The reputation you’ve spent your professional life building is threatened by association with your cocaine-addicted friend. Welcome to Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- You can’t be envious of what someone else has without considering the unenviable parts of their story you’d prefer to avoid.
- The reputation you’ve spent your professional life building is threatened by association with your cocaine-addicted friend. Which relationship is worth saving?
- You seem to be condemned to a life of working for crappy bosses. What can you do to break this undesirable pattern?
- You’re 41 years old, and — for no reason that’s ever been made clear — you’ve been estranged from your older sister and her family for about 15 years. How can you (and should you) seek reconnection?
- You and your wife are good at conversing with strangers and close friends, but you find it challenging to talk to people you’ve only met a few times and remember details about their lives. How can you remember or tactfully re-ask questions about things you should already know?
- What do you do when a troubled ex’s suicide threatens the new love you’re trying to cultivate?
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at email@example.com!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi and Instagram @gabrielmizrahi.
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Miss our conversation with Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a Hamas co-founder who worked undercover to thwart terrorist plots? Catch up with episode 407: Mosab Hassan Yousef | The Green Prince of Hamas here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Jim Latrache | How a Drug Dealer Became an Agent in North Korea | Jordan Harbinger
- What We Can Learn from Envy | Deep Dive | Jordan Harbinger
- Kids’ Birthday Parties, Pizza, and Arcade Games | Chuck E. Cheese
- Wolf’s PSA | Future Man, Facebook
- How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome | Deep Dive | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Stop Feeling Like An Imposter | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People | Deep Dive | Jordan Harbinger
- Why You Compare Yourself to Other People (And How to Stop) | Jordan Harbinger
- Breaking Bad | Prime Video
- Live Free or Die | Wikipedia
- Gadsden Flag | Wikipedia
- EMSKR: How to Remember People’s Names | R/Everymanshouldknow
- How to Build a Memory Palace | Art of Memory
917: Friendship Friction Due to Cocaine Addiction | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with my Feedback Friday producer, my plant-based partner in prescription, Gabriel Mizrahi.
[00:00:14] 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. And our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker.
[00:00:27] During the week, we have long-form conversations with a variety of amazing folks from mafia enforcers, cult members, hostage negotiators, four-star generals, Hollywood directors, CEOs, and neuroscientists. This week, we had Jim Latrache. This guy, I don't even know how to categorize this guy. He joined the French Foreign Legion, and then he went undercover in North Korea as a fake arms dealer, and he's got a wild, wild life story.
[00:00:53] On Fridays, though, we share stories, we take listener questions, we play obnoxious soundbites, and roast Gabriel for his appearance and/or life choices. Although I have no room to talk today because I'm doing this shirtless. I'm doing the show topless.
[00:01:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I was wondering if we were going to address this. You just rolled in from your workout. Sin camisa.
[00:01:10] Jordan Harbinger: That's right. Sin camisa que bonito. Am I right? I just didn't have time to shower or even put on clothes. So here we are.
[00:01:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure. Yeah. You're lucky we don't put these on YouTube anymore.
[00:01:23] Jordan Harbinger: No, we do not. There's multiple reasons for that, and one of them is because I may or may not be naked during the show.
[00:01:29] All right, before we dive into the letters today, a listener sent us an email recently after listening to our deep dive on envy, and I thought it was quite interesting.
[00:01:37] Gabe, you want to read that for us?
[00:01:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure, so she writes—
[00:01:40] Hey guys, I work in an office job by day and as an exotic dancer by night. I don't do any sex work, but the strip club is largely seen as a brothel for some. I'll have people asking to spend five hundred to a thousand dollars for me to get a room and asking what that comes with, et cetera. I also don't like lying as I don't like treating others the way I wouldn't want to be treated and if a girl told me that she would do X and didn't, I would be very angry after spending several hundred dollars. That's also not a safe thing to do for me when they find out that they won't get what they want. The last day I worked, a patron rescinded their $500 offer since it didn't come with sexual favors. It really had me down. Having character is literally costing me thousands of dollars and I'm in debt. I could be living a life of luxury and I hear about the thousands of dollars other girls make and at times it's hard not to be bitter. I listened to your deep dive on envy and the one tip that really helped change this is if you want what someone else has, you have to take their whole life with it. I'm so grateful I'm not in a position to have to do the things I don't want to do and I don't want the life that comes with the money. Such a helpful tip.
[00:02:54] Jordan Harbinger: So I really love this, both that she found the idea useful and that it applied even in the world of exotic dancing and sex work. And what she's saying is that she could be a sex worker, but she's not, but she wishes she made sex worker money. And to me, that's the same thing as saying, well, I could be a lawyer, but my hours would be horrible, but man, the other guy has a boat. It doesn't matter if it's white collar work in an office or taking off your clothes in a strip club or brothel or whatever, which is a great reminder that you can't trade lives with somebody without trading your whole life with that person.
[00:03:27] In other words, you actually would have to do that work to get that money. And, you'd have to watch your back from crazy stalkers and psychos. And, you'd have to go to the doctor on the regular to make sure you don't have some kind of crazy STD from whatever dirtbag rolled in last weekend. And you'd have to tell people that you date, what you do for work, and either lie about it or face the stigma from them and the judgment. And you'd have to take that hit that you take when you're a sex worker, whatever that might be, status, judgment, hours, workload, mental health, all that stuff that people don't realize sex workers actually have to go through and deal with.
[00:03:58] And also, one other thing, I find it interesting that she was envying people who do a completely different job from hers. This is an important point in my mind, because it seems like it happens to be adjacent to her work as a dancer, because it's in the same place. It seems similar, right? It's in the same building, it starts in the same building anyway, but it's a completely different line of work with its own unique demands and unique stressors. By that logic, she should have just as easily envied the bartender or the owner of the club or the person who maintains the facilities. But she didn't. She envied the other women. And there's something in there about how proximity and similarity have a way of breeding envy. That's a whole other topic. In fact, one that we cover in the deep dive on envy.
[00:04:41] So I wanted to share that with you guys because I really love this transformation our friend here went through. And it's such a universal takeaway. And thank you, as well, for sharing this. I know it's probably not easy to write in and be like, "So, I'm in this line of work, and, you know, don't judge me, and I'm going to be vulnerable here." And on that note, a lot of you wrote to us about our strip club names on Feedback Friday a few weeks ago. Apparently, we just killed it with the made up strip club names. By the way, though, I did know Deja Vu was real, because there's one in Ypsilanti, Michigan, near Ann Arbor.
[00:05:11] And Gabe, did you know about the Boobie Bungalow or did you just pull that one up? Because that one apparently is a real place. And a lot of people sent us pictures of the sign and the billboards from the highway and the Google listing and reviews and all this stuff. Gabe, I don't know, I mean, you're famously a strip club guy, so do they have a vegan lunch buffet over there at all, or what's going on?
[00:05:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, big time. It's my favorite way to spend a Tuesday afternoon, I don't know if you know that.
[00:05:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, yeah, I literally can't even imagine you in a strip club at all. You'd need to bring like a backpack, like a CamelBak full of hand sanitizer and a little notebook to scribble notes for your stories or something.
[00:05:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally. Yeah, some cover story. You know me very well. I have actually been to one strip club in my life and it was in Nepal of all places.
[00:05:59] Jordan Harbinger: Did I know about this? That sounds very shady, not going to lie. It was. Deja vu has its moments, but Nepalese strip club just sounds different.
[00:06:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Honestly, not much of a story. I lasted maybe eight minutes. It was sad. It was not an easy, yeah, it wasn't a fun night.
[00:06:15] Jordan Harbinger: Yikes, yeah. I'm trying to think of a strip club name for Nepal. Nepal, the Nookie Nook, Nepalese Nookie Nook, not doing it for you.
[00:06:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, the Kathmandu Kitty, just not the highlight of the trip.
[00:06:27] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, we're going to get emails about that. Here's the billboard for the Kathmandu Kitty, just next to base camp.
[00:06:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: You know that place exists.
[00:06:35] Jordan Harbinger: Those places though always somehow sound a little bit more human trafficking y than a regulated club. In the USA, or maybe I'm just naive and they're all horrible.
[00:06:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: No. A little shipping containery, I think.
[00:06:46] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, God.
[00:06:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: I couldn't do it. I ended up there because a guy I met at the hostel I was staying at, we went out one night and we were just wandering and he's like, "Let's go in there. And I was like, "Well, I've never been to a strip place." He's like, "We're going in."
[00:06:57] Jordan Harbinger: Red lights everywhere. What could that mean?
[00:06:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Actually, weirdly, they were blue, but whatever, that's a side note. The Dutch guy, I can't remember his name. We all called him Gouda, but that probably wasn't very nice, but he had a real name. And we sat down in this place. And instantly, a bunch of old Nepalese men sandwiched us into the table so we couldn't leave. And I was like, okay, I see what's happening here. And then, they shove a menu in my face. And it was like, Diet Coke, $14. And I was like, "Cool, cool, cool. Tight, tight, tight." This all seems very reasonable.
[00:07:27] Jordan Harbinger: This is only up and up. Yeah.
[00:07:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: And then all of a sudden, a fountain starts running on the stage. I'm saying fountain. Fountain is—
[00:07:34] Jordan Harbinger: A water fountain?
[00:07:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, a water fountain but that's overstating what it was. It was like two sad, weak streams of water. Like a drinking fountain in elementary school. Like shooting across the catwalk from opposite directions. And a woman came out and started dancing also is a generous term. It was like, she was trying to, and she just looked so sad and I was like, yeah, no—
[00:07:56] Jordan Harbinger: Aww.
[00:07:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm out.
[00:07:57] Jordan Harbinger: That's—
[00:07:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: I can't do it.
[00:07:57] Jordan Harbinger: —bleak.
[00:07:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: And I just got up and I left.
[00:07:59] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's terrible.
[00:08:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: And then after that, Gouda and I went to a bar, I left early and I wanted to go back to the hostel and I got lost walking home because — have you ever been to Kathmandu?
[00:08:08] Jordan Harbinger: No, I have not.
[00:08:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: So I mean it's not the best part of Nepal but it's a very interesting city and it's like all these weird back streets and they all curve around and there's no logic whatsoever. And at night, there are no street lights at night. I don't think they even have street lights on the street and it's impossible to navigate if you don't know the place. So I was wandering for hours looking for my hostel and my phone didn't work.
[00:08:28] Jordan Harbinger: Of course.
[00:08:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: And then finally I was like I just had to ask for directions and there are all these like shady people out at night and finally a hash dealer gave me a ride home on his motorcycle. He was a really nice guy.
[00:08:37] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, wow. That is a super anti climactic strip club story. And it also sounds like you're possibly really lucky that nothing bad happened to you roaming the dark streets of Kathmandu at two o'clock in the morning as a white dude.
[00:08:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: I know. It was—
[00:08:50] Jordan Harbinger: Hey, I'm going to — maybe this drug dealer who otherwise does illegal things for money and is a career criminal can take me back to the place where I'm safe.
[00:08:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:08:57] Jordan Harbinger: And I'm completely reliant on him for my personal safety.
[00:09:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: But isn't that great? Doesn't that give you, like, a little hope for humanity?
[00:09:02] Jordan Harbinger: It does.
[00:09:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: That this guy's like, "Oh, you need a lift?" "Yeah." "No problem."
[00:09:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, like, I might be a career criminal, but I'm not inhuman. Sure, let me get you back to your hotel before something bad happens.
[00:09:10] All right, anyway, since we inadvertently gave those clubs a boost here on the show, we just wanted to make it official and give a big welcome to our new sponsor, Uncle Buck's Boobie Bungalow in Huntsville, Alabama. And if you're an ass man, visit their sister location, the Booty Bungalow, right downtown in the heart of Huntsville.
[00:09:24] Kidding, of course, no idea if that actually exists.
[00:09:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: If it doesn't—
[00:09:27] Jordan Harbinger: It's on point.
[00:09:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: —they should start it. I mean, that's killer branding—
[00:09:30] Jordan Harbinger: It is.
[00:09:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: —right there.
[00:09:31] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, club for every part of the body. Quite of a well-rounded empire. But seriously, Uncle Buck, we hope—
[00:09:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Takes off his shirt one time.
[00:09:40] Jordan Harbinger: Uncle Buck, we hope your business is thriving and you're adhering to the local health codes.
[00:09:43] All right, as always, we've got some fun ones — and human trafficking regulations. We've got some fun ones, some doozies, and I can't wait to dive in. Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:09:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. My close friend of 20 years and I have been through a lot together, good times, bad times, everything. I'm like an aunt to her kids, and we've been on vacations together, celebrated holidays together, and so on. Then, earlier this year, she and her husband split up. Turns out, they were both using cocaine frequently, starting eight to 10 months ago. Many years ago, before they met, the husband and my friend were separately addicted to cocaine and had kicked it. She says she isn't doing drugs anymore, but she can't keep a story or excuse straight, has pinhole eyes, forgets her kid's appointments, and is up all hours of the night. Everyone in the family, including the youngest child, who's nine, has lied repeatedly about the most straightforward questions. The ex-husband doesn't show any signs of using drugs, but I can't be sure. My friend now lives with the drug dealer who started both of them on cocaine.
[00:10:47] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:10:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: The drug dealer is very well known to the police, and they follow me home whenever I visit her.
[00:10:53] Jordan Harbinger: Yikes.
[00:10:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh boy.
[00:10:54] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, wow, that's bad news. You cannot go there anymore. You don't want to be anywhere near this. Even if you're totally innocent, you're still in cold sober, from now on, y'all meet in a Chuck E. Cheese. Let her do bumps off the ski ball track.
[00:11:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Why did you mind go to Chuck E. Cheese then?
[00:11:09] Jordan Harbinger: I don't know, it just seems like I was like finding an innocent place to go and meet up.
[00:11:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: The most innocent place.
[00:11:13] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:11:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: That would be a funny place for two like 48 year olds to meet up.
[00:11:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, they serve beer there. Or they used to.
[00:11:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: So the letter goes on.
[00:11:19] More recently, their kids have been getting into a lot of trouble. The nine-year-old said he smoked pot with his other nine-year-old friend a few weeks ago. The oldest was in serious trouble with the police, lied to me about what was going on, lied about multiple other serious things, and drinks alcohol.
[00:11:35] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:11:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: The middle child, who's in middle school, is smoking, vaping, and drinking.
[00:11:41] Oh, man.
[00:11:41] Jordan Harbinger: Holy smokes. Smoking pot at nine, drinking in early adolescence. This is terrible. Goes without saying. Addiction and brain damage are a lot more likely if you start this young. From what I remember, this is super alarming. It's very sad. So this family is a total mess and I am frankly super angry at these parents for letting it get to this point. Gosh, it's amazing what addiction and neglect will do to kids and how quickly it can happen.
[00:12:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:12:07] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, these were probably normal, decently well-adjusted kids until this mess.
[00:12:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: The kids go back and forth between the exes houses. Child protective services in my state investigated and found that the kids are not in immediate danger. So it won't or can't do anything.
[00:12:24] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, that is so frustrating.
[00:12:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: So frustrating.
[00:12:26] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. We hear about this a decent amount. CPS can be very limited. I know a lot of people are like, they're evil. It's not, they're just limited, right? They have to rely on judges and social workers and regulations. I hate that these kids are literally addicted to substances in grade school or middle school, drinking, smoking, but they're not in immediate danger? So CPS is like, "Well, nothing for us to do here." I mean, I don't even know if I believe that. I think there's probably just not enough evidence or something like that, because how can you be like, yeah, they're drinking underage and they're nine and they're smoking pot, but well, they're not going to get chopped into little pieces. So we're just going to leave them in this situation. I don't understand.
[00:13:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: They probably don't even know that the kids are using anything—
[00:13:06] Jordan Harbinger: They must not.
[00:13:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: But they must have come to the house and looked around for signs of abuse.
[00:13:09] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:13:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: They checked the refrigerator. Is there food in the fridge? Like, is there anything dangerous in the house that could hurt them? No. Okay. Goodbye. But yeah, the system has a lot of cracks.
[00:13:18] So the letter goes on.
[00:13:20] I'm now concerned about being associated with them in part because I'm on a lot of local charity boards.
[00:13:25] Jordan Harbinger: Well, smell you. Look at me, I'm a functional person with a reputation to uphold. Like I said, I would put a lot of distance between you and these people right now because they are—
[00:13:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: For sure.
[00:13:35] Jordan Harbinger: —radioactive for you.
[00:13:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Do I cut ties with this family and avoid any guilt by association? Have I only been the fun aunt who doesn't mean anything when the going gets tough? Do I dig in and be there for the kids right now? If so, should I stop going to my girlfriend's house? Signed, Flexing My Say So and Debating Whether to Lay Low While My Friend Gets Carried Away With the Yayo.
[00:13:57] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh, yikes. So yeah, total sh*tshow. Incredibly sad. Your friend and her ex, they're clearly wrestling with a serious addiction. They went through this before they met, they got clean, now they've relapsed and it sounds much worse this time.
[00:14:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:14:09] Jordan Harbinger: And it's obviously just wreaking havoc on their family. I mean, look at the kids. It's all so tragic. We've already answered a couple of your questions, but just to be clear, I'm not saying you can't be friends with this woman. If there's still a worthwhile friendship left, hard to tell. But I definitely wouldn't go to her house where she's living with her drug dealer. What a nightmare that must be. And I would be very thoughtful about how much time you spend with her and where you spend it. Grabbing Starbucks during the day? Fine. Hanging out at her house after 10 p.m. for hours? Hell, no. Even if you're not partaking in the nose candy yourself, even if the police don't have anything on you, hanging out with people like this, it's going to create complications and your reputation could absolutely take a hit. Pardon the pun.
[00:14:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. But also spending time with people like this drives you insane, doesn't it?
[00:14:56] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:14:56] It's not great for your mental state.
[00:14:57] Exactly. Yeah. Kicking it at their house, listening to her dealer boyfriend's cocaine fueled rants about putting all his It'll gotten gains into bored ape NFTs or whatever. "It's digital gold, okay?" Like, no, thank you.
[00:15:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: But he's the last person on earth to find out that they now are worthless.
[00:15:14] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:15:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: By the way, the very fact that she has shacked up with her dealer now is also very worrisome.
[00:15:19] Jordan Harbinger: Very, yes, very worrisome. Because that means she's probably doing coke. All the time and has a steady supply in the house.
[00:15:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Steady supply, probably for free, and that might be a big part of the reason they got together in the first place—
[00:15:31] Jordan Harbinger: yeah, exactly.
[00:15:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: —which is disturbing.
[00:15:32] Jordan Harbinger: Or, she actually enjoys his company, which, I mean, even more—
[00:15:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's the most—
[00:15:38] Jordan Harbinger: —worrisome.
[00:15:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: —worrisome outcome.
[00:15:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:15:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also, the kids go back and forth between the exes houses, which presumably means the kids are now spending time at this dealer's house?
[00:15:46] Jordan Harbinger: Well, yeah, that's what it sounds like. You're right, I kind of forget about that. So she's sharing custody. And she's literally bringing her kids to a drug dealer's den while the police are surveilling them from outside. So, great. What a cluster this is.
[00:16:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: You know, that probably warrants a new call to CPS right there, because if that's true, then the kids are almost certainly an immediate danger now.
[00:16:08] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:16:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: And I think telling CPS that three children are living in a coke den. I mean, that should get their attention.
[00:16:13] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:16:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: At least make them want to come out and see what's going on.
[00:16:15] Jordan Harbinger: I think that's a good call, and I do think your friend is in desperate need of help. She's obviously very confused right now, and given your long history, you might owe it to her to try to help.
[00:16:25] We talk about this a lot. The one earnest offer of help, one serious intervention. You owe that to a friend of 20-plus years whose kids you're basically an aunt to. And if this were my friend, I'd invite her over or take her out alone, ideally during the day when she's hopefully sober, and I would literally say, "Hey, I'm extremely worried about you. You're using again. It's obvious. You're avoiding my questions, you're forgetting the kid's doctor's appointments, parent-teacher conferences. They're acting out in all these different ways. You're living with your freaking dealer. The police follow me home. You have a history of substance abuse. CPS came to investigate. I don't feel as close to you as I used to. And this cocaine addiction is now destroying our amazing friendship. And it's frankly destroying yours and your family's life. So here's the deal. I will help you if you want to get help. I will take you to rehab, I will go with you to meetings, I will help you find a therapist, I'm here for you. But if you don't want to get help, or you continue to lie to me, then I'm going to have to pull back, because this is not the relationship that I want with you. That would break my heart, but that's how bad this situation has become."
[00:17:31] And if she says yes, you could literally save her life and maybe her family by extension. And if she's ready to get help, then she does deserve that chance. So, have you only been the fun aunt who doesn't mean anything when the going gets tough? Maybe, maybe not. That's not entirely up to you. She's the one driving a wedge between you, or her addiction is. But if you want to be more than just the fun aunt, this is your chance. Help your friend clean up her act, encourage her to get her life back on track.
[00:18:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's exactly the approach I would take as well. As for digging in and being there for the kids, I understand that instinct and I really commend you for it, but I am not totally clear on how much these kids can be helped by you, or entirely by you. And it's certainly not your job, as sad as that is. It's your friend's job. It's her ex husband's job. So probably, the best way to be there for them is to help her get back to being the mother she needs to be.
[00:18:25] Now, if you have a direct relationship with these kids, you know, if you have contact with them outside of their parents, like maybe through school or something, I'm not sure if you have kids of your own, then you can keep an eye on them and you can ask them how they're doing and you can see if you need to intervene somehow. But if doing that is going to put you back into your friend's dangerous orbit, like going over to her house a bunch and getting dragged into her chaos, then yeah, I would be very, very thoughtful about how you proceed.
[00:18:53] Jordan Harbinger: Right, you do need to protect yourself here too. This is a really, really sad story, and sadly it might spell the end of your friendship. I hope not, but it definitely could. So give it one good shot, see if your friend is receptive. And if she's not, yeah, it's time to pull back and reevaluate. A lot of people are going to be impacted by this chapter, namely her kids, and it really is a tragedy, but it is their tragedy. You have a very full and productive life from the sound of it, and I would protect that as well. I know this sounds a little callous, like, "What about — but there's kids!" But at some point, there's only so much you can do. So we're wishing you, your friend, and her family all the best.
[00:19:31] And Gabe, man, I almost, I cannot wrap my head. around parents this destructive. What they're doing to themselves and their kids, it's just insane. I mean, I suppose a drug addiction, drugs are a hell of a drug, right? And then rationalization on top of it and convincing yourself that everything's fine. That's why I think the addiction is always just really in charge. But this hopefully is a wake up call. "Oh, I'm living this normal life. Look, my friend is still coming over all the time." And if it's like, "Oh, my friend now told me this is the end of the line," that would be the signal that she has to take responsibility for this and turn things around. Because it's only going to get, it really is only going to get worse from here. And I just, I hope our friend here can help them realize that and take action here.
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[00:22:27] All right, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:22:29] All right, next up.
[00:22:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, I'm a 30-year-old woman and graduated with a bachelor's degree a couple of years ago. I busted my butt in school to network and make connections and ended up getting a job with an internationally acclaimed person in the community. Our work together was flawless.
[00:22:49] Jordan Harbinger: Awesome. Love the hustle. Well done.
[00:22:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: But I ended up working for his partner more than him, and she was horrible to work with. I'm a very strong-willed woman, and long story short, she saw me as competition and nitpicked everything I did until I quit. This conflict ended up tarnishing the relationship that I built with the original guy, which hit me really hard.
[00:23:12] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah, that sucks. That sounds like a tough situation. And Gabe, I'm making note of, "I'm a strong willed woman." Not that, that can't be a great quality, but it could also be something else. So let's come back to that.
[00:23:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: About a year ago, I joined a new employer. She really wants me to work for her full time, but I'm starting to see similar issues in this new workplace. A lack of trust, finger pointing at me when things go wrong, and so on. This new boss has also been labeled hard to handle by many people.
[00:23:41] Jordan Harbinger: Interesting. So this could be a total coincidence, or it could be a bit of a pattern, and it's always good to notice when situations are echoing earlier ones, but again, let's see where this goes.
[00:23:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: I also have strong imposter syndrome, as my new boss has lived an extremely privileged life while I grew up in the sticks and am the only person in my family to go to college. For example, she'll casually bring up month long trips to Japan that her dad took her on when she was younger, like it was a super normal thing.
[00:24:09] Ah, okay, interesting. So she's kind of pushing your buttons in a few ways.
[00:24:13] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It sounds like she has a bit of a pressure point around privilege, which, I mean, I can appreciate that. I grew up around that.
[00:24:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: I actually love how self-aware she is about that. We should circle back to this too.
[00:24:23] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's nice. She's already parsing what's her stuff versus what her boss's stuff might be, but their dynamic is tricky. It's hard to know exactly who is causing the friction here.
[00:24:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm still dealing with PTSD from my previous job. So the mix is making my anxiety crazy. It's very hard to get an opportunity in my field, so I'm reluctant to give up the position, but I also don't want to start another passive aggressive war and potentially compromise my reputation. I've worked with people for 12-plus years and have never had any issues. My peers and coworkers have validated that I'm not a problematic employee. I'm actually one of the hardest workers that they've seen.
[00:25:00] Jordan Harbinger: Well, that's really good data, so good on you for seeking it out. It's clear that you're a hard worker, just look at how you landed this job. But that doesn't mean you're not participating in these tough dynamics so that you don't have room to grow. So let's make room for both of those things here.
[00:25:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: I now have a potential job opportunity available, but that would mean moving to the other side of the country and creating a long distance relationship and the cost of living there ics? Should I stick with this job and deal with all the icks or should I move on to the next thing? How do I stop letting our social differences affect my relationship with my boss? Am I just destined to work for crappy bosses? How do I avoid working for people like this in the future? Signed, At a Loss About This Burdensome Boss.
[00:25:45] Jordan Harbinger: Right, well this is a very interesting situation and I understand why it's confusing.
[00:25:50] So, first off, working for a difficult boss is never easy, and it's not always your fault. And personalities like these can bring out some tough responses in us, even when we're good employees, even when we're pretty low drama. So, yeah, I'm sorry you found yourself working for not one, but two difficult people. But in another way, I'm kind of happy you did, because I think these experiences can teach you a lot about yourself. And about how you respond to difficult people and also about what kind of career and workplace you do want, which that's what a lot of your 20s are about.
[00:26:24] Let's start by talking about whether this is a coincidence or a pattern. Like I said, it's totally possible that you ended up with two difficult bosses. It happens. But the fact that it's happened twice, that does seem meaningful to me. Now, noticing a pattern doesn't necessarily mean this is all your fault or that you've done something wrong. This isn't about blaming you or anything. It's just about appreciating how these situations develop. Also, there could be a few explanations for this pattern. Maybe you've gravitated towards a field where difficult personalities dominate.
[00:26:56] And when I was in law, and you know, my friends were all investment bankers, they worked with a lot more jerks than you might run into if you worked as literally anything else. So, you were in consulting, Gabe, like you know that sometimes, wow, there's a lot of type A people in this office and the boss is like, "I literally only hire people who are so anal that no one else can stand them."
[00:27:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Correct.
[00:27:16] Jordan Harbinger: "That's what I'm looking for."
[00:27:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's right.
[00:27:18] Jordan Harbinger: Specific jobs have tough bosses or, and this is the one I'd pay the most attention to, maybe you've responded to these difficult bosses in a way that made them even more difficult, or created a tough dynamic. That's also very common.
[00:27:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: I also have to say, I find it interesting that the two difficult bosses she's had are women. Again, it could be a total coincidence, but—
[00:27:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I mean, look, she only has two data points here, just like we do, so it's a small sample.
[00:27:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, totally fair. But the one boss she got along with really well was a man. And when her relationship with his partner went south, she said that it hit her really hard. So I think that's interesting too.
[00:27:55] Jordan Harbinger: It is. Yeah, I think you're right. And when she said that she's a strong willed woman, I kind of poked a little fun at her for that. I'm just thinking about how that quality might intersect with other potentially strong willed women. So I could see that being a bit of a powder keg in an office, depending on the personalities involved.
[00:28:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also, I'm very curious to know what strong willed actually means, right?
[00:28:15] Jordan Harbinger: Like,
[00:28:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: does it mean that you are super hardworking and driven and confident about what you want? Does it mean You know, a little domineering, a little inflexible, maybe kind of prickly sometimes. It could go either way.
[00:28:28] Jordan Harbinger: Right. And hey, maybe it's both, right? All leadership qualities have a sort of shadow side where it's a virtue in one way, but it can be an Achilles heel in another.
[00:28:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:28:37] Jordan Harbinger: And I do think these are all meaningful pieces of information though. And so these are my first couple of questions for you, ones I would really sit with and explore. Don't answer them while we're asking them on the show. Just, you know, maybe have a thought over this.
[00:28:49] First off, have I gravitated to difficult bosses in some way? Or have I made them more difficult in the way that I relate to them? Next, do I engage with men and women differently? Is there something about women that tends to lead to more conflict? And if so, is this strong willed quality playing a role in these interactions? And if so, how? I would really take some time to replay some of the moments where you experienced conflict or friction or just a general anxiety with these bosses and really break down those interactions. For example, what did they say or do that set you off? Where did it hit a nerve or where did it make you kind of uneasy? And then how did you respond, both in the moment and then later on down the line? What are these people activating in you and what are you in turn maybe activating in them?
[00:29:42] For example, and I'm just going to run with the story you shared to illustrate the point. If your boss gives you feedback on a project, And then you kind of bristle and go, "Well, actually, I think we should do it this way." And then they note you to death because they want things a very specific way. And then of course the next time you guys interact you're kind of icy, maybe you're a little aloof because you're annoyed that you got 74 points of feedback, but then you really still have a good relationship with her business partner, and then she perceives you as competition, and then you pull away more because you're defending yourself or you've turned against her and then she treats you even worse as a result...now it's a toxic workplace and you're miserable. And you can see how this subtle dance between an employee and a boss can really, it can degrade a relationship. This is the math of a dynamic, and it's so useful to parse this stuff, because even when the other person is really a top shelf a-h*le, or a power hungry competitive witch, or whatever, There are always two people in a relationship, and we're always contributing to things in our own way, usually unconsciously, even if we're not the primary aggressors.
[00:30:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm, yeah, nice. Great advice, Jordan. So, to answer your question, no, you're not destined to work with crappy bosses forever, but the best way to break that sense of destiny, the feeling that these situations are just going to keep repeating themselves, is to do this kind of work and rewrite this stuff in the way that Jordan is encouraging you to do. The other piece of this that is also partly yours is the stuff around privilege.
[00:31:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yes, okay, I'm glad you're coming back to that. I think that's a really important element as well.
[00:31:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: So, here's this boss. She's banging on about her amazing summers in Kyoto or whatever, her luxurious upbringing. She's kind of oblivious to how she comes across, I think. And then there's our friend here who grew up in a very different environment. She's the first in her family to go to college and she's listening to all of that and she's going, "Oh, nah, cool. Must've been nice. You know, like, also, does this mean I don't belong here? Like, does this mean I don't deserve this?"
[00:31:42] Jordan Harbinger: I find the imposter syndrome conclusion super interesting because there's got to be a few filters in her to make her think like, oh, maybe I'm a fraud. I mean, I get it. Someone's like, oh, you don't have a collection of silk kimonos from Imperial Japan. Okay, awkward.
[00:31:56] Sure. It could be a little bit much at times, I'm sure.
[00:31:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's a very interesting question, whose fault, quote-unquote, "fault," is it that she has that feeling? Is it her boss's fault for being tone deaf and unselfaware and kind of braggy? Or is it our friend's fault for being sensitive to this difference and for having this chip on her shoulder and believing that she doesn't belong if she didn't have the same experiences as this person? The answer, I think, is it's both of their faults, but fault isn't really the right word because I don't think any of this is intentional or even malicious. This is just what happens when two very different human beings get together and their stuff intersects in all of these interesting ways.
[00:32:35] So about this privilege thing, let's just appreciate that you do have a little bit of a chip on your shoulder, which is very normal. And in a way, it's born from the amazing fact that you were the first in your family to achieve at this level. And you worked really hard to get here.
[00:32:51] Jordan Harbinger: Which, by the way, Gabe, that is great evidence that she is not an imposter. I think that's quite the opposite, right?
[00:32:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:32:57] Jordan Harbinger: She worked so hard to get where she is without the advantages that that boss may have had.
[00:33:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: That is exactly right, and that would be a wonderful thing to remind herself when the imposter syndrome starts to kick in, that somebody else's advantages don't actually have any bearing on her value or her right to be where she is. I know imposterism is a complex thing, it can come from a lot of different places, but That is a really great start.
[00:33:19] But anyway, just to say, this pressure point around privilege, that is yours to work through. Yes, your boss is being kind of obtuse. She's maybe not being very thoughtful when she talks about summers in Japan with daddy. But, like Jordan said a moment ago, the way you hear that, the way you process that is being informed by your life experiences, your feelings and your values and that's why it ends up hurting the way it does sometimes, which might be one more way that you're bringing something to these tricky dynamics with these bosses.
[00:33:49] Jordan Harbinger: It's fascinating, isn't it? So much goes into these interactions we often don't even realize it. Bottom line, I would explore all this stuff for a while, a month at least, maybe even a few months before you decide whether to jump ship here. Maybe the answer is to find a new job with a better boss. And if so, more power to ya, and these bad bosses will just be great learning experiences. Eh, that's fair. But I do think there's an opportunity to learn and grow here, and these annoying bosses are helping you do that in their own way. Slash, they're also teaching you how to spot the signs of a crappy boss from the jump, which is also a great skill for next time.
[00:34:23] I would also encourage you to check out the articles and deep dives Gabe and I did on imposter syndrome and how to stop comparing yourself to other people. Those are going to be money for you right now. We'll link to those in the show notes as well.
[00:34:34] And, look, you're a real asset and a very impressive person. And yes, that might rub certain people the wrong way sometimes, and that's their stuff, but it also doesn't mean you don't have some room to grow in the way that you manage people like that. So hang in there. Whether you stick around or you move on, this period is going to be a really great education for you and you'll take these insights into the rest of your career. Good luck.
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[00:35:22] Okay, what's next?
[00:35:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. I'm 41 years old, and I've been estranged from my older sister and her family for about 15 years. This was her choice, and a total mystery to my side of the family. As far as I know, there was no trauma or inciting incident for this. It's possible that something horrific happened when I was too little to know, but I doubt it. We had a pretty typical, privileged, suburban childhood.
[00:35:48] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm. Interesting. Yeah, you never know, right? Something bad could have happened and you have no idea because she won't talk about it? Although why would that mean she would need to cut you off? That's unclear.
[00:35:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, unclear.
[00:35:58] Jordan Harbinger: Or just nothing happened and she's kind of a kook.
[00:36:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Then, one day, she moved to Vermont with her husband, who's honestly kind of a weirdo.
[00:36:07] Jordan Harbinger: There you go.
[00:36:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Started having babies, six of them, in nine years, and told us that she didn't want us influencing her children.
[00:36:15] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, well, now I'm getting kook vibes here. I'm getting culty kook vibes.
[00:36:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Moving to Vermont doesn't help that, does it?
[00:36:21] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I didn't mean to feed the stereotype, but moving to Vermont, look, I hear it's absolutely lovely, it's peaceful, the fall foliage, the maple syrup, next level. But isn't Vermont also the state you move to when you want to like, live off the grid and grow your own apples or whatever, possibly with a proto cult that you've joined with your husband, who's a weirdo?
[00:36:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: I always forget, it's either Vermont or New Hampshire.
[00:36:41] Jordan Harbinger: Right, New Hampshire. That's where Walter White went at the end of Breaking Bad, right? He lived in the middle of the woods.
[00:36:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: For good reason.
[00:36:46] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I mean, it has that reputation.
[00:36:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: The license plate of New Hampshire is "live, free, or die," which I think they included in Breaking Bad. So that kind of tells you everything you need to know.
[00:36:53] Jordan Harbinger: What's Vermont's license plate? Do you know?
[00:36:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: I have no idea. Let me look it up right now, googling, Google — Green Mountain State.
[00:37:01] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, so that's not as funny. I was hoping it was like, "Don't tread on me and my 13 children or stay out of my underground bunker," or something, something that would apply directly to this letter.
[00:37:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Can you imagine if that was actually the license plate? Like, live uninfluenced or die from basic human contact.
[00:37:15] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, there's a tagline. So, all right, let's see where this goes.
[00:37:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: I've tried to casually keep in touch over the years, but she made it clear that she didn't want any communication. This was very confusing and painful, especially since they're the only grandchildren in the family. But we backed off and I decided that once the kids were adults, I would try to get in touch in case they were curious about their family or could use some different adults in their lives. My oldest nephews are now in their early 20s and I've been attempting to look them up. I don't use any social media and I haven't had any luck finding them online. A buddy of mine suggested trying Venmo, as people tend to use their real names there, and she was right. I found the two oldest kids.
[00:37:59] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh.
[00:37:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Interesting.
[00:38:00] Jordan Harbinger: That's a good one. I never thought of that. I am definitely adding that to my black bag of Dark Jordan tricks, right? Like, oh, they vanished. Oh, yeah, well, do they get money online? Try this app that people don't think about when they put their personal information into it.
[00:38:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: But now I'm not sure how to proceed. If it were Facebook or Twitter, it wouldn't be unheard of to send a message out of the blue. My friend suggested sending them a few cents along with a private message, but that seems weird and potentially invasive to me.
[00:38:27] Jordan Harbinger: It's also kind of hilarious. Nothing says, I want to get back into your life, like a payment for 35 cents, followed by 17 burrito emojis.
[00:38:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: The first three kids definitely know about me and my family because before contact was lost, my sister had my picture on the fridge and talked about me.
[00:38:44] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:38:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's an interesting detail. So, she doesn't have anything against our friend.
[00:38:48] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:38:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: There's something else happened here. I don't understand it. Letter goes on.
[00:38:52] I have a dummy Facebook account for lurking purposes, so conceivably they could contact me if they wanted, but I have no idea what their mother told them about why she cut off the entire family. In a way, I have nothing to lose if they don't respond, but I just feel like this is such an awkward way to introduce myself. I've considered a private detective, but that seems too extreme. What do you think? Do you have any other ideas? Is Venmo really the appropriate place to spring long lost relatives on a kid? Signed, A Nonchalant Aunt Seeking a Detente Without Trying to Haunt, Taunt, or Flaunt the Fact that She'd Be a Killer Confidante.
[00:39:31] Jordan Harbinger: Oh god, all right, Biggie Smalls, take it easy. This is Feedback Friday, not a rap battle.
[00:39:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Stop hating on my flow, bro.
[00:39:38] Jordan Harbinger: Right on, Gabe. There's vomit on your sweater already. Mom's vegan tofu cauliflower noodle spaghetti.
[00:39:45] So, interesting question.
[00:39:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: That was great.
[00:39:48] Jordan Harbinger: What can I say? You inspire me. So, interesting question. First of all, I think it's totally fair game to reach out and see if your older nephews, the ones in their twenties, if they're open to talking. I agree. It might be nice for them to know their family to have some other adults in their life. Their mom might not appreciate it, but they're grown up now. And since you didn't do anything to her, I think reaching out to them by any method is cool, honestly. But yeah, Venmo, not exactly the ideal place to rekindle a broken relationship, but if it's all you have, go for it. You have nothing to lose except for, you know, one-tenth of a game of ski ball you could play with your coke-addled friend in Chuck E. Cheese.
[00:40:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow, what a callback, top shelf. Loved it. Chef's kiss.
[00:40:29] Jordan Harbinger: The only challenge I see here is that Venmo is a character limit. I think it's probably 300 characters because you know it's for payments, not for family reunions, so it might be hard to articulate who you are and why you're reaching out and what you're hoping to achieve. Also, I'm not sure. If they can even reply, I doubt they can. So you'd have to include contact info in the message, which they might, maybe Venmo blocks that or doesn't allow that. I'm not even sure either way. That's also going to take up available characters.
[00:40:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Plus don't forget, you have to leave room for those burrito emoji.
[00:40:59] Jordan Harbinger: That's true.
[00:40:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: You were about to say that, weren't you?
[00:41:01] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I was. I was going to lean into the burrito emojis. You cannot, after the burritos, that's like 270 characters. You're going to have to be really efficient here. And if you can't share a meaningful letter. They might get your 10 cents and be like, "Uh, okay, I'm not sure how to respond to this."
[00:41:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay, so let's imagine this. You have 300 characters. What would she actually say? I think it would be something like, "Hey, it's your Aunt Eileen," or whatever, "Sorry to message you here, but it's the only way I have to reach you." And you can even leave that out, actually, because you don't need that.
[00:41:33] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:41:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: "I know we haven't talked in a long time. I would love to hear how you're doing. I would love to be in touch. Miss you. Love you. Here's my number. Sorry, you live in an underground bunker in Vermont. Hope it's not a cult situation."
[00:41:45] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:41:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's got to be about 300 characters and I think that pretty much covers the basics.
[00:41:51] Jordan Harbinger: Honestly, I'm not hating the Venmo idea. It's creative for sure.
[00:41:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. I know, it's kind of funny.
[00:41:55] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:41:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's kind of funny.
[00:41:56] Jordan Harbinger: It is funny.
[00:41:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: And if it works, you'll have a good story to tell. I found my estranged nephews on the app where you know, pay your friends for your share of the strippers and cocaine at the bachelor party.
[00:42:05] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, pretty much. Right. It's on the same app where you pay the boyfriend of the train wreck from question one with the snowman emoji.
[00:42:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Something poetic about that. I don't know what it just is.
[00:42:15] Jordan Harbinger: I'm sure your nephews would be lucky to have you in their lives. And if their mom is really that nutty. and there's no good reason she cut you off, then, yeah, you all deserve to have a relationship. Just be prepared for any number of responses. Positive engagement? Great. Radio silence? Eh. A crazy letter from your sister yelling at you for trying to influence her kids via the world's easiest payment platform. Trademark. Who knows what'll happen? But that doesn't mean it isn't worth trying. And if it works, it'll be awesome. And good luck.
[00:42:44] Gabe, I find it interesting that again, there's this theme here of how can I be there for the kids of a questionable parent or two.
[00:42:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. It's so tough. The lines are confusing.
[00:42:54] Jordan Harbinger: This is different from question one because these nephews are adults now, so they can choose to reach out or they can choose to accept your invitation to talk on their own. But staying close to children who are growing up in a dodgy environment or a straight-up dangerous environment, that's really commendable, but of course, it's also sad because you have to accept the limits of your influence in another family's drama. All these kids in both stories are so lucky to have another adult looking out for them. But the reality is, there's only so much you can do for other people. And that's important to remember too.
[00:43:26] You know, Gabe, when they said the husband's a weirdo, there were no other details there.
[00:43:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:43:30] Jordan Harbinger: But I'm just getting sister married a guy is a little bit weird. And then he became culty with whatever, religious thing and then started having kids and then his parents were probably like, they're into that.
[00:43:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:43:44] Jordan Harbinger: And it's like, "Oh, you can't associate with people aren't going to be into that." And sister's like, "Well, my parents and family aren't into that." And they're like, "Oh, it's going to be bad for them if they're not also part of our weird, super religious movement or whatever." Because why else would you be like, "It's better for my kids to grow up with only one set of grandparents and never see their aunts and uncles on mom's side." That just screams cult—
[00:44:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:44:07] Jordan Harbinger: Wh—whethert's an organized religion or not.
[00:44:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: And it might not even be religious. It might just be, "We want to live on our own terms and we don't want other people meddling in our business." But it would explain the timeline also because she said she had her photo up on the fridge for a few years.
[00:44:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:44:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: So there was like a period of time where she did want to be close to her family. The only thing that changed is that she married this guy. So I think you're right. This guy's probably playing a huge role—
[00:44:27] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:44:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: —in her life and all of this. Scary.
[00:44:30] Jordan Harbinger: I would love to hear if the nephews actually reach out.
[00:44:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:44:33] Jordan Harbinger: I'm going to go ahead and guess homeschooled. And they're either super enrolled in whatever crazy kooky ideas they got from their dad and mom now, or maybe the one that responds is like, "Yeah, I don't talk to my parents anymore because they raised us in homeschool and used to beat us with belts when we didn't memorize verses from the Old Testament," or whatever. I mean, I'm just, you know, you never know with this kind of stuff, so I'm so curious right now.
[00:45:01] You know what's a great way to win over your estranged family members, Gabriel? The amazing products and services that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:45:11] This episode is sponsored in part by TextExpander. This I accidentally deleted this the other day because I'm an idiot and I realize I just can't even function without TextExpander. It's a productivity tool, that's a must have if you work on a computer. It's free to try for 30 days. You save, I save, hours and hours of typing out repetitive things like commonly used phrases, the current date, my email address, phone number, my address, Zoom, Calendly links, so much more. TextExpander is basically keyboard shortcuts but on steroids. You can create drop down menus and fill in the blanks to customize the shortcuts. Useful tool if you're doing mass outreach or networking and you need to customize messages like responding to LinkedIn, social media, job hunt stuff. TextExpander is so smart it'll also suggest snippets you should create. Based on your typing and it'll even send you a report on how much time you saved by using TextExpander. Our team saves like 30 hours a month and it's not a team of 50 people, right? We got a small team here. That means each person saves hours of just pure typing the same thing over and over every single month. It works on desktop and mobile.
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[00:46:24] This episode is also sponsored by Wrkout. Let me introduce you to Wrkout. It is a virtual personal training platform created by a close friend of mine. Truly, it is, this is probably one of the top choices I've ever made for my health, or even just my whole life. Imagine having an ever present fitness coach right by your side. Jen's doing it, hitting three sessions a week for the last three months, making impressive strides towards her pre baby physique. Her words, not mine. My 82-year-old mom, after the loss of our family dog, she didn't go walking anymore, and workout not only got her moving again, But also helped her forge a genuine bond with her trainer, a game changer for her spirit, her health, she's stronger than she was probably 20 years ago, she's 82. For me, I'm engaged in four weekly sessions with Chad and Kareem and a couple of you have DMed me and be like, "You made that up, right? They made you say that." No, my trainers are actually named Chad and Kareem. I know that that comes straight out of central casting, but these guys are great. They track my heart rate live. They use a virtual timer. All the stuff works on my devices at home over the web. It's really cool. The routines constantly evolve. You can't really do this stuff alone. Not as well. They're pushing you, but not making you barf. You know, there's a line. And the best part is unparalleled flexibility. Envision genuine training anywhere, anytime. I've been doing it in Taiwan from the hotel. I do it at home. It doesn't matter where you are. No more gym hunts, no more missed sessions. Workout ensures your trainer's always just a tap away. So if you want to get started with this and I highly recommend it, it has changed my whole life. I'm playing on the floor with my kids without taking 30 seconds to get back up. They don't pay me to promote them. I'm doing this because I highly recommend them and I love helping you find them and the business get good clients. So go to community.wrkout.com, community.W-R-K-O-U-T.com.
[00:48:00] If you like this episode of Feedback Friday and you found our advice valuable, I invite you to do what other smart and considerate listeners do, which is take a moment and support our amazing sponsors. All the deals, discount codes, and ways to support the show are at jordanharbinger.com/deals. And you can search for any sponsor using the AI chatbot on the website as well, or email, if you're so lazy you can't find it, email me jordan at jordanharbinger. com, I'll dig up the code for you. It's that important that you support those who support us.
[00:48:27] All right, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:48:31] What's next?
[00:48:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. My wife and I are good at conversing with strangers and close friends, but we find it challenging to talk to people we've only met a few times and remember details about their lives. We've tried note taking, but that's not always practical, especially during unexpected encounters like running into a fellow parent at the grocery store. How can we remember or tactfully re-ask questions about things we should already know, like their names or whether they have children, stuff like that? How do you handle those situations? Signed, Finding Our Feet as We Try to Remember These Deets.
[00:49:06] Jordan Harbinger: Good question and way to lighten the mood a little Gabe I was worried. This is going to be another ultra heavy Feedback Friday banger like, "Oh, now, my kids have been kidnapped and taken to Saudi Arabia. How do I get them back?"
[00:49:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:49:16] Jordan Harbinger: That's what I was waiting for on this one.
[00:49:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: I just wanted you know a little palate cleanser. How do I chat with people I don't care about a Trader Joe's, you know?
[00:49:22] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:49:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: I thought you would need something like that.
[00:49:23] Jordan Harbinger: I do need it. Let's put all this estranged family stuff and coked up friends business on ice And talk about how to interact with people you met two and a half times in the drop off line at school when you're in the frozen food aisle of an Albertsons. Nice change of pace.
[00:49:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly.
[00:49:36] Jordan Harbinger: So candidly, I struggled/used to struggle with this exact same thing myself, and I've had to develop some techniques to not seem like a total a-h*le when I interact with people that I only kinda sorta know.
[00:49:47] So first off, the more you own this and don't try to wiggle out of it, in my opinion, the better. So I'll often say something like, "Hey, I'm so sorry, I've got dad brain. I think you've told me before, but you have kids too, right? What are the names again? How old are they? Okay, I meant to remember that last time, but it just went in one ear and out the other because I was probably juggling a grocery order somewhere in my brain at the same time." That usually goes over really well. Everyone can understand that explanation outside of the most self-important narcissists.
[00:50:16] But then later, I add a task to my Todoist app, usually using Siri. And I'll just say like, "Hey, remember to write down Jack and Jill's names in my phone." And that's it. So then, I go into my phone later, I add their jobs, their kids names, whatever I need to remember. Because trying to remember something an hour or two later after I get home, that's a lot easier than trying to remember it in a month in the moment when I see them again. And Todoist reminds me to remember and then write it down.
[00:50:44] So beyond that, my advice is don't try to pretend, don't be embarrassed to apologize and ask for information again. It's really not that big of a deal. If you happen to be with your significant other or somebody else, you can say, "Hey, I forgot those people's names," and then she can walk up and introduce herself and they'll be like, "Oh, hi, I'm Bob, yeah, I've already met your husband," and you're like, "Oh, yeah, that's right, that's Bob." That's a little trick, doesn't always work if you don't have anybody else near you.
[00:51:09] I think people mind way more when you pretend like you remember things about them. Or when you feign familiarity, then when you just come right out and go, "Hey, I'm sorry for being spacey, remind me, you're married to Paul, right? And your kids are Jack and Lacey, and you guys live where again?" It's just not a big deal. There are also exercises to remember lots of things about people. If you're interested, you can google stuff like The Memory Palace. It's very Dale Carnegie. In fact, I learned it at one of those courses. But I don't use it because, one, I've got a pretty good memory now. If I actually listen, that's the problem. And if I have a conversation with a person, if I'm not just phoning it in mentally, I tend to remember random details. And again, they're in my phone.
[00:51:49] So I also encourage you to really listen when people talk, if you can, and care about what they say, because that's going to make this whole thing a lot easier. The memory stuff falls into place when you're actually present. And if you don't care because you really don't click with these folks, okay, that's fine. But if you're not clicking with them because you're not putting in some effort, and that's why you can't be bothered to remember anything, that's a different problem. And that's something to think about.
[00:52:16] But yeah, just for the practical issue of remembering details with people you don't know super well, a little extra legwork, a little structure, a little note taking tool, that'll do it.
[00:52:27] All right, Gabe, what fresh horror do you have for us now?
[00:52:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. I'm a 46-year-old woman, and I met my husband 20 years ago. We dated for five years, and it was wonderful. But the marriage was difficult from the jump. He lost his job during our short engagement and basically never got another one. I carried 100 percent of the financial load while he worked, quote-unquote, "as an artist." We tried for children, but I was diagnosed as barren. We tried all the medical interventions and a failed adoption before finally giving up. We loved each other deeply, so we weathered these storms together as best we could.
[00:53:07] Jordan Harbinger: Man, I'm sorry to hear that. That's a lot to go through. Also, I didn't know barren was a diagnosis. It sounds so cold and cruel to phrase things that way.
[00:53:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: I mean, I'm sure the doctor didn't use that word. I think she's using that word.
[00:53:18] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, that makes sense. It just sounds so medieval. It's like, "I diagnose thee a spinster. You shall never marry."
[00:53:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: But my husband was undiagnosed bipolar and had episodes of deep depression and physical and verbal violence towards me and others. When the pandemic hit, I lost two jobs in a row, and he mentally started to fall apart. I tried to get him help, but he wouldn't go, and he got more and more violent. We were about to starve, so I took what was supposed to be a temporary job across the country.
[00:53:50] Jordan Harbinger: Wow, so this is a lot. This is a lot. It's sad they had five great years, and then this guy just completely falls apart and becomes a bit of a monster from the sound of it. I wonder how that happens.
[00:54:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm guessing he had some troubles from the very beginning, but it sounds like some combination of the pandemic and financial instability just activated those issues.
[00:54:09] Jordan Harbinger: Right, or maybe he hid his dysfunction really well until they were married. Either way, this guy sounds incredibly difficult and chaotic, and it's hurtful in many ways. Anyway, carry on.
[00:54:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: I really needed that break and finally got a little peace for myself. And I met someone.
[00:54:25] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm, got a little peace for yourself, did ya? Nicely done.
[00:54:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: She got two kinds of peace from the sound of it, peace of mind and a piece of—
[00:54:33] Jordan Harbinger: We get it. We get it.
[00:54:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Letter goes on.
[00:54:35] A truly wonderful man who took me under his wing and took care of me. And I quickly fell deeply in love.
[00:54:42] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Okay. So after how your last husband treated you, I can see why that would mean a lot.
[00:54:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: I told my husband, and we separated and planned to divorce. My new love was patient while I disentangled my old life and transitioned to my new one, which has taken about a year, with many ups and downs. Then, a month ago, right when things felt like they were settling down, my ex committed suicide.
[00:55:05] Jordan Harbinger: Oh jeez, that's really sad. Okay, so he was in a lot of pain.
[00:55:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: This has left me in deep grief, guilt, and on the business end of death as the next of kin. You can't imagine the pain of losing him this way. Even though I wasn't in love with him anymore and wasn't willing to give up this wonderful partner, I never wanted to hurt him. I truly loved him every day since the moment we met.
[00:55:29] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man, I hear you. Yeah, there was still a lot of love there and a lot of history. And having a loved one commit suicide, it's very painful. It's super sad and your grief makes a lot of sense. The guilt piece, I'm less sure about, but let's come back to that.
[00:55:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Now it feels like my life is doomed. My partner still takes care of me, and we're just being each other's person, but it's less romantic now. Nothing feels fun or light like it used to, and we're still too new for things to feel this exhausting. We don't fight or have any drama, but I'm losing the spark, and I'm not very fun to be around right now. How do I manage all this and not lose this beautiful man? Can this love be saved in the face of all this pain? Signed, Grieving the Past and Doing What's Asked Without Driving My New Love Away While I'm Downcast.
[00:56:22] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Okay. This is quite a story. And you're asking some great questions. So to pick up where I left off a moment ago, your grief is entirely appropriate and the fact that you're going through something this heavy, of course that's playing out in your new relationship. You've just lost somebody important to you. You're allowed to be sad. You're allowed to be angry. You're allowed to not feel as fun as you used to. I think anyone who's lost somebody important, especially to suicide would feel like they're not very fun to be around for a while.
[00:56:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Of course.
[00:56:53] Jordan Harbinger: So I find myself wanting to tell you to make some space for that and to not apologize for those feelings too much or mute them out of concern that you're going to drive your new partner away. I get why it's a concern. I really do. But I wonder. If buried in that concern is a fear that if you're not constantly romantic, if you're not always fun and bubbly, if you go through something intense like this, then your partner's not going to want to be with you anymore. When in fact the opposite is likely true. If this new partner is really your person, as you say, then he's going to be there for you through the ups and downs, and he's not going to need you to only be one version of yourself.
[00:57:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Which it sounds like that's exactly what he's doing, right? He's still there taking care of her, they're being each other's person, they don't fight, there's no drama, even if things are heavy right now, that all sounds really peaceful. That all sounds very sweet to me.
[00:57:42] Jordan Harbinger: That's what makes me think she might have some ideas around what makes her lovable or interesting to somebody.
[00:57:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:57:48] Jordan Harbinger: And those are worth exploring.
[00:57:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:57:49] Jordan Harbinger: And seeing, frankly, if they're accurate. Now, about the guilt thing that you feel. I find that emotion meaningful. And again, it makes sense. You left him. He spiraled out. Sadly, he didn't feel life was worth living anymore. So I get why you're going, "Man, I wish I could've saved him. I wish I'd done more." But here's the thing. Your husband struggled in a number of ways. He couldn't hold down a job, he didn't really look for another one. He was trying to be an artist, sounds like he didn't really give that a real go. Things got so bad, you guys were about to literally starve, okay? Most importantly, he was bipolar, you tried to get him help, he then refused to go, and he was physically and emotionally abusive to you.
[00:58:32] All of that, especially his mental health and behavior, that was his responsibility, that was not yours. If he had gotten treatment for his mood stuff, his anger, his behavior, he probably could have handled his life a lot better. He could have stuck with his commitments, he could have been stable enough to maybe work and get better, and whatever drove him to abuse you, he could have brought that into therapy, he could have found resources to work through those things, but he didn't do any of that. And yes, you met someone else, which I'm sure was very hard for him, but that didn't just happen in a vacuum. Things were bad. They were really bad. And it's not like you were having an affair and carrying on behind his back for a super long time. You were essentially separated after he neglected himself and abused you. And you happen to meet somebody who is a much better fit and healthier.
[00:59:21] So when you say you feel guilty, okay, that's a very normal response. But I also don't think it's completely warranted because it's really minimizing your ex's responsibility in this whole situation.
[00:59:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Which is kind of her pattern, right? While her ex tried to be an artist, she carried 100 percent of the financial load. When they were about to starve, she moved across the country and took a temp job.
[00:59:43] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:59:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: This is a woman who assumes a lot of responsibility. She springs into action when there's a crisis. She probably takes on other people's burdens quite easily. I admire her work ethic. I admire her determination. They are incredibly impressive, but there's also an element here of, "I'm going to shoulder the burden for everyone else. I'm the one who needs to step up and If we fail, it's on me." So to your point, Jordan, she might still be doing a version of that even now after her ex has died, except because there's nothing really to do now, she's experiencing it as guilt that she didn't do more back then.
[01:00:20] Jordan Harbinger: That's exactly right. And I'm sure that speaks to her very big heart and her capability. But, yeah, I'm with you. It also speaks to an overactive sense of responsibility, specifically for people who might not always be taking care of themselves the way they should.
[01:00:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[01:00:35] Jordan Harbinger: And that's the other thing that I think she needs to look at here.
[01:00:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: So, how do you manage all this and not lose this great guy you're with now? Well, I think you let yourself move through this difficult chapter, which will get easier with time, I promise you. And not try to suppress or quarantine these feelings too much to spare him. I would also be open with your partner about how you're feeling and what you're worried about now. You could literally tell him, "Look, I'm sorry that I'm kind of a bummer right now. I'm feeling sad. I feel guilty. I feel stressed out. I know I'm not as playful as I usually am. I'm actually kind of worried about what that might be doing to our relationship, you know, to our spark. I obviously I have to go through this, but I also don't want to drive you away somehow. So yeah, I just want to talk to you about that." I mean, that's a wonderful conversation to have with a partner. Just come right out and tell them what you're concerned about. Bringing it up, just bringing it up with him might bring you guys closer together. And in that conversation, I would ask him, "How are you feeling? What's it like for you while I go through this? Is it okay if I need some room to grieve, and I'm not super fun and bubbly 24/7? Is it okay if I get back to the person I was?
[01:01:44] Given what you have told us about this guy, I think that conversation is going to go really well.
[01:01:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I agree. And asking for that space to go through this, that would also be a great way for her to rewrite that impulse towards guilt.
[01:01:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes, because she's putting herself first a little bit, right?
[01:01:59] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[01:01:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: She's not taking on other people's stuff unnecessarily.
[01:02:01] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, she's not going, "Oh, I'm sorry. I'm no fun. You're probably sick of me. I'm going to do my best to choke this down and hide it so that I can keep you around." She's going to be saying, "Hey, I'm sorry. I'm no fun, but I love you and I really appreciate you giving me room to go through this. and helping me heal."
[01:02:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[01:02:16] Jordan Harbinger: That would be a great shift.
[01:02:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also, that level of vulnerability, that communication, that's also how you keep the Spark alive.
[01:02:23] Jordan Harbinger: Yes, I was going to say her idea of keeping the Spark alive is being fun and bubbly all the time. And I get it. That's obviously important or that's fun. But this is life. This is real ish. Difficult stuff happens at some point or another, and like I said, if this guy is really for her, he'll be there for her through this, and if she's going to drive him away, it's not going to be because she's sad that her ex committed suicide, it's going to be because she tries to hide all of these parts of herself from him, which I, you know, you're right. That's probably a pattern too. Like, "Oh, there's no room for my emotions in the relationship. My husband is depressed and bipolar and I can't tell him that I'm upset because he's in hell right now." This is probably a pattern she's had for years.
[01:03:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Could not agree more. So yes, to answer your question. This love can be saved in the face of all this pain. That's literally what love is. That's how it works. That's what it does. But I would go a step further and say, I am not sure that this love needs to be saved. You've given us no indication that your partner is about to bounce because you're mourning right now. He doesn't sound like that kind of guy. So I would invite you to consider if you might be underestimating how much he's there for you right now all these parts of you. And maybe overestimating how much of his love for you depends on you being easy and fun and super low maintenance all the time.
[01:03:43] Jordan Harbinger: Which, it's interesting, that might be the root of the impulse to take on so much responsibility and the impulse to feel guilty. Because she might feel like she needs to do a lot of work to, I don't know, earn people's love or keep their loyalty. And I'm guessing that tendency also goes back a long way. So, let yourself go through this. I'm so sorry that your ex husband got you to this point. I'm so sorry that you're hurting. But please remember that he was on his own journey, and he was ultimately responsible for his life, just like you are responsible for yours. Sending you a big hug from California, your new guy too, he sounds like a good one. We're wishing you both all the best.
[01:04:19] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everybody who wrote in, and everybody who listened. Thank you so much. Go back and check out Jim Latrache, if you haven't done so yet.
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[01:05:08] Notes, transcripts, all that, jordanharbinger.com. Advertisers, deals and discounts, ways to support the show, very important, all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn, Gabe's on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi or on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
[01:05:27] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions are our own, and I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love, and if you found the episode useful, please share it with somebody else who could use the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, I hope you apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you learn, and we'll see you next time.
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