Your significant other has gone through more than most in this seemingly cursed year, but any attempt on your part to help ease the pain is interpreted as a sinister affront. Worse, there’s talk of suicide as a better option than the continued depression of quarantine. how do you help your suicidal partner? We’ll dig into 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 email@example.com. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- Great Mondays author Josh Levine suggests this thought exercise for business owners who want to understand the value of their organization beyond making money: ask your employees to write an obituary for your company. He likes doing this in teams of eight to 12 colleagues, and having each group come up with three to five paragraphs memorializing their company — listing its accomplishments, its impact on the world, that kind of thing. The groups then share their obituaries and identify the most compelling phrases, with the goal of coming up with a short mission statement.
- Your significant other has gone through more than most in this seemingly cursed year, but any attempt on your part to help ease the pain is interpreted as a sinister affront. Worse, there’s talk of suicide as a better option than the continued depression of quarantine. how do you help your suicidal partner?
- You’re lucky and grateful to have a healthy nest egg and a home that’s paid in full while so many are struggling to survive through these tough times. The thing is, you can’t help feeling guilty for your good fortune, and you feel like you need to justify it. How do you drop the shame of being well off when everyone around you seems to be down and out?
- Your parents take the fact that you voted for the other side this past election as a sign they failed to raise you right, and their fear-driven conspiracy rambling is especially disheartening. Still, you’ve agreed to go to their house next weekend for walks and hard talks that are supposed to make adult families closer, but where do you even begin?
- Sometimes getting fired by a boss who makes empty promises is a favor in disguise, but when it’s for voicing your frustrations after being asked for them, might you have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit?
- You’re running through the exercises in our free Six-Minute Networking course, but you’re wondering how you might introduce somewhat loose connections in your network. They seem like they might hit it off, but you don’t know one (or both) of them well enough to vouch for their character. Should you introduce them with caveats, not make the introduction at all, or take some other approach?
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
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Resources from This Episode:
- Jordan & Gabe | Kidnap Me Twice, Shame on Me | The Jordan Harbinger Show
- Seth Godin | Shipping Creative Work | The Jordan Harbinger Show
- Great Mondays: How to Design a Company Culture Employees Love by Josh Levine
- Josh Levine | Twitter
- Why Employees Should Write Their Company’s Obituary | OZY
- Better Help
- The Benjamin Franklin Effect: The Surprising Psychology of How to Handle Haters | Brain Pickings
- Arthur Brooks | How Loving Your Enemies Can Save America | The Jordan Harbinger Show
- Mick West | How to Debunk Conspiracy Theories | The Jordan Harbinger Show
- Six-Minute Networking
Transcript for How to Help Your Suicidal Partner | Feedback Friday (Episode 446)
Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Today, I'm here with my Feedback. Friday producer, my crony in consultation, Gabriel Mizrahi. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. And our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. So you can get a much deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening, even inside your own mind.
[00:00:37] If you're new to this show on Fridays, that's today, we give advice to you and 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 to authors, to thinkers and performers. For a selection of featured episodes to get you started with some of our favorite guests and popular topics, go to jordanharbinger.com and we'll hook you up.
[00:01:00] This week, we had my kidnap stories part two. This is a continuation of Stereo Sunday, where I talked about being kidnapped in Mexico. And then part two is my kidnapping in Serbia that happened a few years later. Spoiler alert, I survived. But that's the story in full for many of the people who've been asking for years where the full version of that story actually is. Well, it's here this week for you, part one and two, Stereo Sunday and Tuesday's episode. We also had Seth Godin, the one and only Seth Godin, always such a popular guest on the show. We discuss creativity, marketing your creativity, and making a living from creative work. Of course, he is a fan favorite. So I'm looking forward to hearing what you think about this week's episodes as always.
[00:01:42] So make sure you've had to listen to everything we created for you here this week, you can reach us at email@example.com. Please keep your emails concise if you can, and try to include a descriptive subject line. So don't just use like Feedback Friday. That's super, super annoying. Anyway, it makes our job a whole lot easier. If there's something you're going through any big decision you're wrestling with, or you just need a new perspective on stuff, life, love, work — what to do when your business partner ghosts you. Whatever's got you staying up late at night, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're here to help. We keep every email anonymous.
[00:02:18] So this week, we came across a pretty cool exercise for creating purpose inside of a company. This guy, Josh Levine, he's a company culture expert. He wrote a book called Great Mondays, which we'll link in the show notes. He talks about how important it is for employees to understand why an organization exists beyond making money. And the exercise he recommends is to ask your employees to write an obituary for your company. He likes doing this in teams of eight to 12 colleagues and having each group come up with three to five paragraphs, memorializing their company, listing its accomplishments, its impact on the world, that kind of thing. The groups then share their obituaries and identify the most compelling phrases with the goal of coming up with a short mission statement. In this article that we read — we'll link to it in the show notes as well — Levine says that writing a good company obituary is about stepping back and thinking about how your company will be remembered, identifying a compelling purpose. That not only helps attract and retain talented people, but it also energizes leaders and gives them the type of direction that will lead to better decisions.
[00:03:19] I personally really liked this idea and it can be done in so many ways. You can ask your employees to do this on their own once a year and share what they find. You could organize teams by division or function. You could even ask new hires to do it when they onboard to create an immediate connection to your company's purpose. I think it's a super-powerful exercise and actually really fun. I've done something like this. I do a version of this myself in my head a few times a year. Maybe we should make it official. I'd love it if somebody who does this sort of thing gives it a try. Let us know if you find any success with it, hit me up and let me know. I'd be curious. I'd be curious to hear from you if you do. If you do this to great effect, especially on small teams because a lot of times, Gabriel, I feel like some of these business exercises, it's great if you work for Procter & Gamble, but sometimes if it's like, "Hey, there's five of us." Is it more impactful or is it less impactful? I guess that's the question.
[00:04:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, it's probably impactful, no matter what, but in a big company, you know, maybe you're there for other reasons, paycheck, promotion, experience, or whatever, but in a small company, if you don't care about why the company exists beyond that paycheck. Yeah, you're in trouble. That's a really important thing in a startup or a nonprofit or just a small company. I love that exercise. I want to do that.
[00:04:25] Jordan Harbinger: Gabe, what's the first thing in the mailbag?
[00:04:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe, my partner of over three years and I are drifting further and further apart. And despite my efforts to help, we are not able to bring things back together. In the last year, my partner lost her last three remaining grandparents within a three-month period, had her father relapsed with lung cancer, has dealt with health struggles as well as stress brought on by the pandemic, and watched as her childhood home was destroyed during our family's estate battles.
[00:04:51] Jordan Harbinger: Jeez, That's a lot at once.
[00:04:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: She has brought up the idea that she is depressed, but she doesn't seem to have a plan or tools to deal with it. We have discussed going to couples’ therapy but nothing came of it. I went to a therapist on my own for about six months and tried to open the door for us going together but that didn't work. Instead, I was often accused of telling my therapist about my "bitch" girlfriend, and that I was actually having an affair and not seeing a therapist at all. I encouraged her to at least go to her GP and raise some of her concerns there. But she was met with a replacement doctor who was dismissively putting her off of medical professionals once again. As tensions in lockdown continue to rise, we've reached a point where she is so stressed by my presence, that we no longer share the same bed. A number of arguments have flared up and during one of them, I offered to pay for a therapist, so she had someone outside of the relationship to talk to, especially if something happens with her father while she's not able to visit him during COVID. Her takeaway is that she thinks I find her talking about her sick father "annoying" and that I would rather pay someone else to do that. Even if I suggest going to a park on a sunny weekend, that is somehow an attack on her because my desire to enjoy the day is just "rubbing it in her face". She has also said many times that she would rather die than continue feeling depressed. These days are the most hiring as the two of us have to battle to keep her mood high enough to make it through. I'm almost at my limit. What can I do to help someone who's resistant to help? Do you think posing an ultimatum in this situation is something that could work? Signed, On the Couch Having Doubts and on the Outs.
[00:06:22] Jordan Harbinger: Oomph, there is a lot happening in this letter.
[00:06:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:06:25] Jordan Harbinger: Look, I'm really sorry for both of you. Your girlfriend, she's obviously going through a very tough time. Losing people close to her, dealing with health problems, going through family drama — I feel for her, I really do. She's going through it right now. But I got to say the dynamic that you're describing in the letter is highly dysfunctional. Based on what you've shared, your girlfriend sounds pretty unstable at least right now. And there's something very — I don't know, Gabriel, borderline-y about her behavior, like borderline. There's the fear of abandonment. This is suspiciousness, the gaslighting behavior. The dramatic emotional swings. I obviously cannot diagnose her. It's not my place. But all of these qualities do point to something borderline or borderline the like, and being in a relationship with somebody like that, it's incredibly volatile. It's highly manipulative. It's super draining. And yeah, I can understand why you're at your limit here. So look, it's clear to me that you really do care about your girlfriend and that you're trying to help her however you can. The problem is you cannot help somebody who does not want to be helped or isn't ready to be helped — plain and simple.
[00:07:33] It is not your responsibility. It is not your burden to take on. Yes, you're her partner. I get that. You can and should be supportive. You can be loving; you can be encouraging. But trying to fix your girlfriend's significant emotional challenges, that's probably only going to make them worse and would be a challenge even for a trained professional, let alone her boyfriend who just wants to see his partner feel better. Because I think part of what's happening here is that your girlfriend, she's sending up these signals that she's in serious distress. And then you're scrambling to come up with solutions to fix them, whether it's paying for her therapy or just offering to take her for a walk.
[00:08:09] Your intentions are great. It's very generous of you to do these things, but I think you might also inadvertently be sending her another message. And that message is, "Your emotions are intolerable to me. So please put them away." I'm not saying that's what you actually mean. I'm saying that's what she's hearing possibly. Although maybe there's a part of you, even if it's a small park, that actually does kind of feel that way, which — look, if I'm being a hundred percent honest, I would completely understand that. I think I would almost probably react that way because it just gets draining. And if there's a time at which, even though the other person feels bad, you're like, "For crying out loud, I just want to go to the park. Why does everything have to be about you? Just wake up feeling not crappy for like two seconds. Can you be a normal person?" Like that would be going through my head during moments of frustration.
[00:08:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:08:54] Jordan Harbinger: I understand it.
[00:08:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:08:55] Jordan Harbinger: So I think you'd be better off taking a different approach here. Instead of trying to fix her problems, I would say things like, "I'm really sorry. You're feeling this way. What can I do to support you? How can I help? I'm here when you need me." And then let her engage with you. Let her tell you what she needs. And I'm not saying that you should just ignore her. I'm not saying you can't invite her to go for a walk on a nice day, but saying, "Hey, I'm going to go for a walk. You want to come?" That's very different from saying something like, "Don't be sad. It's a beautiful day. All you have to do is walk it off." And I'm not saying that you're saying that, but again, that's sort of what she's hearing when you say anything that might even remotely resemble that. That approach is much less minimizing and it'll give her more accountability, more room to take ownership of her problems, probably more than you're giving her right now.
[00:09:43] And that's really the best thing you can do for somebody like this — to validate and make space for their feelings, rather than trying to paper over them, even if your intentions are good. Gabe, what about the idea — this is controversial, but what about the idea that maybe staying with somebody like this is a bit much? I hate to bring this up when someone's having a hard time. I'm not saying you should break up or split upright. Or anything like that, but I think it's on the table for later, if this continues and she won't do anything about this, you know?
[00:10:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, well, it's true. You do need to think about whether you really want to be in a relationship with this person for the long term because the truth is, you're in a very tough position right now. You are in this all-consuming caregiver role for someone who does not want to be cared for, or maybe wants to be cared for, but isn't willing to step up and be a partner in taking care of it and working on these problems. This is somebody who interprets your invitations to help as some kind of personal insult, who accuses you of cheating when you're just trying to take care of yourself, who finds your presence so intolerable by your description, that she won't sleep in the same room as you anymore, and who is basically low key threatening suicide and kind of implicitly making you responsible for that although you also have a role in taking on some of that burden yourself. So you have a choice to make here. Yes, and maybe that's the ultimatum that you were asking about. Either you stay in this relationship and you learn how to build extremely strong boundaries so that you do not get consumed by your girlfriend's challenges. And you make it clear to her that she needs to find the resources to get better, or you end the relationship knowing that this burden — it's not yours to take on. Those are basically your two options.
[00:11:20] And I'm not saying that someone like your girlfriend can't solve her problems or doesn't deserve love. Not at all. What I am saying is that she has to do that work on her own almost certainly with a professional because the hard truth — and I think you're starting to figure this out right about now — is that it's incredibly challenging to be with someone with severe mental health problems who refuses to do the work to get better. And it's unfair to you, but it's also unfair of you to continue doing that to yourself.
[00:11:45] Jordan Harbinger: But that has to be a last resort though, splitting off from somebody because they're depressed or having a bad time, it seems extra, extra cruel to me.
[00:11:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, agree. But I think what this guy is saying is that this is his last resort. I mean, I'm getting the sense that he's at a bit of a crossroads here. You can hear that in his letter. And it's not like she's been depressed for a few months and is really working on the root causes and she really needs somebody to be there for her. And there was some very specific life stressor that is unusual, you know, that brought this all on. This woman has profound challenges that she will not work on and that she is getting in the way of him working on himself without her, and she's making those problems his problems. So, you know, I don't know, at this point, we're not in Kansas anymore. You know what I mean?
[00:12:24] Jordan Harbinger: Either way, I highly recommend going back into therapy. One of your main objectives, there can be to figure out what you want to do with this relationship. Couples therapy is a good idea. Sure. But you, figuring out what you want to stay with somebody who treats you like this, that might be more important. And maybe you don't want to stay with somebody who treats you like this. You know, that's kind of the vibe I'm getting here. And your girlfriend, she needs to be in therapy too.
[00:12:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:12:46] Jordan Harbinger: But again, not your job to force her there. Do your own work, give her the opportunity to do hers. And if she absolutely refuses to then it's time to decide what you want your life to really look like. So good luck, man. I really do wish you both well with this.
[00:13:03] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
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[00:16:34] Jordan Harbinger: And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:16:39] All right, Gabe, what's next?
[00:16:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. This is almost the opposite of a problem because I feel absolutely blessed in life, but I'm looking for some insight into how to navigate what I think is a shame surrounding my financial situation. I'm in my late 30s, married, and mom to an awesome five-year-old. I've come to realize that most people my age and older have a lot of financial woes. I often feel like I'll be found out as having money, which I worry will lead to resentment and jealousy in my peers. I'm an only child and my parents have lived a very frugal life to leave a financial legacy for me and my family. I now find myself with a portfolio of $300,000 in addition to my husband's healthy $200,000 retirement account and a beautiful new home with no mortgage, which my parents helped us build and bankroll so that we could be close to them and assist with our health issues. I find myself feeling both grateful and having to justify to myself that I deserve this, given that I worked hard in school and got a full ride to a public college. But to be honest, I'm cringing as I write this because I feel the weight of that handout shame. As for my small family of three, we don't live as if we are loaded. We are very careful with money. I shop at Aldi for groceries. We monitor sales, we vacation modestly but don't go out to restaurants much, even pre-pandemic. We wear clothing from Target and Kohl's, pay no mind to designers or status items, and drive older, paid off vehicles. This year, I opted to take a year off from work unpaid to manage the pandemic style school schedule for our kindergartner. It has been absolutely transformative for my family and we are closer and happier than ever. I feel insanely blessed to have been able to take a year off, but I get the sense that some of my colleagues wonder how I'm making it work. A few other women who wanted to take leave have asked me some questions about requesting it, but I also get a lot of, "I can't swing it financially" comments, and it makes me feel guilty. There are times that I remind myself that it's nobody's business, but then I also wonder, is it okay to say, "I've been blessed with very generous parents who're helping me, or I have a lot of savings". I know that my money doesn't take anything away from anyone else. And I try to live generously to make sure I'm putting more than my share of positivity into the universe. Beyond that though, how do I drop the money guilt and shame? Is it better to just forget this, never address it, or just say what I want to say? Sincerely, Mo Money, No Problems.
[00:18:56] Jordan Harbinger: Well, thank you so much for writing in. I know how uncomfortable it can be to talk about money, especially these days when we're having these intense conversations about privilege and inequality. And for what it's worth, it's obvious to me that you're a very thoughtful self-aware person who appreciates the extraordinary position that she's in. You're not an a-hole, you're not an entitled sponge. You're a grounded person from the sound of it who is trying to responsibly enjoy the wealth that she received from her hardworking parents while also considering how it might come across to people who are in a different position. For all these reasons, I find it very hard to resent you — my own modest privilege aside. Okay. Fine. Who are we kidding? I'm fabulously wealthy — but I recognize — no, obviously, not the case — but I recognize there might be other people who don't really feel that way. And that's, what's kind of scary talking about this.
[00:19:44] So I guess what I'm saying is I understand your conflict around this. And I really appreciate you being so open with us here. It's interesting. I had coffee earlier this year with an entrepreneur friend of mine. This was a pre-panty-D obviously probably the last mocha latte I had before society collapsed. She's about 40 years old. She'd recently left her job to start her own company and it took about two, two and a half years to really get it off the ground, which is fast actually. And while she's telling me how she was making it work, she just straight up said, "Look, I'm incredibly lucky. My parents are helping me out." And I was a little taken aback by that because we weren't super close at the time, although we're much closer now, which is interesting. I didn't judge her for this. I actually found it quite refreshing. And I know she was telling me that because she wanted to acknowledge her privilege and not pretend like she was something she wasn't, which I appreciated, especially in this Internet age of flexing.
[00:20:37] But if she hadn't told me that I probably would not have wondered how she was pulling off this career move. And if I found out later that she was getting help from her parents, I probably would not have held it against her, especially not that she didn't tell me back then. Now, if this were my best friend, it might've been a different story that would imply a certain closeness. And if I found out my best friend was withholding, something like that, it might make me wonder how close we actually were, but I still wouldn't necessarily judge them for taking the help. If anything, it would just tell me how they felt about themselves, how much they thought I should know, but that's me, right?
[00:21:09] Someone else who has different life experiences who has different beliefs, different biases, they totally might've held that against my friend. And I could appreciate why they might feel that way. So, I guess the takeaway here is that it really matters how you feel about yourself and how your colleagues feel about themselves and about you and about inherited wealth in general. Because this question you're asking, yes, it's about other people, but it's largely about your experience of yourself. Let me explain. The guilt you're feeling, the shame, that speaks to your own conflict around this money. And that's probably informing a lot about how you think your colleagues will react to the same news. When really people will have whatever reaction they have, good or bad, that will speak to their conflict. But what's really interesting is that their reaction, it could also be informed by how you feel about yourself.
[00:21:58] Kind of like my entrepreneur friend, because she was so secure and acknowledging her situation, I felt more secure in accepting it. But if she were really awkward and ashamed about it, I might've felt a little uneasy too. So the response you're navigating it's complicated. So I don't think there is one right way to handle this. How to enjoy your money? How to acknowledge it? That's a personal choice. You could tell everyone, you could tell no one, you could tell some people, and all of those would be legitimate choices. In my book, though, it really comes down to how much you want to share about yourself and how much you feel other people need to know and how that information might affect their perception of you.
[00:22:36] Gabe, is there anything else she needs to be thinking about here?
[00:22:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: My only concrete advice here is to consider your audience and how that information might play out in a professional context, because I know we're talking about her work colleagues because — okay, let's say that she told one of her colleagues that she has this money. And then that colleague goes and tells one of their colleagues. And then that colleague got to mention something to their boss, and then their boss uses that information down the road to decide if the person who wrote in, if she deserves a raise or whether she should be let go or not, or maybe just starts to treat her a little bit differently. I'm not saying that will definitely happen, but it could. And I would certainly understand if you want it to prevent something like that from happening. At the same time though, I don't think that everyone in your life needs to know the same amount of information about you. Right?
[00:23:19] If you happen to be super close with one of your colleagues like you hang out all the time, and you really value your friendship and she's like, "Okay. I want to take a year off too. How the hell are you making that work?" It would be a little disingenuous to be like, "Oh, you know, just clipping coupons, making Folgers at home, skipping Disneyland this year." In that case, you might owe it to that person to be a little bit more transparent, but you could also say, "Well, the truth is that I'm incredibly fortunate. And to be honest with you, I do feel embarrassed to admit that, but there it is. And if you don't mind, I'd like to ask you to keep it between us because it's very personal and I'm only telling you." That is completely fair. And it also might help assuage some of the shame that you feel just by acknowledging it with somebody that you trust.
[00:23:59] But with other colleagues, colleagues, you're not as close with, yeah, no, you don't owe them an explanation and it might just build unnecessary resentment possibly for no good reason. So the bottom line here, I would get clear on what the terms of these relationships actually are and how that information might play out in each of them, and then decide whom to share this with.
[00:24:17] Jordan Harbinger: For what it's worth and look, other people might disagree. I probably get some emails about this, but for what it's worth, I don't think you need to feel guilty or ashamed for being lucky. And if it's me, I don't know how much I'm sharing. I just don't see the utility. Is it really—
[00:24:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:24:30] Jordan Harbinger: —going to make you feel better or is it just going to result in rumors? I don't know. We can argue till the sun goes down about whether a system that enables inherited wealth is fair or unfair. And that's an important question for us to be asking as a society and whatnot, but on a personal level, on the level of you living your life, you've done nothing wrong. You've honored your advantages. You've worked hard and you're consciously choosing to be a thoughtful human being and a good parent. Maybe I'm being simplistic about this. But in a world where some people randomly benefit in outsized ways like you, the most important thing you can do is be grateful and generous and kind, and like you said, use your situation to put your share of positivity into the world. And I don't just mean good vibes. I mean, do something with it and yeah, not everyone will view that charitably, but that doesn't make you some kind of monster either. And if you need some help navigating the guilt and the shame, you could always ask a therapist about this and talk to a therapist about this betterhelp.com/jordan. You know where to reach them. Because my hunch is that how you feel about your wealth is closely tied to how you feel about your choices, your accomplishments, your identity, the money, that's the tip of the iceberg here. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's normal. It would be weird if you didn't think about that stuff. But that's what makes it such a rich area for exploration, no pun intended. So I'd encourage you to do that and keep doing what you're doing, which is being a good person because that's really the most important thing. And yeah, thanks for sharing your story with us.
[00:25:57] All right, Gabe, what's next? I hope it's not some other rich jerk crying about how much money they have. Honestly, I think — no, I'm kidding, of course, but I think it's honestly very introspective of her to even notice her feelings is around that. So good for her. All right. What's next?
[00:26:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan, Jen, and — Jabe — nice. Somebody just wrote my name, J-A-B-E.
[00:26:16] Jordan Harbinger: Jabriel.
[00:26:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Anything to preserve the triple J, I guess.
[00:26:20] My parents who are smart, lifelong engineers now retired in their 60s, tend to lean pretty far to one side politically. I tend to be pretty centrist and apolitical with a lean toward their side. I value my relationship with my parents and my dad is the closest thing I have to a hero.
[00:26:35] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, let me guess where this one goes.
[00:26:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. During this election, I ended up voting for the presidential candidate from the opposite party I usually vote for. When my parents found out they wouldn't speak to me for four days. When they finally called me, my dad was very upset and argued that, "When you vote for a party, you should fall within all the bounds of that party." And then proceeded to list all the ways he believes the party I voted for should act. This logically led to the fact that he had failed to implant his values in me as a child. He then told me, he feels this country is at a tipping point and that it needs saving. We will have a Civil War in the next four years and that my people will be to blame. He then showed a bit of belief in a few of his party's conspiracy theories. My parents are very afraid for their future and the future my nieces and nephews will inherit. My counter-arguments were that his partisan view is false and that expecting the American public to fall into two boxes is a pretty tall order. I also mentioned that part of the problem with our country these days is exactly this, that people are willing to put politics ahead of having good relationships with their family members. After talking with him for an hour, he felt confident that I was sticking to my morals and that they were rooted in his teachings. I then Ben Franklin affected him a bit later by asking for some advice. And I think we are now at a familial but a strained relationship. My question for you is this: I'm supposed to go to their house next weekend and I promised him we would go for walks and have the hard talks that make adult families closer. What points do I need to bring up with him and discuss, and how do I approach them? Where do I even begin? Yours truly, Outside the Box, but still in the Family.
[00:28:07] Jordan Harbinger: Are you sure you didn't call my dad last weekend by mistake? That's possible. Based on what you've described, it sounds to me like your dad has a tremendous amount of anxiety about the world, about the future. Some of it may be justified. Some of it, a lot of it, probably not. Probably the result of watching certain channels that a lot of elderly white people are watching 24/7 these days, my parents included.
[00:28:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: You talking about NatGeo? I'm assuming.
[00:28:33] Jordan Harbinger: Yes, I'm talking about National Geographic and the Discovery Channel.
[00:28:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, those two will do it. Oh, those will turn you.
[00:28:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, absolutely. There's talking like David Attenborough every day every time I go. It's easy for politics to whip up that anxiety, right? Or for people to project the anxiety that they already have onto politics. And I see it all the time in my own family, and I know how crazy-making it is to be around. But your dad, he's not even debating policy here. He's dictating it. He wants you to hold the exact same beliefs that he does. Either because he thinks it reflects poorly on him if you think differently, which is pretty narcissistic, to say the least. Or because the thought of his son holding different views is very threatening to him somehow, which also seems a little narcissistic and super common with parents, especially in close-knit families. So I get it. I'm not saying that clinical narcissism. I just mean it's a little self-absorbed. And look, all parents want to instill good values in their children. But when you said that your dad felt, "He had failed to implant his values in you," that sounds to me like he isn't even taking you seriously as an individual who has his own thoughts and feelings about the world. Which on top of being frustrating is probably pretty invalidating to you.
[00:29:44] Because you and your dad, you're not engaging with each other as equals you're fighting about why you aren't conforming to your dad's idea of who you supposedly should be in his own head. Plus, he's doing all that under the guise of having the hard talks that make adult families closer, which is just a little cringe, Gabe. Like, he's not even my dad. And he made my heart sank a little. One of dad's classic hard talks. Can't wait.
[00:30:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh my God, totally. When I read that line, I was like, oh, I'm reverting back to being 12.
[00:30:11] Jordan Harbinger: Where you get shamed like you're 13 years old and you dented the car with a basketball or something like that.
[00:30:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly. One of those walks where your dad does that thing, where he puts his hand on the back of your neck.
[00:30:20] Jordan Harbinger: "Son, we all make mistakes. And I just want you to know that I'm going to be mad at you and never let this go. You're going to hear about it every Thanksgiving. I'm going to tell every girl that you bring over to the house." Yeah, that's my own stuff. Anyway, all of this is to say there is a lot more and just politics going on here, and I don't blame you for getting worked up. I'm the one that can't work up now in this answer, although I got to say, you sound very level headed in fair and you seem to be managing this extremely well.
[00:30:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:30:50] Jordan Harbinger: How do you handle this when you visit? Well, I think you need to get clear on what you hope to accomplish here. If you want to actually debate issues with your dad, if you want to try to change his mind, or be open to changing your mind, then you can have that hard talk. And I hope it's a productive one. I can't give you talking points because I'm not familiar with your view and also talking politics makes me want to hang myself. So I'll leave that to you. Just be prepared for that to be an uphill battle if your agenda is to convince him that you are right, especially given the tone of the conversations and discussions so far. Or maybe you just want to reassure your dad that you're not a godless socialist Kack, who wants to destroy the moral fiber of America because you voted for sleepy Joe. And I'm guessing that's what your dad thinks I could be wrong. Maybe I have it backwards.
[00:31:36] If that's your goal, then I would avoid the policy and focus on underlying values, whatever your dad tried to instill in you, hard work, kindness, respect, whatever it is. You could tell him that you still believe in those things. And that's why you voted the way that you did. You could help him see that while you disagree on candidates, you're totally aligned on the deeper issues. Maybe that'll make him feel better. But here's the thing. I'm not even sure that's your job. You do not have to babysit your dad's feelings. And if you don't enjoy these conversations, you're not obligated to have them. You don't live together. You're not trying to fight for your right to believe in something. You're just having a disagreement like you would at any other Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner or whatever. So, if you feel like saying, "Dad, I know we disagreed in this election and I know that doesn't sit well with you, but I think it's okay if we differ sometimes and we don't have to argue about it. I still love you. I know you still love me. We both love this country and it doesn't change anything about our relationship. Please pass the Brussels sprouts." Maybe that's all he needs to hear to feel better.
[00:32:35] Gabe what if my quick running guns/dodge the question/issue doesn't work?
[00:32:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, if your dad is not reassured by something like that, then Jordan is right. It is not your job to make them feel okay all the time. Certainly not by compromising what you actually believe. That right there is a recipe for resentment, for depression. Your dad's anxieties, his fears, those are his feelings. He might be making them your problem by raging at you across the dinner table about the election. But that doesn't mean you have to take those feelings on yourself. That's where you have to draw a line and say, "You can be angry about the election dad. You can be scared about the future, and I can believe what I believe. And I'm not going to let your feelings dictate how I enjoy Thanksgiving dinner or how I feel about the world." And maybe that's just an internal boundary for you. You know, maybe you only say that in your head to yourself while you have that hard talk or whatever over pumpkin pie but it's an important one. And if your dad keeps pressing you and it starts to become a real problem, then maybe it is a boundary that you end up enforcing out loud, too.
[00:33:31] I hope that helps if it makes you feel any better. Jordan and I have had to do this exact same thing with some of our family members recently. It is frustrating, but it is kind of the only way to preserve your sanity at family gatherings. And also, just to enjoy your family without letting politics infect everything. So figure out what you want to accomplish here. Find those boundaries for yourself and try to enjoy your dad's company as much as you can, despite all of this. And I don't know, maybe leave the room if he puts on cable news. That's always going to be a good policy.
[00:34:02] Jordan Harbinger: This is The Jordan Harbinger Show and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:34:06] This episode is sponsored in part by Butcher Box. When it comes to meat quality matters, but there's more to it than just texture and taste. Low-quality meat, the flavors off, it's a high cost to the environment. That's fed a whole bunch of crap that you're then eating. High-quality humanely raised meat is important and it should be important for you as well. It's better for you. It's better for the animal. It's better for the environment. I like a little rib-eye, little T-bone steak here and there. Not everyone has convenient access to high-quality meat. You can go to the grocery store half the time. They can't even get it. The selection's gone, they have two packs of it. Try finding wild-caught salmon anywhere, good luck. And when you do it's twice the price as it would be normally. Luckily, today's sponsor ButcherBox believes everyone deserves high quality humanely sourced meat. Each box has nine to 11 pounds of meat. That's like 24 individual meals, no antibiotics, no added hormones, packed fresh, shipped frozen, vacuum-sealed. So it stays that way. ButcherBox is really a no brainer. I get excited whenever this arrives and I love that sugar and nitrate-free bacon. That's where I'm at.
[00:35:06] Jen Harbinger: And guess what bacon for life is back.
[00:35:09] Jordan Harbinger: Bacon for life!
[00:35:10] Jen Harbinger: Right now, new members can get bacon for life when they sign up. Just get a butcherbox.com/jordan. That's a package of free bacon and every box for the life of your subscription when you go to butcherbox.com/jordan. Bacon for life!
[00:35:24] Jordan Harbinger: Bacon for life!
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[00:36:20] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored in part by Luckbox magazine, the control freaks, and a new guide to life, money, and probability it's for investors, traders, entrepreneurs, side, hustlers, gamblers, or probability geeks. Each issue is a deep dive into a current business or cultural theme. And they have timely stories on side hustles, investment trends, gadgets, skis, or gaming eSports, cryptocurrency. They got over 10 editorial awards in the first year, best new magazine 2019, best new magazine 2020. You got to wonder at what point did they stop becoming new? But hey, look, they interviewed me. So, you know they have great taste in content and you can't really beat that. Luckbox will make you a wiser investor, a smarter trader, maybe a little luckier.
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[00:37:23] Jordan Harbinger: Thanks for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us going. Who doesn't love some good products and/or services? You can always visit jordanharbinger.com/deals for all the details on everybody that helps support the show. And now for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
[00:37:41] All right, what's next?
[00:37:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I recently got fired from my job. I would accept it and move on if I had been fired because of my job performance but this termination comes with a little bit of a story. Around three months ago, my boss demoted me and told me that it was so that another staff member could have a more consistent schedule. That was heartbreaking, especially because she had asked me to leave a job where I was making significantly more money to take over a supervisory role. Not only did I take a significant pay cut to take on the role at my new position. But my boss ultimately neglected to give me the 20 percent raise that she promised me. Then shortly into my new role, my boss decided to stop scheduling support staff on weekends. So not only was I doing my work as a supervisor, but I was also doing a second person's work and the entire cleaning staff's work. I was happy to take on the extra work though because I love the company and this was right after COVID-19 hit. So I knew that was impacting the company's revenue. At my annual review, I outlined my frustrations to my boss who has assured me that my demotion was not my fault, told me that I was doing an excellent job, and gave me a 10 percent raise. A couple of weeks after that shining appraisal, that same boss asked me to send an email about how I felt working at the company. So I sent her an email outlining the same frustrations that I had laid out at my review and she responded with an email firing me.
[00:38:56] Jordan Harbinger: What?
[00:38:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Is this ground for an unlawful termination lawsuit because she fired me in response to an employee complaint? Is there anything else I can do in response? Or should I just move on and look for another job? Signed, Nuke My Nemesis or Ditch this Dreadfulness.
[00:39:12] Jordan Harbinger: Well, I'm very sorry to hear that you've been laid off, especially in this manner. It's never easy, especially in the middle of a pandemic, especially when you love your job. There's a lot of specialists here. But I'm even sorrier to hear that you've been so mistreated leading up to it. I got to say, based on the content of this letter and what you've shared with us, I can't help, but feel your boss has done you a huge favor because of all of these shenanigans — taking a pay cut to jump ship, and then never getting the raise they promised you, doing several people's jobs, being asked to speak up, and then being fired for it — the whole being asked to speak up and then getting fired for it, that is the ultimate. That is garbage. It's manipulative. It's unfair. It's just total bullshit. Your boss sounds like a real piece of crap honestly. He's a garbage boss and I know you love him this company and you had compassion for them during COVID and is a lot about you. But the reality is that the company has no compassion for you. Most companies don't and that's why you have to make sure you're looking out for yourself here. Not all companies, but many/most companies don't. But your boss seems almost especially vindictive. Like she listened to you on the one hand. And then she says, "Hey, can you put that in writing?" And then fires you in the reply, like that was a setup from the get-go out from the jump. I just don't even understand it.
[00:40:21] So do you have a legal case here? Possibly. Hard to say you'd have to talk to an employment attorney about that. Wrongful termination claims, they have to prove that a law was violated either through discrimination, harassment, breach of contract, retaliation. The whole thing about your boss, asking you to send her an email with your frustrations and her responding by firing you in my very limited legal opinion. Look, there could be something there. I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. You really do need to find an employment attorney in your jurisdiction, in your state. I could see a lawyer making the case that you made a report to your manager and the company reacted negatively and engaged in punishing behavior and response. And the fact that there's a paper trail, I mean, that helps a lot. It's incredibly dumb of your boss to ask for that in an email. And if that had been an in-person conversation, it would have been much harder to prove. That documentation could help your case, but that depends on whether those frustrations you outlined were actual potential legal violations, or just you grumbling about your job.
[00:41:22] If you want, book a phone call with an attorney to share your story, see what they say. A decent lawyer will tell you if you have a case worth pursuing. Sometimes just even the threat to a company of legal action is enough to say, "Okay, fine. Here's a 90-day severance." You know, or something along those lines. It all comes down to whether the cost of the attorney and the time and the energy this is going to suck from your life is worth it. You'd have to balance all of that against the potential damages that you'd receive. And that's a probabilistic calculation. It's not something you can count on a hundred percent, so that's your call.
[00:41:52] But since this is not a clear-cut case of wrongful termination and it hasn't damaged your life in some hugely profound way, my gut feeling is that you should probably just move on. Find a company that values your work. Find a boss who honors your time and stands by their promises. Write a nasty ass glassdoor.com review as well. In most cases, your energy is better spent finding a great job than trying to get back at a crappy one. So good luck, man. And by the way, Gabriel, this reminds me, we have a mutual friend and he recently got terminated by some BS means they basically just wouldn't pay him a bonus. Then they said, "It's going to become later." Then they gave him half and then they said they can't pay him right away. And he finally said, "Look, I'm not coming in until I get paid. You know this is garbage." And they sort of not tricked him into coming in, but kind of tricked him into coming in so they could take his phone back or something.
[00:42:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:42:43] Jordan Harbinger: And then he said, "Okay, fine. If you're going to treat me like this. I'm going to write a complaint," about the woman that — he worked with this woman that hated gay people and Jews. So he wrote that up and he said, "By the way, our warehouse has like 15 OSHA violations." So he reported all of those to OSHA. And he had his lawyer—
[00:43:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Great.
[00:43:01] Jordan Harbinger: —write up a demand letter that said, "Hey, FYI, he was subjected to this person who hates gay people and Jews." And they were like, "Hey, we're going to fix the safety violations. Also, here's a huge, here's like—" I think like, a 90-day severance package and in exchange for him to sign away him working with a white supremacist a-hole thing.
[00:43:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow. Wow. That's crazy.
[00:43:23] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it sucks. You have to get companies to do that, but I'd been hearing stories from him for ages about how crappy this company was. So this is no surprise.
[00:43:31] I'm sorry. You found out the hard way, but I think finding out now is always better than finding out later that your job was never going to promote you and that they were always going to treat you like crap. At least they struck a deathblow instead of death by a thousand paper cuts.
[00:43:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:43:44] Jordan Harbinger: That's my opinion. All right, last but not least.
[00:43:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and team. I'm loving Six-Minute Networking. My question is this, let's say you've identified two contacts in your network that it would make sense to introduce, but you only met one or both of these contacts recently, so you don't know if they're actually good at what they do. You have no reason to doubt the people in question, they seem like nice people, you just don't have experience working with them. How would you handle that introduction? Would you introduce them with caveats, not make the introduction, or take some other approach? Thank you for all your help and for doing what you do. Signed, Sweating my Vetting or Regretting my Betting.
[00:44:19] Jordan Harbinger: In general, I only introduce people where I have a basic level of confidence in that, especially if I'm introducing them for a specific reason. You know, I wouldn't connect a friend with an attorney if I didn't know that the attorney was worth their salt, just like I wouldn't introduce a money manager to a friend if I didn't know the friend actually had any money to invest. If I don't know, just that baseline information, I try to find out usually with a quick phone call or email. If I can't find that out, I won't make the introduction because introducing people to subpar connections won't add to their lives or deepen their relationship. And it could actually end up hurting it. In general, you want to be the guy who makes reliable high-quality introductions. That's how you create real value.
[00:45:04] The exception to this is if you don't know either party very well and you're just kind of playing the odds. For example, I might talk to someone for 10 minutes at a party, find out that they're thinking about buying a house and then remember a cool real estate agent. I met a couple of months ago and I'll connect them when I get home. I might not know much about these people. I don't know if they're actually going to get along or do business together, but I'm playing the odds and I think that's fair. That said, even in those situations, I'm still going to do some basic due diligence on the buyer, on the agent, to make sure I'm not wasting anyone's time. But sometimes that homework is impossible and it's better just to roll the dice than miss an opportunity to make a great connection.
[00:45:42] And if I know one of the parties better than the other, I might say to them, "Hey FYI, I can't totally vouch for this person. I haven't really worked with them on anything or on this, what their specialty is, but I think it's worth a quick call to find out if there's something there," and then they can always say, "Thanks, but no thanks." That's totally fine with me. When in doubt, let both parties opt into the introduction. That's never a bad idea. That's covered in Six-Minute Networking. It's called the double opt-in. It takes a lot of the pressure off of you. And there's nothing wrong with saying, "Hey, Tom is a real estate agent. I've never worked with him directly, but he's always responsive. And he seems like a great guy and he has good reviews," on whatever website reviews real estate agents. So there's nothing wrong with that. But I wouldn't say, "This guy's the best real estate agent in the world." Then your friend gets screwed over and you go, "Oh yeah, I never did anything with him and I know nobody that has," and it's like, "Dude, you vouched for them." You have to be pretty transparent on that.
[00:46:36] And doing your homework, that also depends on the nature of the relationship you're creating. An attorney or a money manager, for example, part of their job is dealing with difficult people or very stressful situations. In those cases, I don't worry as much about whether the person I'm introducing them as the easiest client in the world. But if I were setting two people up on a date, you better believe I'm making sure that they're both good people, that they're compatible in my opinion, that they share the same values, all that. So I also take the context of the relationship into account when I'm making an introduction. In general, it's more important to make quality introductions than it is to make quantity introductions. But in cases where the stakes are lower, like the real estate agent example, I say, roll the dice and let them figure out if the connection is valuable. And if you ever feel uneasy about an introduction, listen to that instinct. And either do more homework so you can feel confident or qualify the introduction by giving one or both parties, the heads up. Or just hold off and wait until you have a truly great introduction to make. That way you can't go wrong. Good on you for taking networking seriously. You know, I love that.
[00:47:43] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week. Go back and check out the episodes we had for you. Stereo Sunday kidnapped part one, Tuesday kidnapping part two, and Seth Godin there on Thursday for you
[00:47:54] Want to know how I manage to book all these folks? Well, check out our Six-Minute Networking course. We just talked about it's free. You don't have to enter your credit card, none of that. It's on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. Dig the well before you get thirsty. Don't wait until you need relationships to leverage them. That is a terrible idea. You're going to be too late. The drills take a few minutes a day. I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. Find it all for free at jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:48:20] 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 going up on our YouTube channel. That's at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram or just at me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:48:44] 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, Gabriel Mizrahi Keep sending in those questions to email@example.com. Our advice and opinions, and those of our guests are their own. And I'm a lawyer, but I am not your lawyer. 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.
[00:49:26] We've got a preview trailer of our interview with the one and only Dr. Drew Pinsky of Loveline fame. I always loved that guy. Check out episode 72 right here on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:49:36] It's like a movie script, this person was saying a bunch of crap that didn't make any sense. And then you said something along the lines of—
[00:49:42] Male: Is there someone else in there I can talk to?
[00:49:45] Jordan Harbinger: And then they were like, "Sure."
[00:49:46] Dr. Drew Pinsky: Yeah, I could tell it was multiple. Yeah. That's a pretty easy thing for me to tell. You listen with your whole body.
[00:49:51] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:49:51] Dr. Drew Pinsky: You don't listen with your ears. And that really started happening with dealing with drug addicts out in the clinic because they pull you into a vortex. If I hear the sound, a little cartoon where they start going yogada, yogada, yogada
[00:50:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah sure.
[00:50:05] Dr. Drew Pinsky: I know I'm with a drug addict. When I hear that yogada, yogada, yogada sound in my head, I'm like somebody is doing drugs. I just know it. I'm just going to be sitting here, listening to somebody going, "Ha-ha-ha." And all of a sudden, I go, "Yogada, yogada, yogada." And I go, "Oh, okay. I got it." I couldn't stop listening now and just start asking what they're taking, how much they're on, that kind of stuff. I'm thinking right now, this guy that called us and wanted to know—
[00:50:23] Male: Women always freak out when they find out what I was in jail for it.
[00:50:26] Dr. Drew Pinsky: And all of a sudden, Adam goes, "Wait a minute, find out that you were in jail or find out what you were in jail for." He goes—
[00:50:32] Male: What I was in jail for?
[00:50:33] Dr. Drew Pinsky: And then we go, "Oh, well, what were you in jail?"
[00:50:35] Male: I broke into a mausoleum and I twisted off the head of an old lady and boiled it to a skull because I needed it for my little brother's snake’s aquarium.
[00:50:45] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:50:46] Dr. Drew Pinsky: And you just don't understand that might be a little disturbing to people. Why?
[00:50:53] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, so he was—
[00:50:54] Dr. Drew Pinsky: Psychopath.
[00:50:55] Jordan Harbinger: Psychopath. Yeah. Self-esteem obviously doesn't care if you're successful.
[00:50:59] Dr. Drew Pinsky: Right. Self-esteem is something established, I think by five, I mean, you can enhance it. You can move it a little bit, but most of it is set early and mine was bad. Yeah. That's okay. That's all right. You know, it just, it gives you trouble. That makes you feel bad. It gives you symptoms, it impairs your functioning, that's therapy time.
[00:51:17] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. Did you ever try therapy for that?
[00:51:19] Dr. Drew Pinsky: 11 years.
[00:51:20] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my God.
[00:51:20] Dr. Drew Pinsky: Not for that per se. I was having overwhelming anxiety. It was my main reason. At least, that's my wife's reason for sending me.
[00:51:27] Jordan Harbinger: For more with Dr. Drew, including what experiencing imposter syndrome usually reveals about you and how we can spot the behaviors of addiction and others, as well as in ourselves, check out episode 72 right here on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
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