If the people back home choose to believe negative stereotypes about your true love from another land and the nature of your relationship, it’s a damn shame — for them. On this Feedback Friday, we’ll delve into why it’s almost always okay to blow off the cockamamie opinions of people who should probably be minding their own business!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- People in your town are bound to assume a number of negative stereotypes when you bring your true love from abroad home. But is that really your problem?
- What resources best prepared Jordan and Jen for their first child?
- What can you do when your sketchy new landlord is pressuring you to avoid his ex-wife (and half-owner of the building) if she comes to introduce herself? [Thanks to attorney Corbin Payne for helping us field this one!]
- You share children with a gaslighting, abusive ex who damaged your confidence and sense of reality, so you still have to deal with him regularly. How do you warn his wonderful current girlfriend before he does the same to her?
- What support does the Chinese Communist Party have from Chinese citizens who have moved abroad? Will declining birth rates and emigration force regime change before the country’s infrastructure collapses? [Thanks to Laowhy86 for helping us with this one!]
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Jordan Harbinger Show receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you for your support!
This Episode Is Sponsored By:
- Nissan: Find out more at nissanusa.com or your local Nissan dealer
- Peloton: Learn more at onepeloton.com/row
- Shopify: Go to shopify.com/jordan for a free 14-day trial
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If you missed our two-part interview with Greylock’s Reid Hoffman, don’t panic! You can catch up by starting at episode 207: Reid Hoffman | Mastering Your Scale for the Unexpected Part One!
Resources from This Episode:
- Mitch Lowe | Lessons in Disruption Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Mitch Lowe | Lessons in Disruption Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- 90 Day Fiancé | Prime Video
- The “Mail-Order-Bride” (MOB) Phenomenon in the Cyberworld: An Interpretive Investigation | ACM Transactions on Management Information Systems
- Dating as a Foreigner in America: Everyone Thinks I’m Just Looking for a Green Card | The Washington Post
- Breaking the Stigmas of Filipinas Dating a Foreigner | Taste and Sip by Tesha
- Throwback to Jayden’s Three-Week Photo Session | Jenni319, Instagram
- Looking Back on the Worst Chapter of My Life, Four Years On | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Perform CPR on a Child or Infant | Infant CPR Certification
- Corbin Payne | Twitter
- 1917 | Prime Video
- Saving Private Ryan | Prime Video
- It Wasn’t Me (Video) | Shaggy
- How to Tell If Someone Is Gaslighting You | Newport Institute
- Helping My Coworker Escape from Abuse | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Laowhy86 | How the Chinese Social Credit Score System Works Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Laowhy86 | How the Chinese Social Credit Score System Works Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- Laowhy86 | YouTube
- Publications | Safeguard Defenders
- China’s Population Falls, Heralding a Demographic Crisis | The New York Times
- Starter Pack | Jordan Harbinger
788: His Love Is Bona Fide, Not a Mail-Order Bride | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Special thanks to Nissan for sponsoring this episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:08] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, the Ethel to my Fred, Gabriel Mizrahi. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. And our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker so you can get a much deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening even inside your own mind.
[00:00:40] If you're new to the show, on Fridays, we give advice to you. We answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of incredible people, from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, and performers. This week we had Mitch Lowe, one of the co-founders of Netflix. This was a two-parter. So much was here, not even just about Netflix and Redbox, which is one of his other companies, those video kiosks you see outside every 7-Eleven and every Walmart in America practically. But he's got a colorful past, including smuggling things into and out of the former Eastern Bloc, behind the Iron Curtain, pirating movies, which I guess should probably not be a surprise to anybody if you think about the guy who made Netflix. What a character, definitely check that one out if you haven't yet.
[00:01:24] All right, Gabe. What's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:01:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I'm in my mid-30. I'm the first in my family to graduate law school and college, and I work in the high-profile industry of national politics. One year ago, after a six-year relationship and a period of dating around and having fun, I met a girl who was a friend of a friend on Instagram. We started chatting in a friendly way, nothing serious. Then, it got more flirtatious. As we got to know each other, we really developed a connection. I found myself with some vacation time last year, so I went to visit her city in the Philippines. She was everything I expected and more. We really hit it off. She has a career there. She's a college graduate. She's the same age as me. She's smart, funny, caring, down to earth, giving, everything I could want. In fact, she refused to let me pay for anything when I was there. She has her own money. She went out of her way to treat me. She's the equivalent of middle class there. We hit it off so well that I returned later that year to celebrate her birthday with her and then again for Christmas. We talked daily. We are in each other's lives and I am crazy about her. I want to make things official. I really see a future with this girl, but I can't shake the stigma of men who date or marry foreign women. I worry that people will judge me for loving someone foreign that they'll think she's just looking for a visa. They'll wonder if I'm not capable of finding someone to love here in the States. I also don't want people to think that I want a partner who will just serve me or be obedient. I like to contribute equally and I dismiss most, if not all, traditional gender roles. Am I overthinking this or are these valid concerns, especially in the industry I work in, which is very public? Signed, Taking Pride in My Future Bride Without Getting Any Side Eye.
[00:03:16] Jordan Harbinger: All right, 90-day Fiance, I see you. No, I'm just kidding, man. I hear you. It's actually a really interesting question in my opinion. First of all, congrats on finding such a great gal. That's really special. It sounds like the fates really aligned in bringing you guys together.
[00:03:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Or at least the Instagram algorithm.
[00:03:33] Jordan Harbinger: I think so. Make sure you thank Zuck in your wedding vows. "I promise to love you, cherish you, and support you. I also promise to thank Mark Zuckerberg every day for inserting your salad selfie in between those thirst traps that I was staring at in line at Dunkin' Donuts."
[00:03:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: I know. That's how I found her too.
[00:03:48] Jordan Harbinger: You know it. Yeah. Oh, it was a friend of a friend. Yeah, she just popped up in my feed. Uhhuh. Seriously though, it's so rare to meet somebody you feel this strongly about and to find her halfway across the world, to meet up, and then discover that you're online connection, which I mean, could have got catfished by a dude, right?
[00:04:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:04:05] Jordan Harbinger: Translates to real life. It's remarkable. It's super romantic. It's exciting. So here's my take. I'm going to be very direct with you. If you love this woman, if you really see a future with her, I think you'd be making a huge mistake to write her off because of other people's hypothetical opinions or assumptions. It sounds to me like you're over-indexing these judgments from other people and under-indexing or maybe equally indexing your obviously quite profound feelings for this woman. And to pump the brakes on this relationship because other people might assume certain things about you, which by the way, you don't even have any evidence for that. I get the sense that this fear is pretty abstract. It might or might not come to pass in the way that you think. So to pump the brakes or break things off completely because of that, that would be really sad. It would be sad for both of you.
[00:04:56] Now, is it possible that some people might think this way? Will certain folks in your industry make unfair assumptions about foreign partners? Sure, that could be the case. I'm not denying that, but you're imagining the worst-case scenario where every person who meets your girlfriend will think the absolute worst thing about you guys. When in reality, if anyone does subscribe to these stereotypes, it could easily be a handful of people who don't even matter, and they might not even hold these ideas against you in the way that you fear. And if they spent time with you and your gal, they'd see pretty quickly that you guys have a real connection. Your feelings are genuine. They'll probably revise those assumptions pretty quickly if they even had them at all.
[00:05:36] And not to make light of this or whatever, I know it's a little dicey to talk about this isn't actually one of those episodes of 90-Day Fiance where you see somebody who lives in like a corrugated metal shack in the jungle with no running water and has two kids from different fathers and suddenly they just have to marry this one US citizen they met on Facebook six weeks ago. You mentioned the fact that she makes her own money. She paid for things while you were there. She's middle class. She's not in this for your assets necessarily, right? She's in this for you, and I'm pretty sure other people are going to see that as well. It might not be immediately obvious. There might be a little hurdle, little speed bump to go over, but they're going to feel it.
[00:06:15] And man, if you broke things off, this is just the equivalent of not doing something you love because some a-hole on Twitter will slash might make fun of you for it. I mean, I got a lot of personal experience with this, as you might imagine. I had to decide a long time ago to give zero weight to the uninformed opinions of strangers. And by the way, I actually have a handful of friends who married women from the Philippines. They're all legit. They're loving, they're in happy marriages that have lasted a long time. It's all about the people involved.
[00:06:43] So yeah, if this were me, I would not let these people get in your head.
[00:06:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree completely. You can't control other people's perceptions. It's impossible. And it's exhausting. In fact, I think this guy is already trying to do that to some degree by anticipating what people will think about him and his gal. And it's already tying him up in knots when the simple fact is that he found a great partner. And that is literally all that matters.
[00:07:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, but isn't it interesting. How concerned he is with other people's opinions.
[00:07:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hmm.
[00:07:11] Jordan Harbinger: I got to imagine this plays a bigger role in his life. This is not just about this girlfriend.
[00:07:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hmm. Yeah. I think you're onto something. In fact, you can kind of hear that in a few parts of his letter, right? He wanted us to know that he's the first in his family to graduate law school and college. He works in national politics. His career is, how did he describe it? High profile. All fantastic accomplishments. He should be proud of all of that. And look, maybe he just wanted us to know more about him because this is Feedback Friday and it's relevant here. But I also hear a guy who is very aware of where he comes from, how he fits in, how he stacks up.
[00:07:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. And therefore, how people might judge him, right?
[00:07:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly. But also how he judges himself, because I think what might also be happening here is that he has his own judgments about foreign partners. They're probably ones that he's absorbed from the culture, maybe from media, even if he doesn't fully believe them, and he's projecting those judgments onto other people or these hypothetical people, which is actually even more interesting.
[00:08:11] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:08:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: And he's anticipating that he will get back from them what he already sort of fears about himself.
[00:08:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I see what you mean. And although to his credit, he's somewhat aware of that.
[00:08:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:08:22] Jordan Harbinger: Like you said in his letter, he can't shake the stigma of men who date or marry foreign women. And by the way, all this overthinking is just sort of classic peak law student type of thought process. So no surprise. He probably crushed it in law school.
[00:08:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. It could just be a lawyer's mindset.
[00:08:36] Jordan Harbinger: I think so.
[00:08:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, but you bring up a good point. Where is that stigma coming from? Because he said this other thing that he's worried that people will wonder if he's not capable of finding someone to love here in the States. You remember that?
[00:08:47] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:08:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: That specific fear seems different to me from the other ones. It's not about something more objective. Like the idea that some foreign partners really might be looking for a visa or that women from certain countries might be more submissive. I wonder if he's having the thought, "Maybe there is something wrong with me that I can't find love here in the States." But he's experiencing that thought as, "They're going to think there's something wrong with me for not finding love in the States." Because if you think about it, why would that judgment from other people bother him so much if there weren't some kind of soft landing for that idea in him?
[00:09:22] Jordan Harbinger: Man, that's a good point. The projection thing is so subtle. It usually happens without you even realizing it.
[00:09:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:09:28] Jordan Harbinger: But again, to be fair, that doesn't mean some of these people don't actually think this way. Like he's not crazy, is he?
[00:09:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, no, no. I'm not saying he's crazy. Both can be true. Some people might feel this way about his partner and he can be projecting this idea onto them. But either way, if he resolved this conflict within himself, if he just decided what matters to him, I don't think their judgments to the extent that those judgments even exist, I don't think they would consume him quite as much. They would be more like a mild annoyance or a frustration but a frustration he can accept. And not this paralyzing fear that getting serious with this woman is somehow going to compromise him.
[00:10:08] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Okay. Well put. I also think it's meaningful that a guy who's hyper aware of appearances, who's very attuned to other people's opinions that that guy went into politics of all fields. I mean, talk about a world that's just a hundred percent appearances and all about opinions.
[00:10:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Great point. He might have been drawn to that field because of his personality, or he's well suited to thrive in it because of this quality of his, but I'm sure being part of that world only magnifies your paranoia about other people's judgments—
[00:10:35] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:10:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: —which again, might be partly valid, but it doesn't mean it needs to run his whole life.
[00:10:40] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Right. He's not making this up entirely, but that's compatible with the idea that he's also feeding it.
[00:10:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:10:47] Jordan Harbinger: So that's what we do. Stop worrying about other people for a moment. I know that's easier said than done, and start investigating these ideas in yourself. If you unpack some of your own associations about women from other countries and if you could figure out why other people's opinions tend to rattle you like this, I think that'll go a long way in terms of resolving these concerns. And look, I'm not saying that you're making this up, fear up completely as I said. I do think that the intensity of that fear, what you do with that fear and how it shapes your experience, your decisions, that's something you're going to have to address on your side of the street. More importantly, this relationship is a great opportunity to decide whose opinion you really care about, your own or other people's. People are going to think what they think you. You can't control that. All you can do is stay connected to your own values, your own feelings, your own standards. And those are clearly telling you that this is a great relationship.
[00:11:41] Hey man, congrats on finding her. Don't let this BS stop you from being happy. Good luck.
[00:11:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:11:47] Jordan Harbinger: Man, Gabriel, I hope this guy listens to us. Just trading the love of your life for the approval of literal strangers on the Internet slash colleagues at work slash maybe some friends who change their mind the second you guys hang out and have dinner once.
[00:12:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:12:01] Jordan Harbinger: I just think he would regret that for the rest of his life and now that we give this type of answer, I remember how many people told me that podcasting instead of being a lawyer, was a really stupid move and a bad idea, and thought I was a total idiot and told me to my face slash online—
[00:12:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:12:17] Jordan Harbinger: —how this was never going to be a thing. And now, they all don't have that opinion, mostly.
[00:12:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. And now you're getting a lot of love from overseas.
[00:12:26] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, a little different kind.
[00:12:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: You know, who won't judge you for getting a little, some, some from overseas though? The amazing sponsors who support the show, who by the way, will expect you to pay for everything except shipping and handling in many cases. We'll be right back.
[00:12:41] A lot of people ask me how I'm able to stick to my fitness routine, especially since I have such a bananas schedule. For me, it's really creating a routine that is sustainable and can be duplicated on an ongoing basis. Consistency is the key, right? And Peloton helps me have a sustainable fitness routine because there are thousands of classes to choose from. It's also 24/7. I've always got time for it. I might only have 15 minutes in between calls, but I can still fit in a Peloton class. Peloton is really famous for their bikes, but they also make a top-notch rowing machine that stores upright, which you think no big deal. But when you try to have a rower on the floor, you'll be so glad this thing goes upright. If you're a newbie to rowing, the Peloton Row has sensors that can track your movements, that shows you how your form is doing, and it warns you if you're doing something wrong that could injure you or whatever. And right now is the perfect time to get rowing. With Peloton Row, we can promise you've never rowed like this before. Peloton Row offers a variety of classes for all levels and game-changing features that help you get rowing or advance what you can already do. Explore Peloton Row and financing options at onepeloton.com/row.
[00:13:43] This episode is also sponsored by Shopify. Hear that? That's every entrepreneur's favorite sound. Another sale on Shopify. Shopify is the commerce platform revolutionizing millions of businesses worldwide. Whether you're selling hats or handmade jewelry, soap, or sneakers, Shopify simplifies selling online and in-person so you can focus on successfully growing your business. Shopify covers every sales channel from an in-person POS system to an all-in-one e-commerce platform. It even lets you sell across social media marketplaces like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram. Packed with industry leading tools ready to ignite your growth, Shopify gives you complete control over your business and your brand without having to learn any new skills in design or code. And thanks to 24/7 help and an extensive business course library, Shopify is there to support your success every step of the way. What's incredible to me about Shopify is no matter how big you want to grow, Shopify is there to empower you with the confidence and control to revolutionize your business and take things to the next level. And by the way, all the stores you are using online probably use — whenever you see an impressive shopping cart or a really cool sales cycle on a website. It's almost always a Shopify site. And I know this because I pay attention to that kind of nerd stuff in the URL and where it's sending me. So if you're really impressed by other people's online e-commerce stuff, it's probably backed by Shopify. So go ahead and have a look at it if you're in that business. This is possibility powered by Shopify.
[00:14:59] Jen Harbinger: Sign up for a one-dollar per month trial period at shopify.com/jordan in all lowercase. Go to shopify.com/jordan to take your business to the next level today, shopify.com/jordan.
[00:15:12] Jordan Harbinger: Thank you for listening to and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers and sponsors keeps us going. All the deals, all the discount codes, every way to support the show is going to be at jordanharbinger.com/deals. You can search for any deal there, any code there. You can also use the search box right there on the website to search for any sponsor. The code should pop right up. Please consider supporting those who support the show.
[00:15:34] Now, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:15:37] Okay, what's next?
[00:15:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. My wife and I just found out that we're expecting our first child later this year.
[00:15:45] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, congratulations.
[00:15:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: We're equally excited and terrified about this, and we want to prepare as much as possible.
[00:15:51] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:15:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: We both deal with anxiety and have been in therapy separately for the last year or so. Knowing that there are lots of parenting resources out there and getting caught up in them all can be bad for our mental health. Jordan, what resources did you guys use when preparing for your first child? Out of all the available books, articles, podcasts, and websites, how did you decide what was most important? Signed, A Parent-To-Be With an Anxious Plea for a Handful of Leads on What to Read.
[00:16:19] Jordan Harbinger: Well, first of all, again, congrats on the baby. That is super exciting. I am sure that having a child brings up all kinds of feelings, excitement, anxiety. I think it's like that for most parents. It certainly was like that for me, but I admire your eagerness to learn and prepare as much as possible. I'm also thrilled to hear that both of you guys are in therapy. I think that's terrific. I love that you guys are addressing as much of your stuff as possible before the baby arrives, and I'm sure that'll be a great space for both of you to explore everything that being a parent brings up.
[00:16:49] So you're right, there are a ton of parenting resources out there and it can be a little overwhelming and if you already run a little anxious, it might make you feel like there are a thousand different ideas and sources that you're missing out on. It reminds me of when I had to restart the podcast/business from scratch. I felt like a blender without the lid on. I was running around in circles, figuratively, worried about, "How do I do this thing that's 20 steps ahead?" And it really helped me to focus and put one foot in front of the other. I made a huge list of stuff I wanted to do and I just checked one or two things off every day. I didn't worry about my progress, whether I was behind the imaginary schedule or not. With parenting, it's going to be a similar thing.
[00:17:29] So my first piece of advice really is, let go of the idea that you're going to get everything done out there or learn everything out there, or that there are these 65 books that'll make you a good parent. Or you've got to go to every workshop and every website in order to raise a child well. You can't do that. There's a glut of information you just have to pick and choose what seems the most helpful at that point in time.
[00:17:52] So in Jen and my case, we got tons of books and resources sent to us, but candidly, most of them were not even remotely necessary, or they'd be derivative or echo things we'd heard elsewhere, or they were for kids that were, you know, nine and 10. And someone's like, "This works really well for me.' And I'm like, "Dude, I got a decade before I need this. I need to learn how to change a diaper." They're probably, I don't know, 10 or 15 really good books on parenting. You can easily find them on new parent reading lists. Probably only a handful are really good. And even then, you're still going to have to figure out how to apply what you learn in those books. And that's largely a question of style and personal values.
[00:18:27] Funny little aside here. When Jen and I had the kid, Jen was following a lot of parent people on Instagram. Actually, that's a decent source for info. There's some really good experts on Instagram. A lot of them on Instagram are nonsense, but there's actual parenting experts that have kids and do give good tips on Instagram. But there was one influencer, and Jen told me this, she had such a good baby. Baby would sit at a restaurant, she'd listen. She was learning fast. She was advanced in everything and blah, blah, blah. So this influencer, she started writing a book and she's like, "I'm amazing. I'm such a good parent. Look at my kid compared to other kids." So she starts writing a manuscript and this is just sort of like peak "pat yourself on the back" nonsense. Since she has a second kid, throws the manuscript away because none of the stuff that worked with the first kid worked with the second kid and the kid was not advanced in anything and it was just different personality. She got lucky. She mistook getting lucky and having a kid that sat there at a restaurant and read, I don't know, chapter books at age two. She mistook that for her being a good parent.
[00:19:28] And the idea here is that you, you're going to get what you're going to get. You're not going to know whether you are an expert in anything at the time anyway. Everybody is faking it. And you can usually tell when a source of information is legit or going to work for you. Use your instincts, apply your standards. Study the credentials of the author or blogger or teacher that you're following. Do not follow a random mom who happened to find a trick. You're looking for larger sample sizes, and if some parent influencer or theorist is talking about something they have no direct experience with, you can usually tell. And if their life experience or philosophy doesn't align with yours, it might not be that useful to you.
[00:20:02] And again, you'll know what works when you start using this because ultimately, being a great parent, it is a process. You'll learn as you go. You'll have to be a different kind of parent at different stages. You'll encounter different theories and approaches at different phases of your child's life. Most kids aren't going to have every problem, so you don't need a lot of the advice that's out there. There's no point in reading a 20-chapter book on how to get a picky kid to eat and how to punish a kid who's misbehaving and hitting and biting. When your kid eats well, doesn't do any of that stuff, but I don't know, maybe doesn't want to go to bed at a certain time or goes to bed all the time. You're going to have problems solve those problems as they pop up. Don't try to become a parenting expert before your kid pops out. There's just no reason to do that. It's just feeding your anxiety.
[00:20:46] As crazy as it sounds, a lot of parenting is intuitive and a lot of it is improv, man. You can't prepare for everything. Issues, questions, opportunities come up, and you and your wife are going to figure out your philosophy as you go. That is not reckless. That is just responding to life, figuring your child out, finding the philosophy that meets your goals and your child's unique needs. It's like running a business. You can read all the books on business that you want. It doesn't mean squat. You're going to encounter a totally different problem that's not in there the second you open up shop.
[00:21:15] Also, again, don't go buying everything and getting too geared up. The basics, yeah, you want a crib? Okay, fine. We bought a crib. We didn't use it. Not once. You want a diaper genie and a wipe warmer, okay. But you know, it's kind of funny, most of the stuff they tell you to buy, we didn't need. And that applied as much to parenting theories as it did to physical stuff. In the end, a lot of what we do and buy and prep for a kid, it's just not very useful because most of it goes right out the window. And for the stuff, you do need, just don't buy it until you need it. Local shops have everything. Amazon can send something overnight. You're not going to be like, "Oh my God, we have to use cold wipes for six months." You're going to get that thing tomorrow. Just calm down.
[00:21:55] And one very specific thing that is very useful though, I would take an infant CPR class. You'll never probably have to use this. But make sure you know what to do in an emergency. Many hospitals have orientations that include first aid and they're free because you're having the kid there. Get the old emergency contact numbers up on the wall printed out. Have a couple of friends or family on call if you need help, preferably people who also had kids at some point. It's just crucial if anything ever does happen, which it probably won't, but always good to plan.
[00:22:27] Fortunately, most of early parenting is really just changing diapers and not waking up the poop machine by accident. All the stuff about sudden infant death syndrome that people freak out about all of that is extremely rare. It's also very unlikely unless you've got other risk factors. And what I mean by that are you're an alcoholic. You've co-sleeping and you weigh hundreds of pounds extra. You're in an unhealthy BMI and you get a baby next to you. Stuff like that, that's what causes that according to a lot of doctors and other experts.
[00:22:58] But listen, one of the best things you can do before the baby comes, and you're already doing this, but I just want to call it out, is keep exploring this anxiety thing because that is something you can pass on to your child in ways that you don't even realize if you're not super aware of how it operates. That's true of even great parents who are super well prepared. In fact, sometimes it is the insanely well-prepared parents who are the most anxious, which is why they feel the need to be so prepared. And oftentimes doing something instead of sitting around worrying, like reading 90 parenting websites that can make us feel like we're making use of the anxiety. But that's really just the anxiety, kind of looking for some place to go, and that can easily lead to raising a child who absorbs that anxiety. It's just kind of in the air. And a child who also feels the need to over-prepare because it becomes a way of coping with the healthy uncertainty and instability of life.
[00:23:51] And beyond that, hey, enjoy time with your child, your baby. And I mean, really make a conscious effort to enjoy it. Be present, be deliberate, be available, soak it up. They grow up so fast. It's so fun. Yes, it's stressful, but it's the most fulfilling thing you'll do, and the more you can just create a ton of space for your children to play and laugh and try things and fail and express themselves and find out who they are, the more you can just surround them with love and positivity as well as safety and guidance, and the better their lives are going to turn out. If you're ever stumped about something, Google, YouTube has good advice. Again, parenting is a process, and a lot of it consists of worrying and then realize, you're worrying way too much and then worrying about something else instead. Again, the key is not to drive yourself crazy in the process and then end up projecting those anxieties onto your kids. I cannot stress that enough, but I love how thoughtful you guys are being about all this. I love that you're doing the work and I know you guys are going to be awesome parents just because of what I hear in the letter here. As for emergency contact numbers, poison control. You know the 911 emergency. An emergency dentist is always good. Had to find that the other day. Not something you want to do in a pinch. Somebody after hours that helps kids, get that going.
[00:25:05] Here's another thing that people are going to laugh at me about. Originally, we were so worried that Jayden was just going to like die in his sleep randomly because we were in this SIDS rabbit hole of like, "Oh my god, kids can just die." We bought this little sock that measures whether or not his blood is going and he's breathing and it does a little alarm that'll wake you up. It never rang except once when it was off and we thought it was on his foot and that made us feel better. But we didn't need it for Juniper because we realized that that was ridiculous and we ended up giving it to somebody else or selling it. You can get one of those because you're going to be up all night looking at your kid and making sure they're breathing. But this is parenting, you really are just going to be trading one worry for another, and the sooner you kind of become zen with that and you deal with your anxiety, the better off you're going to be as a person, which is ultimately the best thing you can do for your kids.
[00:25:55] You can reach us email@example.com. Keep your emails concise. Use a descriptive subject line that makes our job a lot easier. If there's something you're going through, any big decision you are wrestling with, or you want a new perspective on life, love, work. What to do if you can't separate from your abusive narcissistic mom, even as an adult? Whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up firstname.lastname@example.org. We're here to help and we keep every email anonymous.
[00:26:21] Okay, next up.
[00:26:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, earlier this year, my family and I moved into a new apartment. We love the new neighborhood and we started our kindergartner in an awesome school. Everything was great. But recently, our landlord texted me that we need to make sure to lock the communal/outside doors and not answer knocks on our apartment door because his ex-wife might come by to introduce herself to us. Not only is she half owner of the building, but she also wanted her brother to move into our unit, and the landlord wasn't supposed to rent it out for four more months so he could have first dibs. I explained to our landlord that we wouldn't lie, especially if she asked to see our lease. He then immediately sent us a new lease with different dates to reflect what she would need to see in order to be satisfied. What do we do? What are our liabilities here? Signed, The Tremulous Tenants.
[00:27:14] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, man. Nothing like dragging your innocent tenants into a petty squabble with your ex-wife, huh, Gabe?
[00:27:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Seriously.
[00:27:21] Jordan Harbinger: It's a little funny.
[00:27:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: It is, yeah.
[00:27:23] Jordan Harbinger: This landlord who just can't freaking tell his ex-wife the truth.
[00:27:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:27:26] Jordan Harbinger: "Hey, I don't want your weird brother living in the building." And now, he's making it their problem. Oh, God.
[00:27:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:27:34] Jordan Harbinger: I'm sure it's really stressful, but it's just pathetic in a lot of ways.
[00:27:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:27:37] Jordan Harbinger: So if I'm understanding this correctly, Gabe, the landlord rented out the unit earlier than he promised his ex-wife.
[00:27:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:27:43] Jordan Harbinger: And he didn't give his ex-brother-in-law first dibs. So now he wants to rewrite the lease.
[00:27:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:27:48] Jordan Harbinger: And make it look like he did wait four months.
[00:27:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:27:52] Jordan Harbinger: Like, okay, if they moved in January, he sent them a new lease that says, oh, they moved in May. Is that what's going on here?
[00:27:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's what it sounds like to me. Yes. I'm just confused about why he thinks that will work. Because even if she saw those dates, wouldn't she still wonder why he didn't invite her brother to check out the unit?
[00:28:08] Jordan Harbinger: This is where just another place where I'm confused.
[00:28:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:28:11] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe he just wants to be able to say, "Well, I waited the four months. Like you said, no one has to come see it. So not sure what to tell you, Patty."
[00:28:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Patty. Nice. I can just picture her ringing the doorbell 17 times. "It's Patty open up. I see the feet under the door."
[00:28:27] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it's Roger the landlord and Patty, the passive half owner who wants to get her brother a good deal on a one bedroom. I don't know why. I feel like I already know why they got divorced.
[00:28:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, totally.
[00:28:39] Jordan Harbinger: Anyway, we wanted to talk to an actual expert here. So we reached out to the one and only Corbin Payne, defense attorney and friend of the show. And Corbin's take was that yes, this is pretty sketchy and also potentially a risk for you. Because if Roger wants to show Patty a lease saying you moved in later than you did, which might mean it says the lease would be up in a new time frame. That could leave you vulnerable to eviction on the supposed end date or create confusion about which lease is actually valid because now you have a real one and a fake one. And the fake one probably has signatures on it and you have it, so it's kind of like you're accepting it. Again, I'm not totally clear on what the strategy is here, but once you start futzing around with dates on contracts, things can get a little weird, a little dicey.
[00:29:24] In Corbin's view, that could easily get you sideways with Patty. And who knows? Maybe it could get you into court. And his advice, if Patty knocks on your door one day to introduce herself, hey, be polite, be friendly, foster, or a good relationship with her. She is the half owner of the building. If she asked to see the lease, Corbin recommends saying something like, "Actually, I'm not really comfortable giving a lease to somebody I don't know. Why don't you ask Roger for it? He has all the paperwork." That'll just be. Now, if she's part owner of the building, then she might be entitled to see your lease. But Corbin said that she's only entitled to get it from Roger. She can get it from the landlord. You don't have any obligation to keep documents for her inspection really. And unless her name is personally and explicitly on the lease, you don't even have a lease agreement with her. She is not a party to the lease. In fact, you probably have a lease with the company that the landlord owns. It's really not her. And this is on Roger. Okay.
[00:30:20] But look, if Patty throws her weight around and she's like, "I'm part owner of the building, I can have you evicted. Show me the lease." You can just tell her, "Listen Patty, I don't want to get in the middle of a business spat between you and your ex-husband. He can show you the lease. Please resolve it between the two of you.' And hey, from there you just stay out of it. Bearing in mind also, she doesn't have the right to let herself in. She can't really bother you. There are covenants in the lease and in common law that say that she can't just start marching around and being annoying. Not that that's stopped landlords before.
[00:30:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. Good advice. But here's the other good news. It sounds like your original lease was valid, right? Your landlord has the legal right to enter into the lease with you and you entered into the lease with him in good faith, which means Roger or Patty can't just break the lease without consequences to themselves. But still, like Jordan said, I wouldn't tick Patty off too badly if you can help it. You know, you can't go wrong being friendly and just miss me with your weird property drama.
[00:31:14] But if you want more information, I would Google tenant rights in your state and county and read up on your options. If somebody ever gets vengeful, they might try to pull something, so it's good to know your rights in these situations. And if things ever get really bad, like if they try to, I don't know, nullify your lease or evict you early or Patty convinces Roger to refuse to fix the AC in the summer so you're forced to move out or something like that. Book a call with one of these attorneys. One good letter, one strong phone call that could put them in their place and it's not going to set you back too much, but obviously, I hope it doesn't ever get to that.
[00:31:49] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, same here. Honestly, I think Patty is going to be annoying about this for like three weeks and then she's going to drop it.
[00:31:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:31:56] Jordan Harbinger: But our friends here, they don't need to be dragooned into their dumb drama. Literally not your problem at all. Wishing you and your family the best. And hey, if Roger needs to learn how to stand up to Patty, maybe you send him a link to the show with your next rent check. Get him some Deep Dives and Feedback Fridays to listen to. Maybe he'll learn a thing or two. The Jordan Harbinger Show helping landlords stand up to their annoying exes since 2018.
[00:32:19] You know who you're going to want knocking on your door? The amazing sponsors who support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:32:26] This episode is sponsored in part by Peloton. In the past couple of years, I've been paying a lot closer attention to my health, and one way is by being more active, especially because my job doesn't require a whole lot of movement other than using my vocal cords, which are a little sore right now. Getting that workout in. It's been tricky for my schedule. I'm off and on back-to-back calls. I read a lot as you all know, I research a lot. I'm preparing for the next interview. I don't want to spend time getting in a car and looking for parking just to get some movement in. Really, that drives me crazy. I want to get the whole family to be more healthy and more active. That is one of several reasons why I love Peloton. And first of all, one membership is good for the whole family. It drives me crazy when they won't let you use something for the whole house. You got to know people are going to share/ Peloton is cool with that. You can have a little friendly competition with each other inside the house. Also, the convenience factor, you really can't beat that. Peloton makes top-notch machines. Everything feels good, looks good. The classes are taught by world-class instructors. And Peloton has been known for their amazing bikes. You've heard those ads of bajillion times over the past few years. They've sort of really crushed it with that. We have one of those bikes at home. They also make a really, really awesome rowing machine. Same type of quality as the bike. Really, really high end. Really, really nice. Feels good. Looks good. Rowing is great for a full-body workout. It's good for improving your cardiovascular endurance. I like getting my heart pumping in the morning before the kids wake up, ideally. I can also get in a quick class if somebody cancels a call and I'm not just stuck picking my nose for 30 minutes. Also, with Peloton, the power of community is kind of a big deal. I know it sounds a little cheesy, but a lot of people say they like going to work out at clubs because there's a lot of other people in there that keep them motivated. For me, I tend to ignore people at the gym. But I like the online element. It's just enough people where I don't have to smell them. I think that's what I like about the Peloton online community. I can talk with them. We can motivate each other. Their sweats, not on my machine or on me at the end of the workout. And with Peloton, you can see who's in class with you. You can do virtual high fives with each other, thus pandemic friendly, high fives, the instructor is really engaging. They might call you out during a live class, give you a little shout out. You can add friends, you can be competitive. There's leaderboards, all that stuff. I find motivating, I won't say addicting, but it is something that keeps you motivated and keeps you running through the exercise, which is for me, kind of key. Also, it's a supportive place. There's not a whole lot of negativity on there. When you feel like your workouts are in vain, you're trying to get over the hump. One of your butt cheeks is on fire, the community element is a great motivational tool to really keep you staying healthy, staying active, getting your butt out of bed, and either getting on the bike or getting on the rower.
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[00:35:10] This episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show is brought to you by Nissan. As a pioneer in the electric vehicle space, Nissan is always looking for ways to deliver new, meaningful technology to EV owners. After all, Nissan has been making EVs since 1947 and their EVs have now traveled eight billion miles by Nissan Leaf owners since 2010, eight billion miles. That's the equivalent of driving to Pluto and back. I guess it's, I don't know, doesn't matter if it's a planet, maybe when we're doing this. Think that's electrifying? One of their EVs tracked all the way to the North Pole, and Nissan even tests their EV technology on the Formula E racetrack. But Nissan knows you can't get an EV just for the E. You get a Nissan EV because it makes you feel electric, because it sparks your imagination. It ignites something within you. It pins you to your seat, takes your breath away. At least that's what Nissan thinks about when they're designing their EVs, like the Nissan ARIYA and the Nissan LEAF. It's about creating a thrilling design that electrifies its customers. I like Nissan's focus on creating a thrilling drive and electrifying life. In today's world, it's so important to look around you, pay attention, look for all the tiny ways that life can electrify you. For me, that's reading an audiobook outside and preparing for this show, Nissan EVs that electrify.
[00:36:15] If you like this episode of Feedback Friday and you found our advice valuable, I invite you to do what other smart and considerate listeners do, which is take a moment and support our amazing sponsors. All of the discount codes, all of the deals are at jordanharbinger.com/deals and you can always search for any sponsor using the search box on the website. The code should pop right up. Thank you so much for supporting those who support us.
[00:36:36] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:36:40] Okay, what's next?
[00:36:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. I married the first person I dated. We got together when I was 19 and he was 26. I left him eight years ago, and we share custody of our kids who are now in middle school. I'm still dealing with the aftermath of living with him. He was a pathological liar and he damaged my confidence in my memories, my interpretation of situations, and myself. For example, when we started dating, he told me all of these crazy stories about his combat and heroism in the military. I later realized the whole story was literally from a movie I ended up seeing, and he never actually was in combat.
[00:37:17] Jordan Harbinger: Holy crap. That is ridiculous. So this guy's like, "We're down in the trenches outside. We're done. And they were lobbing mustard gas at our platoon. And I grabbed one of those wooden handle grenades and suck it, krauts."
[00:37:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. And then three years later, you're watching 1917 and you're like, "Wait, was that from World War I the story you told me?"
[00:37:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, exactly. She finally gets around to watching Saving Private Ryan and realized her husband literally bragged about being in the invasion of Normandy or something.
[00:37:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: His details just don't add up. Okay. So she goes on.
[00:37:47] Another time after he had said he quit smoking. I pulled into our driveway to find him with a lit cigarette in his hand. I asked him if he fell off the wagon and he said no. That he was holding it for his friend who never smoked.
[00:38:00] Jordan Harbinger: Was the friend even there?
[00:38:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm assuming he was in the vicinity at least. Otherwise, that's a terrible cover.
[00:38:05] Jordan Harbinger: That's true. Yeah. Yeah. "Hold my cigarette, I'll be back in an hour, my lit cigarettes.
[00:38:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Makes no sense.
[00:38:10] Jordan Harbinger: The friend's got to be sitting there going like, "Uh, okay, I guess I smoke now." Mm-hmm. ,
[00:38:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: I guess I have to smoke. Yeah. Okay, so the letter continues.
[00:38:19] I also found out that he was cheating on me when I found a package in our mailbox addressed to a woman in my ex's handwriting with our own address as the delivery address.
[00:38:29] Jordan Harbinger: Wait, wait, okay, so you mean the return address?
[00:38:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, no, no. She's saying the delivery address. Like he sent the package to himself.
[00:38:37] Jordan Harbinger: What a brain fart. This sounds like a Shaggy song. She caught me with the package. It wasn't me. Delivery return label is in my handwriting. It wasn't me.
[00:38:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: I had to sign for the package.
[00:38:49] Jordan Harbinger: It wasn't me. The UPS guy took a photo of me opening it and holding it and smiling with the contents next to a newspaper with today's date printed on it. It wasn't me. Like, come on, dude. What the hell?
[00:39:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: It was you. Yeah, you did it.
[00:39:01] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Okay. It was you. Ah.
[00:39:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh my God. That's so funny. Okay, so she goes on.
[00:39:07] Inside was a mix CD with a love letter.
[00:39:09] Oh, mix cd.
[00:39:10] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man, this guy's such a tool.
[00:39:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Was this in 1998 or is he way too old?
[00:39:15] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Did this happen?
[00:39:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: What's happening here?
[00:39:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, while Dawson's Creek was still on the air because if so, what's the hell? What is happening?
[00:39:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: I get the feeling that this happened much more recently than that, so yeah.
[00:39:27] Jordan Harbinger: I do too.
[00:39:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Just hanging on to the CD technology. I mean, make a playlist.
[00:39:30] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:39:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay. Inside was a mixed CD with a love letter to this woman. And even with this evidence, he denied that he wrote the letter or sent the package. Later, I saw lovey emails to her on our computer and he said he had no idea what they were.
[00:39:44] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, see — it wasn't me.
[00:39:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: It wasn't me.
[00:39:46] Jordan Harbinger: It wasn't me.
[00:39:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: I see that defense is getting tired, dude. How many things have to—?
[00:39:51] Okay, finally one time he hit me. We'd both been drinking. I was trying to make the bed and he was, quote-unquote, helping me and he hit me across the face.
[00:40:01] Jordan Harbinger: Geez.
[00:40:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: I was stunned and scared and I locked myself in the bathroom. He left for a few hours, came home and pretended he had no idea what happened, that I was drunk and made it up. As a result of all of this, I basically learned to push down every thought I had. That was contrary to his narrative. I finally did leave, went through counseling, and found other forms of support and it's been fantastic. My ex now has a girlfriend of about five years, and she's great. Her being at the house when my kids are there gives me so much comfort. Recently though, I saw her at a school function and she was showing me pictures from a trip that she and my ex had just taken. She told me the name of a beach they visited. My ex corrected her in an irritated voice and she said, "Oh, I really thought it was such-and-such beach." He acted like she was trying to provoke him and she dropped it only to scroll to the next picture, which had the name of the beach on it. And she was correct. She looked embarrassed and didn't point out that he was wrong. I know that feeling so well and it made me feel sick. My heart hurts for this woman. I don't want to lose her in my kids' lives and I don't want to insert myself into their relationship, but I feel compelled to help her. Is there a way I can help her know that she's not going crazy? Signed, Making Space for the Gal in My Place.
[00:41:20] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. What a character, your ex. The petty lying, the manipulation, the textbook and weirdly transparent gaslighting. I mean, I know we are having a laugh earlier, but this is all really bizarre and sad. This guy is either so megalomaniacal that he really thinks everyone else is just so dumb that he's going to get away with this. They are not going to catch him in his lies or he's actually kind of insane and he doesn't have a firm grasp on reality, which is sort of terrifying. I mean, he's massively insecure that much. That's the beginning of all this. Also, did he send that love letter to your own address to be cruel or end the marriage early, even on some unconscious level? But then why deny it? I mean, this guy is just such an—
[00:41:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: I don't know.
[00:41:59] Jordan Harbinger: —ass. He's a real piece of work.
[00:42:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:42:01] Jordan Harbinger: All over the maps. No plan. This guy has no plan.
[00:42:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: But is there some weird plan, I don't even know how much we should read into that because he seems unstable and weird. Yeah. But like why send that package to your own house? That seems like a very easy mistake to avoid. Anyway—
[00:42:15] Jordan Harbinger: I'm going with drunk dumbass. That's what I'm going with.
[00:42:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, that's true. We could have been drinking and sent it to the wrong.
[00:42:19] Okay. Either way, I am glad that she got out. Jesus Christ, what a marriage this must have been!
[00:42:24] Jordan Harbinger: Tell me about it. You absolutely did the right thing for you and your kids, and I know that that wasn't easy. It sounds like this guy did a real number on you, but you got out, you went to therapy. You found the help you needed. That's incredible. Well done. So this is a really interesting conundrum. You want your ex's girlfriend around because she's a stable presence. She helps keep your kids safe. She gives you peace of mind, but you've also been through what she might be going through. You want to help her, and if you try to step in, you might make her wake up and leave. So do you help her or do you protect your own interests and those of your kids?
[00:43:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: That is a tough one. And also, what's the line here? When does helping become meddling? Right?
[00:43:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it's, it's tricky. So my take is that you should be a good friend to this woman and make it safe for her to come to you if she ever needs to talk. I would not call her and say, "Listen, I know exactly what you're going through. Craig did all the same stuff to me when we are together and you need to leave right now, it's only going to get worse. Let me help you." That's definitely overstepping in my opinion. And even if things are really bad, I think it's wiser to let her come to that conclusion herself and be receptive to your help rather than imposing it on her. The only caveat to that is if you find out that he's seriously hurting her, like if you ever see her with bruises or you saw him scream at her in the parking lot at the school play or something, and the emotional abuse or physical abuse is really there because you know, not all abuses results in bruises. Not all bruises are visible, I think is what they say. Then, I might say, yeah, press the issue, make sure she's okay, maybe help her get out. But even then I would tread carefully because ultimately, even if things are pretty dark, she needs to decide what kind of relationship she wants to be in. She needs to decide when to leave and how. And if your ex is actually dangerous, you both need to be very careful about how you do that.
[00:44:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes, absolutely. We talked about that in detail by the way, on an old Feedback Friday. That was episode 434. It was question one on that episode if you want to check it out. We'll link to it in the show notes. Really good stuff in there about how to safely leave an abusive relationship.
[00:44:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yep. And once we get that AI chatbot up, which may be up, by the time you hear this, you'll be able to ask the AI chatbot about getting out of abusive relationships, and it'll find every episode and everything we've said on that topic.
[00:44:43] Now, right, I remember that actually, that episode, that was when we talked about how the most dangerous time for a victim is when they're leaving.
[00:44:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:44:50] Jordan Harbinger: Right? Was that the episode?
[00:44:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's the one.
[00:44:51] Jordan Harbinger: It's like that's what triggers all the insecurities.
[00:44:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:44:53] Jordan Harbinger: So your best bet is to ask her some simple questions. Go slowly, feel her out, give her some space to open up to you. The next time you have a moment alone, maybe say, "Hey, how you feeling? How are things going? You good? How's Craig? How you guys doing these days?" And then, see how she responds. Study her face, her body language. See if she might be hiding or deflecting in some way. Now, if she's like, "Well, actually things are a little rough." Or, if she says, "I don't know, sometimes I get kind of down," or, "I really like Craig, but I'm confused a lot."
[00:45:26] Anything like that, I would draw her out, keep asking her questions, validate her feelings, her observations. Try not to steer her to breaking up with him immediately. Just let her talk. Be there for her. See where the conversation goes. And if she does reveal something that sounds like what you went through, you can say, "Yeah, I know exactly what you're talking about. I went through that too. It's really hard." And just keep validating whatever she shares with you, make her feel comfortable, make her feel understood. That's how you can let her know she's not going crazy without overstepping.
[00:45:59] Now, if she doesn't really engage with you, you can let it go. Keep an eye on her, maybe bring it up again in a month or two, whatever, try again. But if she's just not interested in talking or there's nothing there, I would back off. Either things really are fine, more or less, or she's not ready to open up and accept your help, which again, that's absolutely her call. I would respect that. That's the boundary you're looking for here.
[00:46:23] So that's how I'd approach this. My goal in these first few chats would be to just make it safe for her. To be honest with you later, you can decide whether to intervene and when and how much.
[00:46:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: I could not agree more, Jordan. But so just to be clear, we are placing her friend's safety above her own interests here, right?
[00:46:42] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:46:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Because by opening this door, she is risking the chance that this woman will realize she's not crazy and she could theoretically decide to leave this dude.
[00:46:51] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I guess, we are, because the way I see it as helpful as the new girlfriend has been, if she's in trouble, helping her is more important than keeping her around for your peace of mind.
[00:47:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:47:03] Jordan Harbinger: I don't know if it's right to just sit back and let her suffer what sounds like obvious abuse just because the woman writing in wants this other woman to be around her kids.
[00:47:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:47:12] Jordan Harbinger: There's something not cool about that at all.
[00:47:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: That makes a lot of sense. But if the girlfriend wants to stay in the picture or if she doesn't want to confront how bad things are yet anyway, then the woman writing in can accept that. And I imagine she'll feel a lot less guilty about benefiting from the girlfriend's presence in her kids' lives if she at least tried.
[00:47:30] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. Because she tried. Then at least she's done her part, she's opened the door.
[00:47:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:47:35] Jordan Harbinger: And respecting the boundaries she comes up against, that's important for both of them. Important for the girlfriend to be able to assert her feelings, her threshold.
[00:47:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:47:44] Jordan Harbinger: And important for the woman writing in to recognize where her influence ends and to trust that the girlfriend is sticking around because she wants to, but also that she has a friend to turn to when she needs one.
[00:47:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. My only other thought, and I think you already know this, but I'm just going to call it out, make sure your kids are okay with your ex and keep an eye on them. I'm glad this woman is a positive presence in their lives, but it can't be her job entirely to keep your kids safe. And if she ever does decide to leave, then, she obviously won't be there to protect them. So just make sure they're okay with dad and he's not doing anything manipulative or cruel or unfair to them when they come home from a weekend with him. You can ask them, you know, "Did you guys have fun? What did you do? How are you feeling? How's dad? How are you guys getting on?" You know, pay close attention to their reactions and if they tell you something happened or if they just seem kind of distant or off after seeing him, I would definitely make them feel comfortable talking to you about that too. And if you find out something bad is happening, then I would intervene much more strongly because in this arena, with your own kids, you obviously have a lot more license to intervene. You have to intervene.
[00:48:52] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Of course. I want to believe that her ex treats their kids better than he treated her. And it sounds like he might.
[00:48:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:48:59] Jordan Harbinger: But also man, he just has a very strange and unpredictable personality.
[00:49:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:49:04] Jordan Harbinger: I'm sure that it comes out in all kinds of ways even with his kids. I can't imagine a situation in which a complete piece of crap to their significant other, but is a great dad in every way.
[00:49:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:49:14] Jordan Harbinger: And doesn't allow these same insecurities to get triggered by his kids. I just, I can't imagine that's the case. So I'm with you. She has to make sure her kids are okay with him. The girlfriend, she's just back up. She's cover, but even she can't protect them from a father who pulls this kind of stuff. So go have these conversations, keep the door open, and we're wishing you the best. We're sending you and your family our best thoughts.
[00:49:37] Okay, next up.
[00:49:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. You've had some very enlightening guests on the show talking about China and the horrific regime of the CCP, which is expanding its influence around the world.
[00:49:49] That's the Chinese Communist Party if you don't know.
[00:49:51] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:49:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Do you think Chinese people who have immigrated out of China to the West are more pro-western democracy, at least in support of its ideals? Or are they still loyal to the CCP? Do you think there's a way that Chinese immigrants could help bring down the regime in some way? And what do you make of the fact that China's declining birth rate is creating a void in their workforce and could therefore collapse its infrastructure? Signed, Watching the Big Yellow Star From Afar.
[00:50:21] Jordan Harbinger: Great questions. I've been asking myself the same ones for a while. The future of China is just endlessly fascinating for me. And yeah, it has huge implications for the rest of the world, which I guess is why it's so fascinating. And you're right, China is facing some huge problems right now, and Xi Jinping ain't taking responsibility for a lot of them.
[00:50:41] That declining birth rate. It wasn't me.
[00:50:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Nice, yeah. Massive void in the workforce.
[00:50:48] Jordan Harbinger: It wasn't Xi.
[00:50:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's good.
[00:50:51] Jordan Harbinger: We want to get an expert's opinion here, so we decided to run all of this by my buddy Matthew Tye, AKA Laowhy86—
[00:50:58] Dad jokes on fire today.
[00:51:00] —YouTube vlogger and human rights advocate. He lived in China for 10 years and he runs a whole channel all about China. We'll link it in the show notes. We also did an interview on this show about how the Chinese social credit score system, really great conversation. So the first thing Laowhy said was that he's met Chinese people all across this spectrum. He's met a lot of people who are definitely supportive of the Chinese Communist Party, even if they live in the United States. And in his experience, those folks tend to maintain roots back in China, of course, but they also tend to exclusively consume Chinese language media from mainland China, which is all essentially state-run media. He's also met many people who are very opposed to the Chinese Communist Party, the CCP, and these people who would essentially be considered dissidents. They're anti-CCP, generally speaking. They've integrated better into the society where they live o over in the West. They've often joined some sort of community, whether that's a church or a human rights group or something like that. But in Laowhy's experience, the vast majority of Chinese immigrants he's met are largely apathetic about the whole system. And that mirrors the general sentiment in China.
[00:52:10] In his view, China is a very patriotic and nationalistic country, but when push comes to shove citizens and even immigrants, they just don't care much about politics because they know they have very little slash no power to affect change within their country, within China. And that's been my experience too. There's a certain nihilism that takes root in subjects of regimes like this. A sort of "what's the point" philosophy. You see that in the former Eastern Bloc. "Oh, the government's all corrupt. You can't do anything anyways." As Laowhy put it to us, lying low and maintaining apathy, it's actually a survival strategy. It's a good way to stay off the CCPs radar because yeah, they absolutely have sway over people in other countries. They will try to influence you or mess with your family back home. In fact, you can see the extent of the CCPs reach when you read things like the new report from the Safeguard Defenders.
[00:53:02] The Safeguard defenders, if you don't know, it's basically a human rights NGO. They carry out a lot of great research on China, specifically monitoring disappearances there and stuff like that. And recently, they discovered the existence of over a hundred Chinese police stations operating abroad. You heard me right? It's mind blowing. I'm talking about a Chinese police station operating in another country with Chinese police officers. They're running a lot of things, but one of them is Operation Fox Hunt. And it's a covert operation. It's supposedly designed to root out corruption inside the Chinese Communist Party, but it's been accused of targeting Chinese dissidents abroad. And it scared a lot of Chinese people from speaking out against the regime. Imagine a Chinese police officer in your country, like you live in France, and there's a freaking Chinese police station there. So if you organize something, Chinese police show up. It's freaking unbelievable.
[00:53:58] So ultimately, in Laowhy's view, unless Western countries do something to weed out Chinese government influence in their own jurisdictions, very little will change in Chinese communities abroad especially. They simply don't feel safe speaking out. And when they see politicians, elites, and other powerful people in Western countries investing, supporting, and associating with the Chinese government, the Communist Party, they don't find it very reassuring as you might expect.
[00:54:24] As for China's declining birth rate, which is also a fascinating problem. Laowhy's take is, yeah, it's going to cause massive problems for China. He also thinks that China is trying to pump immeasurable amounts of money into projects that could theoretically negate some of the worst effects of the declining birth rate. As he put it to us, China's miscalculation of the effects of the one-child policy and the knee-jerk reaction to overturning it, all of that is going to be devastating. Because after all, China is still very much a manufacturing country, pretending that they are somehow ready to adapt to a new world of AI and chip manufacturing and high-tech industries. It's a fool's game. In his opinion, this so-called pivot to a new type of economy, it's premature and it's yet another knee-jerk reaction to not being able to deal with the outcome of past policy mistakes, like making sure people can't have more than one kid because of overpopulation. I mean, you just can't dictate a country that big into doing what you want and expect no blowback.
[00:55:27] All that said though, Laowhy said the Chinese government is a master of one thing — false figures, false covid numbers, false demographic figures, false GDP figures. I think even now, I just checked the news recently, they're claiming something like 13 COVID deaths when 70-plus percent of the country is COVID-positive. And their vaccination rate is really, I mean, it's just ridiculous. Their vaccine doesn't work and it's like 50 percent effective. Most people don't have it, the full number of shots. I mean, it's just a ludicrous why, but they're going to go with it because they can control the media in that country. China has managed to stay afloat somewhat because it's convinced its own people and the rest of the world really, that they aren't having massive economic issues and that there's no rot under the layer of paint they've shellacked over the top of it.
[00:56:16] And in all likelihood, in my view, they're going to continue to play that game pretty well for a long time. Because one of the advantages of a regime like this, namely an authoritarian regime with strict social control and full control of media, is the influence and secrecy that they exert. And remember, they control the Internet over there as well, so this is extremely dark and worrisome, but it can unfortunately be very effective. And I put effective in big air quotes, of course, at least in the short to medium term. So it's possible that they'll be able to hide or compensate for the effect of the declining birth rate on their labor force for some time. But eventually, that will become a problem that they cannot hide, and it will have enormous long-term implications for the country in Laowhy's view. And the CCP has got to know that.
[00:57:01] Big thanks to Laowhy for his wisdom here. If you want to learn more about him and his work, I highly recommend the Laowhy86 channel on YouTube or watch his podcast, The China Show, also on YouTube. I would also check out my two-part interview with him on the Chinese social credit score system. That was episode 643 and 644. One of my favorites on the topic of China. We also have a whole China playlist at jordanharbinger.com/start, and we plan to do a whole show about demographics and demographic collapse, not only in China, but Russia as well, which is running headlong into this, especially thrown away a generation of young men in this war here, or part of one. And we're going to use the United States as a counter-example as well. So stay tuned for that in the next few months. And if you're interested in this subject and you're a big old nerd like I am, I think it's going to hit home for you. China, man, I might not be able to go back, but I'll never stop talking about it, so damn interesting.
[00:57:52] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this week and everybody who listened. Thank you so much. Go back and check out Mitch Lowe if you haven't heard that yet. A lot of business stories there about the origin story of a divergent thinker essentially.
[00:58:05] If you want to know how I manage to book all these great people and manage my relationships, I use software, I use systems, and I use tiny habits, and I'm teaching you those same strategies and using those same tools. It's our Six-Minute Networking course. That course is free over on the Thinkific platform. It's at jordanharbinger.com/course. I'm teaching you how to dig the well before you're thirsty and building relationships before you need them. The drills, they just take a few minutes a day. Don't ignore the stuff. It really will be a huge change for your business and/or your personal life. Again, it's all free at jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:58:38] A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts in the show notes. Advertisers, deals, discount codes, all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi or on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
[00:58:57] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogerty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions are our own, and I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. Ditto Corbin. Payne. Big thanks again to allow Laowhy86 for his thoughts on China today. Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love. And if you found the episode useful, please share it with somebody else who can use the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[00:59:34] We've got a trailer of our interview with Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and an investor in one of Silicon Valley's top VC firms. He drops by the show to discuss how we can tell when we're informing our intuition with the best available data or if we're just procrastinating to avoid making important decisions and "why never give up" is terrible advice and how to separate our winning instincts from our losing ideas. That's coming right up after the show.
[00:59:59] Reid Hoffman: A piece of advice I most often give entrepreneurs is, "Don't just work on the product, work on your go-to-market." It's a huge world. It's eight billion people, right? How do you stand out against eight billion people? Actually, in fact, that's kind of challenging.
[01:00:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's a good — are we at eight already?
[01:00:13] Reid Hoffman: Yes.
[01:00:13] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my gosh.
[01:00:14] Reid Hoffman: Yeah. The, "oh, I build this thing in a corner. No one sees it. It may be the best thing ever, but no one sees it, so it's never used." That's the problem on the entrepreneurship side. So network, one, key component. Another one is, which is your plan A. You have plans B, which is how to think about like, "Well, if A is not working out, maybe B will work, or maybe B will be a different path," or you know, that kind of thing. And then you have a Z plan, which is, "It's not working out at all. What's my lifeboat plan? I'm going to row to a different set of plan A and plan B's." There's always luck, there's always timing.
[01:00:44] The game is not so much, "Can I be one of the heroes that's written about in the next a hundred years?" But the game is, "Can I do something that where I started from, I can make something interesting." You're playing your own game. Yes, your passion's important, but you should be paying attention to market realities. You should say, "Well, what do the opportunities look like? What does competition look like? What's the best match for me to what the opportunity landscape looks like? You could always say, "Well, more data is useful." The test is what's the minimum set of data that you would actually in fact make this decision on?
[01:01:19] Jordan Harbinger: We need to separate our winning intuition or instincts from our losing ideas.
[01:01:25] Reid Hoffman: More often than not, greater than 50 percent of the time, you're going to have to give up on that idea. Everyone loves to tell these narratives of, "Well, when I was two, I knew what I was going to do when I was 40."
[01:01:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it sounds good.
[01:01:37] Reid Hoffman: And, yeah, and it was a straight line that was kind of smooth sailing. The wind was at our backs. It was kind of unproblematic. It's always fiction.
[01:01:46] Jordan Harbinger: For more with Reid Hoffman in a two-part mashup that includes cameos by the founder of Spotify, the CEO of Yahoo, and more, check out episode 207 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
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