Most resources seem to focus on how to separate from people with narcissistic behaviors and get them out of your life — but what are you supposed to do when you’re the loving parent of an adult narcissist and you just want them to have a normal family and a fulfilling, productive life? We’ll try to find an answer to this and more here on Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- As a loving parent who really wishes the best for your children, is it possible to reconcile with a violent, gaslighting, blame-deflecting 20-year-old, narcissistic son, or is it time to just cut your losses and move on? [Thanks to clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula for helping us field this one!]
- As someone with abandonment issues, PTSD, and depression, it drives you nuts that the person you’re dating frequently goes for days without contacting you. Should you keep pushing for this relationship, or accept that your personalities may just not be compatible?
- When your father was killed in an ATV accident, the driver who picked up the vehicle offered to buy it for $800. Five months after putting down $200, he has still not paid the balance and you’re wondering if you can repossess the ATV or report it as stolen. [Thanks to attorney Corbin Payne for helping us answer this one!]
- Jordan and Gabe compare what they’ve learned over this past year of answering Feedback Fridays together, and extend special thanks to Corbin Payne, Dr. Erin Margolis, Michelle Tillis Lederman, Alisa Cohn, and all the other brilliant people who have helped us out in 2022!
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Jordan Harbinger Show receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you for your support!
This Episode Is Sponsored By:
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Resources from This Episode:
- 767: Sohom Das | Decoding Alex Jones, Andrew Tate, and Anna Delvey | Jordan Harbinger
- 768: Chase Hughes | The Behavioral Table of Elements | Jordan Harbinger
- Dr. Ramani Durvasula | Website
- Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving A Relationship with a Narcissist by Ramani Durvasula | Amazon
- Dr. Ramani | How to Protect Yourself from a Narcissist Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Dr. Ramani | How to Protect Yourself from a Narcissist Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- How Can I Expunge the Family Sponge? | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Cope with Your Partner’s Manic Mind | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Setting Boundaries with a Bipolar Parent | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Should I Bail Out My In-Laws? | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- How Do I Keep My Mother-in-Law Alive? | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Qualms about QAnon Mom and Her Starseed Schtick | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Cope with a Dying, Narcissistic Parent | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Schizophrenic Mother a Duty Like No Other | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Live with Unwashed Loved Ones | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Corbin Payne | Twitter
- Dr. Erin Margolis | Website
- Michelle Tillis Lederman | Website
- Michelle Tillis Lederman | Why Relationships Are Our Greatest Assets | Jordan Harbinger
- Alisa Cohn | Website
- From Start-Up to Grown-Up: GroFrom Start-Up to Grown-Up: Grow Your Leadership to Grow Your Business by Alisa Cohn | Amazon
769: Narcissist’s Antics Make Parents Go Frantic | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is sponsored in part by Peloton. It's the time of year when we start thinking about what next year will bring. We make New Year's resolutions to exercise more, but let's face it, will you actually stick with it? It's been proven that you're more likely to stick to a routine if it's something you enjoy, which is why so many people stick with Peloton. The instructors are so fun. It's like working out with a friend. There's a very strong Peloton community. Also, I'm all about data, and Peloton tracks your metrics so you can keep tabs on your performance over time. And right now, Peloton's got a gift for you. Get up to 200 bucks off accessories like cycling shoes, heart rate monitors — both of which I have and use regularly — and more when you purchase a Peloton Bike, Bike+, or Tread, and up to a hundred dollars off accessories with the purchase of a Peloton guide, which will turn your TV into an AI-powered personal trainer. Make this the first step toward achieving your fitness goals in the new year. Choose from Peloton cycling to scenic runs, boot camps to power walks, a huge variety of classes that work for you taught by world-class instructors who know exactly how to get the best out of you. So don't wait, get this offer before it ends on December 25th. Visit onepeloton.com. All-access membership separate, offer ends December 25th, cannot be combined with other offers. See additional terms at onepeloton.com.
[00:01:10] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, the latest American to ruin the country of Portugal, Gabriel Mizrahi. It looked like you had an amazing time out there, Gabe.
[00:01:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: I did. I did.
[00:01:24] Jordan Harbinger: You're just killing the medieval castle pic game on Instagram.
[00:01:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:01:29] Jordan Harbinger: Here's me with my foot up—
[00:01:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: I appreciate that.
[00:01:32] Jordan Harbinger: —looking out at the view. And here's me with my arms spread out looking at the view, and here's me inside the little window thing looking at the view.
[00:01:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'll take the window thing. I resent the implication that I ever put my hands out, like some kind of influencer selling an ebook on how to be a digital nomad in Western Europe. I don't think there was a big open arm pic, but there was definitely a pic where I was like looking up at the sky with my sunglasses on. In a fashion that, yes, it's very, very influencer and I apologize for that.
[00:01:59] Jordan Harbinger: Hashtag blessed, just appreciating life, guys.
[00:02:03] Anyway, on The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. And our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker so you can get a deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening even inside your own mind.
[00:02:28] If you are new to the show, on Fridays, we give advice to you. We answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, and performers. This week we had kind of part two of my interview with Sohom Das. This actually wasn't even a continuation of part one. We just decided to talk about famous cases, in sort of pop culture right now. Sohom's job, if you heard part one, was to evaluate whether somebody was insane and that's why they committed a crime or whether they were just a bad person. So did they go to jail or did they go to a psychiatric treatment facility? And I wanted to ask about Alex Jones and I wanted to ask about Andrew Tate and other people that are very popular right now for one reason or another, and say, what is wrong with this person in your professional opinion? And we go over his diagnosis, what he thinks based on their behavior. We talked about Anna Delvey, Gabriel.
[00:03:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:03:27] Jordan Harbinger: He looked at finding Anna.
[00:03:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Great case study.
[00:03:29] Jordan Harbinger: Inventing Anna, sorry. And I said, is she a sociopath or is she just a clever con artist? What's going on here? And so we talked about all these kinds of folks and went over what makes a psychopath. And one from the vault, Chase Hughes, where we talk about human behavior, body language, nonverbal communication. He does a lot of stuff on YouTube as well, the behavior panel, one of those guys. This was a very popular episode when we released it. And, so we're bringing it back for you all.
[00:03:54] Make sure you've had a look and a listen to everything that we created for you here this week. All right, Gabe, what is the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:04:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. Our relationship with our 20-year-old son has been strained for years. He effectively failed freshman year of college, despite getting straight A's in high school. He returned home for a year, worked very little, and was a major source of contention, usually after we asked him to do simple chores and clean up after himself. Then three months ago, he planned a road trip with some friends and we agreed to let him borrow our car. A big argument broke out, leaving my wife with bruises, and he drove off on his own. Since then, we've communicated through email and texts, but only when he wants something from us or wants to argue about who's to blame. We've been talking with professionals who suggested that he might be narcissistic. That totally fits with our experiences with him ever since he was young — entitlement, manipulation, rewriting history, blaming others, aggressive behavior, and justifying everything he wants. Unfortunately, most resources I found talk about how to separate from people with narcissistic behaviors and get them out of your life. Not much about what to do when you're their parent and you love them, and you just want to have a normal family. We've learned about setting boundaries, but have not been very good at enforcing them. As of now, he's not allowed to return home. We arranged for him to stay with an aunt, but he's wearing out his welcome with her. He's now planning to join the military, which could either be good for him or a total disaster. The thing is, he still has our car and he's demanding that I pay him to get it back. I can see him using it as leverage to get back at us. We would be within our rights to involve the police, but that could sabotage his options for the military, which is the only positive thing going for him right now. How can a relationship like this be repaired? Do we need to expect a different type of relationship? What will that look like without continuing to be a victim? And what do we do about the car? Signed, Two Worn-out Parentals Trying to Be Gentle Without Going Mental.
[00:06:00] Jordan Harbinger: Ugh, man, this is such a sad story. It's such a tough dynamic.
[00:06:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:06:04] Jordan Harbinger: You know, I can't even imagine. If this were my son, I would just be heartbroken. Also, I'd be frigging infuriated, really, really angry. So I don't even know where to begin with this. I'm very sorry that you've been struggling with your son for so long. Drawing a line with anyone is hard, but drawing a line with your own child, standing up to them, even when they desperately need help, I'm sure that goes against all your instincts as a parent. And I really feel for you here. But your son, he's clearly a real problem. He's a risk to you and your wife physically and emotionally, and obviously something has to change here. But handling textbook, capital N, narcissists, it's very tricky.
[00:06:47] So we wanted to run all of this by an actual expert. We reached out to the one and only Dr. Ramini, clinical psychologist and author of several books, including Should I Stay or Should I Go? Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist. That's available on our books page. jordanharbinger.com/books. She was also on the show recently. We did a two-part interview about narcissism. That was absolutely fascinating. So we knew she'd be a great person to share your story with, and she got back to us very quickly.
[00:07:13] Of course, the first thing Dr. Ramini said is that you and your wife are grappling with something that many parents struggle with, an emerging adult child who's showing a lot of antagonistic and/or narcissistic tendencies, and it sounds like this behavior has been a part of his pattern for some time.
[00:07:31] Now, that he's 20, which means he's toward the end of that stage where the adolescent brain is still developing and the personality is still settling. He's working through that immature kind of dysregulated stuff. You often see in younger people that kind of burns off. I mean, I had it, I don't know. You probably didn't have it, Gabriel. I had it.
[00:07:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Eh, I had my version of it. Yeah, I know what you're talking about. But he's not in that phase anymore, is he?
[00:07:51] Jordan Harbinger: Right. He's kind of getting out of that phase, so sadly that means this behavior is probably here to stay. Sure, he could be a little bit behind, but this is a little bit egregious for somebody that age.
[00:08:00] In Dr. Ramini's view, everything you're describing, it definitely does track with narcissism. Obviously, she can't make a diagnosis, neither can we, but all of this does fit. And if your son is still like this in his mid to late-20s, then in her experience you will have to resign yourselves to having a narcissistic adult child. And you're going to have to make your decisions accordingly. And I just want to pause for a second here and appreciate how difficult that is to come to terms with, because I get the sense that you guys have been living somewhere between fully accepting your son for who he is and hoping that he'll get better, or at least that you won't have to have your guard up all the time. And you guys might get to have a functional relationship again. And hey, that makes.
[00:08:50] It must be incredibly painful to acknowledge that your son behaves in this very hurtful, very dysfunctional way, and that he just might not get better, or at least that you can't make him get better. And I imagine that a big part of this stage you're going through is just getting to that point, that point of acceptance, because that probably entails a lot of sadness, a lot of anger, and I would imagine a form of grief — grief about the son you once had, the kid who pulled straight A's, the kid who at the very least was self-motivated, driven, building a bright future and a kind of grief about the son you wish you had now. Right? The continuation of the good guy that you saw. It's just a very intense process to be in.
[00:09:37] Because as Dr. Ramini pointed out, very few parents want to cut their children off. I would imagine almost no parent wants to do this. You probably still see the small child in your son. You see his potential. You see yourselves, you might even see your own mistakes. But when a parent has to pull back in this way, in her words, it's a landscape of grief and pain. But that's the process you have to go through to get to the position Dr. Ramini is talking about, where you're just ready to say, "Well, this is our son. We can't change him. All we can do now is figure out how we are going to respond." So how do you respond? What do you actually do about a child like this?
[00:10:19] Well, first of all, in Dr. Ramini's view, repairing a relationship with an adult, it's a two-way street. It can't be you guys constantly relenting and catering to him and him behaving the exact same way. Obviously, that's only going to validate and reinforce this template. The obvious answer is that he needs to go to therapy ASAP. There's so much for him to work on by himself, including any trauma in his past that might have contributed to his personality. And you guys would really benefit from working on all of this together in family therapy, in my opinion, and in Dr. Ramini's opinion. But hey, look, that's going to be difficult and all the more difficult because your son is over 18. He's pretty oppositional. And if you're like, "Hey listen, we need to work on this. Can we please go talk this out in Dr. Feinberg's office?" I'm guessing he's going to blow that off. It might even piss him off more. Dr. Ramini also pointed out that even with therapy, the wiggle room with personality styles like your sons, it's somewhat restricted. Again, these antagonistic personalities, they're just really difficult to navigate.
[00:11:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: They are so difficult to navigate, which really only leaves one real option for you and your wife right now, which is disengaging and distancing. Basically, you guys will probably have to ratchet down your expectations of your son and accept that he won't change very much, definitely not until he's ready to anyway. And start to draw some of these hard boundaries, you know, what you will and will not tolerate. And then, of course, actually enforce those boundaries as hard as that is.
[00:11:49] Dr. Ramini said that you might even make your position with him conditional. You know, like, yes, we'll engage with you if you're going to therapy, if you're holding down a job, if you're treating us respectfully. But again, whether that will work, unfortunately, I don't know, Jordan, I don't have high hopes of that.
[00:12:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:12:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: But that's why the boundaries are so important. But Dr. Ramini was very emphatic about this. If you can't enforce these boundaries, then you're helping to embolden this very antagonistic young man.
[00:12:19] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Because without those boundaries, your son will almost certainly keep positioning himself as the victim, which is precisely what this personality style does in her experience. This is a very common MO for narcissists.
[00:12:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: And I know that's a really hard stance to take with your own child, but when it gets tough, Dr. Ramini said that you might want to recognize that multiple things can be true. At the same time, he can be your son and you can love him deeply, and you can believe that his behavior is unacceptable and that he might not accept professional intervention, and that you have to set boundaries so you don't enable him. And also that if you set boundaries, he might lash out at you or cut you off. And also that you have to be clear on your bottom line with him, because each time you aren't, he will encroach further according to Dr. Ramini, and that you're doing this because you aren't fully safe with him. And this might not be the close and loving relationship that you hoped for. It might even dwindle for a period of time to no relationship at all potentially. And that might be the necessary consequence of responding appropriately to a child who hurts you.
[00:13:25] And embracing those difficult facts living in those contradictions, that's part of the acceptance. That's part of the grief, jordan was just talking about a moment ago too. And look, we talk about boundaries a lot. I won't go on and on about, you know, what they should look like, but we are going to link to a bunch of Feedback Friday episodes where we went pretty deep into how to draw good boundaries. I highly recommend giving those a listen. We're going to drop those in the show notes for you.
[00:13:50] As for the whole car thing, Dr. Ramini was pretty unequivocal on that point too. She said she can almost guarantee that your son will use money or assets as a tool and a form of manipulation.
[00:14:04] Jordan Harbinger: For sure.
[00:14:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. This could even get to a point where he says something like, if you don't gimme the money, I will never speak to you again. Or if you don't let me have the car, I'm going to run off to the Army, or whatever it is. And then you're in a standoff. And if you guys blink and hand over the money, you will be setting a precedent that will be very hard to break out of.
[00:14:24] So in Dr. Ramini's opinion, you have two options. Option one, as you mentioned, legal intervention, calling the police. Or option two, you just let the car go and you don't bring it up again and see what happens. Dr. Ramini actually brought up a really interesting point about that, which is if you guys disengage, if you stop interacting with your son as though he has the same empathy and the same self-awareness that you do, and you stop feeding his narrative that you know his life is so unfair, he might just give you the car back because it's not interesting to him anymore. Although, again, you can't bank on that a hundred percent, but it is possible.
[00:15:06] The more important thing in her view is breaking out of this toxic dance you're in with him. And yeah, that means disengaging a little, redefining the terms of your relationship, and also recognizing that anytime you ask him to do something, you probably make things worse because your son gets his juice from being oppositional, which is another really important thing to remember about narcissistic or otherwise difficult people. You usually have to feed them with conflict in order for them to have power.
[00:15:36] Jordan Harbinger: Ah, interesting. Right, so it takes two to tango kind of situation, even though one person is kind of innocent in this situation.
[00:15:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:15:43] Jordan Harbinger: So there you have it. Sadly, there isn't one easy fix for your son. It's more about entering a new stage of your relationship with him and with yourselves.
[00:15:52] As Dr. Ramini put it when we talk to her, we often have to break our own hearts to stay in a relationship like this, especially if we're dealing with a child. The one thing you guys can and should do, and Dr. Ramini said the same thing, strongly, consider getting into therapy, ideally with somebody who understands narcissism. You guys could use some support in processing this grief and pain around your son and having that space will be really useful as you reassess your relationship with him over time.
[00:16:20] Again, I'm so sorry that you're in this situation. I'm so sorry for your son too. Who knows? Maybe you guys getting tougher with him will be the first step in a process that ultimately forces him to confront the person he's become. That does happen. These boundaries might make things bumpy for a while, and it might be painful sometimes, but I'm confident that in the end, it'll be healthier and easier than certainly than what's happening now. We're sending you and your wife good thoughts. Wishing you all the best.
[00:16:49] And big thanks to Dr. Ramini for her great insight here. If you want to learn more about narcissism from one of the leading experts on narcissism, I highly recommend listening to my interview with her. I would also check out her books, website, social channels. They are terrific. We're going to link to all of those in the show notes as well.
[00:17:05] You know what's great to take with you on a road trip and a car that you stole from your parents, Gabriel?
[00:17:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Nice.
[00:17:11] Jordan Harbinger: One of the products and/or services that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:17:18] This episode is sponsored in part by TheFire.org. Do you know that only one in three Americans believe we can fully exercise our free speech rights? That's why Fire is stepping up to protect the freedom of expression for all Americans, no matter where you're from or what you believe. The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression or Fire knows free speech makes free people fire will always be a principled, nonpartisan, nonprofit defender of your rights. Join the fight for free speech at www.thefire.org.
[00:17:48] This episode is sponsored in part by LifeLock. Right now is the perfect time to ensure you're doing everything you can to be safer online. Be cyber smart by taking these basic steps to help keep you and your family protected from identity theft scams and other online dangers. Use a strong password like — well, if you're using password 1, 2, 3, 4, come out of the dark ages and update that one. Set up multi-factor authentication on your accounts, and regularly update the software on your devices. A lot of people are lazy about the stuff, just not worth it, not worth the consequences. It's important to understand how cybercrime and identity theft are affecting our lives. Every day we put our information at risk on the Internet. In an instant, a cybercriminal could harm what's yours, your finances, your credit. Good thing, there's LifeLock. LifeLock helps detect a wide range of identity threats like your social security number for sale on the dark web. If they detect your information, they'll send you an alert.
[00:18:39] Jen Harbinger: No one can prevent all identity theft or monitor all transactions at all businesses, but you can keep what's yours with LifeLock Identity Theft Protection. Join now and save up to 25 percent off your first year at lifelock.com/jordan. That's lifelock.com/jordan for 25 percent off.
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[00:19:15] Jen Harbinger: Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:19:18] All right, next up.
[00:19:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys. I recently went on a couple of dates with a guy I met on Tinder and we had a really nice connection. When we talk on the phone, I feel heard and understood. He's very knowledgeable and kind, and I love that about him. He's a successful entrepreneur, very smart, funny, good looking, so, eeh, I know I'm not the only girl who wants his attention. The thing is, he often doesn't call or text me back for hours or even days at a time. He says that it's because he is running his business and doesn't check his phone a lot and wants to spend most of his time doing his own thing so the business can grow. I want to believe him because he seems like a sincere person, but I find it hard to believe that he really doesn't look at his phone. I mean, how hard could it be to ask me how I'm doing once a day? I've shared this feeling with him, and he just keeps saying that that's just the way he is. He even said that he had to end previous relationships because of the same issue. After that, I tried to keep in contact with him while not bothering him too much, but I started to feel unseen. Finally, I told him I didn't want to entertain our conversations anymore because I felt like we weren't going anywhere. He said he was really upset, but that he understood where I was coming from. He also said I would be okay, and he was going to be okay. But insecure me, called him again and we talked about everything. I asked him how he felt about me cutting him off, and he said that he really cared about me, and that even when he doesn't text me, he thinks about me. I want to believe him, but I don't know if I'm asking for too much. There's a voice in my head that tells me he's being honest, and then there's a louder voice telling me that he doesn't really like me and he's playing me. But then I feel really good about him. I also recognize that I have abandonment issues and I can get easily triggered by things that other people might not. I've been through a lot in the past few years, and I have PTSD and depression, so I know I can be a handful. I go to therapy and I am on medication, but I honestly don't know if I might be the toxic one here. Do I keep pushing for this relationship or is it time to put it to bed? Signed, A Gal Left to Plead When She Gets Left on Read.
[00:21:27] Jordan Harbinger: Wait, left on read, you mean left unread?
[00:21:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Uh, okay. I stand correct.
[00:21:32] Jordan Harbinger: A gal left to plead when she gets left unread. Now your name doesn't work.
[00:21:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's what I meant to say, obviously
[00:21:36] Jordan Harbinger: Weh, weh, well, it's time to put this relationship to bead, Gabriel — I mean, bed.
[00:21:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Is this like, this is my chaise lounge?
[00:21:45] Jordan Harbinger: If you're wondering what we're talking about. I thought it was shayz lownj. Apparently, it's shayz laang. I still think it makes more sense because you lounge on it, but that's just my dumb rationale.
[00:21:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Honestly, I think this is more embarrassing because this is so obvious. And a lot of people do say shayz lownj when you go to furniture stores. So I think yours is more forgivable and I don't know what to say. I just stand corrected. Yeah. All right. Well, let us talk about the girl left to plead when she gets left unread. Yeah.
[00:22:11] Jordan Harbinger: Right, exactly. Yeah. The reality is, look, for whatever reason this guy, he just isn't able or willing to be a consistent present, basically respectful partner to you, which it sounds like that's what you want.
[00:22:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:22:25] Jordan Harbinger: If you were okay with being in super casual hookup mode or whatever, then it wouldn't really matter. Although it still probably wouldn't feel very good, but you obviously feel more strongly about this guy and not having that reciprocated, that's a crappy position to be in, but by continuing to put up with it, you are now putting yourself in that position. So you're right, it's not really a lot to ask somebody to check their phone and respond to you in a timely manner. I mean, 24 hours, no big.
[00:22:52] I, by the way, Gabriel, do not buy for one frigging second that this guy doesn't check his phone for hours and or days at a time.
[00:22:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Same.
[00:23:00] Jordan Harbinger: That is not a thing. He's running his own business. He's working hard to grow it. Of course, he's checking his phone. He's probably checking it all the time. So if he's not hitting you back, it's because ultimately he just doesn't feel the same way about you that you do about him, or he does feel strongly about you, but he's just not willing to honor those feelings by treating you fairly, which I think that might even be worse.
[00:23:23] So, look, you gave it a shot. You guys have already talked about this seems like a few times and nothing has changed. You even ended the relationship only to open the door again. And he says all the right things, but then he is just not doing any better. There's that old saying, when somebody shows you who they are, believe them, right? And the same thing could be said about feelings. When someone shows you how they feel, trust them. Actions speak louder than words here.
[00:23:48] I don't say this to be cruel, by the way. I know I'm being a little callous. I say that to give you the honesty that you deserve, that this guy certainly isn't giving you, and to save you a ton of time chasing somebody who's just obviously not on the same page for whatever reason in that reason probably doesn't even matter.
[00:24:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Agreed completely. I find it interesting that this guy has ended relationships in the past for the same reason. That tells me that he either hasn't met somebody he really cares about yet, you know, somebody who makes him want to answer within 15 minutes or whatever, or he really is stunted in this department and his inability to stay connected to women is costing him relationships.
[00:24:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I'm kind of going for the second one simply because maybe you haven't met somebody you care about, but then when somebody ends something, you don't go, "Oh, I'm going to keep this one going."
[00:24:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:24:35] Jordan Harbinger: Unless you just enjoy being entertained by people chasing you because you've got a little bit of an insecurity complex, which also kind of leans towards the second issue about—
[00:24:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:24:45] Jordan Harbinger: —being unable to stay connected to women. Yes. You've found both of your dysfunctions in there. They're fitting together like jigsaw puzzles and that's always kind of the problem in dysfunctional relationships, right? You find somebody who's got kind of the complimentary dysfunction to whatever your dysfunction is and it you end up matching together in this way that doesn't work for either of you, but kind of does.
[00:25:04] Anyway, to be fair, maybe he really is married to his company and there just isn't room in his life. For a partner right now, I'm going to be open to that. I'm going to throw a little—
[00:25:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Possible.
[00:25:13] Jordan Harbinger: —five, 10 percent in there. Maybe he's being really disciplined. Maybe he's focused. He knows that if he texted her, she's going to catch more feelings, he's going to get distracted. I've been there before, so I kind of get it. And maybe that's a legitimate choice, although, yeah, would it be nice if he just said that? Sure.
[00:25:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:25:30] Jordan Harbinger: The thing is, it almost sounds like he lacks the self-awareness to even know that he's in that position or in that mode in life. Although do I believe that because he said, "Oh, I've had to end things with women for this exact reason." So he kind of has the awareness—
[00:25:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:25:44] Jordan Harbinger: —but then he doesn't have the awareness in real time. I don't know. But he's on dating apps. Why are you on dating apps in the first place? Or he's there to hook up and he doesn't want to admit that he's there just to hook up and he wants to lie to himself and frankly other people and say that he's looking for love when he just wants TNA, which is also possible.
[00:26:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Well, to your point, he is saying that implicitly, right? He's showing her.
[00:26:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. And she's just not reading the room.
[00:26:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Whatever his reasons this guy, look, he's not the guy for you long term. So yeah, I'm with Jordan. I do think it's time to say goodbye. Although you do have one other option here, which is to radically change your expectations of this guy and let go of the need for him to be in touch with you consistently and just let go of any idea about where this relationship is going. Adjust your feelings accordingly. Look, that is a reasonable choice, but that's very difficult to do.
[00:26:32] Jordan Harbinger: Well, especially for somebody with her trauma, the abandonment issues, right? As she said, she gets easily triggered.
[00:26:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:26:38] Jordan Harbinger: So if she sticks around, even if she adjusts her expectations, then you have to wonder is she putting herself in a position to be hurt again and again?
[00:26:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:26:48] Jordan Harbinger: Is she compromising herself? It certainly sounds like it to me.
[00:26:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: She might be. It's a good point, and I know this is kind of cheesy psychology 101, but I do think it's interesting that this woman who knows that she has these abandonment issues is continuing to pursue an unavailable guy.
[00:27:03] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:27:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: A guy who keeps abandoning her. I mean, it is pretty textbook.
[00:27:08] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Yeah. This is almost like a vignette from a psychology course.
[00:27:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:27:12] Jordan Harbinger: We don't know this guy, obviously, but it sounds like he might be stuck in a parallel pattern. Like I said, not being available to the women he dates, and those two patterns are hooking into each other perfectly.
[00:27:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep.
[00:27:22] Jordan Harbinger: Which means this could just last for years as a game of chicken, so to speak, until somebody finally breaks and sets a boundary and then actually enforces that boundary.
[00:27:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes. I would be curious to know if he gets involved with a lot of women like this, you know, women who keep coming back and pushing for more when he just pulls away.
[00:27:39] Jordan Harbinger: Well, I wouldn't be surprised. That's the dance, right? Maybe he goes, "Oh, I have all these women chasing me. Well, I kind of feel bad about it, but it also kind of feels good." And the women are like, "Why doesn't he like me? I need to chase him harder." And he is like, "Whoa, I need to pull back even more."
[00:27:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:27:51] Jordan Harbinger: And it's just such a common dynamic.
[00:27:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: For sure, we could dissect this to death, but I'm with Jordan, yeah, I think it's time to end it, but look, as you make that decision, I would definitely keep bringing all of this into therapy. Because it's a really, really great opportunity to understand this pattern of yours better, and also to appreciate why you're drawn to guys like this in the first place, and what makes you stick around and keep asking for more when you're not being treated the way you want. That's what I would be interested in figuring out. Not so much how to make this one relationship work, but what this relationship is bringing up for you, and whether it fits with other relationships you've had in the past.
[00:28:29] Jordan Harbinger: That's exactly right. So get clear with yourself. Decide if this is really the relationship you want, and then, yeah, get back on Tinder so you can swipe right on a guy who actually responds to your texts and cares about how your day went. They are out there, but you can't find one if you stay fixated and hooked on the wrong guy. So good luck.
[00:28:48] You can reach us email@example.com. Keep your emails concise. Use the descriptive subject line. That makes our job a lot easier. if there is something you are going through, any big decision that you are wrestling with or you just need a new perspective on stuff, life, love, work. What to do If you were sexually assaulted by a guy who gave you a ride home and you haven't told your wife about it? That question last week, Gabe, was so intense, especially because I watched been watching Dahmer on Netflix. That's a whole thing for another day.
[00:29:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh wow. Yeah, that's right.
[00:29:19] Jordan Harbinger: I can't stop thinking about that one. It's right up there with, yeah.
[00:29:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep. Mm-hmm.
[00:29:23] Jordan Harbinger: Whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up firstname.lastname@example.org. We're here to help. We keep every email anonymous.
[00:29:30] All right, what's next?
[00:29:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe recently, my father was tragically killed in an ATV accident.
[00:29:37] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man.
[00:29:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sadly, we had been estranged for many years due to his alcoholism. As the oldest sibling I've been left to deal with selling off any assets, he left behind, including the ATV that killed him. We learned that a local mechanic shop had their tow truck driver pick it up after my dad's accident. Once it was released, after an investigation, my husband and I went to the shop to check its status. Upon our arrival, the shop owner graciously waived the $300 fee he charged for picking up the vehicle. Then, the driver who picked it up offered to buy the ATV for $800 and asked if he could pay $200 down and pay the rest the week after. He actually wrote out an agreement stating that and signed it. I also signed the agreement. Fast forward five weeks later, and I still haven't gotten the remaining balance. I know where the driver lives, and I passed by his home on my way to and from work. He lives in a broken-down trailer, but has very nice vehicles in the yard, including my dad's ATV.
[00:30:36] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, come on. Broken down trailer, but a bunch of vehicles in the front yard. I couldn't help it.
[00:30:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I know. Paints a picture.
[00:30:43] Jordan Harbinger: Continue.
[00:30:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: He claims he doesn't have the money every week that I contact him. I'm all about giving people a chance, but this is really bothering me. My dad left debt behind and I'm responsible for some of it. I feel like I'm being taken advantage of. Do I have a legal leg to stand on here? Can I repossess the vehicle with just a handwritten agreement? Should I continue to wait for payment or should I report the ATV stolen to law enforcement? Signed, Well, Goddamn, If I'm Not Being Scammed By a Helping Hand.
[00:31:12] Jordan Harbinger: Lot of vehicle-related drama today, Gabe. Was that intentional? By the way, as you're about to find out, this episode is actually brought to you by Progressive Auto Insurance, but that's not why we're here.
[00:31:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Have you recently taken possession of your dad's ATV?
[00:31:26] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:31:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: You might need a car insurance.
[00:31:27] Jordan Harbinger: You might need insurance. Well, all jokes aside, of course, I'm really sorry that you lost your father and in such a tragic way. That's already difficult enough, but then they get screwed over afterwards. And when your dad left you with debt to pay off, that really just sucks. This tow truck driver, he sounds like a shady character.
[00:31:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:31:47] Jordan Harbinger: Something's up here and yeah, I don't like it. As per ushe to get a good handle on your legal options here, we reached out to defense attorney and friend of the show, Corbin Payne, and Corbin said, first of all — I don't know why that's funny. It just is. And Corbin said, first of all, that technically the ATV is not stolen property. Ethically, yeah, you're a victim here. The truck driver is stealing from you. Nevertheless, you've effectively passed legal title through this transaction. Corbin said that you can file a court action to reclaim the title to the ATV on the grounds that the buyer has broken the contract between you two.
[00:32:23] But you don't have the title of the vehicle right now. So if you want this ATV back, you're going to have to take certain steps to reclaim title. Corbin's advice, start by asking a lawyer to write a formal demand letter. That alone might scare this guy into doing the right thing here. My guess is if you serve him with one of those letters, he may panic, he may fold real quick and just pay up to avoid a bigger headache down the line.
[00:32:49] The problem is either somebody who operates like this, they've been down this road before, and they're worried about the potential consequences, or they've been down this road before, and they are totally not worried about the potential consequences because they've got 18 demand letters and they're ignoring all of them. And they just sort of try to call people's bluff here.
[00:33:07] Now, if this did proceed to court, Corbin said this would probably be a pretty straightforward lawsuit. It's breach of contract, period. He agreed to pay you X, he didn't pay you X. It's all in writing. Probably messy handwriting on the back of a frigging Arby's napkin in the backseat of his tow truck or whatever, but it's still in writing.
[00:33:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dun, dun, dun, dun.
[00:33:27] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. In Corbin's view, the only real questions here are, is there a contract and has there been what's called performance? In other words, have the parties done what they said they would do in the contract? It sounds like the answer to both of these questions are pretty clear and they're in your favor. So the court can order payment or could even order the guy to give the ATV back either until he pays, or you know, the money goes back and he'll give the ATV back. Of course, then you got your fees.
[00:33:54] Now, Corbin couldn't say for sure that this whole thing is going to be cheap, but he did feel comfortable saying that the cost for this should probably be a lot less than the value of the ATV. So we're talking a few hundred bucks, but if you don't want to go that route, Corbin said you could try to get your local police or sheriff to pick up the ATV. I mean, after all, it's sitting in the frigging front yard. However, in Corbin's view, the sheriff or police would actually be in the wrong if they did that. And you might get in trouble with a judge for even trying to do that because in this case, you'd be banking on the court to nod, wink at your actions here. And if this guy has legal problems or lacks the money to contest any of this, yeah, that could work. But in Corbin's view, the risks of that option outweigh the upside.
[00:34:37] And also, unless you are related to the sheriff or something like that, or you grew up with the guy, I'm going to guess that a tow truck driver who deals with the cops all the time, he might know them better than you know them.
[00:34:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, good point.
[00:34:48] Jordan Harbinger: And maybe that won't shake out in your favor, but I do hope that gives you a couple of options here. You know, hey, if he does know the sheriff and you say, "Hey, this guy ripped me off," they might go, "Hey Billy, did you not pay for the ATV? Pay for the ATV, damn it." "Oh, okay, hang on." You know, you never know what'll shake out here. Maybe he'll be embarrassed, although, eh, doesn't sound like the kind of guy who responds to that.
[00:35:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:35:08] Jordan Harbinger: I know the money isn't huge but also given what he has in his front yard, he can cover it. Sell the Mustang that's on cinder blocks, buddy. You got options. I also imagine it's the principle of the matter. The guy just conned you out of 600 bucks at a very vulnerable moment in your life, not okay. I want this guy held accountable. It's not even my property, and I want him to pay.
[00:35:27] So I hope you settle this. I hope you get your money or your vehicle back. But if he digs his heels in, eh, it sounds like you have a pretty solid case. So good luck with it.
[00:35:37] And speaking of shameless capitalism, time for a word from our sponsors. We'll be right back.
[00:35:44] This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help online therapy. Holidays can be a stressful time. There's a lot of unresolved issues, conflicts, feelings from the past are going to bubble up. We can reclaim peace of mind and joy of the season by talking to a licensed professional. Having someone to talk about how you're feeling and frankly, what you can do about it is truly a gift you can give yourself or somebody you know that might be going through some holiday blues. Even if you're not experiencing something specific or a serious problem, mental health counseling can be a useful tool to improve your communication skills, reduce stress, set healthy boundaries, deal with trauma. That's why we talk about it all the time on Feedback Friday. We recommend it to everybody, much to the chagrin of many people who say, "Stop recommending therapy," I'm never going to stop recommending therapy. It's helpful. Better Help online therapy is a great option because you can access mental healthcare from the comfort of your own home. You don't have to drive. You don't have to park. You don't have to worry about appointments at some place that's overbooked. Plus, if you have a hectic schedule, online counseling gives you a ton of options
[00:36:39] Jen Harbinger: As the world's largest therapy service, better Help has matched three million people with professionally licensed and vetted therapists, 100 percent online. Plus it's affordable. Just fill out a brief questionnaire to match with a therapist, and if things aren't clicking, you can easily switch to a new therapist anytime. It couldn't be simpler. No waiting rooms, no traffic, no endless searching for the right therapist. Learn more and save 10 percent off your first month at betterhelp.com/jordan. That's better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan.
[00:37:10] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Progressive. Most of you listening right now are probably multitasking. While you're listening to me talk, you're driving, cleaning, exercising, maybe even grocery shopping. But if you're not in a moving vehicle, there's something else you can be doing right now, getting an auto quote from Progressive insurance. It's easy, and you could save money by doing it right from your phone. Drivers who save by switching to Progressive, save over $700 on average. And auto customers qualify for an average of seven discounts — discounts for having multiple vehicles on your policy, being a homeowner, and more. So just like your favorite podcast, Progressive is going to be with you 24/7, 365 days a year, so you're protected no matter what. Multitask right now. Quote your car insurance at progressive.com to join the over 27 million drivers who trust Progressive.
[00:37:53] Jen Harbinger: Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and affiliates. National annual average insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Progressive between June 2020 and May 2021. Potential savings will vary, discounts vary, and are not available in all states and situations.
[00:38:07] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored in part by HVMN. I've talked about ketones supplements before, drinkable ketones. I always ask my athlete friends about this. A lot of them are using this as well. They help your body use fatty acids for fuel. It's kind of like getting in the zone, but no anxiety, no jitters from coffee. It's focused energy. Their Ketone-IQ supplement is a nice little blend before a morning workout. It comes in convenient, portable shots, little single-serve bottles. You know what I'm talking about. They're good for cycling rides, long runs, running from meeting to meeting. You can keep them in the gym and just slam them right before your workout. Taste is not great. Tastes like it works, but don't be scared. The effects are real. I'm much more focused, less hungry during and after the workout. Appetite's curbed a little bit. I don't get that crash. I really think these are an interesting kind of new way to get a little bit of energy, but not in an energy drink kind of format.
[00:38:57] Jen Harbinger: For 20 percent off your order of Ketone-IQ, go to hvmn.com promo code JORDAN. Again, that's H-V-M-N.com promo code JORDAN for 20 percent off Ketone-IQ.
[00:39:09] Jordan Harbinger: If you like this episode of Feedback Friday and you found our advice valuable, I invite you to do what other smart and considerate listeners do, which is take a moment and support our amazing sponsors. To learn more and get links to all the discounts and the deals you hear on the show, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. Everything is searchable, everything should pop right up. You can also search for any sponsor using the search box on the website as well. Thank you so much for supporting those who support this show. It really does keep us going. It makes us possible for us to create these episodes week after week, and we love you for it.
[00:39:40] All right, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:39:45] Okay, so this is our last Feedback Friday of 2022, and as we wrap up the show for the year, Gabe and I have been talking about some of the big takeaways that came out of all of the incredible letters you all have sent us this year. After something around 250 questions, a few — wow, has it been that many?
[00:40:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:40:03] Jordan Harbinger: A few things come up again and again, so I wanted to talk about a few of these. Hopefully, give you something to take into the new year, or at least something you can use to survive your crazy family dinners over the holidays. The first one for me, at the highest, highest level is that the major problems and decisions we face in life, they just, they don't have an easy answer. They're complicated.
[00:40:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:40:27] Jordan Harbinger: They're messy, they're confusing, and I think oftentimes that's actually the hardest part about life. Not being able to look at a situation.
[00:40:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:40:35] Jordan Harbinger: Whether it's a difficult parent or a struggling partner or a job you kind of hate, but you also kind of need, whatever it is, it's hard to face those problems and not be able to say, "Right, okay, this is the answer. This is what I got to do. It's going to be simple. I just have to pull the trigger and be done with it, and then it'll be over." Life just doesn't work that way.
[00:40:55] There are always multiple angles on a situation. There are always different ways of understanding it. There's different ways of responding to it, and the same event can be experienced very differently by different people.
[00:41:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, so true. Plus there's always, you know, an opportunity cost to making a decision, usually more than one opportunity cost, and you always have to give something up or you have to pay a price or you invite new consequences that you might not even be able to anticipate. There's just no way around that. That rule is baked in and yeah, I do think that makes things even more complicated.
[00:41:27] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's right. But it's interesting, Gabe, I think people often write in hoping for the one clear answer or their question is confined to this very specific aspect of a much more complicated issue.
[00:41:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:41:40] Jordan Harbinger: And then, we'll go, well wait, wait. Hold on a second. You're asking whether you should feel guilty about not wanting to bring a casserole to your abusive mother's Thanksgiving dinner, but let's talk about what it's been like for you to have that mother your whole life.
[00:41:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:41:53] Jordan Harbinger: Let's talk about where that guilt comes from.
[00:41:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep.
[00:41:55] Jordan Harbinger: Let's talk about how you're dealing with her these days, or whatever it is.
[00:41:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:41:59] Jordan Harbinger: Because that's always the real issue once you, you got to abstract a little bit, right? Go up another layer here. And so I guess what I'm saying is getting comfortable with that ambiguity, accepting that life is a lot messier than we would like it to be, I think that sometimes, I just think that's even more important than solving the problem that seems to be at hand.
[00:42:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:42:19] Jordan Harbinger: In fact, I think our inability to tolerate that reality sometimes that is the problem and everything else is secondary, right? Forget the casserole.
[00:42:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, well put, and I would go a step further and say a lot of the situations we hear about, especially the ones that have to do with family or psychology or just very old issues in a way they're ultimately unfixable.
[00:42:38] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:42:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: And by that I mean, you're not going to fundamentally change your 80-year-old abusive mother. It's just impossible. You're not going to make, you know, the corporate world more compassionate, right? This is the system we work in. You're not going to snap your fingers and make the whole dating process less awful, as we saw from question two.
[00:42:56] And so a lot of what I've thought about this year is how to process and respond to these situations when you can't change them. And sometimes that's really the only answer to a problem. And your only move, your only reasonable move is to process the thoughts and the feelings and the questions that come up and decide what your relationship with the situation is going to be.
[00:43:17] Oftentimes that means drawing stronger boundaries. Like again, question one from today, right? Those parents, they can't change their son at this point in his life. He's on his own path. He's doing his own thing, but they can decide how they relate to him. They can decide how to take care of each other. They can find a way to work through the feelings that a child like this brings up. Or maybe in a different situation, it might mean changing your lens on a situation. Like, yeah, this colleague of mine is a total nightmare, but I'm going to choose to learn something from him. Or, I'm going to build better relationships with my other colleagues so we can survive this guy. Or, you know, when I get home, I'm going to write an email to my best friend about all the ridiculous stuff he said today, so I can at least laugh about it. Or, hey, maybe it means leaving the situation entirely, right? Ending a relationship or finding a new job, or moving to a new city, or whatever it is.
[00:44:04] That has been one of the biggest takeaways for me this year, just coming to terms with how fixed a lot of life is and remembering that it usually always comes back to how you show up, how you make sense of things. And maybe that sounds kind of depressing or kind of disempowering, but I actually think it's very empowering because then you can spend your time and your energy working on the aspect of a situation that you do control. You stop trying to make your mom somebody she's not or you stop obsessing over every single outcome that a career move is going to serve up and you start changing how you interpret your life and how you respond to your life. And suddenly things often start to get better. I think it's extraordinary.
[00:44:42] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Because you're not arguing with reality anymore.
[00:44:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:44:46] Jordan Harbinger: You're not holding out hope for an outcome that is impossible. You're acknowledging—
[00:44:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly.
[00:44:50] Jordan Harbinger: —that a problem might always exist or it'll exist for a long time.
[00:44:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:44:54] Jordan Harbinger: And so the only rational option is to shift your relationship with it. So the situation is fixable. It just wasn't fixable in the way that you first thought or hoped.
[00:45:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly. The solution isn't changing somebody or changing something else. The change is happening on your side of things, at least at first, anyway. That just came up over and over again in the letters.
[00:45:13] Jordan Harbinger: I'm actually really glad that you brought that up because another big theme for me this year, well, every year, but especially this year, is just how important it is to find the support you need, so you can do that kind of work on your own. And that usually means getting into some form of psychotherapy.
[00:45:29] So look, Gabe and I mentioned therapy a lot. It probably comes up at least once or twice per Feedback Friday. Today, I think it did come up twice. And it's interesting, a lot of you guys will write to me and you'll say, "Thank you for talking about therapy so much. You finally made me feel okay about going, I'm learning all this stuff about myself. I can't believe I waited this long to start. Thank you so much." And then other people will write in and they'll go, "Ah, your answer to people's problems is always just go to therapy. We get it. Can you please stop banging on about it already?" But the reason we bring this up so often is, I mean, look, you guys are bringing these incredibly intense and complicated questions to us.
[00:46:05] Oftentimes these problems go all the way back to childhood or your parents' childhood, or they connect to issues that are very personal and they take a lot of time to fully unpack. And yeah, we try to get to the heart of things as much as we can, but there's obviously only so much we can do in eight or 10 minutes on a podcast while you're not even sitting in front of me. I mean, we're good. We're not that good. You know what I mean? So to Gabe's point, this is a process and real growth, real understanding that's going to take time, and it usually requires the help of a professional who can be in that process with you. This stuff might even take months or years to get to the root of it with a good therapist. That's a very special relationship.
[00:46:44] Gabe and I have both gone to therapy. We've both gotten a lot out of it, so yeah, that's why we bang on about it so much. So to the people who get mad when we talk about getting on the couch, sorry, guys. You're going to keep hearing that. And also I, there's a part of me that says, what sort of level of self-awareness are you lacking where you think the only thing we say is go to therapy and move on? Is there no other useful advice? If that's, if that's lost on you, then maybe Feedback Friday really isn't for you. But the reason we recommend this is because we want you guys to have the support you need to take what you hear on the show into your life and then keep exploring it on your own.
[00:47:18] And if you want to get started with therapy, I always recommend Better Help, betterhelp.com/jordan. Yes, they sponsor the show. They've been great. A lot of you write in about how helpful this is. Tons of our listeners have found a therapist there with great. Betterhelp.com/jordan. They didn't pay for this spot. This one's a freebie for them. You're welcome. And if you need help finding a therapist, email us. We've got a ton of resources for low-cost therapy, sliding scale therapy, tips on how to find the best therapist for you, all that jazz.
[00:47:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Absolutely, and also Jordan, speaking of therapy, I think another big theme for me this year was remembering that ultimately you can't change other people and you also can't live other people's lives for them.
[00:48:01] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's a big one for me too.
[00:48:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: A lot of people we hear from are struggling because you know, their sibling won't go to rehab or their partner won't start exercising, or they're at their wit's end because their friend won't snap out of their depression and be grateful for what they have, whatever it is. I think a lot of the times we have this fantasy that we could do the work for other people or that we could somehow accelerate their process, you know?
[00:48:23] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:48:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Like we could somehow transfer our insight or our experience to them so that they could just get better. And I know this seems so obvious, but it's important to remember that you can't do that, right? You can only live your own life and other people can only live their life. And it's easy to forget. You can help people, you can encourage them, you can guide them. But even if you could make your sister go to AA, even if you could make your boyfriend start exercising, she still has to be the one to go to those meetings, he still has to be the one doing the pushups. They have to have that experience. That's the only way it works.
[00:48:56] Jordan Harbinger: Right. And that rarely happens on the timeline that we would like it to happen on. We hear that a lot too.
[00:49:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes, totally. Sometimes the hardest thing to do, honestly, is be patient.
[00:49:06] Jordan Harbinger: Which, that's another thing we come back to a lot, pushing the people in our lives to change, pushing ourselves to change, but still being patient, still being compassionate, still being supportive because you, you need both to get anywhere in life.
[00:49:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, that's not always easy.
[00:49:21] Jordan Harbinger: No, it's really not. And actually, that brings me to my last takeaway from this year, which is no matter what we do, no matter how sensitive or compassionate we are, someone somewhere will find a reason to get offended by what we say.
[00:49:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, they sure will.
[00:49:36] Jordan Harbinger: This is sort of a pet peeve of mine, although I mostly find it interesting these days just how people will find a reason to be angry or injured or, and it's often on somebody else's behalf.
[00:49:46] Like we'll take a question from somebody and we'll work pretty hard to find a balance between empathizing with them and being gentle with them, and also pushing them to be courageous or to take responsibility for their outcomes. And we'll get letters, not a ton of 'em, but you know, a few very vocal ones, and they'll be like, "How could you say that you're victim blaming?" And it's like, wait a minute. We just spent 20 freaking minutes telling this person it was not their fault that they were assaulted or whatever. But now they have to find the resources they need to heal and make meaning out of their trauma. And here's how to do that. And suddenly all over again, we're monsters.
[00:50:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: And meanwhile, the person who wrote in almost always sends us an email going, "Thank you for being so honest. You know, some of what you said was a little hard to hear, but I really needed to hear that and I know what I need to do now. So thank you."
[00:50:33] Jordan Harbinger: Right. But that won't stop some socks and sandals, keyboard warriors in their bedroom who's bringing their own baggage to a story from projecting all of their crap on somebody else's story and then leaving us a one-star review or sending us a nasty email.
[00:50:47] And look, I have some compassion for people like that because some of the topics we take on the show are very triggering. But also it's like, did you just cherry-pick the one sentence from our entire response that serves your weird narrative? Yeah, you kind of did. You might want to ask yourself why our response riled you up so much before you write us a five-page letter about how we're sociopaths.
[00:51:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Also the ad pivots.
[00:51:11] Jordan Harbinger: Ah, the ad pivots. Yes, the ad pivots. So you guys know how we do those cheeky ad pivots from a question into the sponsors and like 99.99 percent of you guys like them and know we're just trying to keep things light. But every so often someone slides into my DMs like, "I really don't appreciate how you're making fun of people's trauma to sell ads." And Gabe and I always turn to each other like, okay, are we being dicks right now? Are we going too far? And then it we're like, hey, didn't we just spend 15 minutes taking this person's story very seriously and bouncing it off a lawyer and a therapist and whatever? Isn't it obvious that we're doing this with a wink and a nod to change the mode in the mood in the show?
[00:51:50] So look, it's never my intention to hurt people's feelings who write in. And again, I've never actually heard from a person who wrote in saying they were hurt by one of our ad pivots. It's always some other person who's usually never even written in before at all. But the reason I bring this up is it's actually really interesting to me that some people are able to go through tough stuff and still have a laugh.
[00:52:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:52:13] Jordan Harbinger: Or at least tolerate us having a little bit of laugh. And some people just can't do that.
[00:52:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:52:18] Jordan Harbinger: And I'm not saying that you have to laugh about your pain. I'm not saying trauma's funny, processing difficult stuff. Well, it's a process, but one of the big themes that really jumped out at me this year is that the people who have a sense of humor, even a little bit, they seem to roll with the punches a lot better. And they seem to have a little more fun along the way.
[00:52:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Well said, Jordan. I actually do think that humor is a huge part of resilience. In fact, I actually, I wonder if evolutionarily, that might be part of why human beings developed a sense of humor.
[00:52:50] Jordan Harbinger: To deal with pain, right? Or to lighten up a situation.
[00:52:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:52:52] Jordan Harbinger: Or take tension out.
[00:52:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally, mm-hmm.
[00:52:55] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, to cope with shame. We talked about that a few times this year too. It's very powerful laughter. I just know that somebody who's getting so offended, because we have a laugh about one element of a question, they just must be so freaking fragile.
[00:53:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:53:09] Jordan Harbinger: They can't view a situation in any other way than, "This is serious. It's fatal, it's personal. There's no room for any other feelings other than sheer pain."
[00:53:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally. And being that fragile and that — what's the word? Like brittle.
[00:53:22] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:53:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think that makes it hard to have the, like the elasticity to absorb some of that pain or to feel the pain and say, yes, this is really heavy. This is serious, but also to have some perspective on it and to maybe have more than one relationship to an experience.
[00:53:37] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. And I know that's easier said than done. Some situations are obviously harder than others, and you have to go through a phase of taking something seriously before you can laugh about it. I understand that.
[00:53:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:53:50] Jordan Harbinger: But over time, yeah. Being able to tap into a little humor, it makes a huge difference. I see it all the time. I've experienced the same thing myself.
[00:53:57] Anyway, all that to say, we will always listen when you guys get angry at us, you know that. And I'll always check in with myself and see if I'm going too far. But hey, at the same time, I think we could all use a little more humor in our lives, especially these days. And just because Gabe and I try to keep things light here and there, it doesn't mean we're trying to be cruel. We just know that laughter really is a part of the medicine. Plus, I really need you guys to stick around for the ad reads because that's how we're able to keep offending you week after week.
[00:54:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Well, listen, before we wrap up here, I just like to say one last thing, which is getting to talk to you guys every week doing this show with my best friend. It means the world to me. It really does, and I'm just very grateful to work with you, Jordan, and I'm so grateful to be part of all your lives in this way.
[00:54:45] You guys share this incredibly personal, interesting, often, yeah, really difficult stuff with us. And I have to say, I am just constantly amazed by how willing you are to share your lives with us and how you guys open yourselves up to new ideas. And yes, also, you let us have a laugh every now and again and I am very honored by that.
[00:55:04] And look, I know it probably seems like Jordan and I have all the answers every week, but the truth is I'm growing along with you guys. I feel like I learn from you just as much, and I honestly, I can't tell you how much I appreciate that. So thank you. That's all I want to say. Thank you for letting us into your world every week. Thank you for all your emails, your amazing reviews. Thank you for being part of this with us. I hope Feedback Friday has helped you see things in a new way or made you feel a little less alone or just kept you from stabbing your colleague with a butter knife in the break room, whatever it is, wherever you listen.
[00:55:38] This is honestly the best part of my week and I just can't wait to see what other crazy stuff you guys send us next year. So, we can keep figuring this whole life thing out together.
[00:55:48] Jordan Harbinger: Absolutely. Gabe, hey, I second all of that and look, as you guys know, I really do live a lot of my life through this show and when I'm interviewing interesting people or talking through your stories, I'm a student alongside you guys and that's really why I started podcasting 15, 16 years ago because I just wanted to learn and share what I learned with other people.
[00:56:09] That's really the whole spirit of the show. So without belaboring the point too much, I'd also like to thank you for being a part of this family, for lending us your ears and your minds, and even your hearts, and for supporting our sponsors so we can keep doing the show. And I say this all the time, but I really do feel that we have the greatest show fans in the world. You all are truly awesome. I feel lucky. Like words can't really describe how lucky that this is my job, this is my career.
[00:56:35] And by the way, this show, it would not be possible without my phenomenal team — Bob, Jase, Ian, Josh, Millie, you guys make the show run. You're the best team I could ask for. And obviously, Gabe, who let me roast him this year, way more than I should have probably. But the person I really couldn't do this without, of course, is my wife Jen. Jen isn't just my amazing producer behind the scenes, she's my partner, my best friend. She's the secret sauce that makes everything work around here. My kids, Jayden and Juniper, they're way too young to listen to the show, but they're a huge part of the person that I am today.
[00:57:08] I don't think I could tackle a lot of the questions here on Feedback Friday if I were not a father. I'm kind of anxious about the day I actually have to discuss Feedback-Friday-like questions with them, those are going to be some weird conversations. Maybe they'll listen to the show after I'm dead and I'll be off the hook, but it's a problem for another year. I'm happy to put that off as long as.
[00:57:28] And finally, I want to thank our amazing sponsors and Feedback. Friday experts, Corbin Payne, Dr. Erin Margolis, Michelle Tillis Lederman, Alisa Cohn, and all the other brilliant people who've helped us out this year. We're super grateful for your generosity and your wisdom, and Gabe and I thank you for making us sound way smarter than we actually are.
[00:57:45] And on that note, Happy Holidays, you guys. Happy New Year. We'll have two new interviews for you next week, and then we're going to be back in your feed on Tuesday, January 3rd. Skeptical Sunday will also be returning next year as well, so there's that to look forward to as well. Go back and check out Sohom Das and Chase Hughes if you haven't yet.
[00:58:03] If you want to know how I managed to book all the great guests for the show, it's always about networking and relationship development. I'm teaching you those skills for free on the Thinkific platform. It's our Six-Minute Networking course. Again, the course is free, jordanharbinger.com/deals. Dig the well before you're thirsty people. The holiday season's a great time to dive into all this. jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:58:24] A link to the show notes for the episode is at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts are in the show notes. Advertisers, deals, and discount codes, all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn and Gabe is on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi, or on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi. If you want some photographs of him sitting in a castle, you can go look at Instagram.
[00:58:48] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. The team, you already know about, Happy Holidays to them as well. They're taking a well-deserved break over here. Our advice and opinions are our own. I'm a lawyer. I'm not your lawyer. I was never a good lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. Ditto Corbin Payne.
[00:59:05] Dr. Ramini'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. Remember, we've rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love. If you found the episode useful or any episode of this show useful, please share it with somebody else who can use the advice that we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next year.
[00:59:34] You're about to hear a preview of The Jordan Harbinger Show with retired astronaut, Chris Hadfield.
[00:59:40] Chris Hadfield: I watched the first two people walk in the moon and I thought, "Wow, I'm going to grow up to be something. Why don't I grow up to be that? That's the coolest thing ever." It is purely the direct result of all of those little minute-by-minute decisions that I made since starting when I was a kid, just turning 10.
[00:59:59] When I got the telephone call asking if I would like to be an astronaut, I was at the top of my profession. I was the top test pilot in the US Navy as a Canadian, and then to be selected as an astronaut, suddenly, I'm a guy who knows nothing. I sit in my office and I'm like, "I'm a complete imposter. I have zero skills right now." Whatever anybody has offered to teach me something for free, I've always taken 'em up on it.
[01:00:27] How are you getting ready for the major events in your life? The things that matter to you, the things that have consequence? Are you just sort of waving your hands and go, "Oh, probably turn out okay"? Or are you actually using the time available to get ready for it? Maybe it will turn out okay, but if the stakes are high, to me, that's just not a gamble I willingly take.
[01:00:43] If at some point in life, you think you know everything you need to know, then you're just in the process of dying. What astronauts do for a living is visualize failure, figuring out the next thing that's going to kill you, and then practice it over and over and over again until we can beat that thing. We know how to deal with it, then you do a much better job and a more calm and comfortable way of doing it as well. You don't miss it. You're not overwhelmed by it. It's something you could do while thinking of something else. You notice how beautiful it is, how magnificent it is, how much fun it is. You're not just completely overwhelmed by the demands of the moment.
[01:01:21] Jordan Harbinger: For more on how Commander Chris Hadfield managed to stay focused on his dreams, starting at age nine to become the first Canadian to walk in space, check out episode 408 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:01:33] This episode is sponsored in part by the Mea Culpa podcast. Mea Culpa is hosted by Michael Cohen, who is Donald Trump's fixer, lawyer, right hand for over a decade. He, of course, went to prison because he defied his former boss. The Mea Culpa podcast is his redemption tour of sorts. Mea Culpa with Michael Cohen delivers political news, raw and unfiltered. Plus. Michael, well, let's just say he's an opinionated guy. Twice weekly, Mea Culpa features the most important people in politics, offering listeners rare insight into what's happening that they can get no place else. His guests are a who's who of politics, media and beyond, especially on the left, as you might guess. James Carville, Joe Trippy, John Dean, Laurence Tribe, Ari Melber, Joy Reid, Kathy Griffin — oh, she's a fan favorite, isn't she? Congressman Steve Cohen. Elie Honig, Neal Katyal, Norm Eisen, Molly Jong-Fast, Sam Donaldson, Ben Stiller. That's probably a fun one. You never know who's going to show up and what they will say. And if you're on the right, you're probably going to hate this podcast. Don't shoot the messenger here. But hey, if you lean left, do yourself a favor, check out Mea Culpa wherever you get your podcasts. Find it in your favorite podcast app.
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