How do you get your life back on track after it was disrupted so thoroughly by a cyberbully’s campaign to ruin your reputation? 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:
- Motion feels like progress. Action is progress.
- How do you get your life back on track after it was disrupted so thoroughly by a cyberbully’s campaign to ruin your reputation?
- What can you do to help your fallen-behind friend excel when it seems like he doesn’t want to take the first steps toward helping himself?
- You send your two brothers and their kids gifts each year for Christmas, but they don’t want to exchange even rudimentary gifts with you. Is it unreasonable to experience inexplicably intense feelings about this?
- How do you address the feelings of guilt, cynicism, and responsibility that accompany your work monitoring sex offenders and ensuring they don’t re-offend?
- Jordan got kidnapped twice so you don’t have to! A listener shares how listening to this show saved his family from almost getting abducted in a land far from home.
- 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.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Jordan Harbinger Show receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you for your support!
This Episode Is Sponsored By:
- Heat Holders: Visit heatholders.com and use code JORDAN for 15% off your order
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Ever find yourself trapped in a cycle of always wanting more and never feeling content? Listen to episode 902: Michael Easter | Rewiring Your Scarcity Brain in a World of Excess here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Michael McQueen | Mastering the Art of Changing Minds | Jordan Harbinger
- The Mistake Smart People Make: Being In Motion vs. Taking Action | James Clear
- James Clear | Forming Atomic Habits for Astronomic Results | Jordan Harbinger
- Access Your Hidden Network | Six-Minute Networking
- How to Beat Procrastination | Wait But Why
- How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome | Deep Dive | Jordan Harbinger
- The Danger of Incels — And How We Shift the Thinking of Men Attracted to These Groups | Ms. Magazine
- How to Ask for a Recommendation on LinkedIn | The Muse
- Looking Back on the Worst Chapter of My Life, Four Years On | Jordan Harbinger
- What We Can Learn from Envy | Deep Dive | Jordan Harbinger
- Friends | Prime Video
- When You’re the Only One to Put Thought into Gifts and It’s Never Reciprocated | r/firstworldproblems
- Miss Congeniality | Prime Video
- FAE: The Big Mistake You’re Making about Other People (And How to Overcome It) | Jordan Harbinger
- Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement: A Guide for Officers and Their Families by Kevin M. Gilmartin | Amazon
- Kidnap Me Once, Shame on You | Stereo Sunday | Jordan Harbinger
- Jordan & Gabe | Kidnap Me Twice, Shame on Me | Jordan Harbinger
- Ian Urbina | Maritime Misdeeds on the Outlaw Ocean | Jordan Harbinger
947: Getting Back on Track After Cyberbully’s Attack | Feedback Friday
This transcript is yet untouched by human hands. Please proceed with caution as we sort through what the robots have given us. We appreciate your patience!
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with feedback, Friday producer, the emotional Roy, to my show, boating Siegfried, Gabriel Mizrahi. Hopefully without the Tiger Mauling little incident 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.
[00:00:26] Our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. During the week, we have long form conversations with a variety of amazing folks from drug traffickers, former Jihadi gold smugglers, four Star Generals, extreme athletes, Russian chess grandma. This week we had Michael McQueen on Persuasion Techniques.
[00:00:43] This was a really practical episode. A lot of stuff you can apply right outta the box, so if you're interested in persuasion, influence, that kind of thing, he's definitely the kind of guy you wanna be listening to, and it was an enjoyable conversation to boot, so definitely check that one out. If you haven't done so yet.
[00:00:56] On Fridays, we share stories. We take listener letters, offer advice, play obnoxious sound bites, and mercilessly roast Gabe for his appearance and or life choices. Before we jump in, I wanted to share something I learned from my friend James Clear, author of Atomic Habits. He was also a guest on the show that was episode 1 0 8, which sounds ancient 'cause it is.
[00:01:16] He shared this in his newsletter a while back, and I love this idea and it was the difference between motion and action when it comes to pursuing a goal that you have. So motion. Looks like talking to a personal trainer, researching your book, idea, exploring different types of meditation, gathering language, learning resources, whatever it is.
[00:01:37] Action is very different. Action is, instead of talking to a personal trainer, you do 10 squats. Instead of researching a book idea, you write one sentence. Instead of exploring different types of meditation, you meditate for five minutes. The thing is, motion feels like progress. Action is progress. And the same principle applies to relationship building.
[00:01:58] And given the six minute networking course ago, so many people, they're like, I bookmarked it. Yeah, I'm ready to go. They're doing this for when they quote unquote have time, because right now they're learning X thing and it's completely unrelated, and they don't understand why they might need these skills Right now.
[00:02:12] That's just motion, that's not action. It's also procrastination. Frankly. We're really good at procrastinating when we do things like motion because it looks like, well, we did something. We are making progress. You're not procrastinating on something important is essentially, I. Choosing to delay a better future.
[00:02:28] So even if you think you don't need to network or build relationships, or you don't like it, you don't like the way it feels, you're not immune to the consequences of inaction here. You're just being willfully ignorant of the secret game that's being played around you, and that's not a good position to find yourself in.
[00:02:43] That's why we say dig the Well before you get thirsty, six minute networking.com or Jordan harbinger.com/course is where you can find it. All right, Gabe, what's the first thing outta the mailbag?
[00:02:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I'm a writer and coach, and for the last 15 years I've worked with job seekers to help them find new employment opportunities or get ahead of their jobs.
[00:03:04] Eight years ago, I was running a successful firm with a great brand. I had many happy, successful clients and multiple subcontractors and assistants. Unfortunately, I developed health issues and I burned out hard. I couldn't keep up anymore and had to cut way back on my workload. It broke my heart, but I had to let everyone go.
[00:03:25] Trying to figure out how to balance my health and my work. I floundered in my career and eventually took a complete break for a couple of years, which since I'm a coach, led to major imposter syndrome. Then I was encouraged to run for public office in my city. The campaign was growing well, but I was not well at all during that time.
[00:03:43] I ended up losing the election, but not by much. So I'm happy with that result. But the worst of it was that someone I thought was a friend, started to harass me online. He turned out to be a men's rights activist and probably an incel. We never dated. There was nothing romantic, but maybe that's why he did what he did.
[00:04:01] I'll never know. He developed a website to take me down, including posting things from my social media sites. But with his anti-feminist commentary, he took pictures of me and altered them. He even talked to an ex of mine and wrote a blog post with all kinds of horrible things about me. He. Trying to ruin my reputation.
[00:04:19] Then he posted about me on LinkedIn where I used to get most of my business. It was embarrassing and scary. The police were involved in a moment of panic, I deleted my LinkedIn profile entirely. I'd built that profile since 2008 and had a thousands of connections and recommendations. Eventually, the harassment stopped, but I'm scarred emotionally from it.
[00:04:41] I couldn't use LinkedIn for the last few years because it was too triggering. Since then, I've started to make a comeback. I relocated and there's a lot of opportunity in my new city. I'm slowly rebuilding my online presence with a new brand and business model that allow me to take better care of myself.
[00:04:57] I've also done therapy, specifically DBT, and it's helped me with the PTSD. I recently created a new LinkedIn profile and regularly work on reconnecting with all the people I lost, but it's awkward. How do I explain this mess. Oops. Please connect with me again because I deleted my profile and I had to recreate it.
[00:05:18] Uh, I dread it every time someone messages me back saying, I thought we were already connected. It's so stressful to explain what happened, even though I don't go into detail about why, what's a professional way to say? Would you mind writing that recommendation again? What are some do's and don'ts when you find yourself being harassed?
[00:05:35] How do you come back from it signed relearning. How to tag, brag, and wave a flag after being dragged online by a scumbag? Oh,
[00:05:44] Jordan Harbinger: man. What a journey this has been, and I am very sorry to hear about your health problems. I know how debilitating that stuff can be, how it can disrupt a career. And I'm even sorry that you were targeted by this red pill, incel manchild.
[00:05:57] That's rough. Being harassed online is very exposing. It's scary, and as you know, it can really get in your head. So I feel for you here. I really do, and I'm so proud of you for making it through this dark chapter and finding a business model that works for you. Going to therapy, all that is fantastic. So everything you're describing, it really does sound like PTSD or some version of PTSD because LinkedIn was the location of the trauma, so to speak.
[00:06:24] Going back on there and then having to explain to your old connections what happened. It sounds like that's bringing up this old wound. It's making it feel like it's in the present again. Or maybe it's just mildly embarrassing and unpleasant at this point, but still not something you wanna dredge up all the time.
[00:06:37] Unfortunately, I'm not sure it's gonna be possible to just never talk about the harassment again. And actually that might not be an entirely bad thing because what you went through was objectively hurtful, objectively uncool, and based on what you've shared, you're just a hundred percent the victim of some cruel, a-hole
[00:06:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: online.
[00:06:55] Right. There's no way I hear this story and I don't feel like I'm on her side in all of
[00:06:59] Jordan Harbinger: this. For sure. Yeah. So telling other people what happened when they ask, as unpleasant as it might be, I actually think it might bring you closer to other people. I think it'll give them a chance to empathize with you and relate to you in a new way.
[00:07:11] And if these are people that you haven't been in touch with in a long time, that might actually be a great way to rekindle the relationship. Not in a sort of like, Hey, I'm gonna trot out my tale of woe to elicit sympathy kind of way. Just a, I'm gonna tell people what happened to me so they can know me better kind of way, sort of in the spirit of transparency.
[00:07:28] Anyways, we're not talking about a 45 minute, 10,000 word diatribe. It can be a few sentences that you copy and paste when people ask. You know, like I had to delete my LinkedIn when I was being harassed during my campaign. It was bizarre and scary, but that's all over now, and I'm back and I'm so glad to be connected here again, nothing like a fresh start.
[00:07:45] Hey, look, I'm sorry to bug you about this, but is there any chance you could write a recommendation to me again, I know it's kind of annoying to ask, but it was such a good recommendation. It meant a lot to me. I would be incredibly grateful if you could take three minutes and write it again or write a new one, and of course I'd be happy to do the same for you.
[00:08:00] So that's basically the script I would use. I think it's simple, direct, honest, and maybe you go ahead and you leave them a recommendation proactively before you ask for yours. Give before you ask. Always a good policy. And by the way, this is exactly what happened to me when I went through the business breakup.
[00:08:16] Instead of going, Hey, I'm launching something new. I wanted to inform you, which just looks like spam, and everybody deletes it, I was like, Hey, I got raked over the coals by some bad actors. Here's what happened to me, and I kind of need your help to get back on my feet. That was a much stronger call to action.
[00:08:31] I sent up the bat signal and activated my network way more than if I had just sort of sugarcoated or glossed over or avoided talking about the negative side of the events. So that's the approach I would take. If one of my LinkedIn connections told me this story, I go, wow, that is awful. Okay, no problem.
[00:08:49] It wouldn't strike me as weird at all. In fact, it would be weirder to get a connection request from somebody I hadn't heard from in three years with zero explanation for why we were reconnecting. But okay, I get it. That doesn't mean it's not a big deal to you. So it's okay that this is a little bit hard.
[00:09:04] That's another reason that I think you should start telling your story to really own it. Get friendlier with it. Find out that when you tell people what went down, nothing terrible's gonna happen. There can be a sort of exposure therapy thing going on here where you simply work up to doing the thing that feels really scary until one day you find yourself doing it and you don't have the same response.
[00:09:24] And honestly, that's the only way that I know of to bounce back from harassment online. Let yourself feel the wound process it. Build up those tender parts of you that were laid bare by the harassment, all of which you're doing. Then when you're ready, start telling the story of what happened. Stories have a way of turning a traumatic event into something else.
[00:09:42] A point of connection. A cautionary tale, a formative experience. This can even become part of your new brand, so to speak. And if you do that with the right people over time, I really do think that this PTSD response and all those conflicts will just quiet down. That's what happened with me anyway. You're gonna find that most people are gonna respond well to your story.
[00:10:01] They're probably not gonna think about it nearly as much as you are, and you won't be as self-conscious about opening up about it. Again, super. Sorry this happened to you. It's an awful thing to go through. I mean, when people drag me on Twitter or in a review or whatever, yeah, I might have a minute or two of feeling kind of raw, so I can't even imagine what it would be like for some wacko online to harass me for months and interview my exes and publish all this personal stuff about me in an effort to ruin my life in an election.
[00:10:29] That's just so weird. Luckily, most of my exes aren't super vindictive and the rest are, uh, inflatable.
[00:10:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, is that why I've never met any of them? Yeah, they live in Canada. Okay,
[00:10:39] Jordan Harbinger: bro. But look at you. You survived. You built a new business. You're taking great care of yourself on a number of levels. This has shown you how resourceful and resilient you really are.
[00:10:49] So telling the story, I actually think it's gonna be the least hard thing about this experience, and it gives you a great excuse to refresh all your connections, which is actually a blessing in disguise, in my opinion. Sending you a big hug. Wishing you all the best. And, uh, yeah. Hey, hit me up on LinkedIn.
[00:11:04] I'm the guy who's first degree connected to the world's largest inflatable doll manufacturer. Not hard to find, you know, what's even more enjoyable than an inflatable girlfriend, Gabriel. The fine products and services that support this show, we'll be right back. This episode is sponsored in part by heat holders.
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[00:12:08] Don't freeze your butter feed off this winter. Remember to go to heat holders.com and use the code Jordan. That's heat holders.com. Heat holders making life warmer. This episode is also sponsored by Fly Kitt. Before Fly Kitt entered my life, international travel meant grappling with jet lag for up to two weeks.
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[00:13:36] Keep sharing your stories with us. We love hearing them. Check it firstname.lastname@example.org, promo code. Jordan, thank you for listening to and supporting this show. It is your support of our sponsors that keeps the lights on around here, all the deals, discount codes, and ways to support the show. All at Jordan harbinger.com/deals.
[00:13:52] Alright, back to feedback Friday. Okay, what's next?
[00:13:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. I have a friend I've known since high school, half my life ago now. When we hang out, we usually talk about girls and sports and he talks a lot about his frustrations with his new career in real estate. I am pretty well off now with my growing business as a full-time content creator.
[00:14:15] I notice that anytime I talk about my successes, he pulls away. He's supportive and says that he's happy for me, but I sense that he isn't all that happy. Maybe deep down he feels like he should be where I am and he feels some slight
[00:14:29] Jordan Harbinger: envy. Mm-Hmm. Yeah. Very common. Very understandable. It can be hard to watch a good friend take off when you're kind of stuck in second gear.
[00:14:36] So I feel
[00:14:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: for the guy, I send him personal development and business resources that I like, books, podcasts. I even recommended your show to him. I'm always giving him the best advice I can, but it seems like he's been stuck for the longest time,
[00:14:50] Jordan Harbinger: right? So you're super into self-help, learning, growing, and you wanna share that with your boy, but he either isn't as into it as you are, or he doesn't know how to make use of it the way that you do.
[00:15:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: which probably just makes him feel worse. Mm-hmm. So he goes on, I don't like to talk about money anymore either. It's always a mistake and a trap anytime he brings up finances. So I stop talking about how much I make and what my financial goals are.
[00:15:15] Jordan Harbinger: You know, that's probably a good policy blanket policy in general.
[00:15:18] If that lands with him in a painful way. If he's not wanting to share financial goals so you guys can learn from each other and level up, then I would just definitely stay away from that topic. It can really sting when a person finds out that somebody they thought of as a peer actually makes multiples of what they do.
[00:15:33] It shouldn't, but for some people it does. 'cause it goes right to the ego.
[00:15:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: I can also feel his negative energy at times, which is really draining. For example, I recently invited him to a weekend summit event and he kept saying how it wasn't really relevant to him, and these weren't really his people.
[00:15:51] While it wasn't directly his line of work, there was plenty of overlap and many of the topics could benefit anyone. I. One of the first things he said was that quote, everyone here is so much smarter than
[00:16:00] Jordan Harbinger: me. Uh, yeah, that's sad. So I'm getting a picture of a guy who feels pretty daunted, maybe even kind of threatened by you and by these ambitious people, and that probably feels really bad to him.
[00:16:12] But instead of sitting in those workshops and going, okay, I'm gonna feel uncomfortable, I'm gonna feel a little bit outta my depth, outta my league. I'm willing to be the dumbest person in the room this weekend so I can learn some stuff. He's going, oh, this isn't even relevant to me. These aren't my people.
[00:16:25] So he can shield himself from these difficult feelings. And again, it's just pure ego.
[00:16:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. It does sound like a defense, doesn't it?
[00:16:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It's a lot easier to go, oh, this doesn't speak to me. I don't like these people anyway, than to go, huh, okay, I wonder what this place might be able to teach me. I wonder what the difference is between me and these people and what I can apply as opposed to just everyone's smarter than me.
[00:16:47] Well, you know, screw these guys anyway. Which is what it sounds like this guy's sort of doing. I've encountered this mindset a lot over the years, especially back in my coaching days, the mental gymnastics people will do to ward off certain forms of help and not have to grow. Man, I have a lot of compassion for personalities like this.
[00:17:05] I really do. But it can also be extremely frustrating, especially if you work with this
[00:17:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: person or you're close with 'em. I was gonna say, especially when it's your good friend for many, many years who's then turning around and complaining about the state of his career. It's like, do you wanna work on this or not?
[00:17:19] Jordan Harbinger: Well, it's both, right. He says he does. He wants the results that he would get from working on it so that his ego is placated, but then truly working on things would require him to confront difficult stuff, his envy, his anger, his limitations. So on a deeper level, he definitely does not wanna
[00:17:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: work on this.
[00:17:37] Right? Or like he does, but he doesn't have the tools. So it just feels very overwhelming. But yeah, it's super interesting. So the letter goes on, I laughed it off, but I thought to myself, if you're thinking like that, then whatever you think is probably true. Yeah, well, quite his energy and body language, the entire event were a downer.
[00:17:56] It made me feel bad and I tried to do whatever I could to make him feel more comfortable, but to no avail.
[00:18:02] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, he's really going through it. And look, this is all really thoughtful of you, but it's clear he's just not ready. And that's, you know, that's okay.
[00:18:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: I wanna remain a good friend to this person, but we don't really see eye to eye anymore and I feel like we don't have much to relate about.
[00:18:15] I. I feel like we're on different paths and we're going to slowly drift apart, which is a shame because he's a good friend and I appreciate our friendship. Do I sit down with him and have a conversation about this or just keep talking about sports and girls with him? Should I maintain this friendship or should I let it go signed, disappear from this lifelong pier, or keep him near, even though he's stuck in second gear?
[00:18:40] Jordan Harbinger: Whenever I hear stuck in second gear, the friend's theme song starts going through my head. You should have
[00:18:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: played that as a soundbite.
[00:18:47] Jordan Harbinger: Anyway. It's such a good question, and this is one I can really relate to. I've been in this position a few times in my life. I know how frustrating it is. But this is so much of life, man, pushing yourself evolving, then finding out that your relationships are evolving too, and some friends evolve with you or in a parallel way, and it's wonderful.
[00:19:05] Or the foundation of your friendship is super strong or very specific, like you relate on one or two crucial levels, and those levels still work, and that keeps the friendship meaningful. But oftentimes you'll find that people don't evolve with you or you don't evolve with them. Or in your case, devolve with them, stay stuck with them, stay guarded, safe, and then the relationship goes through this little crisis, and you either have to recategorize that person in your life, or you put that relationship to bed.
[00:19:33] To your point. Yeah. It's really sad because your friend isn't a bad guy. Like you said, he is a good friend. He's not consciously trying to make things harder for you or for him. He just doesn't have the same mindset as you, the same ambition, the same inner resources. So it isn't easy to just write him off, but then you are basically flourishing and you're probably sitting across from him at brunch.
[00:19:53] Like, is this all we have to talk about, Travis Kelsey's catch average and that lame ass bumble date you went on last week where the girl was late. Is this how I wanna spend my Sunday morning? Totally valid questions. So let's take a moment to appreciate that this transition you're going through with your friend.
[00:20:08] As tough as it is, it's actually a pretty good sign 'cause it means you are growing. On one level, these growing pains in a relationship are a great indicator that you're growing up, you're maturing, you're evolving. I know how sad and awkward it is to acknowledge that you're on a different path from somebody you care about.
[00:20:24] I mean, that that sucks. But actually the problem here isn't necessarily that you're on different paths. It's this other thing that you said that you don't see eye to eye anymore. You don't have much to relate about. What you're actually saying is that your values are different. Your priorities are different.
[00:20:41] It's not really about the amount of money you make or how prominent you are. Those are just reflections of the choices that you're each making. I think you and your friend could be on different paths and enjoy different levels of success and still stay connected. If he saw himself and the world in a similar way.
[00:20:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes. Or if he had other traits and values that you
[00:20:59] Jordan Harbinger: admire. Sure. Yeah. Which maybe he does. And that's something I would take a moment to consider before you decide to part ways. Like maybe he's not doing as well in his career, but he is like ran three triathlons this year and he's in crazy good shape. I mean, there's something to be said for.
[00:21:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Or he is incredibly loyal or kind or hilarious. I mean, those things go a very long
[00:21:16] Jordan Harbinger: way. Yeah, agree. So do you keep trying with this guy or do you move on? Well, look, it's really tough for me to decide this or for us to decide this for you because you've really tried to pull him in with you on this journey and in a variety of ways.
[00:21:29] He's essentially said like, no thanks, I'm good. So you gotta respect that what works for you might not work for him. He might not want to or be ready to address the stuff that's holding him back. And that's okay. It's his life. On the other hand, your friend is clearly unhappy with his results. He's struggling to make the most of the resources he encounters.
[00:21:47] He's wrestling with some envy and some anger, and I think some shame. And you could be an amazing friend to him by helping him work through that. So part of me wants to say, yeah, man, sit down with your boy, have a heart to heart about all of this. Kindly tell him what you're noticing in him, what you want for him, what you know he's capable of.
[00:22:04] Tell him you appreciate his friendship. You believe in him. You'd love nothing more than to see him succeed. And then just invite him to open up about how he's feeling these days and the way that he responds to that invitation. That is gonna tell you a lot about whether he's ready to join you in this process.
[00:22:20] If he gets defensive, pissed off, shuts down, I would just back off and accept it. But if he opens up and shows some willingness to dig into this stuff, I think that's an amazing sign and I would definitely support him in working through them as long as he is truly willing to go there and act on what you guys talk about.
[00:22:36] That said, my goal in this conversation would not be to force this guy to walk the same path as you or to adopt the same values and habits that you do. My goal would just be to make some room for him to share how he's feeling, what he feels is holding him back, what he really wants outta life. So that's gonna mean asking good questions, listening, well, helping him come to terms with this stuff for himself.
[00:22:58] He needs to drive most of the conversation, and I think that alone would just be a huge step for him. If you try to fast forward through the anger and the shame, and you push the result that you want, I don't know how helpful that'll be. That might just be the weekend summit all over again. You have to make it safe for him to acknowledge his problems and locate his ambition in himself again, that's if he even wants to do that.
[00:23:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. I could not agree more, but this is hard because that's another challenge that you're gonna be up against here. I think it might be difficult for your friend to hear some of this from you specifically, because even though I think he loves you and appreciates you too. It sounds like he's also envious of you on some level.
[00:23:35] Mm-Hmm. And possibly a little intimidated. So for you to go, you know, tell me how you're feeling, bro. Like, what's stopping you from doing what I'm doing? That might be very loaded coming from you, not your fault. It's just the way he might hear that. Now, I would love for your friend to be able to say, dude, look, I know this is really petty and it's uncomfortable, but sometimes I feel kind of envious of you and I don't really know how to get over it.
[00:23:58] So there it is. And I would love for you to say thank you for telling me that. I know how hard that is. I get it. So tell me more about this envy, like I'm listening. I'm here to help. And for the two of you to unpack that feeling together so you can help him turn his, what sounds like probably some malignant envy into benign envy, and then hopefully into some hope and motivation to pursue the things he wants, which is one of the many things we talked about in our deep dive on envy, which was a really interesting conversation.
[00:24:25] But I. I'm not sure if your friend can do that with you. He might need to do that with someone else, you know, another friend, a therapist, or a coach, or he needs to find that idea in a book or a podcast or wherever you might encounter this idea. But again, if he's willing to engage with those things, and that's something I would definitely keep encouraging him to do.
[00:24:46] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Although didn't he say he already did that, so maybe he just doesn't want to. I wouldn't go into this conversation with too many
[00:24:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: expectations. No, it's fair. Yeah. We keep coming back to what does this guy really want? Yeah. Because that's ultimately all that matters. Bottom line. If you give this a real shot and your friend confirms that he is absolutely just not interested in changing in any way then, or even just talking about it, then I do think it's time to reevaluate this friendship.
[00:25:11] Maybe you only see him once a month or once a quarter, you know? Maybe you keep it to a 45 minute coffee and you don't do the three hour brunch that you used to do every week, or I. Maybe you decide ultimately that there isn't really enough to sustain this friendship and you slowly drift apart or you formally end the friendship.
[00:25:27] Only you can decide what's best. But I do think that sometimes the answer when it comes to a friend like this is just, I. Being disciplined about how much contact we have with them and also being clear with ourselves about what place people like this hold in our life and
[00:25:41] Jordan Harbinger: also coming to accept them fully.
[00:25:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, that's actually extremely important because then you know what to expect from them. You know, which people and projects deserve your attention the most. You won't find yourself giving away valuable time or energy to somebody who isn't adding meaningfully to your life anymore and who doesn't always seem to want you to add to theirs, or at least not in the ways that you're interested in.
[00:26:01] And I, so yeah, I think that's actually really
[00:26:03] Jordan Harbinger: important. Yeah, I totally agree. I will say though, it can be really nice to have a friend to talk about sports and girls with, or music and movies. Fair point. Or work it out and cooking or whatever your interests are. Not every friendship needs to be about, you know, like hashtag leveling up and did you listen to that five and a half hour podcast with that executive coach who gets up at 2:45 AM about how to maximize every second of every day.
[00:26:22] Because that stuff can also be very limiting and very much not the point of life. And by the way, a lot of those guys are lying. Those guys, you see, they are lying. I've been to events with a lot of these guys. They fricking overslept through breakfast. You, they weren't meditating or whatever. They just fricking slept 'cause they drank the night before.
[00:26:39] All that stuff is bs. So if this friendship is still gratifying on a few basic levels and you want this guy in your life, then that might be a good reason to stay connected. And that's beautiful. But again, that means accepting and making peace with his choices and his priorities. Maybe it means you just don't talk about the work stuff anymore.
[00:26:55] You know, his job's a joke. He's broke. Is Love Life's DOA, you know, what is that? Is that a reference to, that's the lyrics to the song, which the joke you broke, you love Life's DOA seems like you're always stuck in second gear. Yeah. Come on man.
[00:27:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: You know what's so funny that you brought up friends today?
[00:27:11] Because I've never seen it. And then after Matthew Perry died, I was like, I, I should go watch that show and find out what it's about. And, um, all the criticism I've read about friends makes a lot of sense. But I have to say Matthew Perry was amazing in that show. So good. Yeah. He's so good. And I was like shocked actually.
[00:27:29] He has the best lines. They give him the best lines. Mm-Hmm. His performance is absolutely perfect for that guy. Mm-Hmm. And there's something about that show that I totally get why people like it. Yeah. It's, there's a sweetness and it is kind of dumb a lot of the time. The jokes are terrible. But there's some really, really good moments.
[00:27:45] Anyway, sorry for that digression. I just haven't watched it enough to know the theme song in my head. It
[00:27:50] Jordan Harbinger: was so huge in college and I had roommates that watched it and they'd be like, oh, you're totally doing a Joey right now. And it was ridiculous. It was sex in the city for men, basically. Well, for men and women, but also for like guys, I guess.
[00:28:01] People were obsessed with it and it just so nostalgic for me. Of course, you know, being in high school and college. But I lived in other countries. I got to watch it in like Spanish and German, which both was interesting, but also kind of ruined it for me
[00:28:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: anyway. Does Ross still hit in Serbian?
[00:28:16] Jordan Harbinger: Ross is even more pathetic in other languages because, oh, okay.
[00:28:19] All you have is like the overact emotional part from whoever's dubbing it and it's just like extra sad.
[00:28:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. He was so perfect. I don't know how you translate that into another language. It's so perfect. No,
[00:28:30] Jordan Harbinger: and I also don't know how to transition back into what we were actually talking about, but look, you're gonna have to keep checking in with yourself about whether this is the right friendship for you.
[00:28:36] It's a tough situation, but like I said, I think it's ultimately a really good sign. I hope your friend can take in your help and find his own way to evolve too. And good luck. You know, this also reminds me when I was coming outta my shell, I used to be like really shy and I decided one day I needed to learn dating and social skills and there was all this pickup artist crap.
[00:28:54] And I didn't really resonate with most of that, but I had this buddy who was a med student and he was just a really negative person. Everything was dim and stupid and lame, and he would make fun of us all the time trying to learn stuff. It was with my former business partner and I were like, go out every night.
[00:29:07] We're like, okay, we're gonna like try and talk to people and we're gonna try this new strategy that I learned online, whatever. And finally. My friends and I, we had a sit down with him and we were like, Hey man, your negativity is becoming kind of a thing. If we're gonna get good at this stuff, we all need to ditch our egos, give each other good feedback.
[00:29:22] Feels like you're really leaning into your ego and it's not helping you, and it's really making it like hard for us. Oh, wow. And instead of being like. Oh, maybe I need to hear this. You guys are making some fair points. He literally said, and I'm paraphrasing, but it was like, screw you guys. You're full of yourselves.
[00:29:37] I'll see you at the bar if your head fits through the door. Wow.
[00:29:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wait, did he actually say that?
[00:29:42] Jordan Harbinger: The head fit through the door thing? I remember he definitely
[00:29:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: did. Oh my God. What a phrase. Because your egos are so big.
[00:29:47] Jordan Harbinger: Is that Yeah, like we're so full of ourselves for telling him that his ego is a problem and that we're all trying to be less full of ourselves and cover for ourselves.
[00:29:54] And I remember ending that conversation and being like, I'm never gonna probably talk to that guy again unless he comes around. He never even made one effort to reach out or do anything ever again. And it's interesting because this guy's a doctor, so you think like, oh, he's a successful person. Mm-Hmm.
[00:30:11] But I've got other friends. This one guy comes to mind. We only talk about like working out hormone replacement therapy, cryptocurrency. Right. And some parenting stuff. And he lives in a trailer in the middle of the desert in the middle of nowhere. We have virtually nothing in common on the surface. Hmm.
[00:30:29] But we have a really strong friendship and it's based on a couple mutual interests and a shared sensibility. And we don't try and like cover up nonsense. Like he'll go through something and he is like, I need to talk to you, man. I'm going through a hard time. And he just like talks to me like a normal person.
[00:30:43] Wow. So you don't have to have a bunch of stuff in common with the people you're friends with. I think the deeper values have to align though for it to be a truly meaningful friendship that can stand the test of time. Right. Well said. You can reach us email@example.com. Please keep your emails concise.
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[00:31:31] Okay, next
[00:31:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: up. Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I'm one of four siblings. My sister and I have no children, and my two brothers have five kids between them, and I'm experiencing some inexplicably intense feelings about the fact that we send them gifts each year for Christmas, but my brothers don't want to exchange gifts with me.
[00:31:52] One of my brothers was planning to come to the East Coast this year, but canceled because of health issues. When I reached out to make sure that they would be home to receive a gift, he asked me to skip it because, and I quote, sibling presents aren't our favorite unless we're in person. Thanks for what you sent to our daughter.
[00:32:07] My other brother seems to have the same view. If I show up to Christmas morning across the country, there's a gift for me under the tree. But I've lived in a different country for the last decade and currently live on a different coast and can't make it this year because I'm helping my parents with health issues, which I've been managing solo the entire year.
[00:32:25] I've been driving them to a hospital eight hours away every six weeks for the past six months, and we'll be out there all this month for surgery. I'm fortunate to not need anything, and I feel like an absolute maniac brat complaining about not getting gifts as a 33-year-old human. But it feels like my sister and I, and even my parents are getting snubbed despite making an effort to participate in the holidays for them and their kids.
[00:32:49] This especially stings because it also feels like I'm the only one who makes an effort to get things from my parents, including coordinating more expensive presents to split among us in addition to spending time with them on the holiday. But then we're lucky that we all have one another's backs when it comes to the importance stuff.
[00:33:06] My brothers have helped me immensely in my career, for example, and this feels small also, my brothers are traditional ex frat bros who I assume outsource the gifting to their wives. Am I crazy? Should I get over the fact that because I have no kids, my brothers don't think it's worth taking 10 minutes to pick out a stupid candle or hand cream set on Amazon.
[00:33:28] Is there any way to clear the air around this? Or do I need to just suck it up and make peace with it? Or have a kid signed, a sister feeling peeved that there's nothing under the proverbial tree when all she needs is some damn hand cream to agree that we're all on the same page in this family.
[00:33:46] Jordan Harbinger: Gabe, you know, you don't get paid more by the word count.
[00:33:48] Right. There's no bonus for having a three line
[00:33:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: sign off. I know. It's just that sometimes they come out that way. Also, I'm not, um, working on anything right now outside of the show. I don't have like a screenplay going, so I guess it has to come out somewhere. So just give me my sign offs. They're getting a little baroque.
[00:34:08] Yeah, a little over-engineered at times, but, uh, that's gonna keep happening. So, sorry. Not sorry.
[00:34:13] Jordan Harbinger: The last one needed batteries or whatever. Well, first of all, what you've been doing for your parents is pretty extraordinary and they are very lucky to have you taking such good care of them, helping your parents manage their health issues, driving them so far, that's a ridiculous trip to the hospital and so often making sure they feel appreciated every Christmas.
[00:34:31] These are real gestures of love, and it sounds like you've made a big difference in their lives. Mm-Hmm. When you're older and they're gone, I bet you're gonna look back fondly on those long drives and take a lot of pride in the fact that you were there for them. Honestly, that's very special. I also wonder whether all of that is why the lack of gifts from your siblings stings so much.
[00:34:51] It's gotta, right? Yeah. I mean, these are their parents too, right? Mm-Hmm. And you're doing your brothers a huge favor as well. By being so available to your parents, maybe you feel unrecognized for your work with them, and the Christmas gift exchange is the most tangible example of that. This would be kind of a perfect time to year to send you something thoughtful and pick up the phone or write a note that said, Hey, thanks for everything you do for us and our parents.
[00:35:11] Mm-Hmm. It's a gift of the whole family. I hope you enjoy this hand cream set from Amazon, which is hopefully very bougie and expensive because let's be honest, you deserve it. It's, I bet that would mean a lot. Plus you also get them and their kids gifts, so it would only be right for them to reciprocate at least a little bit.
[00:35:26] It's possible that they're simply not as conscientious as you are, which is a shame. Funny story I suppose. When my grandma was dying, my dad was taking care of the health stuff for her, you know the nursing home stuff and my aunt got him a DVD player and a copy of A DVD because we didn't have any and it was mis congeniality with Sandra Bullock, which does
[00:35:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: not sound, you don't even need to know.
[00:35:47] Yeah, I was about to say, this is not your dad's movie, right?
[00:35:50] Jordan Harbinger: No. Like you don't really need to know my dad to know that. That's a patently ridiculous choice. And my dad has never watched a DVD in his life, but he loved it. He was so grateful. He loved the DVD player in the movie and he would like put it on and leave the room or like read something and just not care.
[00:36:06] 'cause he was using it and he felt good about it. So I really do get this feeling. Any sort of gesture like this can really go a long way. It's the thought that counts. And that said, I also think it's worth considering whether you and your brothers assign the same meaning to these Christmas gifts to you.
[00:36:22] Well, they're very important to them. Maybe not so much. Also, maybe they feel that they express their love to you in other ways, maybe more significant ways, and the giving gifts thing isn't really on their radar because they just have a different love language. And I know we kinda use that pseudo-scientific thing, but you get what I mean here.
[00:36:39] So for example, you mentioned that your brothers have helped you immensely in your career. I think it's awesome that you feel lucky to have that support. I do wonder if maybe that's how your brothers prefer to show their gratitude to you, how they like to express their love, not with physical objects, but by guiding you, championing you opening doors.
[00:36:57] I mean, that says a lot. So maybe in their minds, being there for you in your career is way more meaningful than buying you a hand cream set. And they assume wrongly that you feel the same way. Then the question becomes, can I accept that form of my brother's love, even if it's not the only one I'd like to receive.
[00:37:17] Now there's another way of looking at all this, and I do wonder if there might be a cognitive bias at play here, specifically this cognitive bias called the fundamental attribution error. We've talked about this on the show before. I'll keep it brief. Basically, the fundamental attribution error is our tendency to attribute someone's actions to their character or their personality or their intent, while attributing our own behavior to external variables outside of our control.
[00:37:43] What that means is that when somebody does something to us, or in your case, doesn't do something for us. We tend to blame them as people as opposed to imagining other circumstantial explanations for their behavior, which is how we'd probably justify the same behavior in ourselves. So for example, when your brothers don't get you a gift, you might tell yourself a story that goes something like, Hey, my brothers don't truly care about me or appreciate my sacrifice in this family.
[00:38:07] Or, my brothers are the sort of people who don't think it's important to reciprocate these gestures and express their love. Or, my brothers failed to remember me on Christmas Day or deliberately snubbed me, something like that. But there might be another equally plausible explanation for their behavior.
[00:38:22] Like, my brothers are super busy. They're distracted with their jobs and their families. They only remember to get a gift when they know I'll be there in person or. Their wives are the ones in charge of gift buying and they might not know how much these gifts mean to me, or my brothers don't think about gifts the same way that I do.
[00:38:38] So this is actually a reflection of how they feel about presence in general, not about me specifically, or buying so many gifts is a huge expense, and my brothers are trying to be more disciplined with finances now that they have kids. Whatever the external reason might be, yes, it still stings, that's fair, but it might not actually be a reflection of you or even of them, but of their circumstances.
[00:38:59] Now, I don't know which of those narratives is truer. Maybe they really are being thoughtless here. But whenever I'm angry about something, I always try to do this exercise because it helps me notice the tendency to tell a whole fricking windup story. And that story usually just serves our own feelings or interests, and it's rarely as charitable to the other person or interested in the truth, which it's kind of funny to stop and notice.
[00:39:20] All that said, I'm still mostly on your side here. I don't think you're a maniac. It would definitely be thoughtful of your brothers to send you a gift no matter where you are. Given that you've always sent them and their kids gifts, it's kind of in poor form as you pointed out. It's really not that hard to buy somebody a generic gift this day and age, but now you have to decide whether to make peace with this, reconsider this ritual with your brothers, or just talk to them directly about all this.
[00:39:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: I gotta say my vote is for the third option. I think there are some really good reasons. Mm-hmm. To have that conversation. Yeah. 'cause either you will find out why your siblings haven't treated you the same way, or you will help them see that they probably should. So whenever you're ready, I would write them or call them.
[00:39:59] Or the next time you guys are together in person, maybe you pull them aside and you get together and you just tell them some version of what you told us. And it does not need to be a fight or a huge conflict. You can just tell them very calmly, very kindly. Look guys. Something I wanna talk to you about, and I want you to know that I'm only bringing this up because I want us to have the best possible relationship.
[00:40:18] I can't help but notice that you guys usually don't buy me a gift unless we're together in person. Even though I always try to send you and your kids gifts every year, and I know this might sound kind of petty, but that's left me a little hurt and a little confused. So I just wanna talk to you about it and see if my reaction is warranted.
[00:40:36] Personally, I feel like it would be really nice if we reciprocated with the gift giving. It's a meaningful tradition to me. It's one of my favorite things we do to express our love for each other. It keeps me connected with you and your wives and your kids. So when you don't send me a gift, I don't know, it kind of makes me feel like you don't care about me as much as I care, or like I don't matter if I'm not here in person.
[00:40:55] And sometimes I feel just kind of generally unappreciated, especially given everything with mom and dad. But if you have your reasons for not sending me a gift, I would love to know what they are. You know, maybe I'm taking this way too personally, maybe I'm missing something. I'm very open to looking at this from a new angle.
[00:41:11] And by the way, this is not about the presence. Let me go on record. It's not about the stuff, it's just that to me, this is about how we feel about each other and how we express our love. I know that you care about me. I see that in the thousand other amazing ways that you show up for me, like in my career, for example.
[00:41:25] That means so much to me. So yeah, let's talk about it. What does this gift giving ritual mean to you? Would you rather not exchange gifts? Is there anything else about a relationship that you wanna talk about? Maybe something that hasn't been addressed. I don't know. I'm here for it and I love you. And so thank you for talking this out with me.
[00:41:41] I mean, you could say some version of that. And then see what your brothers say. Maybe they will fill you in on some things that you were not aware of and you'll go, oh, okay, now it makes sense. Okay, I can let go of this expectation. Or maybe they'll hear you out and they'll go, oh my God, we are so sorry.
[00:41:58] We made you feel that way. That was not our intention whatsoever. We're just so wrapped up in our own lives, distracted with the kids. We didn't realize how much this meant to you, so we will do better in the
[00:42:07] Jordan Harbinger: future. Exactly. And honestly, Gabe, unless there's some other big rift in their relationship, she's not aware of.
[00:42:12] Mm-Hmm. They secretly resent her because she gives amazing gifts. So they're still mad about the things she said at Christmas five years ago, and they're stewing on that or whatever. Unless it's something like that, it's hard for me to imagine them not having that last reaction. Same. So, no, I'm not sure.
[00:42:24] You should just jump straight to sucking it up. And I definitely would not recommend popping out a kid just to get some of those sweet, sweet Pottery Barn packages in the
[00:42:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: mail. Although, let's be honest, those Pottery Barn products are pretty amazing. I know.
[00:42:38] Jordan Harbinger: Almost makes you wanna get knocked up just to enjoy one of those faux fur throw blankets or whatever.
[00:42:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, you know about those. You know about the blankets. I actually just got two of them for my birthday. They are. Incredible. Of
[00:42:51] Jordan Harbinger: course you have two faux fur throw blankets from Pottery Barn. How Absolutely predictable. I thought
[00:42:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: you brought it up 'cause you knew, first of all, spoken like a guy who's never owned a faux fur throw blanket.
[00:43:01] I mean, if you had touched these synthetic fibers yourself, you would know why I'm so excited about it. But yeah, I guess I know what I'm getting you this Christmas, so thank you for that.
[00:43:10] Jordan Harbinger: Can't wait again. Sorry you're feeling this way. Me
[00:43:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: or the person writing in? No, we're back to business.
[00:43:15] Jordan Harbinger: We're back to business.
[00:43:16] Oh, okay. Cool, cool, cool. I, I think I'd feel the exact same way if I were in your shoes setting you, your siblings and your parents a big hug and hopefully way more gifts next year. Good luck. You know what's better than a stupid candle or hand cream set from Amazon. The fine products and services that support this show, we'll be right back.
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[00:44:30] Check 'em email@example.com WKOU t.com and take the next step in boosting your business and influence in the wellness world. This episode is also sponsored by Momentous quality. Sleep is vital for our overall wellbeing. Poor sleep can actually shorten your lifespan, let alone make you miserable for an in-depth understanding.
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[00:46:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: next? Dear Jordan and Gabe, I supervise sex offenders for a living. It's my job to make sure that they're monitored following their release from prison and do what I can to prevent them from re-offending.
[00:46:47] I interact with over 20 of them and have to see each of them two to three times a month, which means I end up interacting with at least one sex offender at least once a working day. As soon as one goes on my caseload, I have to read the details of their crimes, and around 95% of them are crimes involving children.
[00:47:07] This is taking a toll on me mentally. I feel guilty for being polite to them, and it's so hard to look them in the face after reading about what they've done. What makes it worse is that almost all of them are very nice and seemingly normal on the surface. If I were to meet most of them in everyday life, I would never guess that they'd done something so terrible.
[00:47:26] It started making me suspect every stranger of being capable of doing terrible things to children. The stress of knowing that I'm now one of the only people standing between them and potential future victims is also a massive weight on my shoulders. To be honest, this isn't exactly what I pictured myself doing with my life since I was about 17.
[00:47:45] I've wanted to be a part of the efforts to catch these people and put them behind bars, but here I am and I want to be able to do my job correctly without it mentally draining me. How do I address these feelings of guilt, cynicism, and responsibility signed, continuing to foster a healthy response here while I monitor these monsters who are making me ponder my actual job here.
[00:48:08] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Yeah. This is quite a population to work with. Quite a disturbing aspect of society. And it sounds like you're a parole officer or something similar. And I'd have to imagine that loads of parole officers, law enforcement officers in general, they must deal with a lot of the same feelings. But man, yeah, it's gotta be extra intense when you're dealing with sex offenders who've done truly horrible things to children.
[00:48:32] I have no doubt that you play a super important role in the system. And that's important to remember when things get really bad and, you know, look, you're helping to protect people, but yeah, the price you pay is this disturbance, this guilt, the cynicism and the sense of extreme responsibility. It's just a, it's a lot.
[00:48:48] So first of all. I think it's possible that you'll always feel these things to some degree in your role because unfortunately they kind of come with the territory. If you read about these heinous crimes and you didn't feel some type of way, you didn't feel somewhat responsible for maybe preventing this stuff from happening, I think that would also be a problem.
[00:49:08] I'm sure this kind of work demands a lot of strength, a willingness to look at some of the most painful parts of life. The fact that you're doing it is impressive. Honestly. It's a huge gift to society, but given what a toll this is taking on you, I think it's essential that you find a way to work through these feelings.
[00:49:22] So let's start with the guilt piece. I think that's a really important feeling. You feel guilty for being polite to them after what they've done. I get that. And it's gotta be hard to extend basic kindness to people who have done horrible things. But maybe there's another way to look at those interactions, which is, Hey, I'm not being buddy buddy with these guys.
[00:49:38] I'm not approving of what they did. I'm not even necessarily being nice. I'm treating them with a very basic respect, a simple courtesy as a civil servant. And because they're a participant in this system with me, and we need to get through this relationship with this as much harmony as possible, I think that's appropriate and fair.
[00:49:54] I also think there's a link between the guilt you feel in treating these people kindly and the sense of extreme responsibility you have for preventing more crimes. It sounds to me like you have a hyper developed sense of duty to protect vulnerable people. That's really admirable. You're exactly the type of person who should be doing this work.
[00:50:15] Congratulations. You're on the right job, unlike 99 fricking percent of us. But that can also be a real challenge when you assume responsibility for the entire system, for all children everywhere, for everything these people do when they're not sitting in front of you. And that's just not realistic. I have to imagine that cops feel a version of this too, feeling like they're slipping or letting people down if they're not stopping bad things, wherever they happen.
[00:50:37] Part of their process is making peace with the fact that A crime's always gonna happen no matter what. B, they can't be everywhere all the time, even if they wanted to be. And C, there's a real limit to their ability. They're just one piece of a much broader system that's designed to keep people safe. It doesn't do that perfectly, of course, but that's what the system is for.
[00:50:56] It's not up to any one individual to save everyone, and I think that's something you need to remember too. I totally understand that you feel like you're the last line of defense between these dangerous people and future victims. That's gotta be one of the most intense parts about working as a parole officer.
[00:51:10] But even the best parole officer can't turn a parolee into a different kind of human being or monitor them every second of every day, or steer every single potential victim away from them. It's heartbreaking to come to terms with that, but it's essential. Gabe, what else should she be doing here?
[00:51:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think that's all really sound advice.
[00:51:30] I do think that it might just be shifting her lens on some of these feelings. That might be the progress she's looking for. But it sounds to me like this job leaves her with some really dark images, which might also be the product of a hyperactive and very vigilant mind. And they also leave her with some very heavy feelings.
[00:51:48] So I would also love for her to have a few trusted people. She could share some of that with, you know, a couple good friends, other colleagues in her division who probably know what this is like. A therapist would be great. Who knows? Maybe there's even a counselor who works for her department or who works with law enforcement officials in general.
[00:52:03] Anyone who can really listen and hopefully process some of these feelings with her. And by the way, a counselor who works with parole officers would also probably have some more specific insights about how to cope with this work. And also just what people in your line of work go through on a day-to-day basis.
[00:52:18] I think that could be great. Part of the burden that you feel, I think, is that you have to shoulder this burden alone. And just that feeling can be really heavy and very isolating. So if you're not talking to anybody about what you're going through, I would definitely start. I also think it's really important that you stay connected to people and places that are very, very different from your job.
[00:52:39] When you deal with really dark stuff like this, it can be easy to start viewing the entire world through the lens of that experience. And in your case, it sounds like that is manifesting as fear and paranoia that every stranger you meet is capable of doing similar things to children. And that is so intense and it's gotta be very normal.
[00:52:57] So I think it would be really helpful to seek out experiences that show you just a very different side of life. I mean, for example, if you have any young parents in your family, or you have nephews or nieces, cousins. Go spend a Saturday with them. Go babysit them. Take them to the movies. Remind yourself that there are tons of children out there who will never be hurt, and who will have safe homes and happy homes.
[00:53:18] Or you know, maybe you volunteer at your local library a couple hours a week. You read books to kids, you meet their parents. Again, remember that there are places that keep them educated, that keep them safe. I would also make sure that you are doing things that take you out of your head for a little while and bring you back into your body.
[00:53:34] So exercise, meditation, spending time in nature, all of these things are so powerful. Stuff like that.
[00:53:41] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It's almost like she needs a sex offender parole work, self-care checklist. Yes. And she needs to put three to five things on that list. Therapy, working out, seeing a friend or family going on a hike, journaling.
[00:53:52] Mm-hmm. And check them off
[00:53:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: every week. I agree. Exactly. Now the cynicism that you feel, I think that might be the hardest feeling to work through, because how can you not become cynical when you work in a system as flawed as ours? I mean, you are seeing firsthand, first of all, how terrible people can be and secondly.
[00:54:08] How limited the system is sometimes in protecting victims. Although I would say with people like you in the role, they have a much better shot, which is amazing, but unfortunately this cynicism might be the one feeling you do need to make some peace with. But you know, Jordan, I also find it interesting that she's always wanted to be part of the efforts to catch these people and put them behind bars.
[00:54:25] Jordan Harbinger: that's really jumped out at me too. I wonder what happened there.
[00:54:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: I don't know, and I don't know where she is in her life right now, and if law enforcement is still interesting to her, if she's still able to make a career transition. But if you still feel that call, I would explore it. You know, so many police officers had previous careers.
[00:54:41] They were parole officers or they were social workers, or sometimes they were doing something completely unrelated. Your experience as a parole officer working with people like this is uniquely valuable. You have seen the system from the other side and it sounds like you do have a real calling here and a unique motivation to work your way toward becoming, for example, a detective who works on sex crimes cases.
[00:55:03] I mean, I know that's a very long road. I know it's a, takes a lot of investment and sacrifice and. Yes. I'm not discounting any of that, but it's incredibly noble work. And given your path, I think you would have an amazing story to tell if you wanted to in your application and in your interviews. But actually, what I'm really trying to say is, is there a way to channel the cynicism and the sense of responsibility you feel into other roles, maybe ones where you feel that you can be more effective?
[00:55:28] I mean, just a few ideas that come to mind. You could work for a nonprofit that focuses on survivors of childhood sexual abuse, or you could work for an organization that empowers and educates people to prevent these crimes, and maybe you enjoy that world or you go back to school and you try to become a mental health counselor, and you work with patients who have experienced trauma and help them heal from the other side.
[00:55:49] There are so many ways in this world to pursue this amazing purpose of yours, and sometimes that's how we get through difficult work without drowning, just by channeling some of these difficult feelings that the work brings up into other productive projects that feel more aligned and where maybe you would have a much bigger impact than you do now.
[00:56:07] Jordan Harbinger: I love that, Gabe. My thoughts, exactly. If she explores some of these avenues, her story could become, I worked as a parole officer. I saw how limited the system can be, so I became a cop, a counselor, a nonprofit administrator, insert other amazing role here, and I took what I learned and applied it way up the chain, and now I feel much healthier and I know I make an impact.
[00:56:26] We hear that stuff all the time in our inbox. So look, thank you for doing what you do. I know it's dark. I know it's painful, often thankless work. I know it's taken a real toll on you, but man, what you do is so important, and if you still feel lit up by this mission, then I would start telling people your story and exploring other ways of pursuing it, while also being very deliberate about taking care of yourself and nurturing your relationships outside of work.
[00:56:51] You have to, it's too important sending you a hug, wishing you all the best, Gabriel. You know, there's something to be said about the cliche of the cop who's seen too much and like now he's shut off from the world, or she Right. Can't relate. And I get it right. I always think about that. I'm like, how do cops survive seeing the worst of humanity?
[00:57:07] And then they go home to their daughter and she's like, I wanna go out with my friends tonight that I met off the internet. And you're not just like, no, you're gonna get murdered. What are you
[00:57:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: talking about? Totally. I think there are, broadly speaking, probably two responses to that. One is you let your work, which shows you a very disturbing sliver of society, dictate your whole life.
[00:57:23] And you don't let your daughter have fun. And you are super paranoid and you see the worst and everything. Or you leave work at work and then you come home and you say, oh, now I get to be with my daughter. And this is my connection to what life should be like and the kinda life I wanna live. And even though I know it's very difficult on some level, you have to choose to do the second one, right?
[00:57:41] Mm-Hmm. I also just wanna plug one other thing. A few years ago I came across this book, it was actually recommended by a friend of ours, Jordan, Tim Dela Pena, who is a really great police officer and a listener of the show. He was also, by the way, the police consultant on my short film 'cause we had some cop stuff and he was amazing.
[00:57:57] And he told me about this book several years ago called Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement, which was written, I believe, by a cop who's also a doctor. And I know you're not a cop, but I think the ideas in this book might also really help you out. And anyone else who's working in this line of work who deals with some of the stuff you see on the job, this book is excellent and it's one of the main books that police departments buy for their people knowing that they're gonna encounter difficult stuff.
[00:58:20] So we'll link to that in the show notes as well. Emotional survival for law enforcement. Alright, next up. Hey guys. My wife and I were recently in India for a wedding. Our host family took care of all of our travel for the entire trip, but our flight back was a red eye. They sent us to the airport in Delhi with a driver.
[00:58:40] They trusted and paid the fare and the tip. We noticed that the driver was on his phone more than other drivers we had ridden with, but didn't think too much about it at first. My wife had a bad feeling though, so we kept an eye on the MAP app as often as we had the internet. About 30 minutes into a two hour trip, we pulled over by a gas station.
[00:59:01] We thought it was for gas, but the guy went past the station and parked at a roadside market. He told us to get out of the car, which was a red flag. We said no. Then he said he wanted to buy us dinner. We declined. He said he was gonna grab something to eat and would not be long. He was back very quickly, too quickly for a meal.
[00:59:20] He had changed his shirt, I don't know why, and we were off again. When we got close to Delhi, he got off the expressway in the opposite direction of the airport. I gave it a few minutes, but we were pretty concerned. It was at night, so it was dark. Deli's a big city, so there were a bunch of lights, but the farther we went, the darker it got and the neighborhood was getting worse.
[00:59:40] We continued in the opposite direction of the airport because of the stories Jordan has shared about being kidnapped. The two things that kept running through our minds were, one, we can't wait until it's undeniable. Mm-hmm, and two, we have to act before arriving at the secondary location. Bravo. So I asked the driver where he was taking us and he said, Delhi.
[01:00:01] I told him that was the opposite direction. I asked the question again and he said, the airport again. I told him I knew it was in the opposite direction. I asked him again and he said, I don't understand no English. My wife asked what we should do. I told her I was about to call our host family and have them translate a graphic and immediate threat on this guy's life.
[01:00:22] It turns out that he could understand exactly what we were saying. I'm not sure if it was my threat or the idea of us calling our wealthy well connected host family, but he started heading toward the expressway. Immediately. We proceeded directly to the airport the rest of the way. The two hour trip took three hours.
[01:00:39] He claimed he made a wrong turn, which was bs. When we asked some of our friends from India, if our suspicions were accurate, they said 100% we're grateful that the experience wasn't too harrowing. Thanks to your stories, we paid close attention the whole trip, and we acted before things got outta hand. I owe Jordan a huge thanks for the lifesaving information.
[01:00:59] And by the way, that was episode 4 43, and we're gonna link to that in the show notes for you. Thanks to Jordan's account of his experiences, we were able to avoid what could have been a terrible situation. Signed a couple who walked away with their lives after being well NI Shanghai on their way to a red eye.
[01:01:17] Jordan Harbinger: Shanghai sounds like something that we're not supposed to say anymore.
[01:01:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. I was kind of wondering when I was writing that, I was like, is this one of those words that used to be okay? But it's kind of a little sweaty now. What's the origin of that? It's something about ships. I.
[01:01:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I've looked this up before.
[01:01:33] It is, yeah. So apparently people respond to like a job ad and it's like, Hey, work on this farm, work in this factory. And then they get taken onto a boat and they're basically enslaved on the boat.
[01:01:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, that's what it means. I was under the impression that it's some practice of taking sailors from a ship and then making them work on your ship and then somehow they end up, in the past they would often end up in Shanghai.
[01:01:55] Jordan Harbinger: Right. So they do end up often in Shanghai because the South China Sea famously lawless over the last few centuries, and the ships would always end up in Shanghai and you'd find these guys who were like, I was working in such and such. And then I got this offer to work over here and then dot, dot dot.
[01:02:10] I've been stuck on this boat for three years or something like that. So. Right. It has like a sea slavery element that again, still goes on today. We talk about that with Ian Urbana on the show. Right. And other episodes about shipping. We talk about sea slavery. So yeah, Shanghai still actually happens. This is a crazy story.
[01:02:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: This is so insane. Yeah. I'm so glad it wasn't worse. That's
[01:02:31] Jordan Harbinger: incredible. Yeah, they're very lucky they got away. 'cause of course, you know, with my kidnapping from episode 4 43, I think we did a couple episodes on kidnapping. One was 4 43. Looking back, it's pretty unclear whether I was gonna get express kidnapped, which is you jump in a taxi, the taxi driver pulls around, get some thugs in there with guns or knives and they're like, you're gonna go to every ATM until your card stops working and then we're gonna drop you off.
[01:02:55] Right. And it's like you're probably not gonna get hurt. They just want your card. There's no reason for them to take you anywhere. Mm-Hmm. It's just gonna be a long couple days. Right. Which is still terrifying. Or are they gonna cut you up into little pieces or sell you or ransom you or give you to isis depending on where you are.
[01:03:12] You know, like you don't know. And this is very odd because the driver of the family knew. So this driver had worked with the family before, knew they were wealthy and well connected. So I'm like, did he really just lose this nerve? When you called the family, he already knew that you knew them. He wasn't like, oh crap, they know these people.
[01:03:30] They're the ones who set up the
[01:03:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: ride. It's a bold move for a driver who's worked for the family before to do this to one of their guests,
[01:03:37] Jordan Harbinger: right? So either he lost his nerve because he felt like, oh God, I'm not gonna get away with this, or I feel terrible, or whatever. Or like you said, he perfectly understood that you were gonna shive him in the neck with a knife, right?
[01:03:48] And he couldn't exactly run away and pretend like he suddenly understood English, and he should probably just do his job. So that is terrifying also, what's up with the changing of the shirt thing, Gabriel? What's
[01:03:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: going on with that? I was gonna say, that's also kind of confusing because I don't understand what the strategy was.
[01:04:04] They pulled over by a gas station, which is a very public place, right? And he wanted them to get out. And what did he want? He wanted to buy them dinner. He said, yeah. And then he went to go grab something and then he came back with a different shirt. So like, does he live there or near there? And he just went and changed shirts.
[01:04:19] But then why? And like, what's he gonna
[01:04:21] Jordan Harbinger: do? Like, hey, let's just go eat. No. Oh crap. I was gonna kidnap you at this roadside market. Now I'm just gonna change my shirt for some unknown reason. Get back in the car and then drive to another place where I know that the kidnappers
[01:04:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: operate from. Maybe he has a favorite kidnapping shirt and he was like, oh, I forgot to wear it on the way, so I just gotta put it on halfway through.
[01:04:41] Right. He's like, ah, I feel good now. My Lucky
[01:04:43] Jordan Harbinger: Shanghai shirt, right? Yeah. Or he's like, oh, this one, this one. Everything comes off this thing in the wash. Oh gosh. Um, it's like American psycho where he starts putting plastic bags on. You're just like, this could go south.
[01:04:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: He went with the, uh, what's the name of that fabric where?
[01:04:59] Oh, Goretex?
[01:05:00] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, Goretex. Yeah, yeah, yeah. He's like, I just needed my Goretex Oxford for
[01:05:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: the rest of this trip for no reason. Really. Just, just in case. None. Oh man, this
[01:05:09] Jordan Harbinger: is really scary. You're with your wife too. It is very
[01:05:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: scary. Imagine being in the backseat of that taxi if anybody
[01:05:15] Jordan Harbinger: has a theory about the shirt.
[01:05:16] I'm so curious. Like the only other thing I can think of is he doesn't wanna match a description. Mm-Hmm. And they're like, he had a blue shirt on and then he changed into a red shirt. Oh, that actually
[01:05:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: makes the most sense, I guess. But then they have his car and his license plate.
[01:05:29] Jordan Harbinger: they have his car, the license plate, and they're like, so we set him up with the driver and then they never made it to the airport.
[01:05:33] I guess his plan was to tell the family he dropped him off at the airport and he doesn't know what happened after that. Right. Which is a pretty thin story.
[01:05:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Man. Yeah. This is a dark thing. It could have been so much worse. I'm just so happy that you guys were vigilant and that you spoke up and that you threatened him and you did not go to the secondary location.
[01:05:50] Brilliant. Move. Yeah.
[01:05:51] Jordan Harbinger: Whew. Wow. Well, alright. Beers on you if we ever meet. IRL. Hope y'all enjoyed that. I want to thank everybody who wrote in and everybody who listened. Thank you so much. Don't forget to check out our Michael McQueen episode on Persuasion. If you haven't caught that one yet, remember there's a subreddit for the show.
[01:06:07] If you're on Reddit, you can find it. reddit.com/r/jordan harbinger. I don't moderate it, but there's a decent fan discussion going on there from time to time. Would love a few more folks to jump in on that. If you haven't signed up yet, come check out our relaunched newsletter for the show. It is called Wee bit Wiser.
[01:06:21] It's basically a bite-sized gem from a past episode from me to you, delivered right to your inbox once a week. So if you wanna keep up with the wisdom from our 900 plus episodes and apply it to your life, I invite you to come check it out. You can sign up at Jordan harbinger.com/news show notes and firstname.lastname@example.org.
[01:06:37] Advertisers deals, discounts, ways to support the show, all at Jordan harbinger.com/deals. I'm at Jordan Harbinger on Twitter or Instagram, or you can hit me up on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Instagram, Gabriel Mizrahi, or on Twitter at Gabe Mizrahi. This show is created an association with Podcast one.
[01:06:55] My team is Jen Harbinger, Jace Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, mil o Campo, and of course, Gabriel Rahi. Our advice and opinions are our own, and I am a lawyer, but I am not your 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.
[01:07:12] 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. Ever find yourself trapped in a cycle of always wanting more, never feeling content.
[01:07:28] You are about to hear a preview of the Jordan Harbinger show, where scarcity brain, author Michael Easter unravels the mysteries of our primal drives and how they can be both our downfall and our salvation. I'm a
[01:07:38] Tristan Harris: investigative journalist, but I firmly believe that to understand a story, to understand all the mechanics of it, to get the information that you need to really tell a story, you have to go in person.
[01:07:48] Sometimes I get to go to the nice shiny, comfortable labs where they bring me coffee and it's, you know, at Harvard or whatever. But some days you find yourself in Iraq in a prison looking at cells of drug dealers and terrorists. But ultimately, I think that going there makes you get a better story, makes a story more interesting, and gets you better information to really understand it.
[01:08:07] Everyone knows that everything is fine in moderation, so then the question is. Why do we all suck so bad at it? People keep eating when they're full. We often find ourselves shopping when we already own a ton of stuff. We scroll through social media or keep binging news when we know it's not necessarily improving our mental health.
[01:08:23] When you think about how humans evolved, everything we needed to survive in the past, it was all scarce and it was all hard to find, right? So everything from food to possessions to information, even influence and status, the number of people we could influence, all hard to find, all scarce. And we lived like that for basically two and a half million years.
[01:08:43] And it wasn't until very recently in the grand scheme of time that we started to get abundance of all these things that were sort of built to crave. So in the past, it always made sense to eat more food than you needed. If you had the opportunity to hoard items, to try and get as much information as you can, just keep seeking information, all that would give you a survival advantage.
[01:09:03] And then our environment's flipped and now we have an abundance of all this stuff and we're still compelled to just consume and consume all the stuff.
[01:09:11] Jordan Harbinger: For more about our insatiable desires and how to harness them for good Tune into episode 9 0 2. This episode is sponsored in part by Court Junkie. If you're a fan of True Crime check out Court Junkie.
[01:09:23] Court Junkie is a True Crime podcast hosted by Jillian Jali that covers court cases and criminal trials. Learn about a nurse at a Texas hospital who was charged with murdering his patients. We did a show about that as well. Prosecutors claim he's a serial killer, but of course, he says he's innocent here from a local reporter who gives his perspective on the case and what happened to 13-year-old Dylan Redwine, Dylan's father Mark went on trial last year for his murder Here.
[01:09:46] All of the important testimony from both the prosecution and the defense host, Jillian Ali, who in my opinion is very sharp and smart and interesting. She uses audio clips and interviews to focus on the facts of one true crime case per episode. In the end, the listener can decide, did the criminal justice system actually work?
[01:10:03] Subscribe to Court Junkie on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
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