Can your friendship with the woman whose husband raped you on their wedding day ever recover? Perhaps a better question to ask is: should it? We’ll try to find an answer to this and more here on Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- Can your friendship with the woman whose husband raped you on their wedding day ever recover? Perhaps a better question to ask is: should it? [Thanks to clinical psychologist Dr. Erin Margolis for helping us with this one!]
- How can you communicate with your Russian parents when they’ve been brainwashed by state propaganda? [Thanks to undue influence expert Dr. Steven Hassan for his help with this one!]
- Are your friends trying to grow their network, or are they trying to clandestinely rope you into their undercover MLM?
- If management and law enforcement don’t want to protect you and your coworkers from the dangerous, mentally unstable members of the homeless community camped across the street from your office, what can you do to ensure your safety?
- When your last five roommate situations ended on a sour note, are you wrong to wonder if you might be the common denominator that invites neverending chaos into the equation?
- 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.
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!
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Miss our conversation with Daniel Levin, a man who knows how to track down people who have gone missing in war zones and bring them home alive? Catch up with episode 617: Daniel Levin | How to Find a Missing Person in the Middle East here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Josh Peck | Happy People Are Annoying | Jordan Harbinger
- Shanna Swan | The Reproduction Crisis and Humanity’s Future | Jordan Harbinger
- Morning-After Pill | Mayo Clinic
- It Really Wasn’t Your Fault: How Understanding the Brain’s Response to Trauma Can Lessen Victim-Blaming and Self-Blame | US Army
- Erin Margolis | Thrive Psychology Group
- How Russia’s Unanswered Propaganda Led to the War in Ukraine | The Conversation
- Here’s How Propaganda Is Clouding Russians’ Understanding of the War in Ukraine | NPR
- Russia’s Ukraine Propaganda Has Turned Fully Genocidal | Foreign Policy
- How US and Ukrainian Groups Pierce Putin’s Propaganda Bubble | The New York Times
- Russia: Authorities Launch Witch-Hunt to Catch Anyone Sharing Anti-War Views | Amnesty International
- Are You Brainwashed? | 1420
- Steven Hassan | Combating Cult Mind Control Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Steven Hassan | Combating Cult Mind Control Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- Steven Hassan | The #iGotOut Guide to Quitting QAnon | Jordan Harbinger
- Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs by Steven Hassan | Amazon
- Combating Cult Mind Control: The Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults by Steven Hassan | Amazon
- Steven Hassan’s BITE Model of Authoritarian Control | Freedom of Mind Resource Center
- Putin/Disinformation Starter Pack | Jordan Harbinger
- Do Russians Want the USSR Back? | 1420
- Going to North Korea: Part One | Stereo Sunday | Jordan Harbinger
- Going to North Korea: Part Two | Stereo Sunday | Jordan Harbinger
- Your Stalker’s Sister is Dating Your Brother | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- The Secretly Smart Reason Scam Emails Are Poorly Written | Mental Floss
- How to Avoid Scams | Deep Dive | Jordan Harbinger
- Why the US Can’t Solve the Homelessness Crisis | CNBC
- State of Homelessness: 2021 Edition | National Alliance to End Homelessness
- Behavioral Health Services for People Who are Homeless | SAMHSA
- Dealing with Homeless People: Keeping Your Property and Staff Safe | Mainstream Unlimited
- Are You the Bad Roommate? | Fastweb
- These 15 Questions Will Reveal What Kind of Roommate You Are | BuzzFeed
- Am I a Bad Roommate? | r/badroommates
659: Her Spouse Raped You. Can Friendship Stay True? | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, my sidekick in salvation, Gabriel Mizrahi. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice, that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. 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 your own mind.
[00:00:36] If you're new to the show, on Fridays, we give advice. We answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of incredible folks from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, and performers. This week, we had my friend, Josh Peck, former child star, now a grown-up star, a friend of mine who had a rocky path from the fat kid on Nickelodeon, through drugs and alcohol and back on top, once again. It's a really personal story that I think is going to be useful and insightful for a lot of people. We also had Dr. Shanna Swan on the infertility crisis caused in parts by chemicals in the environment, the things we eat, the things we put on our skin, the things we feed our kids. Really interesting, yet of course, disturbing stuff that, I won't forget anytime soon. So make sure you've had to listen to everything that we created for you here this week.
[00:01:24] Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:01:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe, last summer, I was a bridesmaid in my high school friend's wedding. I've been close with this friend for many years and I was excited to be a part of her day. Her now-husband was not someone I was well acquainted with, but he seemed friendly and interesting. And overall, I thought he was a good match for my friend. The night before the wedding, I hung out with the bridal party at our hotel, where we had a couple of drinks and ate pizza. Later, a few of us decided to go on a walk outside to sober up a little bit before going to bed. My friend didn't come because she wanted to go to sleep. When we were walking, her husband repeatedly made a point to be near me and grabbed my ass several times when no one was looking even after I told him to stop and walked away. Before going back inside, I pulled him aside and told him that what he was doing was unacceptable and reminded him that he was getting married the next day. He responded by saying that he never got a bachelor party and he just wanted to have fun. The next day at the wedding, I was conflicted about telling my friend what had happened. In the end, I didn't want to ruin the day. So I decided to tell her the next day I was incredibly anxious during the ceremony. And I felt guilty for not saying anything as I watched her promise to love this man forever. I had several drinks during dinner and tried my best, not to think about it too much. Then after the reception began, her husband cornered me in the bathroom and kissed me and tried to push my head down after he pulled down his pants. I managed to push him off. I put my hands on his shoulders, looked him dead in the eye, and told him to stop. I said, what he was doing was wrong because he had just gotten married and his wife was pregnant with our first child. He told me that he just needed to get this out of his system and that he needed to cheat now so that he wouldn't cheat later. I left the bathroom and sat down in a public area so that he wouldn't be able to try anything else. That night I was staying at their apartment. So I rode back with them without saying a word and quickly went to the bathroom to get ready for bed. Once again, he cornered me in the bathroom and tried the same thing. It was harder to get away because I was drunk, but somehow I managed. I went to sleep on the couch and woke up the next morning without pants on. I was confused and scared and left the apartment as soon as I could. He then texted me and told me to buy Plan B. I didn't know what had happened. So I got it just to be safe.
[00:03:36] Jordan Harbinger: For people who don't know Plan B is like a pill that keeps you from getting pregnant if you don't use protection the night before.
[00:03:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: The morning-after pill.
[00:03:43] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it's the morning-after pill. Exactly.
[00:03:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: I continued to talk to him to let him know that he needed to tell his wife what he had done. I eventually convinced him to come clean, but after that, she stopped talking to me except to say that she didn't blame me for anything. I understood and tried to give her some space. After that, I went to therapy to work through the trauma, and I've been doing a lot better with dealing with the flashbacks and complicated feelings. I was still missing my friend though and I wanted to know what was going on in her life. She didn't invite me to her baby shower or give me updates about her pregnancy. I had hoped that she would eventually reach out, but I heard nothing for months. I finally broke the ice by wishing her a happy birthday and asking how things had been going. I brought up the situation from the wedding and asked if we could finally talk about it. When I told her my side of the story, it turned out that her husband had left out several details from his. She said she was sorry about what I had to go through but didn't offer much sympathy besides that. I asked if we could get together and have dinner sometime because I missed my friend. And she said that we could after she had her baby. Fast-forward to today, she's had the baby and I'm reconsidering what our friendship looks like. Am I still able to have the same friendship we had before the wedding? Or will she always see me as someone who caused a huge problem in our marriage? Am I going to hurt us both by trying to force a friendship after everything that's happened? Understandably, she doesn't want me near her husband. So I wouldn't really be able to be a big part of her life or her child's life, which is devastating to me. I don't want to let my friend go, but is that the kindest thing to do? Signed, The Blue Bridesmaid.
[00:05:16] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, my god, dude. I am rarely speechless, but this is up there with some of the hardest ones that we've taken on this show.
[00:05:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:05:24] Jordan Harbinger: What this woman has been through? Uh, it's just beyond horrible. Just trying to wrap my head around this. She's super tight with this woman since high school, she's a bridesmaid in her wedding. She shuts down her husband's assault attempts twice. Then, this guy rapes her while she's unconscious on his wedding night. This guy is a horrible human being. It's just unbelievable. I need a second. I almost can't believe what I'm hearing right now.
[00:05:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: It is beyond the pale. And then she tells her friend what happened and her friend just like brushes it off and stops talking to her. I mean, this is insane.
[00:05:57] Jordan Harbinger: It is. Yeah. I almost understand where the friend is coming from because it's too insane. She probably doesn't even want to deal with it. We'll get there.
[00:06:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:06:04] Jordan Harbinger: This is just pain on top of pain on top of pain. And I am so sorry that you've been through this. I really have no words. I can't even imagine what this must be like, not just to be assaulted, but by your friend's husband in this way, in these circumstances. You sound like a really kind person, a very strong person. And I'm actually kind of in awe that you managed to process and recover from this in the way that you have. And I am just very sad that this has happened to you. We wanted to talk about all of this, of course, with an expert. So we reached out to the one and only Dr. Erin Margolis, clinical psychologist and friend of the show.
[00:06:39] And as we unpacked all of this with Dr. Margolis, we began to appreciate that you have been through a very significant trauma here, not just the assault, of course, but also losing your good friend in the process. Now, look, there's a lot going on in your letter, but just to get to the heart of the matter here. We all found your ultimate question very interesting because here you are, you're still recovering from all of this. And your main question is, "Can I still be friends with this woman?" And Hey, I do kind of get that. As Dr. Margolis explained to us going through trauma, it's terrifying, it's isolating, and in the aftermath of an assault like this, you long for a good friend to be there for you, of course. So it makes sense that your main concern is preserving that connection.
[00:07:23] But this friend — we got to talk about this woman, Gabe, I mean, okay, look, I have some compassion for her. Finding out your husband raped your close friend on your wedding night — and I'm sorry to keep using such difficult language, but I think it's important that we acknowledge what this is. To learn about that, I'm sure it is very unsettling, to say the least.
[00:07:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:07:41] Jordan Harbinger: Your friend's not the one writing in, but my sense is that this woman is in total denial about what happened. Dr. Margolis had the same read on the situation. That your friend's response is clearly a defense. She probably has some strong strategies to not have to feel the extent of this situation. My hunch is that it's just too painful to accept the fact that her new husband and the father of her child could do this. And it's possible that having you around is a reminder of the fact that her husband is literally a rapist and she doesn't have the capacity to deal with that.
[00:08:14] Dr. Margolis put it nicely when she said that, "Sadly, it might be easier for this woman to just punish you rather than punish her husband and father of her child. But that doesn't mean that what she's doing here is okay. It is not. And appreciating that this is complicated for her, that doesn't invalidate what you've been through and how you're feeling now.
[00:08:33] So Dr. Margolis' take — and I'm right there with her — is that you're asking the wrong question here. You want to know if you can still be friends, but the more immediate question is, "Do you even want to be friends with this person? A person whose husband raped you and then who basically abandoned you. Can you really be close with somebody who didn't take your story seriously, who wasn't there for you in any real way? And who's essentially now siding with your assailant? That's the question. I would be asking myself, right now.
[00:09:02] Now, you might be thinking, "Well, yeah, I do still want to be friends with her. I need a friend." And again, I understand that, but here's the thing. This friend, she's put some real limits on that friendship. You might still feel close with her, but that doesn't really mean you are close, at least not in the way you thought. So are you still able to have the same friendship you had before the wedding? In my opinion, no, it's already different. What her husband did to you, you can't unring that bell. You can't go back and pretend like it never happened. It's really, really sad, but the assault and the way your friend responded to it, that's changed the nature of your relationship fundamentally, but that might take some time to accept and that's okay.
[00:09:45] As Dr. Margolis explained to us, a big part of trauma work is grieving. You not only have to grieve the trauma itself but the ripple effects of it, which include losing this friendship. And even if there's some world down the road where she comes back and goes, "Oh my gosh, I'm so ashamed. I was confused. I was in denial. I'm so sorry." And you guys reconcile, you still have to mourn what this friendship was in order to imagine what it might look like one day in the future. And that's where you are right now in the middle of this grief process, in the middle of this trauma recovery process.
[00:10:18] You've come a long way and you're doing incredibly well, but it sounds to me like a lot of this is still unresolved it's in flux, including your feelings about your friend. You're disappointed by her, but you miss her you're hurt, but you don't want to give her up. Those conflicts are very normal and unpacking them, resolving them, that's a big part of the recovery as well.
[00:10:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well said, Jordan. I really feel for her there as well. I mean, I'm sure that's a very confusing place to be, just caught between the two of those things. But, you know, I also feel like she's still prioritizing her friend quite a lot here. She's still thinking so much about her friend's side of the equation when it's her side that's most important. I mean, one of her questions was, "Will she always see me as someone who caused a huge problem in our marriage?" But let's just be super clear here, you didn't cause the problem in our marriage, he caused the problem. It's fascinating to me that you're shouldering some of the blame, even a tiny bit. But you have to know that this was not your fault. And I'm assuming you do know that, but it bears repeating.
[00:11:16] It's very interesting. We all kind of had the same reaction to your letter, which is that you're being remarkably kind to your friend through all of this. Like you said, you understood how she was feeling after the assault. You gave her some space. You wished her a happy birthday. You reached back out because you missed her. You said you don't want to let her go, but you think it might be the kindest thing to do. That's a lot of thinking and caring about this woman, but it's not your job in a situation like this to be kind.
[00:11:41] Why are you being so kind to her when she's not being kind to you in just the most basic minimal of ways in light of what happened? I think in the process of clinging to this friendship, that meant so much to you, you might be losing sight of the most important thing, which is how this went down, who's actually responsible for making this awful experience even worst. Dr. Margolis zeroed in on this too, which she called a sort of internalized victim-blaming if you want to call it that. She actually told us that that's super common in trauma. To use her words, "There's a lot of shame in self-blame.
[00:12:13] And it's interesting, Dr. Margolis has helped us see that blaming yourself to some degree for an event like this, that sometimes feels easier because it makes us feel more in control. You know, like, "Well, I did something wrong. I could have done something differently to avoid it. And if I can just figure that out, then I'll never do anything to make something like this happen again." But the thing is that strategy stops you from feeling something that's even more appropriate and even more important, namely, anger. I mean anger, not just at your friend's husband, but your friend who has really dismissed you here and is now essentially colluding with her husband.
[00:12:47] As Dr. Margolis put it to us, getting in touch with that legitimate anger. That's a lot more productive and it could help with some of the self-recrimination you might be feeling right now. In a moment like this, it would be a lot more helpful to stop worrying about what's best for your friend or even the friendship as a whole and really focus on what's best for you.
[00:13:07] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. Which brings us right back to my first question. Is this woman really your friend? Dr. Margolis' insight, the most important thing right now is finding the people and places that are safe and empowering and healthy for you. That's it. If you keep focusing on your growth, it'll become very clear who should and should not be in your life. And I know that that comes with a lot of pain, but that's part of the growth to — saying goodbye to the old friendships, getting clear about how you feel about what happened, finding people you want to keep close as you move from. And I just got to say, you're doing such a great job. Like I said—
[00:13:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:13:41] Jordan Harbinger: —what you've been through, it's up there with some of the most difficult things you can go through in life, but the way you handled it, standing your ground, telling the truth, getting yourself into therapy, doing the work — that is incredible. And I mean that. You should be really proud. Gabe and I are, for sure.
[00:13:56] You know, Gabe, I find myself wanting to leave one last note here — and I just want to be super clear before I say this. I am not blaming this woman for what happened whatsoever. No one deserves blame for an assault except the assailant, period. But in the future — and this goes for anyone listening right now — if you find yourself in a situation with a monster like this, someone who's shown you several times that he intends to hurt you, victimize you, get the hell away from them. Don't spend time with them. Don't drink alcohol near them. Don't go and crash at their place afterwards, get a hotel, tell them you'd feel super sick and, you know, explain later if you need to, whatever. I see this parallel with other similar questions we've heard in the show. And it just stands to reason that when you are near a predator and they have access to you, nothing good can come of that. Like I said, feign illness, tell him you got the craps, whatever. Just get out of there, get away from them. You can always, always explain later if you even have to, but the risk is just never worth it.
[00:14:55] So keep on keeping on my friend and take care of yourself. Sending you a big hug from California.
[00:15:00] There's just not an ad pivot here that is not in very poor taste. So let's just hear from the amazing sponsors that support the show. We'll be right back.
[00:15:10] This episode is sponsored in part by Storyworth. I'm so glad that I ordered Storyworth from my mom. We started this last year where Storyworth will email my mom a question a day, and these are thought-provoking questions to like, "Tell me an adventure you've been on when you were younger." Mom, I know you're listening to this. I know you love writing the Storyworth answers as well. We've been having a blast reading them. After a year or however long you want, Storyworth will combine these stories into a really nice book with images you can include, and it makes for a unique gift that keeps on giving it'll for sure, become a cool family heirloom that the grandkids can enjoy later on as well. I have just learned tons of new things about my mom, like how adventurous she was traveling to Australia when she was 23. What dating was like for her during the sexual revolution? Nothing. Nothing gross. Come on.
[00:15:55] Jen Harbinger: Give all the moms in your life, a meaningful gift you'll both cherish for years. Storyworth right now and for a limited time, you'll save $10 on your first purchase when you go to storyworth.com/jordan. That's S-T-O-R-Y-W-O-R-T-H.com/jordan to save $10 on your first purchase. Storyworth.com/jordan.
[00:16:16] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Athletic Greens. Athletic Greens is a product that Jen and I use literally every day. I'm often on the go. I've also tried a lot of these sort of like green juicy things and a lot of them are kind of gross. This one is definitely not that at all. It's my all-in-one nutritional insurance and my multivitamin and tons of people take some kind of multivitamin and it's important to choose one with high-quality ingredients that your body will actually absorb. Athletic Greens uses the best of the best products based on the latest science with constant product iterations and third-party testing. And it's cheaper than getting all the different supplements yourself. And my friend started the company and he's kind of like a stickler for all things high quality. He doesn't just like grab cheap crap from overseas and stuff it in stuff that he throws in his body. There's no GMOs. There's no nasty chemicals, artificial, anything. And like I said, it still tastes good. I don't feel the need to shotgun it while holding my nose. And now, it's time to reclaim your health and arm your immune system with convenient daily nutrition, especially heading into the flu-and-cold season. And I don't even know, honestly, if there is a non-cold-and-flu season, if you have kids, so whatever. One scoop of Athletic Greens and water every day, that's it. No need for a million different pills and supplements to look out for your health.
[00:17:22] Jen Harbinger: To make it easy, Athletic Greens is going to give you a free one-year supply of immune-supporting vitamin D and five free travel packs with their first purchase. All you have to do is visit athleticgreens.com/jordan. Again, that's athleticgreens.com/jordan to take ownership over your health and pick up the ultimate daily nutritional insurance.
[00:17:41] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I just wanted to say thank you so much for listening to the show. Thank you for supporting the show. I know a lot of these codes and things like that can be complex from the advertisers. They're all in one place, right on the website, jordanharbinger.com/deals. Also, you can go to the website at jordanharbinger.com and search for any sponsor right in the search box. That will also bring up the sponsor and the code. So please do consider supporting those who make this show possible.
[00:18:04] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:18:08] All right. What's next?
[00:18:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe, my wife and I are first-generation Russian Canadians living in Canada with two little kids. Due to the recent war in Ukraine, a rift is now developing between my wife and our parents who still live in Russia. They're intelligent, good, and very kind people. I love them dearly, but they aren't tech savvy and can only see and hear what's being pushed on them by the Russian state media. As a result, they can't see the true horror of what the Russian government has done in Ukraine. They in turn think that we've been brainwashed. How do we talk to them? How do we approach the conversation so that we can educate them and show them that what they see isn't the truth and how do we not widen this rift in the process? Signed, Cutting Through the Fog from Abroad.
[00:18:51] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. This is a great question, obviously, super timely. This has got to be one of the trickiest things to deal with right now, talking to friends and family who just live in a completely different reality from you. Of course, this happens here at home, too, with these information bubbles that people are in, but with the war in Ukraine, you're up against an even stronger propaganda machine, a more brutal filter bubble and one that goes back generations, not just a couple of years. We wanted to get an expert's opinion on your question. So we ran all of this by the one and only Dr. Steven Hassan. Dr. Hassan is a mental health counselor who's been writing and talking about undue influence for over 40 years. He's the author of Freedom of Mind and Combating Cult Mind Control, both great books. He's also been on the show a bunch of times, and we'll link to that in the show notes as well.
[00:19:36] The first thing Dr. Hassan pointed out is that Russia is a very tricky place these days. Russian citizens, they know that if they say anything critical about Putin or anything that contradicts the government's version of events about the war, they could get arrested and thrown in jail for like 15 years. And we don't know exactly what level of surveillance the government is carrying out on citizens and their relatives. It could be vast, or it could be minimal, but there's almost certainly some element of, "We're watching you, we're listening. You'd better toe the line," and this is not new. I mean, the Soviet Union was famous for this. They kind of almost — I would say invented this kind of domestic surveillance and secret policing.
[00:20:17] And in Dr. Hassan's view — and I thought this was fascinating — Russia is one big cult, at least in terms of the way it's operating right now. In fact, Dr. Hassan told us an interesting story. In the early '90s, he actually went to Moscow at the request of psychologists and psychiatrists to teach people about cults because naturally, when the Soviet Union fell a ton of Western cults flooded into the country, looking for fresh blood. And he's over there teaching people about how cults work and the mental health folks in the audience, they were like, "Wait a minute. You're describing our whole education system right here in the former Soviet Union."
[00:20:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Fascinating.
[00:20:54] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Authoritarianism. So according to Dr. Hassan, that's the psychology you're up against with your family here. Not just people who are consuming different information from you, but people who are caught up in a large-scale multi-generational coercive framework. And in some ways, it's even worse than some cults because this cult, this cult is also a country. It's a country that can punish you with jail and prison and Gulag-type stuff for a long time, if you think, and speak independently.
[00:21:24] So how do you talk to people who are caught in a system like that? Well, Dr. Hassan recommends approaching them with patience, curiosity, and non-confrontation. So rather than argue with them or point out their blind spots, Dr. Hassan says to avoid that fight. Don't try to persuade your family members that they're wrong, not at first anyway. Instead, he recommends being respectful, being curious, asking a lot of questions. So if your in-laws are like, "But Russian soldiers they're being so restrained, they're being greeted as liberators. Everyone wants to live under Russian rule in Ukraine," or whatever the story is. Dr. Hassan would respond by saying something like, "Oh, that's interesting you think that. That's very different from all of the news reports that we've seen here. So what's your primary source of information? Tell me more. I'd like to understand," that kind of thing.
[00:22:12] And I know that this sounds absolutely absurd. It'll probably be hard for you guys to do knowing what you actually do now, but in Dr. Hassan's experience, that's essential to keeping the channel open, lowering their defenses, building the trust and rapport that you need to eventually help your in-laws see more clearly. Dr. Hassan actually compared this to calling somebody on the phone, who's in a cult, knowing that the cult listens in on all the phone calls. You have to walk a delicate line, you have to speak in a way that makes it safe for the other person to engage with you. The critical thing he said is warmth and frequent contact. Telling them you love them asking how their life is going, how they're holding up, preserving the underlying relationship, despite the questionable beliefs.
[00:22:55] Now, in terms of educating your wife's parents, showing them what they see isn't the truth. Dr. Hassan recommends using the BITE model of authoritarian control. We'll link to this in the show notes. This is his framework for describing the methods that cults use to recruit and maintain control over people. It's fascinating. It's extremely useful. We're not going to go into every nuance of it here, but we're going to link to Dr. Hassan's dissertation and summary, like I said, up in the show notes. And specifically, Dr. Hassan recommends focusing on the I in BITE, which stands for information control.
[00:23:26] The main idea, being that with cult members, you'd never attack the leader, the doctrine, or the group directly because that tends to trigger the cult identity and the cult response. Then the other person or the other group, they shut down and that only reinforces the cult mindset and then there's little or no conversation or progress happening at all. Instead, Dr. Hassan recommends picking another group, one that isn't Russia, but is like Russia and that Russian people would maybe agree is problematic and using them as a sort of safe analogy for what's happening in their country. Then you point to that example and help them see how the country they're living in now. Well, it bears a certain resemblance to this other place that they can criticize and then gently, slowly, you help them identify aspects of that place in their own country, in their own psychology. Sneaking in through the side door, so to speak psychologically.
[00:24:20] China might be a useful candidate for that. Although we talked about it with Dr. Hassan, we weren't entirely sure how Russians feel overall about China right now if that would even be the best candidate. It might be, but you get the idea. Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, maybe even the former Soviet Union, a lot of Russians these days, they can't criticize their government now, but they can look back a few decades and talk about the flaws back then. You guys probably know that better than we do, but you get the idea. Also since Putin is talking a lot these days about Nazis in Ukraine, Dr. Hassan pointed out that using Adolf Hitler and the Nazis and how they sent children away to indoctrination programs, that could also be a useful way to help your in-laws see how that indoctrination is working at home. Again, anything that captures how controlling information leads to a certain point of view in other safer contexts.
[00:25:09] So bottom line, Dr. Hassan's solution to situations like this is to be open to lots of points of view because you're in, even if they have doubts about the narrative they're being fed, they're probably not going to verbalize them. So the question is, how can you and your wife talk to your in-laws and tell them stories in a way that doesn't trigger their defenses that gets past the Russian sensors and that doesn't endanger their loved ones? And of course, also preserves your relationship with them rather than letting this war tear you apart as well. I know it's painful and frustrating to watch it happen, but it's a huge part of our world right now, talking to people across these ideological chasms. So this skill set, it's only going to become more and more important.
[00:25:51] I also recommend checking out our Putin disinformation starter pack. This has all of our episodes related to Russia, the war on Ukraine., And those will be great to listen to, as you prepare for these conversations with your family. We'll link to that in the show notes, the starter packs are always at jordanharbinger.com/start, by the way. And you can also search for them in Spotify.
[00:26:09] Gabe, this Russian war in Ukraine is going to be one of those Germany post-World War II type situations and in a decade or two, where everyone is just horrified about what happened because they were in denial before and didn't have full information. I think it's just going to trigger a wild shame spiral in an entire generation, most likely, depending on regime change and things like that.
[00:26:31] So I hope that gives you a way in with your in-laws. I'm so sorry you're on opposite sides of this event. That can't be easy, but I hope one day they'll come to understand the full story. Good luck. We're wishing you all the best.
[00:26:44] Gabe, you know, I was watching YouTube the other day and, there's this Russian guy going around some city in Russia. And the question was, "Do you miss the Soviet Union? And all of these young people who are maybe like 30, 40, and younger, they had mixed answers, yes, no, maybe. All of the old people said something like, "No, because I was there."
[00:27:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:27:05] Jordan Harbinger: It was really haunting, you know, old, old people were like, "Oh, we always had food. We always had enough to eat," but it's like, okay, you lived through World War II. So the Soviet Union probably seemed like a nice reprieve, but anybody who was born sort of post-World War II, but not in the '80s, you know, between like 1950, 1980, they were like, "Hell no, there's nothing to miss. You know, they were really, it was like haunting looks, absolutely not. They didn't have to stop and think they weren't wishy-washy about it. It's really interesting.
[00:27:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: That reminds me also when we were in North Korea. Do you remember we were talked to people sometimes—? Or like, do you remember when we were at that Frisbee tournament? And we were talking to some of the older people and then the kids who were walking by and we started playing with them. For the first like half hour an hour, the older people in the neighborhood didn't want to play with us because—
[00:27:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:27:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: —they were old enough to remember the Korean war or at least be closer to the Korean war. Maybe their parents were part of it and lived through it. And the hatred of America was alive in them, but the kids were like thrilled to play with us. They didn't have all of dissociations about the West and they didn't have all this historical baggage that made them view the world a certain way. Fascinating to see how these events play out generation to generation. It's actually the opposite of the Russian example you gave where the young people don't have the memory. So they don't know how bad it was, the older people do and they don't want to go back. In North Korea, it was almost the opposite in a certain way, but yeah, that's so interesting how those beliefs play out in generations on the ground.
[00:28:26] Jordan Harbinger: You can reach us firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep your emails concise. Try to use 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, or you just need a new perspective on life, love, work. What to do. If your sibling is dating your stalker's sibling? Whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up email@example.com. We're here to help and we keep every email anonymous.
[00:28:50] All right. What's next?
[00:28:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys. I recently had a couple ask my partner and me if we were interested in meeting up for coffee and hearing what they did to, quote-unquote, "grow their network," and, quote-unquote, "how they have gotten to where they are in life." They plan to retire by 40, they're 30 now, and they stress the fact that they've paid off all their debt and built a life that they've always dreamed of. Sounds great, right? Well, I tried to ask what exactly it is that they do since I currently don't have a lot to offer other than my time. They didn't quite deflect the question, but they wouldn't answer it either. They just kept repeating, "Yeah, at this age we just jumped right in. And now here we are." "O-kay. So what did you jump into? How did you get started?" I could not get a straight answer from these people. We also had a Zoom meeting with a friend of theirs to get a little more information about what they do. And this guy kept saying, "Well, if we decide to sponsor you, you know, when, or if you get vetted by us," stuff like that. What does that mean? We genuinely don't have anything. The entire time, we were curious if this is a multi-level marketing company, but we don't have to invest any money or recruit anyone. So, what is this thing? What are we missing? Should we continue with it and see where it goes? Or does this sound like a wasted time? Signed, Ain't Got No Time For this Downline.
[00:30:10] Jordan Harbinger: Ah, man, just run. It's that simple.
[00:30:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep.
[00:30:14] Jordan Harbinger: At best, this organization is some lame bullsh*tty, nothing. It may be just some loose network of people who vaguely want to support each other, whatever. At worst, it's the funnel into some sort of cult or scan. And it almost certainly is that, by the way. Either way, these people are skeezy parasites who are absolutely wasting your time and obviously want something from you without offering anything tangible in return. Trust me, you don't want to go down this road. Just cut contact and stay away. This friend of theirs is probably their upline manager or whatever, and some pyramids scheme.
[00:30:47] Gabe, this is really just a new level of scam. Huh? Now they're not even telling people what the BS hustle is. They're just like speaking in these abstract, vague generalities—
[00:30:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep.
[00:30:55] Jordan Harbinger: Hoping they'll hook some gullible people who think the organization must be special if its members are debt-free and have dreams of retiring early. And they have to vet people and decide to sponsor them. It's so like amateur transparently, manipulative, but like in the dumbest possible way.
[00:31:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Do you remember those Nigerian scams that were really popular like 20 years ago?
[00:31:15] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:31:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: So you know how like the emails that they send you are they're poorly written. They seem so obviously bullsh*tty, it's hard to believe that anybody would fall for them, right?
[00:31:24] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:31:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: I remember reading an article years ago that actually explained that the letters are that bad, partly by design because what they're looking for is people who are so gullible and who don't have enough, like awareness or understanding or whatever to avoid scams like that they actually want to trap those people. So the fact that the letters are so poorly written and that the scam is so transparent actually works in their favor because it disqualifies all the people who would be a waste of their time and gets the handful of people who are gullible enough to fall for the scheme in the first. I wonder if maybe some similar principles at play here where the people who don't question, like, "What is this thing and how does it work and why do you have to vet me?" are exactly the people they want to fall into the funnel.
[00:32:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. They just want people who are like dumb, excited and—
[00:32:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:32:08] Jordan Harbinger: —are asking no questions and have zero critical thinking skills.
[00:32:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally. But I don't even understand what they're getting at in the bigger picture. Like, do you pay a fee to be part of this network? Do they sell you some stupid e-course on paying off your debt or something? I don't get it. But also, this makes me wonder if it might be more of a cult than a scam because there doesn't seem to be a product. Maybe the product is ideological. You know, like they lure you in with promises of self-sufficiency and freedom. And before you know, you're meeting three times a week in a basement to study the sacred texts or, you know, handing over three grand a month to the founder's inner circle or whatever. The whole "if we decide to sponsor you" thing, the vetting piece, that sounds more culty than scammy. I would be genuinely worried about getting caught up in something like this.
[00:32:51] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That is a concern. That whole "if we decide to sponsor you" thing, that's a very common sales tactic called qualification. It's more extreme than regular qualification. Normally, you just go, can this person afford this car or is it a 16-year-old kid who wants to take a Mustang for a test drive? Right?
[00:33:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:33:07] Jordan Harbinger: Some of these self-help cults or in MLMs, they'll use this kind of qualification where — okay an amateur says if someone has money, you'll sell to them and you're convincing them. These are the best beans we have, right? This is the best AB flexor on the. With this tactic, they're flipping the script and they're trying to get you to chase them because, you know, maybe they'll let us into the secret club. It's like, they're trying to pretend that they're in such high demand, that they're actually screening people in when really this type of organization will let any idiot with a pulse, clearly. It's dumb. It's very amateur and it is 100 percent a red flag.
[00:33:45] Some organizations will try and do this. Like, "Hey, we can't sell this Ferrari to everyone. You have to apply for it," right? When it's a high-end item, but they tell you what the freaking item is. So, yeah, bounce. This is a waste of your time at best.
[00:33:59] You know, who won't dragon you into a nebulous syndicate, designed to siphon off your time, money, and self-respect? The sponsors who support this show. We'll be right back.
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[00:36:18] Jordan Harbinger: All right now, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:36:22] All right. Next up.
[00:36:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe, I work at a community health center and I adore my job. They pay pretty well. There are many opportunities for growth and my direct supervisor is flat-out amazing. I have a passion for helping people, and this has been a really good outlet for me. I do not want to leave this job. I knew what I was signing up for when I applied for the job, we serve all members of the community. So it's standard to have daily interactions with people who are suffering from mental health issues and have fallen on hard times. But due to the pandemic, the people experiencing homelessness in my town had nowhere to go to quarantine and stay safe. So the city built a new shelter for them across the street from where I work. This was all well and good in the beginning, but it's been two years now. And the people using the shelter services have changed dramatically. They went from, "I just need a place to hang out and stay safe from COVID," to people with severe mental health issues who are also taking hardcore drugs, like meth and cocaine. Unsurprisingly, these folks got kicked out of the shelter and are now camping out in front of my building. They leave their trash and dirty needles on the sidewalk. They hire sex workers to do the deed and their tents. They lock themselves in our bathrooms to do drugs, smoke and drink. They often scream at their reflections in the windows, which scares our patients. Just the other day, someone got mugged walking to their car. And twice now, I've had to stop someone from defecating in the middle of the lobby.
[00:37:45] Jordan Harbinger: Ah, old lobby dump. We've all been there. Am I right? No. No. All right. Nevermind then.
[00:37:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: The thing is upper management doesn't see all of the issues the staff deals with since they're in their offices, instead of out in the clinic, dealing with patients. In fact, when the CEO happened to overhear me venting to my coworker about the guy in the lobby, they were shocked. Also, the company I work for doesn't own the building. The people who do own the building are lazy and just assume that we'll take care of the issue. We've hired two security guards and that's helped, but the most they can do is call the police who frankly can't do much either. And when they do, they only take action against a specific individual, not the entire camp, which I can understand. I feel that management should do something more to protect the employees and our patients. But our mission is to provide healthcare for everyone. So they have moral qualms about picking and choosing who stays and who goes. They say we don't have enough money to hire more security guards. I've suggested a screener to verify that the individual is there for an actual appointment rather than to just use the facilities but that idea has also been brushed off. It also wouldn't help address the people outside. So what can we do? Signed, Surviving the Block While Protecting Our Flock.
[00:38:55] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Gabe, really packing in the intensity this week during Feedback Friday. Huh? You couldn't, you couldn't have snuck in a six-minute networking question in here somewhere. Give us a little sanity buffer.
[00:39:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ah, It's going to keep everyone interested. You know how it is.
[00:39:07] Jordan Harbinger: I don't say this very often, but y'all are doing God's work at this clinic. The people you guys serve there, some of the most tragic cases in the country between the mental health issues and the housing problems and the substance abuse and the crime. I mean, it's just such a cluster. I understand this is exactly why clinics like yours exist. And man, I'm glad they do, but it also means you are exposed to some seriously dysfunctional stuff and some truly dangerous stuff. So I understand why you're so concerned. You have a ton of empathy for these folks as you should, but what's the line between having empathy for people down on their luck and exposing yourself to risk. That is such a tough question.
[00:39:48] So look, I'm not a public policy expert by any means. I don't know the nuances of homelessness or crime, or even how to run a community health center, but just on the level of you working at a place that puts you at physical risk in the course of doing your job, I do think something needs to be done. And I do think that it's upper management's job to take better care of you guys, because yeah, you serve a difficult population. I'm sure every community health worker knows they signed up for a tough job. But it seems to me that an organization that serves people like this also needs to be equipped to manage them and to make sure that its employees are being properly protected. That just goes with the territory.
[00:40:27] So what I would do if I were in your shoes is, write a letter to the CEO and other senior executives and the layout what's happening on the ground, in the clinic. This could be a formal memo. It could be a more casual email. You decide what's best. In this letter, I would tell management what you told us with enough detail and documentation to make it vivid and clear. If you need to attach photos, attach photos. Now, the fact that these people create problems sometimes. That's probably not going to be news to them. What will be news to them is how all of that is putting employees like you at risk. And that's what you have to make clear to them. That the system you guys have right now isn't adequately protecting you guys from getting mugged, being exposed to dirty needles, having to watch people drop a deuce in the middle of your vestibule and who knows what else.
[00:41:15] And that if you guys are going to continue working there, you need management to look after you some more before something really bad happens. And you might want to include that in your letter too, to help them imagine the worst-case scenario because if one of you gets your wallet stolen or gets screamed at by a hallucinating meth head, I can see your managers being like, "Well, I'm sorry that happened, but that's par for the course. That's the job." But what happens when one of you gets assaulted or stabbed with a dirty needle on the way to your car? What happens if a drug deal in one of the bathrooms goes wrong and somebody gets sliced or shot or whatever? I'm not trying to be a nervous Nellie here, but this stuff actually does happen. And I'm sure management would want to get way out in front of that possibility rather than have to deal with a tragedy and wildly course correct at that point, if only for selfish liability reasons.
[00:42:04] Then, once you lay out the problems, I would propose a handful of practical solutions for each one. Hire more security guards, create stronger policies about acceptable behavior in the lobby. Maybe work with your city council on improving the tent situation outside and improving police response times, making intervention more of a priority. Create a town hall or a counseling service within the clinic for you guys to talk about your difficult cases, process the difficult stuff, give management a better view of what's happening on the ground. I don't know. Maybe invest in some additional training for you guys. So you know how to manage unstable patients and deescalate tense situations.
[00:42:42] Whatever it is for what it's worth, I really like your idea about hiring a screener to verify that people are there for an actual appointment. That seems like such a no-brainer. I'm really bummed. They brushed it off, but that is exactly the kind of recommendation that I would make. And then I would run your memo by your peers and that direct supervisor that you love, get their input, their buy-in work, their feedback in, make it a team effort. Then when you send this to management, your boss won't be caught off guard and it'll reflect everyone's experience. And if the staff ultimately needs to fight for management to take this seriously, all of you guys will be aligned. That's how I would do it. Because to me, this is just a basic workplace safety issue. The CEO and the team, they need to understand what's happening on the ground. The fact that they don't that's worrisome. It would be worrisome in any organization, but all the more so in a clinic like this.
[00:43:35] And sure, they can come back and say, "Sorry, we don't have enough budget to hire another security guard. Just carry some Mace and keep your head on a swivel," but that is unacceptable. They'll either need to reallocate money from someplace else or a petition for more budget from the city or apply for a grant or raise more money because this is the clinic's job, not just to serve their patients, but to protect you guys. Without you, there is no clinic. And if they don't address this problem, then eventually good people are going to leave. And then the clinic is going to be in real trouble. So really taking better care of you guys is just good business on their part.
[00:44:13] You're doing such important work here. I'm so grateful for folks like you and the fact that you find this work so fulfilling. That is incredible. Please stay safe. Let us know how it goes. Sending you lots of appreciation and good thoughts as well.
[00:44:26] All right, what's next?
[00:44:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe, when I was 18, I moved out of my challenging family home and jumped into adulthood further into the city. My first roommate was a long-time friend, but living together, unfortunately, ruined our friendship. When I was 20, I moved in with a coworker who was interesting to live with, sort of an eccentric guy. He would scream out of nowhere. I'd find him talking to nobody. I'd come home from work to a dark house and find him sharpening our broom handle into a spear.
[00:44:54] Jordan Harbinger: Hold up. Screaming and hallucinating, fashioning a weapon out of the broom. Yeah, that is not eccentric. That is schizophrenia, possibly. That's psychosis, man. Let's just be really clear here.
[00:45:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. That is dark. Interesting choice of words, right? But, okay, we'll circle back to that. Okay, she goes on.
[00:45:13] Needless to say that plays didn't work out either.
[00:45:15] Oh, really? The house of horrors with the hallucinatory spear-wielding maniac and the grip of florid psychosis, that wasn't an ideal living situation? Shocker.
[00:45:23] Jordan Harbinger: That's like the Shining meets Deliverance kind of, I don't know. I'm spitballing here.
[00:45:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Try splitting the electric bill with that guy. Okay. She goes on.
[00:45:35] I then briefly moved into my third place with a friend of a friend and this guy was awesome to live with super friendly, very clean. And since I work late hours, he would always make sure the lights were on to make sure I got home safe, but I only lived there for a month because literally as I was moving in, the landlord said that he was selling the place. That left me scrambling, but I was able to find a place with six guys. Most of them are nice, but one of them thought that I would get with him. And after I kept saying no, he would say incredibly rude things about my looks, work, and weight. I'm now living in a building for student housing, with five girls, and one of their boyfriends spends nearly every night here. They're all in their first or second year of college, while I'm now in my mid-20s. In hindsight, I should have expected the constant parties, mess, lack of shared work around the house, and the general loudness that six other people. With COVID still a thing and my schooling still online, I've told them I don't like having 20-plus guests over at a time, but the rest of our roommates either don't care or they join in on the partying, so I'm overruled. My lease is up later this year. So I plan on gritting my teeth for the remainder of the time, but I can't help, but wonder am I the common denominator in these terrible roommate situations? Signed, Taking Ownership of My Renting Game.
[00:46:48] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man. I know we were having a laugh at the schizophrenia roommate thing, but this is legit frustrating. I would be at the end of my rope if I were you. I love your question though. It's a great one to ask whenever you notice a pattern like this. Am I the common denominator in this dysfunction? What can I do to change things? So basically, the answer was yes, to some extent you are the common denominator here just by virtue of the fact that you're the one choosing the roommates.
[00:47:15] So of course, you're playing some role here, but I don't necessarily think this is like a highly dysfunctional, fatal flaw you have. More likely, you're just not thinking ahead to how a situation will play out or you're discounting red flags early on, or you just have a high tolerance for other people's crazy. And part of what makes me think that is actually the eccentric comment. Again, I know we were having a laugh about that, but that was actually a very interesting thing to say that this obviously disturbed person struck you as a bit, you know, quirky. I could see that tendency leading you to meet a bunch of rowdy college students and go, "Ah, they're just high energy," when they're really freaking party animals who want to get hammered with 75 of their closest friends every weekend. And they don't give a crap about the 25-year-old in the back bedroom doing our master's in public health or whatever. So if there's a common denominator here, it's probably that quality, your high tolerance for other people's BS and a lower confidence in your own needs and instincts.
[00:48:15] That combination can lead you into all sorts of suboptimal situations, whether it's a crappy roommate or a toxic boss or a shady partner or whatever it is, if any of this rings true for you, then that's what I'd work on. Getting clear on what you need in a living situation. Being comfortable, asserting that expectation at the outset, communicating it to the people you're going to live with, like how you guys will divide up the housekeeping work, for example, or it's hard to housekeep with a broom that sharpened into a spear or how noisy your roommates would be or how you guys will resolve disputes, and also listening to your gut when you just get a weird vibe from someone.
[00:48:52] I think on some level, you know, when other people are a little bit off, okay, or they're going to be a problem or they aren't on the same wavelength as you. You don't need to like come home to a dark house with metal blasting and somebody fashioning weapons out of the kitchen implements. Like you can really get there before that. You get that little pole in the back of your mind and sometimes you discount it because you think, "Nah, I'm reading into things. I'm sure they're fine. I don't want to write someone off because they're different or weird or because I don't like them," but that initial data that is so important, especially when it comes to somebody you're going to be living with.
[00:49:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ah, so true. And by the same token, I think it's very important to find the great people and stick with them. For example, this guy who was an amazing roommate, and then you had to move out after a month. Why didn't you stick with him? Find a new place with that guy, move in together again. Maybe there was some reason that that wasn't possible, but the point is when you find those people, you know, the ones who don't turn your cooking spoons into prison shivs, or treat your apartment like a Vegas nightclub every weekend. You got to prioritize them. That's part of taking yourself seriously too. You know, fighting for the people and the places that really work for you.
[00:50:00] Jordan Harbinger: Great point, Gabe. It's not just avoiding the problem people. It's also sticking with the great people. Also on a more practical level, you're also dealing with values and life stages. Living with a bunch of college freshmen when you're 26, of course, that's going to drive you up the wall. Moving in with a friend you like, but that doesn't know how to communicate, of course, that's going to compromise the friendship. So I would just be more deliberate about the people you want to live with and how your lifestyles are going to play out in the future.
[00:50:27] Also, you're still in your 20s. Part of being in your 20s is having crappy roommates. I've been there. You're finishing school. Soon, you'll be getting a job and making more money and you can get a studio of your own or find a roommate you like who won't scream at your walls at night. You might have to grit your teeth for a little while and that's okay. Get some earplugs, get some noise-canceling headphones, practice your deep breathing. Throw on this podcast, then go into your next living situation with eyes wide open. Good luck.
[00:50:54] Gabe, have you ever had terrible roommates?
[00:50:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: So I've been very lucky with that because I've always lived alone pretty much.
[00:51:01] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:51:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh my god. I don't know if we have time to go into this, but once I had roommates in Washington DC for a few months and I roomed with a guy who was basically like engineered to get on every nerve that I had. Like, it was like, you could not affect two different people — we were put together because it was student housing and it was an apartment through the UC system. Honestly, this story is going to take me 15 minutes, but suffice to say that it ended with him plagiarizing a paper I wrote and presenting it in the same class that we attended together.
[00:51:32] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my god.
[00:51:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's unbelievable. It was so funny because it was like a cartoonish version of the sh*tty roommate, you know, like who does that? It sounds like a stupid high school drama on CW Network. I drove this guy crazy too. Like I used to play my iPod at night and he would go insane at the sound of the clicks of the wheel. So like, it wasn't just this guy. I was a bit annoying as well, but we just did not—
[00:51:54] Jordan Harbinger: You and your click wheel.
[00:51:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: We just did not get along.
[00:51:55] Jordan Harbinger: You know, you can turn the click wheel sound off, right, Gabe?
[00:51:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh my god, he literally said that.
[00:51:59] Jordan Harbinger: Of course, he did.
[00:51:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: This is the part — this is my fault because I was like, "Wait, you can do that?" Like, I didn't even know that that was a feature on the iPod.
[00:52:06] Jordan Harbinger: But then also it's just a click wheel. So like get bent, dude, right?
[00:52:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Tone down, right.
[00:52:10] Jordan Harbinger: Two of my close friends, these are great guys, so I'm going to preface it with that. But when we lived together, probably my junior year of college, whatever, it was, one of them got a girl and the other guy kind of liked the girl. So they refused to talk to each other about it for the entire year that we lived together, but we lived in a two-bedroom apartment. So they'd be in the kitchen and it'd be like, "Tell Serge that this is not the way it's supposed to be." Like, "Well, tell John that that's not where it goes either." And I'm like, "No, I'm not doing this. I am not doing this." So one of the guys finally ended up going and staying with his girlfriend. But when the guy would come back to get something, he'd text me and be like, "Is Mike there?" "No." "Is John there?" "No." So it was just so freaking irritating. That gets old fast. I thought it would last a week, not seven months.
[00:52:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:53:00] Jordan Harbinger: But it lasted seven months.
[00:53:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: I love the other. You have to be at the intermediary for these two grown-ass man.
[00:53:04] Jordan Harbinger: I know.
[00:53:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: For months.
[00:53:05] Jordan Harbinger: And I said his real name, Serge. He's a great guy. And the other guy's name is actually Vardavar, he's also an awesome guy. They're very, very cool guys. This is just this weird thing that happened. And it was 20 years ago. So I shouldn't have even tried to anonymize it. These are two of my close friends. They won't even care. It's more funny now than anything, but yeah, imagine two people who living together, not speaking. And then they have to get around that. It was freaking ridiculous.
[00:53:29] I hope y'all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this week and everyone who listen. Thank you so much. Go back and check out Josh Peck and Dr. Shanna Swan if you haven't yet.
[00:53:37] If you want to know how I managed to book the guests for the show, it's all about networking and digging the well before you get thirsty, in terms of relations. The networking course is free. It's on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. The drills take just a few minutes a day. Ignore these habits, honestly, at your own peril. I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. It's not fluff. It's actually quite important. Jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:54:02] A link to the show notes for the episode is at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts are in the show notes. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. You can also find me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Twitter at @GabeeMIzrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:54:17] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions are our own. I'm a lawyer, but I am not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show? Ditto Steven Hassan.
[00:54:35] Dr. Margolis' input is general psychological information based on research and clinical experience. It's intended to be general and informational in nature and does not represent or indicate an established clinical or professional relationship with those inquiring for guidance.
[00:54:48] Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love. And if you found this episode useful, please share it with somebody else who can use the advice that we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[00:55:05] You're about to hear a preview of The Jordan Harbinger Show with the go-to person to help negotiate a hostage situation in Syria when no other intelligence agencies would help.
[00:55:14] Daniel Levin: When you have a hostage negotiation, especially in the war zone, the hardest thing to do is to actually figure out who the hostage takers are and the rumors are off the charts. Proof of life is getting that authentication that you're talking with the people who actually have the person. And you want to know, of course, that the person is still alive. You ask them for some question or some nickname, something that no one would be able to know. And if they can't come back with that answer, you walk away.
[00:55:38] The person I had to flag down and find who held this westerner hostage was probably the biggest captagon dealer in the country. And they often use the same distribution routes for the captagon as they do for human trafficking. So the same people would take little girls from villages and send them to the Gulf, to Dubai, to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, to other places there. They fill also stomachs of the girls with drugs and use them as couriers while also shipping them as the product itself.
[00:56:06] The first thing you have to do is tell the parents to stop doing something that they want to do, and that every schmuck under the sun was telling them to do, which is to seek public support, right? To get public statement, to do Facebook campaigns. The Secretary of State says, "Hell, we're not going to leave a stone unturned until this awful act is being brought to justice." What just happens with that is your price went up before you even start the negotiation. You do not want to drive up the perceived value of the hostage. Sometimes people are taken hostage just for the shock value of executing them. What you're going to do with the campaign that you're doing right now is going to get your child or your spouse killed. How is pissing off the people who hold that person's life in their hands helping you? By the time I get involved, it's usually too late.
[00:56:52] Jordan Harbinger: To learn all about the nuances and negotiating with criminals and human traffickers, check out episode 617 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
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