Adopted and raised by a loving family, you were still curious enough to seek out your biological parents and learn their story when you reached adulthood. It turns out you were the result of a forbidden tryst between a traveling American woman and the married Australian man who briefly employed her on his farm. When you reached out, your biological mother was happy to make contact, but your biological father? Not so much. In fact, he’s been “happily” married for 50 years and refuses to admit he had any part in your existence — probably because he’d then have to confess everything to his family. Now you’re conflicted. Should you just let it go, or should you fly to Australia and surprise him at his front door where he can’t continue denying that you’re real? 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:
- Sure, social media is just algorithmic-enabled immaturity that is almost guaranteed to dampen whatever good mood you had going into it. But what’s the good news? Nobody’s forcing you to participate. [Thanks for the reminder, Ryan Holiday!]
- Should you force your biological father — who refuses to admit he had any part in your creation — to confront you in person and confess everything to the family he’s had for 50 years? [Thanks to Colleen Riddle from Heartland for Children for helping us with this one!]
- Your significant other of five years refuses to acknowledge their social anxiety as a problem, but it’s always used as an excuse to get out of doing things with you in public. They say they’re happy to stay in — but you’re definitely not. What do you do?
- Is “manifesting” just a woo-woo mental model used by successful people as an excuse to deal with the guilt of success or a way to explain their sheer luck in a cold universe that doesn’t care if they live or die?
- Your last two relationships ended badly and bitterly. But now that you’re in your 30s and dating someone you consider to be potential marriage material, you realize you’ve always been a serial monogamist and never really experienced the life of a freewheeling bachelor. Is it foolish to consider losing somebody who might be “the one” just to explore what you might be missing out on?
- How does Jordan retain all the information he takes in while reading and researching the work of guests ahead of interviewing them?
- 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!
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!
Sign up for Six-Minute Networking — our free networking and relationship development mini course — at jordanharbinger.com/course!
This Episode Is Sponsored By:
Taped at The Venice West in L.A., Jordan Harbinger Live Presented By Hyundai will feature an interview with the best-selling author and host of The Daily Stoic podcast, Ryan Holiday, on August 18 @ 8 p.m. ET | 5 p.m. PT. Catch it on LiveOne here!
- Hyundai: Find out more about the IONIQ 5 here
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- Progressive: Get a free online quote at progressive.com
- Plunge: Visit thecoldplunge.com and use code JORDAN for $150 off
History Daily with Lindsay Graham takes you back in time to explore a momentous moment that happened ‘on this day’ in history. Listen here or wherever you find fine podcasts!
Miss our conversation with pain psychologist Dr. Rachel Zoffness in which we explored how to alleviate the root causes of pain instead of merely seeking short-term relief from it? Catch up with episode 661: Rachel Zoffness | Managing Pain In Your Body and Brain here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Brad Klontz | Harnessing the Power of Financial Psychology | Jordan Harbinger
- Marion Nestle | How Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat | Jordan Harbinger
- The Dangers of Toxic Positivity (And How to Avoid It) | Jordan Harbinger
- They Have To Do This. You Don’t. | The Daily Dad
- Just Found My Bio Dad. Contacted Him, but He Doesn’t Want Any Contact with Me. How to Cope? | r/Adoption
- Finding Support When You’re Rejected by Your Biological Parent | ABC Everyday
- Colleen (Kirby) Riddle MA, MSW, CWCMS, CWLS | LinkedIn
- Heartland for Children
- Finding and Working With Adoption-Competent Therapists | Child Welfare Information Gateway
- What Is the Empty Chair Technique and Why Do Therapists Use It? | BetterHelp
- Affordable, Private Therapy Anytime, Anywhere | BetterHelp
- Is It Wrong to Decline Guardianship of Family? | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Dating Someone with Social Anxiety: Six Tips from a Therapist | Talkspace
- How to Really Help Someone with Social Anxiety | Healthline
- Her Beau is Faux, But She Doesn’t Know | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Erin Margolis | Thrive Psychology Group
- Better Call Saul | AMC
- What Is Manifesting and Does It Actually Work? | Vox
- The Truth About “The Secret” | Mark Manson
- Mark Cuban: ‘Follow Your Passion’ Is Bad Advice | CNBC
- Brian Scudamore | How Failure Can Be Your Key to Success
- The Right Way to ‘Manifest’ What You Want | Jordan Harbinger
- Gamophobia (Fear of Commitment): Causes & Treatment | Cleveland Clinic
- What Are the Signs of a Serial Monogamist? | BetterHelp
- Google Docs | Google Workspace
714: How “Real” Is a Dad Who Denies You Exist? | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Hey listeners on Thursday, August 18th at 5:00 p.m. Pacific, that's 8:00 p.m. Eastern on liveone.com. I'm releasing the video from my first ever Jordan Harbinger Live Show that we recorded at the Venice West with special guests, Ryan Holiday, presented by Hyundai. This was a blast and all of you who couldn't make it in person can check it out at liveone.com.
[00:00:19] And with dual 12.3-inch displays and available features like premium head-up display with augmented reality functions, Hyundai's digital key, and Bose's premium audio, the Ioniq 5 is definitely one of the most tech-forward electric cars on the road today.
[00:00:37] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, the sick beat drop, catapulting my slow build of electronic life advice, Gabriel Mizrahi.
[00:00:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Nice.
[00:00:49] Jordan Harbinger: 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 on this show 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.
[00:01:15] 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 amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, and performers. This week, we had Dr. Brad Klontz on how we inherit money patterns and behaviors from our parents and how we can break bad financial mindsets and inherited patterns around finances.
[00:01:39] So it's kind of a unique perspective, Gabriel. It wasn't like your mindset just isn't focused on visualizing money.
[00:01:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:01:45] Jordan Harbinger: You know, it wasn't like that manifestation crap. It was more like, "Hey, remember when your parents kept fighting over things and then your mom would sneak around and hide purchases from your dad." You're reenacting all that stuff with your current partners and it's super unhealthy and you're ruining your financial life and your relationship. So he kind of combines those two things.
[00:02:05] We also had Marion Nestle on how food companies lie to us. They sponsor research on nutrition and they get us to put things in our body that aren't necessarily good for us. So that was terrifying. I don't know what other — really, it was super scary. That's why would you see all these headlines that say things like, "Studies show that eating a pomegranate every morning can reduce hair loss," or something like, and it's just, there's a 1.000001 percent may be correlated, but probably not little bit in a study that they paid for. And then they just go to town on the PR and people start eating freaking pomegranates every day, thinking they're not going to go bald. And here we are bald as hell.
[00:02:43] I also write every so often on the blog, my latest post, the dangers of toxic positivity and how to avoid it. In addition to talking about the risks of only looking at the bright side of things, I also talk about how to develop a healthier, more grounded relationship with your experiences, both good and bad, to create a more accurate, productive picture of yourself and picture of the world around you. So make sure you've had a look and a listen to everything that we created for you. By the way, the articles are at jordanharbinger.com/articles. That's where you can read stuff that we write.
[00:03:13] Before we dive in today, I recently came across this old email from The Daily Dad, Ryan Holiday's, one of Ryan Holiday's newsletters, and I wanted to share it with you because it's such an important reminder. He writes, "Have you ever left Twitter feeling bitter about humanity? When was the last time you had a productive discussion with somebody on Facebook? How often does Instagram bring out feelings of jealousy or envy in you? That's because these platforms are basically middle school and high school. It's people being their worst selves. It's algorithmic-enabled immaturity. It's status signaling and tribal dynamics. It's basically all the stuff your kids endure or will endure at school. But here's the thing, they have to go to school. They get something out of it too. You, you're doing this voluntarily. It's insane. And it's affecting your parenting. You go on these platforms and then the unhappiness infects your home. You're not present with your kids because you're scrolling and then you're short with them later because it left you in a bad mood. And again, for what? There is almost nobody on the planet who would not benefit from less time on social media, even if it's part of your job, even if it is your job, less time would make you happier. Less time would make you a better parent. Less time would give you more time to be a parent. So spare yourself the additional time in the halls of junior high. Avoid the insanity and the infighting. Log off and show up at home."
[00:04:33] And I love this. It's not maybe anything new, but it was well put, I think this stuff is just as true for non-parents as it is for parents, but it's especially true for people with kids. Look, I'm a self-confess social media addict sometimes. I'll be the first to admit, I spend more time than I should on Twitter, Reddit, come on. But this really reminded me of how silly it is to choose to spend time and get worked up about dumb Internet BS when real life is right there in front of me, where I'm the happiest and most fulfilled where the ROI on my time spent is just so much higher for everyone involved.
[00:05:09] So I just wanted to share that with you guys as well. Live your life y'all and thanks to Ryan Holiday and the team over at The Daily Dad, always putting out great content over there. You can find that at dailydad.com.
[00:05:21] Also quick housekeeping thing, a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned we would be doing video on Spotify. Whoops, premature celebration. Actually, it turned out to be a huge tech headache. So not happening. We hope to have some more big news for you guys in the coming months, hopefully, huge news. TBD on all that. It's a weird time in the podcasting industry, in the ad market, etcetera. I'm not going anywhere. Don't worry. We're not going anywhere but up but we're not going to have video on Spotify and I'm not too disappointed about it because when I found out what was involved, I was like hard pass.
[00:05:48] All right, as always got some fun ones and some doozies. And I can't wait to dive in. Gabe, what is the first thing outta the mailbag?
[00:05:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. I was adopted and grew up without knowing my birth parents. As an adult, I worked really hard to find my birth mom and eventually, I was able to connect with her and hear the story of how she met my birth father. She was exploring Australia in 1970 and briefly worked on a farm where she ended up having an affair with the owner, who was married with two sons and a wife who was pregnant with their third child.
[00:06:20] Jordan Harbinger: Yikes.
[00:06:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: I was actually conceived while his wife was in the hospital due to complications from her pregnancy.
[00:06:25] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. This just gets worse and worse. All right.
[00:06:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: All right.
[00:06:28] My mom returned to the US, found out she was pregnant, and wrote to my birth dad in Australia to tell him. He asked her to come back, but she said no and gave me up for adoption. After a while, my birth mother gave me my birth dad's contact information. I wrote him a letter that was not well received. He gave the letter to one of his sons who contacted me and said that his parents had been happily married for over 50 years. And that my birth mom was lying. In response, I sent him my birth mom's letters where my birth dad owned up to his mistake. Within minutes of sending the email with the proof, my phone rang with a call from Australia. It was my half-brother calling to tell me that he believed me and that I was his half-sister. Despite recognition from his son, my birth dad doesn't want to meet me and doesn't want to explain the situation to the rest of his family. Several years have passed, and he's never told his wife. I guess he's convinced himself again, that I don't exist. In recent years, that denial has really started to eat away at me, despite the fact that I love my amazing adoptive parents with all my heart, I often come back to the feeling that I'm fine without ever meeting him and that it's his loss for not knowing me and my kids. But still, I'm conflicted. Why do I even care about a man who won't acknowledge me? Should I get on a plane and just show up and force him to accept me? What should I do to get some closure? Signed, Contemplating a Commute to Connect With My Roots.
[00:07:52] Jordan Harbinger: Well, this is a wild story. After everything that went down between finding your birth mom and learning how she met your dad and how the whole thing unfolded, I totally understand why you'd want to seek out this relationship. And I'm really sorry that your biological father didn't respond in the way that you had hoped. That's got to be very hurtful and just disappointing after all these years. I actually have a little tiny tear in the corner of my eye, that is either from your letter or the aggressive ceiling fan I've got going because it's like 80 degrees in my studio today. Let's just say it's a ceiling fan. That's what it is. It's not your heart-rendering letter.
[00:08:26] So Gabe, I have to imagine that this is bringing up a lot of difficult stuff for her birth father too. And I'm guessing a tremendous amount of shame.
[00:08:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:08:36] Jordan Harbinger: About the affair with her birth mother, about the circumstances of that relationship, about how he handled the aftermath. And he probably just doesn't want to dredge all of that up at age, I don't know, 78 or however old this guy is now, right?
[00:08:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. Sure.
[00:08:49] Jordan Harbinger: Ironically, part of being a grown-ass man is taking responsibility. This guy is just not up to the task. Of course, that doesn't make it okay or fair to you. I just think it's important to recognize this was probably a bombshell for him and his family as well.
[00:09:05] For you, you're like, "Let's meet, let's have a relationship. It's all good. Now I just want to know you and your family," but for him, it's like, "Okay. Wow, I now have to recognize this love child I had with my employee half a century ago. While my wife was in the intensive care unit, almost dying after giving birth to our third child."
[00:09:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ugh.
[00:09:22] Jordan Harbinger: No, thanks. You know, again—
[00:09:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Intense. Yeah.
[00:09:24] Jordan Harbinger: —he's the one who had the affair. I'm not letting him off the hook, but I'm sure it's quite a burden to carry around. Even if this is the result of his own actions for kind of being a POS back in '72 and he would've gotten away with it if it weren't for you, pesky kids.
[00:09:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Love a good Scooby-Doo reference.
[00:09:40] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, who doesn't? So yeah, this is complicated stuff. We wanted to get an expert's opinion here. We reached out to Colleen Riddle, child welfare specialist, adoption expert, and independent contractor for Heartland for Children, a lead child welfare agency in Florida. And Colleen's first response was she also totally gets the pain and confusion that you're feeling right now.
[00:10:03] In fact, she wanted to assure you that it's a very normal response to the experience you've been. As she put it, we humans we're innately wired for connection. And even with all the incredible gifts that come through adoption, there's something profound about that initial biological connection that drives us to seek out birth parents and crave a relationship with them. No matter what the circumstances might be. So Colleen's main insight, and this is kind of where my mind went when reading your letter, is to figure out exactly what you are hoping to accomplish here.
[00:10:36] Obviously, you want to have some kind of relationship with your biological father, but let's dig a little deeper there. What do you hope that relationship will look like in practice? Do you just want him to acknowledge your existence and then you can move on? Or are you seeking a deeper, meaningful relationship with him and maybe with your half-siblings as well? And if so, how much contact do you want to have? What will that relationship be about? What are you hoping it'll provide you?
[00:11:05] Once you have a better grasp on the outcome you really want, or maybe the outcome you could accept, if you don't get the ideal relationship with your father, then you can better plan your next steps. Because if it's simply about getting him to acknowledge you, you might be able to make him do that with a bunch of letters, maybe some intervention from his son. But if you're seeking a true ongoing relationship with him, well, if he's even open to that, it'll probably take a lot more time and work on both your parts. It'll involve a lot of conversations and self-reflection, a willingness to face some difficult feelings, have some tough conversations, possibly be surprised or let down all over again, which is obviously very challenging.
[00:11:46] So Colleen's advice, and this won't be a surprise if you've been listening to the show for a while, she strongly encourages you to work with a therapist, specifically, a therapist who has the adoption competency credential. That's a unique training on how to support adoptees through some of these challenging emotional conflicts. And just one of the things you could do together is talk through those goals and expectations we just discussed. The other thing Colleen said, you can ask your therapist about is something called the empty chair technique. The empty chair technique is commonly used in a type of therapy called Gestalt therapy, which focuses on a person's experience in the present moment, the relationship between the therapist and the client, the environmental and social contexts of a person's life. And it often uses role-playing to help resolve past conflicts.
[00:12:32] So the empty chair exercise, it's basically a way to explore different conversations and outcomes with your birth father without him being right in front of you. I know that sounds kind of weird. It's a little out there, but Colleen said it can be really helpful in obtaining closure in situations where the person you have a conflict with just isn't physically available. And it's just one of many therapeutic options out there, by the way. But it's one that Colleen flagged as being pretty effective and you can always check out betterhelp.com/jordan if you want to try online therapy before exploring something in person or with an imaginary person in a chair.
[00:13:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Lots of options out there. You know, it's funny, Jordan, I actually have a couple of friends who did the empty chair technique and they said it was really powerful, like resolved some really old, old things, like problems they had with parents or ex-partners or whatever it was. I honestly think I would hate having to do it because it just sounds really intense and slightly embarrassing.
[00:13:30] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:13:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: But if I had something big like this to work through, I would definitely try to get over that because apparently it really works.
[00:13:35] Jordan Harbinger: Embarrassing. Do I look cool while I'm yelling at this person in the empty chair about not being there for me in third grade?
[00:13:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly.
[00:13:41] Jordan Harbinger: No, no, I do not.
[00:13:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: I just want to look very graceful while I resolve all my trauma.
[00:13:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yes.
[00:13:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's my main priority in therapy, yeah. Anyway, Colleen's last thought, once you've come to a decision here, especially if that decision involves letting go of your bio dad, or if you make the trip to Australia and it doesn't go well for whatever reason, it'll be really important to allow yourself to grieve. And as she put it, closure happens as part of the grieving process. When you mourn the dad, you wish you had and the father you could have had, maybe even the version of yourself you might have been if you had been involved in your life, or even if he had engaged with you the way you hoped when you first reach out.
[00:14:19] As she put it, closure happens as part of the grieving process. When you mourn the father you wish you had, the father you could have had, the version of yourself you might have been if he had been involved in your life, that's painful stuff, but it's essential. And I'm with Colleen, if closure is what you're looking for, one way or the other, then it will definitely involve some kind of mourning. But she also pointed out something interesting, which is that this isn't straightforward grief, like when someone dies. What you are going through is ambiguous loss. And in cases of ambiguous loss, the grieving process is often very different.
[00:14:55] We've actually talked about this on the show before, and if you want to hear a question that was related to this, very interesting, you can check out episode 636, but in your case, you're grieving the loss of a relationship you never had, or you were never allowed to have. The relationship might be lost, but the possibility of that relationship still developing, that remains. And so you're in a kind of grief limbo, and that can make things a bit tricky. It's not a one-and-done kind of thing, you know, like when someone passes away and you spend three months processing those feelings and then you can kind of like move on with your life and understand exactly how the story ended. Here, it's open-ended. It's still in process. There are a lot of possibilities here, so that makes it a little harder to process and put to bed.
[00:15:36] As Colleen pointed out, that's probably why you're swinging back and forth between feeling fine and then feeling frustrated, between feeling like your life is complete and then being quite hurt by your father's decision. Just one more reason to seek out a good therapist, somebody who can help you navigate this strange grieving process, and also give you some tools to manage any flareups of grief that might happen in the future.
[00:15:58] But Jordan, it's interesting. I think there's so much for her to talk about in therapy, in addition to her biological father. So, for example, I wouldn't be surprised if she had some feelings about her mother's decision to stay in the states and have her, and then give her up for adoption. You know, maybe meeting her birth mother later in life has brought up other stuff, other challenging ideas and feelings, stuff that might be eclipsed by her biological father, because he's sort of the more obvious villain here, but who was only really half of the equation.
[00:16:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That's a good point. After all, it was her mother who declined his invitation to come back to Australia. Although what was going to happen there? That's what I want to know. What was his plan?
[00:16:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right, right. Yeah. Did he just want her close by so he could visit or support? It's a little unclear.
[00:16:40] Jordan Harbinger: I don't know. I'm also like, "Would your mother have just gone missing in Australia at that point? Was he going to—? You know, I don't—
[00:16:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:16:46] Jordan Harbinger: Probably shouldn't joke like that, but it is like—
[00:16:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, but it's like—
[00:16:49] Jordan Harbinger: I listen to a lot of true crimes.
[00:16:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: The story could go a lot of different directions.
[00:16:53] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I'm not saying this is necessarily a bad choice. It might have actually been the right choice, especially if he was going to — never mind. But I wouldn't be surprised if it raises some questions in her mind about, yeah, what might have been?
[00:17:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:17:05] Jordan Harbinger: Like, who knows what her life would've been if her mother had taken him up on that offer? Maybe her bio dad would've been in her life somehow, or she would've stayed with her birth mother and been raised in Australia. I don't know. She would've been closer to some answers, maybe. Again, all super valuable stuff to explore in therapy. But here's the good news, you sound like you're doing really well. You have these amazingly supportive adoptive parents. You have an awesome family of your own. And look, that's incredible. It doesn't mean your feelings about your bio are not valid, but as Colleen explained to us, the research does show that people who have positive relationships with their adoptive parents and families of their own, they are much better equipped to integrate what they've learned in therapy and come to a more definitive resolution. Plus they have a ton of love and support that can help along the way.
[00:17:54] So I do hope that gives you some perspective, hopefully, a new approach. And I know this is painful stuff. It's raw, it's old, it's confusing. And it makes perfect sense that it's been hard to come to terms with. And I wish your bio dad were more open to forming the relationship that you want. And holding out hope that he does eventually come around, even though he is probably in his 70s right now, right? If that's going to help you find some peace anyway. But in a world where he might not, for reasons that are similarly raw and painful for him, my real hope is that you find the meaning and closure that you're looking for on your own. Sometimes, that's all we can do. And sometimes, sometimes, that's even better. Sending you good thoughts and a big hug from California.
[00:18:39] And Gabe, you know, it has just occurred to me. Why did the guy give his son the letter? That's the last thing I would've done. "Hey, I got this letter from this woman that I slept with years ago, while you were in the hospital giving birth. What do you make of this son?
[00:18:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ah.
[00:18:51] Jordan Harbinger: I don't know. Maybe I better chase it up on the Internet? No, no, no. Don't do that. Just take my side blindly.
[00:18:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: I get the sense that dad just didn't know how to deal with it and was probably just at a loss for words. And the son was the easiest part. He was just like, "Can you handle this for me? Because I cannot."
[00:19:06] Jordan Harbinger: "Make it go away. Also, it's totally not true at all. How weird that we got this. She's totally lying."
[00:19:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, wait. There's proof. There's proof. No, oh, I was — I misremembered. This totally happened. Sorry about this.
[00:19:17] Jordan Harbinger: What could have been the obvious course of the giving this to your kid, who's now in his 20s, 30s, whatever, maybe 40s, is he immediately finds the person and contacts them and says, "Hey, if you don't have any proof, this is just going to rock a boat unnecessarily." And then, of course, "Oh yeah, here's a stack of letters in your dad's handwriting from Australia with authentic postage and everything from back in the day saying, sorry, 'I got you pregnant while this was going on and you had a baby and gave it up for adoption.'" I mean, it's just, he must have thought, "Oh, she doesn't have any proof. She gave the kid up. She for sure didn't keep any of these letters. I'm out of the woods on this one," and no such luck for him on that one. I just—
[00:19:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: And then she nailed him.
[00:19:58] Jordan Harbinger: Gosh. Wow, I mean good on you for keeping those letters for 40 years or whatever, but geez, man, I understand why he wants to run and hide from this. He's probably like I'm taking this to the grave and now he's like, "Are you kidding me? I've got a few years left and this shows up on my doorstep," literally. Geez.
[00:20:15] Well, you know who desperately wants to be part of your life, Gabriel? The amazing sponsors that support this show. We'll be right.
[00:20:24] This episode is sponsored in part by Peloton. We've had the Peloton Bike for three years or so now it's been a game-changer. I used to have to drive and park to do exercise. And by the time I'm home, I'm stressed out. No time left in my day. Peloton makes it easy to work out consistently because the classes are fun. You get lost in the music, but most of all, the instructors are really something else. Cody Rigsby, that's Jen's favorite. I can hear that all the way through the house when she's doing Peloton. He'll make you laugh during a strenuous workout when normally you'd probably just be crying/sweating all over the floor. Plus you get the community aspect of working out with tons of other people, giving virtual high fives without having to be in a sweaty room, breathing in everyone else's nasty ass breath, stinky feet, all that stuff. I get motivated when I see other people hit their 500th workout or their 60-day streak. I think the gamification is cool. While my thing is the bike classes, Peloton has thousands of class options. Do a 10-minute upper body stretch between calls — my brother-in-law does that — 40-minute run or cycle class before bed. What I also think is really cool, they got these bike tours of other cities that are pretty cool. A scenic ride is, I think, they're called. All available 24/7, whenever your schedule allows.
[00:21:28] Jen Harbinger: Motivation that moves you anytime, anywhere. Try the Peloton Bike or Tread risk-free for 30 days. Learn more at onepeloton.com. New members only, terms apply.
[00:21:38] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is sponsored in part by History Daily podcast. Do you remember taking history in high school and how freaking boring it was? That's right. Mr. Sheets, you could have made it a little more interesting. I actually love history now. History Daily is a daily podcast. Go figure by the name. Wouldn't have guessed. With fascinating stories of what happened on this day in history, which is a cool concept. Because it's, I don't know, somehow more relevant because it happened on this day. Like the day when King Henry VIII got badly injured in a jousting accident, which like, what are you doing jousting? Obviously you're going to get hurt during that. Turning the once athletic and wise king into a paranoid, overweight tyrant. Or the day when French biologist, Louis Pasteur invented a process of heating a liquid to kill potentially harmful bacteria and named it after himself, pasteurization. And you better pronounce it that way from here on out, the French. Got to use that French accent, pasteurisation. All episodes are 20 minutes or under, so you can dip into an episode on a commute. And the narrator Lindsay Graham does a great job of transporting you back in time and keeping you captivated. You'll learn something new every day. I mean, that's literally the idea. I love that it's clean. There's no F-bombs in case you have kids that want to listen to it as well. So make your day historic, add History Daily to your podcast playlist, pick a favorite topic, or just find out what happened on your birthday. Every day, there's something interesting search for and follow History Daily in your favorite podcast player. That's History Daily.
[00:22:54] Thank you so much for listening to and supporting the show and, of course, supporting the sponsors on the show. That's what keeps the lights on around here. We put all the discount codes, all the deals on our deals page at jordanharbinger.com/deals. You can also search for the sponsors using the search box right there on the website at jordanharbinger.com as well. So please consider supporting those who support us.
[00:23:15] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:23:19] All right, what's next?
[00:23:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, I've been dating my boyfriend for five years, but we've been having some trouble due to his social anxiety. While I understand that anxiety is a struggle, I often have to pass up opportunities because my boyfriend is too socially anxious to join in. For example, my birthday is coming up and I want to go to the zoo, which shouldn't be too crowded especially if we get there early. Like all the other times I ask him to do something with me in public, he avoids the question or says he can't come and just moves on. I'm not sure what to do at this point. I do love my boyfriend, but it seems like he's using social anxiety as an excuse to not go out with me. I've told him that he might need to get some help if his anxiety is this detrimental to our relationship, but he always responds that he's happy with not going out. That I'm the one who wants to go out. What should I do? Signed, Shut Out By My Shaden.
[00:24:12] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, boy, this relationship sounds like a huge drag. Sorry to be so blunt about it. I mean, I'm sure your boyfriend is a nice guy. He's obviously struggling. I do feel for him there, but here's the thing he knows the social anxiety thing is a problem. He can't even go to the freaking zoo with you on your birthday when it's mostly empty. He's not working on this. He doesn't seem at all concerned about how it's affecting you. And when you point out that this is getting in the way of your relationship, he turns around and says, "Well, I'm fine with staying in. You're the one that keeps pushing to leave the house." Like this is all your fault for making him have to see an aardvark on your birthday. Yeah, it's not fair.
[00:24:50] I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who know they have a problem and just refuse to get help for it. And then are just like, "Oh, it's your fault, you want to leave the house and have friends."
[00:25:00] You know, Gabe, I'm thinking about the question we took a couple of months back from the woman who was trying to figure out if she was truly anxious about life or if she was just, I think as she put it overly prepared.
[00:25:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm, yeah.
[00:25:12] Jordan Harbinger: That was episode 689 if you want to check that out. And when we consulted with Dr. Margolis about that, she told us about these two metrics that differentiate your garden variety worry from your true clinical anxiety. Those two metrics were distress and interference. Distress, being the amount of difficulty the worry is causing you. And interference, being the degree to which the worry is getting in the way of your role functioning — so doing your job, having relationships, participating in activities, stuff like that.
[00:25:46] So by those two metrics, certainly by the interference metric. This really does sound like clinical anxiety. You called it social anxiety. Maybe there is a social component to it, but it sounds like he might have anxiety about the world at large. I mean, if you want to go to the zoo right when it opens and you're just there with the giraffes and lemurs and like eight other people and he still can't handle it. It sounds to me like there's something pretty severe going on there.
[00:26:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: It does sound more severe. It almost sounds agoraphobic to some degree. I guess it's also possible that he's depressed and the thought of leaving the house is just too draining for him. So he just wants to stay in all the time. I guess there are many options here. Either that or he's binge-watching Better Call Saul the final season or something, and he just can't be bothered to leave the house.
[00:26:33] Jordan Harbinger: Also possible, it is a pretty good show. Whatever it is though, your boyfriend needs to work on this, or maybe a better way to put it is he needs to work on this if you guys are going to have a well-functioning healthy relationship. He's welcome to go and do whatever he wants, of course. But if he doesn't change, this will continue to be a serious obstacle in your relationship. And if you stick around, I think you might come to resent him for missing out on shared activities and keeping your world so small.
[00:27:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree completely, but my question is, is he truly anxious, or is he using anxiety as an excuse to not hang out with her? Because he's not really into the relationship anymore. That seems to be what she was maybe implying or at least wondering. And if that's the case, then I'm wondering, like, what is this relationship even about?
[00:27:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. If that's the case — they should definitely break up if that's the case.
[00:27:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, because why date somebody who isn't absolutely pumped to hang out with you, especially on your birthday, especially at the zoo? The zoo is awesome. Like they have penguins there. I don't understand it, but look, if this really is the anxiety talking, I would help your boyfriend see that he needs help, not just for your sake or for the sake of your relationship, but for him. You say you love him. You guys have five years of history together. Maybe he's so paralyzed that he can't even reach out to somebody. And if that's what's going on, then yes, he does deserve a little help. But if he keeps dragging his feet, if he doesn't really want to change, then you have to decide if this is the right relationship for you. You know, like if you just wanted to stay inside your whole life, maybe this would be a great match. And then you guys could just Grey Gardens together forever and all would be well. But you want to live life and it sounds like he wants to hide from it. And I just don't see how our relationship can work that way.
[00:28:15] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That was a much nicer way of saying what I felt from the start, which is jump ship right now. But you're right. He's suffering. He needs help. Maybe she can get him to a therapist to talk about some of this stuff, but still I don't have high hopes for this relationship. Maybe he can change. But if he does, it'll be because he wants to do it. Not because she spends the next three years begging him to get on Xanax so they can go see a matinee showing of the latest Avengers movie at 11:00 a.m. on a freaking Tuesday. It's not the relationship I'd want to be in clearly, but that choice, that choice is up to you. And I'm wishing you and your boyfriend the best, I really am.
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[00:29:21] All right, next up.
[00:29:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe, I'm making my way through your show catalog. And I'm finding it interesting that many of your guests talk about manifesting, the universe, and all of the other versions of the so-called secret. I know you roll your eyes when it comes up as do I. I have family members who think this way, and it's hard to listen to without reacting, although I try really hard. Understanding why less successful people might want to believe this stuff is pretty easy. But most of your guests have experienced uncommon success. Do you think this manifesting stuff is a mental model that helps them deal with the guilt of their success? Or is it a way to explain their sheer luck? And have you done anything on the psychology of this language? Signed, Manifesting a Response to This Email.
[00:30:10] Jordan Harbinger: This is a really good question. And you're right. I do tend to cringe when I hear anything about manifesting or the universe having your back, or anything like that, because 90 percent of the time or more, when people say stuff like that, they're either diluted or they're just making excuses to not put in the work, or they're just subscribing to a very simplistic view of the world, whatever that might do for them. I won't swear to it, but I've even heard guys like Mark Cuban, I think, say, "Follow your passion," in some speech, commencement speech, whatever that he gave. And I'm like, "Dude, what are you even talking about right now?" That is a load of crap. It's at least, at the very least, not the full story.
[00:30:50] So as far as guests on this show, talking about manifestation and the like, I do think some of it might be guilt about their success. We all have conflicts around our achievements and I think high performers suffer from that in unique ways. So you might be onto something there, but it's also possible that they're just concerned about coming across as narcissistic or entitled. They want to believe they did something important, but they don't want to sound egotistical or patronizing, you know, like, "Hey, I worked my ass off for this. I'm smart. That's why I'm successful." Sometimes this pop spiritual language, it's not necessarily sincere. It's just a way to attribute some success to outside forces and then hedge against the risk of sounding like an arrogant a-h*le.
[00:31:33] Another explanation might be that some of these folks, they don't want to admit the role that luck played in their success, consciously or not. And this language is a way to kind of dress up luck as something more meaningful, or as one of our listeners recently pointed out, it could be some sort of compensation for imposter syndrome, you know? Like, "I couldn't have possibly achieved all this. The universe must have had my back." so it's interesting. There's definitely something seductive about this kind of language. Even among people who don't buy into the Mickey Mouse version of this spiritual stuff. It fulfills a bunch of different functions, but I'm with you, even if it were true on some level, it just sidesteps so much of the valuable thinking that leads to real success in life, which is literally what this entire show is about.
[00:32:21] So I'm puzzled by it. And that's why I cringe when I hear it because not only does it not usually stand up to scrutiny, it doesn't offer any meaningful insight that other people can actually learn from.
[00:32:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: So I hear you, Jordan, and I do tend to agree with that, but I also have a slightly different lens on this because I do think that there's a version of these spiritual ideas. That isn't completely rife with all of this BS and magical thinking.
[00:32:48] So for example, this idea of manifesting what you want in life, whether it's a job or a partner or a vacation or a house, or whatever people dream about, I think most people think that that kind of manifestation is just about, you know, sitting in your apartment, visualizing a corner office, or like the ideal partner or sick house on the beach or something. But we all know that doesn't actually work, right? You can't just sit around hoping something will magically come along. You have to actually do something. You have to act.
[00:33:16] So it's interesting. I recently went back and listened to your interview with Brian Scudamore, the guy who created 1-800-GOT-JUNK. And Jordan, I don't know if you remember this, but in that interview, he actually said, and I'm quoting him here. "You know, I've got this belief at the moment of commitment, the universe will inspire to assist you," by the way, I think he meant conspire, but you get the idea.
[00:33:36] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:33:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: "And so I was committed. I'm like, I'm so committed that I'm spending $2,000 of my hard-earned, small business income to get a logo designed. And so somehow that commitment just had me sticking with it." So that's the quote and you guys kind of got into a little tiff about that. You were like, "Oh, don't get me started on this universe stuff." And then Brian kind of chuckled and said he really believed in it. And then you guys just moved on. That was episode 175, by the way, if you guys want to hear Jordan audibly, roll his eyes at someone on the air.
[00:34:04] Jordan Harbinger: Ugh, yeah, I remember that.
[00:34:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: But when I listened to that again, what I heard was something much more meaningful than just, you know, trust and God will provide or whatever. I think what Brian was saying is that when he took real action and put his own name on the line, his own money on the line, he put an intention out into the world that generated real results. And then the people and the opportunities he encountered seem to want to see him succeed, which is what you often find when you're working on something you really care about.
[00:34:32] So when truly successful people talk about manifestation, I think they're usually talking about something a lot more grounded than what you might read about in The Secret or whatever. They might say something like, "Oh, I manifested this company," or, "I manifested this relationship," but what they really mean is, "I worked my ass off to build this company. I envisioned this company before I began, I was ready to capitalize on that relationship because I was actively looking for every resource and every moment that would help me pull that off. And that's why I was able to see it so clearly." That isn't magical thinking. That's just, you know, imagination plus optimism plus focus and execution.
[00:35:08] Jordan Harbinger: Sure. That's a good point. I was probably being a little uncharitable to Brian Scudamore because I've heard the dumb version of this stuff for so long.
[00:35:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:35:17] Jordan Harbinger: And y'all know, I like to keep it real on this show, but you're right. These spiritual concepts, they have some real truth to them, not metaphysical truth though. I mean, I could say that the universe had my back when I lost my old company and started this new show or that I manifested my own podcast when I recorded episode one. But that doesn't mean I didn't show up every day and put in the work. I wasn't just sitting around trusting that the universe would drop 700 episodes into this RSS feed, visualizing Better Help sponsorships, so they'd come knocking on my door.
[00:35:47] But Brian was making a good point at some level. When you do something you care about and you commit to it fully, life usually has a way of urging you along and helping you out. But again, the commitment has to be there in the first place and then includes the action that goes along with it. And then, of course, there's also a lot of luck and timing that all of the people who talk about this freaking ignore because they can't quantify it.
[00:36:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: And it doesn't make them look as awesome.
[00:36:13] Jordan Harbinger: And it doesn't make them look as awesome. Right. And it's not neatly packed up with a little bow on top. So what happens is these ideas, they get co-opted and then they get corrupted by want-to-be gurus and insufferable life coaches on Instagram who pedal the most basic version of them. And they just lose most of their meaning. And sadly, there are a lot of people out there who would rather believe that all they need to do is visualize a huge bank balance or put their intention out into the universe or whatever, in order to be successful. There's a lot more of those people than there are people who want to put in the work to achieve that success. And that is why I have an allergic frigging reaction whenever I hear this stuff.
[00:36:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Fair enough.
[00:36:52] Jordan Harbinger: Anyway, all that said, if you want to learn more about this, I highly recommend checking out two articles I wrote on this exact topic. The first is called The Right Way to Manifest What You Want, where I talk about the best version of what you might call manifestation, drawing on actual science and practical principles, nothing metaphysical in there. How to, quote-unquote, "manifest things" in a way that actually delivers results and won't make you want to throw your phone across the room at a brick wall. The word "manifest" is basically ruined now. I realize this.
[00:37:22] The other article is the one I mentioned at the top of the show about toxic positivity. That also gets at some of what we've been talking about here. A lot of this spiritual language is wrapped up in the positivity movement and they go hand in hand a lot of the time. So you'll find some good stuff in there about why we are attracted to foe, spiritual concepts like this, pseudo, spiritual, and how to cultivate a healthier version. We'll link to both of those articles in the show notes for you.
[00:37:49] So I hope that helps. I'm manifesting only good things for you. And I know the universe will have your back in finding a way around all this bullsh*t. Namaste. Go ahead and namaste right there. We'll be right back after this short break.
[00:38:05] This episode is sponsored in part by Progressive insurance. Let's face it. Sometimes multitasking can be overwhelming. Like when your favorite podcast is playing, the person next to you is talking, the car fan is blasting, all while you're trying to find the perfect parking spot. But then again, sometimes multitasking is easy, like quoting with Progressive insurance. They do the hard work of comparing rates. So you can find a great rate that works for you, even if it's not with them. Give their comparison tool a try, and you might find getting the rate and coverage you deserve is easy. All you need to do is visit Progressive's website. Get a quote with all the coverage you want, like comprehensive and collision coverage or personal injury protection. Then you'll see Progressive's direct rate. Their tool will provide options from all the other companies lined up and ready to compare. So it's simple to choose the rate and coverage you like. Press play on comparing auto rates, quote at progressive.com to join the over 27 million drivers who trust Progressive.
[00:38:52] Jen Harbinger: Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and affiliates. Comparison rates, not available in all states or situations. Prices vary based on how you buy.
[00:39:00] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by BiOptimizers. P3-OM are probiotics that improve your digestion and nutrient absorption, helping ensure your digestive tract and immune system stay strong and healthy. While many other probiotics on the market don't even survive our own stomach acid, P3-OM is fully tested to make sure the probiotic strains not only survive in your body but also don't compete with each other. So you're as protected as possible from the growth of bad bacteria and other pathogens. While other probiotics require refrigeration and often die in transport and/or on the shelf, P3-OM doesn't need any refrigeration at all.
[00:39:31] Jen Harbinger: So go to p3om.com/jordan. That's P-3-O-M.com/jordan. Or use promo code JORDAN10 to get 10 percent off, p3om.com/jordan.
[00:39:43] Jordan Harbinger: Thanks so much for listening to the show. I really appreciate it. I love these conversations. I love Feedback Friday as well. Your support of our advertisers is what keeps us rolling around knee-deep in free energy drinks and, I don't know, supplements for your bowels. To get more information on all the discounts you've heard, all the deals for the show, go to jordanharbinger.com/deals. You can also search for any sponsor on the show using the search box on the website as well. Please consider supporting those who support this show.
[00:40:12] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:40:16] All right, next up.
[00:40:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, two and a half years ago, I left my wife. Over the two years, we were married, she was physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive. And I still feel slightly traumatized from it all. Furthermore, the divorce was anything but amicable and I was left almost completely broke and away from my friends and family. Shortly afterward, I got into another relationship with a woman, which although somewhat healthier, it left me feeling even more bitter and resentful. Since then I've been able to bounce back. And in many ways, my life is the best it's ever been. I moved to a new city that I love. I have a good job and I've made more friends than I've had in a long time. I've also gotten involved in another relationship that is far better than my previous two. She's kind, sweet, and fun, and she doesn't have the toxic qualities that the others did. I can picture myself marrying her and living happily ever after. But after the way, my previous two relationships ended, I feel like I've become a commitment phobe. It's also not lost on me, that I jumped into new relationships quickly after the previous one ended, I feel like those experiences have soured me on being in a committed relationship. And at this point in my life, I want to live as a wild swinging bachelor. At the same time, I know that women like her, rarely if ever come into my life. And I feel like leaving her to pursue this new lifestyle is foolish. Plus, I'm 33 years old, so even though I'm still relatively young, I'm not exactly in the age demo for going to frat parties and the like. I go back and forth almost every day on the subject. And I feel like I'm on borrowed time to make a decision. I don't want to waste her time. Yet I know I'll regret letting her walk away. What should I do? Signed, A Serial Monogamist, Looking for a Way Out of This.
[00:42:01] Jordan Harbinger: Well, first of all, congrats on pulling your life together after these tough relationships. That's really great to hear. Moving cities, getting a great job, making new friends, choosing a much healthier partner, that's really a huge sign of growth. So good on you, man. But now you feel the urge to end this relationship, even though this girl is great. And that's interesting. There are a few pieces to this puzzle. Let's take them one at a time.
[00:42:26] First of all, I think you need to get very clear on where this desire to flee is coming from. Do you want to cut ties because you're actually traumatized by the last two relationships and you're afraid your current one will end up the same way? In which case, is there actually any evidence that's going to happen or is that just the conditioning talking? Or do you want to be on your own because you just don't feel very strongly about your current girlfriend as great as she is? Or do you want to be single because you just want to be independent and have some fun after being in several relationships back to back? Maybe there's some residual energy from the last few years, maybe even some residual anger and you need to discharge that, and playing the field is the only way that you know how. Those are the questions that you need to ask yourself because what's hard about the situation you're in, you're not really clear on where this impulse to leave is coming from. As long as those motivations are jumbled in your head, you'll be confused about what to do next.
[00:43:23] The best advice I can offer you is to seriously consider going to therapy. The immediate goal is to figure out what to do about this relationship, but there's so much more for you to explore in therapy, these other two toxic relationships. What drew you to them? Why you tend to jump into new relationships so quickly. All of that will probably take you into even older territory, childhood, family dynamics, early relationships, all that. The more you can dig into that stuff, the more those feelings are going to start to make sense.
[00:43:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's absolutely right. This conflict he has about commitment is obviously complex. I'm sure the last two relationships did play a big role, but you don't end up in two terrible relationships back to back if there weren't other variables already at play that led you to those relationships. And also that made you draw the conclusion, that commitment just isn't for you right now.
[00:44:18] And the reason I know there's a lot for him to figure out in therapy, Jordan, is that this conflict he's describing is very stark. He's not wishy-washy or indifferent about his current girlfriend. It sounds to me like he really likes her. She's kind. She's sweet. She's fun. She doesn't have these horrible qualities that the other women did. He can picture himself marrying her and living happily ever after. And yet he wants to leave.
[00:44:43] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's interesting. Right? He marries the abusive woman. They stay together for two years. He jumps into a new relationship with another problematic person that lasts for a while. Then he meets this new girl. She's nothing like the others. She actually sounds pretty amazing. And yeah, he wants to jump ship.
[00:45:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly. This commitment phobia he's describing I believe that it's real. And yes, those two relationships probably did do a number on him, but marrying the wrong person, jumping into another bad relationship right away. I don't know. It's interesting, even that can be a form of avoiding commitment, right? You're settling down. You're giving it a go. But if that relationship is fundamentally with the wrong person, then you're not really in an intimate relationship at all, most likely. Choosing toxic partners, abusive partners, or even just partners you don't really feel all that strongly about — that can often be a very clever way of maintaining distance and staying safe. Those kinds of relationships can even make you feel like you're on your own, ultimately, because deep down you know that you're not really connected to the other person.
[00:45:49] Jordan Harbinger: Interesting. So what you're saying is the commitment phobia could have existed long before the bad relationships but maybe on an unconscious level.
[00:45:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure. Yeah. It could have existed long before the bad relationships or at least the precursor to the commitment phobia could have been there. Yeah. I think that's possible. The bad relationships might have confirmed this new thought that he's afraid of commitment, but in reality, the fear of commitment might have drawn him into those relationships in the first place. And then operated in those relationships the entire time, which to your point, Jordan almost certainly goes back to earlier experiences, family, and all that. And him jumping into a new relationship right away, I thought that was also very interesting and I love that he's already onto himself there a little bit. That's great. That can also be a way to avoid having to just be with himself and look at all of this stuff more objectively.
[00:46:36] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Well, just one more reason to go to therapy, I suppose.
[00:46:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Just another good reason to get on the couch. So look, is this new woman, definitely the right person for you? It's impossible for us to say, you might want to break up with her because you just don't feel that strongly about her. And that is fair. It might even be the right thing to do. But when you say that women like her, rarely, if ever come into your life, when you feel like it would be foolish to leave her to go, you know, get swasted to the club every weekend, when you know that you're going to regret letting her walk away, that's what gives me pause. That there's someone, you know, is special right in front of you, and you feel strongly about this person and something is still holding you back from committing to her. That's what I would want to figure out before you break up and then six months go by and you realize you're not any happier and your fundamental patterns haven't changed at all. And then you wonder why you did it in the first place.
[00:47:27] Jordan Harbinger: That's a really good point, Gabe. You know, when you have certain dysfunctional patterns or templates like this guy with these difficult partners, oftentimes the healthy and loving thing can feel weird or wrong or out of place, or just scary. And if he's running away because this great woman who doesn't hit him and tear him down and make him miserable, just feels, I don't know, boring or unattractive, or just weird and different. Not stimulating enough, even though she's not pushing all the unhealthy buttons you have—
[00:47:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:47:54] Jordan Harbinger: And you're like, what's missing in this relationship?
[00:47:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep.
[00:47:56] Jordan Harbinger: That's a signal that there's a lot for him to know about his history and his needs. And again, time to get on that couch, brah. Whatever you decide to do about this relationship, make sure you do it with as much insight and self-awareness as possible, so you can make a decision that's truly sound and not just one that's being informed unconsciously by the past. Good luck.
[00:48:19] All right. Next up.
[00:48:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan, you talk a lot about how much you read for the show and how you retain the right information by taking good notes. Can you describe your reading process? How do you take notes? What are those steps? Signed, A Book Worm Who Yearns to Confirm Things for the Long Term.
[00:48:35] Jordan Harbinger: So I do have a pattern here. Some of the note-taking has to do with appropriate questions for the show. And I'll go over this. All right. I don't read paper at all. I don't even read screens. There's too distracting. I've done episodes about focus and things like that. Screens are bad generally, especially for me. So I download the audio. Usually, almost always there's audio or there's a YouTube talk or a TED Talk or there's some presentation that's audio or video. I download that. I import it into an app called Overcast or another blind reader, depending on the type of media.
[00:49:08] An Overcast will trim silence. So it'll trim long pauses and audiobooks that are between words. It'll just cut it out. So it's not that there's no silence. It's at all those pauses, like, "Chapter one," three seconds later, "going to Marrakech," all that's just cut. And then I listen at 2X, so it's much, much, much faster. And I read and listen, I should say while walking to avoid distraction and restlessness. That's sort of like when you get great ideas in the shower or you get great ideas in a swimming pool, all of my nervous energy or physical energy is being taken up by walking. So I can really focus on what I'm hearing.
[00:49:45] I also walk the same route in my neighborhood. So there's no surprises most of the time. I'm not lost. I don't have to pay attention really to where I'm going. The people around me tend to be about the same. I'm careful when I cross roads and all that. But, you know, I, other than that, I'm kind of just zoned in and I take notes in a Google Doc on my phone, and I'm just writing down salient points, things that trigger questions for me, milestones in a story, things like that. I use shorthand on my phone because I don't want to be typing. Sometimes I also use dictation that will auto-pause the audio. And then starts playing it again after the note. So it's almost like they made that feature for me, right? It pauses the audio, types it in, and then unpauses when it's done.
[00:50:26] And then when I get home or later on, I will review the notes, make sure that it didn't say something like, you know, when you dictate something and the word cheese shows up instead of she's, you know, I go and get rid of those. And I also will write down or clarify any questions that I have about my notes. And then I do that again before the interview when I'm arranging all my notes. That's different though. You're not asking about the reading or you're asking about the reading, you're not asking how I organize a show. That's a whole different process, but those are the basic notes that I have and that I take and it saves me hours. I read one or two, sometimes even three books a week.
[00:50:58] Another thing I recommend, send some of the best passages or quotes or insights from the stuff you read to your friends, colleagues, family, et cetera, from time to time. And then, you're getting a lot more mileage out of your reading by making it a part of your relationship building. And the ideas will stick in your head longer because you're actively engaging with them. And a lot of times people will ask you questions about that, or you'll get into a conversation about that. And you'll actually, sometimes if you're me, remember that bit, at least a little bit, but I don't remember everything I read. That's ridiculous. Don't think that for a second, I use notes. Don't think that after every show I'm like, "Good. I memorized everything that Dr. Shanna Swan said about phthalates." I mean, I get one or two things out of a show, and then it's in one ear and out the other, just like everybody listening to this show.
[00:51:46] So I hope y'all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this week and everyone who listened. Thank you so much. Go back and check out Brad Klontz and Marion Nestle.
[00:51:54] If you want to know how I managed to book all these great people and manage my relationships, using systems, software, and tiny habit, check out our Six-Minute Networking course, that course is free over there on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. I'm teaching you how to dig the well before you get thirsty. Build relationships before you need them, maintain them with minimal effort. These drills, they really do take less than four or five minutes a day. It's really the type of habit that has made this business, this show successful. I wish I knew this stuff. 20 years ago, jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:52:27] A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts are always in the show notes. Advertisers, deals, discount codes, all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram. You can also hit me on LinkedIn. And you can find Gabe on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:52:47] 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, and I'm a lawyer, but not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on this show.
[00:53:04] Colleen Riddle's input is general psychological information based on research and experience. It's intended to be general and informational in nature. It does not represent or indicate an established clinical or professional relationship with those inquiring for guidance.
[00:53:16] And last but not least, remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love. 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.
[00:53:34] You're about to hear a preview of The Jordan Harbinger Show with a pain psychologist that helps people manage chronic pain when all else has failed.
[00:53:43] Rachel Zoffness: None of us are going to escape pain. Pain is part of being human. All of us at some point, if we haven't already, are going to experience pain. It seems about time we understood it, knew how it worked and knew what to do about it. So I am what's called a pain psychologist, which no one has ever heard of people say, "Oh, well, you must treat emotional pain." The answer to that is no.
[00:54:04] Pain is always both physical and emotional. That's what neuroscience says. And in fact, what we know is that negative emotions like stress and anxiety or depression or anger or frustration, turn up pain volume in the brain. We think and are trained that pain lives in the body like in your back or in your knee. It is of course true that things may be going wrong in your back or in your knee but that isn't where pain lives. Pain lives in the brain. Pain does not always indicate danger.
[00:54:39] When you have chronic pain and your brain has become sensitive, small bits of non-dangerous input from the body are being interpreted incorrectly as dangerous. You've seen that car alarm, you're looking out your window and that car, the lights are flashing and the horn is beeping and you're like, "Brah, no, one's breaking in. You're safe. The glass isn't even broken." That's a brain on chronic pain. So it's just so important for people with pain to know that part of what's happening for them is that their brain has become extra sensitive and it is alarming when it doesn't need to. And it can be hacked. Guess what you and I are doing today?
[00:55:24] Jordan Harbinger: To hear more from Dr. Rachel Zoffness about how pain works in the body and brain, check out episode 661 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
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