Your significant other is hyper-productive and passionate, but you suspect their motivation is hitched to bipolar tendencies that take their toll on you. What are some strategies you can build to deal with this type of personality and keep yourself sane? We’ll tackle this and more here on Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- What’s the true value of friends?
- Your significant other is hyper-productive and passionate, but you suspect their motivation is hitched to bipolar tendencies that take their toll on you. What are some strategies you can build to deal with this type of personality and keep yourself sane?
- A past business partnership turned sour and went bust. While you’ve moved on and started your own successful business since then, you can’t help but harbor ill will for your past partner and how things went down. How can you just get over it, already?
- Already the parents of a special needs child, you made the difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy that would have resulted in another. Unfortunately, your in-laws were religiously opposed to the option you chose and you had to exaggerate the diagnosis for their support. How do you strike a balance between the part these in-laws play in your life and your own family’s autonomy?
- In your 30s, you changed careers to a frontline job in healthcare. It gave you personal fulfillment and more money, but also a challenging lifestyle with lots of on-call time while raising two children. Now that your kids are older, should you commit your last working years to “contributing to the profession,” or is it okay to finish out your career continuing to focus on giving great care to your patients?
- On the networking list you created for Six-Minute Networking, you tend to mostly include older professionals with more experience. Is this the right way to go, or should you stay connected with your peers as well?
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at email@example.com!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
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Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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Miss the show we did with Tip “T.I.” Harris — award-winning rapper, actor, entrepreneur, family man, philanthropist, author, activist, and host of the expediTIously podcast? Catch up with episode 262: Tip “T.I.” Harris | ExpediTIously Expressive!
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Resources from This Episode:
- Stephen Schwarzman | Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence | Jordan Harbinger
- Srdja Popovic | Blueprint for Revolution | Jordan Harbinger
- 68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice | The Technium
- What’s Bipolar Disorder? How Do I Know If I Have It? | Healthline
- Ask the Doctor: What is Hypomania? | Harvard Health
- Cyclothymia (Cyclothymic Disorder) Symptoms and Causes | Mayo Clinic
- The National Institute of Mental Health
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness
- Oprah’s Life Lesson from Maya Angelou: ‘When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them’ | HuffPost
- Schadenfreude | Legion of Weirdos
- Abortion Is an Unwinnable Argument | The Atlantic
- Six-Minute Networking
- Iraqi Kurdistan Profile | BBC News
- Serendipity | Prime Video
Transcript for How to Cope with Your Partner’s Manic Mind | Feedback Friday (Episode 449)
Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Today, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, my teammate in two cents, Gabriel Mizrahi. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people. And we turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We want to help you see that Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. Our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. So you can get a deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening even inside your own mind.
[00:00:36] If you're new to the show on Fridays, we give advice to you and answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes to authors, to thinkers and performers. And if you want a selection of featured episodes, we're working on a get-started pack. But in the meantime, you can go to jordanharbinger.com. We've got some featured episodes right there on the front page.
[00:00:57] This week, we had Stephen Schwarzman, head of Blackstone, one of the wealthiest men in the world discussing economic trends and the habits of the uber-wealthy, especially mental models of the uber-wealthy, not just habits and indulgences. We also had Srdja Popovic from the vault. This guy, Gabriel, he ran a resistance group inside Serbia in the '90s. And later that helped overthrow the dictator Slobodan Milosevic. And he's like our age, you know, maybe even younger. And they did it all through kind of weakening the dictator's grip by making fun of them like viral art and stuff like that, or like city art installations like that. They dressed a trashcan up like him. And they had a bat where people could smash it and they just put it in a really high traffic area and stuff like that. It was so interesting how he explained this is, how it chips away at the authority and the perception of untouchability that a dictator has when you can troll them, basically in public, and allow other people to do that.
[00:01:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's dope — cultural resistance, cultural warfare.
[00:01:52] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:01:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's wild.
[00:01:53] Jordan Harbinger: It's funny because when artists say stuff like, "This is a resistance piece." I'm just like, "Get over yourself. You're kidding me. It's garbage glued to a poster board."
[00:02:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:02:01] Jordan Harbinger: But they're kind of their stuff wasn't just art. They were doing a lot of subversive stuff, but they also did, I guess what you would call art installations but really were functional. It was more function over form. Anyway, we talked about some of the strategies that he used to degrade that regime. And I think that stuff's more applicable now than ever. Look at Bellaruse there's a resistance going on there too. There's all kinds of stuff like that happening around the world. So I thought that was a good episode to revisit.
[00:02:26] So make sure you've had a listen to all of that. By the way, for this advice show, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep those emails concise. Use a descriptive subject line. If there's something you're going through, a big decision you're wrestling with, or if you need a new perspective on anything — love, life, work, whatever. What to do if your family goes thermonuclear over politics this holiday season. Whatever's got you staying up at night, hit us up at email@example.com. We're here to help. We keep everyone anonymous.
[00:02:54] And speaking of a family going thermonuclear, writer and entrepreneur, Kevin Kelly, who's been on the show — well, a long time ago — he mentioned the value of friends and he said, "Friends are better than money. Almost anything money can do, friends can do better. In so many ways, a friend with a boat is better than owning a boat." Which by the way, that last part, even though it's, Gabriel, kind of like a rhetorical device, he's a hundred percent true. Never buy a boat, but it's great to have a friend who has a boat.
[00:03:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally.
[00:03:20] Jordan Harbinger: I love this because of course, we do our Six-Minute Networking course at jordanharbinger.com/course, which is free. That teaches you how to create those connections, but I've never thought about the idea that anything money can do, friends can do better. And I'm trying to think of examples like counterexamples and he's right on so many counts. Anything money can do, friends can do better. So let that marinate this weekend.
[00:03:43] Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:03:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I've been with my boyfriend for four and a half years, and I'm really intrigued by his intelligence and curiosity. He works as a physician and also has his own biotech company that he is trying to push through phase one clinical trials. Additionally, he is a former stock trader and he has been placing more money into stocks recently. He's obviously very accomplished, but here's the thing is one to make himself suffer and can be a bit all over the place with this thinking. He'll usually come home, dump all of his work stress on me, complain about all of the academic nuances of his company, and then go into great detail about the bets that he put on the market. His mood is more cyclical. And when he gets into these more manic phases, he gets super scatterbrained and tends to drag me down with his "ideas." And Jordan, Gabe, it is exhausting. For example, we've been talking about moving, getting married, and having kids. One week, we were going to move to Utah. Then the next week he asked me if we could move into his parents' old house. One week is great and he's in a good mood, especially if he'd made money that week. Next week, a totally different story. His drinking also substantially increases during these phases. He interviewed for a job in Utah, but they never returned his emails afterward. At the end of all these rollercoaster emotions and ideas, he goes back to, "Oh, well, let's just keep living our life here," but I need a change. I've asked him to filter some of this information because it's gotten to the point where I don't want to come home from work due to feeling so stressed. I'm a physician, so I have a busy life of my own, and I can't keep coming home to someone who I see as drowning and using me as his lifeline. He has improved somewhat, but I can't get him to commit to a firm plan for our lives. I feel left in the dark and as if I'm more of an option to him and not a priority. For example, I had a biopsy last week and I told him about the appointment time and date. He forgot when I came home, I was sore and I texted him to bring an ice pack to me. I knew he was on the phone, but he never helped me or returned my text. I know it's small, but I felt I couldn't even depend on him when I wasn't feeling well. I'm currently in therapy and he's promised to set up therapy for us for months now, but that has not gone anywhere either. What are some strategies I can build to deal with this type of person and keep myself sane? Signed, Mixed Up, and Mired in Mania.
[00:05:53] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Okay. So you picked a good question, one, Gabe as usual. There's a lot to unpack here. Honestly, the drinking thing, I meant to say it earlier. I didn't want to interrupt you. The fact that his drinking ramps up. That just smacks of self-medicating and also is such a major red flag. There's a lot of red flags in here, but whenever you throw a substance in there, like you have a substance abuse issue potentially along with the mental health stuff I'm seeing here, that is just a—
[00:06:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Petrol on the fire.
[00:06:20] Jordan Harbinger: Oh gosh. Yes, exactly. Gasoline on a fire. First of all, I'm sorry that you're in this situation. Struggling to make what sounds like a very chaotic relationship actually work. That's always a huge challenge. In this case, though, it's especially draining because based on what you're describing, and I think you already know, but let's be super clear here. Your boyfriend seems to be wrestling with some pretty gnarly mental health issues. These are serious. I hesitate to diagnose him based on the letter. I'm not even a doctor. I don't even play one on a podcast. I'm not a psychologist, but everything you're describing the manic phases, the mood swings, the talkativeness, the distractibility, the impulsive behavior, the scattered thinking — all of that is fairly consistent. Gabe, correct me if I'm wrong if you know anything about this. It sounds a little bit bipolar, right? It sounds like the bipolar spectrum.
[00:07:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Definitely.
[00:07:05] Jordan Harbinger: And it could be hypomania or — I don't know all the different types here. I just—
[00:07:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, it could be hypomania.
[00:07:12] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:07:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: It could be, I don't know, cyclothymia. It could be straight, actual bipolar disorder, but yes, I'm getting that vibe.
[00:07:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I honestly don't know the differences in those. I don't know the nuances. And even if I did, I don't think we'd be in a position to point out, but whatever it is, he's definitely in the grip of something pretty intense. There's a part of me that knows — like I have my entrepreneur side of my brain, Gabe, where I'm like, "Oh, somebody who does this, normal." Like when I'm looking at that letter, I go, "Okay. Normal to be really overly excited about this." I'd probably be boring Jen to death if she wasn't part of the business. But then when it's like these crazy manic phases and then the swings — the swings are what's even more bizarre. Right? Let's just like up to 11.
[00:07:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:07:51] Jordan Harbinger: And then kind of, not even back to what seems like normal, but kind of the other way and just giving up on it. That's not normal behavior. The most concerning thing about this letter though is your experience. You're in a relationship with somebody who, as you put it views you as an option and not a priority. And that's a big red flag in any relationship, regardless of the reason that it's happening. Someone who can't or won't do basic things to take care of you when you need it. Somebody who's draining you mentally and emotionally, who won't commit to a future, who won't get the help he needs to work on the relationship, or even address these mental health issues from the sound of it. It almost sounds like you're orbiting this highly unstable planet. Getting sucked into the gravitational pole and struggling to stay close without getting consumed by it completely. And that's an uncomfortable position. Even if you stripped out all of the mental health stuff going on here, these would still be major problems in any relationship.
[00:08:43] Also, I really identify with not wanting to come home because of the stress. When I lived with my old business partner and his girlfriend, I'd go to a coffee shop during the day to work, or I'd even stay in my room, which is just so gross, so cringe now. Then I'd go to the gym, then I'd go to another coffee shop or cafe to work. Then I'd go to Denny's at like 10:00 p.m. or nine to work some more until I knew that they were in bed, just so I could avoid them.
[00:09:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: You know, it's bad when you're going to Denny's to avoid somebody.
[00:09:11] Jordan Harbinger: Dude, if I'm having a grand slam at 10:30 PM to avoid somebody that is a train wreck.
[00:09:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, that's a red flag right there.
[00:09:20] Jordan Harbinger: That is a red flag with 2.99. Can't beat that.
[00:09:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's definitely something on the grand slam spectrum.
[00:09:26] Jordan Harbinger: Yes, it certainly is. Yes, it certainly, certainly is.
[00:09:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: But why were you doing that? Like why, why did you feel you had to avoid them like that?
[00:09:33] Jordan Harbinger: They were fighting constantly.
[00:09:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ooh.
[00:09:37] Jordan Harbinger: They weren't like throwing shoes at me or something when I got home. I didn't think that it was a problem. I just wanted to stay away from their weird relationship drama. But then—
[00:09:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:09:46] Jordan Harbinger: —as it happened, I ended up going to — this is when I first started doing therapy. This is years ago now, of course, this is like, I don't know, five-plus years ago now or something and maybe even longer. I went to my therapist there for the first time. And she's like, "You live with crazy people." And I was like, "Eh, they're not that bad." And she's like, "Here are all these things you just told me." And then I go, "Well, at least I'm not the target of it." She's like, "Right now." And then, sure enough, like clockwork almost like she texted them and said like, "Okay, start abusing Jordan." They would like makeup things that I did, that I didn't really do. And they would both gang up on me. I didn't get it because it was just so delusional. Now, I realized, and of course, through talking with my therapist back then too, she's like, "They're making you a common enemy because it feels good to them because they can ignore their relationship problems." If they say like, "This Jordan guy is just in our face and ruining our lives." So I thought, "You know what? If I'm that bad, I'm just never going to go home at all." And I stayed away a lot, but my therapist is like, "They're still going to make up something. They're going to say, 'You're not here enough. So you don't participate in the household or something.'" And sure enough, I'd go back and they'd be like, "You don't even hear anymore." And I'm like, "Who cares? I'm paying rent. What are you complaining?" And they would just make up problems. And I realized that it was about them and their relationships. So I moved out. And they broke up like a month later.
[00:10:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh wow.
[00:10:58] Jordan Harbinger: They fought the entire time and they broke up a month or two after that, yeah.
[00:11:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: They didn't have the common enemy anymore.
[00:11:04] Jordan Harbinger: They didn't have a common enemy. What are they going to do? Say, "Our roommate that moved out two months ago was ruining our lives." I mean, at some point you got to realize you're the problem. Right?
[00:11:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. Yeah. Eating too many steak and eggs at Denny's at 10:00 p.m. God damn it. That guy sucks.
[00:11:16] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Yeah. "Well, he's coming home late." Okay, I mean, he's 27, right at the time or whatever. Just none of it made sense. And I remember telling my mom and my mom's like, "I don't understand, but maybe they're doing this." And I thought, my mom, doesn't know. My therapist is dead on. She was like, "You're just there whipping boy. You're their punching bag. As long as they have you, they can tell themselves that their relationship is not failing because of the stuff they did."
[00:11:38] Anyway, this is a digression, but I still think is a useful lesson for people that find themselves being someone else's pincushion. Anyway, like I said, I moved out within three to four weeks. My therapist said, "Look, man, you've done a 180. You basically don't even need to come here anymore, at least not for this type of stuff." Because I was like a totally different person.
[00:11:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh wow.
[00:11:57] Jordan Harbinger: It was crazy. It's power — living with crazy is powerful. That's why I always say if, when people write in here when they live with somebody who's horrible, even if it's like a family member, I'm like, "Get out of there." Yes, I know you can't afford it. Yes, I know that you feel bad. Yes, I know that that person needs you to get out of there. Live in a tent on a friend's lawn, literally, if you have to. You will feel better. There's a whole lot of stress and tension that you hold in your body and in your psyche when you're around people that are not getting along. I'm one of those people who's like getting divorced. If you have kids and you're fighting, get divorced. It's better. And people are like, "Oh, I don't know. Divorce is bad." It's worse when your parents are fighting all the time.
[00:12:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Agree.
[00:12:36] Jordan Harbinger: It's much worse.
[00:12:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally.
[00:12:37] Jordan Harbinger: Not that I have firsthand experience with it, but we've seen enough of these in the inbox. Have we not? Anyway, so given all that, I was a little surprised by your question, which is basically, "How can I develop some strategies to cope with this person?" Because I think what you're looking for is a way to stay in the relationship in a way that's tolerable to you, a way that's livable. But what you're really asking is, "How do I make my boyfriend not the way he is/how do I numb myself to this current situation?" In other words, numb myself to the way he is. You're asking for coping strategies, but what you really want is for your boyfriend's bipolar shenanigans to not bother you so much. But it's okay for it to bother you. Gabe, there's an analogy here or metaphor that I'm sort of missing, but it's like, imagine you're treading a bunch of water because you're drowning. You're in the middle of the ocean and a boat pulls up and they're like, "Hey, what can we do to help?" And instead of saying, "Pull me into the dang boat." You're like, "Ah, give me some floaties."
[00:13:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. "Can you teach me how to backstroke? Can I just like swim alongside the boat while you guys try—"
[00:13:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. "Let me swim alongside the boat. Throw me some floaties," or like, "Give me a ham sandwich. I'm hungry. I've been working hard out here."
[00:13:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree. It is okay for this to bother her because it's freaking bothersome.
[00:13:46] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:13:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: I mean, this behavior that she's describing, it's dysfunctional, it's illogical. It's confusing. It's often pretty hurtful. So I'm getting the vibe, I don't know about you, but I'm getting the vibe that she has been justifying or ignoring this for a long time in the hope that this guy will magically change, which you probably won't. Or that you will magically stop being affected by him, which you shouldn't.
[00:14:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I bet you. You're right. I bet you, this was like, "Oh, once we move things will be fine." And it's like, "Oh crap. We're never moving at all." And there's all kinds of stuff going on. So really there's two options here. I see. And Gabe, you can always jump in if I'm missing anything, but. Option one, except that your boyfriend is probably bipolar, and think carefully about what a life with this person will be like. And not just bipolar, but like unmedicated, untreated, right? There's plenty of people that are bipolar that are lovely and have it under control and you know, not all the time, but—
[00:14:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally.
[00:14:35] Jordan Harbinger: —are working really hard at it. I'm not trying to—
[00:14:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Different situation.
[00:14:38] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I don't want to stigmatize people who have it and say like, "Hey everybody who has this as broken and run from them." That's not the case, but definitely, somebody who's not really willing to take any steps there. Take some time to really consider what you would need in order to make that relationship work and develop strategies for living with somebody like that. I'm sure you know that that's not easy. If you want to go that route, you'll definitely want to seek out the resources you need.
[00:14:59] I'm glad to hear you have a therapist because that's going to be key — the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. We'll link to those in the show notes. A lot of good info there if you need some extra support. Overall though, you're going to have to set very firm boundaries if you stay in this relationship here, boyfriend's moods, don't dominate your life. You'll have to come to some agreement about what kind of behavior you will and will not put up with and decide what to do when your boyfriend doesn't live up to that agreement, doesn't uphold his end of the bargain. You might have to also consider some practical things that could become problems in the relationship.
[00:15:31] For example, a lot of partners of bipolar people have to maintain separate bank accounts so they can protect themselves from a partner who might drain their money market account and go buy a Lamborghini or two white Mercedes cars. These are real examples by the way. Or blow their kid's college fund on a trip to Vegas or something like that. I'm not saying everyone who has this does these things, but it happens a lot. And I don't know if money is a concern in your relationship, but I'm sure that there are other liabilities like that, maybe around the drinking, maybe around the house hunting, things like that.
[00:16:02] So if you decide to stay, you need to go in with eyes wide open. No justifying, no minimizing, no ignoring. Accept your boyfriend fully as he is, and build a mental and emotional financial moat in order to protect yourself. I know that's not the PC, everything's going to be a fine answer, but you gotta be careful here. You've got to protect yourself financially especially. Obviously, this is a lot to take on. Many people manage to do it. So it is possible. Option two though, you decide this isn't the relationship you want to be in and you leave, obviously, that's up to you. But to help you explore that decision, I would ask yourself a few questions. One, what do you want from a partner in general? Two, what are you getting out of the relationship? Three, what needs of yours are not getting met? Four, what would you be doing, feeling, and experiencing if you were not in this relationship? And five, what are your reasons for staying?
[00:16:55] As you can probably tell, I think there are some very compelling reasons for you to end this relationship, but I'm not advocating for that. It's your decision to make. I just know that it's not as simple as, "Well, pack up and leave." When you've been together for four and a half years, there's a history there there's a lot to disentangle. There's a lot of feelings. And look, he sounds like in many ways, he's an awesome person. So. You don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. But in my view, history is not a good enough reason to stay in a relationship if you're miserable and if the relationship is creating very real liabilities on top of it.
[00:17:26] That said if your boyfriend is willing to go to therapy, if he's willing to go on medication, then that's a different story. It's not impossible by any means for somebody with bipolar disorder to be in a healthy relationship, not impossible. And I'm definitely not suggesting that people with this disorder don't deserve to be in one. But you should know that the divorce rates for bipolar people are crazy high — about twice the rate of the general population, according to some studies and the ride is often pretty bumpy, to put it mildly.
[00:17:54] At the end of the day, you cannot make someone who doesn't want to get help, get help. You can't do it. So if your boyfriend has shown that he's not interested in talking to somebody and doing that work, then I would listen to him on that. That Maya Angelou quote, that we always misattribute. I finally got it right. "When someone shows you who they are, believe them." Seriously, consider whether it's worth staying or if you would be better off parting ways, finding a partner who is stable and attuned to your needs, and building a very different life for yourself. So I would explore both of those options and make a decision that feels right for you.
[00:18:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes. Because if she were to get the answer to the question she was originally asking, then she's, I think, going to be in for quite a difficult life, a pretty bumpy ride as you put it. The question she should be asking, "Do I stay, or do I leave?" That is a much more challenging and probably pretty painful question to consider, but it's the right one. And I know that is a scary question to consider. There's a reason that you've been avoiding it. Neither of your options here is pain-free though. And in trying to avoid that pain, I think you're probably only creating more of it for yourself. So I think Jordan is right on. I would encourage you to find the courage to face the real question and see what comes up for you. And that'll tell you what you need to do.
[00:19:03] Jordan Harbinger: And you know, who will always get you an ice pack for that biopsy? Gabriel Mizrahi, that's who.
[00:19:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Why me?
[00:19:09] Jordan Harbinger: That's right.
[00:19:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: How am I going to deliver the ice pack? You mean the emotional ice pack.
[00:19:13] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, but I mean, I'm just trying to say, look, Gabe is single.
[00:19:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ooh.
[00:19:15] Jordan Harbinger: He's on the market.
[00:19:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Got it.
[00:19:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. And my brother-in-law is also single and gainfully employed.
[00:19:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Got it. Just pimping out all the single men in your life on this episode.
[00:19:23] Jordan Harbinger: Why not? Why not? 2020. I got nothing else to do, man. I can't leave the house.
[00:19:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hilarious.
[00:19:27] Jordan Harbinger: I can't leave the house. All I do is change diapers. And now I'm going to play Jewish grandma matchmaker. "Have you met? You're also tall. You have a lot in common."
[00:19:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh man. That was really funny.
[00:19:42] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
[00:19:47] This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help online counseling. I'm a huge fan of therapy. I'm a huge fan of Better Help. I've said this before, but I have done therapy for quite a long time. I wish I could do it every day because it does keep you sane. And if you are already losing your marbles, this will bring you back to reality. But if you think like, "Oh, I've got it together." You may be surprised at what comes out when you get a therapist, sort of picking around in there. Again, I recommend it, whether you are completely losing it, or whether you think you have it together, at least give therapy a try. Whether you've got some anxiety or grief or relationship stuff, sleeping issues. Fill out a questionnaire. They'll help you assess your needs. You get matched in 48 hours. Chat, text, video phone, all is done in your phone. No parking, no driving, and everything you share is confidential.
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[00:21:52] Jordan Harbinger: And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:21:57] All right, what's next.
[00:21:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabriel. About two years ago, I went through something similar to what Jordan did when he lost his old show and started up the new one. In my case, it was a friendly business venture that in the end was not a good fit for me. After a solid year pouring much of my time, energy, handyman, and organizational skills into building this business. My partner put me in my place in front of our clients. It became very clear that my sweat equity didn't actually translate to my partner as she had promised. It was a pretty ugly and emotional exchange and I quit the business. Within hours of this exchange, however, I decided to start my own business. It was truly the best thing that could have happened and I'm much happier now. That said it took me a long time to let it go. And even still, I sometimes allow it to occupy my mind. So my question for you is, do you have any suggestions as to how one can expedite or lessen the emotional aspect of getting over such a traumatic event? I also still harbor ill will for this person and that does not sit well with me. Any tips on how to truly forgive and forget. Sincerely, Stayed in the Game, but Still Mad at the Owner of the Other Team.
[00:23:01] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man, well, I'm sorry you went through this, but it sounds like it really was for the best. I hate that phrase. But you handled it in a way that made it for the best. Work breakups are super painful. Business breakups are super painful and I know it's normal to feel a wound there. I think it's normal anyway, a little sting. I got to say I admire your honesty and self-awareness about all of this. It sounds to me like you didn't wallow. You didn't play the victim at least not for too long. But you're not denying that this whole experience was also painful for you. And I know that it's unpleasant to acknowledge that, but I actually think it's better than stuffing it down and pretending that nothing gets to you at all. So well done on that.
[00:23:38] So how do you expedite or lessen the pain of a traumatic event like this? As with most things, the only way out is through. And I mean, even right now, I'm having a vicarious and visceral reaction to this letter because it brings up negative feelings of my own. That's still a real thing maybe there are exercises and hacks that can get you there faster. I'm just not convinced. That's the right approach. The best way to expedite this process is just to go through it fully and consciously and not to deny your thoughts or feelings while you do. In my experience, it's avoiding that process, that drags it out. So if you feel like you're angry, if you feel like you're embarrassed, or hurt, or whatever it is, I would acknowledge those feelings. I would sit with them and try to understand what they are telling you and give them some healthy expression, whether it's venting to a close friend or journaling about it, or even writing into this show, as you've done. Over time, I promise that they will quiet down. Not because you're ignoring them, but because you're actually accepting them.
[00:24:35] In my case, I went on a zillion podcasts and I told literally hundreds of friends and acquaintances about what happened to me with my business partners, I should say. I wore it on my sleeve. I told the story candidly, and it worked out great. It helped me rebuild. And I think a lot of people can identify with getting screwed over by somebody in a way that's unfair. And the other thing that you have to do, and it sounds like you're already doing this, just keep investing in yourself. Use that resentment and disappointment as fuel to build your new life, your new business. When you notice yourself feeling angry, ask yourself how you can be the kind of person who wouldn't anger, someone else that way. Also if it's not three o'clock in the morning and keeping you up, or even if it is, you might just want to get some work done. I used to distract myself with work and it's not the healthiest thing probably, but it worked for a while and I got a lot of stuff done. And then eventually the anger subsided a little bit.
[00:25:25] So when you notice yourself feeling hurt, ask yourself how you can build a business that will take care of you the way that your last partner did not. And that's another great way to lessen the pain. Give it a little bit of meaning by putting it to productive use. If you start becoming a workaholic, you got to take care of the anger issue. But if you make it a practice, the acceptance — you'll be amazed by how much the feelings evolve. You'll be angry, but you'll be energized by the anger. You'll be hurt, but you'll be enlivened by the hurt. And the faster you grow your new business, the less you're going to care about what your old partner is doing. Trust me. I'm speaking from experience there. You will eventually just not care.
[00:25:58] Gabe, what about forgiveness or some other virtue that I don't seem to personally have?
[00:26:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Well, he did ask about the forgive-and-forget thing.
[00:26:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:26:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: A lot of people, they think of forgiveness as a one and done thing. Like all they have to do is, I don't know, write down all their grievances on a piece of paper and light some sage in a dark room and a red candle. And then, they'll release their feelings for good and maybe that does work for some people may be like in smaller cases that are not quite as damaging and traumatic as this guy described it. But in my experience, forgiveness, that's something you usually have to do multiple times at different points in your life as a choice. I could go months or even years without thinking about somebody who did me wrong one day, and then I'll wake up one morning with this weird, fresh wave of annoyance or resentment, and I'll have to stop and say to myself, "Oh, look at that. I'm angry again. Why am I angry? Is it worth my time to be angry? Why am I thinking about the past again?" And when that happens, I'll allow that feeling for a few minutes and then I'll go, "Oh, right, we decided. Remember, we decided to forgive them, move on that whole thing," and then I'll have to forgive that person again. And that's how I tend to release some of the negative feelings just by committing over and over to letting them go when my mind somehow forgets that we did the forgiveness thing.
[00:27:07] As for the forgive-and-forget thing, I do get that. And I think it's important, but there is a limit to that. And I have to say, I actually learned this from Jordan. We talked about this a couple of years ago when the whole change happened. I say, definitely, forgive people. Life is too short to hang on to that stuff, but don't forget. I mean, there's still a lesson in the breakup, right? There's still a reminder to avoid that person in the future or a reminder to avoid a situation like that, again, in the future. That lesson is still very valuable, so there's no need to dwell on the anger and let it consume you for the rest of your life. But I wouldn't have raised it from your mind to either. I guess what I'm saying is forget the unproductive parts of what you went through, but try to hang on to the meaningful ones.
[00:27:42] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It gives similar advice for breakups. Go learn a new skill, take a course or something like that. When you work on yourself and make yourself better, it not only distracts you from ruminating, but it builds your identity. It instills confidence. One of the main things I was worried about when leaving my old business was rebuilding this podcast. Now, this show is like six times larger than my previous podcast. It's bananas. And I got there by building like a madman, focusing on getting things done instead of ruminating or being pissed off about something, not sitting around and worrying about what those dipshits were doing — which by the way, right now they're trying to sell the business at fire-sale prices.
[00:28:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oof.
[00:28:16] Jordan Harbinger: And that to me is, look, all I had to do was wait for that. It would have been a huge waste of time if I waited around trying to plot and scheme and feeling like all this ill will instead I focused on building. Now, it's like, "Oh yeah, those — oh, no surprise things are ruined." And look, I do get a little shot in Freud out of that. I'll give you that. You know, it sucks to suck as they say, but I didn't sit there and have any hand in it. And for some reason, not caring about it and not thinking about it as much and not having any hand in the downfall makes it even better. It's hard to explain why. I guess because I don't feel petty. Like I didn't focus any resources on it. That makes it somehow a little bit more palatable. I think in the beginning, when I was really, really angry and upset, it was sort of toxic. It's like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. And I know there's a, probably a Chinese proverb in there somewhere, right?
[00:29:09] So you just have to avoid the ill will as much as you can. You're going to have it. And when it does just sort of accept it, let it wash over you, and move on. Focus it on something else. Don't let that consume you. That's the danger here. And thanks for writing in about this. It does sound like you're doing great. Keep looking ahead. Keep investing in yourself. Trust me before long, the past will be the least interesting thing about your life. Good luck, man.
[00:29:32] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show, and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:29:37] This episode is sponsored in part by OxiClean. The holidays are coming up. It's inevitable. You're going to get a grease stain on your clothes. You're going to want to wash those blankets when they get pulled out for the season. You're going to want to keep those dish towels looking nice. Don't throw out shirts cause you got to stay in on it that you couldn't get out. Don't throw things out that your kids got messages on. OxiClean Max Force has you covered. It will tackle the toughest dried-in stains. You spray it on, you can leave it on for up to five days, throw it right in the wash. Five types of powerful stain fighters to help you get more of those toughest stains out the first time and remove life's messes from your clothes.
[00:30:11] Jen Harbinger: You've got to try OxiClean Max Force for yourself to work your magic with OxiClean go to oxiclean.com/maxforce one to get a coupon for a dollar off.
[00:30:19] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Pluto TV. Need an escape drop into Pluto TV for a world of free TV. Stream hundreds of channels and thousands of movies and shows all for free. Yeah, free. No subscriptions. No fees. Imagine 24/7 channels of Narcos, CSI, Star Trek, Survivor. Everything else from hit movies to binge-worthy TV shows the latest news, live sports, comedy, and more. Download the free Pluto TV app for Android, iPhone, Roku, and FireTV and start streaming now. Pluto TV drop in, watch free.
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[00:31:03] And now for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
[00:31:08] All right, what's next?
[00:31:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, my wife and I were excited to learn that we were pregnant with our second child, but at week 14, the fetus was diagnosed with trisomy 21, Down syndrome. We already have a 28-month-old daughter with pulmonary vein stenosis and congenital heart disease that required three open-heart surgeries before she was six months old. As a result, she has a G-tube and some developmental delays. She will have to go through other surgeries in the future, and we've been advised that her life expectancy will fall short of adulthood. My wife stays home to care for her along with a full-time nurse.
[00:31:41] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, I'm sorry. My heart aches for you being a new parent myself. Please continue, Gabriel.
[00:31:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: After learning of the new baby's diagnosis, we were stuck with another difficult decision, whether to continue with the pregnancy or to terminate. My wife's family are hardcore Catholics and they pressed her to continue with the pregnancy. When my wife was speaking to her family, any expression of a less than optimum outcome, for example, a moderate or a worst-case of down syndrome, complicated by heart, learning, and developmental issues that were construed as being "negative". They painted a rosy picture of continuing with the pregnancy and what life would be like with a child with Down syndrome, sharing some of the best-case scenarios, examples that you see on TV or read about on the internet. Although her family agreed, it may be challenging. They continually repeated that it was "God's will" to make my wife feel as if she were chosen by God to bring this child into the world. I did not agree. I discussed the realities of juggling the financial, medical, and developmental needs of our first daughter and the very tough road ahead in caring for another special needs child. I explained that I felt we would no longer be a married couple, but rather lifelong caretakers for two children, whom we would love and be devoted to but with competing full-time needs. My in-laws' pressure also made it difficult for me to personally process this news because I was so focused on strategically expressing my thoughts. So as not to reveal my true beliefs to them, it was exhausting, emotionally draining, and frustrating. After discussing all possible options and outcomes, we felt it best to not continue with the pregnancy, but my wife had to lie to her family and exaggerate the diagnosis to get their full support. This was her idea. Even then they continued with their righteous path talk but eventually said that they would support our decision. My wife's guilt about this was further exacerbated by my in-laws requesting that she find out how the clinic processed the afterbirth. That she determined the gender, provide a name, and honor it as a baby angel, something I vehemently protested for the sake of healing and moving on. As a result of this, my wife has started therapy. I love my in-laws. They're some of the most caring and devoted people and would do anything for my wife, but their religious stance and pressure on my wife made me angry. In the seven years, we've been together and my wife and I ultimately make all the decisions, but my in-law's influence makes every single one of the exhausting uphill battles. My wife disagrees on the amount of influence they actually have and thinks she maintains her own thoughts, believing that her family just provides another perspective that she values.
[00:34:03] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm. That's kind of interesting. That's an interesting and insightful observation, isn't it? Yeah.
[00:34:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: So his question is—
[00:34:09] What are your thoughts on the matter should I speak to my in-laws about changing their ways and deferring to us, or just chalk it up to, this is what I married into because I'm not going to get anywhere. Thanks for your help. Signed, Raw About the Law of My Meddling In-Laws.
[00:34:23] Jordan Harbinger: You know, it's funny before I kick off the answer here, that observation that his wife is, she doesn't understand the degree of influence her parents have on her. That's a really interesting observation because there's a lot of people in your life that are going to have a lot of influence on you and you're not necessarily going to notice. And it's funny because when your parents — you know, when you have kids — like my parents were like, "That person's bad influence on you." And I'm like, "What are you talking about? I'm my own person." I'm like 12 and I'm hanging out with bad kids. I realized even when I was in my 20s and 30s, that I would hang out with certain people. And I would be drinking more or like being late to stuff more. If I was dating a girl that didn't value other people's time or I was being rude to people because of the crowd I was around. And it took me years and years and years to realize that everybody you hang out with is an influence on you, whether you like it or not. You can't really resist it. If you're in a group and they have certain values that are invisible to you, you're just going to conform to them and you won't notice.
[00:35:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, especially when it's your parents because your parents' involvement is, I mean, from the moment you're born, they're right there and it's so ingrained. It's almost like lenses on your eyes. You can't take them off until you really take a step back and see it objectively.
[00:35:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:35:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's one of the hardest relationships to see clearly
[00:35:35] Jordan Harbinger: That's a good point too. Yeah. It's probably a relationship that you'll never really be able to — well, I shouldn't say that — without significant effort, you're not going to be able to see the world in a different way than what your parents sort of programmed you to do, right? Which is for better or for worse, I guess that's why being a good person as a parent is so important. Anyway, that's something for me to ponder now that I've got a 16-month-old, right? I guess, in every parent here.
[00:35:58] Again, I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter's health problems and the latest pregnancy. You've gone through more than any parent should have to go through and I can't even imagine how difficult it must be for you and for your wife. And I can understand why this was such a battle for you two, a very difficult bind to be in. And I'm sorry that your in-laws have made it even harder. I can hear how tired and angry you are from your letter. And I can't say that I blame you at all. It's almost as if you have these two other people in your marriage, in your life that you didn't necessarily choose. Trying to steer the ship in a totally different direction, that doesn't necessarily have your best interest in mind, but is worried about a totally different set of frankly personal priorities that they assume that you should also have.
[00:36:42] What makes it especially hard is that they're not terrible people, right? If they were, you could just pull away and write them off as the crazy in-laws and just say, "Hey look, the less of them, the better," but they're decent kind devoted parents who happen to hold beliefs that are very different from yours. And I imagine that makes all of this a lot harder. There is a lot going on in this letter. I wish we had a few hours to unpack it all, but the bottom line here is this. You need to get clear on who is making the decisions in your family and what you really hope to achieve. You said that in the seven years we've been together, my wife and I ultimately make all the decisions, but my in-laws' influence makes every one of the exhausting uphill battles.
[00:37:18] So it sounds to me like, despite your significant differences with them, You and your wife are mostly making the calls you want to make. And that's great news. Really the problem here is having to listen to your in-laws, having to deal with the guilt of disagreeing with them — your wife probably has more of that than you — and having to help your wife process the complicated feelings that they stir up in her. Ultimately, something has to change here. But what is it? Is it your in-laws? Is it your wife? Is it you? Is it all three of you? Well, this is where you need to get clear on what you hope to achieve. Because if your goal is to change their religious beliefs, I got some news for you, I don't think you're going to get any traction there. They have their beliefs. You have yours.
[00:37:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:37:56] Jordan Harbinger: The philosophical discussion about the status of a fetus or the rights of a child with developmental issues. That's not going to get very far. You're not even on the same planet when it comes to that stuff. If anything it will probably entrench them even further when they realize that you're a low-key lapsed Catholic/godless atheist, which will probably make them even more determined to intervene in everything that you do because now they're thinking, "Oh, this guy has no judgment and belief in faith. So now we gotta be involved in everything." Don't do that to yourself.
[00:38:26] There is something more concrete you can talk with them about, and that's their daughter, your wife, with her permission, maybe even her involvement, you could help them see how their interference is creating a ton of anguish for her, how they're putting her in the incredibly difficult position of having to choose between pleasing her parents and doing what she thinks is right for her family. You could also point out that it's their daughter who has to live with the choice they want, not them. Now they'll probably double down on their position that they only want to do what's right in God's eyes, et cetera. But you can steer that line of argument back to their daughter. You can say things like, "Yes, I totally understand. That's what you believe. And I respect that, but do you see how hard that is for your daughter? To have to raise a child with significant developmental issues and argue with you at the same time. To choose between her own happiness and your happiness."
[00:39:14] And also Gabe, I can't help, but notice that a lot of the people pressuring other people to have kids that they don't feel they can take care of are in absolutely no position to bear any of the responsibility or consequences of their beliefs, right? It's not that these in-laws aren't going to help with the babies or anything, but by the time these kids are in their late 20s, these old folks are going to be gone. Parents will never get to retire and never get to relax in their golden years because they're full-time caretakers, or they might have to pay for a caretaker. So they have to work until they're 75. It's easy to be righteous and take risks with someone else's life.
[00:39:49] Gabe, what is, what else is there with this?
[00:39:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: That is an excellent point. I'm just processing what you just said because that is so true that the in-laws in this question are in just a wildly different position from the two of them. And they're not the ones who are driving and they're not the ones who have to raise these children. And yeah, they're clinging philosophically to their ideas without really having to bear the practical implications of what that actually means to raise two children with such severe challenges.
[00:40:12] As you talked to your in-laws about all of this, I would keep validating their right to hold their beliefs. Again, like Jordan said, you're not going to get much traction trying to convince them of your view, but if you do keep reassuring them that you know, that they mean well, which I think that they do, even if their beliefs are misguided or impractical or difficult for you guys, they are trying to help. If you keep reminding them that you understand that they won't feel as attacked or dismissed, which will make them more receptive to your view.
[00:40:36] But I would also at the same time, keep painting a very clear picture of what they are doing to you guys. My guess is that they don't realize how much grief they're causing here. And that's on top of the massive responsibility you already have and caring for your daughter. I would really make them see that by describing in detail what this whole ordeal of going back and forth with them and having these endless conversations where your beliefs and their beliefs are coming up against each other. And it just sounds to me like weeks and weeks of discussion about something that is ultimately very personal and totally up to you guys. And finally, in that conversation, I would get very clear on what you want to change. It sounds to me like you want them to accept that you and your wife will be making your own decisions in this marriage. That you want them to stop guilting your wife, about her choices. That you are not asking them to change their beliefs, but only to respect yours in the same way. You could tell them that you will listen to what they have to say. You'll still take their opinion into account, just like your wife wants to do. But at the end of the day, you and your wife will be making the decisions that you want to make, and that they need to accept that at the end of the day.
[00:41:31] My hope though, is that this conversation will get them to ease up on you guys a little bit or a lot about, but it's possible that they won't back down. In which case you and your wife will have to consider drawing more firm boundaries. Maybe the boundary is agreeing to have one conversation with your in-laws when there's a big family decision to make, and then not entertaining their views again, after that. If they keep pushing, you can tell them, "Look, we understand how you feel, but we feel differently and it's our choice to make. So we're going to hang up now and we'll talk to you tomorrow," something like that. If their interventions get worse though, you might have to draw an even firmer line in the sand. Maybe you don't share anything too controversial with them. So you guys can make your decisions privately and in peace, maybe you only engage with your in-laws by email about this kind of thing. So you don't get drawn into these endless conversations again.
[00:42:15] As always those boundaries can and should change as the relationship changes. If they learn to respect you guys more, you can ease up. If they start doubling down and guilting you even further, then you can dig in. But the goal really is to create a healthy separation between you and your wife and her parents. In a family where it sounds to me, like everybody's kind of all up in everybody's business—
[00:42:34] Jordan Harbinger: Totally.
[00:42:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: —and probably has been for a very long time
[00:42:37] Jordan Harbinger: Forever.
[00:42:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:42:38] Jordan Harbinger: Right, exactly. I hope that helps you find a path forward with your in-laws. I'm very sorry. You have to deal with all of this, but I think it's really, really important for both of you. Ultimately, redefining the terms of this relationship will make you and your wife stronger and closer. And it'll give you guys the emotional freedom to build the lives that you want to live. And that's really the bigger goal here, especially in a family where you've already made a huge sacrifice for your daughter. Good luck. I wish you guys the best I really do.
[00:43:05] All right, what's next?
[00:43:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi guys. In my 30s, I switched careers moving from a desk job in the government to a frontline job in healthcare. This change gave me personal fulfillment and more money, but also a much more challenging lifestyle with lots of on-call time. I had two kids to raise and I decided to be careful about what I took on outside of working with my patients. I didn't take the opportunity to be a practice partner, which involves more work and prestige, but only a bit more money. And I didn't get into research or teaching at the university. I was a preceptor for many individual students and joined the board for a few years, but I always chose to protect my free time for me and my family. There's a very high burnout rate in my profession, and I did not want that. I felt like I chose to enjoy my life as much as I could while doing really worthwhile work. However, there's a lot of pressure to contribute to the profession in some way. And I find myself feeling guilty about not doing that. I don't think I care about having a legacy per se, but I do feel at times that just being the frontline worker, that doesn't get as much respect. I'd likely have to make less money if I chose this path, which is not the worst thing in the world, but it's definitely a consideration. Now that my kids are older, should I commit my last working years to contribute to the profession? Or is it okay to finish out my career, continuing to focus on giving great care to my patients? Signed, Ecstasy in Legacy or Purpose in Service.
[00:44:21] Jordan Harbinger: This is a good question. What you're really asking about here is, meaning in life. How you find it, how it changes, how you balance it with practical concerns, like time and money? We all want to be connected to some deeper significance in our lives, whether it's family or work, or service. So I totally get why you're thinking about this as you enter this new stage of your life. But here's the thing about meaning, it's very personal. It's very idiosyncratic. One person might find deep significance in working 80 hours a week in some office while another person might find it in raising their family. Some people want to spend their weekends working at an animal shelter while others want to spend it writing a textbook about medical devices or whatever. Some people toil for decades to leave a legacy behind while other people like you don't care as much about having a legacy. They just want to find something meaningful now. And all of those paths are totally legitimate.
[00:45:12] Myself, I originally was like, "Oh, legacy, I'm leaving this show, dah, dah, dah." No, one's going to give a crap in 50 years after I'm dead or less. Probably less, probably way less actually, possibly while I'm still alive — so, which is depressing.
[00:45:25] But hey, look, you know, I'd rather spend time with the ones I love than being like, "People remembered me after I'm dead." Really? I would. So I get it.
[00:45:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right, they will be.
[00:45:34] Jordan Harbinger: I can't tell you exactly what to do, but I can share a few thoughts that might help you find this for yourself. First of all, let's get super clear on where this call to contribute to the profession really comes from. I'm getting the sense that it might be coming from other people. Your peers may be leaders in the field or to be more precise, it's coming from your response to what those people are doing. Watching them contribute and then feeling like you're doing something wrong if you're not contributing as well. And that might be where the guilt is coming from because you feel you should be doing as much as they are, and you're not. If your desire to contribute to the profession is coming from some external source — so pressure from other people, comparing yourself to them, or just a general sense of duty. Then I would investigate that and really make sure this is something that you want. We humans, we're funny like that. Sometimes what we think is important is only important because other people think it's important. And then we get bent out of shape, trying to pursue the same goal, only to be disappointed when it doesn't bring us the meaning we had hoped for. But nothing can bring us that meaning if it isn't something we truly care about ourselves. Chasing other people's goals and other people's values that just never works.
[00:46:43] Once you get clear on that, I would also get clear on what you're actually looking for. At first, it sounded like you wanted more meaning in your career, which I 100 percent understand. But then you said that you feel that just being the frontline worker doesn't get as much respect. That's another question to unpack. Are you thinking about contributing to the profession because you want to advance your field or are you doing it because you want people to view you in a certain way? Nothing wrong with being respected, nothing wrong with being held in high regard. But if your motivation here is to get respect and to be admired, that just again never works out for long. I can almost guarantee that you'll lose steam quickly if that's why you're pursuing this new path. As opposed to pursuing it because you really care about the work and then enjoying the respect that comes with it as a nice bonus.
[00:47:29] All right, Gabe. So how does she do the work and take a look inside to figure out what she really wants and why and all that other sensible stuff that I'm not great at explaining?
[00:47:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, Jordan is right. I think it is worth taking some time to really look inside yourself and figure out why deep down you want to contribute to your profession in the first place. If it's because other people are doing it and you feel like you need to measure up with them or do what they're doing, then I would think twice about that. And I would also explore why other people's accomplishments matter so much to you. But if it's because you genuinely want to contribute to your profession because you find it rewarding and you find it meaningful because this work truly speaks to you, then I would absolutely listen to that voice and follow that voice into something great in the last phase of your career. That said, don't forget that you are the one who's creating all of this meaning. You might just find as much purpose in taking care of your patients as you would in contributing to the profession. Who knows, maybe you'd even find more purpose there? Purpose doesn't have to look any particular way in order to be great for you. It just has to speak to you. It just has to put you in contact with the people and the ideas and the tasks that connects you to something deeper.
[00:48:32] So I hope that helps. There's nothing like doing meaningful work. Jordan and I know that better than anybody's work that you really care about it is the best. Just make sure you're doing it for the right reasons and not because you feel like you need to live up to some external idea of what should give you meaning as you approach the last phase of your career.
[00:48:47] Jordan Harbinger: All right. Last but not least.
[00:48:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I'm from Iraqi Kurdistan and I just moved to the US for college. I've been following you for a while and I'm taking your Six-Minute Networking course. I firmly believe in what you teach, but I've been having a hard time applying it to my life.
[00:49:01] Jordan Harbinger: That's incredible, by the way, Iraqi Kurdistan, not a usual, not sending a ton of people over to the US on a yearly basis, from what I understand, because I don't even know how many people live in Iraqi Kurdistan. But this is incredible that he's made it all the way here. I don't think — people who don't know about Iraqi Kurdistan or where that is. It's a territory inside Iraq. That's a rough time. I mean, it has it — through Saddam Hussein, all the way through — hell, probably for hundreds of years for all I know.
[00:49:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:49:31] Jordan Harbinger: But the fact that this young guy just sort of packed up and moved to the US for college is really impressive.
[00:49:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Super impressive. And I love that he's doing Six-Minute Networking. So here is his question.
[00:49:42] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's surprising. I think that's pretty cool.
[00:49:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's actually no surprise that he ended up going to college in the States. Like this guy is definitely on to something.
[00:49:48] I've built a wide network of people from back home and globally, but I'm not planning to go home anytime soon. Who should I include in my network? Should I focus on my US contacts? Since I plan to stay here on my networking list I created for the course, I tend to mostly include older professionals with more experience. Is this the right way to go or should I stay connected with my peers as well? Growing up in Iraq, I had limited resources and I taught myself English while no one in my family or circles spoke it.
[00:50:14] Damn even more impressive.
[00:50:15] Jordan Harbinger: Dang. I know. Imagine learning English when you don't know anyone that speaks English.
[00:50:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's incredible.
[00:50:20] Jordan Harbinger: Unbelievable.
[00:50:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Even now my family connections are very unlikely to help me professionally. Would you still advise using the same approach to stay in touch with those personal connections? I absolutely admire your show and I hope you keep up the good work. Signed, Seeking Perfection and Direction in All of My Connections.
[00:50:37] Jordan Harbinger: Well, congrats on teaching yourself English and making it to the States for college. Like I said, insanely impressive given how crazy the last decade has been — decade alone, last few decades for Iraqi Kurdistan. I love that you're taking your relationships so seriously from such a young age. That's going to serve you very well in life. So good on you. I'm personally very impressed with you right now, bro, really.
[00:50:57] Now, let's talk about your questions, which are excellent, not just for you, but for anyone trying to balance their network the right way. First, should you focus on your US networks since you plan to stay here? Sure. There's nothing wrong with having a loose strategy when you network, even if that strategy is just, "Hey, I want to focus on people in my own country right now, or where I currently am located?" Or, "I want to meet people in the automotive industry," or whatever. At the same time though, I would definitely stay open to meeting people from all walks of life. We say this in the Six-Minute Networking course, "That opportunities are over the horizon." If you haven't gotten to that lesson yet, I explain it more in-depth there, but basically you just never know where an opportunity will come from. There's always an element of serendipity in networking. That's a word you probably haven't taught yourself if you're teaching yourself English. Serendipity, look it up. It's going to be useless.
[00:51:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's also a terrible movie with — I want to say Kate Beckinsale from the early 2000s.
[00:51:53] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:51:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: So if you want to learn some terrible English, you can definitely watch that movie.
[00:51:57] Jordan Harbinger: Good Lord.
[00:51:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: But also, the concept is probably more relevant.
[00:51:59] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, the concept might be more useful, but also possibly a waste of your time. Anyway, you never know when that random person you met on LinkedIn from Singapore might end up becoming a good friend or offering you a job or inviting you on a life-changing trip or something like that. So yeah, have a plan, but also stay open. You are in a rare position with your background to have a truly global network. And that is super powerful. At the same time though, you don't want to let your connections back home, fade away. They might feel less important to you right now, but who knows? Maybe one day you'll be the guy who connects people in the States with people in Kurdistan to trade petroleum products or something like that. That's the kind of valuable role you can create for yourself by maintaining those ties back home. So, yes, I would stay in touch with those personal connections back home, even if it's just checking in a couple of times a year. But since there are only so many hours in a day, you can still prioritize your American network in the short term.
[00:52:53] As for your question, should I only be networking with more senior people or should I stay connected with my peers as well? This is a great question. A lot of people think the point of networking is to network up usually because they view networking as a means to an end, trying to get something that they want. And older professionals are in a more obvious position to help them rise. But it's just as important, maybe even more important to network sideways, by building connections with your peers and even people younger or less experienced than you. It's often easier to connect with these folks. There's plenty of value to create in those relationships too. And if you build those connections early on, they're going to pay dividends for the rest of your life. Really, they are. I've experienced this personally. Besides, your peers will one day become the older professionals that you want to meet. So why not just meet them early, getting it on the ground floor, man.
[00:53:43] I hope this helps. Keep building those relationships. Keep working hard in college. Let those assets create an amazing life for you wherever you end up. And welcome to America, man, seriously. You must have taken a lot of work to get here.
[00:53:56] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week. Go back, check out the guests, Stephen Schwarzman and Srdja Popovic, if you haven't yet.
[00:54:04] If you want to know how I managed to book all these great folks — what we just talked about Six- Minute Networking here. That's at jordanharbinger.com/course. It's a free course. You can't make up for the lost time. Dig the well before you get thirsty. That is the motto of the course. These drills, they take just a few minutes a day. It's the type of habit that you really ignore only at your own peril. I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. It's been crucial for my business, my personal life. You can find everything at jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:54:31] A link to the show notes for this episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. All the links are in there. Transcripts are in the show notes. There's a video of this Feedback Friday episode on our YouTube channel. You can find that at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I'm at @Jordan Harbinger on both Instagram and Twitter. You can hit me on LinkedIn as well. You can find Gabriel on Twitter at @Gabe Mizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:54:55] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. And my amazing team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course Gabe Mizrahi. Keeps sending in those questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our advice and opinions, and those of our guests are their own. I am a lawyer, but I am not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. Remember, we rise by lifting others, share the show with those you love. If you found this episode useful, please do 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.
[00:55:36] We've got a preview trailer of our interview with hip hop legend T.I. Harris on how he went from committing crimes to committing rhymes. If you like a good comeback story, check out episode 262 with Tip "T.I." Harris right here on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:55:51] Tip "T.I." Harris: Let's expedite this ice.
[00:55:52] Jordan Harbinger: That's right.
[00:55:52] Tip "T.I." Harris: You know, where I'm from, we do what we call pouring our own troubles.
[00:55:57] Jordan Harbinger: All right. Cheers.
[00:55:59] Tip "T.I." Harris: All right.
[00:55:59] Jordan Harbinger: You dropped out of high school. When you were at that age, were you thinking, "Oh, I'm just going to sell drugs for a while, then I'm gonna become a famous musician"?
[00:56:06] Tip "T.I." Harris: Well, to be perfectly candid with you, that's exactly what I was thinking.
[00:56:10] Jordan Harbinger: Really.
[00:56:10] Tip "T.I." Harris: I was going to sell drugs until I earn myself the opportunity to become a musician or an artist. I found out my girlfriend at the time was pregnant with my oldest son. Quit my job at the airport. Completely started, head first into the street. That probably lasted about three or four months. But my probation officer still thought I worked at the airport. We had been working on a demo to shop around. It was phenomenal stuff. I said, "If you could take me somewhere right now, where I can have an opportunity to present myself to somebody, then I'll stop." Jason said, "I know somewhere." And I said, "See, that's why we own the team together." So we pulled up, Jason walked me in the room, and then immediately, I met Reese and Mello. Three months after that, I was signed. A month before my son was born, I was straight.
[00:56:56] Jordan Harbinger: Your parole officer must've been like, "Oh, great. He's got a record deal. All right, he's going to be back at the airport in like a month and a half." Like you are on thin ice, man.
[00:57:03] Tip "T.I." Harris: I mean, to be honest with you, he didn't find that I wouldn't at the airport until I told him.
[00:57:06] Jordan Harbinger: He still thinks you work at the airport.
[00:57:10] For more with T.I. including some tips on how he runs his business here, check out episode 262 with Tip "T.I." Harris right here on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
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[00:57:25] Male: That's more accurate that he had a problem with me rather than I having a problem with him.
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[00:57:42] Female 2: He said he never filed a complaint about Dominguez, but did consider shooting him.
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