Your monster of a mother-in-law says hurtful things to you about your husband when he leaves the room, and now insists on telling you how you’ll be raising the child you’re expecting soon. How can you shut down her rude commentary without causing a scene? We’ll try to find answers to this and more here on Feedback Friday!

And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Jason DeFillippo (@jpdef) 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 Now let’s dive in!

On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:

  • Your aunt wants to sell the run-down family business because she’s sick of running it, but you’d like to buy her out and turn it into something really profitable. How can you approach the deal without coming off as insulting?
  • Your monster of a mother-in-law says hurtful things to you about your husband when he leaves the room, and now insists on telling you how you’ll be raising the child you’re expecting soon. How can you shut down her rude commentary without causing a scene?
  • Your mother recently rejoined a religion that requires cult-like obedience, and her views on medical care are drastically different from yours. Aside from general concern that she’s thrown her lot in with a bad crowd, how do you break it to her that you no longer want to have her as your power of attorney?
  • Since the sudden death of a close friend, your husband seems to be extra reliant on you for emotional support to the point that it’s stifling your career ambitions. How can you bring up concerns without hurting his feelings and making him think you’re trying to abandon him?
  • You’re a mechanical engineer with a goal of launching a startup focused around a specific sector of small-scale robotic automation. Your problem? You’re not sure where to begin. Is it a realistic goal? Are you aiming too high? Or are your fears just holding you back?
  • You’re taking our free Six-Minute Networking course, but you’ve always been highly introverted and never built much of a network to revive. What tips do we have for starting a new network from the ground up?
  • Life Pro Tip: When you rent or lease a car, take a photo of the dash and the mileage, and a video walking around the car. It will save you having to argue nonsense charges later.
  • Recommendation of the Week: Babies
  • Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at!
  • Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
  • Connect with Jason on Twitter at @jpdef and Instagram at @JPD, join his podcasting club, and check out his other show: Grumpy Old Geeks.

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Resources from This Episode:

Transcript for My Mother-in-Law Is a Monster! | Feedback Friday (Episode 325)

Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:03] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I’m your host Jordan Harbinger and I’m here with producer Jason DeFillippo. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world’s most brilliant people, and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. If you’re new to the show on Fridays, we give advice to you and answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes to authors, to thinkers and performers.

[00:00:32] And this week, we had Laura Gassner Otting on the dangers of fluffy self-help and some real talk on how to negotiate, advance, and make tough decisions when it comes to your career. We also had another episode from the vault with Tony Hawk, legendary skater, on creating one of the most popular brands, and not only skateboarding but one of the most iconic personal brands probably of all time. Jason, would you agree with that?

Jason DeFillippo: [00:00:53] Absolutely. It doesn’t get any more iconic than Tony Hawk. Come on.

Jordan Harbinger: That’s kind of what I figured. Yeah. I mean, one of the things he mentioned in his episode was that they printed him on a roll of toilet paper.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:01:03] I don’t know if that’s a compliment.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:06] Well, he certainly didn’t take it that way, and he tells the story in that episode. Of course, you’ll have to listen to find out what that is, but basically, yeah, not exactly a super positive reaction for that one.

[00:01:18] Of course, our primary mission here on The Jordan Harbinger Show is to pass along our guests and our own experiences and insights along to you. In other words, the real purpose of the show is to have conversations directly with you, and that’s what we’re going to do today and every Friday here on Feedback Friday. I just want to place one brick in the structure that makes up your life. That’s really what this podcast is about. And you can reach us at

[00:01:42] Some people have asked why I didn’t turn into a criminal when I was doing a lot of bad things as a kid. People heard the Darknet Diaries episode that I did and the things I discuss here on the show sometimes. I was doing like while you’re tapping and cell phone cloning and ordering a pizza with credit cards that weren’t mine and stuff like that. I just kind of needed a thrill when I was in middle school. Honestly, the reason is I think I realized there was more money to be made legally and that I didn’t like the thrill. I felt bad about it, and I also met actual criminals and couldn’t identify with them at all. All the older criminals — and this is not something that I realized as an adult and met these guys when I was younger — they all resented their lives. They all regretted doing the things that they did. So I wasn’t really scared straight, but I was maybe educated straight if that makes sense. And also disappointing my parents who are having a tough time with me was not something that made me feel good either. So for those of you who’ve been asking that question, and both on Twitter or Instagram or writing in to the show about why I was able to turn sort of right instead of left, it was because I saw the results of what people who had gone down a bad path kind of had for themselves. And look at the most successful mafioso guys, they’re either dead or in prison. No thanks. And those are like the top of the criminal heap. Right, the, at least the regular criminal heap. So who really aspires to that? Not a whole lot of people, not a whole lot of smart people. And I’d like to think that even in middle school, high school, I was smart enough to recognize that.

[00:03:07] Jason, what’s the first thing out of the mailbag?

Jason DeFillippo: [00:03:09] Hello, J Team. My grandfather opened a small business in the 60s a little cafe on a picturesque island in a popular destination. My family was essentially formed around the business when he passed it down to my father and aunt before I was born. The place it’s in is considered a historic landmark and is an integral part of the small island community. It’s always been profitable, but it’s living in the stone age. No credit cards. Employee hours are recorded on handwritten calendars, no logistics systems in place. Supply lists are disorganized and there’s really no way to keep close track of their margins. My aunt is voiced to me and a few other family members that she’s tired of running the business and wants to sell it. I think she’s the only one who truly wants to just drop the family business, which is the primary source of income for my parents. My mother disclosed to me that my parents’ entire retirement plan revolves around a big payout from the family business. They’re not ready for retirement and they’ll surely not get enough of a payout from the business as it is now. I don’t want to see the business sold off to another party who would surely flip it into something totally different. I also don’t want to see my parents get screwed out of their retirement just because my aunt doesn’t feel like dealing with it anymore. I’m considering the idea of buying out my aunt’s share of 50 percent of the business with the intention of building it up to the gold mine that it should be. After five to seven years of increased profit, I know we could sell the business for much more. This would give my parents the retirement they deserve and make it possible for our little piece of island history to live on just under new ownership. I’ll soon be moving back to the other coast until my husband finishes his current job contract in 2023. I’m at a loss as to how to even propose this idea to my dad and my aunt. My aunt is very prideful and would see the buyout as an insult. A give-me-your-half-so-I-can-fix-what-you-couldn’t type of interpretation. I’m also 25 and I don’t know if they really believe that I can take on the responsibility. My grandfather has offered to help my husband and I with the buyout and I’m fairly confident we can get a bank loan if necessary, but how do I approach my dad and aunt with this. I want there to be no mistake that this is a serious offer, but I wouldn’t be able to be onsite until my husband is finished with this contract. We’ll likely have a kid by that time, and I would think they would be receptive to us being close to home while we start our family. My grandfather thinks I should dangle this threat in front of my parents in order to come to an agreement. Is that wrong? Would it even be feasible to be a part-owner if I can’t be there full time for the first few years? Is there any way to make this offer without causing my aunt to go nuclear? Should I seek out a professional business advisory to help me with this? Would I be better off just letting go of the idea of pulling the business out of the hole my father and aunt have put it in? Any advice you can provide would mean the world to me. Thanks again for what you guys do. Sincerely, Don’t Sell the Gold Mine.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:55] Well, obviously — and I’ve said this before — most people are not cut out to run a business. Don’t believe the hype you see on Instagram. Most people can’t and shouldn’t run their own business. Your parents almost had this forced on them. It’s not really something that I’m going to say they shouldn’t be running, but they might even be okay with running this business, but it’s clear that they’re not innovative. They’re behind the times. A business run by people like that will always be undervalued and will probably always underperform. I’m not even going to say probably — it will always underperform. Because other people will be using technology and you know, taking credit cards to get more business from people if they don’t have enough cash in their wallet. What you don’t want in a cafe is someone walking in and going, “Oh, we can’t afford to actually have lunch here. Let’s just have a snack, because they don’t take credit cards.” That’s just leaving money on the table with pretty much every transaction for anyone that walks in. And I bet you that if you track the amount of people that find out it’s cash only and don’t come in or don’t order, you’ll see exactly how much this business is losing. It’s kind of a pathetic way to lose money if I’m honest. Worse, it sounds like your aunt isn’t even willing to try and fix this. That’s a big problem because she just wants to wash our hands of the whole thing instead of trying, and this is annoying at best, but I think we can turn it into an advantage for you, namely through a buyout, which you’d mentioned earlier.

[00:07:13] Unfortunately, since your aunt both has an ego problem and a lack of management skill — well, that’s a pretty bad combination. The buyout, so you can fix what she couldn’t is exactly what it is; namely, putting the business into more competent and capable hands. So I have an idea here, but you might not like it. I think it’s also great that your grandfather is offering to help buy the business. That’s excellent because you have an ally on your side with finances as well as the trust, or hopefully the trust of your family. So you’re right, at age 25, the family might think you don’t know anything about running a business — and they may yet be right — but at least you know how to use Excel. So you’ve got them beaten a lot of areas already. Your aunt might not want to take the buyout per se, but what if you framed the buyout as an annuity? In other words, instead of a lump sum buyout that she might just scoff at and decide that she’s better than that or whatever her attitude says. You spread that amount over a longer period of time. This way it doesn’t look like she’s losing anything. It just looks like she doesn’t have to work anymore, but still gets paid, which is a lot of the time what these proud people would love to have happened anyway. Of course, she would no longer own the place after you’re done paying. You’d have a clause in the agreement that if you were offered a buyout by another investor, then that investor would actually buy her out but at the valuation you had when you started paying her less the amount you’ve already paid. So she’s not going to get a buyout at that later valuation. She’s going to get a buyout before you came in and improved everything, and then she’ll get a lump sum then, but she’ll get it from an investor. So she can kind of complain to that person.

[00:08:51] Now you’re going to want a business lawyer to set something like this up, and it could also annoy your aunt because she might think she’s entitled to the larger sum of money later on. In fact, people who know nothing about business often have that same problem. They think they’re entitled to the money for the business, even if they haven’t done jack squat to improve it over the last few years. I mean, I’ve had partners like that too. It’s insane. Personally, I think this could cause more issues down the line in the long term with your family, than just tearing off the Band-Aid in the short term, offering her a fair buyout and then letting her get over it.

[00:09:24] Another option is to offer her a buyout, have her then not want to take it, and then either she stays in the way and ruins the business for a few more years until you move home. At which point the valuation is even lower. Now, this sounds bad but it is actually potentially a good thing because then you can buy the cafe yourself with your grandfather or with a bank as an investor. Then you own it, and you can employ your parents as needed. You could then sell it later down the line and use the money to help your parents. Now, yeah, you’re taking risks and you end up getting a bunch of money to your parents, but they’re your parents. It is annoying to have to do this instead of just buying out your aunt, but it would function in a very similar way and your parents could work there part-time until they’re just really over it and need to retire.

[00:10:10] As tempting as it is to get things into software and start using credit card processors and do all these kind of low hanging fruit, easy win things, I would recommend not compromising on this whole thing while your aunt is still sitting in your way because it’ll be a huge pain, a thankless job, and then it will increase the valuation of a business that you’re essentially trying to purchase out from underneath the owners. So if you do all these easy wins, you’re going to be pulling teeth, getting your out to cooperate. And then she’s going to be like, “Oh, well the business earned a lot more money last year — thanks to your changes — so now you owe me more money.” It’s just going to be painful. Let her suffer a little bit. I hate saying that because it is family, but if she’s not going to listen to you, then just let them suffer. Let the valuation go down the tubes and then buy it out from underneath them. Some people just cannot get out of their own way. It’ll be fun to run something like that later on, especially when you’re able to do things your own way.

[00:11:02] I think if you and your parents have a united front about wanting to make it your business, you might find yourself surprised by your aunt’s willingness to just get away from the thing and make it someone else’s problem, especially if it still looks like a mess that’s not being improved anytime soon. It’s really amazing what one stubborn, prideful person can do with business, isn’t it? So in this case, use their blind spots. Use her blind spot. Use her ego issue to your advantage. And let the business degrade until you can afford to buy it.

[00:11:32] All right, next step.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:11:33] Hey, gang. Me and my husband are expecting our first child this June. Yay. I’ve gotten tremendous support from all of my family members and my friends, but I worry about my in-laws. My father-in-law is a very nice man. We get along great. He’s thrilled about his grandson, but his stepmother can’t seem to stop from saying very mean, negative, and hurtful things to me about my husband whenever he leaves the room. My husband is an amazing man and my best friend. I take it very personally when she does this. I finally had enough and told my husband about it and he completely dismissed it. He says that’s just how she is and to not take it personally. She’s the only mom he’s ever known and loves her very much, which is why it’s so hard for me to hear the hateful thing she says about him. Last time we went to their house, she told me how my child was going to be raised as if I wasn’t even his mother. I dared to disagree and she tried to make me feel stupid. I truly don’t know how to shut down her negative remarks without upsetting my husband, especially when he leaves the room because I’m worried she twists my words and makes me the bad guy. Usually, I just shut down and don’t say anything, hoping she’ll take the hint, but she doesn’t. What can I do to shut down the remarks about my husband and our parenting style without causing a scene? Any advice would be great. Thanks. How Can I Step on the Stepmom?

Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:51] Well, this is not really a good situation. I’m sorry to hear about this. Maybe I’m a bull in a China shop. I’ve been accused of that before, but I’m not totally against what some people might call making a scene now. I don’t think you should blow up and let her have it as awesome as I’m sure that would feel in the moment. What I do suggest is maybe taking some notes about what’s going on, what she’s saying, and then asking her about those things later on.

[00:13:15] For example, you can record what she says on your phone and then transcribe it later on. Then a few days, or even a few hours later, you can ask her why she thinks. For example, “Tom’s a fool who can’t manage his money and doesn’t know his ass from his elbow,” or whatever she’s saying about your husband. She might not even remember saying it, which indicates that she’s just talking because she likes the sound of her own voice and it’s a bad habit and it doesn’t really make much difference. She’s just an old coot who everyone is right to ignore. If she doubles down on what she says and you think it’s going to harm your child because he’s going to hear all this negative stuff about his dad from grandma — which by the way, this is kind of where I fall on this one — then I would record those conversations as much as possible just as before and let everyone know that this kind of talk is not okay in front of your son about his dad, and if you hear it again, you’re going to have serious problems and she will not be allowed to be around your son.

[00:14:11] Yes, this is a power play, but look right now, your father-in-law ignores it. Your husband ignores it, so you probably have to ignore it even if she’s being ridiculous. What you do not have to ignore though is step granny taking down your husband in front of your kid. In fact, if she does it, you can put your foot down right there. I’d set this boundary and just not flex on it at all. Hearing negative things about your dad from grandma is confusing for a kid. It’s traumatizing for a kid. In my opinion. It’s a little bit abusive. Your family might tolerate abuse towards your husband, but you are under zero obligation to tolerate abuse towards your kid.

[00:14:49] Sure. You’ll be causing some tension in the family by doing this. Who cares? Does the entire family have to tiptoe around step grandma because she can’t shut her freaking trap? No, I don’t think so. Also, let’s be honest, she probably says the same stuff about you when you are not there. You don’t have to put up with that. If she wants to keep up this type of behavior, then she can visit with her grandson only when other people are around so she can potentially not get to see him at all. It’s her choice, but if she needs her behavior monitored, this is just ridiculous. You can let her know that it’s in her power, within her power to change the situation and behave herself.

[00:15:25] You don’t owe this woman the leeway to tear down your son’s father in front of him. You don’t owe this woman the right to abuse your husband emotionally in the first place even if nobody else is doing anything about it. You are well within your right to have a very frank but ideally friendly conversation with her about losing the privilege — not the right — the privilege of seeing her grandson if she insists on this behavior. You don’t have to invite grandpa or your husband in this conversation either by the way. As a mother, you can take this one solo if you think you’re not going to get support from anyone else. What you don’t want is to invite these guys in and then they cave and, “Oh, you’re being unreasonable.” “Oh, it’s not that bad.” “Oh, she doesn’t mean it.” They don’t have any right to set foot in here just to keep the peace. It sounds like they’re a bunch of pushovers. And you don’t have to be around that. You’re sticking up for your kid. As a mother, take it solo. This is about your child. It’s not about anyone else. Something tells me that if grandma has to choose between being a smack talker and seeing her grandkid, she might just get her act together and break this bad habit. It’s not good for the family. It’s not good for the kid. You know, you have to put up with it now because your husband doesn’t care. Your father-in-law doesn’t care. Once the kid is born, you don’t have to put up with this anymore. You’ve got to look out for him or her.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:16:40] You’re listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show. We’ll be right back.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:43] back. This episode is sponsored in part by Vuori. I love this clothing brand. This stuff is so soft. Of course, I at least like to pretend I’m going to go to the gym, but everything from Vuori is designed to work out in, but it doesn’t really look or feel like you’re going to go work out in it. It’s really comfortable. You’re going to want to wear it all the time. I’ve been wearing it all the time, but it doesn’t look like full-on dad-mode gear. It’s really versatile. You can use it for running, training, yoga. It’s also good for guys like me who work from home or just lounging around or waiting in giant lines at Costco to buy the last home needs because everyone thinks we’re all going to die of coronavirus, for example. Anyway, it’s incredibly soft, incredibly comfortable. It looks great in everyday life outside the gym. And I’ve been flying in this stuff doing long road trips. I’ve both done a long road trip over to Reno for my prison birthday and a couple of flights, red-eye zone, and otherwise down to LA and across the country in the last few weeks, all wearing my Vuori. So I think you’ll dig it. I’ve been loving these short-sleeve button-down shirts that I got from them as well. Jason.

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[00:19:38] Thanks for listening and supporting the show and to learn more and get links to all the great discounts you just heard from our amazing sponsors, visit Don’t forget we have a worksheet for today’s episode so you can make sure you solidify your understanding of the key takeaways. That link is in the show notes at If you’d like some tips on how to subscribe to the show, just go to Subscribing to the show is absolutely free. It just means that you get all of the latest episodes downloaded automatically to your podcast player so you don’t miss a single thing. And now back to the show.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:12] All right. What’s next?

Jason DeFillippo: [00:20:13] Hi, Jordan. A little over a year ago, my mom informed our family that she’d become a Jehovah’s Witness again. She was a follower over 20 years ago. At first, we were all mildly disappointed at the news because that meant she would no longer be partaking in all of our holiday, birthday, et cetera, traditions. But her renewed faith made her happy, so we supported her. However, her faith is becoming concerning because it is morphed into an obsession. Everything is about the church and her religion is the main priority. She has even stopped helping me — her disabled daughter — with some of my medical needs because it conflicts with church functions. Her views on medical care are now drastically different than mine, almost to the point that I no longer want to have her as my power of attorney. What’s even more alarming though is the way the church has treated her. We recently learned that my mother turned to the church over 25 years ago when she was being abused by her first husband. The church warned my mom to obey her, then husband and shunned her for reporting the abuse. When she recently rejoined the church again, she was not initially welcomed because of the abuse she reported, her divorce from him, and for leaving the church the first time. They made her sit in the back of the church, among other things to pay for her sins until she was welcomed by the church completely again. We’re all disgusted by it, but not sure what to do since we love my mom and she seems happy. Are we all overreacting or do we have reason to be concerned? Do you have any advice on what to do? Also, how can I break it to her about no longer letting her be my power of attorney? I know it will hurt her. Signed, My Mom is Stuck in the Watchtower.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:48] Yikes. Well, I’m obviously not a fan of cults, religious, or otherwise. I know plenty of nice folks who come out of that religion and any other religion for that matter, but I don’t know too many who are still a part of that religion. It’s not them. It’s not necessarily the people. The church controls their behavior in many ways that are insanely unhealthy for them and for those around them.

[00:22:10] First things first. Absolutely, do not let her have your power of attorney. She is unfortunately very unlikely to make decisions based on your needs and your wishes if she’s obsessed with the tenets of a religion that doesn’t even have its own members’ interests prioritized. Imagine you need something and she comes to some church elder that you’ve never met who is not a doctor and has no medical qualifications whatsoever. Then he advises her to do what the church wants to do with your medical care and you’re incapacitated. This is a nightmare scenario and someone who makes terrible decisions — I’m sorry but your mother makes terrible decisions — should never be put in charge of someone else’s well-being, especially in a life and death situation.

[00:22:55] If I were you, I would be very concerned about my mom, especially in a crazy church that not only allows the abuse but condones it through their actions and their deeds. There’s not much you can do about this because, at some level — I hate saying this but this is the way it appears to me — at some level, your mother wants someone else to take over her life from the sound of it. She was in a relationship with an abusive partner before that doesn’t necessarily indicate anything, but now she’s back in this church, which is her abusive partner. Not all churches are like this obviously, but she chose this one just like she chose her former husband. Now sometimes you fall into a relationship with somebody, but how many red flags do you need before you get out? She got out once. Why is she back in? The abuse could have come as a surprise later on when she got married, but she’s back with the church that mistreated her in the past and went back with full knowledge of what to expect.

[00:23:45] Let me be clear. Nobody deserves this type of abuse from a partner nor from a church. This is a horrible situation. I’m really sad for your mom. I’m really sad for you, but you cannot control her actions here. That’s the bottom line. What you can do and what you need to do is take back your power of attorney and let someone else manage this. Yes, your mother’s going to be hurt, and I think you should tell her the absolute truth, which is that you know, she will base decisions regarding your life, your wellbeing, literally, whether you live or die on the advice and teachings of her church, which you do not trust, which has given her horrible advice and horrible treatment in the past, so you’re just not willing to risk it.

[00:24:27] This is your right. This is your obligation to yourself. There’s just no room to compromise here, especially because of someone’s feelings. I mean, I get what you’re trying to balance here. But think about this, you don’t want to hurt your mom’s feelings, so you might just die because some incompetent moron at this church says, “Well, we think this dumb unfounded things, so you got to pull the plug on your daughter,” or, “We’re not going to let her, you know, take this medical treatment because we don’t really understand it and we think it might be against our version of the Bible.” Are you willing to die for this? I would not be if I were in your shoes. So let her know you still love her and everything, but this is just too important of a decision to be entrusted to what sounds like a bunch of kooks. Feel free to soften that message up as you see fit. I’m really sorry to hear about your situation here.

[00:25:13] You may want to check out the book Combating Cult Mind Control by Steven Hassan. This type of religious organization is frankly, just like any other cult in many ways, and you and your mother might enjoy that book. Of course, that might scare the crap out of you. Of course, I recommend the podcast we did with Steven Hassan as well. Those are episodes 237 and 238. And those will be linked in the show notes as well. Again, I want to be clear. I know not all churches are like this. Maybe not even all Jehovah’s Witnesses are like this, but this church sounds like a bunch of people with their heads firmly planted in their rectum, and I would not trust them with your life, which is literally what you’re kind of asking me if you should do. And so the answer is no. Run, run, don’t walk away from that power of attorney. You know, look, it might hurt your mom’s feelings, but you can just be very clear with her and I think that’s what you need to do here. You can’t spare your mom’s feelings and then die over it. I think that should be pretty clear why. Right?

[00:26:08] Okay. What’s next?

Jason DeFillippo: [00:26:09] Hi J team. I’m a self-diagnosed introvert with a fear of missing out. I’m ambitious professionally and like to get out socially, but I need to spend time alone in order to recharge and prevent burnout. So far, keeping a good balance between not missing outside opportunities while taking care of my introvert self has been relatively easy because my husband — who I’ve been with for 15 years — is rather independent as well. He has his own interests to occupy his time and has always provided me the freedom to do the things that interested me. We would do the things we both enjoyed together or could spend days content at home doing nothing. Even though I have introverted tendencies, our time together never felt like a drain on my energy. Unfortunately, two years ago, my good friend who my husband also knew was killed in a rather traumatic way. Obviously, that kind of loss hit us both hard at the time and still lingers. But therapy and self-reflection have helped me heal as time goes on. My husband has not spoken to a therapist since she was killed, but it has at least admitted his feelings of anxiety and depression to his regular doctor. The problem is over the past years, so as I’m trying to move on and focus on my ambitions and goals, it feels more and more like all of my husband’s self-confidence is tied directly to how much time and attention I’m giving him, and no amount seems enough. When I want to participate in events for work or with friends, he’s made comments that it feels like I’m doing it because I don’t want to spend time with him. The times we are together, I feel like I have to spend it making sure he feels valued, which does make him noticeably more happy and relaxed. I know that’s what everyone needs from their partner, but it’s getting to a point where it’s draining me. I feel like I’m constantly having to give to others all day and night with little time to give back to myself. We’ve sat down and had conversations where I remind him that I need some time to myself to recharge, and he agrees and says he understands. But when it comes to the moment that I have some of that time, he takes offense and is irritable until I spend time with him again. I have my own personal theories that between the sudden loss of our friend and me continuing to advance my career deep down, he’s afraid he’s going to lose me in his clinging on as much as he can to prevent that. As I grow in my job, it will require more hours and more travel. So I’m worried that if this continues, I’ll either end up holding myself back in my career for his sake or knowingly damage the relationship with my husband. I’m also worried that since he’s relying on me so heavily for self-esteem, that if I set up boundaries for myself or suggest that he speaks to a therapist or even couples therapy it, he’ll take it as some kind of personal attack that I don’t think he’s good enough. He’s taking small measures to work on his winter, seasonal depression and getting back into exercising regularly because he knows that will help. I am, of course, encouraging all of these healthy behaviors because I know they’ll help over time too, but I was wondering if you would have any recommendations on how to bring up my concerns in a way that will not hurt his feelings. Life’s opportunities are certainly not slowing down, and I don’t want things to get worse before they get better because I’m not speaking up about how I feel about this shift in our relationship. Thanks for any input and insight the team can provide. Signed, Between a Rock and a Sad Place.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:16] Your observations are insightful and I think correct here you’re moving forward and he feels stagnated and behind, hence the anxiety and the depression and perhaps in part because of the anxiety and the depression as well. It’s a vicious cycle, right? You feel anxious, you feel depressed, you feel like you’re not accomplishing much because of those feelings, and then, of course, you are accomplishing less because you’re moping around and you feel like you can’t get yourself together. And then those things stack up and then you see the person that you love and trust the most doing really well, and you think, “Uh-oh, they’re going to leave me because I’m moving backwards and they’re moving forwards.” and it’s not completely unfounded. You just have to address the problem.

[00:29:54] As your sense of self-worth and his sense of self-worth diverge, the problem is going to get worse. So either you are then forced to limit yourself in your career and in every other area of your life as well, socially, et cetera, which is bad for you. It then makes you resent him and damages the relationship because of that. Or you addressed this and then you hit it head-on. Yes, he will likely take the therapy thing personally at first. I mean, a lot of people do. I recommend starting with couples therapy. You can mask it if you need to as you needing him to go with you to therapy because of the death of your friends. So you have a legit excuse for you to go to therapy and for him to accompany you there because of your own needs, not his. And as you work through that issue, he will start to trust the therapist, start to trust the process, realize that therapy isn’t this weird thing that only broken people do. And then you can start addressing your issues as a couple and sort of dip your toes in those waters and you can do so in a safe way that doesn’t trigger any alarm bells. If he needs to then go to therapy on his own, your therapist can bring this up and hopefully, by that point, there will be enough trust in the process and in the therapist that he takes the advice to heart.

[00:31:03] I want to emphasize that everything that both you and him are feeling is totally normal. It doesn’t say anything negative about your relationship as a whole. It’s just a season of life if you will, and it’ll pass and it’ll be completely fine most likely, especially if you address it. Stuff like this tends to get worse if it’s ignored but when taken as a challenge for both of you to work through, it can actually make your relationship stronger as cliche as it might sound right now. So in a weird way, I’m excited for you to jump in and work through things. Please keep me posted on how things go.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:31:38] You’re listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show. We’ll be right back after this.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:42] This episode is sponsored in part by HostGator. Let me guess. You’ve been wanting to build a website for a while, but you’ve been putting it off because it’s hard, tedious, and makes you feel dumb when you’re trying to figure it out. I totally get that. I’ve spent hours on the phone with my smart friends yelling, “What is semantic markup at 3:00 a.m.?” More times than I would like to admit until, of course, I discovered HostGator. HostGator is an unbelievably easy and convenient website building service. It offers drag-and-drop features, one-click WordPress installs, and an easy to use control panel. It’s basically the layman’s technological paradise. And not only do they make website building accessible and simple, HostGator offers a ton of awesome perks — unlimited email addresses, unlimited bandwidth and disc space along with free SSL certificates, advertising credit, and WordPress blog tools. That’s like the digital version of an awesome swag bag. Plus, if you’re anything like me and you need someone to walk you through this stuff over the phone, a HostGator offers customer support to make sure you get the exact website that you want 24/7 365 even my own family is not available that often. And if it’s still not quite what you had in mind, you get a 45-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked. Just go to to get up to 62 percent off hosting plans,

Jason DeFillippo: [00:32:58] This episode is sponsored in part by Vistaprint. For small business owners or people who produce their own podcasts being plugged in and prepared for when an opportunity comes up is crucial. Those moments happen all the time and they’re happening now. And having a business card that shows how professional you are in your pocket ready to hand out is the first step to making something happen. At Vistaprint, you can choose whatever style, finished, shape, or paper you like and get free shipping. And because you can pick the colors, fonts, designs, and images, it means you can create something as unique and compelling as your business. Plug your information and your logo in to hundreds of fresh designs tailored to your type of company or upload your own original layout. Pick the paper stock style and quantity that’s right for you. You can even upgrade to a unique touch like rounded corners. Order and receive your cars with free economy shipping. You can feel good knowing that Vistaprint uses only carefully selected inks and responsibly sourced paper stocks. Vistaprint wants you to be able to own the now in any situation, which is why our listeners will get free shipping on all business cards, any style, any quantity. Just go to and enter promo code Jordan for free shipping and all business cards, any style, any quantity, limited time offer. Own it now at and use promo code JORDAN.

[00:34:14] This episode is also sponsored in part by Simplisafe. With home security, there are two ways you can go about protecting your home. There’s the traditional way where you wait weeks for a technician to do a messy installation that costs a small fortune, or there’s the other way, Simplisafe. Simplisafe is everything you need in a home security system with its award-winning protection, and it’s the two-time winner of CNET editor’s choice award. Simplisafe blankets your whole home in safety, you barely notice it’s there. But what’s truly remarkable is you can set up this system all by yourself. Anyone can do it. It takes 30 minutes and hour tops, and there are absolutely no trade-offs to your safety. You’ll have an army of highly trained security experts ready to dispatch police to your home at a moment’s notice, 24/7. It is why the verge called Simplisafe, the best home security system. Check it out today at Get free shipping and a 60-day risk-free trial at That’s

[00:35:15] Thank you for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us on the air. To learn more and get links to all the great discounts you just heard, so you can check out those amazing sponsors, visit And don’t forget the worksheet for today’s episode. That link is in the show notes at If you’re listening to us on the Overcast player, please click that little star next to the episode. We really appreciate it. And now back to the show.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:43] All right. What else we got?

Jason DeFillippo: [00:35:44] Hi, Jordan and team. I’m a mechanical engineer in his mid-20s living in a midwest city of about 200,000 people. I’ve been in the big corporate world of industrial equipment manufacturing for the last few years, but I’m looking to pursue more entrepreneurial ventures. My goal is to get a start-up going focused around a specific sector of small scale robotic automation. My problem is I’m not sure where to begin. There’s an entrepreneur meetup group here. However, in my attendance and observation of this group, it’s almost exclusively software companies with significantly lower startup costs than what I’m expecting. So while their stories may be inspirational, they don’t offer much in terms of practical application of how to get the specific idea I have off the ground or even where to get started. State grants exist for tech, but they can be few and far between without the backing of a university and commercial CAD software costs would eat up a significant portion of that alone. I’ve had some friends suggest that I need to just leave the area and go somewhere else that has more connections and individuals focused on doing similar things, but even that has a significant cost associated with it, both socially and with living expenses. Am I missing something or am I just being a chicken? Worrying about real, but still only potential risks. Is my initial goal just too lofty? Thanks. Signed, Dreaming of Electric Sheep.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:04] Well, there are plenty of options here that you may not be seeing. With grants fine, the grants only buy the software. It’s better than nothing. With loans, you’re on the hook, but then you’ve got the cash to do what you need, and so that’s always a place to start as well.

[00:37:18] There’s also beg, borrow, steal. Can you get the resources you need in some other way? Maybe from friends and family, maybe yourself funding. Bootstrapping here. Can you grab the software online? And then use it until you’re able to afford and buy it legitimately. Like, do you know somebody who has a license they’re not using that they would loan you or let you copy? Look, I never recommend people actually steal things, but if you’re using software that can get something done and you can’t afford the software, like not that you don’t want to buy it, but you actually cannot afford to buy it, and then you buy the software license later on down the line. You’re just not costing the company a sale because they couldn’t have sold you the program in the first place. Jason, what do you think about this? I know it’s a little bit of a. It’s a little bit like, well, you’re still stealing the software.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:38:02] Yeah. You know, I’m on, I’m on board with you. If you’re going to buy it down the line, that’s fine. And other options are like student licensing, things like that because you know, they want people to learn their software. So there are times when you can get student discounts or things like that or maybe even free if you just sign up for one class at a community college, get a student ID, and then actually legitimately get a student copy of it and pay like 30 bucks for a credit hour. You can go that way. There are also going to be other people out there that have it — like you said, Jordan. And some people may let you just come to their offices. I know you’re in a small town though of only 200,000 people. But there are places like Makerspaces and things like that that have a lot of CAD software because they do 3D printing and things like that. So there are options out there. Yeah, last and worst-case scenario, you can steal it and pay for it later.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:49] Yeah. So I’m never advocating like go and grab a piece of software and run out the door with it, but you can grab it, you can use it. I think those are pretty good ideas. Signing up for a credit hour at a community college, like some pass-fail class.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:02] Yeah.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:02] And then meanwhile you’ve got access to their software library or something like that.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:06] Well, I was just saying just to get the student ID. So you had a legitimate student ID to get a student discount or a student copy for free —

Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:11] Ah, there you go.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:12] But yeah, actually the colleges might have the software in their system. So you can sign up for like a CAD class over there and then just go in in the off hours and use the computer lab to build out your, build out your software prototypes.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:24] We had tons of software back — even when I went to Michigan and like the ’90s you could go and check out software, you could download software and be like, “Yeah, I’m a student. I’m logging in with my university email,” and they’re like, “Hey, welcome.” They can’t wait to get you using that so that when you go to your company later on in your first job, you’re like, “Ah, I only know how to use this,” and that’s why companies buy Enterprise licenses for software because it’s the only thing people know how to use because they gave it to the universities.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:49] Big companies like Autodesk want to basically own the market on that stuff. And I think Autodesk kind of does right now but there are other players out there. But yeah, I remember getting actual student licenses for Autodesk when I was doing 3D models back in the day when we were starting to do 3D animation. And they’re really happy to have you on board as a lifetime user. So there are options and you can call a sales rep and get a copy. Tell them what you’re doing, say, “Hey, I’m a budding entrepreneur. I want to start a company, but I need your software to even get my foot in the door. Is there something you can do to help me out?” And maybe they’ll slide you a licensed copy.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:21] Good ideas. You can also pitch investors yourself if you need funding, and there are Makerspaces, even maker groups that you can rent or hire to help you with prototyping. You can also bring in a co-founder who is maybe a minority shareholder. Don’t give somebody half of your company because you won’t be able to ever make decisions. Give somebody a minority share. Maybe somebody who has access to the things that you need. You definitely don’t need to move to a big city to be close to investors or something like that. You could and you might have more opportunities there. But you can also fly to where you need to go with all the money you’re saving by not living in a coastal metropolis. So if you don’t want to live in San Francisco, sure — live in freaking Nevada or something like that and fly for 100 bucks to San Francisco every other week if you need to. You’re going to be saving thousands of toddlers every month just not living there.

[00:41:09] Last but not least, ask big companies in your area if they have any funds for ideas like yours. You may find that automotive companies or other places like that not only have money but may offer office space or even machine time or software and computer time to do what you’re looking to do. Jason, am I leaving anything out.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:41:27] Not really. I mean, what he needs to do, he’s working on robotics and automation, so he needs to get prototypes out the door and you can do that pretty easily nowadays with 3D printing and things like that. And he says he’s not a software company, but he’s going to be a software company if he’s in software automation. So you need to make friends with those folks because somebody’s got to write the software that the robots are going to use. So this is hardware and software when you get into robotics. So don’t just discount going to these meetups with software people because you’re going to need them in the future for sure.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:59] All right, last but not least.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:42:01] Hi, Jordan. I’ve recently started working through your Six-Minute Networking course, but I’ve been struggling a little bit with some of the early pieces of it. The problem is that my network is, and almost always has been all but dead. I’m a highly introverted person and really only talk to the people I see on a daily basis. What I’m basically saying is there’s not much of a network for me to revive. So do you have any suggestions for starting new relationships? My main reason for wanting to expand my network is to grow my IT consulting company and obviously having a wider-ranging network would be a great way to accomplish that goal. Thank you for your time and for everything you do with the show. Sincerely, Need Me a Network.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:41] Well, luckily you’re working through Six-Minute Networking, so I assume you’ve seen the parts where I tell you to reach out to people that you see online and reach out to other people in your organization. I think that’s something that if you think your network is dead, you’ve really got to focus on those elements of the Six-Minute Networking course. A lot of people will go, “Oh, okay, I got the text re-engage, I’ve got the email re-engage stuff. I’ve got the Connect 4 drills. So if you don’t have people that you can reactivate — those weakened dormant ties — you need to focus on those new connections. And if you’re only seeing people in your office, and those are the only people you talk to, that’s obviously the variable that needs to change. So instead of going out and going to dumb mixers and things like that, you need to be reaching out to other people, both inside or outside of your company and offering solutions to problems that they have. And if you don’t know the problems that they have, your job is to figure out what those are by using critical thinking skills and investigating the way that they do their business. If you really can’t figure this out, you ask for informational interviews. Well, you go in and talk with them about the problems that they might have, or you at least get a phone call about the problems that they might have. Once you are able to do this, then you can figure out solutions and that’s when you become valuable. Either your consulting company becomes valuable or you introduce those people to other folks that can help them solve those issues using the briefcase technique, which again, I outline in the Six-Minute Networking course.

[00:44:09] You’re in the course, you’re doing the right thing. You’ve just got to lean on the variable that you’re stuck on, which is creating new connections because if you don’t have old connections to reactivate and revive, well then you don’t have much work to do there because there’s nothing to do. So work on creating those new nodes in your network. And if people are like, “What the hell are you talking about?” It’s all in Six-Minute Networking, which is a free course about creating and maintaining relationships for your career, for business. That’s at again, it’s free. There’s no upsells. It’s just a way to make your life and career that much smoother and easier and hopefully more lucrative. So thanks for writing in and welcome to the show.

[00:44:46] Life Pro Tip of the Week. When you rent or lease a car, take a photo of the dash and get the mileage in there. Then do a video walking around the car slowly. It will save you having to argue nonsense charges later on. Jason, I think we’ve all been through this. “Oh, it looks like you scraped up the tail fender here”. “No, that was already there.” “Uh, well we didn’t note it in our last return. So now you get to pay for it.” And I’m like, “Ah, here’s a video of me walking around the car.” And I will tell you, I do this video thing and often you can’t even see the dent or you can’t see the scrape because it’s, you know, a black scrape on a dark red car in a dark parking garage. They often don’t even care. They’ll just go, “Oh, okay.” Because they know that you already have information and that you’re going to stick to your guns saying, this isn’t me. So they’re just going to blame the next person for the scrape, or they’re just going to ignore it. Because if you have even a shred of evidence towards your case, it’s just not worth that person’s time who’s like making 12 bucks an hour and doesn’t want to argue with you. So they’ll often just let it go. They’ll pretend they didn’t see it, or they’ll blame the last person or the person after you. This can save you hundreds of dollars. So I always recommend people do this. It takes 30 seconds and it can save you hundreds and hundreds of dollars in charges.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:46:00] And do it on the lot before you actually leave.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:02] Yes.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:46:03] So they can see exactly where the car is. And then you have the cars next to it — get the license plates of the cars next to it so they can see because you can fake the timestamp on a video. But if they have the cars next to it, then you can in court actually go back and say, “Where was this car to this day?” And they’ll say, “Oh, it was here, and then it left.” So you can’t fake that. That’s a good way to timestamp it.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:23] Yeah. I mean, look, you’ll never end up in court, but if you film like their rental booth in the parking garage at the airport and then you pan over to the car. They’re not going to sit there and be like, well, we have no idea where this video is taken. Some manager higher up is just going to be like, “This person isn’t worth the trouble. Just write the damn thing off.”

Jason DeFillippo: [00:46:40] Yeah.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:40] And if you don’t do that, they’re going to send you a freaking bill and then you’re going to end up fighting that back and forth forever. So you just want to make sure that it’s harder for them to stick you with it than it is for you to reply to their nonsense charges. That’s really what it is. By the way, this almost never happens. I think I’ve used the video one time and the manager of that place just walked out and was like, “Oh, we’re sorry.” I don’t even think he looked at the dang video. I think he just saw that I had a video and I was like, “Okay, fine.”

Jason DeFillippo: [00:47:06] Always better to be prepared though.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:08] Always better to be prepared because if I just said this wasn’t me, they’ll be like, “Yeah, we don’t hear that from literally everyone that damages the vehicle. Nice try buddy. Here’s your bill.”

Jason DeFillippo: [00:47:17] Yup.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:18] So Recommendation of the Week. Babies on Netflix. From nature to nurture, this docu-series explores the groundbreaking science that reveals how infants discover life during their very first year. Yeah, that’s a nice little bit of copy there, but it’s a really interesting docu-series on babies — how they learn, how their brains work, when certain things happen, how do babies respond, what’s healthy for them, what’s not healthy for them? Of course, I have a baby, so this might be extra interesting for me versus other folks, but if you like brain science, if you like learning how humans learn, it’s pretty amazing. Babies are really — that whole, they’re a sponge. They’re picking up everything. That’s more true than you might realize.

[00:47:55] Hope I’ll enjoy that. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this week. A link to the show notes for this episode can be found at Go back and check out the guests from this week, Laura Gassner Otting and Tony Hawk if you haven’t yet.

[00:48:08] If you want to know how I managed to book all these great folks and manage my relationships, it’s all about that Six-Minute Networking. I just told you about that earlier in the last answer. That’s all at I’m on Instagram and Twitter at JordanHarbinger. It’s a great way to engage with the show. Videos of our interviews are at Jason.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:48:29] You can check out my tech podcast, Grumpy Old Geeks. We discuss what went wrong on the Internet and who’s to blame along with cybersecurity apps, gadgets, books, and more. That is Grumpy Old  Geeks.

[00:48:39] This show is created in association with PodcastOne and this episode was produced by Jen Harbinger, edited by Jase Sanderson, show notes for the episode by Robert Fogarty, music by Evan Viola. Keep sending in those questions to Our advice and opinions, and those of our guests are their own. And yeah, I’m a lawyer, but I’m not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. And remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love, and even those you don’t. If you found this episode useful, please share it with somebody who can use the advice that we gave here today. We’ve got lots more in store for 2020, very excited to bring it to you. 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.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:49:25] TV Survivor has entered its 40th season and with past winners coming back to compete, things have never been more dramatic. Join former contestant Rob Cesternino every week as he recaps all things on Survivors so you don’t miss it any of the action. His show, Rob Has a Podcast, is going into its 10th year, so this guy knows the ins and outs of the game. To keep up with the latest, be sure to subscribe to Rob Has a Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, PodcastOne, and to many of your favorite podcast listening apps.

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