Even people who know they’re in abusive relationships don’t always leave before it’s too late, so what can you do to help a coworker who’s clearly suffering from her partner’s paranoia, instability, and violence? We’ll tackle this and more here on Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- Tune in on Friday, November 20th and 27th at 2 p.m. Pacific through the Stereo app (available on iOS and Android) to hear Jordan and Gabe gab live!
- We’re happy to report a positive update from episode 421‘s Secret Sappho.
- Even people who know they’re in abusive relationships don’t always leave before it’s too late, so what can you do to help a friend who’s clearly suffering from her partner’s paranoia, instability, and violence?
- Your best friend of 12 years — who was also your business partner — just ghosted you on the verge of a game-changing deal. It hurts because you don’t know why, but you can’t help but wonder if maybe you’ve just dodged a toxic bullet. What’s the right way to deal with this on a personal and professional level?
- You have numerous interests and talents that seem to be pulling you in multiple directions when you feel you’re at the age where you should really focus, choose something, and stick with it. How do you know what to drop and what to carry along on the next step of your journey?
- You and your wife are in your 50s and working stable jobs, but she’s obsessed with moving to Europe ASAP — and you don’t have massive savings or employment leads there. How can you get her to see that, without a realistic plan in place, you might just wind up living on the streets of Europe?
- 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.
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Resources from This Episode:
- iOS & Android | Stereo App
- Larry Lawton | From Jewel Thief to Honorary Cop Part One | The Jordan Harbinger Show 432
- Larry Lawton | From Jewel Thief to Honorary Cop Part Two | The Jordan Harbinger Show 433
- Sorting Out My Secret Lesbian Love Life | Feedback Friday | The Jordan Harbinger Show 421
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Symptoms and Causes | Mayo Clinic
- Office on Women’s Health | womenshealth.gov
- Domestic Violence Support | The National Domestic Violence Hotline
- Domestic Violence Resources: 22 Groups Stopping Partner Abuse | Greatist
- Local Resources | The Hotline
- Joe Navarro | How to Identify and Protect Yourself from Harmful People | The Jordan Harbinger Show 135
- Taxi Driver | Prime Video
- Oprah’s Life Lesson from Maya Angelou: ‘When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them’ | HuffPost
- Drag Queen Name Generator | The Story Shack
- The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler
- Emily in Paris | Netflix
- How to Start Over in a New City | Jordan Harbinger
Transcript for Helping My Coworker Escape from Abuse | Feedback Friday (Episode 434)
Jordan Harbinger: By the way, we are doing live shows on Fridays on November 20th at 2:00 p.m. Pacific and November 27th at 2:00 p.m. Pacific time in the Stereo app, go to the iOS App Store or the Android App Store. Download the Stereo app and you can catch us live this week. We're going to be doing an episode about our travels to North Korea. Gabriel and I, we went to North Korea together, and then we went separately probably a dozen times between both of us or close to it. So we've got crazy stories from the Hermit Kingdom, what it's like going there, what the people are like, what the country is like. So come join us in the Stereo app this Friday at 2:00 p.m. Pacific. We'll link to the stereo app in the show notes as well.
[00:00:44] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Today, I'm here with my Feedback Friday producer, my comrade in confab, Gabriel Mizrahi. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people. And we turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. And our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. So you can get a much deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening even inside of your own mind.
[00:01:16] If you're new to the show on Fridays, we give advice to you and answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes to authors, to thinkers and performers. For a selection of featured episodes to get you started, if you want to find out what some of our favorite guests are, go to jordanharbinger.com and we'll hook you right up.
[00:01:37] And this week we had Larry Lawton. This guy, Gabriel, has a former jewel thief, almost a jewel thief, but a former jewel thief, and he used to knock off those diamond stores, diamond outlets, and things like that. So in this episode, we went for a long time. It's a two-parter. I was like, all right, let's plan a fake heist. Let's go through it bit by bit. What exactly do you do? How do you plan the getaway? How do you case the place? Everything like, how do you look for what you want? How do you know what you're going to steal all that stuff? He just took me right through there. This is kind of a cool inside look at somebody who stole, I think in total, somewhere around 18 to 20 million dollars worth of diamonds, that's a lot of diamonds. Again, it's a two-parter so it's extra, extra long. Make sure you've had a listen and a look at everything that we created for you this week.
[00:02:20] You can reach us here on Feedback Friday, firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep your emails concise, include a descriptive subject line that makes our job a lot easier. If there's something you're going through, any big decision you're wrestling with, you need a new perspective on something, life, love, work, how to deal with your sister's neo-Nazi that's the boyfriend. Whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up at email@example.com. We're here to help and we do keep every email anonymous. Gabe, we have an update, right?
[00:02:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, we do. We got an update actually from a listener question. We had a couple of weeks ago if you guys remember, there was a 46-year-old mother of three young children who was going out to bars and hooking up with women behind her husband's back and not telling him. And she was writing in because she was first of all dealing with the weight of that secret, but also ashamed of her orientation, struggling with coming out, all that stuff that comes with a big decision like that.
[00:03:13] Jordan Harbinger: That's right. And then another listener with a very similar story wrote in with her experience, which was helpful. Super interesting. We pass that letter on. Normally we don't share updates, but I think we're going to change that because we do get interesting updates all the time. Not necessarily to every letter, but some of these juicy ones, especially somehow they're engaging enough. We get a lot of emails about it. So we thought we'd share one or two updates, every show. So, Gabe, what was the update on this one?
[00:03:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: She wrote in: Hi Jordan. After listening to your podcast, I decided to have my mother-in-law take care of the kids. So I could go out to a bar with my husband and just tell him straight out. He's — an interesting choice of words.
[00:03:46] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:03:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: He is perfectly okay with it, she said. He was super relieved that it was with women. She did mention how helpful the email we forwarded along. I think it helped her have the conversation with her husband because they got to actually talk about somebody else's story. The woman who wrote in had a very similar experience, but her marriage ended up very differently. So I guess it did help. She writes, "Anyway, everything turned out well and I'm able to continue my hookups. And I love this man even more. Thank you so much." And she signed the letter. So —
[00:04:14] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:04:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: There it is a happy ending, all around.
[00:04:15] Jordan Harbinger: That's right. A happy ending all around. I thought it would be kind of funny if she went to a bar with her husband to talk about how she's secretly a lesbian and a bunch of women were like, "Hey, fancy seeing you here. Yeah. Last night was great."
[00:04:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: I don't think she took him to the bar where she was picking —
[00:04:31] Jordan Harbinger: Probably not. No. That's a good tactical decision.
[00:04:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Did we decide that bar was called the White Unicorn. I think that's where we landed.
[00:04:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that definitely sounds right. So yeah, happy ending all around. Didn't expect that to happen so quickly, but I'm glad it did, obviously telling her husband was the right thing to do and the big question aside from accepting ourselves was whether he would accept it and what kind of relationship they would have.
[00:04:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep.
[00:04:53] Jordan Harbinger: I think it's remarkable that he accepts her fully and there's no secret between them, but —
[00:04:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally.
[00:04:57] Jordan Harbinger: — I also wonder if in a few weeks he's going to be like, "So — is that still happening? Because the more I think about it, the more it kind of is like cheating, even if it's with women." And instead of —
[00:05:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:05:06] Jordan Harbinger: — just being like, "Oh cool. It's with women. No big deal."
[00:05:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:05:08] Jordan Harbinger: Like that might be the initial reaction, but it might get muddier and murkier later on.
[00:05:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. He sits with it for two weeks and he's like, "Why aren't you going home three nights a week?"
[00:05:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:05:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: I don't know if it matters anymore. Yeah, that'll be interesting. I hope she writes in with another update if everything changes, but I was glad to hear that they figured it out for now.
[00:05:25] Jordan Harbinger: All right. Let's get to this week's conundra. What's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:05:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabriel. A little over a year ago, my coworker and friend who is intelligent, self-sufficient, and strong started seeing this guy she really liked and things got serious pretty quickly. He liked to take her out to big extravagant dinners and send her way over the top expensive chocolates and flowers. And we, her coworkers, started to see red flags pretty early on as he started to go off the rails and tell wild tales and blame things on PTSD when he said and did hurtful things —
[00:05:55] Jordan Harbinger: Yikes.
[00:05:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: He showed signs of paranoia. He wanted to isolate her from friends. He didn't like he also proposed after a few months —
[00:06:02] Jordan Harbinger: Whoa.
[00:06:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: — and was really pushy about getting married quickly. My friend, who we are sure has been through some trauma in her past. She's a big people pleaser and did not want to fight him about any of it.
[00:06:15] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:06:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Aah.
[00:06:17] Jordan Harbinger: This simultaneous sigh. Oh my gosh.
[00:06:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Some other weird things about this guy. Apparently, he's an ex-military type contract dude who says he's been to Iraq and has been undercover and living among gangs. He's got a small arsenal and is out on disability and seems to be a huge mess in general. Pretty early on, he moved into my friend's condo with her, but he was going stir crazy and worried people were after him. They ended up buying a place together, which has been a legitimate, hot mess. He has since made enemies of the neighbors, taking them to court, and also took my friend's credit card to go buy a tractor without her permission.
[00:06:50] Jordan Harbinger: There's so much in this paragraph that I was waiting for you to finish the sentence and then it just kept getting worse. Okay. So PTSD, totally something people can deal with. There's a lot of veterans that deal with that, but then the fact that he's super armed. Okay. A lot of people like guns, a lot of people like guns who have PTSD, they're not necessarily dangerous, but the fact that he is thinking people are after him when that's just not probably true at all that his mental illness. That is paranoia. And then, of course, taking your neighbors to court, never a good idea, and then stole her credit card and bought a tractor. I'm so confused already. Why? What is going on here? This guy is just totally unstable and probably dangerous. Continue.
[00:07:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: More recently, she has had nothing good to say about him and knows that she has been catfished. Apparently, after drinking too much last weekend, he went on a tangent and wanted out of the car on their way home. She tried stopping him because they were close to the neighbors that he hates and he's always armed and she didn't want anything to get nasty. Apparently, he went off on her. He dragged her up the dirt road, not even to the car, just up the road by her hair.
[00:07:54] Jordan Harbinger: What?
[00:07:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Somehow they made it back to the house and she wanted to be left alone, but he kept harassing her. The neighbors must have called the cops. And because everyone knows he's armed to the teeth, the SWAT team showed up and demanded that they come down with their hands up. They questioned my friend and had him in cuffs and we're ready to haul him off and take away his weapons too. But she wouldn't say a word against him. And that was the end of that. My friend showed up to work the next day, wearing her mask, which did not cover up all of her wounds. I could tell something was wrong without seeing her. She's ashamed and embarrassed. And it's a small town, everyone has police scanners, and all of her neighbors told everyone who knew her and what was going on. Of course, he's apologetic and has sworn off drink and is making a big show of taking his meds and going to the doctor to get more support for the PTSD and has been leaving her alone for the most part, like she asked. My friend knows everything about this is wrong and that she needs to leave, but it's possible that she's just going to stay like the normal abuse victim and wait for things to get better, which is totally her decision. I do respect that, but I'm fairly certain he will hurt her again. I am also fairly certain that if she does happen to leave, he may very well come unglued. And at the very least make a scene here at work. I dare not think about the worst-case scenario. I did talk, well, mostly listen with her this morning. She knows we all love and support her but beyond that, what would you do in this situation? Signed, Distressed by My Friends Unrest.
[00:09:13] Jordan Harbinger: This is horrible. This is the beginning of a horrible, true-crime documentary.
[00:09:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep.
[00:09:19] Jordan Harbinger: The kind where you sit there watching, and you go, how did she not know? How did nobody do anything? It's just an incredibly sad story to hear and a very difficult position for you as her friend to be in. And this is super scary. There's physical abuse going on. There's emotional abuse going on. There are clearly psychiatric issues at play. There are weapons and there's an element of financial manipulation here. That's sort of the least of our concerns but it's just tragic enough that this guy's terrorizing your friend, but then he's also swiping our Master Card and coming home in a freaking John Deere tractor cab. I mean, those things cost tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the model, of course. I mean, where do you keep it?
[00:09:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep.
[00:09:57] Jordan Harbinger: Why do you even keep that? When you buy a tractor do you just roll up from the dealership and park it in the driveway?
[00:10:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's a great question.
[00:10:05] Jordan Harbinger: I've got questions about casual tractor ownership that are just not important at all right now. Listen, I can tell how worried you are about your friend and how helpless you feel watching this happen. Also how scared that you are, that you might get caught up in this somehow. I mean the freaking SWAT team came to their house and even they couldn't do anything about this guy. So what are you supposed to do when you're sitting there eating lunch at your desk? And this psycho comes in armed and unhinged and possibly intoxicated. This is terrifying.
[00:10:31] So, let me just first start by acknowledging how complicated situations like this actually are. It's very easy for us from the outside to say, "I would never be in a situation like this, or just get the hell out of there." But domestic abuse dynamics are very complex and they're even messier when the couple is living together. Thank goodness. They don't seem to have kids. That wasn't in the letter that would have just been a million times worse. There's a ton of research on the cycle of violence and why it's hard for people to leave a relationship like this, even when it's obvious that they should. And the research by the way, also shows that the most dangerous time for an abused person is when they are leaving.
[00:11:09] So telling your friend to bounce, which absolutely is what she should do — but I'll get to that in a second — telling her to leave without a plan that could actually be putting her and you guys at even more risk. That's the tricky calculation you have to make in situations like this. You have to balance the need to leave against the costs of getting out, which include the very real risk of even more violence, candidly. So the hardest part about watching someone else go through this is really accepting that you can't make someone leave a bad relationship. It's sad. It's frustrating. It's infuriating. And it goes against every instinct you have as someone's friend to protect them, right? At the end of the day, you just can't physically remove her from the house or send this guy away for good, even though it sounds like he could use some alone time and some therapy. All you can do is support her in making the right decision for herself.
[00:12:00] So here's how I do that. First, I would continue talking to your friend about this relationship and help her see that she needs to leave. It sounds like she already does. It sounds like you're already doing this and that she knows what she has to do, but refuses to act. And that's tough. Maybe with time, you can give her the insight and courage that she needs to finally leave. In these conversations, keep coming back to what she wants. What would be most helpful to her? Even if that's different from what you want in the short term. But like I said, this is her decision to make. It's possible she'll never leave. And as tragic as it is, you're ultimately going to have to let her do that if that's what she wants to do because that's her life.
[00:12:39] One thing I highly recommend doing is keeping a journal along the way. Whenever you learn about an instance of abuse, I would jot down a few notes about the date and the time it happened and what you heard or what you saw. Your friend probably isn't tracking these details because she's in the middle of all this. That documentation will become crucial evidence. If your friend ever does decide to approach law enforcement, but I'll get to that in a minute.
[00:13:01] The next best thing you can do. And this is actually important no matter what happens, the best thing you can do is give her some key resources for victims of domestic abuse. There are a ton of resources out there. Support groups, therapists, legal resources, shelters if she needs a safe place to stay, which it sounds like she does. I would Google domestic violence resources in your state and your county. See which organizations can help. If you go to womenshealth.gov, you'll also find a list of helpful organizations in each state. By the way, we're going to link to these in the show notes. You don't have to write it down. It's going to be linked to jordanharbinger.com in the show notes for this episode. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is one of the best ones. It offers 24-hour support and crisis intervention, but there are dozens of them and we'll link to a couple of other good lists in the show notes as well. These organizations are excellent and they will give you and your friend all the information you need to make the best decision. I highly recommend reading up on this and reaching out if you need to.
[00:13:57] If your friend does decide to leave — and I really hope that she does one day soon — then you're going to want to help come up with a plan. Like I said, it's important that she leave, but it's more important that she leaves safely. So I would use the resources I just mentioned to help your friend create a solid plan. For example, you could help her move out when the guy is not at home or when he's out of town. Problem is, Gabriel, he's on disability, right?
[00:14:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:14:20] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe he doesn't have a job at all. And he's always home looking out the window, you know, polishing his nine-millimeter or whatever. I mean, this is not a guy, probably with a lot going on, not a lot of friends.
[00:14:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: I get a taxi driver vibe from this guy.
[00:14:32] Jordan Harbinger: Like the movie Taxi Driver?
[00:14:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. "You looking at me?"
[00:14:34] Jordan Harbinger: Relax, taxi drivers. We're not talking about you. We're talking about. Is it Robert DeNiro who's in that? That's Robert DeNiro, right?
[00:14:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: It is. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:14:41] Jordan Harbinger: And that's an Oliver Stone film — wait, no, no, no.
[00:14:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Uh, that was Martin Scorsese,
[00:14:45] Jordan Harbinger: Martin Scorsese. Some famous director who, an old white guy. Yes. I knew that.
[00:14:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Just as an image of what this guy's doing, I feel like he has a lot of time to just sit at home and think about all this strange thing is going to come up with what to do.
[00:14:56] Jordan Harbinger: Right. "You talking to me?" Is that the line from Taxi Driver? "You talking to me?" And like he has that gun deployed?
[00:15:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. He's like, "There's no one else here," but yes, I think you're dead on this. Coming up with this plan, helping her move when the guy isn't home. That's the move. Absolutely.
[00:15:10] Jordan Harbinger: Look, you could encourage her to tell someone close to her, another close friend, a family member, maybe her neighbor. The ones that don't like him probably know he's a psycho and they might have a soft spot for you because they know you're stuck with him. I don't think they dislike you too. It's unlikely. They probably just think he's crazy. Tell them that you're moving out. Please be on alert if something happens. You could let her stay at your place if that's something you're willing to do or — I would do this. I would help her find a shelter where she will be safe. And you could give her information on therapists who specialize in domestic violence. This would be amazing for her to have. Another person who can work with her, help her come up with this plan.
[00:15:46] Basically, you want to empower her to make the best decision for herself. Just keep in mind that you have to be careful here to you personally because as you know your safety may be at risk if you get involved. That's why I think the shelter is more important and probably safer. Not only because then you're not directly involved. She's not in your guest bedroom. But those shelters, there are cops there they're secure facilities cause they expect psycho husbands to come and look for them. So they don't divulge any information. They can lock people out. The cops know that if they get a call from there that they gun it over there and they might even have a cop that sits there on duty or a guard. So that's an important type of resource in this situation. If you help her physically move out, for example, make sure you are also doing that carefully. So you don't find yourself face-to-face with the freaking hurt locker while you're carrying her Davenport out to the U-Haul or whatever.
[00:16:34] And since you said this guy could come to your office, I would also talk to HR and your manager at work. Yes, it's embarrassing. You might want to give your friend a heads up that you're doing this, so she's not caught off guard, but this is totally within your right to do. I think it's your responsibility to do that because this directly affects you and all of your coworkers. You really don't want them to sit there and possibly come to harm. And you're thinking, "Oh, I could have warned people about this. We could have been ready." Give them the rundown of the situation. Tell them this guy is a threat to her and possibly to all of you and explain why you think he might come to the office one day if they don't already know the situation. Tell him that they need to be on the lookout for this guy and that they need to work with your building's security. If there is any to stop him before he arrives. I mean, this guy's freaking posters should be up at the reception desk.
[00:17:21] And if your friend ever decides to leave, maybe your managers can arrange for her to work from home for a few weeks until things cool down. But they need to know that this is going on in advance. By the way some HR people, they could be useless in this department or they could be very helpful. But if you don't find that they get it or they don't know what to do, or they're sort of, poo-pooing your concerns, share the resources you've found in your research and work with them to come up with a plan or just go over their head because this is your physical safety. It's too important for someone to just go, "Oh, you're just being a Karen stop worrying about it."
[00:17:53] Another option you have, and I think you should do this — they may not be able to do anything though — is contact law enforcement. I actually consulted with Joe Navarro in episode 135, he's a retired FBI agent. He said that in this situation with your friend, this is a situation where you should send letters to the chief of police, the state attorney, and/or the district attorney's office, let them know about this guy and what he's capable of. Sadly, I don't have high hopes for the police if your friend isn't even willing to talk to them and press charges, there's only so much they can do. But it would still be worth going on the record with these people yourself, if things do escalate or if she changes her mind. Or who knows? If he commits another crime and then the police are already aware of this guy, it's good to have that in the file. So the cops know what they're dealing with. Just like when the SWAT team came in because they knew he was armed. They can prep for this.
[00:18:43] If you do contact law enforcement, then I would share that journal. We talked about a moment ago. That will be some solid evidence of what's going on and it could be the thing that changes her situation for good. Detail what this guy has done to your friend in the past, what he's capable of doing in the future. They don't have to read between the lines on this. They're going to say, "Look, she's not exaggerating. She's got a logbook of this woman coming in with bruises on her face that she made over a period of three, four, or five, six weeks." Mention his psychiatric issues, that he's got a history of violence that he's heavily armed and that he has the means of continuing that violence. Again, I know I keep saying this, but it's really important. You have to balance this decision against the risk of creating more problems for your friend. If you report this to the cops, they do a door knock to check up on her. He might think that she reported it and take it out on her. Sadly, that is very common.
[00:19:33] I'm not saying you shouldn't do anything. I'm just saying you have to keep in mind all the factors that play here. And if your friend ever tells you something more specific, especially something imminent, like, "Oh, he said, he's going to come to the office next week and shoot everyone." Call the police immediately. Don't think that it's a threat, an empty threat, idle, nothing. It is not worth the risk in that case, the police absolutely have the ability and the duty to intervene, and you have a responsibility to everyone involved to notify them as well.
[00:20:01] So bottom line support your friend, be there for her as much as you can, do your research into domestic violence resources, like the ones we linked in the show notes, and be thoughtful before you act. Beyond that, this is her life and she's going to have to make this decision for herself. She's in the toughest position here, for sure. But you're in the second toughest. You're standing by, you're watching it happen. I really feel for both of you and I hope you can get through to her and be the person who eventually helps her get out before it's too late.
[00:20:29] Gabe, it is crazy to me. How toxic abusers are. You've got his wife's colleagues writing into us, afraid to go to work because he might hurt them. I mean, these people are absolute cancer.
[00:20:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. It's so sad. It is so sad, but I think your advice is dead on and I hope that it helps her help her figure out how to get out of this situation eventually. But like you said, when it's safe,
[00:20:54] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
[00:20:58] This episode is sponsored in part by Echelon. When it comes to getting or staying in shape, nothing feels as good as that feeling of accomplishment, hitting your fitness goals, feeling great about yourself or just, you know, not sitting on the couch for three straight days, watching Netflix and eating Ben & Jerry's, not that I'm doing that all that often, but hey look, Echelon's got you covered. Their world-class instructors will motivate you with thousands of daily live and on-demand studio-level classes always available when you need them. Echelon offers the next generation of connected fitness bikes, fitness mirrors, which is like a mirror with cables on it. So you can work out and see what you're doing, rowing machines, and they've got a new Echelon stride smart treadmill. So whatever your level is, Echelon can give you fun and challenging workouts from the comfort of home. And I think that's important. We're going to be home for a while, folks, unless you want to go back to the gym ASAP. And for a lot of us, that's not an option. The other option is getting that dad bod going like me. So I recommend getting your act together, folks.
[00:21:53] Jen Harbinger: Go to echelonfit.com/jordan. That's E-C-H-E-L-O-N-fit.com/jordan.
[00:22:00] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by DesignCrowd. If you're anything like me, you have no idea how to come up with a quality logo or a creative design. That's where DesignCrowd comes in. DesignCrowd is a website with more than half a million designers ready to help you create your perfect custom design. I've never really been happy with logos for pretty much anything I've run. It's important to get the designs, right? But it's not always easy to nail down an idea, especially when I have no idea what I actually want. And that's really where a DesignCrowd comes in. They've got 750,000-plus professional designers around the world from Sydney to San Francisco ready to help solve your creative problems. Here's how it works. You post a brief describing the design you need. They invite designers. And within two to seven days, a typical project will get 60, maybe even a hundred-plus different designs from designers around the world. You pick the one you like best and you approve payment to the designer. But if you don't like anything, which is rare because you're going to get a crapload of designs. But if you don't like it, no worries. Design crowd has a money-back guarantee. Also, people can vote on your designs. You can even send us your design link. Jen will love, she loves taking a look. She's going to vote on your designs. Give you feedback. She loves doing that.
[00:23:07] Jen Harbinger: Check out designcrowd.com/jordan, D-E-S-I-G-N-C-R-O-W-D.com/jordan to learn more and receive your Jordan Harbinger Show VIP offer when you start your next project.
[00:23:19] Jordan Harbinger: And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:23:24] All right, what's next?
[00:23:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Jordan and Gabe, I'm writing because my best friend of 12 years, who is also my business partner recently ghosted me. We had been working on a joint podcast project for almost a year. We had an agent from a major talent agency representing us and this summer, a big platform, think along the lines of Spotify, they had shown interest in our show, but when it came time to actually meet with the platform, my best friend wrote an email to the group that she was busy, all of a sudden and could not continue. That's it? No further explanation. Since then she hasn't spoken to me prior to that, we spoke at least three to four times a week for both personal and business matters. To add insult to injury, she's been posting, not so subtle messages on social media, about friends who let you down and getting rid of people who were never there for you. In the past, she has disappeared from time to time because she was mad at me but never confronts the issue. A lot of this stems from the fact that she has crazy unrealistic expectations of her friends. She's one of those friends who expect you to drop physically and emotionally everything to be with her. I'm a communicator and I've told her in the past that I need to be explicitly told of her needs. Don't talk to me and woo-woo Instagram memes. I'm not a mind reader. I think that as a single 42-year-old woman with no kids, her friends are her life and she places expectations on them that no one can meet. As such, she's lost many friends along the years. So my question to you is, did I dodge the toxic bullet here? Is the sloppy way she handled business, a sign of her character? I try to keep my emotions separate from business, but I'm not happy that she screwed me over on a great opportunity. How do you deal with ghosts? Signed, An Aspiring Ghostbusters.
[00:25:00] Jordan Harbinger: Well, this really sucks. I mean, first of all, I'm okay with it because there is less competition in the podcast space, but I'm actually really sorry this happened to you. This will affect you personally, professionally. I mean, it just really hits all of the wrong notes, right? This is like the worst kind of sort of friend that screws you over into your career. And personally, as the host of a show, I just, I know how much work goes into building a podcast, getting it to the point where a major platform is interested. So your letter just hit me on a few levels here. You sound like a very thoughtful and sensitive person. You're probably a great partner to work with as well. So on top of this being hurtful, it's also just incredibly frustrating.
[00:25:37] To answer your first question right off the bat. Did you dodge a toxic bullet here? Yes, you did. Absolutely, you did. It sounds to me like there's a long history of conflict with this friend, even before you began working on this project. If this problem hadn't come to a head now, it probably would have escalated when you guys were tied together in this podcast. And then you would have been really in trouble. By the way, I worked for years with partners like this, people who are dysfunctional, toxic, terrible at communicating. So I'm speaking from experience here. It's really a bad situation to be stuck in. In fact, the less success you have, the easier it is to walk away from something. And so that success that we did have tied me together with these people for a while. And it was like, "Ugh, I can't rebuild this. I'm making a good living. I'm just going to deal with it. Every business has its issues." You start rationalizing it, but if you don't have much going on and somebody pulls this, you can just be like, "Bye!" And so, in a way, I'm glad for you that this happened when it did. But yes, you dodged a major bullet here. And in that sense, your friend, she's done you a huge favor. I know that doesn't take away the sting of what she's done, but I hope it gives you a little perspective here. Maybe even some gratitude in a weird way, because in her own messed up way, she saved you a ton of time and energy by showing you who she was before it was too late.
[00:26:53] As for your second question is the sloppy way she handled your business is a sign of her character. First of all, let's be very clear about what you're describing here. This is not sloppy. It's not like she missed a couple of emails from your agent, or she showed up late to a conference call with Spotify or whatever that would be sloppy, maybe borderline negligent. Sure. This is different. Your friend projected needs and expectations onto you that were unclear and impossible to meet. She went from talking to three to four times a week to straight-up ghosting you and not answering any of your communication. Then she passive-aggressively raged at you on the Internet for abandoning her when she was the one who actually abandoned you in the first place with zero explanation, compromising your career and destroying your friendship. And you all know this. You don't need me to tell you, but I'm saying it back to you so that you understand that this kind of behavior is not just sloppy. This is dysfunctional. It's kind of pathological and it's unfair. It's a sign that she has some serious issues that have nothing to do with you. Things that she needs to work on if she's going to be able to have productive, stable relationships with anyone and be able to work with anyone for that matter.
[00:28:02] So is all this a sign of her character? Honestly, I don't know. I'm not sure it matters. You could argue that it's really her dysfunction in her trauma talking and not who she really is deep down or whatever, but as far as you're concerned, yeah, it's basically who she is for now anyway. So if you're asking that question because you're wondering if you should forgive her or if you don't have a right to be angry and hurt by what she did, then all I can say is this — she is showing you the kind of person that she really is. If I were you, I would accept that person at face value.
[00:28:34] Gabe, have you ever heard this expression when people show you who they are, believe them, or when people tell you who they are, believe them. I feel like I heard that on Oprah or something.
[00:28:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Something like that. Super Soul Sunday.
[00:28:43] Jordan Harbinger: Probably like watching daytime TV with my mom during some holidays. It's like when people show you who they are —
[00:28:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Let me write that down. That's going to come in handy.
[00:28:50] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. On an Instagram meme, that's where you put that. But it's one of those things that tends to be true when people tell you who they are, show you, who they are, you should believe them. The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. So if this type of behavior is not something you would put up within a business, in a friendship, now's a great time to lay down that boundary before you sign a deal with a platform and you have to work with them, and then they stick you with all the work or make it just impossible for you to perform. So you lose the deal, you lose money, your reputation suffers not being able to sign a deal with the platform, not great. Failing during the performance of a deal when you've signed it, much worse.
[00:29:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Good point.
[00:29:32] Jordan Harbinger: Much worse.
[00:29:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Good point. Yep.
[00:29:34] Jordan Harbinger: So Gabe, I don't know. What about how do you deal with the ghosts?
[00:29:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, that can be really hard. What sucks about ghosting is that it deprives you of information. It deprives you of closure and in some ways, you know, that's a form of what they call ambiguous loss, which is not to be super dramatic about it, but that's basically a loss that doesn't leave you with a clear understanding of what actually happened. It happens with breakups that don't end properly, or if somebody disappears and you don't know if they died or not. I know things are not quite as dire as that, but I think some of the same stuff is — as at work in this situation — ambiguous loss makes it a lot harder to accept something and move past it. You're clearly angry. You're clearly disappointed about your friend, but I'm sure that those feelings exist alongside a lot of other feelings of hurt and embarrassment and confusion is what I'm hearing a lot of. So you're basically mourning the end of this friendship, but you're doing that without all of the information you need to really put it to bed. So if you feel conflicted about all of this, like you're not fully in control of your experience or your take on this whole relationship, that makes total sense. That's very typical when you get ghosted by somebody you're very close with.
[00:30:40] So I think you have a few options. First, you could write to your friend, an email saying all of this out. You could tell her your experience of what went down, explain how it made you feel, explain how it hurt your career, her career, your friendship. And then invite her to explain herself to help you see something that maybe you're missing if you're missing it at all. Maybe she'll respond with something that'll help you understand her choices a little bit better even if what she says only proves how insane she really is. At least it will give you some more security in your decision to just end the friendship and move on. Or who knows maybe this will say something that shows that she's really trying to work on this stuff, and you might decide to forgive her. You might decide to help her do that, but I would seriously caution you against that. You have 12 years of data here and some serious instances of not so cool behavior on her part. So I would not dismiss all of that just for the sake of the history that you two have. Ultimately, it's up to her to do the work and prove that she's changed, but that still would not invalidate the very real feelings you have about how all of this ended up going down.
[00:31:36] So my advice: move on, keep building your own projects, partner with people who share your interests, who share your values. That's really the best thing you could do right now. And in the absence of that closure. And dealing with someone who ghosts you, that's really a process of mourning and allowing yourself to feel whatever you feel and take the time to process it and move on. It's hard. Yes, but it will happen. And the more you allow yourself to have your own experience of this whole thing, the faster it will happen. And down the road, this story will be a lesson to you and how to handle toxic people. I think that's the gift that Jordan was talking about a moment ago. It will remind you what you will and will not put up within a relationship. And it'll teach you to recognize those red flags at the moment they pop up rather than bearing them, or sweeping them under the carpet, or discounting your intuition when they do come up. And that's really the best lesson that a ghost can teach you. They might always kind of hang around in your memory, but if you can find meaning in them, then it's actually a good thing that they never go away entirely
[00:32:33] Jordan Harbinger: Well said. Thank you very much for that. I just find it so irritating on a personal — I know exactly how this person feels like, "Are you kidding me? We did all this work. And we've been friends for so long." You know what? I didn't even think of this before. Let me know what you think Gabe, self-sabotage is in play here too. Right? They're right on the cusp of this.
[00:32:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Could be.
[00:32:50] Jordan Harbinger: And the friend is like, got some issue with success or feeling — not feeling entitled. What is it feeling worthy?
[00:32:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:32:56] Jordan Harbinger: So she's going to go, "How do I screw this up?" This is all subconscious by the way but, "How do I screw this up? Okay. I just ghost," right? "That way, I can blame. The other person for this. But wait, if I just ghost and I blame her, there's gotta be a reason." And then it's like, "Oh, she didn't send me a happy birthday text." And then it becomes this big thing that she can then rationalize. Now, it's your fault when really she's doing this because she can't actually succeed because it messes with the idea of who she is in her own head is somebody who's never going to be anything or not going to succeed or not going to at least not succeed in this.
[00:33:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think there's definitely something to that. And you know, we can't put this person in a chair. She's not the one who wrote in it's very difficult, but I did get that sense when I was reading the part about her placing these unrealistic expectations and needs on her friends, things that people can't realistically meet. I mean, that's a really good way to actually not be in a relationship with somebody, right? If you hold them to impossibly high standards That are somehow inside of your own head, then you rage at them for not meeting those expectations that you strangely had. And didn't communicate. It's not the exact same thing, but it's a similar dynamic with the podcast. It's like, "The second we get close to actually doing the thing that we said we were going to do, I'm going to back out." And in that way, in both of these areas of her life, she's kind of doing the same thing. I only bring this up. I think the reason we're getting into this is just to reassure this person that this partner would have been terrible to work with. And she has to do a lot of work on her own before she becomes a dependable and helpful partner for sure. So, yeah, dodge the bullet, move on.
[00:34:26] Jordan Harbinger: All right. What's next?
[00:34:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan, Gabe, and all you are the beautiful people who make the show as great as it is.
[00:34:32] That is such a nice opening.
[00:34:33] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:34:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: That was cool.
[00:34:35] I'm writing to ask you about choosing a single path versus a multidisciplinary artistic path. I've been acting for a little over a decade in high school, college, fringe theater, and professional houses. I consider performing to be my first love and I can't imagine doing anything else as a career. Well, except for maybe all the other things on my list. When I turned 21, I became a draglesque queen. That's drag and burlesque. When I was 23, I took some voice acting classes and was even having regular coaching sessions. When I was 24, I started learning how to pole dance. And when I was 25, I started co-writing a musical with a dear friend and co-writing several choose your own adventure D&D style comedies with another dear friend. Both of these projects are seeing some exciting progress as far as professional opportunities go. And at 26, I started producing my own burlesque shows. Here's the thing, all of these different artistic avenues challenge me and teach me a lot of valuable skills that just being an actor doesn't. But I realized that keeping all of these up is not sustainable in the slightest. Apart from writing, I have not stuck with any of these other avenues over the years. I couldn't continue with the voice acting because I didn't have the time to learn the tech. And at the time I was focused more on stage acting and doing drag. Now, that I'm second-guessing, going back to drag in light of the pandemic, I'm gravitating towards going back to voice acting. And with drag and pole dancing, I've noticed that people who started around the same time as me are way ahead of me in terms of skill and professional opportunities. I think that's because whenever an acting gig would come up, I'd stop doing drag and pole dancing. I think I'm feeling this pressure to choose right now because I'm 27 and I need to commit to something. Otherwise, I'm never going to get better. So, I know I need to drop something, but what? How will I know if I make the right choice? Thanks for all that you do. Signed, Spoiled for Choice.
[00:36:17] Jordan Harbinger: You know, I'm laughing to myself because I'm thinking of drag names. Have you ever — their names are always like Bridget Tunnel, like bridge and tunnel, or like Helena Troy, like — I don't know — Cul De Sac CAL, like man names, but that is also, I don't know whatever Google drag names. It's endlessly entertaining.
[00:36:37] Anyway, I think this one might be all you, this person sounds talented. I have the opposite problem. I had the opposite problem growing up to where my only talents were things that got me in trouble with the FBI. I didn't have a ton of options.
[00:36:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. You were like, "Do I hack into this phone box or that phone box or do I just wiretap the neighbor's —?"
[00:36:54] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, which prison am I going to go to?
[00:36:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: "Which neighbor do I wiretap. It's so hard to choose." Well, first of all, congratulations on being talented in so many different areas. You sound very curious, you sound very passionate about having to choose a path when you have so many options. That's a nice problem to have. I mean, it's also the downside to being good at so many things. This is something that talented people struggle with a lot. It doesn't get talked about as often deciding where to focus your energy, how to spend your time, where to place your bets. I will also say that this is pretty normal for someone in their twenties and in many ways, it's what your twenties are for trying things out, playing, discovering, but you are right. At some point, it does start to matter how you spend your time, and as exciting as it is to be amazing at multiple things, it's even more exciting to actually succeed at something. And I think that's what you really want. You know, you want to see things through, you want to succeed in a meaningful way, and you want to build your identity and your career around something, concrete, something that is truly your own.
[00:37:50] So look, it's a hard question to answer definitively. I wish we could talk for a couple of hours about how you feel about all these projects, where you feel the most fulfilled. But here's my question for you. And it's a question that I would encourage you to ask throughout your career. Are you pursuing all of these avenues and projects because you genuinely love them all? Or are you pursuing them because you're afraid of the commitment required to really excel at one of them?
[00:38:15] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh, that's a really good take. I like that. That's also a heavy question, but it's really important because I think you're asking it because I get the sense from this letter that there might be a couple of things going on here.
[00:38:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, because you say you didn't continue with voice acting because you didn't have the time to learn the tech and you were focused on acting and doing drag. Okay. Fair enough. But then whenever an acting gig would come up, you'd stop doing drag. Now, that you can't perform, you're going back to voice acting. So it sounds to me like you're pinballing between these pursuits without a strong strategy. And look, I'm sure you have some very good reasons for doing that. There's time constraints. There's the pandemic. Nobody can control that. There are random opportunities popping up. I totally get it. There's definitely something to be said for being spontaneous and flexible and just following the current. But pinballing in that way, as a matter of policy, if you just kind of live your life that way, I think that can also be a clever way to avoid sticking with something long enough to find out just how hard it is to really succeed.
[00:39:10] And you say you didn't have the time to learn the tech around voiceover, but that's really another way of saying that you didn't prioritize the time to learn the tech. That you chose something else instead of learning the tech or that you just didn't want to learn the tech in the first place. It does make me wonder if there are other versions of not learning the tech in your life. You know, other challenges you might be avoiding and each of these avenues by spreading yourself so many of them. And at the end of the day, whether you're consciously doing this or unconsciously doing this, it doesn't matter. This is what's happening. You're spreading yourself thin and then skipping the work required to truly excel.
[00:39:41] I have to say, I also found it interesting that in your letter, you said you were looking around at your peers and noticing that they're further ahead of you. Comparing yourself to other people that's totally normal. It's basically impossible not to do it, especially when you're in the arts. Trust me, I get that. I would even argue that comparing yourself to other people can be useful to a certain degree, but when you talk about comparing yourself, it does make me wonder if other people's perception of you and how you use those perceptions to form your perception of yourself — how that might be playing a very big role in your decisions here. Are you pursuing all these different paths because they give you validation? Are you sticking with them because you're afraid of what people might think of you? You decided to focus on just one or two of them. Do you feel like you're making professional choices based on what the people around you value rather than what you really love? What brings you joy? What speaks to your unique talents?
[00:40:29] Again, I know those are heavy questions. I would ask yourself those questions too, though. So you can make sure of this tendency. This tendency to self-compare, which every single one of us has, by the way, it's not a personal failing or anything like that but to make sure that impulse is not driving your decisions, because at the end of the day, this is your life, it's your career. And if you succeed at all at these projects, it won't mean anything unless it's really what you want to do. And listen, I really don't mean to be a buzzkill by pointing out all of this stuff. I will let you decide if it fits. Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn't personally. I think it's really cool that you're writing this musical and that you're developing this choose your own adventure comedy. It sounds cool. I hope you find success with all of those projects. I just want to give you another perspective here, because I know that to do everything can sometimes be a great way of avoiding doing one thing really well. And I would hate for that to happen without you noticing.
[00:41:18] So look, there's this writer, his name is Mordecai Richler. He's one of my favorite authors. And in one of his books, a character says something that I think you'll really appreciate. He says, "A boy can be two, three, four potential people, but a man is only one. He murders the others." Obviously, you can replace boy with girl and man for woman. The point is this — what versions of yourself do you need to put to bed so that you can become the one person you were meant to be? And I'm not saying you can't do multiple things in life. Obviously, Jordan and I do that. We love it. It's great. Although even with us, I think we do one or two or three things really well and have to put to bed. A lot of other things that we really wanted to do because it would be a mess.
[00:41:53] Jordan Harbinger: Sure. My drag career is going nowhere.
[00:41:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: I remember when you call me, you're like, "Do I give up the crown or do I focus on podcasting?
[00:42:02] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:42:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: But look trying to do everything all the time would prevent us from doing nothing at all. So I would sit with that question and see what comes up for you. It's not a one and done thing. There's no pressure to come up with the right answer next week. I think you said you're 27. You have so much time. I mean, I know it's like, "I'm going to be 30 soon and I have to decide," and I get it that matters to some degree, but you still are right in the middle of exploring all these things. But the question I just asked you that the quote that I just shared, that's probably the kind of question you'll be asking yourself for the rest of your life. I know I am. And in a world where you can only do so many things well where there's probably one or two things that really speak to who you are, I think it's worth coming up with your own answer.
[00:42:37] Jordan Harbinger: Solid answer, Gabe. Thanks for that. I am wondering though. What's your drag name? Because I think for me, I would have to come up with something maybe either self-deprecating or law related. So I'm thinking, okay. What about Miranda Wrights?
[00:42:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, that's a really good one.
[00:42:55] Jordan Harbinger: W-R-I-G-H-T-S, yeah.
[00:42:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Did you spend time thinking about this or did that just occur to you?
[00:42:58] Jordan Harbinger: I spend time thinking about this.
[00:43:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's amazing. I was like, that is damn clever.
[00:43:04] Jordan Harbinger: I'm not that good at it. Dude, my show is called The Jordan Harbinger Show. I'm not good at naming things. It did take me a while to think of Miranda Wrights,
[00:43:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Man. I don't know what mine would be. I mean, I'm just like the guy who writes the sign of things at the end of the emails. So I don't, I don't know if —
[00:43:16] Jordan Harbinger: But I did come up with one for you too. Let me know what you think of this. I thought, okay, it's got to have to do with writing. Right? Paige Turner.
[00:43:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: That is really good. Damn. Or like a Penta Paper.
[00:43:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Penta Paper. Yeah. Something along those lines.
[00:43:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Or Penter Paper.
[00:43:32] Jordan Harbinger: Pen T apostrophe Paper, maybe
[00:43:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: P-E-N-N-T-H-E-R.
[00:43:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. There you go. There's so many good — this is endlessly entertaining. I swear if you Google — you know what, in fact, google best drag names, and you just have a fun night reading. They're so funny. They're so creative.
[00:43:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: There are a lot of them.
[00:43:52] Jordan Harbinger: There's a lot. Yes. There's a lot.
[00:43:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: I am going to get into this later.
[00:43:55] Jordan Harbinger: I know we have some drag queens listening to the show because they've written to me before. I think Bridget Tunnel might be the name of one of them. I think that's why —
[00:44:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, nice.
[00:44:02] Jordan Harbinger: — I had that one. I could be misremembering that. Bridget Tunnel if you're listening, shout out.
[00:44:10] This Jordan Harbinger Show. And this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:44:15] This episode is sponsored in part by SimpliSafe. There's almost always a rise in break-ins during the holidays. It's why SimpliSafe home security is having a huge holiday sale, up to 50 percent off any SimpliSafe system and a free security camera. They've won all types of awards, the best home security of 2020. You've heard it all before. So whether you're traveling or staying put for the holidays, like most of us check out up to 50 percent off. Plus get a free security camera before that deal ends this week. You can set up SimpliSafe yourself. It takes like 20 minutes. You all know, I get frustrated with tech who doesn't, you can stick these things up. You don't have to pair it all together. You don't need to drill holes in your walls. You don't need a landline. Set it up in just a few minutes, arsenals of sensors and cameras protect your home. And SimpliSafe monitors your home round-the-clock, ready to send help the moment there's an alarm.
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[00:45:17] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Better Help. I'm a big fan of therapy. I'm a big fan of Better Help. If you're feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or you just need somebody to vent to, that's not going to bring it up every five minutes at a meal. Look, anxiety, grief, depression, relationship stuff, even work stuff, family conflict, self-esteem — whether your pressure is internal, external, or both, all you got to do with better help is to fill out a questionnaire. They'll match you up in a couple of days, schedule secure video or phone sessions. You can text unlimited chat messages with your therapist at your convenience. Obviously, everything is confidential. No driving around. No parking. You can always request a new therapist at any time at no additional charge. So you can find somebody who's right for you. Join the one million-plus people who have taken charge of their mental health and stayed sane during this panty-D with the help of an experienced Better Help counselor.
[00:46:07] Jen Harbinger: Better Help is an affordable option. And our listeners get 10 percent off your first month with a discount code JORDAN. Get started today at betterhelp.com/jordan. Talk to a therapist online and get help.
[00:46:19] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored in part by OxiClean. When Jayden, my son, pooped in our sheets and we just sprayed that OxiClean Max Force on it. We let it sit for a few days. It washed right out, and this was no ordinary baby booty either. This was a cherry poop pits and all, all right. If OxiClean Max Force can get that out. I'll use it on anything. It even works on dried-in stains. Also. It's not just for white clothes or sheets, but on any color that you can stain which after having a kid I've learned is all colors. So even if you don't have kids and you just got stain on your clothes — my kid has gotten stains on his clothes. He's gotten stains on my clothes and I've thrown out a couple of shirts and I know what you're thinking, just get rid of the kids. Well, now you don't have to, because you can try OxiClean Max Force, spray it on there. Get the stain out. You've got to try OxiClean Max Force for yourself. To work your magic with OxiClean go to oxiclean.com/maxforce to get a coupon for a dollar off. That's O-X-I-C-L-E-A-N.com/maxforce to get a coupon for a buck off.
[00:47:20] Thanks for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us going. Who doesn't love some good products and/or services? You can always visit jordanharbinger.com/deals for all the details on everybody that helps support the show. And now for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
[00:47:38] All right. Drag names aside, what's next?
[00:47:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys. I'm a 53-year-old man happily married to my great and beautiful 53-year-old wife for the last 30 years. We live in the US. We both work. I love my job. My salary is average. She hates her job, but her salary is high. We have a daughter who lives near us, who is married with two young children. Three years ago, my wife started this fantasy of living in Europe. She hasn't lived anywhere else but hates what America has become. I still love our home, but she has not given up on this dream. In fact, she wants to move next year. She wants to give her boss notice now. She thinks that I can find an English teaching job in Europe because I taught in Asia in my early 20s. She says that she can find a job as well, but I don't know what she can do. And I don't see financially how we can do it as English teachers do not make much in most of Europe. If the salary were much higher, I would love to live in Europe. She says that I'm pessimistic, but will not come up with a financial plan. For the past three years, she has only thought of Europe and that's what has kept her going. I don't want to give up the stable life for such a big unknown, or I would do it, but she cries when I say this and it's still determined for us to go. If I choose not to go, she will hate me. What should I do? Signed, Am I Becoming an Ex or an Expat?
[00:48:48] Jordan Harbinger: Well, I think we can all agree that living in Europe is amazing or the fantasy of living in Europe anyway is usually more amazing. I think that's why so many people are watching Emily in Paris on Netflix right now, despite the fact that it's about a walking pair of Ugg Boots, whose idea of cultural immersion is complaining about her stake and saying, "Bonjour," whenever she enters a room.
[00:49:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep. That's so eerily accurate.
[00:49:13] Jordan Harbinger: If that show took place in Cincinnati, it would be game over, but it takes place in Paris. So it's actually kind of charming and amazing. How do I know this? Because I've watched some of it, whatever, don't judge me. The point is I understand why your wife wants to live in Europe. What I don't understand is why she's clinging to this idea when it is totally impractical, especially right now. If you guys don't make enough money to live there or can't make enough money when you live there, it's a non-starter, end of story. It's not like she's saying, "Hey, I found a great job in Vienna. That'll totally support us. All you'd need to do is teach English three days a week to buffer the salary paycheck or maintain your sanity." And you're saying, "No, they don't take debit cards and they write the date funny." Look, if that were the case, the problem would be totally resolvable. It would be an easy win, but it sounds to me like your wife is living in kind of an alternate reality where the rules of life don't apply much like Emily in Paris. Now that I think about it. If your wife can't make the finances work and she's expecting you to just figure it out so that she can eat pasta and paint landscapes in Tuscany all day, it's not just unreasonable. It's also unfair to you. She's basically making her cockamamie fantasy your problem, and then crying and blaming you for not being optimistic enough to make it happen. A little bit like emotional blackmail. "Take me to Europe or I'll hate you." Come on. Are you kidding me? I'm sorry.
[00:50:31] Look, I don't want me to be so blunt about it. Obviously, she's unhappy about our situation right now. She's probably a lovely woman, but that sounds a little crazy to me. And you're right English teachers, especially those with no experience or very little, are going to make minimum wage out there essentially. It's not a good life if you're over 30. Hell when I was 25 and I was getting paid as a teacher in Europe, I quickly found other means of income because the pay was garbage. I'm talking about poverty-level wages. You may fare better, but not much, I'm afraid. So yeah, you wouldn't just be giving up this stable life for such a big unknown. You'd be putting yourself in a stressful and truly dangerous position.
[00:51:11] Gabe, how does he even go about having this conversation with his wife?
[00:51:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, I do think he should have a very direct conversation with her about this whole idea. I would make her understand that there are very real, very practical barriers that make this move difficult if not straight-up impossible. If she's really dead set on moving to Europe, then invite her to come up with a realistic plan. If you can both make it work, it sounds like you would be down to give it a try. But if she refuses to even make an effort there, then tell her that you can't entertain this idea any longer. I mean, If she decides to hate you for not buying a one-way ticket to Barcelona, then you can point out that that's highly manipulative. And most importantly, I would help her see that pinning this fantasy entirely on you with no regard for the practical reality is like Jordan said, it's unfair and frankly, a bit delusional.
[00:51:56] In this conversation though, I would also try to understand why Europe is so important to her. Why is she persisting with this impossible fantasy? My guess is that there's something else going on here besides the fact that she hates living in the US. I wonder if she's dissatisfied with her life, maybe she's bored with work, maybe at 53, she's ready for an entirely new chapter, but doesn't know how to create that change in her own life, where she is. And so she might be outsourcing the work of changing her life to you. She might be desperate for hope desperate for some novelty. I can certainly understand that, especially in the middle of a pandemic. But she is projecting that need onto this fantasy life in Europe, which by the way, that never works, right? I mean, once you settle into a new place and the shine wears off, you're basically left with all the same problems and concerns you had before. Because moving cities, that's not a panacea for unhappiness. It's old, "Wherever you go, there you are," things. Right? So maybe you can help her see that and maybe if she does see that she won't hold it against you for not being able to make it happen.
[00:52:51] Anyway, if she does keep holding this against you though, then you two have some deeper issues to resolve. Honestly, my sense is that Europe is just the tip of this iceberg and she needs to figure out what's going on underneath it. If she can't resolve it yourself, couples counseling could be a great option. You've been married for 30 years. You obviously love each other. You both sound great, but stuff builds up. We know that people change. You're charting out the second half of your marriage. You're charting out the second half of your life. I'm sure there's a lot of good work you guys can do as a couple here, Europe for me anyway, would really just be the excuse to have that deeper conversation.
[00:53:22] Jordan Harbinger: But look candidly right now, I'm also going through a phase where I need a freaking vacation so bad that I also want to move to Europe, but not really. I've lived there before. It's amazing. I stayed there and went to high school there. I worked there, but wherever you go there you are, as the old saying goes. And your problems will be the same only worse because you don't have jobs or a good income. And because you can't read the menu anymore and people talk funny and taxes are higher and you can't find peanut butter to save your life. But really, it sounds like escapism to me. I know you literally can't go on much of a vacation right now. But I think you should take one as soon as you're able, I know I'm going to. Get Europe out of your system, out of her system, or at least show her that it's not going to solve all of her problems.
[00:54:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Great.
[00:54:05] Jordan Harbinger: I think that's a great place to wrap it. Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week. Go back and check out the guest this week, Larry Lawton, the former jewel thief, if you haven't yet. That is a two-parter. It is amazing.
[00:54:17] If you want to know how I managed to include all these amazing people in the show. It's always about the network. Check out our Six-Minutes Networking course, which is free. It's over on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. Dig the well, before you get thirsty. Don't try and make relationships when you need to leverage them. Then you're that person who just reaches out like, "Hey, I haven't talked to you in five years, by the way, I need a job." Dig the well before you get thirsty, once you need relationships, you're too late and the course is free. Come on. Jordanharbinger.com/course is where you can find that.
[00:54:48] A link to the show notes for this episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts in the show notes. All the links you need in the show notes. There's a video of this Feedback Friday episode on our YouTube channel — or going up soon anyway — jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I'm also at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter, Instagram. Hit me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:55:13] This show is created in association with PodcastOne and my amazing team, including Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course, Gabe Mizrahi. Keep sending in those questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:55:28] Our advice and opinions and those of our guests are their own. And yes, I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on this show. And remember, we rise by lifting others, share the show with those you love. And if you found this episode useful, please share it with someone else who can use the advice we gave here today or somebody who will be entertained by the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on this show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[00:55:59] I wanted to give you a quick bite of the episode I did with Mark Cuban of Shark Tank and Dallas Mavericks fame. Mark gives advice to entrepreneurs and founders in these uncertain times, tells us how he stays on top of trends and technology, and how the US can compete with China.
[00:56:14] Mark Cuban: When everybody's afraid the best way to deal with it is by coming together. It certainly seems a lot bigger than anything we've seen, you know, in my lifetime and the combination of the protests and looting and the pandemic, all of these things combined together to make for really uncertain times. And when people are uncertain about their future, that's why people rebel. Martin Luther King said rioting is the voice of the unheard. The only surprise is that it's taken this long.
[00:56:41] Kaepernick didn't even bring the focus to himself. You know, he just happened to be taking a knee and somebody caught him with a phone camera.
[00:56:48] Jordan Harbinger: What would you have done at that time? If he were your player, would you — how would you have handled that?
[00:56:53] Mark Cuban: I'd hug him.
[00:56:54] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:56:54] Mark Cuban: Yeah, absolutely.
[00:56:56] Jordan Harbinger: If you were the president, how would you improve race relations?
[00:56:59] Mark Cuban: I mean, I'd hug a few people.
[00:57:00] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:57:01] Mark Cuban: You know, I'd walk out there and listen, you know, I'd take advice. I wouldn't think I had all the answers.
[00:57:06] Jordan Harbinger: This piece you wrote, Dear White People, We're the Ones that Need to Change. This is probably controversial. I would imagine you get some blowback from something like that.
[00:57:13] Mark Cuban: A lot of people felt I was calling them out as racist, which I wasn't doing. In order for things to change, then people need to take measures and understand, be very self-aware about what's going on with them. And how people are living their lives.
[00:57:28] Jordan Harbinger: A lot of people don't seem to have much to look forward to right now. What do you think we should be looking forward to as a nation?
[00:57:34] Mark Cuban: I mean, look, there's no better time ever to start a business than right now because all businesses are effectively going through a reset. And so there's a lot of advantages. And with the protests and the riots that give us just one inkling of hope that maybe we'll make progress. Maybe this time we'll listen.
[00:57:51] Jordan Harbinger: For more with Mark Cuban, including the future of the technology economy, check out episode 362 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:58:00] Jen Harbinger: Support for today's episode comes from Progressive Insurance. Fun fact, Progressive customers qualify for an average of six discounts when they sign up for Progressive auto insurance. Discounts for things like enrolling in automatic payments, ensuring more than one car, going paperless. And of course, being a safe driver. Plus customers who bundle their auto with home or add renter's insurance, save an average of 12 percent on their auto. There are so many ways to save when you switch. And once you're a customer with Progressive, you get unmatched claim service with 24/7 support online or by phone. It's no wonder why more than 20 million drivers trust Progressive, and why they've recently climbed to the third-largest auto insurer in the country. Get a quote online at progressive.com in as little as five minutes and see how much you could be saving. Auto insurance from Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and affiliates. Home and renter's insurance not available in all states. Provided and serviced by affiliated and third-party insurers. Discounts vary and are not available in all states and situations.
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