Your significant other of six years has a narcissistic personality disorder and an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Even when sober, she can turn on a dime and engage in narcissistic rage, which includes venomous, disrespectful rants and the destruction of expensive artwork. It seems obvious that you should break up with her, but she’s unemployable and unable to care for herself, and living arrangements for whoever leaves would be difficult to secure in the midst of the pandemic. What’s your next move? We’ll do what we can to help assuage narcissistic rage and more here on Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- What are you avoiding just because the desired outcome would take longer than you’d like?
- What do you do when your significant other ruins your stuff in fits of narcissistic rage but breaking up is logistically difficult? [Thanks to friend and therapist Kim Seltzer for helping us field this one!]
- You’re excited about becoming a first-time parent, but you’re worried it won’t allow you the time to do your full-time job and pursue a career in competitive golf. Does this make you a selfish jerk?
- An opening for advancement has come up at your company, but you’re not sure you’re ready for it just yet. Should you go for it anyway, or wait until you’ve got more experience under your belt and hope that opportunity knocks again?
- While you’re not currently disabled, you do have multiple sclerosis that will gradually incapacitate you to some degree over time. Are you obligated to disclose this on a job application? [Thanks to once-adversary, now-friend, and attorney Jeremy Golan for helping us with this one!]
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at email@example.com!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
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Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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Miss our conversation with Fyre Festival fiasco fraudster in federal prison? Catch up with episode 422: Billy McFarland | From Fyre Fest Fiasco to Federal Prison here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Scott Galloway: From Crisis to Opportunity Post Corona | Jordan Harbinger
- David Eagleman | The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain | Jordan Harbinger
- 3-2-1: On Bottlenecks, Losing Track of Time, and Confident Humility | James Clear
- Ray Dalio | Principles of an Investing Pioneer Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Ray Dalio | Principles of an Investing Pioneer Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- Narcissistic Rage: Understanding and Working Through It | Healthline
- The Charisma Quotient Podcast | Kim Seltzer
- Vampire Squid | MBARI
- “The Great Vampire Squid”: Goldman Sachs’ Influence on America’s Future | Salon
- Cost-Benefit Analysis | Investopedia
- Wendy Behary | Disarming the Narcissist | Jordan Harbinger
- Chi Chi Rodriguez | PGA Tour Profile
- How to Stop Feeling Like An Imposter | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome | Deep Dive | Jordan Harbinger
- 457: Help! I Married a Conspiracy Theorist! | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- What Is MS? | National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Los Angeles Employment Attorney | Golan Law, P.C.
Transcript for Is It Possible to Assuage Narcissistic Rage? | Feedback Friday (Episode 475)
Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Today, I'm here with my Feedback Friday producer, my accomplice in advice, if you will, 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. Our mission on this show is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinkers, so you can get a much deeper understanding of how the world works, how your mind works, make sense of what's really happening, even inside your own brain, which is often the place where we are at least familiar.
[00:00:41] Now, if you're new to the show on Fridays, we give advice to you. We answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, and performers. If you're joining us for the first time or you're looking for a handy way to tell your friends about this show, we now have episodes starter packs. These are collections of popular episodes, organized by common topics to help new listeners get a taste of everything we do here on the show. Just visit jordanharbinger.com/start.
[00:01:12] This week, we had two returning show guests, actually two of my favorite guys, anywhere, talk about anything, Scott Galloway and Dr. David Eagleman. David Eagleman, we talked about putting new senses — literally, I'm not even kidding, super powers into the human body, how our brain rewires itself, how humanity can take cues from our brain. I mean, we're talking full on doctor octopus, adding extra arms, night vision to my body in the future. Okay, that wasn't what the whole show was about, but that's what I took away from it because I'm a child in a man's body, but there's a lot of super fascinating brain science. A lot of things that we didn't know, the brain could do that we now know it can. And a lot of hope for the future of humanity and just what these super powered computers in our head are able to do and capable of doing in the future.
[00:01:56] And Scott Galloway, this guy gives better advice than anyone, well, almost anyone around. He's one of my favorite guests to have on the show as well, just because he's sharp. He can talk. He's full of great advice. He's made a lot of mistakes like me, and then is really candid about it. I appreciate that. So really you got to listen to Scott Galloway and Dr. David Eagleman here this week.
[00:02:15] You can reach us firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep your emails concise. That helps. Descriptive subject line always helps. That 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 if your employee is scamming the US government out of money? Whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up email@example.com. We're here to help. We keep every email anonymous.
[00:02:43] I recently hired a trainer. And one of the reasons I did this was because I found myself caught in this weird thought loop where it was like, I knew that the outcome I wanted would take longer than I would like. So in some stupid way that caused me to push off getting started because I knew that the outcome was going to take a long time, which is actually really dumb and not very logical, but I realized there's a lot of places where people do this and I've done this with other things. So here's the actionable question. Ask yourself, what am I avoiding right now? What am I procrastinating on? What am I not doing? What am I avoiding? Just because the desired outcome will take longer than I would like, whether that's losing weight or getting in shape or starting to write something or some other projects. What are you avoiding just because the desired outcome will take longer than I would like? This was inspired by our Ray Dalio episode, by the way, he's coming back soon. That was a two-part episode, 389 and 390. We'll link it in the show notes.
[00:03:38] All right, Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:03:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabriel, I have struggled for a very long time to understand exactly who my girlfriend is. I've been with her for the past six years, and I've known for a while now that she is an alcoholic who refuses to admit it. But in the past six months, I've also come to realize that she has narcissistic personality disorder as well. When my partner is sober, she can turn on a dime and engage in narcissistic rage. Yes, it's a thing and it is awful. She's unemployed because she's an alcoholic and hasn't brought in a dime in over four years. You'd think that she'd appreciate me, but not even close. She often rages at me, disrespects me, says terrible things about my family, damages heirlooms that my family has worked generations to acquire. Just this night after sitting home all day, doing absolutely nothing while I worked a grueling 12-hour day, she got up from the couch and started raging at me that my pants were hanging on the back of a bar stool in our kitchen. Over the course of two hours, she kicked my shoes across the room, became outright venomous toward me, knocked over an original art sculpture that I paid $2,500 for and acted incredibly shitty towards me. I am so over this. In fact, I took all four of the sculptures and packed them in my car to take up to a storage unit that she doesn't have access to. She knocked over another one last summer when she was drunk and being incredibly abusive to me. Her father, he was also very abusive to her as a child, and she has not seen or spoken to him in 20 years. I think at this point it would be nearly impossible for her to get another job. Meanwhile, I support everything in our household. I walk our two dogs four times a day for two-plus hours. Dogs, she insisted on getting. I work incredibly hard to try and repair our finances, provide her with a top-tier gym membership and even get her healthcare benefits with my employer. I own the condo that we live in and it is an enormous drain on me financially. I even drive her weekly 100 miles in six hours, round trip, so she can ride a horse. The incredibly obvious solution here might sound like breakup. And to an outsider who has not been the victim of narcissistic abuse, this is such a trite, easy answer. Unfortunately, every time she acts this way, I retreat, I avoid talking to her for a day or two and we slowly reconcile. Then the cycle keeps repeating. I'd like to stand up for myself. I know there is a boundary to be set here, but I don't know how. We have two dogs and one of them is highly reactive towards other dogs. If she does move home with her mom, there is no way that our dog could be with her mom's dog. The best solution I can think of is for me to leave. This, however, is enormously complex as well. I have nowhere else to go. My best friend contracted COVID and has a wife and daughter. So I can't go there. My brother has his own family and they are not letting anyone in due to COVID. My parents would welcome me, but my mom would go nuts if I came because she hates my girlfriend and would say that she drove me out of my own house, which would be true. If I had more money, I'd buy a reasonable townhome in a Northern suburb near my town and just let her and the dog stay here while I checked in every other day or so to make sure that the dogs were being taken care of, which is another concern of mine. I used to have an in-person therapist and I tried online counseling as well. I found it useful up to a point, but once a counselor hears that your partner is an alcoholic, that is all they focus on to the exclusion of everything else. So, what should I do? Signed, Drained, Dejected, and Done.
[00:06:56] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. So look, it's obvious that your girlfriend is dealing with some very serious trauma. She's an addict. She's wrestling with some narcissism, possibly/probably the capital N, narcissism. She's raging at you on the regular. She's destroying your stuff. She's unwilling or unable to hold down a job, probably a little of both. She's abusing you verbally. She's taking wild advantage of your generosity. She needs to be in intensive therapy ASAP and she needs to be in a program for her alcoholism as well. Okay, so she needs to start addressing her stuff years ago, but she's not the one writing it, you are. And while your girlfriend does seem to be the aggressor here, you are at least partially responsible for allowing this dynamic to continue.
[00:07:39] I think you already know that, but I'm pointing it out because I don't think you've quite wrapped your head around what that really means. The degree to which you are fueling this situation by staying in the relationship. Without you sticking around, there are no narcissistic injuries. There are no fights. There's no dysfunction. The whole situation only exists as long as you agree to keep letting it exist. I know it's easy for me to say, right? But for some reason, you just can't bring yourself to leave. You want to, you know you have to, but you also have lots of good excuses for why you can't. This is the bind that you are stuck in.
[00:08:14] And if there's any hope of getting out, you're going to have to resolve it. I thought it was interesting that even, Gabe, in his like fantasy version of how this could go down. He's like, "I'm going to buy a second house. I'm going to move her in there and the dogs in there. And I'm going to go there every day." I mean, like, even in this guy's perfect dream, freaking scenario, he's still stuck taking care of this person. He'd rather spend a ton of money. Look — I'll speak directly to him here. Look, you'd rather spend a ton more money and sacrifice all of your independence than end a relationship that you know is toxic. Anything to not have to say the words, "I'm sorry, but this isn't working out. It's over." I think that speaks to how terrifying it is to think about breaking up with this woman. The roots of this conflict, they go deep all the way back to childhood from what it sounds like. And I'm sure that's the case for you as well.
[00:09:03] So I can understand why this is all complicated for you. And by the way, to get another perspective, given your story here, we consulted with Kim Seltzer, a friend of mine, friend of the show, a relationship expert, and host of the Charisma Quotient, which we'll link in the show notes. She had some really smart ideas on how to handle all this.
[00:09:20] So my first question for you. And this is the elusive obvious, right? Why are you still in this relationship? What's keeping you here? The two of you obviously have found the perfect — and I put that in air quotes, here, template — in each other, she's found a source of stability and object of her rage who won't leave. And you found, I'm not quite sure what you have found, but clearly somebody who is fulfilling an important need for you. My hunch just based on what you've shared is that you're getting a little bit of a ton of gratification from taking care of this woman, from providing for her, playing a role that makes her need you, even if you pay a massive price.
[00:10:00] My guess is that that was a role you played growing up for somebody, maybe your mom or another mother figure in your life. And that the abuse you're experiencing now, it just feels familiar. So you're continuing to play it out like a broken record, hoping on some unconscious level that it will magically resolve itself. This is not uncommon. Between the money and the condo and the dogs and the driving her to the stable every week, it's obvious that this is a role that speaks to you in a very deep or profound way, or you wouldn't continue to play it. And that role, even though it feels familiar is not without its conflict.
[00:10:33] You obviously resent your girlfriend, which I think is totally reasonable at this point. You know, you have to leave, but that's just how powerful these old templates are. This old programming. We'll stick with these people and with these templates, even when we know consciously that they are terrible for us. On top of all that, you're also dealing with somebody who's probably making it very hard to break up with her, manipulation, coercion. That's part of the narcissist playbook too, the belittling, the isolation, the control. That is all part of narcissistic abuse. But here again, it's your stuff, that's keeping you bound to all of that.
[00:11:08] Like you said, every time she flares up, you pull back and avoid her until things calm down, then you reconcile, or maybe you just don't talk about it at all. It all gets swept under the rug until the next time she explodes at you. So what is it about conflict? That scares you. And I understand this might be kind of a scary woman, who's like drunk and throwing things. I'm not judging you. I'm just asking. What about conflict in general scares you? What is it about this woman that makes you want to retreat instead of confronting her behavior and working through it? And why is it easier for you to avoid and stay, than to confront and change.
[00:11:43] These are the questions I'd be asking yourself. If you want to get a better handle on what's actually going on here beneath the surface, because the questions you're asking about what to do, where to go, these logistics questions, those are overshadowing something much more important, which is why you're still here and what you really actually need.
[00:12:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes, absolutely. Those are the right questions, but that might be very hard to figure out on your own. So I highly recommend getting yourself back into therapy and I know that therapy has been tough for you. I hear you, but I actually think that's very meaningful. It sounds like you've been to a few therapists. You've found it useful up to a point, but then you've become maybe frustrated with how they've treated you based on the issues that you presented and you eventually left. I got to wonder though, if that dynamic with those therapists, if that's maybe similar to the one that you're experiencing with your girlfriend right now, the avoidant behavior or the pulling away, you know, the not speaking up when you're frustrated.
[00:12:34] If maybe that's what's happening with these people as well, it would make sense and it would be a really, really good way to kind of subtly sabotage therapy and not have to continue doing the work at all. If I were you, I would find a therapist. You trust someone who seems solid, of course, always, but go in there and tell them point blank in the first session where you feel that therapy has failed you in the past. Because a good therapist, they'll know exactly what to do with that information. They'll know how to make sure that you don't fall into the same patterns and pitfalls with them all over again. And that's actually a good thing to consciously move into the areas where there's conflict and frustration between you and your counselor. So you can really dig in and resolve them. But you're going to have to be more proactive about sharing that stuff with them from the jump so that you and the therapist don't fall into that same pattern, that same template all over again. And maybe that's the beginning of that conversation, just acknowledging how hard it is for you to even do that.
[00:13:24] But these questions that Jordan is asking. They are dead on. They're just so intense that I think it would really benefit you to be able to do that with a professional. So my hope is that you can find somebody you actually like, and you can stick with. Bottom line though, yes, I think you need to seriously consider what you're getting out of this relationship, whether you should stay. You already know that this is a deeply dysfunctional relationship. You know that this relationship is volatile, that it's unbalanced hurtful. It's damaging. I mean, it's just all around all kinds of toxic. You're welcome to stay in this relationship. Nobody is stopping you from doing that, but if you do stay, then you need to be very honest with yourself about what you're choosing to sign up for here. Because this woman, I don't think she's changing anytime soon, probably never without a serious intervention or some crisis on her part. You know, something that's going to spur her to actually make some changes. If you want to be locked in an abusive relationship with a narcissistic alcoholic, freeloading, vampire squid, who's steadily draining your mental, emotional financial resources then, yeah, this is the perfect relationship for you.
[00:14:25] But if you want to be free of this person and you want to start to do some of the hard work of rebuilding your life and looking at these patterns that we're talking about, then you need to learn how to speak up and either help her change or break things off. Those are basically the two options. I think, you know, where we stand on the matter based on our response, but obviously it's your life, the most important thing and definitely the first step is looking inward and figuring out why you're still here.
[00:14:48] Jordan Harbinger: Vampire squid. Is that a real thing?
[00:14:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: I mean, yeah, I think that's a real type of squid.
[00:14:54] Jordan Harbinger: Or is it just two words that sound good together, vampire squid?
[00:14:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, I think vampire squid — is that what they used to call Goldman Sachs? Like the vampire squid of Wall Street.
[00:15:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I don't know actually.
[00:15:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: This girlfriend, she is very much the 2009 Goldman Sachs of girlfriends.
[00:15:09] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. All right, fine. If you need a little help doing this, sort of figuring out while you're still here, thing, and looking inward, Kim Seltzer recommends taking some time to do a cost-benefit analysis on this relationship on paper. So ask yourself what you're gaining from the relationship, what it's costing you, and compare the lists and see if one column outweighs the other. I would be very thorough and concrete here. Seeing it all written down on paper might make it real for you. If this list were about somebody else's relationship, what would you tell them to do? If a friend came to you with this situation, what would you recommend? What would your best friend tell you? If you had somebody who would tell you that the unvarnished truth.
[00:15:49] Be objective, be brutal. Start to look at your situation from the outside as well as the inside and see what comes up there. I would also look for some extra support. In addition to a good therapist, I would find maybe some support groups. Reddit has stuff like this. Communities of people dealing with similar partners and personalities. And if you have a close friend, you can open up to about all this great. You're going to need an ally in all of this. That'll help you feel less alone and hopefully empower you to make some good changes here.
[00:16:19] Kim pointed out that this is especially important for you right now because narcissists have a way of isolating their victims, right? Getting your friends away from you, getting your family away from you, making sure you don't have any friends. That serves to keep you orbiting her. That keeps the victim orbiting the narcissist. So you need to feel connected, supported, well-resourced right now, if you're going to do this. So give yourself that advantage. Then once you wrap your head around this decision, I would write down a list of things that you can do as first steps towards breaking up. I'm sure the idea of leaving is overwhelming and you're finding every excuse not to pull the trigger because you're scared. So you're going to have to focus on tiny steps in laying the groundwork here, protecting your assets, making arrangements for the dogs, finding a place for her to go when you break up, which is kind of annoying, because she's an adult, but you know, we know what's going to happen. That kind of thing. You have to do that kind of thing.
[00:17:10] And by the way, the fact that you own the condo, that is huge. I would be very concerned if you owned it together or if you were living in her place or renting another place together. This is your home. You're allowed to decide who lives in it. And you'll definitely have a place to stay when you break up, you don't need to go to your friend's house, your mom's house or anything like that. You own your own home, bro. Just know that you're well set up to make this move when you are ready. Just don't let her find the pros and cons list, bro. You thought she was mad about your pants on the back of a bar stool. Just wait until she sees the list of all the reasons why she's a terrible person. So maybe, maybe just keep it on your phone. I don't know. Or do it in the office.
[00:17:50] So anyway, that's what we would do. I'm sorry, you're in this situation, but I really am. I think it sounds awful. But in another way, I think I'm kind of glad that you are, because I think you're, you're hitting this crisis that forces you to realize just how problematic these patterns in your life have become. And if you play this right, you'll have a chance to extricate yourself from a truly toxic relationship and finally do the work to figure out how you helped bring yourself to this point so that you don't repeat it, right? Because this is a good thing, even if it's very painful, because otherwise you're going to be doomed to repeat this pattern over and over. You got to get to the cause. So keep looking inward, keep taking care of yourself, and know that there is a ton of growth on the other side of this relationship. Good luck, man.
[00:18:38] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
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[00:20:56] Jordan Harbinger: And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:21:01] All right, what's next?
[00:21:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe, I'm writing because I'm afraid I'm a selfish jerk. My wife and I are expecting our first child in the next couple of months. And we're both extremely excited and terrified. I've wanted to be a dad forever and I can't wait to be one, but I'm also not sure that I'm ready to give up on my passion. I make good money, enough for my wife to be a stay at home mom, but I work a lot to make that money. In my spare time, I play a lot of golf. I'm not a pro, but I'm good enough to play competitively in USGA and state-sanctioned tournaments. I only started playing seriously seven years ago and I got good fast. I fell in love with it, and I'm not entirely sure that I've reached my full potential. With my family starting and the long hours that I put in to support us, I'm afraid I'm going to have to give up all of the progress I've made and we'll never be able to see how far I could go with it. My wife gave up her Broadway dream years ago for the safety and certainty of the marketing world, but I'm not ready to do that. Does this make me a selfish jerk? And how do I make her understand how important this is to me without it seeming like I'm choosing golf over her? Signed, Childish Bambino.
[00:22:04] Jordan Harbinger: Well, congrats on starting a family, man. That's very exciting. Becoming a parent, it's a big deal and it does have a way of bringing all of your priorities and needs into focus. A lot of your decisions from here on out will start to revolve around your son, your wife, at least for the first few years, which I think is probably how it should be, but I get your conflict and I'm sure it's not just about hanging onto your golf game. It's about hanging onto your identity and it's cool that you picked up a sport later in life and got good so quickly. That's important too, right? Having something you're good at something you care about, something you can do well into old age. So I get why you don't want to lose it. So my first reaction to your letter was, is there a way that you can continue to do both? Because sure, being a parent is all consuming, especially in the first year or two. And trust me, you're going to want to be hanging out with him, watching him grow. It's awesome. I know it probably seems like a huge loss in the abstract. But being a dad, that's also incredible. And you might be surprised by how much you'll actually want to be at home, even if it means less time to hit the links and grab lunch with the guys afterwards.
[00:23:10] But look, I'm not going to lie. I'm sure there will be some kind of hit to your playing time. And I know that that's a bummer, but this is the trade-off that every parent deals with at some point. The solution is to accept the trade off when it's unavoidable and get a little more deliberate about protecting the things that you actually want to protect. If you skip Netflix a few nights a week, so you could go to bed at 8:30 and wake up early, could you get a game in before work? If you develop some better systems and habits at work, could you squeeze in a couple hours here and there to practice on Thursday afternoon? Can you get your practice time in with shorter, more focused games? That's how I'd optimize for this. You might actually be surprised by how having a child actually makes you more effective and more efficient. It's funny, but sometimes when we have less time, we finally figure out how to use that time well.
[00:24:00] But Gabe, I know he's not just asking about productivity hacks here or my idea on how to use a calendar. So how does he work this out especially with his wife?
[00:24:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think it's really about getting clear on what you really need here, what you really want and how those priorities line up with your wife's and your son's when he arrives. If you want to be able to play, I don't know, let's just say three times a week and that's totally doable for the two of you then. Great. Hopefully your wife will support that. And if she doesn't, then you should just talk to her about it. Tell her, you know, how much the sport means to you, that you want to be able to keep your game up and come to some agreement together about what's fair. I'm sure there are things that she wants to keep up also as a person outside of being a mom. And maybe you can find ways to help her do that too. And then you guys are both getting to do the things that you want and you're helping each other get there.
[00:24:43] But if you go into that conversation, like, "Listen, honey, say you know, I plan to play golf every day after work and you know, all day Sunday, and I'm just going to need you to raise our kid and not fight me on this." Then yeah, that's probably going to be an issue. Then you really are choosing golf over her before you guys even have a chance to talk about it. So I would take some time to really ask yourself if you're trying to keep golf in your life in a reasonable way, in a responsible way. Or if you're truly prioritizing this sport over your family. There will probably be certain things that you need to negotiate now that you're responsible for another person's life. And that's like, Jordan said, I'm not a dad, I would know, but from what I hear that's very normal. But also I'm sure you don't want to be — but also I'm sure you want to be a consistent presence in your son's life. And a lot of that is just being there with him in the house, watching him grow up. At the same time, it's important for you as a parent to have hobbies beyond being a dad, relationships outside of the house. That makes you a good parent too. So I think you're looking for some kind of middle ground here.
[00:25:37] So the other thing I would get clear on here is what your goal with golf really is. It sounds like you're very talented at it. It sounds like you really love the sport. That is awesome. But are you trying to go pro at this point, are you hoping to one day quit your job and only make a living off of tournaments? Is that realistic? And if you did, would it be more about the accomplishment? Is it about the joy of the sport? Is it about the money? That's really important to have a handle on too. Because I can't quite tell if you're clinging to golf because you love the sport or because a pro career is really within insights and taking time away from practice would really set you back and derail you in terms of that goal. Or I don't know, maybe it's that you resent your wife telling you what you can and cannot do. I'm not sure why. I sense a little bit of all these things in the letter. So I guess my point is just to get super clear on that because if you dialed back on golf for a couple of years, just how much of a hit would that really be? Jordan, I'm trying to figure out if it's like a fatal wound to this guy, or is it just one aspect of his life that he loves, but that's ultimately secondary to his career, his family.
[00:26:35] So the key is not to compromise on a healthy need of yours to stay active and have fun and protect something that's truly your own. But at the same time to not try to defend a dream that's unrealistic or as somehow being, you know, he's clinging to it so hard that it's getting in the way of him being a good dad.
[00:26:50] Jordan Harbinger: Good point. Yeah, because it's a little unclear how golf ranks in his life and that'll determine how hard he needs to fight for it. And by the way, if you and your wife have trouble figuring this out, if this becomes a major pain point in your relationship or a point of conflict, I would consider couples counseling. It seems like a pretty straightforward conversation, but it's actually a pretty sensitive issue for both of you. Your wife gave up on her Broadway dream years ago. I'm sure both of you have some feelings and beliefs around that. It might help to talk those things out with a professional and make sure that you guys are addressing the deeper issues before your son arrives. And I hope this helps being a dad that might put some constraints on the lifestyle you used to have. And sometimes that's totally normal. That doesn't mean your golf game is finished forever, or that your wife won't understand that it's important to you. Also in a few short years, you'll be able to start teaching your son how to golf. And that could be a really super fun thing that you guys do together.
[00:27:46] But you're going to have to balance all of these things and accept that there will be trade-offs sometimes at least for the first few years. And who knows, you might find out that you like playing with your son way more than you like hitting the links. You don't have to be freaking Chi-Chi Rodriguez to stay connected to the sport for the longterm, okay. You just have to find a way to make room for it. And remember that having a full life usually means spending it more consciously. So good luck to you, man. And congratulations.
[00:28:13] All right. What's next?
[00:28:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe, I'm currently number three in command in my department, and recently found out that my line manager who's number two, and one of my peers have both resigned and will be leaving the company soon. I'm fairly new to the company myself. I've been there less than two years. When my boss started his role, he had already had five years of experience at a similar level, and there's a pretty big gap in responsibility and seniority between my job and his. At the time that he resigned, no one asked whether I was interested in going for this role. And I assumed that they thought I wasn't ready for it. But then a couple of days ago, about a week before the external interviews start, I was asked if I had thought about applying for the job. Although I know that it's a promotion that I want in the future. I'm concerned about my current lack of experience. If the opportunity had come up a year from now, I would feel very differently about it. I'm at the point where I feel comfortable and competent in my own position and it's also my dream job. So I'm worried about suddenly feeling out of my depth or letting down the senior team. On the other hand, if I don't go for it now, I have no idea when another opportunity like this might come along. The other thing is that I'm a woman in my mid 30s and single, I was hoping to shift some focus this year to my personal life, with a view to starting a family over the next few years. And if I go for the role now and I get it, then it'll mean longer hours and 100% career focus for a while, at least till I get to grips with things. I'd love your opinion on whether I should go for this promotion now and if so, any tips on how best to prepare myself. Thanks for your help and all the best. Signed, Stepping Up Without Stumbling Down.
[00:29:43] Jordan Harbinger: Ah, yes, good old imposter syndrome rearing its ugly head. Once again, it's been a minute since we've heard of one of these questions, Gabe. I feel like we get one every month or so, or every other month. It's a good reminder that imposter syndrome, it really does hit everyone from all walks of life, including and especially top performers, like this or high performers. It's so interesting. And it really is important to overcome because imposterism, if you handle it the right way, it's one of our best teachers.
[00:30:11] So look, if this is a position you'd like to have, then yes, I say, absolutely go for it. The fact that your company asked you to apply. It's already, essentially an endorsement. They wouldn't ask you if they didn't think you might be the right person. They're not doing anyone, any favors here. They're not doing it to fluff your self-esteem and then drop you, right? Okay, and like you said, if you don't go for it now, you don't know when another opportunity, like this will come along. And if it's not a fit, it's not a fit. No problem. You have nothing to lose by trying. And if you don't go for it, you might wonder what would've happened if you did try.
[00:30:45] But as you wrap your head around that, I do think it's worth exploring what's making you hesitate here. It sounds to me like you're dealing with a few things. One is that you're comfortable where you are right now and enjoying the work, your dream job as you put it. That's awesome. But is it your dream job because it's familiar and safe or because it's actually the role that you want to be playing? Could you find a similar expertise and satisfaction in the new role if you got it? Or would the new role take you away from what you actually love about your job? Another variable here is what sounds like some classic imposter syndrome, super common, everyone gets it from time to time, especially as they're thinking about making a big leap.
[00:31:24] You mentioned being worried about feeling out of your depth or letting the team down, classic imposterism, right there. Feeling like you're kind of a fraud. Like you're not actually cut out for this. This thing you actually deserve. Like you're going to be exposed. Everyone's going to laugh at you or you're going to let everyone down.
[00:31:38] My advice for you is this, take some time to figure out whether you're actually an imposter by interviewing for this position, or if you're a truly qualified person who just needs to level up in order to step into this new role. Imposterism usually creeps in when there's a gap in our experience or knowledge and having to bridge that gap, it feels pretty daunting. That's what I like to call healthy imposterism. Just knowing that you have room to grow, having to take on more than you're ready for right now, being able to step up to the challenge if you are given the chance.
[00:32:10] Unhealthy imposterism, true imposter syndrome. That's when you're wildly out of your depth, you have no idea what you're doing. You're completely faking it without any of the goods to back it up. Based on what you've shared, that doesn't sound like you, you sound like a great candidate who just needs to grow into the new role, but it doesn't really matter what I think you have to resolve that imposter stuff within yourself and to help you do that, I highly recommend checking out the article and the deep dive we did on this very topic. I think they'll come in handy for you. We'll link to them in the show notes. It's both an article and an episode, and they're both pretty complete. They were awhile back. Again, we'll link to those in the show notes.
[00:32:46] As for your anxiety about letting down the senior team, I hear you. That is a real thing. That's where it becomes more important to set expectations and communicate well. In your interview for this new role, I would be very honest about what you feel you can and cannot deliver immediately. Don't work against yourself. Don't discount your talent. Don't downplay your abilities, but don't over promise and gloss over the things that you'll need to learn how to do. That's actually how imposter syndrome gets worse when you try and protect and compensate or overcompensate for the underdeveloped parts of yourself. That makes the imposter persona feel the need to grow stronger, to make up the difference. If you're honest, realistic, approachable, these executives will know what they're getting with you, okay. And the chances of you letting them down will be slim. Invite them into your process. Let them know that there might be a learning curve for you. And that'll take some of the pressure off being perfect right from the jump.
[00:33:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes, definitely. That's going to be super important. And regarding the whole parenthood timeline, that's a big one at your age. I totally get why it's on your mind. Obviously, this comes down to your priorities, whether you want to go ham in your career right now, or dial back for a few years to have a family. My hope is that you could do both and that your company will work with you to make that happen. By the way, we took a question a few weeks back on Feedback Friday, from a woman who was trying to choose between a new job and having children. It might be helpful to give that a listen. It's not the exact same scenario, but we did talk about some ideas that might be helpful for your situation. We'll link to that one in the show notes.
[00:34:14] But our advice here is really just this, definitely make plans for having a child if that's important to you, it sounds like it is, I hear you. But at the same time, I wouldn't cut yourself off from a great opportunity here because of a theoretical timeline, right? Because your choice would be different if you were trying to decide between this new job and getting pregnant, let's just say tomorrow or next week. But you're single right now. I'm assuming you're not about to get pregnant next week or next month. You're still finding out what that all looks like for you, who it's going to be with all that's all those important details, right?
[00:34:44] There are a lot of steps between where you are now and becoming a mom. Whereas this opportunity at work, your career, that's concrete, that's available right now. And that's important too. And it's also probably helpful I imagine if you want to start a family one day. So while you lay the groundwork for becoming a mom, I would not stop investing in yourself, investing in your career. It's very easy to go, "No, I don't want to take on this huge thing in my career next month, because I really want to take on this huge thing in my personal life, three years from now, that might or might not unfold exactly the way that I think." But who knows, maybe you won't get this job, maybe you will. Maybe you'll get it and you'll love it and it will reprioritize everything for you. Or maybe you'll turn this interview down to have more time to go on dates, but then you'll meet your person in four or five years from now, and you'll wish you a chase this job when you had the chance.
[00:35:28] There are just too many what-ifs in this scenario to control. So the smarter thing is just to put one foot in front of the other and make sure that you're not sacrificing these concrete wins for these theoretical wins. Worst-case scenario, you get the job, you do it for a couple of years. You learn a ton and then you revise your role or step away for a bit to have a family. People do it all the time. That's totally fair. I just don't think there's any need to game out every possible scenario, right this second, in order to be willing to take on the first step, if this is an opportunity that you actually want.
[00:35:57] Jordan Harbinger: I hope that helps. I know it's a lot to think about, but it sounds to me like there's something about this job that's exciting. I put yourself up for the interview just to throw your hat in the ring, see how it all shakes out. It'll be a good experience at the very least a chance to explore your own priorities if nothing else. There are so many good reasons not to step up in life. Your job is to figure out which ones actually matter right now. When the time comes, you'll make the trade-offs you have to make in order to have everything that you want. Just don't feel pressured to make those trade-offs prematurely. Good luck.
[00:36:32] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:36:37] This episode is sponsored in part by LifeLock. It's important to understand how cybercrime and identity theft are affecting our lives. Every day your information is at risk on the Internet. If you ever bought anything online, you ever use any websites, you know, anything like that. In an instant, a cybercriminal can take what's yours, your hard-earned money, your credit, your reputation. Those guys are tricky out there. It's a good thing there's a LifeLock. LifeLock helps detect a wide range of identity threats, like your social security number for sale on the dark web. If any of your info has potentially been compromised, they'll send you an alert and you have access to a dedicated restoration specialist if you become a victim. So there's somebody there to help you out with it. They're not just going to let you sort of twist in the wind if you do become a victim.
[00:37:18] Jen Harbinger: No one can prevent all identity theft or monitor all transactions at all businesses but you can keep what's yours with LifeLock identity theft protection. Join now and save up to 25 percent off your first year by going to lifelock.com/jordan. That's lifelock.com/jordan to save up to 25 percent off.
[00:37:35] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored in part by Headspace. Wouldn't it be great if there was a pocket-sized guide that could help you sleep, focus, act/be better. Well, there is. And if you have 10 minutes, Headspace can change your life. Headspace is your daily dose of mindfulness in the form of guided meditations in an easy to use app. Needs some help falling asleep? Headspace has wind down sessions, their members swear by it. And for parents, Headspace even has morning meditations, you can do with your kids. Headspaces approach to mindfulness. It can reduce stress, improve sleep, boost focus, and increase your overall sense of wellbeing. Who doesn't want that? Headspace also has these little explainer cartoons you can watch so that you understand what's actually happening when you meditate, which is kind of a fun way to learn.
[00:38:13] Jen Harbinger: You deserve to be happier. And Headspace is meditation made simple. Go to headspace.com/jordan. That's headspace.com/jordan for a free one-month trial with access to headspaces full library of meditations for every situation. This is the best deal offered right now. Head to headspace.com/jordan today.
[00:38:31] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is sponsored in part by Fabletics. Fabletics Men is for every guy who wants to look and feel as best without breaking the bank. And they want to cut the crap, you know, focus on what counts, do those things better than anyone else. I've been walking around every day, reading. That's how I usually consume the books needed for this show. And my pants of choice, sweat pants of choice, are the Fabletics courtside joggers. These things are super comfortable. They got that kind of cool retro, but now back in style, elastic on the bottom of the ankle. I'm a huge fan. I sleep in them sometimes. Don't judge me. Yes, I walk outside and sleep in the same pants. Look, it's the pandemic people. That's just the way it is. Go to fabletics.com/jordan for access to an insane deal. Namely, get your first two pairs of shorts for just 24 bucks. When you become a Fabletics Men VIP member at checkout. VIP gets a free shipping on all orders over 49 bucks. Free returns, free exchanges within 45 days. A bunch of credits you can use each month, 20 to 50 percent off retail prices. You get the idea fabletics.com/jordan.
[00:39:32] 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.
[00:39:50] Last but not least.
[00:39:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe, I recently graduated with my BSE in industrial and systems engineering, and I'm looking to pursue opportunities in my field. When filling out the applications, there's a section at the end that asks for your gender, race, and if you have a disability. The three choices are, I do have a disability. I do not have a disability, and I do not want to answer. The thing is I'm not sure which box to check. See, I have multiple sclerosis. The quick summary of MS. It's an autoimmune disease where your white blood cells attack the myelin sheath that covers the nerves in your brain and spinal cord. As that sheath breaks down, it causes the nervous system to misfire. The question specifically asks, do you have any disability, including, and then it lists a dozen options, one of which is MS. I don't present as disabled. Most people with MS, they're in their 50s. I'm in my early 30s and I developed MS in my early 20s. Knowing that I'll probably end up in a wheelchair, I try to stay very active. So presently I'm very physically capable. Still MS kicks my ass some days. I have muscle pain, muscle spasms, exhaustion, and so on, but I've never let it affect my work. My inclination would be to check that I do not have a disability as it doesn't directly impact my work right now. And I don't think of myself as disabled. However, industrial and manufacturing engineers, they're often required to work in the factory around heavy machinery, barring any medical breakthroughs. I will slowly lose the ability to walk on my own, which would impact certain aspects of the job. So am I obligated to disclose that I have a disability? Should I check I do not wish to answer? I know that it's technically illegal to discriminate against people based on disabilities, but sadly we all know that it still happens. Thanks for your help. Signed, Debating Dishonesty or Discrimination About Disclosing My Disability.
[00:41:34] Jordan Harbinger: Well, first of all, I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis, man. That's got to be hard. Just sort of knowing that's in the pipeline, ready to jump out in front of you. The great news is that you sound like a super proactive focused guy who's putting in the work to take care of himself. Gabe and I have both known a few people with MS. And the ones who stayed active and didn't let their diagnosis stop them prematurely, they all went on to manage their disease really well, and didn't have serious symptoms until very late in life. So good on you for doing that from a young age. Not letting the diagnosis define you completely, I think that's huge.
[00:42:09] As far as how to handle it on your job applications, here are a few thoughts and to make sure we're getting a good handle on things here, we consulted with Jeremy Golan, attorney and friend of the show, which is actually funny. Because, you know how I met him, Gabriel. He sued me once a long time ago and that's how we became friends.
[00:42:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: No way.
[00:42:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:42:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's hilarious. I had no idea.
[00:42:26] Jordan Harbinger: I was like, this guy's really professional. And then after the suit was over, because obviously I didn't, it wasn't super fond of him during the suit, but I thought he was really professional. He did his job well and he was fair. And what he did made a lot of sense. And I ended up referring people to him and then I just kept doing it because I was like, "Well, you know, he gets the job done. Definitely got a good settlement out of my ass, right out of my hide." Anyway, so—
[00:42:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Five out of five, what do we—?
[00:42:49] Jordan Harbinger: Five out of five don't get sued by this guy ever. Anyway, we wanted to make sure an actual lawyer was weighing in here. Somebody who knew what they were talking about. So first of all, do you have an obligation to disclose that you have a disability? Basically, no. Now that might change slightly state-by-state and I would look up the relevant laws in your state to make sure. But federal law governs this as well and it's pretty darn clear.
[00:43:12] The Americans with Disabilities Act, the ADA, you've all heard of it. It very clearly says that an employer generally may not require an applicant to disclose information about a disability or medical impairment prior to making an offer of employment. More than that employers that are covered by the ADA, which generally means companies with 15 or more employees, as well as public sector employers, they're not permitted to ask non-voluntary disability-related questions on a job application or during the hiring process.
[00:43:44] The only major exception to this, according to what we've found is if you need some kind of accommodation to complete the application, to participate in an interview, to take an employment test or actually perform the functions of the job. In that case, you may need to disclose your disability in advance. Another exception is when there are special circumstances surrounding the disclosure. Like, if the company is asking for affirmative action purposes or something along those lines. It doesn't sound like that applies in your case.
[00:44:14] So based on what you've shared, it sounds like you're pretty much under zero obligation to disclose anything right now.
[00:44:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Definitely. And maybe more relevant is the fact that you're not actually currently disabled at this moment. You have a diagnosis, yes. And at some point in the hopefully distant future that diagnosis might leave you disabled or impaired in some way. Although if you keep up those workouts, I don't know that could be decades away and maybe not even totally limiting, which is very encouraging. It's great.
[00:44:40] But like you said, your gut is telling you to say that you don't have a disability because it doesn't directly impact your work at this moment. And I would agree with that. There's just no advantage it seems to disclosing at this moment, and there's no reason to create additional barriers for yourself at this early stage of your career. The last thing you want is for, I don't know, someone's scared or narrow-minded, or just straight up prejudice to find a reason to disqualify you, which as you pointed out, unfortunately it does still happen. The best thing you can do is be the candidate, get in the door, get to work.
[00:45:09] And if you want to get another opinion on this book, a call with an employment attorney in your state, just to make sure that you're covering all your angles. Many lawyers they'll chat with you for free the first time. And even if they charge you for a 10-minute call, it'll totally be worth it. You can ask them these questions, see what they say. They might also have some additional advice on how to handle the whole diagnosis in an interview. If it does come up or they might say, "Here's what you should do if your diagnosis ever becomes an issue, once you're actually on the job." And they can also point out anything you should be doing or thinking about now to prepare for the future, whatever's coming down the road. But I'm pretty confident that any lawyer is going to agree that you're pretty much good to go on these applications for the moment.
[00:45:47] Jordan Harbinger: My only other advice to you is to keep going after what you want. I know it's very easy for — what do we call it? Abled person like me to tell a disabled person or a person who one day may become disabled to like, "Don't let your condition define you," right? I know it's not that simple. I know that living with MS is a very real challenge, but I got to say your attitude is amazing. The fact that you're not letting this diagnosis limit your options prematurely. The fact that you're consistently working out and taking care of yourself in advance, that is huge. I'm very confident that your experience with this disease and your career as a whole, they're going to be so much better because of that mindset. It really does make the difference between being buried by a diagnosis like this and thriving, despite it. So stay in that mode, keep up the awesome work. Keep on trucking. It really is the best thing you can do to set yourself up well, to handle this thing, if/when it does progress. In the meantime, we're sending you great vibes on the interviews, my man. I'm sure you're going to do great.
[00:46:48] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week. Check out the guests from this week, Dr. David Eagleman and Professor Scott Galloway, both superstars, highly recommend those. Those are some fun episodes and super informative and interesting, even if I do say so myself, so definitely don't miss those, David Eagleman and Professor Scott Galloway if you haven't heard them already.
[00:47:07] And if you want to know how we book people for this show, well, it's about the network. You know, the logistics of the fine points. The network we built is really the magic here. We're teaching you how to build your network for free over on the Thinkific platform. Just go to jordanharbinger.com/course. Dig the well before, or you get thirsty. Don't try and build relationships only when you need them. Then it's too late. The drills take a few minutes. They ignore it at your own peril. I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. Jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:47:35] A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts are in the show notes. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram or hit me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:47:51] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course Gabriel Mizrahi. I'm Jordan Harbinger. Keep sending in those questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our advice and opinions, and those of our guests are their own. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on this show. And remember, we rise by lifting others, so share the show with those you love and even those you don't for that matter. If you found this episode useful, share it with someone else who can use the advice that 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.
[00:48:36] We've got a preview trailer of our interview with Fyre Fest, Billy McFarland, from inside federal prison, where he's serving six years for fraud and on the hook for $26 million in restitution. Here's a quick bite.
[00:48:49] Female Operator: You will not be charged for this call. This call is from—
[00:48:52] Billy McFarland: William McFarland.
[00:48:54] Female Operator: —an inmate at a federal prison. Hang up to decline the call or to accept dial five now.
[00:49:02] Jordan Harbinger: When I asked before on our first call, if you were a con man, we had 10 seconds of silence. Is this the new Billy that we're hearing or are you the same Billy that tried to pull off the Fyre Festival?
[00:49:13] Billy McFarland: When I think about the mistakes that were made and what happened, there's no way I can just describe it other than, what the f*ck was I thinking? I was wrong and I hope now that I can, in some small way, make a positive impact.
[00:49:26] Jordan Harbinger: Once you knew that the festival wasn't going to go as planned, why didn't you call it off?
[00:49:32] Billy McFarland: So a lot of people don't know, but the decision to cancel the festival was made when I was told that three people had died at the event. Thankfully, no one was actually physically hurt in any way, but up until the last second, I believed incorrectly, you could pull it off and obviously I was wrong. We had something called the urgent daily payments document, and basically it was as Google Excel sheet. Essentially, it was a list of payments that we had to make that day or else the festival couldn't proceed. In the couple of months leading up to the event, it went from a couple thousand dollars a day to a few million dollars a day, where I'd wake up at nine in the morning, find three million dollars by noon, and then make the payments by four.
[00:50:09] Jordan Harbinger: How was solitary confinement? Essentially being locked in a box? Like, that sounds terrible.
[00:50:13] Billy McFarland: It really makes you think. And I think the biggest takeaway was, you know, there was one guy who's serving a 30-year sentence and he was already locked in the same room for over three and a half years, when I was there.
[00:50:24] Jordan Harbinger: You had a big vision. I mean, it was huge. And you got so close to something great that everyone wanted to be a part of and people still want to be a part of it. I have to wonder if there's going to be a Fyre Fest version two, I assume you wouldn't call it that, but are you thinking of doing something similar?
[00:50:38] Billy McFarland: If there's anything that makes you want to create and build and do, it's being locked in a cage for months or years. Are you going to come?
[00:50:46] Jordan Harbinger: For more with Billy McFarland, including lessons learned on the inside, the value of trust, and Billy's plans for the future once he's served at the time he agrees, he rightly deserves, check out episode 422 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
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