Who defines the rules about what makes an age gap between two consenting adults “appropriate?” And if the relationship between you and someone nearly twice your age is fabulous, then who has any right to call your age gap scandalous? We’ll investigate 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:
- If the relationship between you and someone nearly twice your age is fabulous, then who has any right to call your age gap scandalous?
- Spanking as a form of discipline for developing kids: Yes or no?
- Is there an “I made a job move but not sharing where to” status that works on LinkedIn?
- What do you do when you’re pro-union in spirit, but the union wants to assassinate the character of your wife who founded the non-profit said union is organizing against?
- How can you maintain friendship with people for whom your wife doesn’t much care?
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Jordan Harbinger Show receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you for your support!
Sign up for Six-Minute Networking — our free networking and relationship development mini course — at jordanharbinger.com/course!
This Episode Is Sponsored By:
- BetterHelp: Get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/jordan
- Athletic Greens: Visit athleticgreens.com/jordan for a free one-year supply of vitamin D and five free travel packs with your first purchase
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Miss the show we did with Molly Bloom — the woman behind the most exclusive, high-stakes underground poker game in the world? Catch up here with episode 120: Molly Bloom | The One Who Makes the Rules Wins the Game!
Resources from This Episode:
- Daniella Mestyanek Young | How to Disengage from a Lifelong Cult | Jordan Harbinger
- Can Age-Gap Relationships Work? | Verywell Mind
- What Is It Like to Be in a Relationship with an Age Gap? | Quora
- Does DiCaprio Only Date Under-25s? The Theory Explained and Relationship History | Evening Standard
- Olive Garden Italian Restaurant
- Create an Online Will and Trust | Trust & Will
- The Case Against Spanking | APA
- What Science Says — And Doesn’t — about Spanking | Scientific American
- Why You Shouldn’t Spank Your Kids and What to Do Instead | Cleveland Clinic
- The Effect of Spanking on the Brain | Harvard Graduate School of Education
- Hanging Out with Jordan | Anastasia Golovashkina, Instagram
- Gabe’s Front-Row Seat to Florid Psychosis | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Family and Medical Leave Act | US Department of Labor
- Institute of Politics Friends of Anastasia Fund | UChicago Crowdfunding
824: Is an Age Gap Scandalous If the Relationship’s Fabulous? | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, my solipsistic sidekick in salvation, Gabriel Mizrahi. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave, 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.
[00:00:38] If you're new to the show, on Fridays, we give advice, we answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, performers. This week we had Daniella Mestyanek Young that she grew up in a crazy cult called The Children of God, which I don't want to spoil it, but was super gross, and we talked about mind control and cults and growing up in one. It was a fascinating conversation. All right, taking it easy this week. No Thursday episodes, so don't panic. Nothing is wrong with your podcast player and no Skeptical Sunday. Again, letting everybody sleep in a little bit this week. Make sure you've had a look and to listen to everything we created for you here this week.
[00:01:20] All right, Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:01:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I'm a 26-year-old woman, and I'm currently in the best relationship of my life. My boyfriend is incredibly loving, supportive, complimentary, and communicative. We have an amazing connection. We talk for hours. We travel. We even have a cat together. The only problem is he's 54.
[00:01:46] I feel like I have to add that he's not one of those sleazy guys who chase young women. He never even considered dating someone my age, but when we met, there was an immediate and almost overwhelming connection that couldn't be ignored. When we're together, I picture the rest of my life with him and I can see us having such a good life together. But when we're apart, sometimes I get a jolt when I remember the huge age gap and what that would mean 20-plus years down the line. He wants to have children with me even though he has two from his ex-wife. But I ask myself, is that fair to them to have a dad in his 70s at their high school graduation? Another issue is our financial situation. I'm close to broke at the moment, and I'm studying in university for a degree that's pretty much guaranteed to give me a decent salary, but probably not much more while he's been enormously successful. He's never made me feel like I owe him anything for all that he's given me. But I wonder if that could be something to worry about down the line. I also think about how this looks the cliche of the young attractive girl with the older rich guy, and whether I'm always going to have to deal with that stigma. Sometimes I think I should just end it and find someone to have a normal relationship with. But even just thinking about that breaks my heart. I love this guy so much. What do you think? Should I give this relationship a real shot? Should I face the reality and break both of our hearts? What would you take into consideration here and how would you move forward? Signed, Take the Age of My Boo, Divide by Two, and There's a Clue to Why I'm Feeling a Little Blue.
[00:03:12] Jordan Harbinger: Geez. Okay, Gabe. Wow. New sign-off, new sign-off genre just dropped, remember?
[00:03:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's right. Exactly.
[00:03:21] Jordan Harbinger: That one was extra long. Anyway, fascinating situation. Gabe, I find this age gap thing so interesting. I feel—
[00:03:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: So interesting.
[00:03:30] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, man, I feel like in the last few years post #MeToo, there's been this whole conversation around older guys and younger women and whether those relationships are somehow fair and legit, and whether men are like abusing their power or capitalizing on other people's lack of power. And I do get it. I think, of course, power dynamics are very real. We all know that guy who's like 48 and only goes after women getting like communications degrees and is like, "Ugh, okay, what's going on there?" In that whole conversation, I feel like people have forgotten that people have different ages can fall in love. They can love each other for the right reasons, and just because there's an age gap doesn't mean one of them is automatically a freaking predator and the other one is a target or whatever.
[00:04:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. Or one of them has severe intimacy issues and the other is vulnerable. Yeah, exactly.
[00:04:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:04:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Case in point, these two.
[00:04:19] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. So, I'm not saying the age gap doesn't create some complications. There are obviously some unique concerns that come up in a May-December romance, she touched on a couple of the big ones, but this concern she has about how it looks, the stigma that she might face. I understand where that comes from, but it kind of sucks that she can't fully settle into this relationship because of that.
[00:04:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. Which, based on what she shared sounds like a pretty fantastic relationship in every respect.
[00:04:43] Jordan Harbinger: Sure. He's loving, supportive, complimentary, communicative. They have an amazing connection. They talk for hours. They travel.
[00:04:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: They're co-parenting a cat together.
[00:04:51] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, if they adopted a cat and everyone's happy, you know, it's got to be pretty good.
[00:04:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm biased because I'm a cat person, but I'm just picturing these two love birds with a rescue cat just making biscuits on this guy's salt and pepper beard while they cuddle in front of the TV and I'm just like, you guys have to stay together. Like this is too cute. I'm very moved by the cat angle.
[00:05:10] Jordan Harbinger: Especially because the guy doesn't seem to have a crazy track record of only dating younger women, right? He's not Leonardo DiCaprio. If he were that guy, not Leo, but the guy who dates younger women only, I might say, "Okay. Interesting. Is there more for us to know about that?" Again, like you said before, as he may be incapable of forming connections with women closer to his own age, are his values a little off? Again, I'm not automatically judgy about those kinds of relationships either. They're just fair questions to ask if something is a pattern. But this guy is just, 54 happened to meet a woman is 26. They weren't looking for each other and bam, there's an amazing connection. That said, she does bring up a good point, which is that this guy's going to be in his 70s at their kid's high school graduation.
[00:05:54] And I had a friend like that in college. It didn't seem to dramatically affect the guy. He was a little bit of a mama's boy because dad was a little bit older and less involved. But that's also a choice. It is on the older side, the more difficult implication. And I don't mean to be morbid, but I know you're being very practical about all this. The difficult implication is that your child will probably say goodbye to their father much sooner in life than most people. And that is a sad thing to think about. My college roommate again, the guy whose dad was in his 70s at in high school, or at least early college, his father's already long since passed away, and other people's dads are in their early 70s now.
[00:06:31] Does it mean that it's unfair to them though to grow up with an older dad? Uh, I'm just not so sure about that. That really depends on what kind of guy your boyfriend is and what kind of older man he wants to become. Is he going to work out five days a week? Take your kid to the park, run around, shoot hoops, maybe he retires early, spends tons of time with the kids. Is having a young child at an older age going to be the reason he takes better care of himself? Could you guys both talk about this together? Maybe make a promise that you'll both stay healthy and active so you can be the most vital parents you can be. If so, I really don't know if your boyfriend's chronological age is going to be as much of a liability as it might first seem.
[00:07:08] You know, your, when you're 26, everybody looks old, but trust me, when you're 40, you meet people who are in their 60s and you're like, "Whatever, we're the same age." Honestly, I know a couple of these guys in their 50s, 60s, they have young children and they're fine. They're doing great. It's less traditional. It's kind of funny. But they're putting in the work to take care of themselves, especially in those first 20 years of the kids' life, which are crucial. So, oh, and by the way, I know dad's in their 30s who can't even bend down to pick something up without groaning and tweaking their back and heaving as they go up a flight of stairs. So I'm not really sure it's the number that counts. I think it's more like what your boyfriend does with those years. And that's my take.
[00:07:45] Now about the money piece of all this. I know it's a bit tricky. It's the kind of not-so-fun part of the equation. My take there is this all depends on how you and your boyfriend are communicating about these issues and what expectations you have for each other in the relationship. If you're worried that one day you might feel like you owe him something for all that he's given you, the only way to work through that fear is to have his baby — no, to talk, talk about it, to talk about it. And I mean, why not get way out in front of that possibility and just ask him, "Hey, do you have any concerns about the difference in our income? Do you have any feelings about me relying on you sometimes? You being able to provide more than I do? Does anything about this feel unfair?" Those are really important conversations to have as a couple. It's a little intense, sure, but it's obviously important to both of you. Also, it doesn't really have to be a big deal, just you asking, being thoughtful is really half the battle.
[00:08:43] My guess is that this anxiety is worse the more it's left unexplored because you've got this elephant in the room. And neither of you know what the other person feels about it. You could even say to your boyfriend, "Listen, I feel insanely lucky that you've helped support me while I'm in school. I'm so grateful for that. But sometimes I worry about how that sits with you. I never want you to feel like I'm taking advantage of things or not pulling my weight in our relationship. Can we talk about that?" And maybe his answer is, "This is not a big deal. I'm happy to provide for us and support you while you're in school. You have nothing to worry about." Or maybe he goes, "Hey, I'm happy to support you now, but I'd love for you to do well in your career, so maybe we can talk about how to make that happen." Or maybe he even says, "Look, I don't expect you to make as much as me. It would just mean a lot if you showed up in all these other ways."
[00:09:30] And I don't mean to reduce your relationship slash possible future marriage to some kind of economic arrangement, although older man, younger woman, economic arrangement marriages are probably the norm historically. But as a married guy, I do know that on one level that is what a marriage is, a division of labor in any case. It's not all it is. It's just one dimension of it. And there's frankly nothing wrong with talking about that explicitly.
[00:09:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Great advice, Jordan. I totally agree. As for the stigma you might face as a young woman dating your very own George Clooney—
[00:10:01] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:10:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: —I'm with Jordan there. Sure. You might face a little bit of that sometimes, but honestly, you can't control that, and it doesn't ultimately have any bearing on the legitimacy of your relationship. At some point, I think you just have to decide like, "Yeah, I'm not going to care about those handful of people who stare at us in restaurants when we go out." I mean, that's just noise, right? People are annoying, they're judgy, they're nosy. They carry around their own biases and feelings about other people's relationships or what they think they know about other people's relationships, that's their stuff. Also, they might just be more curious about you guys and maybe in some cases a little envious. Maybe they're more that than they are judgmental. I think that comes with the territory too.
[00:10:42] But just to give you one last thing to think about, I would explore this idea you have about what a, quote-unquote, "normal" relationship is. I think you said that you are wondering if you should break up and have a more normal relationship.
[00:10:54] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:10:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Because sure, you guys are not normal age-wise, but so much of what you have, the love that support, the communication, the connection that is normal or it should be normal. And a lot of what we might call normal couples, people who are similar in age, they're actually incredibly dysfunctional. They're abnormal. So maybe part of this decision is taking a moment to come back to your definition of a healthy relationship and getting clear on what matters to you the age, or what's happening inside of the relationship, because normal, by conventional standards, doesn't automatically mean good obviously. It just means like most of the other dysfunctional couples out in the world, so that way people don't stare at us when we go to Olive Garden or whatever.
[00:11:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. You think this dude takes her to Olive Garden?
[00:11:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Probably not. I don't know. It was just the restaurant that came to mind.
[00:11:42] Jordan Harbinger: This dude ain't taking her to Olive Garden. He's taking it of Mastro's. Not that you're with him for that reason. Just saying the guy probably has taste.
[00:11:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, he wants to go out. Yeah. It would be hilarious if they went to Olive Garden though, you know? When you're here, you're family, literally, because I'm guessing this guy's your dad.
[00:12:00] Jordan Harbinger: Oh God. Yeah, unlimited breadsticks. I'm going to stay here until I'm 70, which actually is not that long now that I think about it. No, I'm kidding. We're kidding.
[00:12:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly.
[00:12:07] Jordan Harbinger: So there you have it. I wouldn't end a beautiful relationship because you're worried about appearance. That would be really sad and as far as I can tell, totally unnecessary. By the way, I used to love Olive Garden and it's probably still delicious. I just want to underline that. I would work on the aspects of your relationship that are unique because they deserve your attention, namely how your boyfriend plans to be a vibrant present dad and his later years, and what you guys expect of each other or don't expect of each other financially, logistically. The great news is you have strong communication, so this shouldn't be a huge challenge. In fact, it'll probably be a huge relief and make you guys closer. So good luck and make sure your boyfriend has a will and estate plan and all that. Not saying you should finagle things to be the sole beneficiary. That's not what this is about. Just something all couples, of all ages need to have squared away, but especially older folks, and especially if you want to avoid any drama with his kids later. Just go to trustandwill.com/jordan for 10 percent off, customized legal documents and free shipping. So consider that our future wedding present to you all. Good luck. You all sound awesome.
[00:13:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Did we just give a discount code to a listener as a wedding present?
[00:13:15] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Hey, why not? Look, you know, more people should have trusts and estates set up before they go, ideally, trustandwill.com/jordan.
[00:13:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, if you guys, I mean if you guys invite us to the wedding, we'll get you an actual gift, but—
[00:13:27] Jordan Harbinger: Well,TBD.
[00:13:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: —that'll have to do.
[00:13:29] Jordan Harbinger: In the meantime, here are the rest of the actual sponsors. We'll be right back.
[00:13:36] This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help. If you're going through a tough time, there is absolutely no shame in getting help. I highly recommend it. I've done it myself. I suffered for way too long. You don't need to do that. You've probably already suffered way too long yourself. Better Help is a great option to kick that in the butt and just get started. The Better Help platform makes receiving therapy way more realistic for people who are busy, people who can't get around, won't get around. You live in a city with a lot of traffic. Your therapist is booked for the next two weeks. Forget all that crap. Better Help is way convenient. It's way convenient to communicate. It's way convenient to chat, phone, do video sessions. You can text your therapist at any time. You can share journal entries with your therapist all inside the Better Help app, which by the way, I checked my phone, it's got like 95,000 reviews and a five-star rating. Better Help will match you with a therapist tailored to your needs. Finding one is super quick. Jen found hers in like 15 minutes. When I first started getting therapy years ago, it took me weeks and weeks and months and months to find a therapist. Jen found hers in 15 minutes. Not exaggerating, 15 minutes. Finding the right therapist is like, it's like finding a shoe that fits. The first one you match with, probably not going to fit, might not fit right. Not enough room in the toe. Too much room in the toe. It's important you're comfortable because you're going to be opening up. And with Better Help, you have access to over 25,000 licensed professional therapists on the platform, all verified, vetted by Better Help. It's so easy to try different therapists until you find somebody you click with. No additional charge for switching. I cannot even tell you all the excuses I came up with as to why I didn't need therapy or couldn't go, but once I did, I really wished I'd started sooner. So take this as the virtual kick in the pants that you might need to get your mental health help even a little bit. So go ahead and give it a try.
[00:15:16] Jen Harbinger: If you want to live a more empowered life, therapy can get you there. Visit betterhelp.com/jordan to get 10 percent off your first month. That's better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan.
[00:15:27] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Athletic Greens. Jen and I take AG1 by Athletic Greens. Every morning, we had a scoop of — I wish I did every morning. I'm a little bit lax sometimes, but we take a scoop of AG1 to a bottle of water. We shake it up. Sometimes we take it at night because I forgot in the morning. We don't always have time to eat nutritious meals. A lot of times we're in the car, we're loading kids in and out. I know people think I'm just like living in my floating house with a full staff or something because of the success of the podcast. No, I got poopy diapers in one hand like everybody else and a juice box, have drank juice box in the other hand, sometimes even in the same hand. Don't tell the wife. Sometimes I really don't even have time to eat. I don't eat at all. So I need something to make sure I'm getting some nutrients that I need. And AG1 is kind of like all-in-one nutritional insurance. Each scoop has 75 vitamins, minerals, whole-food source, superfoods, probiotics, adaptogen, 75 different things. You're not getting 75 different supplements. That would be frigging bizarre. There's no GMOs. There's no nasty chemicals, no artificial stuff. My friend founded the company, kind of anal about all that stuff. Really wanted to make sure that it was not something we were going to look back on later and be like, "Oh, that killed a bunch of people." He's very careful, very cautious about all that. It also tastes really good. You don't need to mix it with anything. One scoop of water decent enough by itself. It doesn't have that bitter-green flavor. It also doesn't taste overly sugared, so that's always nice. Reclaim your health. Get some green in you.
[00:16:49] Jen Harbinger: To make it easy, Athletic Greens is going to give you a free one-year supply of immune-supporting vitamin D and five free travel packs with your first purchase. All you have to do is visit athleticgreens.com/jordan. Again, that's athleticgreens.com/jordan to take ownership over your health and pick up the ultimate daily nutritional insurance.
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[00:17:23] Okay, next up.
[00:17:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. My girlfriend and I are both 32. We've been dating for eight months. We're happily in love, and she's the woman of my dreams. We're also both the products of dysfunctional upbringings. She's not super communicative and I think I communicate well, maybe more than she'd like at times. My girlfriend has a smart, athletically gifted four-year-old daughter. I have a kind and sweet nine-year-old boy, six-year-old girl, and four-year-old girl. We're considering having at least one more child. Our kids of the world to us, and we want to mold them early so that they're prepared for the world but I take more of an aggressive approach. For example, I'll spank my kids for being disrespectful or violent towards each other. Screaming because they aren't getting what they want is unacceptable. And before you start judging me, I don't hit them harder than a solid high five with my bros. One time in public, my middle child was acting out and throwing a fit, so I spanked her in front of everyone.
[00:18:19] Soundbite: Boy, that escalated quickly. [Anchorman]
[00:18:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: I got to pull it together after that. Hang on.
[00:18:31] I believe that the shock and embarrassment of the punishment makes a lasting impression. Afterward, we can have a conversation about it when they've had a chance to calm down. I want to know how to communicate to my girlfriend that if we do decide to have more kids spanking in specific situations won't destroy our relationship. I've tried other methods of correcting behavior, but they don't seem to work. Maybe I'm terrible at executing these other techniques. I do lack patience among other things. I think there should be an age range where spanking is okay, but I don't have all the answers, and I'm open to suggestions. Do I need to learn to drop the spanking? If I am in fact a jerk, how do I stop being the uptight dickhead dad? Signed, A Punishing Pops Pondering These Punitive Swats.
[00:19:14] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Yeah, good question. I think, I don't know, Gabe, you seem like you probably were not spanked growing up, were you?
[00:19:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: I was not. I think there was one time when I was acting I was a little out of control, but I don't think my dad spanked me, but I don't know. He got like a little intense, but it wasn't. No, in our house, we didn't really spank. How about you?
[00:19:30] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah, definitely.
[00:19:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, really?
[00:19:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. He was always really scary because my dad was a little unpredictable with it. Like stuff would just make him mad or he'd be in a bad mood and it was like, "Oh, you're not nice."
[00:19:41] Let me back up. First of all, congrats on finding a woman you love so much. It does sound like you guys have quite a strong bond, which is awesome. And it sounds like you guys are building a very sweet, blended family. And yeah, you guys have different parenting philosophies, but you both want to prepare your kids for the world, which is great. And even though you're pretty convinced that this spanking thing works, I do appreciate that you're open to hearing other angles.
[00:20:04] So let's put aside our personal feelings about spanking children for a moment and we'll just look at the science. We did a little bit of homework, and the research is unequivocal here. Not only is spanking potentially quite damaging to children, it also seems to be ineffective at changing behavior at all. In fact, one of the biggest studies on this topic, a meta-analysis of 75 other studies on the relationship between spanking by parents and their kids' outcomes, it found that spanking was associated with 13 out of a total of 17 negative outcomes, including increased aggression, behavioral and mental health problems, reduced cognitive ability and self-esteem, reduced self-esteem, of course. And a ton of individual studies also confirmed that finding, even after controlling for preexisting child behavior, in fact, one of the top researchers in this field literally said, "Studies continue to find that spanking predicts negative behavior changes. There are no studies showing that kids improve." That's as clear as it gets.
[00:21:04] Another Yale researcher, who is also the president of the freaking American Psychological Association, so I'm pretty sure he knows what he's talking about, he's on record as saying, "You cannot punish out these behaviors that you do not want. There is no need for corporal punishment based on the research. We are not giving up an effective technique. We are saying this is a horrible thing that does not work." And we'll link to a bunch of these studies in the show notes so you can read 'em for yourself if you think I'm just sort of like highlighting my soft woke parenting style or something. But I would definitely stop the spanking in light of that.
[00:21:38] And I say that knowing that you're not being a monster. You're not Robert De Niro in this boy's life. Just torturing your kids for no reason. You're trying to correct behavior. You're trying to prepare them for a world that won't always cater to their every whim. I get it. I've also been tempted to smack my kids when I lose my freaking mind too if they're not listening and can't be reasoned with. It just doesn't mean it's okay or frankly that it's even working even if you do think it's okay, it doesn't do anything because you're right. The shock and embarrassment does make a lasting impression, but it's probably not the one you think and not the one you want.
[00:22:11] That scene you described with your middle child when she was throwing a fit in public, so you spanked her in front of everyone. That is the sort of moment that could leave some real psychological mark even if you're relatively gentle, not because of the physical pain, but the emotional issue there. The marks here I'm talking about the dialogue, the idea that dad loses his temper easily. "Dad doesn't listen to me. Dad doesn't try to understand me when I'm upset. Dad will embarrass me in front of other people, and dad only cares about me being quiet and docile, and my job is not to be a problem." And you can imagine how those messages can bleed into every area of your kids' personalities, their feelings, their sense of self, and their relationship with you, which is extra sad if you think about it. And I'm positive that that is not the outcome that you're hoping for here.
[00:22:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm sure it's not and I couldn't agree more, Jordan. I'm also curious to know why spanking feels like the best option when by his own description he communicates pretty well.
[00:23:08] Jordan Harbinger: I thought that was interesting myself, like if you're so good at communicating, why not talk to your kids? And a lot of it is probably habit and upbringing. You know, I get why my dad spanked me, but 20/20 hindsight, part of the reason was because he is a terrible communicator and still is a terrible communicator. And he would have absolutely no way of communicating anything to a young child without using corporal punishment. But that is not the case with this guy who wrote in very clearly to us and can obviously handle this.
[00:23:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. Like he said, "When everybody calms down, we can go home and talk about it," but it's like, why not just skip the hitting and let's talk about it in the moment or just deal with the disruption in the moment and we'll talk about it when we get home. But look, maybe he finds it hard to communicate with his kids the way that he does with his wife. Maybe spanking just seems easier, or he doesn't think his kids have the capacity to express how they feel and resolve something with their words in the moment. But you know, that's okay. Maybe it takes 'em a little bit of time, or maybe they do have that capacity and they can do that at their level, which I actually suspect they can do.
[00:24:07] Jordan Harbinger: For sure. I mean, all we're really talking about is your daughter starts screaming at Ralph's because you won't buy her gummy worms or whatever. And instead of spanking her to make her stop, you get down on one knee, you'll look her in the eye and you say, "Honey, I know you want candy, but candy's not good for you. I know you're upset." I'm resisting the urge to make a joke here. You get down on one knee and you slap — no, I mean, "I know you're upset. I know you're kind of mad at me. I can see that. I get it. But when we get home, we're going to have something way better for dinner. And when you're ready to stop screaming, we can pick something yummy out together," or some version of that.
[00:24:41] That's how you get a kid to improve their behavior without punishing them for it. And I'm not trying to be all parenting expert Jordan with two kids, both under four years old, but the spanking that's just temporarily suppressing the unpleasant behavior. It's kind of just for you. And look, maybe you say something like that and your daughter keeps on screaming and you lose your marbles. Maybe that talk doesn't always work in the moment, but that is okay. You're still showing her that screaming doesn't get her what she wants. You're not shutting down the behavior, but you're not punishing her either. That's kind of a better message to receive, isn't it?
[00:25:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I think it is the better message to receive. So maybe the real thing going on here is that it's just really hard for him to calm down when his kids act up, so he feels he needs to get them to stop immediately and spanking seems like the only way to do that.
[00:25:26] Jordan Harbinger: Which makes me wonder a little bit about this dysfunctional upbringing of his that he mentioned.
[00:25:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Read my mind. Obviously, we don't know what went on there, but I'm sure it's playing some kind of role. I would venture to guess that he didn't get a lot of validation or understanding from his parents, or maybe his parents were tough on him. Who knows? Maybe they even spanked him and he feels that that's an important way to shape a child, even if it's pretty harsh. Also, this thing about lacking patience that he mentioned, that's got to be connected to this too.
[00:25:55] Jordan Harbinger: For sure, patience with kids, let me tell you from personal experience is everything. I'm not naturally very patient. It's a skill.
[00:26:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: So my question for him would be, what is it about your kids acting out that sets you off? When you say that screaming because they aren't getting what they want is unacceptable, what's so unacceptable to you about it? Is it just the sound of it? Is it worrying about what other people in public might think of you? Is it noticing that your kids can sometimes be quite needy and uncensored and very assertive with their needs and maybe something about that doesn't sit well with you? Basically, what I'm asking is what do their tantrums bring up in you and how do you go from that feeling to "well, I need to hit this child, to make them be quiet immediately." If you can answer that, then I think you'll start to get to the root of this impulse to respond to your kids this way. Because I know that spanking seems like a good technique for their benefit, but it might actually be a way to deal with some difficult feelings in you.
[00:26:51] Jordan Harbinger: I couldn't agree more, Gabe, but as you explore all that, just I would say hit pause on the spanking. Sorry. Poor choice of words.
[00:26:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Interesting.
[00:26:58] Jordan Harbinger: Just don't do it anymore. It doesn't hold up. It's not accomplishing what you hope it will. And again, I'm not shaming anybody who has or does spank their kids. I want to be clear here. I know a lot of people are like, "This is why we have generations of brats that think they can do whatever they want because we're not doing this anymore." I looked at the science because I was like, "Oh, should I spank my kids too?" We did this homework because of our own kids. Well, I did. Gabe, you didn't, I assume do that for any reason.
[00:27:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, I didn't. Should I spank children when I don't have them?
[00:27:25] Jordan Harbinger: No. No. That's weird, that's a Google search result that gets you on a list if you—
[00:27:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's not something you want to put into ChatGPT.
[00:27:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. No. But I just want to be very clear here, like, don't beat yourself up about having done something in the past that doesn't work. We're all kind of figuring out this parenting thing. I'm happy to present the science that says it's just not the greatest way to do what you and I are both trying to do. Instead, I would learn to tolerate whatever tension your kids stir up in you when they're upset, and put those communication skills to good use by inviting your kids to talk about what they're going through. And I promise you're going to get way further with them that way, and you're going to do it with far fewer wounds, physical and emotional. And I appreciate your willingness to look at this from a new angle. Wishing you and your family all the best.
[00:28:09] You can reach us email@example.com. Please keep your emails concise, use descriptive subject lines. If there's something you're going through, you want a new perspective on life, love, work. Whether you should tell your colleagues that they are trashing their bodies and have no right to complain about how they look? Whatever has got you staying up at night lately. Hit us up firstname.lastname@example.org. We're here to help and we keep every email anonymous.
[00:28:31] Okay, what's next?
[00:28:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys. I work for a small but well-known tech company and I've never experienced a more isolating, paranoid, and backstabbing culture. We went through the requisite layoffs last fall, which didn't actually resolve any issues. I've run out of ways to keep my team's morale up. I'm reporting to my third VPs since starting, and I've suffered headaches, stomach issues, and crazy anxiety since being at this company. After staying for a year, I've been quietly interviewing for months. It's worse out there than I've seen before. There's a lot of competition for the same roles. My time is limited due to my workload and hiring managers are frazzled. But if I do end up getting a new role, I don't want to share where or what it is with my current company or colleagues for a few reasons. First, I wouldn't readily provide a reference for anyone in my current company, to any company that I would move to. Second, I don't want to have any of my current colleagues up in my business. And third, our company has become so negative that I can imagine more than a few people complaining about me to new contacts and colleagues out of spite, especially if I refuse to help them make a similar exit. I've seen this happen to other people who left my company and I won't allow it to damage my reputation. If I do land a role, I can easily tell my team that I'm not sharing my new employer until I start. But what about after that? How can I maintain my connections on LinkedIn outside of my current company, welcome new colleagues into that circle and maintain my professional standing without posting my role for three to six months? Is there a "I made a job move, but I'm not sharing whereto" status that works on LinkedIn? And is there a way to avoid making people worried that I've been laid off or appearing ungrateful to a new employer by not publicly claiming them as my new work family? Signed, Managing My Feed Without Trying to Mislead, Misread, or Commit a Misdeed.
[00:30:25] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, man, I'm sorry that your company's been such a sh*t show it. It sounds stressful and chaotic. I can't blame you for wanting to leave. Certainly, it sounds like you have some legitimate reasons for doing so, and I hope you land a role that you're excited about soon. In my view, I don't think there's anything wrong with keeping things quiet on LinkedIn at first, and then posting your new job in three, four, five months. Totally fine. You can also do what a few of my friends have done when they were laid off, which is create a new job on their profile. That's just a kind of a general description of their specialty. For example, strategy and product development for consumer tech companies, or thought leadership manager for Fortune 500 companies or whatever, and just list your general experience without naming your new employer, at least right away. That works whether you've been laid off and you don't want people to view you in a certain way, or you leave to take a new job, but you're not ready to formally announce it just yet, and that'll allow you to keep up your connections, welcome new colleagues into your circle, all of that.
[00:31:25] Now, will people wonder if you've been laid off? Maybe, maybe not. I'm leaning toward not. Probably, most people will see your update and just go, "Oh, she generalized her career. Maybe she's getting ready to make a move. Maybe she's going freelance. Maybe she's just rebranding." I don't know if their first thought is going to be, "Ooh, she got fired." But also, I think you can control whether profile updates get shared with your network in the feed. I'm no LinkedIn expert here, but I think you can toggle that feature off if you want, and that might help you fly onto the radar a little bit more. You won't have some announcements when you update your profile.
[00:31:58] As for your next employer, are they going to be hurt if you don't list them immediately? Again, I don't know if they'll care that much. They'd have to go looking for your profile and then kind of make a whole thing about it. Like, why haven't you updated your LinkedIn? If you do the generic job title idea I just mentioned, maybe that'll satisfy them. Also, you could literally tell your new bosses, "By the way, I haven't updated my profile because my last company is really sensitive about people leaving. It's not because I'm not super pumped to be here, I just want to give it a couple of months." I'm sure they'll understand that. And again, probably, not care at all.
[00:32:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Solid advice, Jordan, and I love the generic job title idea, so I think that'll work. But all of that said, I do wonder if you might be overthinking this just a little bit.
[00:32:41] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:32:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Because look, your current company is a mess, right? They've put you through the wringer. The culture sucks. Some of your colleagues sound weirdly petty and vindictive, which is so bizarre to me.
[00:32:52] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:32:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's awful. But it's also not your responsibility to manage and so much of what you're worried about happening hasn't even happened yet. It's all very hypothetical and it sounds to me like it's taking up quite a lot of your energy these days. So while I definitely appreciate all of these attempts to keep the peace and make everybody happy and not offend anybody, I just want to ask you, is it possible that fixating on all of these possibilities and gaming out every scenario and trying to keep every single person happy in this situation, is that a way to maybe control things a little bit or maybe avoid some difficult conversations down the road?
[00:33:28] And part of the reason I bring this up is you mentioned that you've been experiencing this crazy anxiety since being at this company. And look, I'm sure this company has done things to cause that legitimately, but I'm guessing it's also partly how you've responded to all of this uncertainty, and that is what we're talking about, right? Just a ton of uncertainty in this situation. Uncertainty about what your colleagues are going to think of you when you leave. Uncertainty about what they'll want from you, what they'll say to other people if you decide not to help them. It sounds like that is very distressing to you. I get it. It's like a real thing. I'm not denying that, but as you make this transition, you might want to consider why all of this is so distressing to you more than figuring out what kind of LinkedIn
[00:34:08] update would keep everybody happy.
[00:34:10] Jordan Harbinger: It's a good point, Gabe. I do get the sense that this all feels very high stakes to her. And I'm not saying she's wrong, but she has a certain lens on this that just seems to be creating more stress. Because I could also see her looking at all these possibilities and going, "So, okay, when I jump ship, Brandon's going to want me to help him get a job at my new company. And I don't feel comfortable doing that. So I might have to have a conversation where I tell him I can't help him right now. And he might be kind of mad, but look, if he is, he is, and I can't control how he feels about me, and I'm not going to let his feelings about me determine how I feel about myself. Anyway, I can learn to have that conversation." And then she just deals with that decision if it even comes up. Or she could look at the job search and go, "If I leave, everyone might be really curious about where I went. They might wonder if I was laid off or if I just got a new job and I'm being quiet about it and that stresses me out. But I guess I'll just have to accept that. It's not that hard."
[00:34:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. It's interesting. A lot of her anxiety is about how people perceive her. Like she said, "I won't allow this to damage my reputation."
[00:35:06] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. I completely understand that. Your reputation obviously matters. I'm not saying, hey, don't worry about that. Screw them and look out for number one. But there's a difference between building a great reputation and micromanaging other people's feelings about you all the time.
[00:35:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Good point. Yeah.
[00:35:22] Jordan Harbinger: And more to the point, if you build a great reputation in ways that actually matter, like for example, you do amazing work, you're an awesome colleague, you build strong relationships, that reputation will withstand a few people's negative feelings. That sort of speaks for itself. Your work speaks for itself. Trust me on that. There's not a single person out there that told has somebody badmouthing them. What you want is your work to speak for itself or your other reputation to speak louder than what these other grumblings will do. So I would spend more time focusing on that.
[00:35:51] I'm not minimizing your anxiety or telling you it's totally unfounded. I'm sure this is all grounded in real stuff. I'm just inviting you to appreciate how that anxious lens on things might be serving up a lot of fears that are not top priority and might not even come to pass in the way that you think because they rarely do. So if you can shift that lens a little, I think it'll be liberating and it'll help you shine in these interviews. That should be your top priority. So good luck.
[00:36:16] You know, it's a great use of that new pay? The products and services that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:36:25] This episode is sponsored in part by Grammarly. There are a few tools I use every day. I can't live without Grammarly is one of them. I've used Grammarly for years, and it's like having someone over my shoulder gently reminding me ways that I can improve all of my written communication to be more clear, more concise, more professional. If you haven't tried it, you're missing out. One of Grammarly's awesome features that I unfortunately really, really need is, it's called the tone detector, and it gives you feedback on how your message comes across. So I have a tendency to be curt, comes off as rude. Totally not my intention. Grammarly's tone detector, when it's working in the background, it's like an extra set of ears or trusted editor that I can rely on. It helps me become more mindful of how I'm coming across, which is very helpful in professional settings where you want to build stronger relationships and be a better collaborator with your team, with your coworkers, with your clients. I kind of need it everywhere. Thankfully, it does run in the background in pretty much everything that I write. Just install the plugin or the browser extension and you're good to go. Grammarly will underline incorrect words or grammar and it'll show you what to replace it with and why, which I love because then you learn and you can avoid the mistake next time. Or if you're slow learner like me, you just learn it over and over. The right tone can move any project forward when you get it right with Grammarly. Go to grammarly.com/tone to download and learn more about Grammarly Premium's advanced tone suggestions. That's G-R-A-M-M-A-R-L-Y.com/tone.
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[00:39:31] All right, back to Feedback Friday day.
[00:39:34] Okey-dokey. Next up.
[00:39:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okey-dokey.
[00:39:37] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:39:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: All right. Okay.
[00:39:40] Hello Jordan and Gabe. My wife is the co-founder and executive director of a nonprofit. At its peak, there were 30-plus employees and seven-figure annual revenue. She pays above-market wages and provides benefits. She takes a minimal salary and the work is her calling. The atmosphere is laid back with flexible scheduling and opportunities for mentoring or career advancement. Many of her former employees have gone on to professional school or graduate programs and will be lifelong friends. About two and a half years ago, a cohort of new hires decided they didn't like her and the rest of management. They filed a petition with the NLRB to unionize, an alleged discriminatory labor practice. Neither of us has anything against unionization, labor rights, or fair practices. This cohort identifies as woke and has a strong LGBTQ-plus bias. Nothing wrong with that on our end either. This group of employees has been vocal on social media and podcasts and has said some hateful things about my wife — fat, old, ugly, boring, dumb, straight cis. Although it took over a year, a very senior NLRB judge dismissed all claims in a short ruling. Attorney's fees for the organization were substantial. The union did not bother to brief the case. I want to be a friend to labor rights and the community, but I feel like this was a character assassination attempt, coupled with a strategy to weaponize labor law to force a change in management. Now, that the legal problems are sorted out, my wife is in the process of rebuilding the organization. Most of the board members are wealthy, retired, or close to retired professionals. And they don't want to deal with any of this. They want it all shut down to minimize their own exposure. My wife is now concerned about being an outcast within our industry circle because she's a, quote-unquote, "union buster," which makes me really sad knowing where her heart is and how much work she puts in. I love her and I want her to succeed and have confidence. My position is that so many people in leadership positions have been shaken down by some sort of movement that they understand how this feels and they know that it's not a ding on your resume as long as you can explain what happened. But do you have any other advice? Signed, A Beleaguered Boss's Better Half, Building Back After this Fevered Staff.
[00:41:58] Jordan Harbinger: Wow, this is fascinating and also quite disturbing. I'm so sorry to hear that your wife went through this. It really does sound like the group that tried to unionize had its own agenda beyond fair labor practices. Surprise, surprise. And they used some nasty, hurtful, and frankly, immature tactics to force a change in management or just to get attention for their nonsense. It is dirty business. We don't have to get into the politics here, and I know this isn't about politics for you either, but I think it's fair to say that this allegedly woke cohort, they just sound like some of the people they claim to oppose. And that is very sad for everybody involved and it's also very 2023. Don't even get me started on, the rest of Feedback Friday's going to turn into a rant on this nonsense.
[00:42:41] So here's my take on this. The battle is over. The damage is done in the process of defending her nonprofit. Your wife took some hits, and some people might always view her as a union buster, even though she isn't opposed to unionization or labor rights anyways, but you make a really good point. Most people in leadership positions, they know what it's like to be at the whim of intense movements, to be challenged by warring factions within an organization. So I'm with you. Your wife's best play is to tell the story of what happened in her organization. Give people the context they need to understand how and why this all played out the way that it did.
[00:43:20] If donors, partners, board members, and even prospective employers, if they understand your wife's values, her management philosophy, what kind of organization she built, what kind of culture she created, what was really at stake in all this unionization battle, the way it became personal and political, all of that stuff. I think it would be very hard for a reasonable person to write her off completely or just slap some simplistic label on her like, "Oh, she is a union buster." But she will have to do some work to get her narrative out there. So look, maybe she writes the story up as an article, tries to get it published in either a business magazine, a trade journal, even a college alumni magazine, whatever, anywhere it can be publicly available and she can share the link. That's really all you need. Or if she can't do that, she could publish it on her LinkedIn or her personal website and share it with people as a resource. You know, like, "Here's what happened when my employees tried to unionize to push me out. Here's how I handled it. Here's what I learned." That is actually pretty great thought leadership right there.
[00:44:20] And you know, she could even reach out to business school professors about turning her story into a case study that they teach to their students. Maybe they have her come in to speak to the class about what she went through that could help legitimize her. And it's also pretty cool and kind of a fun experience because if the Fuqua School of Business or whatever literally turns your wife's story into a case study, then she can send that to her circle like, "Hey, check this out. Here's the full story. I've done a lot of work on this. This is literally being taught to new business leaders."
[00:44:48] Your wife's other option, and this is far less efficient, but it's just as important, is to keep telling this story to people in real life. If she's afraid of being shunned, it's crucial, she tells people what happened in meetings, at cocktail parties, in fundraising presentations, wherever she goes. I'm not saying your wife needs to go around popping off about the woke mob that tried to oust her to e everybody who will listen, but when it's appropriate, when she's trying to convince a board member not to resign, or she wants some donor who thinks she's freaking Jeff Bezos to write a check, or she needs her peers to understand why she fought back, I imagine it would be very powerful for your wife to say, "I understand you have a certain view of what went down, but let me fill you in on a few things. Let me tell you what was going through my head through all of this, and then I'd love to know what you make of it."
[00:45:34] At a minimum, I think it'd be a lot harder for somebody to write her off as a heartless union buster or dismiss the value of her nonprofit after hearing the story that you told us. Of course, some people still might. That's on them. That's where your wife just has to let it go. She doesn't need to win everybody over. I think that's also important to remember. She just needs to control the narrative a little bit more and trust that the facts will do their job in most cases. If she can do that, this doesn't have to bury her or this wonderful organization that she's built.
[00:46:05] In fact, you never know, it could help revive. She's lucky to have you supporting her through all this. It's a super intense thing to go through, and it sounds like she's weathering the storm relatively well. Impressive person sending you both. Good thoughts.
[00:46:17] Gabe, this one, it gets me a little bit heated because the level of entitlement and self-interest here just drives me insane. Sometimes, I do think other people will just want to take others down because they're either power-hungry, they have nothing better to do. They thrive on the attention and it's such a shame because real change does need to happen in so many places, but this is more narcissistic game of thrones than people unionizing to earn a fair salary and protect themselves from predatory employers. It just sounds like it's easier to self-victimize and try to get clout by acting like this all under this nonsense banner of like pseudo social justice and it just seems like an unnecessary mess.
[00:46:57] Anyway, what's next?
[00:46:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. My wife and I recently moved to a new city where we made friends with another couple. We've hung out a few times and had fun. Over time, though my wife stopped enjoying their company. She feels that the other wife only talks about herself, never asks my wife how she's doing, or leaves much room for her to talk about us, which she finds taxing. Meanwhile, I still get along with a guy. I've hung out with him, but my wife always skips those hangouts and ignores his partner's attempts to talk to her. To be fair, I don't pick up on these social cues. I grew up with narcissists in my family. I'm just used to it, so I don't read these qualities as abnormal. My wife acts the same way around many of my family members whom I'd also like her to have some kind of relationship with, as I don't want my family to think that my wife hates them, but now I'm torn. How do I maintain a relationship with this guy but let him know my wife's opinion of his wife? Do I make up an excuse? Should she hang out with this couple for me? How can I help her maintain a relationship she doesn't want? Signed, Caught in a Wrangle Over This Quadrangle, but I Might Somehow Be the Obtuse Angle.
[00:48:08] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm. Well, this is an interesting dynamic. There's a lot going on in this story, but I'm going to be very direct. No, I don't think your wife should hang out with this couple for you. And you can't help your wife maintain a relationship that she doesn't want. She gets to decide that. If she's not into these friends, that's absolutely fair, she shouldn't have to hang out with people she doesn't care for and actually dislikes just to make you happy. But part of the reason I'm saying that is her reasons for not liking this woman, they actually sound pretty legitimate. The woman only talks about herself. She never asks your wife how she's doing. She doesn't leave room for you guys to talk about yourselves. Honestly, if I was in your wife's shoes, I'd probably find these hangouts pretty taxing as well, or at least kind of dissatisfying like we left the house for this. So Angela can drone on about her MLM and her high school reunion planning committee for 90 minutes while I sit with my pinot gris and awkward silence. No thanks.
[00:49:01] So as a starting point, let's appreciate that your wife is having a very different experience of these people from the one you're having. And yeah, it's a bit awkward, but it's okay. You can still be friends with this guy. I don't know if your friendship with him has to depend on the ladies also getting along. So I just keep making plans with him. Focus on your friendship and just don't comment too much about how your wife feels about his wife. And if one day he's like, "Hey, we haven't seen Laura for a while, is everything okay?" I wouldn't go, "Yeah, everything's fine. She just hates your wife with a burning passion and prefers to stay far away from you guys. You get it, right?" I would just say, "Yeah, everything's fine. She's doing her thing. She's just very particular how she spends her time. A lot going on around the house." You know, keep it vague. Now, if he presses you, if he's like, "Look, I can tell that Laura and Angela don't really get along. It's pretty obvious. What's the deal?" Then you might have to be a little more candid. Then maybe you say, "Hey, look, some people click, some people don't. You know how it is. I don't know if Laura and Anj have the same bond that we do, but that's okay. I think we can have a friendship apart from them, right?" And just say if he agrees with that. Talk it out. Hopefully, you guys can still kick it, just the two of you.
[00:50:07] Now, I am not going to pretend that this isn't tricky. When you're married, your spouse obviously plays a big role in whom you spend time with how you feel about people. So I get it. But if you really do enjoy your friendship with this guy, I think it's fine to maintain it without your wife's involvement.
[00:50:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree 100 percent. Great points all around, Jordan. That's fair. I think that's absolutely fair. But yeah, I'm with you. I'm very interested in what his wife sees in these people that our friend here might not be seeing. Because like he said, he grew up with narcissists, right? He's used to these self-absorbed personalities and he doesn't naturally read these qualities as weird. So when he says to his wife, you know, "Hey, I don't know what you're talking about. These people are great. I'm thinking, are they really? Or are you overlooking it? Maybe problematic qualities in these people."
[00:50:56] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Although it's unclear if they're both narcissistic or if just the wife is.
[00:51:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. We don't know. But what we do know is that his wife acts the exact same way around many of his family members, which I think says a lot.
[00:51:09] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. There's clearly a parallel here. So he might be seeking out friends who are very similar to his family.
[00:51:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's possible, but also he's having the same reaction there with his family, that he wants his wife to have some kind of relationship with his narcissistic parents, siblings, whoever they are. And the reason is that he doesn't want his family to think that his wife hates them.
[00:51:28] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah, I see what you're getting at. He seems very concerned about what other people will think or feel if his wife isn't their biggest fan.
[00:51:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes. And look, that's not crazy. Obviously, you want your spouse to get along with your family, right? Obviously, you care what your parents think about your spouse. That's all fair. But I'm getting the sense that he might be more concerned about how his friends and family feel, or about being caught in the middle than he is about whether his wife is right about these people.
[00:51:54] Jordan Harbinger: Right. And maybe him wanting to please his friends and family, keeping them on his side that might itself be part of his template with narcissistic personalities where he kind of lets them run the show. And his job and his wife's job by extension is to just please, everybody, please them. Not rock the boat.
[00:52:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's right. So well put, that's exactly right. So what I want to know is what is this friendship really like? Are you actually getting as much out of it as you think you are? Is there room for you in this relationship with the guy especially? Or have you not noticed that? It's mostly about them because you're so used to making it about other people, not presupposing the answer. Maybe your friendship with a husband is very fulfilling and it's all great, and it's only his wife who's a little self-absorbed. You got to answer that for yourself. But if your wife really does see this more clearly and you're just catching up, that would be a really great thing for you guys to explore together.
[00:52:46] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I think you're onto something there. It's actually a fascinating friendship to stumble into, given his childhood. Obviously, we tend to seek out the people we're used to and the people we think we deserve. And that might be what's happening here. Or the husband's a decent guy and his wife is just not for this guy's wife, and that's a different problem, but that's okay. But I'm with Gabe. This is a great opportunity to really consider what this friendship is about, why you're drawn to these people, whether there's enough of you in this relationship to make it fair, make it fulfilling. If it is, great if it isn't, give the friendship another thing because you know, life's too short. So good luck and thanks for writing into these two narcissists about what to do about those two narcissists. You know, we just love making this all about us.
[00:53:29] By the way, before we wrap up here, I want to quickly share an email that I got from my friend, Anastasia Golovashkina's mom, Natalia. Anastasia, as most of you guys know or many of you guys know, she was a listener of the show, very involved in national politics. We became buds when she tragically found out she had brain cancer. And she called me to ask what to do with the rest of her life, which you know, wow, in honor of slash the heavy lift. And we had a lot of fun times together. Sadly, she passed away just last year. It was a big loss. She was an awesome person, and for a long time, I was like, she beat cancer. You know, that's how this stuff works. Anyway, a few months back we took a question from a listener whose colleague's husband was dying of cancer and they wanted to know how best to support her. Natalia listened to the episode and had some thoughts. Gabe, you want to read Natalia's letter for us?
[00:54:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure. Hi Jordan. On that episode, an HR expert you talked to recommended that this woman go on family and medical leave because the time she has left with her husband is so limited and precious. Being in that position myself, very recently, I had to take FMLA to take care of Anastasia in the last few weeks of her life. I agree that this is a great benefit if you can afford it. It sounded like that woman was the breadwinner in her family and had young kids. Her husband was very sick. Their medical bills might have been pretty high, and they probably didn't have another source of income. So if she did go on FMLA, she'd probably still have pretty high expenses and no income for the duration of her FMLA. Not everyone can afford this. Another thing that I only understood after I went through this myself is that no one really knows how long a patient with terminal cancer might live. The medical science is not even close to being precise there, but FMLA only gives you 12 weeks. After that, you're on your own. So you have to decide when the right time to start your leave is. You have to decide in which 12 weeks your loved one will need you the most. That felt so cruel. Just wanted to pass that along.
[00:55:31] Jordan Harbinger: Huh. So I really appreciated this note because there are certain things you can only learn from going through something really intense, and most people will never find out about this stuff until they are going through it, at which point it might be too late. So we wanted to pass this along to you guys, and I know this might not help you decide exactly when to take leave if you have a sick family member, but at least you can be aware of the 12-week thing ahead of. Also, I feel it's important to acknowledge how finances play a huge role in these important decisions. It's really a heartbreaking reality, at least in America, and it's incredibly infuriating. Our system is so flawed, again, not trying to get political here, but it is. Although, to be fair, this is also a really difficult problem to solve given the practical realities of employment and how mysterious these health issues can still be. So it is tough.
[00:56:21] Anyway, thank you, Natalia, for sharing this with us. And again, I'm so sorry for your loss. Anastasia really was one of a kind. Also a really cool thing. The Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago has established an internship fund in Anastasia's name. It'll benefit somebody who wants to follow in her footsteps and pursue an internship in politics. So if you'd like to make a donation, honor our special friend here, help somebody achieve a dream of their own, check out the donation page. Consider donating a few bucks. We're going to link to that in the show notes. I think it would mean a lot to a lot of people.
[00:56:51] All right. Sorry to end things on a sad note, but it's all in the spirit of giving you guys as much information as we can to make the most of your time with your loved ones.
[00:57:00] Hope you all enjoyed the show. I want to thank everybody who wrote in and listened this week. Thank you so much. All these guests are booked through my network. Don't mean my podcast network, I mean my personal network or my business network. And frankly, you should build your own network for business or personal reasons. Our Six-Minute Networking course will teach you how to do it. The course is free over on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. Teaching you how to dig the well before you get thirsty. Build relationships before you need them. You can find it all at jordanharbinger.com/course. And again, it's free, no shenanigans.
[00:57:32] A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts are in the show notes. Advertisers, deals, and discounts, all the ways to support the show are at jordanharbinger.com/deals. Go try the chatbot over at jordanharbinger.com/ai. You can dig up any Feedback Friday question, any promo code, anything we've ever done on this show. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram or connect with me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi, or on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
[00:58:00] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jace Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions are our own, and I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer to do your own research before implementing anything you hear on this show. Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love. And if you found the episode useful, please share it with somebody else who could 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.
[00:58:32] We've got a trailer of our interview with Molly Bloom, who ran infamous underground poker games in Los Angeles and New York that were attended by A-listers, mobsters, and eventually landed her in hot water with the FBI. If you've seen the movie Molly's Game, you'll know she was a master of psychology and used a lot of the tactics and techniques that she taught us here on the.
[00:58:52] Molly Bloom: I went to LA and needed to get the first job that I could and got hired by this guy who was a pretty demanding boss. I was his personal assistant. He said, "I need you to serve drinks at my poker game." So I'm like, "Okay, great." And I bring my playlist and my cheese plate and I'm thinking, you know, the players are going to be these overgrown frat boys. But then Ben Affleck walks in the room, Leo DiCaprio, and a politician that was very well recognized and heads of studios, heads of banks. And all of a sudden I had this light bulb moment that poker is my Trojan horse. I just need to control and have power over this game because it has this incredible hold over these people. Why do these guys, with their access to anyone and anything, come to this dingy basement to play this game?
[00:59:41] Jordan Harbinger: What is the most money you've seen someone lose in one night?
[00:59:44] Molly Bloom: A hundred million dollars.
[00:59:46] Jordan Harbinger: How did the mob get involved?
[00:59:47] Molly Bloom: Around Christmas, door opened and this guy that I'd never seen before pushed his way in, stuck a gun in my mouth. Then he beat the hell out of me and he kind of gave me this speech about how if I told anyone about this or if I didn't comply, then they would take a trip to Colorado to see my family. Then the Feds got involved and the first thing they did was they took all my money.
[01:00:07] I moved back to LA. I'd gotten a pretty decent job. 10 days later, I get a call in the middle of the night, "This is agent so-and-so from the FBI. You need to come out with your hands up." I walk into my hallway. When my eyes adjusted to the high-beam flashlights. I saw 17 FBI agents, semi-automatic weapons pointed at me.
[01:00:27] Jordan Harbinger: If you want to learn more about building rapport and generating the type of trust that Molly Bloom needed to run her multi-million-dollar operation and hear about how it all came to an end, check out episode 120 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
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