Several violent encounters with your erratic, mentally ill neighbor over the years leave you constantly in fear of his return. In spite of being a repeat felon, the law doesn’t seem to be doing much to keep him in check — leaving him to run loose as a danger to himself and others. What can you do to keep your family safe from this menace to your community? We’ll try to find an answer to this and more here on Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- How can you keep your family safe from the violent maniac who lives in your neighborhood when the long arm of the law seems short-handed? [Thanks to attorney Corbin Payne for helping us field this one!]
- Is it possible to enjoy your passion for travel while maintaining strong relationships and creating new ones?
- While you fear being alone, is it worth staying in a relationship that’s guaranteed to lead to marriage when your partner’s many flaws — including that time they cheated on you — have you worried?
- When faith forbids your attraction to people of the same sex, is it possible to “pray the gay away?”
- You’ve been following along with the lessons from Six-Minute Networking, but you’re only 16. Do the same strategies for networking as an adult apply to teenagers?
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
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Miss our two-part conversation with North Korean defector and activist Yeonmi Park? Start catching up with episode 578: Yeonmi Park | A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom Part One here!
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Resources from This Episode:
- Peter Zeihan | Why the World Should Care About Ukraine | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Quit Your Job the Right Way | Deep Dive | Jordan Harbinger
- Uncommitting: How to Say No After You’ve Already Said Yes | Jordan Harbinger
- Corbin Payne | Twitter
- What Proof Do You Need for a Restraining Order? | FindLaw
- National Adult Protective Services Association
- Home Security Systems | SimpliSafe
- Daniel Pink | The Power of Regret | Jordan Harbinger
- The Benefits of Traveling the World Alone | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Drew Binsky | Vicarious Trips and Travel Tips | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Start Over in a New City | Jordan Harbinger
- There Are Plenty of Fish in the Sea | Idioms by The Free Dictionary
- Former ‘Ex-Gay’ Leaders Denounce ‘Conversion Therapy’ in a New Documentary | Morning Edition
- Pray Away | Netflix
- You Can’t Pray the Gay Away | Skitso Music
- Six-Minute Networking
642: Living In Fear of the Fiend Who Lurks Near | 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, the cold glass of coconut milk washing down this tangy advice snickerdoodle, Gabriel Mizrahi. On the Jordan Harbinger — I'm running out of things. I'm running out of ideas, man.
[00:00:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Thanks for this.
[00:00:18] Jordan Harbinger: On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and we turned 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.
[00:00:45] If you're new to the show on Fridays, we give advice and answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of incredible people from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, and performers. This week, we had geopolitics forecast or an author, Peter Zeihan on the show. Peter and I spoke about Ukraine, the invasion, Putin's plans, the economic fallout for the USA and Europe and even China, and of course, what this means for the foods. Spoiler alerts, it's not good. It might lead to civil unrest and even regime change in some parts of the world.
[00:01:16] Also this week, a special, deep dive on how to quit your job. In this one, Gabe and I talk about when to quit your job, why to quit your job, and how to quit your job. And we do so in a way that can actually strengthen your relationships and your reputation in the process. I highly recommend checking this out if you're getting antsy at work these days, looking for a change and wondering if now is the right time to make a move — and if so, how to have that difficult conversation with your team.
[00:01:41] I also write every so often on the blog, the latest post, how to say no, after you've already said yes. The title pretty much says it all. This one's a handy guide to gracefully uncommitting when need to back out of a job or a project, a plan, a relationship, whatever it is. I also talk about how to become more disciplined about the opportunities that you do say yes to. So you don't have to back out of commitments quite so often. So make sure you have a look and to listen to everything we created for you here this week. By the way, articles are at jordanharbinger.com/articles.
[00:02:13] All right, Gabe. We've got some good ones this week. What's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:02:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe. My partner, Sean and I live in a small rural town on a quiet road. We have a total of six houses on our street and everyone here likes the quiet surroundings. Recently, however, my partner, Sean came home to find five windows of his work vehicles broken and another window smashed on the RV, parked on the property. The next day, one of the neighbor's adult children came onto our property. He was swinging a baseball bat at one of our dogs. Then took a ball from a bag he was carrying and threw it at him. Thankfully, our dog was not seriously hurt and took off running after he was struck. This guy then walked up to our house and smashed three windows with his bat. Sean ran out of the house, shouting at him, and he came in my husband with the bat. Sean was able to subdue him with the help of our company foreman while another worker called 911. They then confirmed that he was the one who smashed the vehicle windows as there was paint on his bat that matched the paint color on one of the trucks. There's been other strange behavior in the past a few weeks before all of this, this guy threw himself in front of one of our neighbor's cars, as they were driving down the road, then started chasing after the car. Two years ago, he let himself into our home holding a golf club and sat down to the kitchen table until Sean discovered him. Later that afternoon, when Sean tried to calmly talk to him, he started swinging another golf club at him and became very violent. It seems obvious that this guy is having some sort of mental break. He's been seen hearing voices and having hallucinations, very out of touch with reality. His parents seem to be in deep denial about this and up until now, he has refused attempts to get him treatment. Since all of this happened, they turned him out into the street. He doesn't seem to be managing this well and has been arrested again twice since leaving his parents' house. There are currently two felony charges against him for the incidents on our property and a hearing for that coming up in about two weeks. Until then we're on pins and needles waiting to hear that he's been released from jail and wondering if he'll show up on our doorstep again. Unfortunately, the court system doesn't seem to be doing this guy any favors. He still hasn't had a competency hearing or even a mental health evaluation. So what do we do? How can we advocate for this guy to get the care he needs to keep himself and everyone else safe? Signed, Sitting Ducks Horror-Struck in This Legal Rut.
[00:04:34] Jordan Harbinger: Oomph, this is really disturbing. Witnessing severe mental illness up close like this, it's very unsettling. It's incredibly sad. But when you're the victim of somebody in the grip of a serious mental illness, that is straight-up terrifying, I'm sorry you and Sean are going through this. This is some real horror movie-ish. No one should ever have to be in your shoes. We want it to talk to an expert about your options here. And as per uge, we reached out to Corbin Payne, defense attorney, and friend of the show.
[00:05:01] And Corbin's first piece of advice straight away was you have to reach out to the prosecutor's office in your jurisdiction. The DA is probably aware that this guy has committed these crimes against you guys, but they probably haven't realized that this threatening behavior has been going on for a while. And that y'all have had multiple dangerous run-ins with this maniac in the past. I would definitely mention his mental health struggles. Be very clear about his symptoms, his behaviors, because this prosecutor also has a few tools at their disposal for getting people evaluated or into some sort of treatment. This guy obviously needs help. And if he gets it, that could protect you and a lot of other people against a ton of problems.
[00:05:43] Corbin also said this is important information for them because most states, they have provisions in their bail and bond statutes saying that a defendant who's a danger to people in the community should have certain safeguards in place. That usually takes the form of a higher bond amount. But it could also result in the judge ordering that this guy be held without bond whatsoever, which would mean that he can't get out before the resolution of his case. When you talk with the prosecutor's office, Corbin also recommends asking that one of his bond conditions is that he stay away from you and your home. If that condition is in place and he walks in front of your house and starts swinging a five-iron at you or whatever, theoretically, he could be sent back to jail immediately.
[00:06:24] But Corbin also said you might need to get a little bit more hands-on here. His advice, strongly consider filing for a restraining order in civil court. This is slightly more expensive and more involved, but you should be able to argue to the judge that this guy should be ordered to stay off your street entirely. That's not a foolproof safety plan, of course, but it does mean you could tell your neighbors to call the police the second they see him walking around the neighbors. Corbin pointed out that somebody violating restraining order also tends to get law enforcement's attention a lot faster than somebody who's just generally threatening.
[00:06:59] Another good option to consider, reach out to your state's equivalent of adult protective services. Corbyn said that APS can intervene in situations where someone's a threat to themselves or at risk of abuse and possibly put them in a mental health facility or a long-term care home. Now, we don't know if they would, for sure get involved here, but Corbyn still recommends giving them a call and telling them your story. Mentioned all your interactions, the police report from the 911 call when he smashed the windows at attacked your dog. See what they do with it. This could be a game-changer.
[00:07:31] And getting a little more tactical here, Corbin said that y'all should really consider upgrading your home defenses at a minimum, invest in some extra strong deadbolts for your doors. Maybe even for interior rooms, given that this guy has a habit of breaking windows and strolling right in. If he ever does get in, you want to have several safe places to shelter until the police arrive. Also, look into an alarm system and any other hardware that make it difficult to break a door. As you know, I'm a big fan of SimpliSafe and far be it for me to let a bat-wielding maniac question go by without shamelessly plugging, simplisafe.com/jordan. SimpliSafe, keeping car chasing, window smashing, animal abusers out of your house since 2015. That's simplisafe.com/jordan.
[00:08:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Nice.
[00:08:16] Jordan Harbinger: Corbin also said that you should strongly consider some non-lethal self-defense tools such as tasers, Mace, that sort of thing. Now, the thing about these non-lethal tools is they might not always work on somebody with severe mental health issues because these folks don't always process pain the way the rest of us do, especially if he's dabbling in other substances, maybe self-medicating, which is possible, but it's better than nothing. And if it gives you an extra 30 seconds to run into a room, lock the door, and call the cops, then yeah, it's worth it. But you might want to up your self-defense even more. Now, depending on your moral stance here, you might also consider getting a firearm or two.
[00:08:54] Now, look, this is a complex topic, guns aren't for everyone not going to get into the politics of it here, but if you do buy a gun, then you have to go through firearms training. You have to put in practice at the range with a qualified instructor, all of that. Corbin and I both agree that people who own firearms, they have an obligation to ensure that they can use and store them responsibly. In my view, it's better not to have a firearm at all, than to have one that you don't know how to safely use, store, or take care of. Also there can be legal implications to owning a weapon. So do your research before you start building an arsenal in your house. Corbin told us that most states have pages on their websites that lay out local gun laws. There are also gun groups in every state that have thorough resources on gun ownership, gun owner rights, responsibilities. So just do your homework there. And if you don't feel comfortable owning a firearm, look, I totally get it. I would definitely then invest in your home security and non-lethal on. Me, I'm ordering 12 packs of Mace, and a couple of tasers while I'm on hold with the DA's office. I think you have to throw every available resource at this problem until the guy gets the care that he needs.
[00:10:05] And I'm sorry, you're going through this man. Gabe, what a freaking nightmare.
[00:10:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. That's dark.
[00:10:10] Jordan Harbinger: As Corbin said, it's a terrible feeling, not to live in peace in your own home. I'm hoping some combination of these strategies solves the problem. This guy is a menace. He's a criminal, but he's also suffering. He needs help. And since his family can't/won't intervene, other than throwing them out of the house, you guys have to work every angle you can to keep him away. And it might take a while. The system moves so slowly. It is infuriating. I get it, but you got to try. In the meantime, please stay safe out there.
[00:10:40] You know, who's about to creep in your ear canal without your permission? The products and services that support this show.
[00:10:48] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
[00:10:53] This episode is sponsored in part by Seekr. Seekr is an independent search engine. They're building it right now. It's not like, you know, a lot of these new search engines. It's like something that lays on top of another one. This is not that. It's actually its own search engine and they streamline access to reliable and better information, which is what you want when you search. Right? So you're getting transparency about what you read and consume online, and they use AI and machine learning to quickly enhance transparency by giving each article on the site. If it's the news area, a score, and you can see that score before clicking. And so, you know if you're reading something that's heavily biased in one direction or another, or maybe written by a machine. You also get an analysis of whether the article is a bunch of personal attacks in an article, clickbait incoherent left or right-wing ranting and raving. Byline absence, so, you know, maybe written by not the person that it says or by nobody and subjectivity. And that's really useful when you're trying to read actual news and thoughts and think pieces instead of somebody venting online for clicks or those machine-written junk blog news things. And there's no ads during the initial beta phase. So go to seekr.com and learn how you can make better decisions with access to better information. That's S-E-E-K-R.com.
[00:12:06] This episode is also sponsored by Babbel. For most of us learning a second language in high school or college was not exactly a high point in our academic careers. I took French. It was mostly a bunch of memorizing tables, so boring, uptight teacher, awful experience. Needless to say, I don't remember any French. Now, thanks to Babbel, the language learning app that sold more than 10 million subscriptions. There's an addictively fun and easy way to learn a new language using games, videos, and stories. Babbel teaches bite-sized 15-minute lessons you'll actually use in the real world. You can learn German in there. Babbel lessons were created by over a hundred language experts and their teaching method has been scientifically proven to be effective. Plus there's a 20-day money-back guarantee.
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[00:13:10] And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:13:13] All right, next up.
[00:13:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe, I'm a 30-year-old guy and I'll be taking advantage of remote work by moving around South America for six months this year. Well, they don't feel much hesitancy about leaving. I was listening to your episode with Dan Pink, where one of you mentioned something about not strengthening connections while traveling constantly, which can make you lonely down the line. It made me wonder how I can avoid that in my current situation. I've lived in Austin, Texas for about seven years and have formed a quality circle of friends, but their goals are to buy property and have kids while mine are to leave the continent for a little while. I'm fine spending six months not dating anyone seriously while I'm away. And honestly, I could probably use a bit more time to work on myself. I also don't plan on having kids anytime soon or ever. At the same time, I find myself wondering if I should be doing some of the same things at this point in my life, like being in a serious relationship, buying a home and so on. I know you're not supposed to compare your life to others, but sometimes I feel like what I'm doing is digging myself into an eventual hole of loneliness while I'm out living my best travel life. Still, I would absolutely regret it if I didn't go through with the South American experience. I'm not going there just to work and chill. My goals are to become much stronger with my Spanish, save money, and soak up every moment of the cultures and sites that all experience. So why do I feel wrong for living my travel dreams while the people in my life are rooted down? Am I digging myself into a hole of loneliness? How can I enjoy my passion for travel while maintaining strong relationships and creating new ones? Signed, The Conflicted Vagabond.
[00:14:45] Jordan Harbinger: Well, this is exciting, man. I'm very envious that you get to jet down to South America and sip a latte at some cafe while you do your graphic design job or whatever for six months. Good on you for taking full advantage of remote work and creating a whole new experience here. That is very cool. So it sounds to me like you're caught between your own passions and other people's expectations, or at least your interpretation of what other people might want you to do. And actually, I don't think it's entirely bad to take a step back and consider why you're doing what you're doing and what the trade-offs are. It's a fact of life that you can't have everything you want all at once. You're always giving something up and that's what gives our choices meaning in the first place.
[00:15:29] The question is which things are you willing to give up, which is another way of saying which things matter most to you. You want to experience a new place. You want to level up in Spanish. You want to save some money. You want to have adventures. Those are great goals. Why not? But then you look around at what your friends want and you start to go, "Hmm. Am I liking the right things? If I don't go after what they want? Am I doing life right? What am I missing?" And that's where you need to check back in with yourself and A, embrace the fact that you're on a different path from your friends, at least for the moment, and B, get super clear on what truly matters to you right now. If opening up your world is the most important thing to you right now, even more than meeting your life partner or buying a house, great. Other people want other things, and that's great for them.
[00:16:16] Now, you are right. Some choices do close you off from future choices. If you go volunteer for an NGO in a foreign country for like nine years. Sure, you're probably going to grow apart from your friends. You might miss out on dating people back home that you'd settle down with. You might give up a lot of income. All of which is fine if you're okay with the trade-offs, but that's not what you're doing. You're just popping down to South America for six months. If you had to, you could hop on a 10-hour flight and be back home the next day. So the things that you're afraid of missing out on, I just don't know how real those costs are. You're probably not going to save up for a down payment in six months. You're not going to miss out on a great partner just because you're going on a long trip. So just make sure that you're not over-indexing these opportunity costs. That might just be a way to torture yourself for pretty much no reason.
[00:17:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I agree with you, Jordan, as for the loneliness piece, again, I'm with Jordan, I just don't think you're putting yourself at serious risk of ending up alone because you backpacked through the Andes for a few months. If anything, these amazing experiences you're going to have, they often bring you closer to people because you have more to share with them. You have more perspective as a person. Plus, you're going to meet a ton of people down there. You wouldn't have otherwise met. So sure. You might be a little distant from your friends for six months, but on the upside, you'll meet people on your travels who opened up your world, who might even become friends for life.
[00:17:38] And trust me when, once you're down there, you're not even going to be worried about your friends back home and what they're doing and what you should have done. You're going to be having a blast when you realize how interesting everybody else down there actually is. I don't think you're digging yourself into this hole of loneliness by going on this trip. But that also depends on how you operate on this trip. If you stay in your room working 10 hours a day, and you're not making an effort to chat people up at the hostel or plan day trips, stuff like that, you might be isolating yourself. You know, sometimes the whole remote work while traveling in a cool place thing can just feel like your normal life, but in a different room, in a different time zone. So you do need to make an effort to be social and find some community. But in terms of waking up one day when you're 45 and you don't have a friend to call the catch a movie because you went away for six months when you were 30, I just don't think that's likely.
[00:18:25] Jordan Harbinger: Completely agree here. Plus when you come back home, you're going to have a ton of cool stories and memories, all these new skills and ideas, and a better understanding of who you are and what you want. That is time well spent. And then you'll be in an even better position to figure out how to make the money for that down payment or decide what kind of partner you want to settle down with. So don't overthink it, man. You only need a little structure to make sure you don't float away while you have an adventure, but also it's okay to float away a little bit. That's part of the fun of life. Just make sure you enjoy the ride too. And good luck.
[00:19:00] Gabe, what I wouldn't give for this type of opportunity right now, six months in a new place—
[00:19:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:19:06] Jordan Harbinger: Just exploring and learning the language, I mean, amazing. Also, Gabe, when I came back from Germany, my exchange year, I had basically aged three years during that year in high school. And all my friends were boring as hell.
[00:19:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ah, interesting.
[00:19:21] Jordan Harbinger: Like I was kind of sick of them when I left, but when I came back, they were just children. I'd like to go to Italy for a weekend on a cheap train ticket. That was $13 with a bunch of German teenagers. And we'd be like drinking in the train and then we'd go run around sightseeing and playing hacky sack with like bummy skater dudes in Italy. And then we'd go back home and this like, a typical weekend. And meanwhile, my friends were like, "Dude, have you ever hit a mailbox with a baseball bat? It's so fun." And I'm like, "You guys are going to prison and you're dumb as hell."
[00:19:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:19:51] Jordan Harbinger: That was my experience.
[00:19:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: You came back a different person. He might too—
[00:19:54] Jordan Harbinger: Yes.
[00:19:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: —after six months in this incredible place, which would be a beautiful thing for him, especially because he said he wanted to take some time to work on himself. What a great opportunity. That's so much more important than going on 19 Hinge dates you end up hating or—
[00:20:06] Jordan Harbinger: I was good to say dating apps. Yeah. No, thank you.
[00:20:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, thank you.
[00:20:10] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, pro tip set your dating app location to where you're going about a month or two in advance of going. And you'll have like 87 dates lined up for the first couple of weeks that you're even down there. Why set it when you get there? Set it before and say, "Yeah, I'm going to be moving down there for six months." You're welcome. You are welcome. That is going to crush.
[00:20:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Killer LP too, right there.
[00:20:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. There you go, life pro tip.
[00:20:31] You can reach us email@example.com. Please keep your emails concise. Try to use the descriptive subject line 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. How to respond to your girlfriend's multiple personalities? Still thinking about that one from last week.
[00:20:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep.
[00:20:50] Jordan Harbinger: Whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up firstname.lastname@example.org. We're here to help and we keep every email anonymous.
[00:20:58] All right. Next up.
[00:20:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, my boyfriend is a nice man. And for the most part, we have a great time together, but he has so many issues. He struggles with his finances. So he moved back in with his parents to live rent-free and pay down his extreme credit card debt. He struggles with anxiety and depression. And although he's in therapy for that, he goes down spirals that I have to bring it back from. He's also very self-centered, although he doesn't realize it. He doesn't show initiative when faced with adversity. And he frequently has to be told how to handle a problem. When confronted with his actions, he shuts down and tries to deflect blame. We broke up six months ago after I discovered that he had been having sexual relationships with women online, but I allowed him back into my life a few months later. I was having such a hard time moving on, not knowing if I would ever find anybody else who wanted to be with me. If I stay with him, I'm guaranteed a marriage and a family of my own after being alone for many years. But I don't know if the guarantee is worth dealing with his issues. I'm scared that if I lose the sure thing, I'll regret it and never experienced love and companionship again. As you might've guessed, I have lifelong self-esteem issues and yes, I'm in therapy. When is enough, enough to walk away? And how do you walk away without knowing that something better is out there? Signed, Still Unsold on Walking Out into the Cold.
[00:22:20] Jordan Harbinger: Oh boy. Okay. There's a lot going on here. You've been very open with us and I appreciate that. So I'm going to be very open with you. I hear you that your boyfriend is a nice man who's struggling these days and look, I do have compassion for him, but this relationship is bad news for both of us. Your boyfriend has a ton of crucial stuff he needs to work on from his finances to his mental health, to his attitude, to his pattern of repeatedly cheating, and not taking any ownership of any of that from the sound of it. And you are sticking with him because you're risk-averse, you're willing to play a caretaker role, and you're afraid that you can't do better. That in a nutshell is what's going on.
[00:23:01] Now, I think you already know how problematic this is, or you wouldn't have written in, but you're afraid to leave just because there isn't another guy waiting in the wings who's stable and high functioning and has a FICO score of 750 or whatever. There's just your current boyfriend or the great and lonely unknown, really. So that's what we have to talk about. Because our brains, they are terrible at making decisions like that. They're designed to look at a bushel of bananas and a bushel of pelt or whatever they keep in bushels and go, "Oh, definitely, pelt. I need more pelt. Winter's coming." The brain is not designed to choose between the bushel of bananas or an unfamiliar path into the woods where there might be something even better than bananas or pelts. It wants to concrete options, the unknown, the mystery it's risky. It's scary. And if you grew up with self-esteem issues from the time that you were young, you probably don't have as much confidence to follow that curiosity and step into that unknown.
[00:23:59] You're conditioned to settle for the thing that's right in front of you because it's familiar and it's real, even if it's deeply dysfunctional. But here's the thing, I am not convinced that this relationship is going to give you all the things you say you want. I mean, sure, you get married and you have kids with this guy. That would be your sure thing, but your sure thing hasn't shown that he would be a good father, hasn't shown that he would be a faithful partner, that he could provide for a family, that he'd even be stable enough as a presence in your life. So how sure is the sure thing, really? And even if you got the family, you did want with this guy, would that really make you feel better or would it just tether you to a guy who's not only kind of a dumpster fire, but also wouldn't it make it kind of hate yourself for settling for somebody that you know in your heart of hearts isn't the right partner for you?
[00:24:49] I think you can tell where I stand on these questions. Gabe and I usually hesitate to tell people what to do in personal situations like this. It's much more important that you come to this decision on your own, but the facts in your story are so stark that I feel pretty comfortable saying that you're making a mistake by sticking around. This guy is emotionally dumping on you. He doesn't seem to be engaging with the support that he needs. He's not being proactive in solving his own issues. And on top of all of that, he freaking cheated on you with multiple other women. So yeah, I feel a whole lot more comfortable saying, listen to your gut, get the hell out of there. And I think, you know that that's the answer to, it's just daunting to honor your feelings and that's paralyzing you from making a decision.
[00:25:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow. Yep. You nailed it, Jordan. I agree with you 100 percent, but I know it's hard to leave somebody when you don't know what's waiting for you on the other side. So I think you need to do a little bit of a reframe here rather than think of this situation as "My sure thing with this dysfunctional guy," versus, "Who knows what?" I would think of it as my sure thing with this dysfunctional guy versus choosing myself. Because if you parted ways with your boyfriend, what you're really stepping into is a life that's yours, where you don't have to take care of somebody who can't or won't take care of himself, where you're not angry at a partner who carried on with other women while you talked him down from his panic attacks and solved his credit card debt, where you're not in constant conflict with yourself over whether this relationship is even right. And that's how you walk away without knowing that something better is out there by recognizing that there is something better, which is your growth and your integrity, and really your relationship with yourself.
[00:26:27] And if you open up this room in your life, who knows what might come in, right? First of all, you would have more time to focus on you, work on yourself. And if you did, you would be in a much better place to meet somebody who is healthy and does have their sh*t together. And maybe most importantly, you would finally find out what it means for you to be alone. Because as you put it, if I stay with him, I'm guaranteed a marriage and a family after being alone for so many years, that really jumped out at me in your letter of this being alone thing.
[00:26:53] And so my question is: what is it about being alone, that's so bad? And I ask that without judgment. I'm genuinely curious. Is it having to sit with your own feelings when there isn't somebody else around to hold them for you? Or maybe in your case to distract you from them, perhaps because you're so busy taking care of them. Or is it maybe the beliefs you have about yourself? If you're not in a relationship, like, I don't know, "I'm not lovable if there isn't a guy in my life," or, "I better lower my standards because no one else is going to want me," or whatever it is. I would really explore what being alone means to you, what associations you have with that, what experiences make up that concept of "I'm so lonely." Because when you say I don't want to be alone, I think what you're really saying is I don't want to be with myself.
[00:27:37] But until you become friendly with that person, you're never going to resolve the underlying stuff — the fear, the lack of self-esteem, the expectations of your partner, the needs. Whatever's keeping you in this relationship, it's almost certainly going to come up again in the next one. As long as you're looking to somebody to take away the loneliness, I think you're always going to be looking to someone to do something they can't realistically do, which is make you feel at home with yourself. That's ultimately always our job, right? And you'll also be coming at these relationships from a scarcity mentality. This idea that you should probably just stick with the bird in the hand because you know, who knows if you can do better.
[00:28:11] So I'm with Jordan here. I think it is time for you to be on your own for a little while, or at least not with this guy. And then I would bring the self-esteem stuff and this loneliness idea into therapy, which by the way, I am so glad to hear you're there. That is great. And I would try to figure out what's kept you in this relationship and why you were willing to forgive the cheating and most importantly, what function taking care of this guy has been playing for you. And if you can resolve that stuff or at least begin to, I think you'll find it much easier to meet a guy who can take care of himself. Like you'll be taking care of yourself. So you and your partner, aren't just trying to keep each other afloat while a more fulfilling relationship passes you by.
[00:28:47] Jordan Harbinger: That's exactly right, Gabe, but also it's a little ironic that she's sticking with this guy because she's afraid of feeling alone because I think she still feels alone. I mean, is there anything more lonely than being in a relationship with somebody who expects you to fix all their problems and is sending pathetic dick pics to other women on the side? And was that too mean to say about somebody as soon to be ex, I think I'm good.
[00:29:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think you're good too. That's a great point. Either way, she's lonely. So I guess the question is: which loneliness do you want to feel? The loneliness of orbiting another person and being mistreated or the loneliness of finding out who you are in your own?
[00:29:23] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. I'm picking the ladder every time. Even if it's harder in the short term, because ultimately we all have to sort that out, even if we're in a great relationship and by the way, this isn't just for your benefit, your boyfriend needs to figure himself out too. And you constantly taking care of him and enabling him that is not allowing him to do that. I know it's confusing. I know it's intimidating, but sometimes you just have to follow what you know is true. Even if you don't know where it leads.
[00:29:51] There's an element of faith in putting yourself first, but that's a very grounded and necessary faith. It's the faith that you can figure this out and that you need to figure this out, to grow as a person. So I hope you get to do that. And we're sending you good thoughts. You have all of our confidence.
[00:30:09] You know, who won't send dick pics behind your back? The sponsors who support this show.
[00:30:15] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show. And this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:30:20] This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help online therapy. Relationships take work. We'll go out of our way to treat others well. But how often do we even give ourselves the same treatment? I've got a trainer and Gabriel and I do voice coaching. I even get my teeth cleaned more than twice a year. I know insurance doesn't pay for it, but man, I love that feeling. As I often remind you, taking care of your mental health is just as important. You are your greatest asset. So invest the time and effort into yourself. And that of course includes your mental health. Better Help is online therapy that offers video, phone, even live chat sessions with your therapist. You can do it from bed if you don't feel like getting up. You can be on your own couch and not somebody else's. You don't have to drive. You don't have to park. You don't have to wait weeks to get booked with a therapist. They'll do it in two days. And if you don't jive with your therapist, get matched with another one. No additional charge. Over two million people have used Better Help online therapy. So go ahead and give it a shot.
[00:31:07] Jen Harbinger: Our listeners get 10 percent off your first month at betterhelp.com/jordan. That's B-E-T-T-E-R-H-E-L-P.com/jordan.
[00:31:16] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Progressive. Progressive helps you get a great rate on car insurance, even if it's not with them. They have a nifty comparison tool that puts rates side-by-side. You choose the rate and coverage that work for you. So let's say, you're interested in lowering your rate on your car insurance, visit progressive.com. Get a quote with all the coverage you want. You'll see Progressive's rate and then their tool will provide options from other companies, all lined up and easy to compare. All you have to do is choose the rate and coverage you like. Progressive gives you options so you can make the best choice for you. You could be looking forward to saving money in the very near future. More money for a pair of noise-canceling headphones, an Instapot, maybe some more puzzles, whatever brings you joy. Get a quote today at progressive.com. It's one small step you can make today that can make a big impact on your budget tomorrow.
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[00:32:13] And now for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
[00:32:17] All right, next up.
[00:32:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe, when I was in middle school, I struggled with homosexual feelings. While I contemplated coming out, I realized that I didn't want to live my life that way. I'm religious and Mormon, so I've been taught the importance of listening to God and his scriptures because they're there to protect me, not to constrain me. So I decided to pray to give God my sexuality and then lo and behold, I stopped having those sexual feelings and was able to control them. Years later, I was living by gay as in happy, nothing else, life.
[00:32:50] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:32:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay. Interesting.
[00:32:52] And I started dating this amazing girl about a month into our relationship. She told me that before she met me, she was very depressed and our relationship is the only reason she's still here. From then on, I understood that because I listened to God's scripture, I was able to save a life. I've experienced that thing, that the media has deemed impossible, where somebody actually de-gayed themselves and it made a positive impact on someone else's life.
[00:33:15] Jordan Harbinger: Wait. Did you say de-gayed like un-gayed?
[00:33:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: De-gayed.
[00:33:19] Jordan Harbinger: He de-gayed himself.
[00:33:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: He reversed the gay is what he said.
[00:33:23] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. All right.
[00:33:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yup, that's what it is.
[00:33:25] Now, you could say that I could have easily helped her out if I was gay too.
[00:33:28] Yeah, that is what I would say, but let's not get out of ourselves.
[00:33:32] But I live in a community where if I were to come out, I would be judged and my parents would probably disown me. Not to mention, I was depressed before I contemplated coming out. So I wouldn't have been capable in any way of helping my girlfriend with her suicidal thoughts. The other thing is I'm constantly confused on where I stand on the whole LGBTQ rights argument. And I'm constantly afraid to voice my opinion because I don't want to be labeled homophobic. It also doesn't help that my girlfriend is very pro-LGBTQ and goes, "Awww," very loudly whenever she sees or hears about a gay couple. But whenever we talk about it, I'm afraid that I'm making myself look like a judgmental person. I still believe that everyone has the right to pursue happiness and everyone was made equal, but I do believe that being gay can be a sin. How should I best navigate the world and my girlfriend when I know for a fact that the only reason she's alive today is because I denounce this part of my sexuality? Signed, It Ain't a Closet if There's No Door.
[00:34:30] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, boy, what a letter?
[00:34:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:34:33] Jordan Harbinger: I guess this is just one of those times to drop some truth bombs episodes, Gabe.
[00:34:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think it is. Yep.
[00:34:38] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Look, I know that you've really struggled with your sexuality. I know that having these desires is scary to you and that you've dealt with them in the best way that you know how, but it is very clear, it is painfully clear that this part of your personality is far from resolved. And that you're still very much in conflict with yourself and your girlfriend and the world, because there's this part of you that is still causing a lot of pain. So, I don't know quite how to say this, and I want to be respectful about where you are in your process, but you're gay dude or bi or just, you know, not completely straight. And that is just what it is. You're gay and it's normal and it is okay. And I have so much compassion for the fact that you grew up in a family that doesn't accept homosexuality. It actually breaks my heart, but you're an adult now. You're in touch with people like your girlfriend who have very different views on the matter. You have access to other ideas now about what's okay. So I think you're ready to hear what everyone listening to this right now is screaming into their phones while they're on the elliptical at the gym, which is you're gay, bro. You are almost certainly gay.
[00:35:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:35:53] Jordan Harbinger: But look, I'm, I'm not going to convince you of something that you don't feel. Let's just take a look at your letter.
[00:35:59] First of all, you've struggled with having homosexual feelings since you were like 12. Okay. Now I'm guessing you would say that what you think and feel isn't who you are, that you get to decide what you think and feel, but what you don't understand yet is that when it comes to orientation, you can't. If you're attracted to guys, that is how you are wired, like about four percent of the population, according to the most recent study, but okay. Then you decided to pray to give God your sexuality and lo and behold, you stopped having those sexual feelings. And this is a quote, "And were able to control them." So hold up, you stopped having thoughts about men, but then you still had to control those thoughts, but if they stopped, then why did you have to control them? Wouldn't they just be gone?
[00:36:47] And then you meet this girl and you save her life. And now you have this thought of, "I had to de-gay myself, so this woman could survive." And I can understand how compelling that idea must be given your upbringing but that is a very convenient interpretation of events. Because now you're using your girlfriend's situation to justify denying your orientation. You're fitting this denial of who you are into some kind of grand plan. Plus you're upping the stakes on coming out in the future even more because now you won't just alienate your family and sin against God and suffer the huge consequences of all that, you'll be devastating, this great girl as well, which is actually very ironic. Because she's the one person in this situation who would probably understand what you're going through.
[00:37:33] And by the way, I might be speculating a little bit here. She might be going, "Awww," at all these gay couples, because she's trying to signal to you that she has a feeling and that it's okay. I mean, who knows? Maybe she's gay, right? Okay. I'm reaching here, but I do find it interesting that she's being so overt in front of you about her support, even though she sees that you disagree. She might be trying to communicate something here.
[00:37:58] This is tough. Gabe, you know, I feel like this guy's orientation is buried under all these layers of programming that are probably very difficult for him to unpack.
[00:38:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:38:08] Jordan Harbinger: I really feel for him, but I also don't know how to help because he has to be ready to confront all of this stuff himself. And that's scary for people who grow up in communities like this. I totally get that. But it's also scary to be living a lie this big, and I just want to give him a hug and just like tell him he's gay and it's okay. And it's just one part of who he is, and there's nothing wrong with it. And you just need to like go to therapy and get a Grindr account or something, but I'm not sure. I'm not sure he's quite there yet.
[00:38:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. He might not be there yet, but I think he is open to hearing some of this, otherwise, he wouldn't have written in, right? So here's what I'll say. We're not telling you to come out tomorrow or even to accept your orientation as gay. This is your journey. You're on your own timeline. That is fine. But as much as you can, I would try to acknowledge all of the parts of yourself that you're aware of, even the ones that feel shameful or dangerous. And when you have a thought about another guy before you try to wish it away or denounce it, I would just sit with it and try not to label it or judge it or fit it into some framework. I would just recognize it. I know that's hard and I know it's scary, but I would try.
[00:39:17] And by the same token, when you wonder if you really agree with something that you read about in scripture or you hear in church, I would let that thought percolate. I wouldn't just dismiss it out of hand under the guise of being faithful. Later, you can decide what to do about those thoughts and feelings. You're free to decide whatever you want, but for now as much as you can, I would just get curious about you. Invite all of the parts of that person to the table. Find out who he is. And while you do that, I strongly encourage you to find somebody safe you can talk to. I would look for a therapist with real credentials who isn't part of your community or any religious tradition for that matter.
[00:39:51] But I know you're probably thinking, "Okay, I see what you're doing, Gabe. You're trying to send me to some mainstream hidden quack, who's going to unde-gay me," or whatever. And okay, I'm not going to fight you on that. I'm just asking you to trust me that there are professionals out there who are trained to help people from all walks of life. And these are people who will approach you with empathy and they'll meet you wherever you are in this process. And they're not going to make you be anything you aren't, but they can help you explore this and make this decision for yourself.
[00:40:18] I would look for that person ASAP, start talking, and I would be very direct with them when you begin. I would say something like, "Look, I thought I might be gay. I'm still struggling with some of those feelings. I'm trying to live differently, but it's bringing up all of these questions and these problems. I need some help." That is a great way to start therapy.
[00:40:35] The other thing I would do is consider sharing some of what you're feeling with one or two trusted people. Now, that might be hard in your community. So if you really can't turn to anyone right now, I would go online and search for forums, sub-Reddits articles, maybe like secure telegram channels or something like that, where you can talk to other people, including other people from the LDS community who are having the same experience that you are. There are tons of them out. Talk to them, listen to their stories. Maybe one day you share your story. You can do that anonymously by the way. You might make some really great friends who can help you work through this part of your life.
[00:41:11] And at some point, I do think it's important to talk to your girlfriend about this. I know how hard that's going to be for both of you. But like Jordan said, she is the one person in your life who is right in front of you, who could be an amazing friend to you right now. And she might be a little shocked or maybe not so shocked. I don't know if there's any coded message to the aww's that she's giving, but she might be shocked. She might be a little disappointed, maybe a little bit angry that you kept it from her. That is fair. She can have whatever response she's going to have. But she might also be very understanding. And I know you said you saved her by denying your sexuality, but, you know, I don't know if that's totally true. I would argue that you saved her by being a good person, by being a loving presence in her life. It had very little to do with you pretending to be somebody that you aren't.
[00:41:55] So when you're ready, I would invite her to return that favor because in an environment where you don't have a lot of support, this girl, she could be your lifeline.
[00:42:04] Jordan Harbinger: So true. Gabe, I do not envy him for having to have this conversation. That's going to be rough.
[00:42:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:42:09] Jordan Harbinger: But man, it'll probably be such a relief for him just to acknowledge the truth. And if she's open to accepting him, it might even make them closer. But I know that's going to take time and that's okay too. In the meantime, try to be kind to yourself, man. Because whatever you're doing right now, I know it seems like the answer, but I think, you know deep down that it's not working. But that's because it doesn't have to work because there's nothing wrong with you. You might not be ready to believe that yet, but that is the truth. And one day, I know you're going to feel that yourself. And it will be a huge breakthrough and it'll probably be the beginning of your real life.
[00:42:49] It took a lot of courage for you to write in. I want to thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. I know it's probably scary and a little weird to hear two guys on a podcast, tell you you're gay and like 15 times in eight minutes, but we felt it was important for you to know that it's all good. You said it best everyone was made equal. So try to remember that when it feels like you need to hide parts of yourself in order to be okay. You are okay, man. And we're sending you good thoughts, not gay ones, merely good ones and a big hug from California.
[00:43:21] All right. What's next?
[00:43:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, I recently turned 16 and thought I'd start your Six-Minute Networking course because why not? But I'm having some trouble connecting with people, my age. For example, when it comes to reaching out to dormant ties, it feels like a lot of people would rather not engage because they're satisfied with their existing tribes and they want to hang onto their current relationships especially as some of them move away for college. People seem reluctant to form any substantial relationship or even put much effort into the conversation. It's nearly impossible to create meaningful double opt-in introductions for the same reason. And as friends move away, the emotional distance grows too and our conversations tend to get stale. Do you have any strategies to get over this hump? Is this a function of my age or am I doing something wrong? Signed, Trying to Engage At this Tricky Age.
[00:44:10] Jordan Harbinger: Well, first of all, I love that you're taking your relationships seriously. It's such a young age that is awesome. This Six-Minute Networking stuff, it is going to set you up for great relationships and success long before other people your age catch onto the importance of networking. So good on you for putting in the work.
[00:44:28] So, I know you're looking for specific strategies here, but I actually have more general thoughts about your problem, which is a lot of the resistance you're finding it's because you're way ahead of the curve. I've actually heard similar stories from other young people doing Six-Minute Networking, even people in their 20s and 30s. That they're just putting in the time to maintain their relationships and their peers are just not engaging as much. But I'm not convinced that this is a you problem or that it even is a problem because the fact is you're deliberately thinking about your relationships long before anybody else your age is. When you're 16, 17, 18, most people aren't being thoughtful about who they spend time with or how often they reach out or how they can consciously deepen their connections. I certainly wasn't. Most young adults, they're just defaulting to their existing ties, settling for people and goals that present themselves rather than seeking out the ones they really want.
[00:45:25] And that's fine. We all go through that phase. I went through that phase. It's just part of being a kid. But you're way ahead of the game. You're mature for your age. You're curious. You saw an interesting resource. You were intrigued, you checked it out and now you're taking it seriously. Those are great qualities.
[00:45:42] So my advice is this. Keep staying in touch with people don't give up on them entirely, but also have some patients while your peer group catches up. They probably haven't woken up to the power of great relationships. And by the way, this isn't a teenage problem. There are 40 and 50 somethings who don't get that this stuff is important. You'll always encounter people who just don't understand that relationships are everything. So while you keep up your relationships, prioritize the people who reciprocate your investment. Follow the good vibes, man. If nine out of 10 people, your age don't really engage, but one of them does and you feel a connection. That's a win. Stick with that person. A handful of close, meaningful relationships, it's always better than a hundred weak ones. And I would start focusing on people who are older than you seek out people in their 20s, 30s. Older smart people who get it, they love hearing from curious, hard-working young people like you.
[00:46:37] For the next five or 10 years, you might have more luck with older people, which is actually a huge asset. When it comes time to look for a job or launch a project or plan a cool trip or whatever, those people will be clutch. And you have a lot to offer them too. I'm sure. So just keep perspective, my young friend. I know this is a little annoying, but it is actually a good sign. And if you're listening right now, and you're wondering if it's too soon to start building your relationship seriously, whether you're 16, 26, 36, doesn't matter, this young woman is a great model. It is never too early. It's never too late. Just start. It's so easy. You can check out our Six-Minute Networking course. The course is free on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:47:20] Hope y'all enjoyed that. Thanks to everyone who wrote in. And of course, everyone who listened. Don't forget to check out the Peter Zeihan episode and our deep dive on how to quit your job, if you haven't heard those yet. A link to the show notes for this episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts are in the show notes. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram, or just hit me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:47:44] 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. Our advice and opinions are our own, and I'm a lawyer, but not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. Ditto Corbin Payne. Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love. If you found this episode useful, please share it with somebody 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.
[00:48:19] You're about to hear a preview of The Jordan Harbinger Show with North Korean defector, Yeonmi Park.
[00:48:23] Yeonmi Park: In North Korea, birds and monks can hear your whisper. It's the only place that modernity hasn't touched. 90 70 percent of North Korean roads are not paved. In the hospital, they use one needle to inject everybody. It's very common to have a surgery without painkiller. The worst torture is being starved. And before you die from starvation, you hallucinate, you lose your mind. So some mothers eat their children because they thought their children were dogs. Because they go crazy when you don't eat. And then they wake up and then like, "What happened to my child?"
[00:48:58] If somebody is challenging the party ideology, they don't just go after killing you or your son, your grandma. They really go after all generations, like get rid of the entire clan. That's how they prevent the revolution. And that's how they became like almighty gods.
[00:49:14] Every front newspaper in North Korea is Kim's photo. So sometimes you did not see the front page and then you repeat, that's how you get executed.
[00:49:22] Jordan Harbinger: How do they prepare you to escape.
[00:49:24] Yeonmi Park: Pray and fasting. You need a miracle to do it because you are going to go across the Gobi Desert into Mongolia from China in the minus 40 degrees. That's why they make you pray. They just give you a compass. Why don't you walk? Follow the north and the west, and then cross the eight wire fences. And hopefully, that's going to Mongolia.
[00:49:44] The very unique thing in North Koreans, whenever you ask them, in their dream, it's always North Korea. You never escape in your subconscious you're there forever. Every night, every night, I'm there. Like nobody escapes in your dream.
[00:49:58] Jordan Harbinger: To hear more about the bizarre mind games that generations of North Koreans have had to endure under the current regime, check out episode 578 and 579 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:50:10] This episode is sponsored in part by Around The Coin podcast. If you're interested in future tech to payments to business, you should check out the podcast called Around The Coin, featuring interviews with founders and CEOs of the world's top crypto and payments companies to learn how they did it and what unique insights they learned along the way. They dive into the future of technology and do a great job of simplifying complex ideas surrounding cryptocurrency in an entertaining way. Mike has an undeniable talent for getting his guests to share, never been heard before stories and thought-provoking insights without fail. He puts out tactical bits of wisdom in each episode. Recently, they had on Nicolas Cary, founder of blockchain.com and Gregory Beard, CEO of Stronghold Digital Mining to help you make sense of the winds of change that are blowing in the payments industry these days. You can't go wrong with adding Around The Coin to your rotation. It's incredibly interesting. And there's something to learn from every episode. Search for Around The Coin in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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