How do you get your mother-in-law to understand the celebrity crush she thinks she’s dating probably doesn’t know she exists? Welcome to Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- How do you get your mother-in-law to understand the celebrity crush she thinks she’s dating — because of correspondence with his interns or AI — probably doesn’t even know she exists?
- An inappropriate teacher-student relationship in the making led to your hardcore porn addiction, which causes you endless shame and interferes with your spiritual well-being. How can you get a handle on what’s become a harmful habit? [Thanks to clinical psychologist and addiction specialist Dr. Rubin Khoddam for helping us with this one!]
- How can you overcome the self-esteem and confidence issues that have kept you passive your entire life now that you’ve got a healthcare job where snap decisions you make could mean life or death?
- Your dad’s such a narcissist that you worry more about what he thinks of you than what you think of him. Where can you find balance, here? [This segment is sponsored by BetterHelp. Big thanks to Haesue Jo, Head of Clinical Operations at BetterHelp!]
- Being an open-minded, critical thinker means understanding both sides of an argument — not just nodding along when your biases are confirmed. If you’re still listening after having your point of view challenged on a past episode, we thank you for playing along!
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at email@example.com!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi and Instagram @gabrielmizrahi.
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Miss our conversation with Daniel Levin, a man who knows how to track down people who have gone missing in war zones and bring them home alive? Catch up with episode 617: Daniel Levin | How to Find a Missing Person in the Middle East here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Ben Lamm | Resurrecting the Woolly Mammoth | Jordan Harbinger
- Forrest Galante | Seeking Unicorns and Resurrecting the Dodo | Jordan Harbinger
- Paul Rosolie | Perusing and Protecting the Pristine Amazon | Jordan Harbinger
- Dan Ariely | Why Rational People Believe Irrational Things | Jordan Harbinger
- Do Celebrities Actually Reply to DMs on Instagram Sent from Their Fans? | Quora
- Insane Clown Posse: Miracles (Official Music Video) | YouTube
- Sarah Edmondson & Nippy Ames | Surviving NXIVM Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Sarah Edmondson & Nippy Ames | Surviving NXIVM Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Avoid Scams | Deep Dive | Jordan Harbinger
- Easy Chia Seed Pudding Recipe | Low Carb Yum
- Dr. Rubin Khoddam | COPE Psychological Center
- The Top 10 Signs of Porn Addiction | Addiction Center
- Is Porn Harmful? The Evidence, the Myths and the Unknowns | BBC Future
- Practical Steps for Breaking Pornography Addiction | Boundless
- Why Doctors Should Be More Empathetic — But Not Too Much More | Scientific American
- Six Strategies for Becoming a Better You in a Crisis | Psychology Today
- Haesue Jo MA, LMFT, Head of Clinical Support | BetterHelp
- Wendy Behary | Disarming the Narcissist | Jordan Harbinger
- Eight Signs You’re Dealing With A Vulnerable Narcissist | Mindbodygreen
- Skeptical Sunday Archives | Jordan Harbinger
915: Mom’s Crush on Star Has Gone Way Too Far | 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 Iron Dome, intercepting these missiles of drama and dysfunction, Gabriel Mizrahi.
[00:00:14] I wonder if that's too politically charged. Somewhere, someone's upset that we used an Iron Dome reference in the show.
[00:00:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Very triggering, Jordan. Very triggering.
[00:00:22] Jordan Harbinger: It might be. It might be. We shouldn't belittle that.
[00:00:24] 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. Our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. During the week, we have long-form conversations with a variety of amazing folks from war correspondents and neuroscientists to four-star generals and astronauts.
[00:00:46] This week, we had Ben Lamm on resurrecting the woolly mammoth. Essentially, this company is taking DNA from elephants and woolly mammoths and having elephants birth woolly mammoths, not just because of Jurassic Park, but because they're actually good for the environment. We go into the artificial wombs and how this is all going to be done in this episode. Really fascinating. If you like our stuff about nature, about the jungle, with Forrest Galante or Paul Rosolie, you are going to love this episode as well. And we had no episode this Thursday because I'm on a sorta kinda vacation.
[00:01:16] On Fridays, we take listener letters, we offer advice, we mercilessly roast Gabriel for his deep V-necks and hippie tank tops, which you are wearing right now.
[00:01:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:01:24] Jordan Harbinger: I can't help but notice.
[00:01:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: I am.
[00:01:26] Jordan Harbinger: You are the spiritual gangster today again.
[00:01:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm not going to stop. I mean, the more you make fun of me for it, I just, I wear them out of spite.
[00:01:34] Jordan Harbinger: Can't stop, won't stop. People are emailing and they're like, "Does Gabe really not mind?" And then, one person's like, "Gabe should fire back at you," and I'm like, okay, but what are you going to say when you're wearing that? What can you reasonably fire back on?
[00:01:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, yeah, I mean your clothes are so boring.
[00:01:49] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:01:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: That I can't even really roast them. They're just so middle of the road.
[00:01:52] Jordan Harbinger: That's right.
[00:01:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Like a brown dress—
[00:01:53] Jordan Harbinger: It's red. It's red. That's okay.
[00:01:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: What is that?
[00:01:55] Jordan Harbinger: It's a red shirt.
[00:01:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay, Fine.
[00:01:56] Jordan Harbinger: It's a red shirt.
[00:01:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Like a reddish brown dress shirt. There's not much there.
[00:01:59] Jordan Harbinger: Cool. Yeah, cool.
[00:02:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm good with it.
[00:02:01] Jordan Harbinger: That's all you got.
[00:02:02] Before we dive in though, I do want to talk about some interesting developments with our recent show guest, Dr. Dan Ariely. That was episode 903. He's been on our show before too, which is part of the reason that this whole problem came about.
[00:02:14] So if you don't already know about two years ago, Dr. Ariely was apparently caught using fake data in one of his most prominent studies, a study, ironically enough, about how to make people more honest on things like forms, tax returns, stuff like that. He and one of his co-authors, a professor named Francesca Gino, they came up with an interesting idea, which was to move the line where people confirm they've filled out a form honestly from the bottom of the form to the top, kind of like classic Dan Ariely stuff.
[00:02:44] In a nutshell, the study included data from an insurance company that the insurance company now says was manipulated inappropriately after they gave it to Dr. Ariely and the team, but before the study was published. Now, the paper was later retracted. Even more disconcerting, Francesca Gino apparently faked data in other studies too and she's gone on administrative leave from Harvard Business School. The name of her chaired position at HBS is no longer listed which suggests that this is pretty bad.
[00:03:10] Now, Dr. Ariely denies that he was responsible for the falsified data and it does seem there's some ambiguity around who in the lab was responsible for the manipulated data and to be clear, I haven't looked at the data myself. I can't. I'm just going based on the reporting that's out there. I didn't know how bad this was. I vaguely remember reading some time back that he retracted a paper, which isn't a great look, but it was like, I voluntarily retracted it, whatever. Now, this looks a lot more serious and possibly part of a pattern.
[00:03:36] So I wanted to talk about this briefly because obviously, it's a huge concern to me that a guest on our show would be involved in a fake data scandal. So how did this happen? Well, when a guest has been on the show before, like Dan Ariely, and they have a stellar reputation from when they were on before, I generally don't recheck the latest news about them, other than maybe the stuff on the front page. I just read their book, I look for something that they've talked about recently or recent media. I don't go 16 pages deep into Google like I might for another guest. So, this is a really good reminder. That I need to be a little more thorough, I guess, when I've had guests, even repeated guests on the show who've been here before, because as we're seeing with this story, even the most brilliant and decorated people can turn out to be a little questionable. And it can be something that, I mean, I'm not looking forward to having to do this with every single guest every single time, but it is part of my responsibility.
[00:04:26] That said, the studies in Dr. Ariely's new book are mostly not his. And I think that his insights into misinformation, misbelief, conspiracy, AI, they're really good. I'm also not convinced that tainted data in one study, which is totally unacceptable, don't get me wrong, but I don't believe that this one mark makes his book completely unreliable or irrelevant. If anything, what this fake data incident highlights is the danger in letting your great reputation slip, either by getting carried away or being so far removed from the analysis or quality control that somebody else can pull some funny business without you knowing. You could be accused of something like this, and it just tanks your integrity, it tanks your authority, it could even tank your whole career. And that, in turn, can make you toxic for others to be around.
[00:05:14] Case in point, people writing to me saying their trust in the show took a hit because I platformed Dr. Ariely after the accusation, which I will note, was not enough for the university he works for to take any action here. Not yet, anyway. But that doesn't mean it's not a big deal, or that I shouldn't have caught it and at least addressed it before releasing the episode, which I still would have done. If I'm completely honest, I would have still released the episode knowing what I know now. So, thank goodness for that. As one of our very astute listeners pointed out, and I'm quoting her here, "Every time a researcher is caught faking their data, it's another bullet in the chamber of conspiracy theorists," which is a great point. And it's an unfortunate side effect of this nonsense.
[00:05:52] So anyway, I just wanted to share my take on Dr. Ariely and this weird data stuff and assure you that I still take the values of the show, science, rigor, objectivity, very seriously, but also let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. And if you want to disregard Dr. Ariely's work from here out, of course, that is your right. What I'm choosing to take away from this is that integrity and reputation are crucial and need to be upheld. But also, if we're going to completely disqualify someone's knowledge or message, you got to do it for the right reasons.
[00:06:20] All right, Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:06:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. My in laws just got a divorce after 34 years. My mother-in-law, Jane, who's 70, is the one who really pushed for it.
[00:06:33] That's unusual, isn't it, Jordan, for people to get divorced at like 70 years old?
[00:06:37] Jordan Harbinger: You know, it makes me think that there's some stuff going on.
[00:06:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Something's going on.
[00:06:41] Jordan Harbinger: Because at some point, it's like, ah, screw it. But if you're like, you know what, I'm not living the rest of my life like this. What hits that bar?
[00:06:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: The next 8 to 15 years of my life, I can't stand with this person, yeah.
[00:06:50] Then, recently, it came to light that she's been texting another man. He's 20 years younger than she is, and a fairly big actor on a major TV show.
[00:06:59] And just FYI everybody, we're not going to say this guy's name, but we do know who it is. He has a text hotline set up on his page that seems like it sends robotic blanket texts, like, "I'm going to the beach today."
[00:07:13] Jordan Harbinger: What stellar copy? I can only imagine who's sitting there coming up with those gems. Okay, so, this guy has some kind of automated mass text service to keep his fans engaged. I've seen that before. A lot of influencers do that. But they're not actually texting, right? Obviously.
[00:07:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay, so I looked into this a little bit. And it sounds like, yes, this is some kind of automated marketing thing, but people online are saying different things. Some people are saying, hey, this is total spam. And if I reply, it just like deletes my messages, it's just random fluff. But there are other people who are saying, I responded and he actually said happy birthday and remembered where I was from and we actually had a whole conversation. So I can't tell how spammy this actually is.
[00:07:50] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, interesting. My guess is that either this is totally automated and well configured. Or he's outsourcing the responses to an agency or an assistant or something. Some poor intern is tasked with responding to his super fans.
[00:08:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:08:04] Jordan Harbinger: Look, it's hard to imagine a big actor on a major show personally replying between takes to hundreds of thousands of thirsty fans going, "I'm lonely, you're so hot, help!"
[00:08:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, that's something only you and I would do I think. I mean—
[00:08:17] Jordan Harbinger: To respond to the messages personally?
[00:08:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. And also the ones that saying you're hot.
[00:08:20] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, definitely those. I like doing it though. I like doing it and I know you do too. But if I want to hit TV show, I don't know if I could just logistically time wise.
[00:08:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Time wise.
[00:08:31] Jordan Harbinger: The imprint of those is so much bigger than any podcast. You have so many more casual fans doing something like that. I get a lot of thoughtful emails from show fans. Those are easier to reply to, because it's like three paragraphs of really good stuff. These are text messages from random people. The bar is too low, it's too easy to send a message back. So these are more like YouTube comments. We get hundreds or even thousands of those per day. Making fun of the shirt the guest is wearing or calling my haircut gay or whatever. I can't even look at them and they're of zero substance 99 percent of the time.
[00:09:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Damn, that's the roast I should have gone with earlier—
[00:09:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, too late.
[00:09:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: —when you were making fun of my thing. Your haircut is gay, Jordan.
[00:09:07] Jordan Harbinger: That's right.
[00:09:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right, but even if he has another person responding for him, that's kind of a nice touch.
[00:09:12] Jordan Harbinger: It is, but no part of me thinks that this Hollywood actor... Has a texting service so he can meet 70-year-old divorcees.
[00:09:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:09:19] Jordan Harbinger: His heart might be in the right place, but this is marketing and it's cringy marketing, 100 percent.
[00:09:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Jane has supposedly met up with this actor at a convention here in our state, as well as being personally invited to a convention on the East Coast, which, magically, they never met up at.
[00:09:34] Jordan Harbinger: Right, personally invited along with 100,000 other subscribers of Riverdale text messaging service or whatever.
[00:09:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly, what is this? Like, me and 18,000 of Tom's best friends stood in line for like, six hours in Atlanta to take a photo with him for 12 seconds. Ah, it's hard for me to wrap my head around this.
[00:09:51] Jordan Harbinger: I'm afraid this is borderline delusional, but let's see where this goes.
[00:09:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: We haven't seen any pictures of them together, but when there was a convention in our state this past year, she paid for the have your photo taken with an actor thing, and did the same when she went to the convention on the East Coast. She told her ex-husband when she got back that they never met up because he didn't have time.
[00:10:12] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man, okay, so she took pictures, but they never actually go on this magical date, but she still thinks she's in some kind of relationship with this guy? It's a little sad. It's like a whole new level of catfish.
[00:10:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, what is it called when you're being catfished by a real person? Who also actually doesn't want anything from you. Is there a term for that?
[00:10:32] Jordan Harbinger: Who's also being played by another person and/or a piece of software. I don't know. There needs to be a term for that. This is a pretty niche scam. I think this is probably also our AI-enhanced future, Gabriel, where you're talking with somebody online and it's just a robot that's charging you or that's getting advertising clicks.
[00:10:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: I mean, she's essentially catfishing herself at this point, but anyway, the letter continues.
[00:10:53] Then, more recently, she saw that the actor posted something on Instagram about staging a protest in California for the writer's strike and commented, "Is this something for anyone to come to?" Next thing you know, she's on a flight to Burbank.
[00:11:05] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my gosh, I hope she had some Southwest miles saved up. I do love me some Burbank Airport though, way better than LAX. Quick in, quick out, if you know, you know.
[00:11:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Meanwhile, Jane is pushing our daughter, my wife, and me further away. When we try to talk to her about all this she clams up and avoids it and says we're all ganging up on her.
[00:11:25] Right, because she's fully bought into this fantasy/scam.
[00:11:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, they're going to have to deprogram her somehow but it's tricky.
[00:11:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: So the letter goes on. Do you think she's being catfished?
[00:11:36] Jordan Harbinger: But wait, just to dispense with that, no, not quite. Because this is actually the actor's service. It's not a scammer pretending to be this guy. It's his marketing thing.
[00:11:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. She's just being misled by this thing.
[00:11:49] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:11:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: How can I help to salvage the relationship between her and her daughter? And how can we get her to push for a meet up with this guy, or give up on it? Signed, A Son-in-Law in Awe at What Causes My Flawed Ma-in-Law to Withdraw When it Comes to this Dude with a Nice Jaw.
[00:12:06] Jordan Harbinger: What a weird story, Gabe. My divorced 70-year-old mother-in-law thinks she's involved with a huge Hollywood actor even though they've never met. Like I said, it's a tough one and it's sad. But it's also a little scary because I worry there's a degree of delusion at play here that's going to be hard to dismantle or is the result of maybe some kind of senescence.
[00:12:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Uh, delusion or just naivete and ignorance and I'm going to guess just a lot of loneliness.
[00:12:31] Jordan Harbinger: Right, she clearly doesn't understand how these robo texting schemes work at all. Maybe, well, yeah, she's just kind of clueless.
[00:12:40] Soundbite: Magnets, how do they work?
[00:12:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: You've been wanting to use that sound clip for so long.
[00:12:45] Jordan Harbinger: I've been sitting on that soundbite for months. Yeah, exactly. Insane clown posse.
[00:12:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: You nailed it. This is the moment.
[00:12:51] I mean, either that or this texting program is just really good.
[00:12:54] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it could be like chat GPT enabled. But still, to fly across the country multiple times to meet a celebrity, there's got to be an element of, "He really likes me, we're really friends, I really have a shot here," and that's the delusional part. And hard for you guys to cut through, because she's obviously clinging to this fantasy and it means a lot to her.
[00:13:13] Here's how I'd approach this. First, you and your wife, or maybe just your wife if it's less threatening, need to sit down with her mom and have a kind, frank conversation with her. But you can't just tell her she's naive or dumb or deluded. You have to make it safe for her to talk about this and to see through the charade. So maybe you say something like, "I know this texting relationship with this guy has been really fun for you. You have a connection with him. After the divorce from dad, I'm sure that's really exciting and I get it. But I just have a few questions about all this. And they're all out of love for you. So I just wanted to talk to you about it so I can understand this better. So, you and so-and-so talk regularly, and you're sure it's him? What's this whole text me thing about do you think? Like, what's the goal of it? How many other people do you think he's talking to? How do you think he keeps up with all his fans when he works so much? You guys seem close, but you said you weren't able to meet up with him. Why do you think that is? What do you think he wants from you and from your relationship?" Stuff like that, just real innocent, honest questions, and get her to engage with these in a gentle, non threatening way.
[00:14:22] If she can do that, it won't be long before she's either supplying the answers that she needs to hear, or she's contradicting herself, or she's getting defensive and skittish and pulling away. Now, if she does get defensive and pulls away, That's when you need to say, "Listen Jane, I can see that I'm bugging you a little. Maybe this feels kind of invasive. But help me understand. Why do these questions upset you? Does it feel like I don't want you to have this experience? Does it feel like I'm being mean or something?" Whatever you do, keep her engaged, keep her talking, even if she gets mad, and do your best to be as calm and non judgmental as possible.
[00:15:00] Because what probably happens is, you guys go, "Jane, wake up, this is a scam, this guy doesn't know you exist." And she hears that as, "You're an idiot, and this is so cringy, and you don't deserve to have a fling with a hot actor, and he would never love you anyway." And she shuts down because she's ashamed, and she doesn't want to have to confront that she made a lot of this sh*t up in her head, which is exactly what's going on.
[00:15:21] So, you got to short circuit that response by smothering her with kindness and patience and love until she feels safe enough to go, "Okay, yeah, you kind of have a point. This doesn't really add up. This does look like software." This is a trust fall. She has to know that she can fall backwards and you're going to catch her. You're not just going to let her slam onto the ground and point at her and laugh.
[00:15:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: You know, this is very similar to talking to somebody who's caught up in a cult or an MLM or any kind of scam.
[00:15:49] Jordan Harbinger: Absolutely, man. This, the hard part is piercing the defenses of a person who has a lot riding on the fiction that they're buying into.
[00:15:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep. It reminds me a lot of that thing Sarah and Nippy from NXIVM told us about why people keep doubling down on weird ideas or questionable groups when there's so much evidence that they're total BS, because their identity is wrapped up in it, right? And to admit that they were wrong is a huge blow to their sense of self. And for some people, that can be, like, almost fatal.
[00:16:19] Jordan Harbinger: Right, your self-image is at stake. Your narcissism is on the line, or your ego in any case. And it can be really threatening to admit, "Okay, I was wrong. I got bamboozled. I got carried away," because the shame piece is so strong.
[00:16:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: And because it means giving up the fantasy that she's going to have this exciting fling with this famous guy.
[00:16:38] Jordan Harbinger: Right, which post-divorce that's probably very alluring, right? She wants to have fun. She wants to feel young. She probably wants to feel desired and be special. And again, It's sad, but it also completely makes sense. And yeah, you might get to a point where you go, "Okay, look, if you and this guy are really talking, text him right now. Ask him to meet you for drinks once and for all. I'm sure you'd agree that if he doesn't agree after all this talking and all these trips, then it's just never going to happen."
[00:17:02] Or, here's another idea. Get the phone number and sign up for the text yourself on your phone and have your wife do the same thing. And then when the texts come, you and your wife can respond with the exact same message. And see how the software responds. My guess is that it's going to be identical or almost identical and then you can go to Jane and be like, "Look, check it out, it's not actually him, it's just software."
[00:17:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: And then, I think you'll be in a better position to say, "Are you starting to see what we see, like, this isn't about having friendships and flings with fans, it's about keeping you guys engaged, it's about making you want to come to conventions, support the brand," and then hopefully she'll start to wake up.
[00:17:41] Now, about salvaging the relationship between her and her daughter, that might be a bigger issue, I'm guessing there's more to that than just this latest fling with this actor, but Jordan's approach to lead with a lot of empathy and patience and nonjudgment, I think that'll serve you well there, too. Jane is pushing her daughter away, slash she's kind of shrinking away from her, because she feels misunderstood, I think, and judged and probably a little embarrassed. So your job is to make the frame or the tone of your relationship bigger than those feelings, right? You have to be able to encompass some of the more difficult qualities in your mother-in-law to tolerate them, even when they're a little nutty, even when you're like obviously right. So that she can stay connected to you guys, even when you disagree. Or, if Jane can't tolerate that, then you need to let her work through this fantasy out on her own until she's ready to see it for what it is, which, ugh, might be really hard to watch, but might just have to happen on her timeline.
[00:18:37] Jordan Harbinger: Right. I would just make sure that she's not putting herself at serious risk by spending too much money or giving away too much personal information or compromising herself somehow. But if it's just this innocent thing of attending conventions and protests, maybe you can accept that as ludicrous as that is. So I hope that helps you get through to Jane. Poor thing. She's kind of an easy target here, but she's also participating in the scam and almost helping create it. I hope she gets to a place where she can really hear you and give this up.
[00:19:05] I would also listen to our deep dive on scam psychology as you prep for this conversation. That was episode 395. God, that sounds like a long time ago. We'll link to that in the show notes. That's going to come in handy too. And good luck.
[00:19:18] Actually Gabe, why don't we just text this actor right now?
[00:19:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh shoot, let's do it, do it.
[00:19:25] Jordan Harbinger: So I googled the name, and I see that it's like, one of the first results is like, "Text me!" So I texted the word test to that number and I immediately, zero second delay. I get back. "Hey, it's so-and-so click the link to verify that you're not a Russian bot. And I'll text you back. Is it okay to message you at 2 a.m. when I can't sleep?" So this is clearly like a weird thirst trap. I love the idea of text me verify that you're not a Russian bot, right? It really does hide the legally required double opt in for texting information. And then, I wrote, stop, because I don't want to be subscribed and this led me to what I would say is not so brilliant but very basic idea.
[00:20:07] Whenever you get a text subscription, for anything, even just regular notifications, they have to stop texting you if you tell them to stop. And the word for that, in every software that I've ever seen, is stop. So I hit stop, or I texted stop, and it says, "You opted out and won't receive any more messages from this number. Complete registration to begin messaging. Text, help, for more." So I typed, help. It says, "This is a conversation with—" and there's the guy's name. "Have questions community.com/help, manage preferences, long link to manage your preferences on the texting software. To begin messaging, you need to complete registration by clicking the link above."
[00:20:42] So this proves that it's a bot. And if after doing that, you can't tell it's a robot, it's because you don't want to. So she took multiple cross country flights and had a full on texting relationship with community.io or whatever texting software. So, this is obviously automated. And that said, there's a small part of me that's a little envious that this guy has figured out a way to scale his communication like this. And here I am responding to every single listener email that I get until frigging 11 p.m. every night.
[00:21:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: But you love doing that. Like, you love responding to people, so—
[00:21:20] Jordan Harbinger: I know I do. I've considered outsourcing my email several times over the years because whenever I talk with other business owners, they're like, "You answer your own email? No, no, no, get a VA to do it." I'm like, "No, the fans write, they're writing to me." "Oh, you can have a VA learn how to write as you." And I'm just like, I can't do that. That's lying. First of all, I can't stomach the idea of pawning show fans off on some faceless virtual assistant pretending to be me. If somebody else responds, they're signing their name. Like, when you do it, you just sign your name and you cc me or not. Also, the emails would be so lame. And I do love talking to the show fans. It's one of the best parts of doing this podcast. So yeah, I'm not going to be pulling a hot middle-aged guy who plays mentally unstable girl's emotionally unavailable father on Riverdale anytime soon. Too much, I guess, integrity for that, if I can say that about myself. And frankly, too little jawline. That's the real problem.
[00:22:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Roasting yourself at this point. Thank you.
[00:22:12] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Gabe, yeah, I'm coming up with all the material. Gabe, you man the Feedback Friday inbox. You're the closest thing to a virtual assistant that I'm comfortable with. But again, you sign your name. People know they are reaching you at least when you respond. They don't think that they're talking to me, when you write them.
[00:22:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: That is true. I also respond to everybody saying, "Thanks for writing in to Feedback Friday, I'm going to the beach," right?
[00:22:32] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:22:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: And that seems to do the job.
[00:22:33] Jordan Harbinger: Right. More like, I'm going to my weird hot yoga class where the carpet smells like feet, tucking into my organic oat milk chia seed pudding. What are you doing?
[00:22:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wait, wait, wait. Slow down. This is really good. This is really good. I'm going to update the filters right now.
[00:22:44] Jordan Harbinger: Update the autoresponder.
[00:22:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: This is good suff. Hot yoga, chia seed pudding. Done.
[00:22:48] Jordan Harbinger: Chia seed pudding is hella good though.
[00:22:49] By the way, writer, I think you could do that same thing. Google the guy's name, be in front of her, grab the number, text, and just show the instantaneous robot responses, and maybe that'll be a really big clue when two of you do it at the exact same time that no human could type that fast and say the exact same things. It'll be really obvious that it's software at that point.
[00:23:10] And by the way, Gabriel, software can easily say when's your birthday and then you tell them and then it sets a reminder and sends you something on your birthday and says like, "I hope you have a great day." It's not a real conversation.
[00:23:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: I thought about that too.
[00:23:23] Jordan Harbinger: It's also just clever automation.
[00:23:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: There's no way he knows the birthday of multiple show fans.
[00:23:27] Jordan Harbinger: Why would he?
[00:23:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: There must have been some step along the way where you give this service personal information and then they're tailoring the messages to you, which is so weirdly smart and also creepy. But it's sad that somebody like Jane would see that and be like, "Oh my God, he remembered my birthday."
[00:23:40] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:23:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's like, oof.
[00:23:41] Jordan Harbinger: And also, "Oh, he remembers where I'm from." Oh, gee, where would that data come from? I don't know, the IP address they got when you clicked the link. The area code of your phone number, right? I can't tell you how many people are like, "Oh, are you from New York?" And I'm like, "I used to live there." And they're like, "Oh, you're not in New York right now?" And I'm thinking, when is the last time you used a damn area code? And the person was in that area code.
[00:24:01] Soundbite: Come on, man.
[00:24:03] Jordan Harbinger: That's three sound bites. That's our max for the whole show.
[00:24:05] You know what else is borderline delusional? The crazy good deals on the fine products and services that support this show. We'll be right back.
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[00:26:57] Now, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:27:01] All right, next up.
[00:27:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, I'm a 17-year-old Nigerian girl and I need help. It all started when I was 12 or 13 years old. I remember feeling so frustrated that I couldn't solve a math problems that I burst into tears. I'm a very emotional person who has been told many times that I'm too much of a perfectionist. Then, he walked up to me with a warm smile and instead of aggressively asking why I was crying, he joked around to lighten my mood. I was really lonely and needed someone to talk to and eventually I opened up to him. As I was preparing for a math competition, he would take me out for walks and he reassured me I was doing fine when the pressure became too much. The only problem is that this he was my teacher.
[00:27:49] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:27:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: And I had a growing infatuation with him.
[00:27:52] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, man, so, okay, you're a very bright, driven, emotional person, you can be hard on yourself, but you needed a friend and he spotted that, which is not okay. But, let's see where this goes.
[00:28:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: The competition rolled around and I came in first place in the first round, which was a written exam. I remember the pride on his face when he congratulated me and I felt really happy. But I ended up coming in third place in the oral part of the competition and I spiraled into depression. I had worked so hard to win that it felt like the end of the world.
[00:28:26] Jordan Harbinger: Interesting. So there's definitely a theme here.
[00:28:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:28:28] Jordan Harbinger: Failure, falling short, struggling. These are clearly big injuries for your triggers. And this is perfectionism at work, just flagging that. Carry on, Gabe.
[00:28:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: But he continued to encourage me, and he was the only one who didn't think I was overreacting when I said I was depressed.
[00:28:44] Jordan Harbinger: So he encouraged you, he validated you. When you're not getting that at home, that can be very powerful. And I hate that it came from this guy, and I hate that he spotted that. But I understand why you needed that.
[00:28:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: In hindsight, I now realize that he did some things that were kind of inappropriate.
[00:29:00] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:29:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Commenting on the length of my dress, holding my hand, and hugging me often.
[00:29:05] Jordan Harbinger: Here we go.
[00:29:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Then, one day, I asked to borrow his phone to watch a movie, and that's when I saw the videos. At first, I was appalled by the sight. But I couldn't help myself and I watched all the videos I found. When I asked him about them, he nonchalantly told me that they weren't for him, his brother probably downloaded them. And since, he wasn't bothered about it, I never brought it up again. After this encounter, I found myself addicted to watching porn.
[00:29:32] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, okay, so these clearly were not cat videos.
[00:29:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, these were not memes. This was edgy stuff, and it sounds like she found it accidentally.
[00:29:40] Well, it depends.
[00:29:41] It's kind of weird, right? It makes me wonder — did he want her to see them? Like, why would he give her his phone? What's the deal?
[00:29:47] Jordan Harbinger: Well, also, like, if you say, "Hey, Jordan, can I borrow your phone?" And I have no notice and I give you my phone and you find something on there, that's kind of like, well, that wasn't my fault. I just have kinky crap on my phone. But if she's like, "Can I borrow your phone tomorrow? I want to watch a movie." And he's like, "Great, let me download a bunch of porn and make sure that it shows up first when she opens the movie app." That's a different, more predatory thing.
[00:30:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: It could go either way.
[00:30:08] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:30:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: But given what he did, I wouldn't completely put it past him to pull something like that.
[00:30:12] Jordan Harbinger: I think that's why she's writing in, because if she was like, "Oh crap, I got this guy's personal stuff, I feel ashamed. That's different."
[00:30:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: So the letter goes on. My parents eventually found out.
[00:30:21] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:30:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: They're very religious, but they were supportive, and we had to talk about it, so I thought I was over it. But recently, I started watching porn again, and masturbating too. I've been watching a lot of hardcore porn, which my parents would be horrified about if they caught me. I don't think I can tell them about the fantasies I have of doing all the things that the performers do.
[00:30:42] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, okay. Why?
[00:30:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Why?
[00:30:43] Jordan Harbinger: Why would you tell them all of the fantasies? That's an interesting comment, Gabe.
[00:30:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: It is.
[00:30:47] Jordan Harbinger: I don't mean to hold us up, but there's an element here of like confessing or being found out.
[00:30:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:30:52] Jordan Harbinger: Or something like that. She said they're religious and that makes me wonder if they expect her to tell them everything, quote-unquote, "bad" that she thinks and feels.
[00:30:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Or she just feels that way, right? She feels some kind of obligation, which is also wildly inappropriate.
[00:31:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yes, I was going to use the exact same term, wildly inappropriate. Like, "Hi, I've been having these really creepy sexual thoughts. Let me tell you all about them and why I got them, Dad."
[00:31:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well—
[00:31:13] Jordan Harbinger: No, thank you.
[00:31:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: It also sounds like her parents opinion matters a lot to her. So that maybe that's playing a role.
[00:31:18] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe.
[00:31:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Letter goes on. I'm desperate to find a way out of this addiction It's reduced my productivity and my bond with God as a Christian I've tried praying about it and googling different remedies. But what practical advice can you give for stopping an addiction like this? Also, I've been thinking about reaching out to my old teacher. Do you think that's normal?
[00:31:40] Jordan Harbinger: Oh.
[00:31:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Signed, Still Thinking About This Lout Who Messed Me About, and Afraid of Being Cast Out for Rubbing One Out.
[00:31:47] Jordan Harbinger: God, Gabriel, oh gosh. Oh man.
[00:31:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: It was right there.
[00:31:53] Jordan Harbinger: It was. It was right there. So there's a lot going on here. There's you and your interesting personality, there's this teacher, there's the pornography, there's the moral religious angle, and then there are your parents. And they're all related, probably in ways that are even more complex than we realize. I just want to start by saying, I'm so sorry that this teacher seems to have targeted you in this way. Your relationship makes a lot of sense, but it's totally inappropriate, and it sounds like textbook grooming. And given your age, maybe even the early stages of abuse, I'm relieved that based on what you've shared anyway, it didn't go any further than this. But clearly it's left a mark on you, and I'm just, I'm feeling very angry at this guy, and very sorry for you.
[00:32:35] We wanted to share your story with an expert, so we reached out to Dr. Rubin Khoddam, clinical psychologist specializing in addiction and trauma. And Dr. Khoddam had a similar response to us. He said that what happened to you, it sounds incredibly inappropriate and impactful for a girl as young as you were and are. And he hopes that you recognize that and you're getting support for it. As for the impact it's had on you, Dr. Khoddam appreciated your vulnerability in bringing up this issue of porn addiction.
[00:33:01] As he explained it to us, it's a complex issue because even though porn doesn't have the same chemical properties as substances like alcohol or cannabis. It does activate similar reward pathways in the brain. So yes, there are differences between behavioral and substance addictions, but many of the skills and strategies for getting better can be similar. So one strategy Dr. Khoddam said can be helpful is restriction. Surprise, surprise. In other words, restricting your ability to access the means to the behavior you're trying to change. Basically, we want to make it harder to access pornographic content by creating more steps, adding some friction, some barriers in there. You're going to create a stopgap to pause and make a different choice in the meantime.
[00:33:40] So what this looks like in practice is setting parental restrictions on phones, tablets, laptops, wherever you access that content. You could also block certain websites using your phone settings. On a deeper level though, Dr. Khoddam would encourage you to honestly evaluate your triggers. You can start by looking at your external triggers, whether it's people, places, things. This includes times of day, days of the week, his recommendation, see if there are certain days and times that you tend to watch porn the most. Maybe you're procrastinating, doing a hard assignment or something like that. And think about things in your environment that may trigger you more than others. And then target those areas.
[00:34:18] So for example, if you know you tend to watch porn at night. Dr. Khoddam would consider leaving your phone in a separate room altogether after a certain time. You can set an alarm for 7 p.m. or whatever, and that alarm will tell you, "Hey, put your phone away or turn it off or leave it in another room," whatever. You can also enlist the support of somebody else, maybe you can think of an excuse and ask somebody to hold onto your phone during certain periods of the day or night. That might help you break the cycle.
[00:34:44] But the deeper work, Dr. Khoddam said, will be looking at your internal triggers, your thoughts, and your emotions. His question for you was, what function does porn serve in your life? Does it give you rest or relief that you don't get otherwise? Does it immerse you in an image or fantasy that seems more interesting or more appealing or more glamorous than what your current life offers? If so, he would encourage you to think about alternative, healthy reinforcers or ways that you use to provide you some relief that maybe you've just stop doing as much. Maybe there are hobbies or experiences you want to be doing that serve the same function that porn does, but in a healthier, more values aligned way.
[00:35:26] And you mentioned that your religion is an important one to you. If that's true, Dr. Khoddam brought up the idea of considering goals related to that, maybe finding more ways you can get involved in your church. The more time you invest in church or other activities that fulfill you, it's possible that the less compelling porn will be. And the less it'll hijack your mind and your body. In fact, Dr. Khoddam told us that studies have shown that the more we engage in healthy, pleasurable reinforcers that are not substances the less likely we are to use the substance itself.
[00:35:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: So, I would completely endorse that because I think that sense of purpose and that community could be very, very helpful to you right now, but I endorse it with one big caveat, which is if your religion or just your culture in general is somehow shaming you for this impulse or maybe creating the conditions for you to want to watch porn in the first place. Then, I would be very thoughtful about how you engage with it. You know, Dr. Khoddam is right, getting involved in activities that you find meaningful, yes, that is a powerful way to reduce dependency. But I'm just flagging this, Jordan, because there are a few things in her letter that do give me pause.
[00:36:31] Jordan Harbinger: Right. I want to clarify, we're not saying, "Oh, no, you watch porn, turn to Jesus, that'll fix everything on its own. You need to be more religious," or something like that. I don't think that's what it sounds like we're saying, but I want to be very clear. Gabe, what you're getting at is that this thing about being worried about telling her parents about what she's into, right? Is that what you're going for?
[00:36:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: The thing about telling her parents, for sure, but even more to the point, the perfectionism and this emotional volatility thing and the depression piece. Obviously, I don't know if those qualities were informed by her religion. I think it's more likely that they were informed by her family and again, her culture, but her family is religious. So look, there might be some connection there, but I do wonder if these qualities that she really took the time to mention in her letter are another internal trigger, maybe the internal trigger. You know, being emotional, being frustrated, being extremely hard on herself when she doesn't perform the way she wants to, like with the math competition, which is where this whole saga began.
[00:37:25] And then, it's like, boom, here's this easily accessible pornography that distracts you from your thoughts and your feelings and maybe shuts down parts of your personality and just you can become so consumed in it. I mean, just like any other behavior or substance. The porn might be compelling and gratifying to her in a number of ways, but I suspect that one of its functions for her is, it's an immediate escape from this pattern of hers to get very worked up and to tear herself down and then to spiral out when she falls short of her expectations.
[00:37:54] Jordan Harbinger: Right, right. That makes a lot of sense. And so your point is, get involved in church if it helps, but if church is part of what's triggering you or if it's creating the triggers, then that could be a double edged sword.
[00:38:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's right. And to be clear, I'm not saying she should give up her religion. I know it's important to her, and for all we know, it's this very grounding thing in her life. But to your point, Jordan, I don't think the answer is, just go to church and this will all go away. And I also think that just burying yourself in any ideology, even if it's a really helpful one, that could just be another strategy to avoid looking at the stuff more clearly, right?
[00:38:24] In my view, right now, her job is to appreciate all of the variables in this addiction — her family, her culture, her environment. Her relationships, even this teacher, and to start digging into how they make her want to consume this stuff.
[00:38:38] Jordan Harbinger: Speaking of the teacher, she said she's been thinking about reaching out to him, and do we think that's normal?
[00:38:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:38:43] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, so my thought here is, yeah, it's probably normal to want to reach out to him. He met you at a formative time, he was obviously a big influence on you, not entirely in a good way. But I would definitely not recommend reaching out to him. I'm sorry to say, but this guy is a low-key predator from the sound of it. There might have been aspects of your relationship that were meaningful, but the reality is he had a very different agenda with you from what I can gather from this letter. He commented at the length of your dress. He held your hand. He hugged you a lot. When you're 12 and 13, that is just crazy inappropriate. It's not okay. This is not a safe person for you, even if you're older now. And I worry about what contacting him would bring up for you and what it might lead to now,
[00:39:24] Gabriel, by the way, she's Nigerian, right?
[00:39:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: She's Nigerian and she's 17.
[00:39:29] Jordan Harbinger: So this is a conservative society. This is not like if this person was writing in from a country that was like, We live in Spain, it's normal for teachers to hug students, and everybody's all kissy. Okay, maybe that's one thing, but when you're talking about this religious conservative society, and this guy's like, "Oh, your dress is really short, let me hold your hand and go for a walk and hug you a lot," and you're a 13-year-old girl, that is 100 percent not okay. So, I, yeah, I worry about what contacting him would bring up for you, and what it might lead to. So, no, I would just not reach out to this guy. I think you need to stay far away from him and sort through everything that his attention brought up for you in the first place.
[00:40:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: And also maybe contact your school and tell them what happened because I'm a little worried about whether this guy is doing this to other students.
[00:40:11] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm. Yeah, good call. These people tend to have a pattern, right? There's a reason why one brave person says something and 20 other people come out of the woodwork. And, by the way, I don't want to speculate too much, but I do wonder if your experience with this guy is another trigger with the porn. Obviously, he first introduced you to it, seemingly accidentally, although who knows, but I wonder if the trauma associated with his attention, and also perhaps the trauma of losing contact with him, which might sound weird, but this stuff is complicated, I wonder if that also might be drawing you to the porn. And I'm curious to know if some of the fantasies you have echo anything that happened with this teacher, or maybe there's some connection there, but I'll let you figure that out on your own.
[00:40:49] Bottom line, it's time to change your relationship with the porn. To quote Dr. Khoddam here, it's normal for us as humans to want to seek that high, that rush, that fantasy that drugs and behavioral addictions provide. But at some point, those things can reach a tipping point where they control us, rather than us controlling them. So one of the best strategies you can pursue is finding other ways of getting that rush, but don't give you the same side effects or downsides. Which means doing the work, maybe with a professional, if you need it to get to the bottom of this, I think that'll really help a lot. And we're sending you good thoughts and wishing you the best.
[00:41:24] You can reach us firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep your emails concise, use descriptive subject lines. That makes our job a whole lot easier. If your abusive parent won't stop stalking you, your addicted sibling is spinning out, or your super conservative spouse has suddenly become a sex craze maniac, whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up, email@example.com. We're here to help and we keep every email anonymous.
[00:41:47] Okay, next up.
[00:41:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, guys. I've struggled throughout my life to find a purpose, and for a while, to hold down a job for more than a year. I've also struggled with shyness and confidence issues. Then, four years ago, I landed a job in emergency services here in Australia in the initial transfer of calls for help. I truly want to help people, so after seeing the issues that they were dealing with during the pandemic, I took the biggest leap of my life and applied for the job. I felt I was finally past my self-esteem and shyness issues and I started working directly for the emergency services in my state.
[00:42:23] So cool.
[00:42:24] Jordan Harbinger: This is such a great combination of jumping on a random opportunity. And paying attention to what's meaningful to you. So well done, man.
[00:42:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: I sailed through my classroom training and am now at my final sign off stage. But I find that in chaotic situations, I freeze and let the situation emotionally get to me, despite knowing exactly what I need to do. I love my job and know that I'm supported by my employer, but I feel that there's something holding me back from being direct and assertive to gain control over the situation and do what I need to do. I'm generally a shy and passive person, and in 99 percent of situations, this problem won't cause an issue. But in a life or death situation, I want to be the person someone can rely on. I feel that others are able to create an almost alternate persona to control the situation. What can I do to be the best person I can be in a crisis and save a life? Signed, Finding My Spine and Trying to Shine on the Other End of the Line.
[00:43:23] Jordan Harbinger: Great question. First of all, like I said, I think it's fantastic that you landed this job. This is truly noble work, it is not easy, and I just love that you threw yourself into a very intense and uncomfortable profession. I also love it though, because I can't think of a job that's better designed to address the shyness and confidence issues. I mean, when you're a 911 operator, or whatever the equivalent in Australia is.
[00:43:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Triple zero.
[00:43:46] Jordan Harbinger: Triple zero? Why do you know that?
[00:43:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: I don't know. I don't know. I think I probably watched like an Australian soap opera or something.
[00:43:52] Jordan Harbinger: You're probably texting with an Australian soap opera star and—
[00:43:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's what it is. He was like, call triple zero. It's getting so hot.
[00:43:58] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Oh, can I text you at 2 a.m. when I can't sleep?
[00:44:01] Anyway, when you're a triple zero operator, you can't hesitate or shut down. You have to act. So I find this choice of yours so interesting. I don't know if you deliberately went into this line of work to work on this stuff or you stumbled into it, but either way, your psyche kind of knew you needed to go here.
[00:44:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:44:18] Jordan Harbinger: This is how you grow by struggling, by putting yourself in situations where you have to stretch. So it's interesting in a way, this is a hard one to address on the show, because a lot of the work you need to do around this, it's internal, right? So you're going to have to do this work on your own, on the job. But first of all, if you're shy and passive, then there's a reason for that. Some combination of conditioning and personality and values and self-concepts. But on some level, being shy, being passive, it's a response to something, or it's serving some purpose for you. Maybe those qualities are trying to keep you safe. You know, like, "Well, if I just take a back seat, if I'm not the one taking charge, then somebody else will step up and this won't be my responsibility."
[00:44:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:44:58] Jordan Harbinger: Or maybe, there are some beliefs underpinning those qualities. For example, "Oh, I don't have what it takes to be a leader, or I don't deserve to be a leader," or, "If I take charge of a situation, I don't have the goods to back it up." There might be a script in your head going, "Who am I to walk someone through a life or death situation? What will people think of me if I step up and assert myself more?" Or, "hey, maybe this whole job is just so damn intense that it's a little overwhelming sometimes." In stressful situations, it can be hard to tap into your authority, it can be hard to stay calm and stay confident.
[00:45:29] So I would dig into this self esteem stuff, the confidence stuff, and try to get to the root of those qualities — might be childhood stuff. Might be experiences you had later in life. Might be ways you're self-protecting. Might just be you adjusting to the intense reality of the job. But you need to unpack this so you can really understand why these qualities want to lead.
[00:45:51] At the same time, I would study your peers who are doing well in this job, and I would make them your teachers. That could mean literally asking them, "Hey, I'm struggling to take control of situations. My tendency is to shrink away when there's a crisis. I notice you don't do that. How'd you get that way? What's going through your head when you're on a tough call? Do you have any advice for me?" And just listen to what they say. Start putting it into practice. It can also be less formal than that. Maybe you just study your peers more and try to implement this stuff on your own.
[00:46:19] I would also talk to your supervisors and trainers about this. See what they say. If this were me, I would be just as open with them. Like, "I know this is where I'm meant to be. I want to be the person someone can rely on, but I'm struggling. What would you recommend that I do?" Open yourself up to their help. You have amazing models all around you. I would also consider working with a therapist and/or a coach, maybe both, even if it's just for a short time. A therapist can definitely help you do some of that inner work we were talking about earlier. And I also think it's important for you to have a place to talk about your career and process everything it brings up. Because like we keep saying, this is an intense line of work. And a good coach can help you with the more practical aspects of the situation. Things like articulating yourself well, vocal tonality, working through limiting beliefs, building relationships, setting goals, tracking your progress, that would be great for you too.
[00:47:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: You know, I'm also very intrigued by this alternate persona some of his colleagues use on the job. That's another thing that I would ask them about, you know, how they develop that persona, how they tap into it. I'm obviously not a 911 dispatcher or triple zero dispatcher, but I assume that going into that mode is very useful on the job. And over time, the gap between that persona and your real personality probably starts to narrow and you no longer feel like you're pretending, you're just doing, and it's more like putting on your triple zero hat when you're on the clock. So as a transitional phase, I'm all for it, why not?
[00:47:44] But here's the really good news, none of these qualities that you're talking about are written in stone. We can change. We can always change. Neuroplasticity, you know, personal evolution, they're real. These things actually exist. The fact that you're saying, I want to be the person someone can rely on, which I find so admirable, that is a great sign because that means that the desire to grow is there. You know, you're not saying like, "My bosses are telling me that I need to be more assertive, but I really have no interest in doing that." You're like, you're there mentally, you're down to do this, you're just, you just have to work through some stuff. This is not a self-interested desire on your part, it's a desire that's tied to helping other people.
[00:48:23] So what I'm hearing, Jordan, is that this guy has a real sense of purpose and I think that's going to give him some urgency and some much needed fuel to make this happen.
[00:48:31] Jordan Harbinger: Agreed. He might need a little more time than other people to build these muscles, but that's totally fine. I don't think 911 or triple zero, I don't think they would have hired you if they didn't think you were equipped to help people. The important thing is to be very proactive and avail yourself of all the resources you need to get better and put what you learn into practice incrementally every day. That means taking a little more control on every call, leaning a little more into your authority every shift, until one day you take a tough call and you go, "Wow, okay, I can't believe I just did that. I don't even recognize myself." That is true confidence, but it only comes through flailing and struggling and then achieving in the moment, in action. So, keep up the great work, stay connected to this mission of yours, and I know you're going to shine. Super proud of you for chasing this calling, man. Good luck.
[00:49:18] You know what you don't need to be shy about? Taking advantage of the crazy good deals on the products and services that support this show. We'll be right back.
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[00:52:14] Now, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:52:16] All right, next up, and I should note, this segment is sponsored by BetterHelp. Big thanks to Haesue Jo, head of clinical operations at BetterHelp.
[00:52:23] All right, Gabe, take it away.
[00:52:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. Years ago, my father was traveling abroad with his girlfriend. They got into a domestic dispute in their hotel room and his girlfriend ended up calling the police. Without going into all the details, what she accused him of doing was incredibly violent. My dad spent three days in a foreign jail. But because his girlfriend chose not to pursue charges, he was released. When my dad called to let me know what had happened, he instantly went into victim mode and blamed his girlfriend for the traumatic experience he endured behind bars. I knew in my gut that his version of events was not the full story, and I also couldn't help but notice his utter lack of compassion toward his girlfriend. The only thing he took, quote-unquote, "responsibility" for was his inability to choose his partners wisely, which again positioned him as the victim. He hasn't seen or spoken to his ex-girlfriend since the incident despite his many efforts to contact her. This whole event brought up similar memories, which I now see through a very different lens. For example, years earlier, another one of my dad's girlfriends called the police on him. I didn't witness anything myself, and the story he told me was that they were arguing and his girlfriend lied to the police so he would be removed from the house as they were in the process of separating. I've also come to learn how emotionally and physically abusive he was with my other parent before they separated. And I have countless other examples that reinforce this pattern of manipulation, control, and violent behavior. My father is charming, meets women easily, and has incredible issues with jealousy, which I've also experienced when he feels that I've chosen my other parent over him. Without a doubt, I believe he is a textbook narcissist. I don't feel comfortable intervening in my father's life, but I was able to convince him to seek counseling after the international fiasco. Unfortunately, he ended up walking away from his one therapy session feeling that he had been too hard on himself for his failed relationship. In other words, he was even successful in manipulating his therapist. What complicates things further is that I still have a relationship with my father, which has greatly improved with the boundaries I've put in place. When things feel stable with him, I find myself wanting to compartmentalize his dark side so I can appreciate his positive qualities and enjoy spending time with him. But then, I consistently come back to an overwhelming mix of frustration, hurt, and sadness for the women he's affected throughout the years. I worry about his behavior escalating, and I fear that someone he dates could get seriously hurt. What options do I have to help protect his partners? And what do I do with this information I have about my father? Signed, A Concerned Daughter Starting to Totter Around Her Dad, the Emotional Marauder.
[00:55:11] Jordan Harbinger: Ugh, man, it's a really sad and intense story. Your father, clearly a complicated man, to put it mildly, and your relationship with him, even more complicated. Narcissistic parents are incredibly difficult to understand, difficult to manage, difficult to cope with. In many ways, you're dealing with an entirely different reality with folks like this. Your dad sounds like quite a chaotic person. To say nothing of the manipulation, the jealousy, the whole woe is me narrative. It's really tough, not to mention exhausting. But I have to say, you've come a very long way. You've learned how to draw some essential boundaries. And it sounds like that's made it possible to have a relationship with him without being as vulnerable to his behavior. That is excellent.
[00:55:56] We wanted to run your story by an expert, so we spoke with Haesue Jo, licensed marriage and family therapist and head of clinical operations at BetterHelp, the world's largest online therapy service. You've heard of them, they sponsor the show. And the first thing Haesue said, your dad, he is who he is, warts and all. And as hard as this is to accept, you are not going to be able to change him. And I think you already know that, but I also get the sense that you're in the process of fully coming to terms with what this really means. If your dad is going to change, it'll be because he wants to change. And probably because he has the support that he needs, ideally a really good therapist. One who won't let him off the hook too easily, who can help him confront these parts of himself that are probably very uncomfortable and threatening for him to acknowledge. But that's his work to do, not yours, which might be why you're now wondering how to protect his girlfriends.
[00:56:49] Because if you can't change the man, you probably feel compelled to protect the women in his life. And I appreciate that impulse that says a lot about you. But Haesue also helped us see that you're not going to be able to protect every single woman your dad gets involved with. You can't chaperone them on every date. You don't live with your dad and his partners. You can't go on every vacation with them. You might not even know about some of these women. So realistically, there's not much more you can do to protect them. In the moment. I mean, look, if you're ever on a trip with your dad and one of his girlfriends and they get into a serious physical altercation at the hotel and someone's in danger, yeah, of course, you pick up the phone, you call 911. I'm not saying you don't intervene if you're right there. But I'm guessing that scenario is not going to happen very often when you're around.
[00:57:37] And if you did call the police, like, "Hey, just wanted to give you a heads up, my dad's kind of a narcissist, he has a history of being maybe, probably abusive. I'm worried something might happen with his new girlfriend in the future." Sadly, the police are not going to do anything about that, and even if they could, there's no guarantee that they're going to show up in time or follow up, and they obviously can't stop any of these women from continuing to see your dad. And I know that's a very distressing thought, because your dad obviously has a real pattern of disturbing behavior, he's already been in jail because of this, right? You feel genuinely scared for these women. You feel helpless. You want to intervene before the next bad thing happens.
[00:58:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: But, you know, I also wonder if she feels partly responsible for her dad. Like, "This is my dad. Like, my dad is kind of a monster sometimes, and it's partly on me to clean up his mess to prevent him from hurting other people."
[00:58:33] Jordan Harbinger: Who, by the way, and I think this is a meaningful parallel, are also women.
[00:58:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm, yes, yes, which is perfectly understandable. But part of me wonders, Haesue picked up on this too, whether this sense of responsibility for your dad might be one of the complicated emotions that come out of having a relationship with a narcissistic parent.
[00:58:52] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:58:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Because oftentimes with narcissistic parents, Children end up feeling like extensions of them, right? Or pawns in their game or overly loyal to them or just generally responsible for managing their chaos. And so it would make a lot of sense if you looked at the situation and you thought, "Okay. Man, I have some serious reservations about my dad, but I also kind of identify with him in certain ways, and I care for him, and he makes me want to care for him, but also I'm kind of scared of him, and also sort of ashamed of him, and so it's my responsibility basically to protect other people who enter his life." And to take that idea a step further, I also wonder if protecting these women, to Jordan's point, might also be a way to protect yourself. To sort of work something out about your dad through these other women and maybe to find some agency in a situation where you feel pretty powerless. Like you said, you don't feel comfortable intervening in your father's life. But here you are wondering how you might intervene in his life, but through these other people. I know that's kind of an intense theory to just throw out there. I'll let you decide for yourself if that fits, but I do think it's worth exploring.
[01:00:09] So in Haesue's view, the real question here is what kind of relationship you want with your dad and what the terms of that relationship should be. And let's just acknowledge that is very confusing because like you said, these boundaries have really helped And when he's stable, you want to just compartmentalize his dark side and enjoy spending time with him, which I totally get. At the same time, I can see why that might add to your sense of confusion and frustration with him, knowing that your dad has these two very different sides to his personality, and not always knowing which one is which.
[01:00:42] Jordan Harbinger: Right, is he narcissistic? Or is he kind? Is he the aggressor? Is he the victim? Is he both? Who's freaking coming to brunch today?
[01:00:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly. Those are very complicated questions, and they can make you feel a little overwhelmed sometimes. You know, you might spend your whole life reconciling those different parts of your father, and you might have to calibrate your boundaries with him based on which ones he leads with.
[01:01:08] Jordan Harbinger: Ah, for sure, and man, that's got to be a confusing dance.
[01:01:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm, very.
[01:01:11] Jordan Harbinger: So, in Haesue's view, the best strategy you can pursue going forward is to double down on the boundaries. And to continue engaging with the support that helped you create those boundaries, which I'm guessing was some pretty solid therapy. Because ultimately, they're your best tool in a parental relationship like this. And that'll help protect you when your dad becomes chaotic, or tries to rope you into his BS, or co opts you into the victim narratives. That's when you can go, "Okay, dad's doing his dad thing, I've seen this many times before, time to pull back a little bit." And maybe that means putting some limits around how much you talk, what you talk about, how involved you become in his life. Maybe it means not indulging him when he starts spinning a victim story. Maybe it means noticing when that sense of responsibility for your dad starts to creep in. Not taking on his stuff as your own. That's, I think, one of the most important lines to keep an eye on.
[01:02:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: For sure. And hey, if it feels appropriate, maybe it means speaking up and pushing back sometimes. Like, if your dad tells you that his girlfriend was the one who provoked him and she lied or whatever, maybe you go, "Look, I'm sorry to say this, Dad, But I just don't share your view here. I understand that she set you off, but you have a pattern here. You've done this before, and I just, I'm not going to sit here and endorse this story that you're the victim." And just to be very clear, I'm not saying you have to say that to your dad, I'm just saying that it's an option. And it is a version of a more explicit boundary you could work up to if you ever need.
[01:02:42] Jordan Harbinger: Agree, Gabe. So, I hope that gives you some more clarity about your dad. As Haesue put it to us, you have to live with an interesting contradiction here, a sort of dialectic, which I had to look up in the dictionary to make sure I knew what she was talking about. But the dialectic is this, "I love my dad and he can be a source of pain. I care about him and he's problematic." To quote Haesue again, those two facts can exist in the same universe. You can hold these two ideas in your head at the same time. But, it can also be really hard because it requires a lot of strength and comfort with essentially ambiguity.
[01:03:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, and also it requires a willingness to feel the grief of being in relationship with a very flawed parent, right? Having to acknowledge all of them, not just the convenient parts. And accepting that that might mean you two won't always be as close as you wish you could be which is no small thing.
[01:03:37] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. And look, we're not saying you have to do that, but as you make room for more and more of your dad's contradictions and adjust your relationship accordingly, it's also going to increase your capacity for these important qualities in you, too. And that's the strange gift of having a difficult parent like this. What happens outside of your relationship with him, for the most part, that's his business, that's his girlfriend's business, and that's their work to do. So keep up the great work, we're sending you a big hug, and we're wishing you all the best with your dad.
[01:04:06] This segment was sponsored by BetterHelp, big thanks again to Haesue Jo, head of clinical operations at BetterHelp. Go to betterhelp.com/jordan to help support the show and get started. Haesue Jo'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. Haesue's feedback is in response to a written question and therefore there are likely other unknown considerations given the limited context. Any personal opinions about a writer's life choices, as well as any action oriented advice, comes solely from the show. Also, just because you might hear something on the show that sounds similar to what you're experiencing, beware of self diagnosis. Diagnosis is not required to find relief. And you'll want to find a qualified professional to assess and explore diagnoses if that's important to you. If you or your partner are in crisis and uncertain about whether you can maintain safety, reach out for support, crisis hotlines, local authorities, have a safety plan, and that can be done with a therapist too.
[01:04:57] I wanted to talk about an interesting thing that's been happening over the last month or so, which is listeners unsubscribing from the podcast after our episodes, critiquing topics like crystal healing or acupuncture or even lawns. Somebody got so upset at lawns, and how do I know, because they send me a message, right? I didn't think lawns was going to be a hot button issue, but apparently even talking about grass can piss people off these days. What a time to be alive, eh?
[01:05:20] I've been getting a bunch of these letters and reviews lately. A woman who owns a crystal store sent me an angry email after our skeptical Sunday on astrology. A healer who's really into Eastern medicine tore me a new one for our Skeptical Sunday on ayurveda, and then there were the lawn people, stuff like that.
[01:05:37] Now look, I've made peace with this, I know the values of this show don't speak to everyone, no show can or should, and I knew when I started doing Skeptical Sunday that if we were taking on these topics and being funny with it, because it's a different vibe of those shows, that we were going to ruffle some feathers and potentially lose some folks. I don't enjoy losing listeners, but I also accept it. I'm not going to change the show for those people. What I can't quite wrap my head around though, how people come to that conclusion, and why they cling to their ideas so rigidly. Because the way I see it, if you're open minded about something working, great, you should always be open minded. But at the same time, you have to be open minded about something not working, even if you've already decided that it does.
[01:06:25] Being open minded has to cut both ways. You have to be willing to be persuaded that something is right or wrong at any time that you hold a belief. You can't just decide you have a belief, I've evaluated it, and then 30 years later you still believe it. You have to always have those strong opinions, but hold them weakly. You have to always be able to be persuaded of the opposite belief. Also, I always find it funny when people enjoy Skeptical Sunday when it's about something they're not involved in, but then they absolutely just get outraged when we attack their personal ideology or pet pseudoscience.
[01:06:58] Call me crazy, but you can't sit here and enjoy the show when I skewer flat earthers and then flip your damn lid when I tell you that astrology is bullsh*t. I just find that contradiction very immature and counterproductive. But look, I don't mind when people disagree with me. If somebody absolutely buys into, I don't know, ayurveda and crystal healing and they disagree with my sources, fine. I'm not sweating it. If they stick with the show because they still get something out of the rest of the episodes, I think that's fantastic. I actually get a lot of emails like that, too. Some variation of, "Love the show Jordan, but you have your head in your ass when it comes to ayurveda." This is okay. This is fine. I still love you. I'm still glad you're listening. I'm glad you're writing in even though you're pissed off at the time. It's all good.
[01:07:39] There are tons of places where smart people get information that they might not always agree with. And they can decide for themselves what to take away from that. I never demand that every listener buy into everything they hear on the show, from our guests, or from myself. But, tuning out that source because it pisses you off or makes you uncomfortable or hurts your feelings, which is exactly what these emails are almost always about, that is a great way to remain stuck in your echo chamber.
[01:08:06] There's a parallel here with what I shared a month or so ago about outrage, about why people get super pissed off about very specific things and they want to work out their ish through us, right? They're working something out through us. Nine times out of 10, those objections, they're not about arguments. They're about people's triggers. I'm sorry if you own a crystal shop in Sedona, Arizona, and now you're faced with the idea that maybe you're selling rocks and not mystical, magical cures for irritable bowel syndrome or whatever. I'm not saying that's fun to hear, but don't shoot the messenger.
[01:08:39] Also, these folks are often angry that we don't just critique their belief, we have a little laugh about it, which, look, fair enough. Some people say like, "You're acting like a junior high school jerk." But if you can't take a joke, maybe don't base your life choices on whether or not Mercury's in retrograde, okay? If a joke triggers you that much, that might just be a reason to consider the nature of the thing that you believe in. It sounds a lot like a religious or culty belief to me, if you can't make fun of it at all. Or at a minimum, to shift your relationship with that belief a little bit, not having quite so much of your identity or sense of self wrapped up in it, going back to that Sarah and Nippy concept from question 1 here on the show.
[01:09:17] And by the way, if there's anyone who can take a frigging joke about the way they live their life or pay their rent, it's going to be a guy who makes his living doing interviews and dishing out lukewarm advice in his underwear, okay? So I hold myself to this standard too. But look, I do get where these responses come from. I'm killing your sacred cow and then I'm barbecuing it and eating it in front of you. That is not fun, but it doesn't mean I'm wrong, and it doesn't mean that you're right. That's why we bring science to the conversation — rigorous, data driven, peer reviewed, reputable science. That's the standard we hold this stuff to, even as armchair scientists, and it's one of the values of this show. That's the only way we get to some type of an objective truth.
[01:10:03] And I realize the irony of saying all this on the same episode where we had to address a guest's data controversy. But again, the Dr. Ariely stuff is a great reminder of the importance of rigor in the first place. And not to get all high and mighty about this, but part of the skill set of a critical thinker is being able to take in information from a source, even if you disagree with it at first and also to not reject that source completely because you're triggered by one piece of information.
[01:10:31] And I just wanted to share that with you because this science based approach to the topics we tackle, especially on Skeptical Sunday, it's kind of part of the DNA of the show. And if anyone listening is bothered by something we say, I want them to know it's not because I take pleasure in mocking people or ideas, it's because I'm looking for the truth within the noise, within the story, and within the myth. And staying open to alternative ideas, even and especially when you disagree, is a value that is sorely lacking in this world today.
[01:11:01] And by the way, so many of you guys do exactly that, far more than the people who unsubscribe. Some of my favorite emails are the ones that go, "I couldn't disagree with you more about religion or health or politics, but you challenge me to think about my beliefs, so you keep me from getting stuck in my filter bubble. And I still love the rest of the show." I get those messages all the time, and I really respect that, I really appreciate that. And yes, we might get things wrong sometimes, but when we do, it's because it's impossible to cover every single angle of a topic. And while we do good research, we are not scientists ourselves, we just consult experts, but we're not just making stuff up out of thin air nor are we starting with a conclusion in mind, and then setting out to prove it when we tackle these topics.
[01:11:43] Anyway, I heard a quote recently that I loved and I think it explains a lot of this phenomenon and why it matters so much. "The truth has a ceiling, but the sky's the limit for lies." That is a great guiding principle for how we put out and consume information. And obviously, that's the one I'm going to keep following.
[01:12:00] Hope y'all enjoyed that. I want to thank everybody who wrote in this week and everybody who listened. Thank you so much. Go back and check out the Ben Lamm episode if you haven't yet. No Thursday episode because I'm kinda sorta on vacation, but we still managed to deliver Feedback Friday, of course.
[01:12:13] The best things that have happened in my life and business have come through my network, the circle of people I know, like, and trust. I'm teaching you how to build the same thing for yourself in our Six-Minute Networking course. It's 100 percent free, it's zero percent gross, and zero percent schmoozy. You can find it on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. Takes a few minutes a day. I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. My life would have been, well, hopefully, as good as it is now. Maybe even better. Dig the well before you get thirsty. Build relationships before you need them. Again, the course is free. Nothing tricky there. jordanharbinger.com/course.
[01:12:44] And on that note, I'm going to the beach. You're welcome for that high touch communication. Real window into my life here.
[01:12:51] If you haven't signed up yet, check out our recently relaunched newsletter for the show. It's called Wee Bit Wiser. It's really me writing it, and I'm not going to pretend that I'm talking to you. I will respond if you respond to me. Unless you send me some weird rant. There's a lot of people in there who send me like astrological signs and stuff about Bitcoin. I don't know what to do with those. That's all. But if you want to keep up with the wisdom from our 900-plus episodes and apply it to your life, I invite you to come check it out. Sign up at jordanharbinger.com/news.
[01:13:16] Show notes and transcripts on the website at jordanharbinger.com. Advertisers, deals, discounts, and ways to support the show at jordanharbinger.com/deals, or ask the AI chatbot on the website. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi or on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
[01:13:36] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions are our own, and I'm a lawyer, but not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show.
[01:13:52] Dr. Khoddam's input is general psychological information based on research and clinical experience. It's intended to be general and informational in nature and it does not represent or indicate an established clinical or professional relationship with those inquiring for guidance. You can learn more about Dr. Khoddam and his practice at copepsychology.com.
[01:14:08] Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love, and if you found the episode useful, please share it with somebody else who could use the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, I hope you apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you learn, and we'll see you next time.
[01:14:22] You're about to hear a preview of The Jordan Harbinger Show with the go to person to help negotiate a hostage situation in Syria when no other intelligence agency would help.
[01:14:32] Daniel Levin: When you have a hostage negotiation, especially in a war zone, the hardest thing to do is to actually figure out who the hostage takers are and the rumors are off the charts. Proof of life is getting that authentication that you're talking with the people who actually have the person and you want to know, of course, that the person is still alive. You ask him for some question or some nickname, something that no one would be able to know. And if they can't come back with that answer, you walk away.
[01:14:55] The person I had to flag down in front of, find who held this Westerner hostage was probably the biggest captagon dealer in the country. And they often use the same distribution routes for the captagon as they do for human trafficking. So the same people would take little girls from villages and send them to the Gulf, to Dubai, to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, to other places there. They fill also stomachs of the girls with drugs and use them as couriers while also shipping them as the product itself.
[01:15:23] The first thing you have to do is tell the parents to stop doing something that they want to do and that every schmuck under the sun is telling them to do. Which is to seek public support, right? To get public statements, to do Facebook campaigns. The Secretary of State say how we're not going to leave a stone unturned until this awful act. What just happens with that is your price went up before you even started a negotiation. You do not want to drive up the perceived value of the hostage. Sometimes people are taken hostage just for the shock value of executing them. What you're going to do with the campaign that you're doing right now is going to get your child or your spouse killed. How is pissing off the people who hold that person's life in their hands helping you? By the time I get involved, it's usually too late.
[01:16:10] Jordan Harbinger: To learn all about the nuances of negotiating with criminals and human traffickers, check out episode 617 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:16:20] Again, special thanks to Nissan for sponsoring this episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:16:26] Mandy Matney: Thank you for listening to the Murdaugh Murders podcast, the show that started it all. Ninety-three episodes will take you on a journey of twists and turns, ups and downs, tears and belly laughs. We continue this mission with our newest evolution, True Sunlight. Luna Shark's True Sunlight podcast is the antithesis of true crime. True Sunlight values accuracy over accessed journalism. True Sunlight is shed with empathy, not exploitation. True Sunlight is the intersection of journalism, true crime, and systemic corruption. We continue to shed light on Stephen Smith's case and Alex Murdaugh's co conspirators. But also we like to take deep dives into other cases around the country. True Sunlight empowers listeners to understand their legal and judicial systems with our unique brand of pesky journalism. Listen to True Sunlight wherever you get your podcast or visit truesunlight.com to learn more.
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