You and your spouse made the decision long ago not to have children of your own. So was it wrong to hesitate when your brother-in-law asked you to assume guardianship over his children should the unthinkable happen to him? We’ll try to get to the bottom of this conundrum 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:
- First off: the good pastor from episode 571 shares what he’s been up to since we last spoke.
- Are you wrong to decline your brother-in-law’s request to assume guardianship over his children should the unthinkable happen? [Thanks to licensed marriage and family therapist Nancy Yen for helping us with this one!]
- By happenstance, you did a favor for someone who turns out to be a bigwig at a company where your son would like to apply for a job. Is there a non-awkward way to approach this person for a possible lead?
- Can there be such a thing as closure when a seemingly dandy keen college romance ends in a sudden, inexplicable breakup?
- You adopted a puppy just a few weeks after losing the family dog you’d known since childhood. Now you find yourself having full-blown panic attacks worrying about all the things that could go wrong with the new pet. What can you do to ease this ever-present, crippling anxiety sooner rather than later?
- You and your spouse speak multiple languages, and you’d like to pass them along to your newborn daughter. What can you do to ensure you’re not unintentionally overwhelming her in the process?
- 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!
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Miss the conversation we had with counterfeiting investigator Kris Buckner? Catch up with episode 308: Kris Buckner | Who Does Counterfeiting Really Hurt? here!
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Resources from This Episode:
- Joe Barone | Living in Dread Between the Mob and the Feds Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Joe Barone | Living in Dread Between the Mob and the Feds Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Quit Your Job the Right Way | Jordan Harbinger
- Pastor Past Makes You An Outcast | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Nancy Yen | Website
- No Thanks, I Don’t Want to Be Your Kid’s Guardian | Today
- Take Care by Drake | Amazon Music
- Ambiguous Loss | Psychology Today
- The Myth of Closure: Ambiguous Loss in a Time of Pandemic and Change by Pauline Boss | Amazon
- What if There’s No Such Thing as Closure? | The New York Times
- Grieving the Loss of a Pet | Brynna Connor MD
- Anxiety After Pet Loss | The Ralph Site Blog
- Frequency of Neurotic Symptoms Shortly after the Death of a Pet | The Journal of Veterinary Medical Science
- You’re Not Crazy, You’re Mourning: Grief from the Loss of Your Dog | Grisha Stewart
- Getting a New Pet After the Loss of a Pet: How to Know if You’re Ready | Pets In Peace
- How Many Languages Can a Child Learn at the Same Time? | Bilingual Kidspot
636: Is It Wrong to Decline Guardianship of Family? | 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 partner in prescription, 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.
[00:00:36] If you're new to the show, on Fridays, we give advice to you and answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes to authors, thinkers to performers.
[00:00:50] This week, we had Joe Barone. This was a two-parter. Initially, Gabriel, this guy reaches out to me and it's from like an encrypted email. And a lot of times those are pranks. It just sort of came out of nowhere and I'm like, "All right, I want to get on a call." So I get on a call. It turns out this guy was an informant for the FBI for 18 years and is now being hunted by the mafia because he was a mobster and they're after him now. The FBI kind of outed him and now, he's just living under the radar, off grid, and he wanted to get his story out.
[00:01:23] So we talk a lot about the inner workings of the FBI and the mafia and what it's like to be a confidential informant in the mob for the FBI, just a wild situation. It was one of those where I had to consult my cybersecurity friends and be like, "How do I wipe personal information and IP address information off the servers that I used to connect with him because I don't want someone coming to my house to find out where he is."
[00:01:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:01:45] Jordan Harbinger: And I have no idea where he is. For the record, I don't know where he lives.
[00:01:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: That sounds like a good interview.
[00:01:50] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. So we did two parts and it's a little unnerving though. You know, I wanted to send him a microphone because he didn't have one. And I'm like, "Hey, where do I send this?" And he's like, "Eh, I'll order it. What do I get?" I'm like, "Oh, let me just send you to a studio in your area." He's like, "Hmm, no, I'm going to do it from home." Like he couldn't tell me anything about where he was or anything. I don't even know what time zone the guy's in.
[00:02:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's some real street cred right there.
[00:02:13] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I also write every so often on the blog, my latest post, how to quit your job. We've been getting this question a ton on the show lately. I guess the great resignation is real. So I wanted to write a piece about my — I hate overusing this word, but whatever — my philosophy and approach to leaving a position, when to do it, how to do it, when you know you're going to do it for the right reasons, and how you can leave a job and even strengthen your reputation and your relationships in the process of leaving. So you can find that article and all of our articles at jordanharbinger.com/articles. So make sure you've had a look and listen to everything that we created for you here this week.
[00:02:50] So Gabe, we got a really cool email from a listener this week.
[00:02:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: We did. So some of you guys might remember there was this pastor who wrote in about five months ago because he had been fired, pretty abruptly, fired from his church after telling them that he and his wife were seeking therapy to work on their marriage, which was extra sad because this pastor, he's apparently an amazing pastor. He's a doctor, he's a published author. He has a great track record. He actually specializes in helping people who have been burned by institutional religion. And he told the church what he's going through. And he was basically made to be a pariah and was struggling to land another job. And so he wrote in asking for advice on what to do.
[00:03:27] Jordan Harbinger: Right. So we shared some ideas with them. That was episode 571 if you want to check it out. Gabe, why don't you read us the email?
[00:03:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Jordan and Gabe, to start, I want to thank you for reading my story and for the effort you put in to provide advice that was simultaneously direct, challenging, and affirming. In a nutshell, on the other side of all the pain, I can see that being forced out from that church and denomination was the best thing that could've happened to me .Without the strain of what had become a hostile working environment, my wife and I were free to mend our marriage and relationships we'd neglected. Friends surrounded us in incredible ways. I leaned into my network and I found them eager to help. Attorney friends even went to bat for me with letters to the church, pointing out how they violated their own bylaws in forcing me out and that they could face defamation suits for false statements they had made about me. The church finally agreed to a 12-month severance package with full salary and benefits. My family also has a condo in Florida, which they offer to us for a year. We listed our house and it sold over asking price in two days. We put our stuff in storage and went to Florida where I then worked as a chaplain at a children's hospital. It was as rewarding as it was heartbreaking. And it allowed me to reconnect with why I went into ministry in the first place. My wife, my son, and I were able to heal, reconnect, and just be together. After some time I was contacted by a church that had recently disaffiliated with its denomination and was interested in my skill set. They brought me on as their lead pastor recently. And I never could have imagined that my family and I could feel so at home. So thank you again, guys.
[00:04:58] Jordan Harbinger: Such an awesome letter. And I love this story.
[00:05:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:05:00] Jordan Harbinger: This is exactly what I learned when I went through the business breakup four years ago or five years, I don't even know how long it's been. It's been four or five years. That's how out of sight, out of mind, this is for me. The worst thing that you think you can go through, it's often the best thing, but only if you fully accept it and you find creative ways to work with it. Now, I'm no pastor, I don't know anything about the world of church work, but that's also what I love about this story. That the fundamental principles of turning your life around are universal. They apply as much to a lawyer-turned podcaster, canned from his company, as they do to a pastor/doctor booted from his denomination. It's extraordinary, really.
[00:05:40] Because what these losses do is they force you to take stock of what really matters to you, what you want your life to look like, what assets you do have. And those assets always end up being a few crucial things. Relationships, reputation, mission, character, and the story that you tell, and if you have all of those things, even if you don't have all the money or the opportunities or the time that you wish you had, there's always enough to take the next step to piece something great together.
[00:06:10] And yes, this pastor was lucky to be surrounded by so many great people, but that's not a total accident either. I'm guessing these people were moved to help him because he was such a solid guy, a generous pastor, and he offered a lot to the people in his life along the way. So I just wanted to share that with y'all because I think this guy's story, it's incredibly inspiring. It's touching, but it's also just a fantastic template for how to rebuild your life when you go through a major breakdown. I've been there, I've lived this. I know that it's true.
[00:06:41] So thank you to the pensive pastor for sharing this update with us. You're awesome. We're super proud of you. I love that you move through all of this without a ton of negativity and resentment, and we're grateful to you for offering a story that all of us can learn from. And you should be proud of how you weather the storm. So we're wishing you, your wife, and your family all the best.
[00:07:00] I know we've got some doozies this week, Gabriel. What's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:07:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe, my husband and I do not have kids and we don't foresee having any in the future. My brother-in-law, let's call him Jack recently asked my husband and me to be the guardians of his children should the worst ever happen. The oldest is 13 years old and the youngest is eight years. I feel icky for saying this, but both my husband and I are hesitant to sign on the dotted line because the youngest has autism. He's barely verbal and has regular violent outbursts. If we sign, we'd be responsible to raise him for our entire lives because he'll likely, never be independent. My husband and I don't have high-paying jobs. And I'm concerned that we would suddenly be given to kids with little to no financial assistance. I understand that it's unlikely that we would ever actually be needed as guardians, but both of our instincts were, immediately, no. My husband has two other brothers who each have children of their own, but Jack doesn't want to list either of them as guardians because he feels they already have their hands full. Is it appropriate to ask Jack how much financial assistance would be granted to us for son's care? Or would that just open a can of worms? What if we couldn't take care of our nephew and we had to separate him from his sister by way of foster care? Most importantly, are we being selfish for being hesitant? Signed, The Reluctant Rents.
[00:08:17] Jordan Harbinger: And this is a really interesting situation. You're basically caught between helping your family and being true to your own needs. And also balancing such a huge responsibility with the practical realities of raising two kids, especially when one of them has special needs. I know the odds of you guys ever having to be guardians is quite slim, but still they could happen. Who knows the probabilities? But let's put that aside for a moment and figure out just how selfish you really are. We wanted an expert's opinion on all of this. So we consulted with Nancy Yen, licensed marriage and family therapist, an MFT supervisor practicing over in Acton, Massachusetts.
[00:08:54] And Nancy's first response was no, you're not being selfish at all for being hesitant about accepting guardianship here. In fact, she believes that it's very evolved of you to understand your feelings about children and be true to yourself about taking on such a big responsibility, despite how it might make you look to others. As Nancy put it, if we didn't have any hesitancy about complex decisions like this, we'd be learning by way of hindsight, which happens too. But of course, that's not ideal, especially when it comes to something as huge, as caring for two children. So Nancy actually said that she'd give you congratulations for being honest with yourself at the cost of not looking like Mother Teresa. Now, that doesn't make you a monster. In fact, I would argue that accepting guardianship of two children, you can't or won't be good parents to, for whatever reason, that is much worse.
[00:09:46] So given that, I'm not even sure there's much of a conversation to be had here and Nancy agreed. She said she probably wouldn't even open that can of worms as you called it. By asking if there would be financial assistance, because look, that's not even really the heart of the issue. The heart of the issue is that you don't want children. It sounds to me like it feels some judgment about that, but that's not really entirely fair either. Nancy pointed out that we still live in a society that by and large values heteronormative family systems that eventually produced children. You often hear, "Why don't you have kids yet?" And then when you do have one, it's, "When you're having your second?" And I'm speaking from personal experience here. In Nancy's view, a lot of our society just isn't at a place yet to acknowledge that there are adults who don't want to have children, and there's nothing wrong with that.
[00:10:33] So I hope that gives you a little measure of validation or at least permission to do what you want. But we also have to talk about the kids in this situation. Ultimately, they're the ones, least in control of shaping their outcome here. One of the worst things a child can experience is losing their parents at a vulnerable time in their life. But as Nancy pointed out, it's not much better to be cared for by reluctant caretakers who just didn't sign up for that journey at all. Now, look Nancy's an adoption therapy specialist. She loves to see children be placed in natural kinship supports, but she also said it's not fair to the children to end up with adoptive parents who are not up for the task.
[00:11:11] Nancy also said that you shouldn't automatically assume that these kids would be in foster care either, let alone be separated from each other. That process takes many steps with many people and no one can predict it that'll be the outcome because it's not the only outcome. It's actually just the worst one. So Nancy's advice, take a moment to think about your relationship with these kids. Do you love them? Do you want them in your lives? What do you imagine that looks like? Don't lose sight of the most important variables in this decision, these children and your connection with them. Really get clear on how you want that connection to look even if you don't end up becoming their guardians. Focus on what you can and want to do, and very briefly on what you can't or are not willing to do. And once you do that, then it would probably be helpful for you and your husband to have a really honest conversation with your brother-in-law and tell him how you want your relationship with your niece and nephew to look.
[00:12:05] In my view, it's not like you either agree to be these kids, guardians or you're just not in their lives at all. You can still be close with them. You can still love them and you can still support your brother-in-law without agreeing to fulfill a role that you guys just don't want to fulfill. And that is fair. Of course, the part that's out of your control is how Jack and the extended family will respond. He might feel disappointed. He might be angry, or who knows? Maybe he'll totally understand and respect your reasons. I would be prepared for any response and how you guys will manage it.
[00:12:38] And if you feel like you need some support, Nancy said, you might want to look for an experienced family therapist to guide you through this conversation. You don't have to do it alone. There might be more solutions available than you might know. But the grown-ups talking about this decision together in a way that's respectful and collaborative, that is a great start because as Nancy put it, Jack's kids deserve no less than that. Good luck.
[00:12:59] Gabriel, you know, who won't voice their spawn on you out of nowhere?
[00:13:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ah, the products and services that support the show?
[00:13:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yep. We'll be right back.
[00:13:09] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
[00:13:13] This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help online therapy. Relationships take work. We'll go out of our way to treat other people well. But how often do we give ourselves the same treatment? I invest in myself. I got a trainer a few times a week. Gabriel and I have voice coaching once a week. I keep up with regular checkups at the doctor. As I often remind you taking care of your mental health, just as important. You are your greatest asset. So invest the time and effort into yourself. That includes your mental health. Better Help is online therapy that offers video, phone, even live chat sessions with your therapist in the convenience of your own home or wherever. Rather than waiting weeks to get booked with a therapist get matched with a better health therapist in under 48 hours. And if you don't jive with your therapist, get matched with another one, no additional charge. Over two million people have used Better hHelp online therapy. Try it out.
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[00:15:25] And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:15:29] All right, next up.
[00:15:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, my son is in his second year of college studying business. And over the past few years, I've proudly watched him transform into a knowledge-thirsty and self-motivated individual. He's now seeking an internship, which is a very competitive process. He's making a lot of moves and contacts under his own steam and gaining confidence all the while, in large part, thanks to your podcast. About a month ago, I happened to find a laptop that had been dumped near my house. I did some sleuthing and went out of my way to track the owner down. Guessing that whoever's laptop it was, was probably frantic without it. The next day the owner came to pick it up much relieved. He didn't offer any reward, but I was just happy to have helped. It turns out that the owner is the managing director of a top company in our area. I'm now wondering whether it's a good idea to contact him and see if he would be open to meeting with my son. I'm tempted not to, but then part of me thinks what if, and maybe that it's a great opportunity for my son. Writing this now it sounds far-fetched and presumptuous, as I'm really not a pushy parent, but I wonder if I can approach this in a way that doesn't make him uncomfortable and also doesn't insult my son, by playing the interfering mother. What do you think I should do? Signed, Mothering Without Smothering.
[00:16:41] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Great question. And I love that you're thinking like this. It's smart of you as a parent, although I totally get why it's a little awkward as well. This guy could be totally receptive to this favor. He could be a little putout. You just have no way of knowing, but that doesn't mean it's not worth taking a shot. This is totally fair game. People make these connections all the time, even when they're random, but you're right. A lot of how this goes depends on how you go about it.
[00:17:07] So my first piece of advice is to talk to your son about this before you reach out. Tell him you think this guy might be an interesting person for him to know. That you'd be happy to try to make the connection, but that you don't want to play the interfering mother here. And just ask him straight up, "Is this someone you'd like to meet? Are you interested in this company, in the industry? Would it be weird for you if I reached out?" And if he's actually like, "Eh, mom, I have eight leads on internships right now. I'm fine. I don't want to take a meeting with a total rando my mom finagled for me." Then yeah, you can drop it. But if he's like, "Oh wow, this company is awesome. This guy would be an amazing person to know," then yeah, reach out without feeling like you're meddling. And maybe your son has some thoughts on how he would like you to do that. So it comes across in a way that he's comfortable with.
[00:17:51] Now, when you do reach out to this guy, I would also be very thoughtful about your approach because it is unexpected and this guy's probably pretty busy. So you want to phrase this the right way. So when you call them or you write them, I would say something like, "Hey Peter, this is Wanda. The woman who found your laptop a few weeks back. Listen, I know this is incredibly random. I hope I'm not putting you in an awkward position here, but I wanted to ask you for a small favor. If it's something you can do, amazing. If not, please don't worry. I won't be offended in the slightest. Long story short, my son's a sophomore at Duke," or whatever. "He's a solid young man, smart, curious, self-motivated, yada yada. And I'm not just saying that because I'm his mom and he's looking for an internship. He loves your company. Just wondering if you happen to need a smart young guy to help you out this summer. And if so, if you'd be willing to spend, I don't know, 10 minutes with him on the phone, see if you guys click. Again, zero pressure, I just wanted to make the connection and see if it's interesting for both of you." Something like that.
[00:18:44] And then let him respond. And I know it might feel a little opportunistic or presumptuous, whatever it is, but if you approach this person with confidence and respect, you will come across the right way. The other option is to have your son reach out himself. He can say his mom told him the laptop story. He was curious about the owner, looked up the company, super interested. That is a little bit less, "My mommy got me a job interview," and more serendipitous connection that might lead to an internship. And I'm just leaning towards this option personally, but both options could work.
[00:19:18] Generally speaking, though, I'm in favor of taking these chances. The upside is big. The downside is minimal. And what's the worst thing that can happen? He says no, or he just ignores your email. Totally worth it, in my opinion. Life is constantly serving up these little opportunities and it's absolutely fair game to see where they lead. And in fact, you should. That guy you get stuck with at an airport, terminal that guy you share an Uber pool with, that executive who grabs your name tag at a conference by accident, these are all potential friends, bosses, partners, peers, and the difference between them being a total stranger, and then being a big part of your life is just you taking a chance and going, "Hey, I'm so-and-so. What do you do? What are you up to? Are you hitting that workshop at 2:00 p.m.?" whatever it is and striking up a friendship.
[00:20:08] I mean, Gabe, that's how we met.
[00:20:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, that's right.
[00:20:10] Jordan Harbinger: That's how so many people I know have entered my life. And it's just kind of part of our job in life to take these shots.
[00:20:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree.
[00:20:17] Jordan Harbinger: So I say, go for it. You're never going to bat a thousand with these intros, but you don't have to. Just getting that one person to say yes, that's a win. And by doing this, you're also doing something else that's really important, which is modeling for your son what great relationship building looks like. He'll see you take this chance and he'll be even more inspired to do that for himself and for other people. Having a parent who takes these opportunities seriously, it's a huge advantage in life. It's a gift. So I say, go meddle in your son's life, or encourage him to do it for himself. Good luck.
[00:20:53] All right. What's next?
[00:20:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I'm a senior in college and until recently I was dating a sophomore. She just broke up with me after a year and a half together because she felt like she needed to be on her own to grow. I respect that she's younger and needs to find her identity like many people do in college. What hurts me about the breakup though is how abrupt it was. The week before she had told me she was happy with our relationship. She wrote me a very sweet note with my Christmas present, looking forward to our future together. And she sent me sweet text messages even as she arrived at my apartment to break up with me. When she broke the news, she didn't even put her things down. She kept her body language oriented towards the door as if she intended to leave as soon as she could. She complained that we had been talking for an hour and that she had said all that she had to say about the breakup. I had no time to process anything. I was in shock. She decided that I didn't need closure because she was content. She thought we were on good terms now, and that it was best we stopped talking to each other. We said our goodbyes and she left. I texted her to ask her when she could bring my things by and said that I still wanted some questions answered before we parted ways. She said that you would bring my things by, but that wanting to talk made her uncomfortable. She has since ghosted me. I still see her around campus and I don't want to be on bad terms with her. Is there anything I can do to make peace with her? How do I build back my faith in relationships when this one ended so suddenly? How do I avoid developing trust issues? And do I just move on without any closure? Signed, Consumed By This Wound.
[00:22:22] Jordan Harbinger: Bud, this is tough. I can hear how painful this breakup was for you. You obviously had real feelings for this girl. You had history and you expected more from her in the breakups. So yeah, it makes sense that this hurts so much. I'm also guessing just based on your age that this is your first big relationship and I'm sure that makes things even harder. So before I answer your questions, let me just say what you and your ex are going through, it's very common at your age. Yes, it's an adult relationship. Yes, you guys had real history. But she's like 19 years old. You're 21, 22. Like you said, you guys are still figuring out your identities, your priorities, what kind of relationship you want to be in, how you guys handle difficult conversations. This is probably your first time going through a breakup like this. So it's all new and that makes the feelings that much more heightened.
[00:23:16] Now, the way she treated you, I definitely understand why that hurt. I agree. She could have been kinder, more patient, more empathetic, and I'm sure it was extra confusing given her mixed messages leading up to the breakup, right? But I also understand where she might be coming from. Her feelings obviously changed. She thought you guys had said all there was to say it was probably very painful for her to have to break up with you. That's a hard conversation for anyone to have. And what you interpreted as coldness was probably just her trying to avoid reliving the awkwardness and sadness of a long protracted breakup.
[00:23:53] And having been on her side of the equation a few times, I definitely get that. She could have communicated all of this better, but when you break up with somebody who really likes you — and I promise you'll do that one day — you'll probably understand why your ex felt the need to put some boundaries around her time. At a certain point, you're not really accomplishing anything. You're just rehashing the same thing over and over again and holding the other person's hand while they wrap their head around what's happening. Again, definitely not the kindest way to treat you, but definitely the way a 19-year-old who's still figuring herself out would handle things.
[00:24:28] That said, is there anything you can do to make peace with her? Yeah, but you're going to have to go through your own process first. Take your ex's cue. Spend some time apart, accept the breakup, acknowledge whatever feelings you have, talk to some friends, get some perspective, listen to a ton of Drake. I recommend the Take Care album. And over time, the sting of the breakup will begin to fade. You might even start to have some compassion for your ex after a couple of months. Then once the feelings calmed down a little bit, you'll be able to send her a text or run into her on campus. And it'll be friendly. Maybe you can tell her that it was really hard to be broken up with so suddenly, but that you understand the relationship better now. You accept her decision if you're at that point, of course.
[00:25:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, totally. And also, maybe you won't have a deep friendship with this person, but it'll just be pleasant. It'll be okay. And that's a good outcome too. As for building back your faith in relationships, avoiding any trust issues from now on, that's definitely a question, a guy who just got his heart broken would ask, I totally get it. We have all been there, but I wouldn't fixate on that thought too much. You're injured, bud. You're in the thick of this. You're in the whole. Alanis Morissette, love is pain phase. You're basically, Adam Sandler's singing Love Stinks. You know, The Wedding Singer? Do you remember that scene, Jordan?
[00:25:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, Julia Gulia.
[00:25:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Julia Gulia, exactly. It's a great re-watch. You might want to watch that right about now but that feeling, that will go away with time too. That's part of the normal grieving process after a relationship. But if this whole trust thing persists, then I would definitely dig into that some more. I would ask yourself, why is this one relationship becoming a template for all your relationships? Or does the way one girl felt about you mean that all people will treat you this way? The answer of course is no, but again, it's easy to believe that when you're still fresh off of a breakup. So give it a little time. The next girl you fall for, you'll probably jump in with both feet and you'll be a little bit older, so you'll have some more experience under your belt. And that will give the relationship an even better shot, but I do get it. I understand how you're feeling right now, and it is hard, objectively, to move on without full closure.
[00:26:38] You know, psychologists actually have a term for this. They call it ambiguous loss. It's kind of a pop psychology term right now. We've talked about this on the show before. Ambiguous loss is very challenging, but the thing is so much of life is ambiguous loss, right? We don't always get the breakup we feel we deserve. We don't always get the explanation for a decision that we want. In pretty much every single loss, there's always more information we could have that we just don't have access to. And then we have to heal and figure it out and move on without that information.
[00:27:10] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. That is your job right now to accept this breakup without all of the information your mind is craving. And the first step is accepting that you and your girlfriend are in different places and that for whatever reason, she can't or won't give you the time or information you want to move on. And I know that's painful, but it's also possible that you don't need that time or information. What you do need is to accept that this is what's happening and that is hard as it is it's okay. And if you're having trouble doing that, we stumbled across a book that would be a great read for you right now. It's called The Myth of Closure by Pauline Boss. There was also a great profile of her in the New York Times recently. We'll link to both of those in the show notes, so definitely check out.
[00:27:53] Hang in there, bud. You got this. It's all practice. It's all growing up. And in a few months, I know you're going to have a very different lens on this relationship. Sending you good thoughts.
[00:28:04] Man, Gabe, the first breakup or the big breakup anyway, never easy, no matter what.
[00:28:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Nope, especially at that age.
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[00:28:44] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show, and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:28:48] This episode is sponsored in part by Justworks. Here's how Justworks can help your business. Justworks can relieve you of some of the administrative work that you don't love. You know, things like running payroll, managing benefits, figuring out state by state rules and regulations. Justworks makes it simple to hire and manage remote employees across all 50 states. With Justworks, you can onboard new employees, make it really easy. They've got an intuitive online platform. You can take the guesswork out of employment and tax regulations and requirements, access national health insurance plans, so your employees can get coverage no matter where they live. Get help setting up sick leave policies and administering harassment and discrimination prevention trainings that comply with state and local requirements. Save hours on time-tracking that syncs with payroll plus access to 24/7 expert support as well as certified HR consultants to get answers to your questions whenever you need them. Manage your remote team and run your business with confidence.
[00:29:41] Jen Harbinger: Find out how Justworks can help your business by going to justworks.com. That's justworks.com for more.
[00:29:48] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by SimpliSafe. According to FBI statistics, a burglar strikes close to every 30 seconds in the US. No matter how safe your neighborhood feels, it's important to be prepared and protected in case your home becomes a target. And SimpliSafe can offer you peace of mind with its easy to install home security system. When we're out of town, we get motion alerts sent straight to our phone. We can monitor any suspicious activity remotely. It frees us from worrying and allows us to enjoy our time away from home. SimpliSafe has a plethora of sensor options and security cameras that use adhesive strips for installation, making SimpliSafe an ideal home security system for renters and homeowners alike. And they make it super user-friendly to DIY install. Plus it's affordable. It doesn't require any long-term contract. US News, PC Magazine, and Popular Science have all ranked SimpliSafe home security as the best home security of 2021. In fact, US News just named SimpliSafe the best home security of 2022 as well.
[00:30:40] Jen Harbinger: You can customize the perfect system for your home in just a few minutes at simplisafe.com/jordan. Go today and claim a free indoor security camera. Plus 20 percent off with interactive monitoring. Go to simplisafe.com/jordan.
[00:30:54] Jordan Harbinger: By the way, you can now rate the show if you're on Spotify. This is a big help. Just search for us in Spotify and click those three dots on the upper right to rate the show.
[00:31:01] And now, for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
[00:31:05] All right, what's next?
[00:31:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe, about a year ago at the age of 22, I lost my dog that I'd had since I was nine years. It was a very traumatic experience as she had to be put down because of a brain tumor that came out of nowhere. And I watched it happen because I didn't want her to be alone. About three weeks after she died, I decided that I needed another dog and I got a puppy. As the months passed, I found myself becoming more and more paranoid that something was going to happen to him. I'd find myself lying awake at night, listening to his breathing and getting anxious when it didn't sound right. Two months ago, I had two full-blown panic attacks when he got sick and rushed him to the emergency animal hospital. It turned out, he had just drunk too much water and gave himself cramps, that little idiot. I'm fully aware of how crazy I sound, but I've now become more and more worried about how I would cope if something actually did happen to him. I think this may have something to do with not giving myself the chance to process my last dog's death. So how can I become less worried and attached to him? And how do I process all of this anxiety? Signed, Helicopter Parenting with My Fur Baby.
[00:32:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I remember putting down my dog as well when I was — I want to say 16. My dad kept putting it off and putting it off but eventually, he was like, "Okay, we have to do this," because he was so old and you know, just having trouble in every different area of his body. And we drove to the vet, we put the dog down — and I just remember like the look in his eyes. It was so heartbreaking. I remember it so clearly.
[00:32:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:32:32] Jordan Harbinger: And you know, they're like confused and they're hurting. It probably hurts, you know, to go through that. And then they kind of like, he was trying to stand up and couldn't — oh god, I don't want to relive this right now. It's so awful.
[00:32:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, it's so hurt.
[00:32:43] Jordan Harbinger: And then I had made the mistake — my dad had been asking me for days, weeks even, to dig a hole in the backyard, which is illegal by the way, especially where I grew up, but whatever, dig a hole in the backyard and I didn't do it because I didn't want to face it and deal with it. And then, so the day of, I'm digging a hole — this image in your mind is awful, right? So I just put my dog down. I get back home. We're all crying. I can't even see because I'm crying so hard.
[00:33:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:33:13] Jordan Harbinger: And I have to get a shovel. And go in the backyard and dig a hole. Because you can't just like keep the body of your dog around for a day while you get it together, you have to bury the dog. You know, you have a corpse.
[00:33:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:33:24] Jordan Harbinger: And so I dug a hole — it was horrible. I was like, just tears everywhere. I literally couldn't even see while I'm digging. And I like hit my foot with a shovel. It's terrible. I dug this big hole and put his body in there. So it's just burned into my mind and it happened 25-plus years ago. So I understand the feeling. I understand the pain of putting down a friend. But I also think it's amazing that you got another dog and that's usually a great way to take all of the love and the grief you feel and put it into another animal and to say yes to life again, after a big loss.
[00:34:01] So, first of all, extreme anxiety that can often be a symptom of grief. Scientists have actually found that grief can cause physical changes in the brain. Sometimes even in the heart itself, and those changes can give rise to all sorts of feelings. Sometimes grief comes out as anger, sometimes as sadness, sometimes as a profound distress, that something bad is going to happen again, if that might sound familiar. And that seems to be what you're experiencing now. There's almost a post-traumatic quality to the response you're having. And you're not just worried about your new dog. You're anticipating that whatever he's going through will lead to the exact same thing you went through with your last dog, which makes sense.
[00:34:43] But that doesn't mean that it is actually going to happen. So I think it's important to recognize that this anxious response isn't necessarily a reflection of reality, just an expression of the pain you still feel. I know that it doesn't fix anything immediately, but it might give you a little separation between yourself and the feeling. And with time, that feeling will probably start to lift on its own, or you can manage it better by not putting as much stock in the feeling when it arrived.
[00:35:12] You also just need to give yourself some time here. This loss is still very fresh. We did some research and a lot of experts say that grief after losing a pet that can last for months, sometimes six months, sometimes even a year. It's only been a few months for you. So be patient, let the grief do its thing. It has its own logic and it usually starts to resolve itself if you just let it happen.
[00:35:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think that's right, Jordan. I also think it's interesting that you got this new dog three weeks after your last dog died. And by the way, I'm with Jordan. Part of me admires you for jumping back into that relationship. Not letting this loss stop you from loving another animal. I think that's fantastic. It's actually probably a sign of great resilience and courage on your part. But I also wonder if throwing yourself into another pet was maybe a way to avoid the grief that you felt in which case I think you probably have a point about not allowing yourself to process her death.
[00:36:06] But it's actually this thing you said that stood out to me in your letter, that you've become more and more worried about how you would cope if something actually did happen to him. I thought that was a really insightful thing to say because if that's true, then what you're worried about, isn't actually losing your dog, which of course is, seems to be that that's the problem. What you're actually worried about is how you would respond to losing your dog. And you don't just fear the outcome itself. You fear your ability or in this case, maybe your lack of ability to process the feelings that come up with it and to manage that loss. So maybe you were right. Maybe you were fighting that grief, and that's why you got this new dog.
[00:36:44] And if there's any part of you now that's resisting this mourning period, then I would make a real effort to keep feeling it. I mean, really feel it, you know, in your head and your body. Just in your life in general. Now, look, you don't have to be a masochist about it. You don't need to force yourself to relive all the memories and the animal hospital and relive the experience over and over. But I think you do need to just experience the sadness or the anger or the anxiety or whatever it is because those feelings have to come out somewhere. And in your case, they might be coming out as anxiety about these non-existent health scares because they're not getting the air time they need elsewhere.
[00:37:20] Jordan Harbinger: Great point, Gabe. I think that's definitely playing a role here. It's kind of cheesy, but it's true. What you resist persists. So that's our advice. Let yourself go through the mourning process. Even as you bond with your new dog. I know how tough that is. I've been there. So many people have been. It's a very normal experience after losing a pet, but you got to feel the feels and maybe also find a new lens on your anxiety.
[00:37:45] If you wake up in the middle of the night, freaking out because your dog has hiccups, maybe you just tell yourself, "Okay, this is the grief talking, I'm panicking because of I went through, really this anxiety is a reflection of the love I feel for my animals. So let me just try to feel that anxiety for a little while, instead of running to the ER at 4:00 a.m. because my dog got too excited about his water bowl," or whatever. I think if you do that, a lot of these symptoms will improve, especially with a little bit more time. We're also going to link to a few articles and studies about losing a pet in the show notes. You'll find some great insights and strategies in there as well.
[00:38:18] But while you do that, try to soak up every moment with your new dog. This is precious time. There's a lot of joy ahead of you. The flip side of loss is gratitude. So keep an eye on that. And whenever you feel anxious, just take a moment and be thankful too. Sending you a hug and congrats on the new pup.
[00:38:36] All right, next up.
[00:38:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe, my wife and I are trying to figure out how to teach our newborn daughter all or most of the languages that we speak. We both speak English and French being from Montreal, where those are both quite important for everyday life. My wife also speaks Armenian and Arabic and I speak Italian. I reached out to different people, but it's been quite difficult to find a household that speaks five languages. I'm worried that if we take on too much, our daughter won't be fluent in any of the languages. Is less more in this situation or is a broken fourth and/or fifth language an advantage? And do you have any tips, tricks, or advice on how I can teach my daughter as much as possible? Signed, Climbing the Tower of Babel Without Falling Off.
[00:39:18] Jordan Harbinger: Great question. Man, I wish I grew up in a house like this. Whenever I meet somebody who speaks five or six languages natively, I'm always like, "Damn. Why couldn't I have been raised by a couple of United Nations Diplomats in Belgium." I had to learn my language as the regular way by actually studying them, which is super rewarding. Don't get me wrong, but just inheriting languages from your parents while your brain is still superplastic. That's a game-changing advantage. So obviously, Gabe and I are not neuroscientists or whatever, but we did a little research and it looks like children absolutely can learn three or even more languages at once.
[00:39:55] Now, whether they master all of those languages without having a ton of resources in every single language, that's actually a different story, but they can definitely learn to communicate in multiple languages. As you've probably heard me talk about before our son is in a Chinese and English language school right now. We speak both Mandarin and English at home. So we're really trying to raise him with both, but if we also spoke French or something or lived in France, we could speak that at home or he could learn it outside and he'd be trilingual. The more, the better I say.
[00:40:25] So here's my advice. Definitely expose your daughter to as many languages as possible. It can't hurt. It can only help. And even if she ends up only speaking, I don't know, three of them really well and two just so-so who knows what kind of job she'll land or what experiences she'll have, or which people she'll get to meet in 20 years, just because she speaks basic Armenian or Italian and Arabic. And that said in order to truly master a language, I'm talking fluent or near-fluent levels, you need a ton of exposure to it. That means consistent conversation with you guys in that language, but it also means exposure to the culture, watching TV, hearing the news, overhearing native speakers talk, all o that. And you probably won't be able to provide your daughter with that depth of exposure in all five languages, unless you guys are moving from country to country all the time, and you might be able to give her that exposure in two or three of those languages max, that's already a lot.
[00:41:23] So my advice would be to prioritize the two or three languages that A, would be the most useful to your daughter and B, that you guys can most realistically immersive her in. So maybe that's English and French because you live in Canada and then Armenian or Arabic. So she has exposure to a whole other culture and alphabet and structure. And also she can combine it with French when she backpacks through Morocco during college or whatever, or since she's probably going to master English and French in school anyway, maybe you throw in Italian too, and then focus on speaking French, Arabic, and Italian at home. In general, I do think it's smart to speak the language at home that they do not speak as much in school. You only have so many hours in the day, so use that time wisely.
[00:42:07] As far as tricks and tips at such a young age, the key is to make it a policy to speak in these languages consistently. When you're cooking dinner or when you're getting her dressed in the morning, when you guys were at the grocery store, speak to her in French or an Italian. Teach her words for things, get her used to communicating in those languages. And then your wife can do the same in the languages that she speaks. And then your daughter will be learning from each of you. I would also consider a bilingual school, especially early on. It's really awesome for kids. And I would watch TV and listen to podcasts or radio in different languages because it's not just knowing the Arabic word for shoelace or the Italian phrase for, I love you or whatever. It's also hearing the rhythm of the language, the tone, the slang, the whole vibe. That's what makes the difference between a native fluent speaker and somebody who just speaks a language really well.
[00:42:58] I love that you guys are thinking about this so far ahead. Your daughter's going to have a huge leg up in life. She doesn't have to be a total savant who speaks 13 languages. Just knowing more than two, it's a huge leg up. Knowing four or five pretty well, it's amazing. So good luck and in 20 years when your daughter needs an old Mandarin-speaking podcaster to come work for the IMF or whatever, y'all know where to find me.
[00:43:21] I hope y'all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this week and everyone who listened. Thank you so much. Special shout out to Bill D who had a stroke and is listening to us while he recuperates. We're wishing you a speedy recovery, Bill. Go back and check out Joe Barone, the former mobster on the run if you haven't yet.
[00:43:37] Want to know how I managed to book all these amazing folks for the show. It's all about software, systems, and tiny habits. Not necessarily in that order. I'm teaching you how to do the same. Our Six-Minute Networking course is free. It's over on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. I want to teach you how to dig the well before you get thirsty, these are critical skills whether you're a student, you're a business owner, or you're just doing it for your personal stuff. And look, they take five minutes a day. Five-minute networking was taken as you've heard me say, jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:44:07] A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts are in the show. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram, or just hit me on LinkedIn. And you can find Gabe on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:44:23] The show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions are our own. I'm a lawyer, but I am not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. Nancy Yen's input is general psychological information based on research and clinical experience. It's intended to be general and informational in nature. It does not represent or indicate an established clinical or professional relationship with those inquiring for guidance.
[00:44:54] And remember, we rise by lifting others, share the show with those you love. And if you found this episode useful, please share it with somebody else who can use the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[00:45:11] If you're looking for another episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show to sink your teeth into, here's a preview of my conversation with an expert who spent more than two decades rooting out the counterfeit goods and services that fuel a trillion-dollar industry that only benefits petty, crooks and organized crime networks. It's not just handbags or designer clothes, alcohol, makeup, even cancer medication are just the tip of the iceberg of what gets counterfeited. Here's a quick listen.
[00:45:37] Kris Buckner: Anything and everything is counterfeit from automobile parts, cancer medication, alcohol, kids' cough syrup. I mean, anything that somebody can fake to make money they're going to do it. I mean, we found human feces, rat feces and carcinogens in some of the counterfeit makeup. It's really, really scary. I mean, people can actually die or really get harmed over this stuff.
[00:45:58] The general public thinks, "Oh, poor people just trying to get by trying to make a living." But somewhere down the chain, a criminal organization is involved in that counterfeit items. The sales of counterfeit goods is actually listed in Al-Qaeda's training manual on the quick and easy way to raise revenue for operational purposes, because why? It's a crime that's completely worth doing for them, where they can make huge amounts of money.
[00:46:19] And then let's look at the human impact, where are these goods made?
[00:46:22] Jordan Harbinger: Chinese kids in these factories in the middle of nowhere. There was an investigator online, who said he was about to do a raid with the police and he heard children's music and he thought, "Oh wow, they have childcare for their workers." And then when they came in and they found a bunch of kids at sewing machines, handcuffed to the machines, and he said the smell was unbearable because they weren't allowed to go to the bathroom.
[00:46:42] Kris Buckner: The common perception, "Oh, it's poor people just trying to get by or trying to make a living," it's really not the case. I mean, this is tied to organized crime, criminal cartels. I mean, there's a whole big picture behind the stuff. You will see law enforcement do seizures where they're pulling three million cash out of someone's house. And that's all the proceeds from counterfeit goods. When you're buying that item, you are contributing to that child labor. You're contributing to that terrorist organization. That is where the money is going undoubtedly.
[00:47:11] Jordan Harbinger: Even if I don't care that the Gucci bag you got for just 20 bucks can't be spotted as a knockoff by the snootiest in your circle of friends, hear why the trillion-dollar counterfeiting industry should concern you. Check out episode 308 of The Jordan Harbinger Show with Kris Buckner.
[00:47:28] This episode is sponsored in part by My First Million podcast. If you're the type of person who's always thinking about new business ideas or wondering what your next side hustle is going to be, I suggest the My First Million podcast. These guys are great. I've known Sam Parr, one of the hosts for a long time. Him and Shaan Puri, they've each built eight-figure businesses and sold them to HubSpot and Amazon, so not too shabby. Each week, they brainstorm ideas that you can start tomorrow. They can be side hustles that'll make you a few grand or big billion-dollar grandiose ideas. And there's a lot of interesting episodes. Like how Raoul Pal 10X-ed his money with cryptocurrency, that's all the rage right now. How a friend of mine, John Lee Dumas saved a million dollars in taxes by moving to Puerto Rico. They also chat with founders, celebrities, and billionaires, and get them to open up about business ideas that they have never shared before. Search for My First Million, that's My First Million on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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