wrestling with, or you want a new perspective on life, love, work. What to do if the government stole your sibling at birth and you still can't find him? Such an intense story from last week, Gabe, really just a nightmare fuel.
[00:25:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
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[00:26:03] Okay, next up.
[00:26:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, my husband and I have been married for seven years and have two awesome young kids. He's a great dad and husband, smart, funny, dedicated, loving. His parents also embody a lot of the traits that make me love him. They're kind, they're generous. They prioritize family, and we have a good relationship. They're also incredibly irresponsible financially and very non-confrontational.
[00:26:29] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, man.
[00:26:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: We recently loaned them $20,000 as a bridge to cover a bunch of expenses. My husband made it very clear to his father that this was a loan, and his dad agreed to pay it back in a month. That was five months ago. Every time he brings it up, they make excuses and insist they'll pay it back. We've since realized that they're living far outside their means and are unwilling to confront the reality of their situation or make meaningful changes to improve their circumstances. My husband and I are both very lucky as well as hardworking. I grew up without a lot of money and I've been working since I was 15, and we make good salaries, which means we don't need the money back immediately. That said, I feel super resentful that the money we've worked hard to make is going to fund their irresponsible lifestyle while my in-laws retired early and don't work respectively.
[00:27:19] Soundbite: Hey, must be the money. [Ride wit Me by Nelly]
[00:27:22] Jordan Harbinger: You know, I had to have one soundbite here in the show.
[00:27:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Nelly always takes me back to high school. It's like early two 2000s.
[00:27:28] Jordan Harbinger: Jumping on a couch in my apartment and then breaking the couch, and then telling my landlord that the couch broke, and then them replacing the couch with a couch that was in the basement that we caught homeless people sleeping on numerous occasions. So karma really bit us in the ass on that one.
[00:27:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Just a perfect visual memory.
[00:27:46] Jordan Harbinger: Yep.
[00:27:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: My work now is to create freedom and opportunity for my children's future. Not so that my in-laws can continue being avoidant and joining golf clubs and wine clubs that they can't afford. But I don't want to strain our relationship or stress my husband out more. He's so embarrassed by the situation, and I feel guilty continuing to bring it up. What should I do? What's my role here? What's appropriate action? And how can I encourage my in-laws to take responsibility without being condescending or miserly? Or should I just let it go? Signed, Be in a Better to These Debtors or Feather These Beggars Before They Lose All Their Cheddar.
[00:28:28] Jordan Harbinger: So, just so you know, Gabe's practicing for his upcoming slam poetry performance. That's what this is, uh, at least I hope so.
[00:28:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm really not. You know, some weeks are just like hits and I just, I go a little bit crazy.
[00:28:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:28:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's what happened.
[00:28:41] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I believe you.
[00:28:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. It's all for you. There's no performance.
[00:28:43] Jordan Harbinger: It's true. All right. Okay. This is a scary situation. I appreciate how thoughtful you're being about everyone involved, and it's a relief that you guys don't absolutely need the money back immediately. That's a testament to your and your husband's hard work. But you guys loaned this money to your in-laws five months ago, and the terms of the loan were obviously very clear, and they're not honoring that favor or being responsible parents by hanging onto this debt and burying their head in the sand/making it worse.
[00:29:12] So here's what you need to do. First, you need to get together with your husband and help him understand why this is weighing on you, and then make a plan to talk to his parents about repaying you guys. Now, this is not being miserly, in my opinion. This is just being fair. This is being responsible. They came to you guys for help. They hid the reality of their financial situation from you, or maybe you guys overlooked it somewhat and they agreed to pay you back.
[00:29:39] Now, there's something hanging between you, 20 grand and a bunch of broken promises and hey, the money aside, this kind of thing can really infect an entire family relationship. Since these are his parents, by the way, your husband should probably be the one to talk to them at first anyway, and I would help him come up with a script/talking points for that conversation. I mean, it's pretty straightforward. "You need to pay us back. It's time," but you might want to massage that a little, but you might want to help him also articulate why this is important, how they can repay the loan maybe in installments over a period of time or something like that. And most importantly, how they ended up here.
[00:30:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Absolutely. That is actually the real problem here. Their financial situation, right? The loan is like a footnote to that.
[00:30:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. They're living beyond their means, plain and simple, which means not only can they not pay you back, they're only digging themselves into a deeper hole and they're probably creating even more problems for you guys down the line. I mean, what happens if they need to be bailed out in a couple of years for 80, 100, 200 grand? Do they only borrow money from you? Do they have credit card debt? What do they do if they lose their home or they declare bankruptcy? What happens when they die and their debts are passed down to the estate? If there is an estate and you guys might be on the hook somewhat to pay it off. I mean, this is a real issue. So, yes, you guys need to work with your in-laws on repaying the loan, but I think what you really need to do is help them get on top of their whole financial situation.
[00:31:12] And I know you already know that. I'm sure your husband loses sleep over this, but I get the sense that everyone here is avoiding the elephant in the room, but the cost of avoiding this any longer, frankly, it could be dangerous. In fact, it might already be pretty dire since you didn't even know the extent of their money problems until recently. So when you talk to your husband, maybe you can also talk through some ways for him to approach his parents about this as non-confrontationally and as supportively as possible. Maybe your husband says something like, Listen, I want you guys to have a good life. I want you guys to be happy. I'm not trying to be a buzzkill here, but the way things are going is unsustainable. It's reckless, it's unfair to us. We got to sort out this money thing and I'm going to help you do that. We're going to do it together." Something like that. I would just try to take charge without making them feel shamed or dominated.
[00:32:03] And then come up with some concrete next steps, looking at their bank accounts, their income, their expenses, their credit cards, all of that, figuring out how much money they need to live, where that money is coming from. And I would definitely explore ways to cut back. Look, the golf club and the wine club, the obvious extravagances, those are no-brainers. You can't be blowing your freaking social security check on $90 bottles of Sangiovese when your bank account is empty. Although they might put up a fight about that, depends how much they like that. I mean, rosé drives people crazy, people. I don't understand. But that fight, that's part of this conversation. That's probably a fight that needs to happen, frankly. It's been a long time coming.
[00:32:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: I could not agree more. I think her in-laws are just struggling financially. In a way, they're kind of crying out for help. The bridge loan might have been a way to say, "Hey, we're in trouble. We need someone to intervene. We just don't know how to say that."
[00:32:58] Jordan Harbinger: Right. They just don't know how to ask for help directly, because that's hard for them.
[00:33:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:33:02] Jordan Harbinger: It's probably scary and shameful to admit that they're actually in trouble.
[00:33:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm sure it is. It's not a fun thing to confront. So if they resist you and your husband's efforts to step in and save them a little bit, then my recommendation is don't back down. You know, be respectful but be firm. If they say, "Look, we got it under control. We don't need you guys to come in and tell us how to live." I would say, "Okay, I hear you, but just explain to me how this is going to work. You know, I want to understand." Or if they say, "Calm down, we're fine. We have enough money." I would say, "Okay, show me. Where's it coming from? How long is it going to last when you're not working? What's the plan for 10, 15, 20 years down the line? Like, what are our options?"
[00:33:41] And if they totally shut down and they reject your help, which they might, then I would tell them, "You know, I see that you guys aren't ready to have this conversation. I know this is unpleasant, but the way you're behaving is putting all four of us in a terrible position. It's only going to get harder from here. And we are going to talk about this when you're ready." And then you guys have to circle back in a few weeks and try again until they let you in and make some changes. This doesn't need to be an all-out fight. You guys can be strong and supportive without being condescending, but in my view, this is a real come-to-Jesus moment.
[00:34:15] Jordan Harbinger: Definitely they all need to come to terms with the reality of this situation.
[00:34:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:34:19] Jordan Harbinger: Or things are just going to get real ugly. And I don't mean to alarm them, I just think time is still on their side.
[00:34:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:34:26] Jordan Harbinger: And I want them to jump on this before it becomes a true nightmare. And you see just huge bills starting to pile up or worse.
[00:34:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: For sure. I also just want to say, I know you don't want to strain your relationship or stress your husband out, but I think this is a necessary stress. This is part of life and I wonder if maybe your guilt about bringing this up might also be hooking into his avoidance, or it might even be a form of avoidance itself because it gives you a reason to not press the issue.
[00:34:54] Jordan Harbinger: But she has nothing to feel guilty about. They owe them this money. They desperately need help. She and her husband are freaking doing them a favor.
[00:35:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree. Which is why it's so interesting that she feels guilty for being the responsible one here. In an avoidant family or in a highly sensitive family, sometimes the one person who's like, "Uh, no, we're going to talk about this. We're going to have the hard conversation," that person feels guilty because they provoke everyone else, but that doesn't mean she's wrong.
[00:35:21] So I would also explore where that guilt is actually coming from, what purpose it might be serving here, and whether it should really stop you from intervening now while you still can. And also I just have to say on a very practical level, I would not lend them any more money. I mean, I know that's hard if they're your parents and if they're in a tight spot, but I wouldn't lend them money until you really help them get their finances in order. Because at that point, yeah, you could just be throwing good money after bad.
[00:35:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. They need to fix the underlying problem. So get to talking, dig into this, and I hope your in-laws actually let you guys in. There's an iceberg up ahead, but I'm confident you can avoid it with good communication, collaboration, and some basic planning. And you know, maybe a membership to a freaking public golf course — subscription of Firstleaf, the Revolutionary Wine Club that delivers award-winning wines directly to your door based on your taste, schedule, and budget. Just go to tryfirstleaf.com/jordan. I mean, hey, no, $90 bottles of Sangiovese over here.
[00:36:16] And you know what, Gabe? I couldn't sleep at night owing somebody 20 grand, my kid, no less, and then being like, "I'm going to go to the golf club and get a $50 breakfast.
[00:36:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I'm going to go pound some balls.
[00:36:28] Jordan Harbinger: The nerve, the audacity of these people, for real.
[00:36:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, man.
[00:36:31] Jordan Harbinger: Geez. Again, that's tryfirstleaf.com/jordan.
[00:36:36] So good luck with that conversation.
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[00:41:12] Now, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:41:14] Okay, what's next?
[00:41:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, about a year and a half ago, I broke up with my boyfriend of three years. The final straw for me was a burning man, where I spent a week babysitting him while he threw up, lied, and pissed in my suitcase and the fridge.
[00:41:29] Jordan Harbinger: Wait. Okay. So, okay, he threw up. Got it. Lied. Got it.
[00:41:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Makes sense.
[00:41:34] Jordan Harbinger: Who pisses in a suitcase?
[00:41:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:41:37] Jordan Harbinger: And a refrigerator? Also, how do you even get your pee into the fridge without it just dripping back out of the fridge? I mean, obviously, maybe it did, and that's the point. So many questions though.
[00:41:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's probably part of it.
[00:41:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:41:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. I don't know. Maybe it's just like aimed into a Tupperware or something.
[00:41:51] Jordan Harbinger: It has to be deliberate. Nobody's so drunk that they're like, "This is the toilet. Let me open up this."
[00:41:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Actually, I think you can be so drunk. You don't even know. Or maybe he's just a piece of sh*t.
[00:42:01] Jordan Harbinger: He sounds like a piece of sh*t.
[00:42:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Like I'm not going to — yeah.
[00:42:03] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, pissing in the suitcase — that's, yeah, this guy's a POS. Continue.
[00:42:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: All right, we'll hold off until she confirms our suspicions. Let's see.
[00:42:11] I wasn't sure if I had given up too soon.
[00:42:14] I'm sorry. That's just a great sentence.
[00:42:18] Jordan Harbinger: My god.
[00:42:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm sorry. We're only laughing because once somebody pisses in my fridge, I'm out. It's like—
[00:42:25] Jordan Harbinger: Suitcase, you get one suitcase and it's got to be checked baggage.
[00:42:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly. That's a yellow line for me right there. Okay.
[00:42:33] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:42:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: I wasn't sure if I had given up too soon, so I asked if he would see a couple's counselor and stay sober for a month with me. Neither helped. He quit a week early and therapy wasn't really helping him, although it definitely helped me make the decision to truly end the relationship.
[00:42:49] Yep. That makes sense.
[00:42:50] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:42:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Good for you.
[00:42:52] Since then, I've been seeing this counselor on my own. The more time I spent out of the relationship and going to therapy, the more I realized how bad the relationship actually was. I had never heard of gaslighting and emotional abuse before, but that's exactly what happened to me for three years. Eventually, I opened up about a time when my ex abused me physically. I couldn't do any activities for two weeks, but what left a lasting effect on me was the fact that I lied to all of my friends about what happened. I just said I fell off of my mountain bike.
[00:43:22] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, man.
[00:43:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Finally, I told three of my closest friends what had happened. They were sympathetic and angry. It felt healing and validating, but about a week later, I found out through an Instagram post that those same three people are all spending a weekend with my ex. I felt hurt and confused, and I sent them a message saying just that. Their response was, "We still want to be friends with him. You need to figure out a way to get over it and move on. And if it was that bad, why did you stay for so long? He truly loved you, and you guys had a beautiful relationship."
[00:43:55] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:43:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: That crushed me even more than the breakup itself. I sent them a message saying to give me a call, but I never heard back from any of them. It's been over a month. I feel like I don't know who to trust anymore. I should add that my ex supplies recreational party favors, has lots of toys and comes off as charming and fun. And I think this is part of why everybody wants to be on his side and not ruffle any feathers. Am I missing something here? Are these just not good friends or did he tell them something to have them write me off like that? Should I reach out or should I leave it alone? Signed, In My Bliss and Done Cleaning Up His, But Across the Abyss From These Friends I Still Miss.
[00:44:38] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, man, this is a really sad story. Well, not entirely sad. The one huge bright spot here is that you went to therapy, you stuck with therapy, you learned a ton about yourself in therapy, and you got the hell out of this abusive, toxic, and frankly, quite immature relationship with this absolute dumpster fire of a human being. Like Luke, the burning man drug dealer who lives for the playa and hits his girlfriend and pees in the freaking freezer or the refrigerator. I mean, just so charming. He's so charming, Gabriel. I'm super impressed by your clarity here. It takes tremendous courage and resilience to do this work, and you should be really proud of yourself for getting to this point and being able to finally talk about what you went through.
[00:45:24] So about these friends, I'm going to be really honest here. These people, they are either totally ignorant about how abuse works and how serious it is, or they have highly questionable values, or they don't fully believe you, or honestly, they're just simply not very good friends/not great people. Probably, all of the above from the sound of it. I'm so sorry that these people chose this guy over you. I can only imagine how hurtful that is, to feel understood by them, only to then just be invalidated and frankly ignored. It's awful and it says a lot about them. This is nothing about you. This is nothing to do with you. This is all them, in case, you were questioning yourself here at all.
[00:46:07] I just can't wrap my head around the fact that these friends are listening to you tell them that you were physically and emotionally abused by a gaslighting addict for three straight years, recognizing that it happened and sympathizing with you, and then just turning around and booking an Airbnb with their boy Luke, because he's so fun and he owns a cuddy cabin and he has as sick as Molly or whatever. I mean, what? How ridiculous is that? What does this say about them? These people are idiots. My professional opinion, my clinical opinion, these people are morons.
[00:46:41] So, no, I don't think you're missing something. Except that people like this can be very magnetic and persuasive and their charisma is often what lets them get away with truly terrible behavior in the first place. Well, that and plying people with designer drugs and driving them around in their Dodge Challenger or whatever. I know we're going to get emails about that. Sorry. Sorry, Challenger owners. But you know the type I'm talking about here. It's incredible what these are — Luke wears a visor backwards and upside down. We know this. It's incredible what people will justify when they're benefiting from the situation.
[00:47:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Especially the backwards visor.
[00:47:15] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, the backwards visor. Or like a sideways golf visor. He's one of those guys you just know he is. Those guys all pee in refrigerators. And look, who knows what the hell he told your friends? Maybe he has a completely different version of the relationship. I mean, I would not be surprised. In fact, I almost promise you this guy's like, "Yeah, bro, she was so crazy and dramatic that I had to break up with her." It's like, "Uh, did you kick her and she couldn't walk for two weeks?" "Oh, no, she fell off her mountain bike. That was all lies. This is the drama I'm talking about."
[00:47:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:47:45] Jordan Harbinger: I would not be surprised if he does stuff like this and then, of course, tells them, like I said, you're the toxic one. You're being overly sensitive for attention or some crap like that, and then he just turns them against you. Or at least made them doubt whether your story was entirely accurate.
[00:48:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Although even if they ultimately side with Luke, I'm not sure how they could hear her story and then go, "You guys had a beautiful relationship." I mean—
[00:48:08] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:48:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: You were in agony for three years and cleaning this dude's piss out of your freaking Samsonite carryon like, not exactly a fairytale relationship, isn't it?
[00:48:17] Jordan Harbinger: Well, to be fair, Gabriel, it depends on the fairytale. The Brothers Grimm were pretty dark.
[00:48:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:48:22] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, Hansel and Gretel were about to get baked in an oven and eaten inside a candy house in the forest.
[00:48:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay.
[00:48:28] Jordan Harbinger: That's some Jeffrey Dahmer sh*t.
[00:48:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, but at least their luggage was piss-free.
[00:48:32] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. Fair point. Their luggage was indeed piss-free. Meanwhile, this guy can't even go a month without having a drink.
[00:48:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:48:39] Jordan Harbinger: He didn't stick with couples therapy. He hurt and manipulated his girlfriend emotionally and physically. This relationship was a disaster. That must have been at least partially observable to other people at some level.
[00:48:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, and if it wasn't, then they should listen when she says, this is what was really happening. I'm really sad for this woman.
[00:48:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:48:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: After everything she's been through. Now, she might be losing her friends too, but you know what? I wonder if that's part of this whole transition as well. To your point, she's grown a ton over the last 18 months and leaving a bad relationship, going to therapy, working on herself this intensely, I'm sure that's given her a whole new lens on life. So as painful as it is to learn that her friends don't really have her back, they're also sending a pretty clear signal about what they care about and how they feel and what they think matters. And that's at odds with where she is now. She's recognizing this abuse for what it was. She's telling her story. She wants to be understood, she wants to be supported. And these are not the friends to do that.
[00:49:37] Jordan Harbinger: Absolutely. But hey, to be fair, I can picture her going, "Okay, but these are my best friends. We've been friends for years. What am I supposed to do? Just write them off?" That's really hard. It's hard.
[00:49:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: It is really hard. And it also might be necessary because the same standards and the same emotional intelligence and the same values that led her to this toxic relationship, those might have been the same values that showed up in these friendships. And she might not have even known it, or she might not have been through something as serious as this to test those friendships, but here she is, and now she knows.
[00:50:10] So I do wonder if the next stage of her experience is, "How do I come to terms with that? You know, like how do I mourn these friendships that are no longer serving me?" Which, yeah, that's one of the difficult byproducts of growing.
[00:50:23] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I completely agree with that. And when you evolve like this, you often leave people behind.
[00:50:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:50:28] Jordan Harbinger: It seems like they're leaving her behind because they are the idiots who chose the abuser over her. But really, she's the one who's growing. And that's kind of a beautiful thing here.
[00:50:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: It is. And you know what, I'm just realizing that this is a lot like that question we took earlier this year from that woman who was raped by her good friend's husband on their wedding night.
[00:50:48] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, yeah.
[00:50:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: You remember that?
[00:50:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I do, of course. Her friend, air quotes, wouldn't acknowledge what had happened. And she was like, the writer was like, "I miss my friend. I want my friend back.
[00:50:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. And our response was, "Is this woman really your friend?"
[00:51:02] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:51:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: And I think something similar is happening here, but by the way, that was episode 659 if you want to give that a listen. And that was a great story. And there are interesting parallels between that story and this one.
[00:51:11] Jordan Harbinger: You're absolutely right. At first, I was thinking, well, if you could just talk to them. If you could help them see what's going on, maybe they'd see the light and cut this guy off, but they won't even call you back. It's been a month and they'd rather do whip-its with this D-bag than have a 20-minute phone call with their supposedly best friend to set the record straight.
[00:51:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:51:31] Jordan Harbinger: They have made their choice. In my opinion, that tells you all you need to know about them. So, hey, this is our take. Now, that you've processed a lot of this relationship, it might be time to consider what place these people have in your life, if any. I hope they realize their mistake and they come around, but they also just might not be your people anymore and that is okay. Ultimately, you're going to attract friends who mirror your new values and sense of self-worth and understanding and those relationships are going to be a lot more fulfilling. It might not seem that way now because you feel lonely and whatnot, but trust me, that's how this is going to shake out.
[00:52:07] So keep up the brilliant work. Keep being honest about what you need and I know it'll lead you to a great place. It's going to be painful sometimes, probably, but hey, that is part of the mourning and that's healthy. And we're sending you a big hug, and we're wishing you the best.
[00:52:23] All right, what's next?
[00:52:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I'm a 21-year-old human resources management major in my third year of college, and I've been going through the process of applying for internships. I have good experience. My resume looks rather impressive for my age and I'm well spoken, but despite a 75 percent rate for landing interviews, I still haven't gotten any offers. I recently took part in mock interviews through my university with real employers to practice my interviewing skills, but each employer said that they couldn't come up with any skills for me to improve. At this point, I'm starting to believe that employers find my personality a turnoff. I'm sarcastic, and I typically make subtle jokes throughout the interview to lighten the mood, although never to an unprofessional extent, but I can't think of any other reasons that I'm continually rejected for roles that I'm completely qualified for. I'm planning to get into recruiting in the future, and I can't even get a job myself. How do I improve my skills? How do I even figure out what to work on? Or should I just give up on the process and study abroad for the summer? Signed, The Confounded Candidate Debating Whether to Absquatulate.
[00:53:32] Jordan Harbinger: Another great question, interesting theme today around feedback, Gabe. We had the lawyer who's anxious about getting criticism, and now here's a woman who desperately needs criticism and can't seem to find it.
[00:53:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:53:43] Jordan Harbinger: So first off, it's obviously impossible for us to know whether the lack of offers is just a matter of luck or a reflection of your personal style or something else entirely. But regardless, I love your mindset and your eagerness to grow because the reality is you can always get better in interviews, even if you're already pretty damn good.
[00:54:02] Second, big fan of you doing these mock interviews. That sounds like great practice. The only challenge with mock interviews is these employers, they might just not be incentivized to give you the feedback you really need. It's possible that they're interacting with you and thinking, "She's great, she's solid. Maybe she could work on X, Y, Z, but eh, she's fine. She'll figure it out." It's also possible that they're not analyzing you and they're not pushing you as intensely as they could. They're just doing the university a favor. They're giving you a few practice reps, which is great, but they're not offering you deep, meaningful feedback, which is really what you need.
[00:54:37] So here's what I would do. And by the way, Gabe, I remember when I did mock interviews at law school.
[00:54:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:54:42] Jordan Harbinger: You'd be like standing in a hallway of the law quad for five minutes and they'd go, "Why do you want this job?" And you'd say, "Well, blah, blah, blah." And they'd go, "You're fine." That was it.
[00:54:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:54:51] Jordan Harbinger: It wasn't this formal process. You didn't walk in needing prep. They didn't push back on you at all. It was, frankly, it was just a stupid waste of. I think if you showed up and you had your shoelaces tied together and you couldn't look anyone in the eye and you gave a dead fish handshake, maybe they'd say something about that.
[00:55:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, they might say something.
[00:55:08] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:55:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. If you're a train wreck, then they'll speak up.
[00:55:10] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It was just, unless, if you really just couldn't even utter any coherent sentence, maybe there was some feedback there, but for everybody else, it was a waste of time.
[00:55:18] Anyway, here's what I would do. If you connected in particular with any of these hiring managers or mock interviewers, I would write them a brief email. I would thank them again for the interviews and tell them that you're hoping to get some deeper feedback so that you can do as well as you can in your job search. Then ask them for five, maybe 10 minutes of their time to get some notes, either by email or ideally by phone.
[00:55:42] Now, when you talk to them, I would literally say, "Listen, I know it can be hard to give somebody super candid, but my job search is very important to me. I really need to know how I'm coming across in these interviews where I can improve what I should be focusing on, and I promise you that I will not be offended or hurt by anything you share with me. I want to hear the truth. You'd be giving me a huge gift. Just know that I'm here to listen." And obviously, you have to actually mean that. But sometimes saying it out loud is a great way to commit to that mindset.
[00:56:17] Basically, you have to go way out of your way to give these people permission to be honest with you, because most people's instinct is to spare someone's feelings because it's easier for everybody. So you have to short circuit that instinct and make it safe for them to be candid with you. That's really just the only way that's going to cut through the BS. After that, stick to your promise and take in whatever feedback they have, even if it's hard to hear. Dig into their notes, ask follow-up questions if you're unclear, press them to be specific. Don't settle for vague comments. And when they're done, you say, "Thank you. I really appreciate this. You've given me some great stuff to think about."
[00:56:54] And then go and think about it and talk about it with a few people you trust and decide what you want to do with it. If even one or two people take you up on this, you're probably going to get the insight you need to diagnose what's going on, or they're going to confirm that you actually are killing it and you just need to keep playing the job lottery until you win, which might be the answer here, by the way. You might just need to apply to way more jobs and be patient until you find an employer that you click with.
[00:57:21] I don't know what the market's like in your particular industry at this particular point in time. On some level, this is always a numbers game. You only need one yes from a company that you like. Try to remember that. And also at your age, you don't need to find the perfect job. You need to find the first job, one that'll put you on an interesting path and get you one step closer to the work and the people and the opportunities that you're actually passionate about.
[00:57:43] So look, if you do all that and nothing comes your way, then sure. Going abroad, not the worst idea. At least, it'll be an adventure. My only advice there is make sure you're not running away from this job search. Try to run towards something. Come up with a few intentions for the summer. Use that time to keep working on your job, search your studies, your relationships, read some great books, figure out what you really care about. Open up your world. Maybe you even land an internship over there, whatever it is. Although there is something to be said for being 21 and bumming around Europe for three months with a backpack and a Eurail pass, that is important too.
[00:58:24] But whatever you do, go find that feedback. I think it'll bring you a lot of clarity and relief to finally know how you come across. But I have a good feeling about you. With a few adjustments, I think you're going to be great. Hey, best of luck.
[00:58:37] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this week and everybody who listened. Thank you so much. Don't forget to check out our Out of the Loop on the China protests and one from the vault on Nick Bilton on the Silk Road, the cryptocurrency market that sold guns, drugs, and hitmen. If you haven't heard those yet, go ahead and have a listen.
[00:58:53] Want to know how I managed to book all these folks for the show? It's always about networking, software, systems, tiny habits. Our Six-Minute Networking course is free over on the Thinkific platform. That is jordanharbinger.com/course. I'm teaching you how to dig the well before you get thirsty. Build relationships before you need them. Speaking of job search, this is like the number one way to get hired. Always has been. These drills really take a few minutes a day. I'm talking less than six minutes. That's the whole point. That's why I named the course Six Minute Networking. You can find it all for free at jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:59:24] A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts are in the show notes. Advertisers, deals, discount codes, ways to support the show, all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn. Love hearing from you there. Gabe is on Instagram at @GabrieMizrahi, and on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
[00:59:47] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogerty, 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 and I wasn't a good lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love. And if you found the episode useful, please share it with somebody else who can use the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[01:00:21] If you're looking for another episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show to sink your teeth into, here's a trailer for another episode that I think you might.
[01:00:28] I've heard that you actually got to Google and didn't think the company was up too much, but it was the argument that you got into with Larry and Sergey that really won you over.
[01:00:37] Eric Schmidt: Uh, you know, I heard about a search engine. Search engines don't matter too much, but fine, you know, it's always tried to say yes.
[01:00:43] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:00:44] Eric Schmidt: So I walked into a building down the street and here's Larry and Sergey in an office and they have my bio projected on the wall and they proceed to grill me on what I'm doing at Novell, which they thought were a terrible idea. And I remember as I left that I hadn't had that good an argument in years. And that's the thing that started the process.
[01:01:07] Jordan Harbinger: In a meeting once, someone asked you about the dress code at Google, and I think your response was, "Well, you have to wear something."
[01:01:13] Eric Schmidt: That rule is still in place.
[01:01:14] Jordan Harbinger: Yes.
[01:01:15] Eric Schmidt: Still, you have to actually wear something here at work. They hired super capable people and they always wanted people who did something interesting. So if you were a salesperson, it was really good if you were also an Olympian. We hired a couple of rocket scientists. Now, we weren't doing rocketry. We had a series of medical doctors who we were just impressed with, even though they weren't doing medicine.
[01:01:37] The conversations at the table were very interesting, but there really wasn't a lot of structure. And I knew I was in the right place because the potential was enormous. And I said, "Well, aren't there any schedules?" "No. It just sort of happens."
[01:01:54] Jordan Harbinger: If you want to hear more from Eric Schmidt and learn what role AI will take in our lives and how ideas are fostered inside a corporate beast, like Google, check out episode 201 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:02:07] This episode is sponsored in part by Missing podcast. There's so many true crime podcasts out there, but if you care about compassionate and in-depth reporting, then definitely check out Missing. For five years, the Missing team investigated the disappearance of Maura Murray and the tireless community at the heart of the case. Since then, they've expanded their mission to raising awareness for the stories of other missing people, homicides and injustices, all sourced from the nonprofit private investigations for the Missing's case file, as well as interviews with expert guests. Missing helps raise awareness, elicit tips, and put pressure on police to keep searching. Tim, Lance, and Jen are your weekly dose of harrowing stories and hopeful findings you won't want to miss. Check out the interview with author LaDonna Humphrey, about the unsolved murder of Melissa Witt, who disappeared in a bowling alley parking lot in 1994, or start with their original incredibly thorough, deep dive into the disappearance of Maura Murray. So go ahead and add Missing to your rotation. Just search for Missing wherever you get your podcasts.
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